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Iran reaches first FIVB Volleyball World League final
Iran's national volleyball team has outplayed Poland in consecutive sets at the 2014 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League to book a berth in the tournament's Final Six for the first time in its volleyball history. - 6/30/14

Government ready to spend as much as necessary to save Lake Urmia: President Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has told the Working Committee to Save Lake Urmia to carry out comprehensive studies to facilitate the speedy implementation of its task and to reduce any negative consequences that may arise in the process of the work. - 6/30/14

Activists urge volleyball group to support Iran's female fans
More than 130 women's rights activists have written an open letter to the head of the International Federation of Volleyball demanding support for the right of women to watch volleyball matches in stadiums. - 6/30/14

Which Is Worse for Saudi Arabia, ISIS or Maliki?
Has King Abdullah backed away from his longstanding refusal to have anything to do with an Iraqi government that includes Nouri al-Maliki? Reporters who were in Jeddah when Abdullah met with Secretary of State John F. Kerry Friday seemed to think so, based on a background briefing by the ubiquitous "senior official." -Thomas Lippman - 6/30/14

Morality police clashes with university campus security in Tehran
A student at the Applied Arts University has been arrested by Iran's morality patrol, referred to as an Ershad Patrol. The Kaleme opposition website reports that campus security tried to prevent the Ershad Patrol from returning to the campus after the student's arrest, and a serious conflict arose between the two groups. - 6/30/14

Tehran police to enforce Ramadan fasting rules
Greater Tehran's Police Chief announced on Sunday June 29 that with the commencement of the month of Ramadan, his forces will respond to public displays of eating and smoking. - 6/30/14

Carlos Queiroz in talks over Iran contract extensio
Head of the Iran Football Federation Ali Kafashian met Carlos Queiroz on Sunday over his contract extension as head coach of Iran. "If they want me to continue as Iran coach they have to make written request." Queiroz told reporters after his meeting with Kafashian. - 6/30/14

Iran extends welcome to US religious groups
Iran is reopening the gates to delegations from the US religious community as part of a broader outreach meant to smooth the way for a nuclear agreement and improve relations with the United States. -Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor - 6/30/14

Photos: Iranian football team greeted by supporters, officials
Iran's national football team arrived in Tehran on Saturday morning to an unexpected welcome from fans and government officials. Iranian media report that the players seemed to have been caught by surprise by the warm welcome. Crowds of people had reportedly arrived at the airport to welcome the players, causing heavy traffic in the vicinity. - 6/29/14

U.S.: What Is the Greatest Threat of Them All?
This month's stunning campaign by Sunni insurgents led by the radical Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) against the mainly Shi'a government of Iraqi President Nouri Al-Maliki is stoking a growing debate here about the hierarchy of threats facing the United States in the Middle East and beyond. -Jim Lobe - 6/29/14

Introduction of new university president rouses tension on campus in Tehran
The introduction of the new president for Amirkabir University of Technology became a scene of violent tension on Saturday June 28. Mehr News Agency reports that while the amphitheatre was full to capacity, a group of students forced their way in, causing the door to break and one of the professors to get injured. - 6/29/14

Iran's Eastern Azerbaijan province responds to critical shortages
The governor of Eastern Azerbaijan announced on Saturday night that the province's water and power supply are in a critical state, and until the situation returns to normal, the provincial Crisis Management Base will take over the administration of affairs. - 6/29/14

UNHCR Praises Iran for Supporting Foreign Refugees
Head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)'s Office in Tehran Sivanka Dhanapala praised Iran's performance in hosting and aiding foreign refugees, specially the Afghans. - 6/29/14

Rally of strange bedfellows : To change Iran, U.S. group backs former 'terrorists'
An array of high-level former U.S. officials, both Democrats and Republicans, were in France over the weekend calling for regime change in Iran and throwing their collective weight behind an Iranian dissident group once designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. -Guy Taylor, Washington Times - 6/29/14

Iran General: Ready to Help Iraq Against Militants
Iran is ready to help Iraq fight an armed revolt using the same methods it deployed against opposition forces in Syria, an Iranian general said, suggesting Tehran is offering to take a larger role in battling Sunni militias threatening Baghdad. -Reuters - 6/29/14

Volleyball: Iran overpower Poland 3-1 in World League
Iranian volleyball players have trounced powerhouse Poland 3-1 in the 2014 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League, a huge step towards the Final Six of the tourney. Host Iran defeated Poland 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-11, 25-19) in a Pool A clash at the sold-out Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran on Friday. - 6/28/14

Rouhani's First Year
Ten months into office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has proven adept at isolating his hard-line critics and maintaining the political alliance that brought him to power. Skepticism regarding his ability to deliver on his campaign promises of resolving the nuclear crisis, improving economic conditions, and de-securitizing the political environment persists, but the support for his policies is still fairly solid. -Farideh Farhi - 6/28/14

German brewer apologizes for using Iranian flag
The Iranian embassy in Germany has called on German beer company Gaffel to stop the production and distribution of beer bottles labeled with the Iranian flag. Gaffel's latest marketing plan includes producing beer bottles with flags of the countries participating in the FIFA World Cup. - 6/28/14

Education opens doors for Afghan refugees in Iran
Afghan refugee Nasibah is now an obstetrics surgeon in Iran, an achievement she and her family never felt possible. The 32-year-old faced tremendous obstacles in pursuing her dream. - 6/28/14

HAND Foundation Awards Annual Scholarship to Kian Samaee
We are delighted to announce that the 2014 HAND Foundation Scholarship has been made to Kian Samaee for his doctoral studies in economics at The University of Pennsylvania. - 6/28/14

Farhang Foundation Names New Executive Director
Farhang Foundation is excited to announce the appointment of Alireza Ardekani as Executive Director. Mr. Ardekani joins Farhang Foundation after an illustrious career in the media and entertainment industry, most recently as a senior executive at NBC. - 6/28/14

Mother of political prisoner killed in road accident in Iran
The opposition website Kaleme reported on Thursday June 26 that Tooti Soltani, the missing mother of political prisoner Mohsen Qashqaizadeh, was found to have been killed in a road accident. Soltani went missing on May 19 after leaving the Evin Prison Visitors Hall. - 6/28/14

Column: 'Valiant' in Soccer, Can Iran Achieve Diplomatic Goals?
With its 1-3 loss to Bosnia on Wednesday, Iran is out of the 2014 World Cup. But its gritty play won rare respect from an international community more accustomed to associating Iran with terrorism and a suspected quest for nuclear weapons. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 6/27/14

Reaching a Compromise on Iran's Enrichment Program
Right now the buzz around Iran is related to Iraq, but the July 20 deadline to reach a final nuclear deal set by last year's interim accord is fast approaching, and as of July 2 representatives from Tehran and the P5+1 will be in Geneva for a marathon round of talks. -Derek Davison - 6/27/14

An Alliance of Convenience with Iran? Baghdad as "Exhibit A"
The violence in Iraq has provoked serious considerations by the West as to whether cooperation with Iran is worth testing to secure regional stability. In the last decade, both sides have avoided expanding their dialogue beyond the nuclear issue in fear of giving the other side leverage or poisoning the talks. -Ellie Geranmayeh - 6/27/14

Syria, Iran Join Fight Against Iraq's Militants
The Syrian and Iranian fight against the militants linked to ISIL has produced an extraordinary confluence of interests with the United States, which otherwise is staunchly opposed to the Damascus regime of President Bashar al-Assad and is engaged in contentious negotiations with Iran over its nuclear development program. -VOA - 6/27/14

Fake commercial drugs more profitable than narcotics in Iran
The head of Iran's Medical Drugs Information Centre says the country's trade in counterfeit commercial drugs, most of which come from Pakistan, has become more lucrative than dealing in illegal narcotics. - 6/27/14

The US in the Middle East: Back to First Principles
What do we, the United States, need - as opposed to want - in the Middle East? It's no secret that the region is in a mess. But as Hamlet could have said about US responsibilities: "O cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right." -Robert E. Hunter - 6/27/14

Bosnia ends Iran's World Cup dream
Already eliminated Bosnia and Herzegovina defeated Iran 3-1 in a World Cup Group F match at the Arena Fonte Nova on Wednesday. Argentina advanced to the last 16 as the winner of Group F with nine points. Nigeria also booked a birth in the next stage with four points. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran finished in third and fourth places with three points and one point respectively. - 6/26/14

Yet Another Round of Arrests: Filling Prisons with Iranian Journalists
The last two days witnessed a new round of court summons and arrests of media and civil activists in Iran. Mashaollah Shamsolvaezin (a prominent journalist and member of Association of Iranian Journalists) was summoned and banned from leaving the country, Reyhane Tabatabai (another journalist and former reporter for pro-reformist Shargh newspaper) was arrested and sent to Evin prison,... -Fereshteh Ghazi - 6/26/14

Iranian Health Minister challenges law against birth control
Iran's Minister of Health has challenged the new legislation passed by Parliament to criminalize vasectomies and tubectomies, saying the legislation is in violation of citizens' rights. - 6/26/14

Iran: Water shortage forces rationing in Karaj
Following the announcement of water shortages in 12 large Iranian cities, water rationing has begun in Karaj. Officials in Alborz Province have announced that with the start of the warm season and a rise in water consumption, they have had to shut off the water supply or reduce pressure in some areas of Karaj. - 6/26/14

A talk by Fereshteh Ghazi in Berkeley, California: "Political prisoners families from 60's to green movement"
Fereshteh Ghazi is an Iranian journalist. She has worked in more than 18 newspapers in Iran which have all been banned: Khordad, Hammihan, Hambastegi, Bonyan, Etemad etc. She was arrested in 2004 and blocked from work until 2007 when she left Iran. -Berkeley Lecture Series - 6/26/14

UN Criticizes Iranian Executions Of Juvenile Offenders
The UN's high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, has spoken out against the large number of executions in Iran, specifically mentioning the planned execution of a minor in the Islamic republic. In a June 26 statement, Pillay brought up the case of Razieh Ebrahimi, who was convicted of killing her husband when she was 17 years old. - 6/26/14

Carlos Queiroz given green light by Iranian Ministry of Sports
Iran's minister of sports and youth, Mahmoud Goudarzi, said that they are ready to help the Iranian Football Federation (IFF) to extend Carlos Queiroz's contract. Queiroz has recently revealed that the IFF had offered him the chance to stay, but the former Portugal coach believes financial restrictions mean that he cannot take Iran any further. - 6/26/14

At a bar in Tel Aviv, Israelis root for Iran
The last great era of Israeli-Iranian friendship might have ended with the fall of the ancient Persian empire, but from the mood at one of Wednesday night's World Cup watch parties, you wouldn't have known it had been more than 2,000 years since the two peoples last hung out. -Michael Mitchell, Haaretz - 6/26/14

I wanted to renew my contract with Iran, Queiroz says
Iran football coach Carlos Queiroz said that he wanted to renew his contract but there was no intention to keep him. Iran national team left Sao Paulo for Salvador on Monday to prepare for the final group stage match against Bosnia & Herzegovina. - 6/25/14

Advancing U.S. Interests Through Cooperation With Iran
Alarm about the advance in Iraq by the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has led even as inveterate a hawk as Lindsey Graham to see some advantage in cooperating with Iran. The United States and Iran may indeed seem like the ultimate in strange bedfellows, but that is only because of rigid thinking that divides the world into allies and adversaries and rejects having anything to do with the adversaries. -Paul Pillar - 6/25/14

Iran's Ashkan Dejagah: I will score against Bosnia
Iran attacking midfielder Ashkan Dejagah promised he will score against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage on Wednesday. Dejagah, who had a great performance in Iran's 1-0 defeat against Argentina, also believes that Iran can qualify for the Last 16. - 6/25/14

Iranian Official Dressed Down Over Revealing Women's Leggings
Skin-tight leggings popular among Iranian women have sparked an uproar in the Islamic republic's parliament, where the interior minister was dressed down over the female population's fashion choices. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/25/14

Iran outlaws birth-control methods, promotion
Iran's Parliament has passed legislation criminalizing "abortion, sterilization, vasectomies, tubectomies and any promotion of childbirth reduction" under penalty of two to five years in jail. - 6/25/14

Sports, Shorts A Recipe For Rape In Iran
Women attempting to attend World League volleyball matches being held this month in Tehran learned from the national police chief that their presence "was not in the public interest," while a female lawmaker argued that women at sporting events was a source of "disrespect and rape in society." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/25/14

The First Annual Pars Equality Center Autumn Gala in Los Angeles
The 1st Annual Pars Equality Center Autumn Gala will raise funds for the Pars Equality Center, a non-profit organization that provides social and legal support for all members of the Iranian American community, including refugees, asylees and immigrants. - 6/25/14

Three Iranian Guards Killed Near Iraq Border
Unidentified gunmen have reportedly killed three members of Iran's security forces in the western province of Kermanshah. Iranian media reported that the three were killed overnight while patrolling near the village of Taze-Abad, about 50 kilometers from the border with Iraq. - 6/25/14

Iran must join WTO to meet economic development goals: Official
Iran must join the World Trade Organization to meet its economic development goals, the president of Iran's National Center for Globalization Studies, Alireza Moaiyeri, stated. - 6/25/14

Iran lodges complaint to FIFA over Serbian referee
The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has submitted a complaint to FIFA against Serbian referee Milorad Mazic, for what they deem to be poor officiating during their 1-0 defeat by Argentina. The Iranian team lost to Argentina 1-0 in Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Saturday. - 6/24/14

For Iranian women, makeup speaks volumes
Under the compulsory veil and despite hard times, Iranian women are unrestrained in showing off one feature on which they feel a need to spend money. Their faces. With a female population of more than 38 million, Iran is the second-largest cosmetics market in the Middle East in terms of revenue, behind Saudi Arabia, and the world's seventh biggest. - 6/24/14

Russian Nuclear Company To Build Two New Reactors For Iran
Iran has announced that Russia's state nuclear power company will construct two more reactors at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said he expects the deal will be signed with Russian company Rosatom later this week. Kamalvandi said the two new units should start operation within five to six years. - 6/24/14

Political Will and High Cost of Failure: Two Factors for Resolution of Iran's N-Dossier
Iran Review.Org conducted an exclusive interview with Dr. Farideh Farhi about nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, the prospects for the resolution of the nuclear standoff, the important measures to decrease misunderstandings between the two countries, existing problems between Iran and the United States and closer cooperation between Iran and the United States over management of regional issues. -Firouzeh Mirrazavi - 6/24/14

The Dilemma With the "Council on Iran's Strategic Foreign Relations"
It is said that the idea of a strategic council on foreign policy was initially raised by ayatollah Khamenei himself. According to former head of the economic committee on the Council Mohammad Shariatmadari ayatollah Khamenei had brought up the idea at the time of his own presidency. It is also said that prior to its creation he had talked about such a body and his model for this was the American Council on Foreign Relations. -Hossein Bastani - 6/24/14

First female governor in Gilan Province of Iran appointed
Mona Abrufarakh has become the first woman to be chosen as a governor in Gilan Province. IRNA reports that Abrufarakh will serve as governor of central Rasht. The head of provincial elections in Gilan Province said: "This appointment was based on the merits and strengths of the new governor of central Rasht." - 6/24/14

Iran: Jobless rate rising for university, college graduates
Iran's National Census Centre has announced that unemployment among university and college graduates is on the rise. The Shargh daily reports that Adel Azar, the head of the National Census Centre, said the unemployment rate among people with a bachelor's degree rose from 14.6 percent to 20.1 percent from 2005 to 2013. - 6/24/14

Carlos Queiroz, the master of defence, has to press forward with Iran
Iran will go through to the last 16 for the first time in their history if they beat Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria lose to Argentina in Group F's final games. From Iran's point of view, there are two questions: what sort of state will Bosnia be in after their abject defeat by Nigeria, and will their own side has the wherewithal to take the game to an opponent if they need to. "My major concern is to keep players focused," said Queiroz. "And they'll need to convert those chances." -Jonathan Wilson, Guardian - 6/24/14

Foreign tourist visits to Iran up 215% in spring 2014
Visits to Iran by foreign tourists rose 215 percent in spring 2014 compared to spring 2013, the deputy director of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization said on Monday. - 6/24/14

Iran's complex Khuzestan region through the eyes of its children
A schoolteacher provides a window on the lives of Arabs and other ethnic minorities in region known as the "birthplace of the nation" -Guardian - 6/24/14

Iran-Argentina World Cup match in the eyes of Iranian cartoonists
Here is how Iranian cartoonists see the Iran-Argentina World Cup match which was played in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on Saturday June 21st. Iran played a great game, and the score was tied at 0-0 after 90 minutes of regular play time. Then at the 91st minute, Lionel Messi scored a goal to give Argentina a 1-0 victory. It is also widely believed that the Serbian ref Milorad Mazic did not call a penalty for Iran - 6/23/14

Iran's 5200-year-old Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City) joins UNESCO World Heritage List
The 5200-year-old Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City) located in southeastern Iran was registered on UNESCO's World Heritage List on Sunday. The site was registered with no opposing vote during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee - 6/23/14

Iran defeats Italy in FIVB Volleyball World League
Iran saw off Italy with a four-set (25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 25-20) victory in the FIVB Volleyball World League Pool A match in Tehran's Azadi Hall on Sunday afternoon. - 6/23/14

What Iran Wants in Iraq and Why
For some time, the problems of Iraq and indeed of all of the Middle East have been blamed on Iran for its interference and meddling, especially for exporting its ideology and attempting to establish hegemony over the region. -Shireen T. Hunter - 6/23/14

Scholar Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Criticizing Iran Nuclear Program and the Judiciary
The Iranian Judiciary has sentenced Sadegh Zibakalam, a Tehran University scholar, to one and a half years in prison for his criticism of the Iranian nuclear program and of the Iranian Judiciary on charges of "propaganda against the Islamic Republic regime," "publishing falsehoods to create public anxiety," and "insulting judges and Judiciary officials." - 6/23/14

Iran's Repressed Religious Minorities Using Internet To Practice Faith
A new report by the London based non-profit group Small Media says the Internet is playing an "essential role" in empowering Iran's repressed religious minorities who are banned from public places and platforms. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/23/14

Fear of a Decrease in Fear of Iran
Many participants in debate on U.S. policy in the Middle East have a lot invested in maintaining the idea of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a bogeyman forever to be feared, despised, sanctioned, and shunned, and never to be cooperated with on anything. -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest - 6/23/14

Sign this petition to reject Sunni-Shia violence
Sectarian violance between Shia and Sunni muslims is escalating. The violance is intensifying and it is spreading to more regions of the world every year. Unfortunately millions of tolerant Shia and Sunni muslims are silent and do not realize how dangerous this situation is. -Nader Habibi - 6/23/14

Iranians celebrate strong performance at World Cup
Iranian president congratulated Iran's National Soccer team for their excellent performance at the FIFA World Cup, and reports from Iran indicate that Iranians took to the streets of Tehran to celebrate the strong performance of their team against Argentina on Saturday. - 6/22/14

Argentina's Messi, Germany's Klose Shine in World Cup
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi and prolific German scorer Miroslav Klose rescued their teams with clutch goals in World Cup action Saturday. Messi scored during injury time to give Argentina a 1-0 win over Iran and qualify the Argentines for the coveted round of 16. Klose found the back of the net in the 71st minute for the final goal in a 2-2 draw against Ghana. - 6/22/14

Iranian President Warns 'Petrodollar' States About Supporting Militants
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said in a speech that those who "spend their money and oil dollars to help terrorists today [should] know that tomorrow is your turn." - 6/22/14

IRAN: Eleven Internet Professionals Sentenced to One to Eleven Years in Prison
Yadollah Movahed, the Prosecutor for Kerman Province General and Revolutionary Courts, said at a press conference on June 19, 2014, that the eleven individuals were arrested and prosecuted for "designing sites, websites, and creating content for media hostile to the regime." - 6/22/14

Argentina's Messi, and ref, defeat Iran in World Cup
Saturday, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the Iranian National Football Team was less than two minutes away from a historic World Cup result when ref Milorad Mazic and Lionel Messi intervened. -Robert J. Riccio, Examiner - 6/22/14

Sunni-Led Militants Capture More Iraqi Towns
Sunni insurgents led by Al-Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have captured three strategic towns in western Iraq and the first border crossing with Syria. - 6/22/14

World Cup: Messi's late goal breaks Iran's heart
Argentina earned a hard-fought victory over Iran in Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on Saturday. Lionel Messi scored a late goal in the first minute of added time to give Argentina a 1-0 victory and six points from its two matches. - 6/21/14

Lionel Messi not human: Iran's Coach Queiroz
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said that Argentina's Lionel Messi is incredible and may not be a human. Iran is scheduled to play favorite Argentina in Group F of the 2014 World Cup in Belo Horizente on June 21. - 6/21/14

Volleyball: Iran beats Italy in FIVB World League on home court
Iran swept Italy in the fifth week of the Intercontinental Round of the FIVB Volleyball World League. On Friday, Iran beat Italy in straight sets (25-18, 25-20, 25-15) at a packed Azadi Hall in Tehran. - 6/21/14

The Politics of Participation in Iran
Millions of Iranians will gather in the coming days to watch their country take on the world in something other than politics. Against the odds, against Argentina, and after a long, eight-year absence, Iran's participation in the World Cup is a welcome break from usual state TV programming. -Shervin Malekzadeh - 6/21/14

Iranian authorities once again bar women from stadium
Reports from Iran indicate that on Friday June 20, police and security forces once again prevented women from entering the stadium to watch a volleyball match between Iran and Italy, and a number of them were even arrested. - 6/21/14

Nuclear Talks Resume July 2, Iran Says Key Issues Unresolved
VIENNA - Iran and world powers will resume negotiations on its contested nuclear activities on July 2 after a round of talks in Vienna this week that Tehran said yielded no breakthrough on the main sticking points. -Reuters - 6/21/14

Iran: Obama Not Serious in Fighting Terrorism
President Barack Obama's plan to send advisers to Iraq to help Baghdad counter Sunni Islamist militants shows the United States is not serious about fighting terrorism, an Iranian official was quoted by official media as saying on Friday. -Reuters - 6/21/14

Pro-Diplomacy Groups Call for Congress to Clarify Iran Sanctions Letter
Washington, DC - Twenty-six organizations called on the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee today to clarify a pending Congressional sign-on letter to the President concerning nuclear negotiations with Iran. - 6/20/14

Study of Political Science in Iranian universities to change with new text books
Political Science in Iranian universities has been overhauled with the addition of 91 new texts. The Tasnim news agency reports that the new Political Science curriculum will be implemented starting this September. - 6/20/14

Iran says drafting of final nuclear pact underway
The Iranian foreign minister has announced that the drafting of the final agreement between Iran and the 5+1 has begun. Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters on Wednesday June 18 that the drafting commenced on Wednesday afternoon. He added, however, that many major differences remain between the parties. - 6/20/14

End the Pressure on Iranian Activists
A new round of pressure tactics have been launched against civil and political activists. The merciless attack on Ward 350 of Evin Prison and the arrest of a number of civil activists and journalists, and the execution of Gholamreza Khosravi, a political prisoner who was executed amid wide domestic and internal protests by human rights activists, are all indications of this new judicial assault. -Nasrin Sotudeh - 6/20/14

Israel: The Silent Stakeholder in Northern Iraq
One of the more remarkable aspects of the recent news coverage of Iraq - the Maliki government's loss of control over the northern region of the country, the deadly confrontations taking place between Iraqi Shia and Sunnis, and the clashes between Kurds and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIL or ISIS) - is the absence of any mention of Israel. -Marsha B. Cohen - 6/20/14

Panel Sees Opportunities for U.S.-Iran Cooperation Post-Nuclear Deal
"Up until now, the two sides in nuclear negotiations have agreed to focus narrowly on the nuclear issue for an understandable fear that broadening agenda too much, too fast will reduce chance of getting a deal," said Dr. Paul Pillar, a former CIA and National Intelligence Council officer, speaking at a briefing hosted by National Iranian American council for Congressional staff. - 6/20/14

2014 Global Peace Index released
Terrorist activity, the number of conflicts fought, and the number of refugees and displaced persons were the key contributors to the continuing deterioration in global peacefulness last year. This confirms a seven year gradual, but significant downward slide, which overturns a 60-year trend of increasing global peacefulness dating back to the end of the Second World War. - 6/20/14

Pivot to Persia
On New Year's Eve 1977, President Jimmy Carter famously toasted the Shah at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran and declared, "Iran ... is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world." Less than two years later, Iran was in chaos as the revolution swept the country and brought down the 2,500-year-old monarchy... -Trita Parsi - 6/20/14

Explainer: How Could Washington And Tehran Cooperate Over Iraq?
The United States and Iran have long been adversaries in Iraq, though both are Baghdad's allies. Now, as insurgents have swept across the north of the country, Washington and Tehran have reasons to work together. But could they? Here are five things to consider. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 6/19/14

Iranian artists come together to support World Food Programme
100 prominent Iranian artists have donated artworks to support the United Nations World Food Programme in its fight against hunger. The collection will be exhibited on World Food Day in October 2014 and will be displayed for a week before being sold to raise funds for WFP activities in Iran. - 6/19/14

Is Qatar plundering Iran's share in the South Pars joint gas field?
The South Pars gas field, which is the largest single gas field in the world, is a joint gas field in the Persian Gulf in the borders of Iran and Qatar. While Qatar has succeeded to use these resources in the line of achieving the highest per capita income in the world, Iran had hardly been able to do anything other than supplying gas to its own domestic consumers in subsidized prices. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 6/19/14

Call for Submissions: 2015 Nowruz Banner Contest
Eligible designs will be considered as the central artwork featured on street banners that will proudly promote Farhang's 7th Annual Nowruz (Iranian New Year) Celebration at LACMA throughout prominent boulevards in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley in March 2015. - 6/19/14

Iranian vocalist Mohammadreza Shajarian to receive France's highest honor
The living legend of Iranian traditional music Mohammadreza Shajarian will receive the medal of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in Paris next week. Speaking at a ceremony the Iranian Artists Forum held on Tuesday evening to commemorate tar virtuoso Jalil Shahnaz, IAF Director Majid Sarsangi announced the news. - 6/19/14

Iran introduces $100B in oil projects at World Petroleum Congress
The National Iranian Oil Company has introduced 41 projects, valued at $100 billion, to foreign investors at the 21st World Petroleum Congress, which opened in Moscow on Monday and runs until Thursday. - 6/19/14

With War at Doorstep, Iran Sees Its Revolutionary Guards in a Kinder Light
War and conflict in the Middle East have been a distant nightmare as seen from Iran's safe capital, the seat of power of the Shiite world. But the successes of the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, have brought the dead to its doorstep. -Thomas Erdbring, NY Times - 6/19/14

Jailed Iranian Director Mahnaz Mohammadi Sparks Mounting International Outrage
Concern is mounting in the international film community over Iranian director, actress and women's rights activist Mahnaz Mohammadi who on June 7th reportedly began serving a five year sentence in Iran's Evin Prison, on the outskirts of Tehran, on charges of "plotting against state security" and "propaganda" against the Iranian regime. -Nick Vivarelli, Variety - 6/19/14

British business eyes return to Iran after embassy reopening
Britain's intention to reopen an embassy in Iran is a political step forward in the Middle East and business is already preparing for barriers preventing trade with one of the region's biggest potential markets to be brought down. -Telegraph, UK - 6/19/14

Iran's Qasem Soleimani wields power behind the scenes in Iraq
A few years ago, it was almost impossible to find a photograph of Qasem Soleimani. Now Iranian TV channels show documentaries about him, and his picture is on the front page of many newspapers. For Gen Soleimani the time has come to emerge from the shadows and reap what he has been sowing for decades as head of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. -Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, BBC - 6/19/14

Column: Obama has Ample Authority to Relieve Iran Sanctions
WASHINGTON - As negotiations with Iran enter the home stretch this week in Vienna, the ability of the U.S. government to relieve economic sanctions on Iran is likely to emerge as a major factor in determining whether Tehran will accept significant restrictions on its nuclear program. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 6/18/14

U.S. Congress Divided Over Working With Iran
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with congressional leaders on June 18 at the White House to discuss the situation in Iraq, with senators divided on whether to work with Iran to resolve the crisis. -Luke Johnson, RFE - 6/18/14

US, Britain Move to Improve Iran Relations
LONDON - Britain announced Tuesday it will re-open its embassy in Iran, three years after it was closed following an attack on the building by Iranian protesters. The decision is the latest move by a Western nation to improve relations with Iran as the crisis in neighboring Iraq intensifies. -Al Pessin, VOA - 6/18/14

Insurgents Attack Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery, Iran Vows Action
On June 18, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said Tehran would do whatever it takes to protect revered Shi'ite shrines in Karbala, Najaf, Kadhimiyah, and Samarra against ISIL fighters. Speaking in a live televised address in Khoram-abad, near the Iraq border, Rohani said "Dear Karbala, Dear Najaf, Dear Kadhimiyah and Dear Samarra, we warn the great powers and their lackeys and the terrorists, the great Iranian people will do everything to protect them." - 6/18/14

Iran, Six Powers Seek to Salvage Momentum for Nuclear Deal
VIENNA - Delegates from Iran and six world powers are meeting in Vienna to work out a deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting U.N. and Western sanctions. The parties face a July 20 deadline for a final agreement or risk the possibility that the talks could be extended and get tougher. Last month's negotiations ended in a stalemate. - 6/18/14

European MEK Supporters Downplay ISIS Role in Iraq
While the world watched in horror as jihadist extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized the Iraqi city of Mosul, some members of the European Parliament (MEPs) claimed that these actions were not carried out by ISIS, but were "part of a popular uprising" against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. -Eldar Mamedov - 6/18/14

Call for Submissions: Nowruz Programming Proposals Now Being Accepted
Farhang Foundation invites artists, writers, directors, and performers to join us in our efforts to create a dynamic and immersive theatrical experience in honor of Nowruz (Iranian New Year). - 6/18/14

Iranian: President Rohani calls for answers on banning of women from stadium
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called on his Minister of Sports and his head of women's affairs to find out why Iranian women were barred from entering a stadium to watch the volleyball match between Iran and Brazil. - 6/18/14

Panel discussion in San Francisco: Impact of War on Women and Children in the Middle East
Senses Cultural is presenting a panel discussion on the Impact of War on Women and Children in the Middle East to be held on June 28th from 2-5 pm at San Francisco State University. - 6/18/14

Iran Deal: Could a Concerned Congress Hinder Negotiations?
As the complex interplay of issues and actors that will determine the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 heats up, many questions still remain unanswered. One of the important actors, whose role has been relatively underanalyzed and is often not properly acknowledged or understood, is the United States Congress. -Ehsan M. Khah, National Interest - 6/18/14

World Cup: Iran's satisfaction is Nigeria's disappointment
The first draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil came on Monday afternoon, in the 13th match of the tournament. While that number brought the well-organised Asians no misfortune, the same could not be said for their African opponents, who went away with less than they had hoped for. - 6/17/14

Photos: Iranians cheer for their team during World Cup match with Nigeria
The devoted fans of the Iranian football team were actively cheering for their team before and during the World Cup match with Nigeria. Many fans had also become creative in their outfits or face decorations. Here are some interesting snapshots of the Iranian fans. - 6/17/14

Iran IRGC's First 'Martyr' Versus ISIL?
Several hard-line Iranian websites and blogs are reporting that Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has lost one of its members as the result of the fighting in Iraq. The reports claim IRGC member Alireza Moshajari thus became the first Iranian "martyr" in the fight against the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/17/14

Pentagon: No Plans to Consult Iran Over Possible Action in Iraq
PENTAGON, STATE DEPARTMENT - The Pentagon is downplaying speculation about U.S. and Iranian military cooperation in Iraq, hours after Secretary of State John Kerry made the suggestion in an interview. A military spokesman told reporters Monday the U.S. is not planning to work with Iran militarily to protect its troubled neighbor - Jeff Seldin, Scott Stearns, VOA - 6/17/14

A Workable Final Nuclear Agreement
It is no secret that the US and Iranian positions on the final nuclear agreement are far apart. The US is effectively demanding Iran to dismantle most of its sensitive nuclear facilities, and Iran has been rightfully against this position. -Nader Bagherzadeh - 6/17/14

There's still enough time to reach a nuclear deal: Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that there is still enough time for Iran and the major powers to strike a comprehensive nuclear deal before the July 20 deadline. - 6/17/14

President Congratulates Iran National Football Team On Twitter
President Hassan Rouhani tweeted a congratulation message Monday night after Iran and Nigeria played out a dull 0-0 draw in their World Cup Group F clash in the Brazilian city of Curitiba. - 6/17/14

Why Iran Is America's Best New Partner in the Middle East
It's stunning that, as we witness the spectacle of a crumbling Iraq and wonder what to do about it, the media turn for wisdom to the junkyard oracles who helped spawn the mess to begin with. Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, L. Paul Bremer-no one should care a whit what they think, they've been so consistently wrong about everything. -Fred Kaplan, Slate - 6/17/14

Pollution puts Anzali Lagoon on blacklist
Anzali Lagoon in northern Iran is now on the Ramsar Environmental Blacklist due to the increase in the amount of industrial, agricultural and household waste present in the body of water, says the Gilan Department of the Environment. - 6/17/14

Britain Set To Reopen Embassy In Iran
Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced he intends to reopen the British Embassy in Tehran. In a written statement to parliament on June 17, Hague said "the circumstances are right" to reopen the diplomatic post. But he added that "a range of practical issues" will need to be resolved first. - 6/17/14

Carlos Queiroz Says Iran Have Surprise for Nigeria
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz already has plenty of World Cup experience, and the country's national team will be hoping to make the most of it in Brazil. Iran begin their campaign on Monday against Nigeria in a Group F which also includes mighty Argentina and debutants Bosnia-Hercegovina. - 6/16/14

US, Iran Reportedly Prepared for Direct Talks on Iraq
As international talks on Iran's nuclear program resume Monday in Vienna, the Obama administration is reportedly ready to open direct talks with Tehran on how they might blunt a Sunni militant offensive in Iraq. While one U.S. lawmaker indicated a need for Washington to work with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States is reaching out to the international community, including Iraq's neighbors. - 6/16/14

The Real Causes of Iraq's Problems
The beleaguered Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, is the latest in the long list of the West's favorite political leaders turned into pariahs. The conventional wisdom now is that Maliki's flaws and wrong policies, especially his alienation of the Sunnis and dictatorial style of governance, are at the root of Iraq's problems, including its latest troubles with extremist Islamic militants. -Shireen T. Hunter - 6/16/14

Brazil shares point with Iran v-ballers at world league
Iranian national volleyball team has lost to Brazil 3-2 and earned one point in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League. In their second encounter at Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran on Sunday, the nine-time World League champion managed to edge past Iran (25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 23-25, 15-10) in the fourth week of the competitions. - 6/16/14

U.S. Lawmaker Says Iran's Help Unavoidable In Iraq
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said the United States needs Iran's involvement in Iraq, and Washington should open talks with Tehran, a step he described as unattractive but perhaps unavoidable. - 6/16/14

Drying Iranian lake gets some water but funds are short
Iran's Minister of Power announced on Sunday that his ministry has already begun the process of transferring water to rapidly drying Lake Oroumiyeh but he added that the government faces a shortage of funds in this regard. - 6/16/14

Iranian Lawmakers Urge Rohani To Enforce Islamic Dress Code
Iranian lawmakers have urged President Hassan Rohani to enforce the Islamic dress code that requires women to cover their hair and body with loose clothing in public. State media reported that 195 lawmakers sent a letter to Rohani on June 15, calling him to take measures against Western cultural influences, which - according to the lawmakers -- target Islamic values. - 6/16/14

The American Soccer Coach on Iran's Bench
Connecticut resident Dan Gaspar coaches Iran's goalkeepers, but he's more concerned about what happens on the field than the geopolitics of the sport -Bill Saporito, TIME - 6/16/14

Concern for Iranian activist Masoumeh Gholizadeh in Tabriz Prison
381 activists have issued a statement calling for the release of former student activist of Allameh Tabatabayi University Masoumeh Gholizadeh. Gholizadeh who has been pursuing a doctorate in philosophy in Turkey was arrested on May 21 while visiting in Iran and is currently being held in Tabriz Prison. The charges against her have not yet been announced. - 6/16/14

The Fetish of Staring at Iran's Women
took a series of photographs of myself in 2007 that show me sitting on the toilet, weighing myself, and shaving my legs in the bath. I shot them as an angry response to an encounter with a gallery owner in London's artsy Brick Lane... -Haleh Anvari, NY Times - 6/16/14

Iran's Zoroastrians celebrate Persian roots
CHAK CHAK, Iran -- Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the seventh century Arab invasion. -AP - 6/16/14

Argentina and Iran will qualify for next stage: Beitashour
Steven Mehrdad Beitashour said that the Iranian football team is going to book a berth in the 2014 World Cup next stage. Iran will face Nigeria in its World Cup campaign in Group F on June 16 in Curitiba and play Argentina five days later at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte. - 6/15/14

U.S. Sends Carrier To Gulf, Urges New Iraqi Government
Washington has sent an aircraft carrier into Persian Gulf to provide U.S. President Barack Obama with military options if the security situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the aircraft carrier - along with a guided-missile cruiser and a guided-missile destroyer - would be in position on June 15. - 6/15/14

Iranian Journalist Put on Trial for Propaganda Against State
The lawyer representing Hossein Nouraninejad, the Iranian journalist and member of the now-banned reformist political party the Participation Front, told ILNA News Agency that his client was put on trial on June 9, 2014, at Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Salavati. - 6/15/14

Iran is redesigning Arak reactor: AEOI Chief
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, has said that the amount of plutonium yielded by the Arak heavy water reactor will be cut to less than 1 kg a year from 9-10 kg in its original design. - 6/15/14

Iranian city of Zabol shrouded in darkness by sandstorm
A sandstorm covered the city of Zabol in southeastern Iran in darkness on Saturday June 15 with winds reaching 45 kilometres per hour and heavily restricting visibility. ILNA reports that on Saturday, it was as if the sun did not rise on Zabol, as the city was shrouded in dust and particles throughout the day. - 6/15/14

Carlos Queiroz retaining order amid chaos of Iran's World Cup buildup
Former Manchester United coach finding added responsibility of international role brings unexpected demands -Andy Hunter, Guardian - 6/15/14

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update by
The National IHR Focal Points of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Islamic Republic of Iran recently reported additional laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) to WHO. - 6/15/14

Iran's Rouhani: Nuclear Deal Possible by July 20
President Hassan Rouhani urged world powers on Saturday to cut a deal with Iran by a July 20 deadline to end a dispute over its nuclear program, arguing that in any case sanctions meant to restrict its atomic activity have frayed beyond repair. -Reuters - 6/15/14

Iran v-ballers trounce Brazil 3-2
Iranian national volleyball team has thrashed Brazil 3-2 in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League. Powerhouse Iran edged past Brazil (18-25, 27-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-9) at Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran on Friday to gain its second victory against the country at the tourney. - 6/14/14

Iran's Rohani Doesn't Rule Out Cooperation With U.S. On Iraq
President Hassan Rohani says Iran is ready to consider cooperating with the United States on restoring security to Iraq if Washington takes action against Sunni extremist fighters in the country. "We all should practically and verbally confront terrorist groups," Rohani told a press conference on June 14. - 6/14/14

Iran: Rohani Fires Back At Hardline Critics
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has accused his critics among the conservative factions of the establishment of clinging to outdated ideas. This follows the harsh responses from hardliners in the Islamic Republic establishment, whom Rohani provoked by publicly stating that government organizations should reduce their interference in people's private lives. - 6/14/14

Iraqi Truths: The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend
Still, the ISIL and the Ba'athists are not the only odd couple in Iraq today. In the face of their sudden advance, Iran and the United States, too, suddenly find themselves lining up against a shared enemy. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 6/14/14

Nuclear Iran: Past is Prologue
Following months of positive reports about the negotiations between world powers and Iran over its substantial nuclear program, the mood has turned somewhat pessimistic despite verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran has met its commitments under the November 2013 Join Plan of Action. -Charles Naas - 6/14/14

World Cup: Bay Area's Beitashour wearing jersey of Iran
San Jose native Steven Beitashour wasn't about to let international politics squash his World Cup dream. Instead of donning the colors of his country this month in Brazil, Beitashour is wearing the white and red of Iran. -Elliott Almond, San Jose Mercury - 6/14/14

Iran Enters The Fray In Iraq
Iranian government officials including President Hassan Rohani have expressed readiness to help the government of their Iraqi ally, Nuri al-Maliki, fight the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) amid Western media reports that the country's powerful Revolutionary Guard has already dispatched forces to Iraq. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/13/14

Iranian Officials To Ensure World Cup Team Behaves Amid Brazil 'Fever'
While soccer fans around the globe are fixated on who will shine at the World Cup, at least one Iranian lawmaker has other worries on his mind: temptations that could lead the Islamic republic's players astray in host nation Brazil. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/13/14

Obama's Spiritual Adviser Says He Relayed Message From Iran
Spiritual diplomacy has emerged between Washington and Tehran. Back from a recent visit to Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama's spiritual adviser said he conveyed a message from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the White House. -Mia Bush, VOA - 6/13/14

Iranian Education Activist Released After Serving Sentence
Iranian student and political activist Majid Dori was released from Karoon Prison in Ahwaz on Thursday June 12 after serving out his five-year sentence. Dori was expelled from Allameh Tabatabayi University and arrested in Qazvin in July of 2009 and was first sentenced to 11 years in prison in exile. - 6/13/14

Can ISIS be Stopped?
The radical jihadist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIL or ISIS), has seized much of Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland and reached the outskirts of Baghdad. The armed forces of Iraq's US-backed, Shia majority elected dictatorship have not only failed to prevent this, but are also fleeing as ISIS advances. -Mark N. Katz - 6/13/14

Zarif Reveals Iran's Proposal for Ensuring Against "Breakout"
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has revealed for the first time that Iran has made a detailed proposal to the P5+1 group of states aimed at ensuring that no stockpile of low-enriched uranium would be available for "breakout" through enrichment to weapons grade levels. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 6/13/14

Exclusive: Alarmed by Iraq, Iran open to shared role with U.S. - Iran official
Shi'te Muslim Iran is so alarmed by Sunni insurgent gains in Iraq that it may be willing to cooperate with Washington in helping Baghdad fight back, a senior Iranian official told Reuters. The idea is being discussed internally among the Islamic Republic's leadership, the senior Iranian official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. - 6/13/14

Iran Concerned by Turmoil in Iraq
Iran says it will fight terrorism in neighboring Iraq following the quick capture of several Iraqi cities this week by the Sunni Muslim militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). On state TV Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said "As a state, we will not tolerate violence and terror. We fight against terrorism, violence and radicalism, as we have announced that at the United Nations general session." -Kourosh Sehhati, VOA - 6/13/14

World Cup Set To Begin In Brazil
World Cup 2014 is set to kick off in Brazil, launching a month of action that will see teams representing 32 nations do battle in hopes of being crowned champion of the world's top team sporting event. - 6/12/14

Pembroke College Celebrates Official Openning Of Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies With $2M Endowment By Philanthropist Bita Daryabari
On Saturday, May 24th, Global philanthropist Bita Daryabari and speakers from around the globe gathered to celebrate the official opening of the Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies at Pembroke College in Cambridge, England. - 6/12/14

US Policy Change, Key to Success of Nuclear Talks
Nuclear talks between Iranian and American delegations were held yesterday (June 10, 2014) in the Swiss city of Geneva. Before the beginning of the negotiations, Abbas Araqchi, a senior Iranian nuclear negotiator, had emphasized that in order for the nuclear talks to reach a solid result, the Western side of the negotiations would have to make difficult decisions. -Gholamali Khoshroo - 6/12/14

Iranian Activists Arrested For Protests Over Dying Lake
A number activists were arrested in Tabriz and Oroumiyeh by morality police, according to various local media reports. Photographs have been posted on social media showing protesters denouncing "negligent officials" for failing to save the lake, which is rapidly drying out. Protesters called for "the breaking of dams to fill up Lake Oroumiyeh." - 6/12/14

Maliki's Folly: Empowering Iraqi Extremists
There is another possibility: Iranian intervention. Maliki's government and the two dominant Kurdish militias in the KRG have close ties to Iran. While the US and other Western states have been concerned about Iranian influence in Iraq, ISIL's gains have now alarmed Tehran. -Wayne White - 6/12/14

World Bank forecasts 1.5% GDP growth rate for Iran in 2014
The World Bank forecasted in its Global Economic Prospects report that Iran's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 1.5 percent in 2014. The WB report has also predicted a 2 percent and a 2.3 percent GDP growth rates for Iran in 2015 and 2016, respectively. - 6/12/14

Artist Amani's Angels
Amani's angels, in all their colours and forms, are laden with the rich folklore, mythology, and imagery of his native Iran. From the winged disc of the Farvahar, to the angelic deities (Yazatas) featured prominently in Zoroastrianism and pre-Islamic Iran, winged beings and the concept of angels itself - thought to have originated in Iran - have played a central role in the Iranian psyche for centuries. - 6/12/14

Tikrit Overrun; Turkish Diplomatic Staff Said Kidnapped In Mosul
The latest reports now say ISIL militants have taken control of most of the central Iraqi city of Tikrit, the capital of Salah al-Din Province, which lies roughly halfway between Baghdad and Mosul. - 6/12/14

Did the Pro-Israel Lobby Contribute to Eric Cantor's Defeat?
News sites throughout the US - and Israel - are still displaying shock over the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by a Tea Party challenger in Virginia's June 11 primary. The GOP leader was widely expected to succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives within the next 3 years -Marsha B. Cohen - 6/12/14

Cheetah on the jersey of Iranian players in World Cup is a victory: Ebtekar
Masoumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, said on Monday that Asiatic cheetah designed on Iran national football team players' jerseys carries a powerful message that regardless of the FIFA World Cup results is a win in its own way. - 6/11/14

Iranian journalists rally around detained colleague
147 Iranian journalists have issued a statement calling for the release of Saba Azarpeyk, saying her arrest is "illegal." The Kaleme opposition website reports that their statement refers to the arrest of Azarpeyk and the failure of authorities to inform her family about her situation as "illegal and dangerous." - 6/11/14

Timelines Dominate Iran Nuclear Talks
The three key timelines at the center of the negotiations between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program were the subject of a panel discussion at the Wilson Center today. Jon Wolfsthal of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies spoke about the duration of a hypothetical comprehensive agreement, Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association (ACA) discussed Iran's "breakout" period, and Robert Litwak of the Wilson Center talked about possible timeframes for sanctions relief. -Derek Davison - 6/11/14

Iran's Hard-line Media Told To Back Off On Rohani Criticism
Iranian authorities are taking steps to rein in hard-line media that have attacked efforts by Iranian President Hassan Rohani to work with the West and resolve the crisis over his country's nuclear activities. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/11/14

Iran and Turkey say clashes in Syria and Iraq must be stopped
Iran and Turkey issued a joint statement on Monday saying that the clashes in Syria and Iraq should be stopped and called for a political solution to the conflicts in the two countries based on legitimate rights of the people. The statement was released after the First Strategic High Cooperation Council of Iran-Turkey in Ankara headed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. - 6/11/14

Directors quit Tehran weather office over criticism
Three directors of the Tehran Meteorology Organization have resigned, one week after residents were caught off guard by a storm that ravaged the city. Winds were said to have reached 118 kilometres per hour in Tehran, leading to five deaths and many injuries. - 6/11/14

Report: 500,000 Flee Islamist-Seized Iraqi City of Mosul
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the government in Baghdad will work with Kurdish authorities in the north to push insurgents out of Mosul, after Islamist militants seized control of the city. - 6/11/14

Iran Reportedly Fires Mortars Inside Pakistan
Iranian forces are reported to have fired mortar shells inside Pakistani territory. The reported incident comes just days after 23 Shi'ite Muslims from Iran were killed in Baluchistan Province. - 6/11/14

US-Iran Bilateral Talks: On the Edge of a Nuclear Deal?
With bilateral US-Iran talks taking place in Geneva today, notably topped for the US by Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, who led earlier secret exchanges, negotiations between Iran and world powers might be entering their final phase - or not. -Robert E. Hunter - 6/10/14

Iran Nuclear Talks: The Choice is About War and Peace
Iran Review.Org conducted an exclusive interview with Shahir Shahidsaless, an Iranian-Canadian political analyst and freelance journalist, about the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group in Vienna, the prospects for the resolution of the nuclear standoff, existing problems between Iran and the United States and the main steps that Iranian and American officials can take to dispel the current atmosphere of mistrust. -Firouzeh Mirrazavi - 6/10/14

Rohani Supporter Named Tehran University President
The Minister of Science and Technology has appointed Mohammad Nili Ahmadabadi as the new president of Tehran University. Iranian media report that Nili Ahmadabadi will work as interim head of the university until his appointment has been announced to the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. - 6/10/14

Iran's Rouhani in Turkey to Strengthen Regional Ties
ANKARA, TURKEY - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has begun a two-day visit to Turkey that will focus on developing bilateral trade and regional cooperation. Rouhani's visit is the first Iranian state visit to Turkey in 18 years. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 6/10/14

Rohani: Iran 'Will Do Its Best' To Secure Nuclear Deal
Rohani told a business forum in Ankara, Turkey, on June 10 that "Iran will do its best for a final deal with the P5+1," made up of the five permanent UN Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States -- plus Germany. - 6/10/14

New Book: Earthquakes and Coseismic Surface Faulting on the Iranian Plateau
A comprehensive and well-illustrated multi-disciplinary research work that analyzes the human and physical aspects of the active faults and large-magnitude earthquakes since ancient times on the Iranian Plateau. - 6/10/14

Archaeologists plan to reconstruct ancient society of Burnt City in Iran
An archaeological team, which will be led by Seyyed Mansur Sajjadi, plans to reconstruct the ancient society of the 5200-year-old Burnt City during the new excavation season at the site located in southeastern Iran. - 6/10/14

Event at Asia House in London: "Real Fictions: Unlocking The Iranian Cinema"
The Bagri Foundation will host its next World Cinema Club at Asia House on Wednesday 2 July 2014 from 6.45-8pm. The aim of the club is to promote a deeper engagement with films from around the planet at meetings that are engaging, informative and enjoyable. This session turns its attention to Iranian Cinema with a talk by the respected film expert, Rose Issa. - 6/10/14

How Not to Make Comparisons Between Iran and China
The folks at FDD do not want any agreements with Iran, they want Iran to continue to be ostracized, and they are trying to torpedo the nuclear negotiations. The China opening is today widely and rightly seen as a significant and positive achievement by Nixon. So FDD endeavors to beat back any tendency to think of agreements or rapprochement with Iran in the same light as the China opening. -Paul Pillar, National Interest - 6/9/14

The Dead Reporter
It is probably true that Iranian hardliners are fearful of those who disseminate news, media activists, journalists and reports. Their outlook towards them is similar to what the archaic Americans believed in: The only good Indian is a dead Indian (words attributed to American General Sheridan in 1869). -Issa Saharkhiz - 6/9/14

Iranian President, In Ankara, Holds Talks With Turkish Counterpart
Iranian President Hassan Rohani and his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, have met in Ankara and vowed to double trade between their two countries. Rohani said after the June 9 talks that he and Gul discussed economic cooperation and agreed to boost annual bilateral trade to some $30 billion a year. - 6/9/14

Iranian Women's Rights Activist, Filmmaker Summoned To Evin
Evin Prison has summoned Mahnaz Mohammadi, the Iranian filmmaker and women's rights activist, to serve out her five-year prison sentence. Mohammadi was sentenced in September of 2012 for "assembly and collusion against national security and propaganda against the regime." - 6/9/14

Environment week sees 40 Iranian hunters swear off hunting
Forty hunters in Mazandaran Province took part in Environment Week by taking an oath to give up hunting and guns. IRNA reports that the hunters expressed remorse for hurting nature and they signed a promise and recited an oath never to take up a gun or go hunting. - 6/9/14

Rise of Terror Groups Demands Hard Look at US Policy
The resurgence of "Salafi-jihadist" terrorist groups is once again at the forefront of national security thinking in Washington. A report released this week by the RAND Corporation, "A Persistent Threat: The Evolution of al Qa'ida and Other Salafi Jihadists," explains why. -Derek Davison - 6/9/14

Iran suspends plans to build refineries in 3 Asian countries
Iran has suspended plans to build four refineries in Syria, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company said on Sunday. - 6/9/14

"The World Turns Around a Spinning Ball"
At Wembley, shouts from the 1966 World Cup, which England won, still resound, and if you listen very closely you can hear groans from 1953 when England fell to the Hungarians. Montevideo's Centenario Stadium sighs with nostalgia for the glory days of Uruguayan soccer. Maracana is still crying over Brazil's 1950 World Cup defeat... -Eduardo Galeano, LobeLog - 6/9/14

Workshop of American philosopher cancelled in Mashhad, Iran after students protest
U.S. philosopher Kelly James Clark's workshop, which was scheduled to be held on Saturday in Mashhad, was cancelled following a protest organized by the Basijis (volunteer forces) from the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in front of his hotel in the northwestern Iranian city on Friday. - 6/8/14

Iran: Establishment backlash grows against Rohani's statements
President Rohani's statements about curbing overt government interference in people's lives have drawn more fire from the establishment, this time from Iran's Prosecutor General and spokesman for the judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei. - 6/8/14

US, Iran to Hold Direct Nuclear Talks
The U.S. is sending two senior diplomatic officials to Geneva for rare direct talks with Iran on its controversial nuclear program. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and the lead U.S. negotiator with Iran, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, will meet with Iranian officials on Monday and Tuesday. - 6/8/14

Tehran-Sponsored Hospital Eyed With Suspicion In Afghanistan
BAMIYAN -- Afghanistan has been the recipient of millions of dollars in assistance from neighboring Iran. But while Kabul has accepted the much-needed support, it has often shown wariness of Tehran's motives. -Abbas Naderi and Frud Bezhan, RFE - 6/8/14

'We Have Something In Common' -- Obama's Spiritual Adviser On Iran Trip
Joel Hunter, a spiritual adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, recently spent about a week discussing religious tolerance with officials in Iran, a country often singled out by rights groups for its intolerance toward its religious minorities. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/7/14

Iran's volleyball team defeats Brazil at the FIVB World League
Iran's national volleyball team has bagged its first win in the 2014 World League, defeating Brazil in straight sets in Sao Paulo. The stunning victory came after the Iranians lost a five-set match to Brazil in on Friday. - 6/7/14

Female Musicians Banned from Stage in Isfahan
Female musicians are not allowed to go onstage and give live performances in Isfahan. Mohammad Qotbi, the head of the Isfahan Culture and Guidance administration and also a member of the clergy, compared music bands to the national football team, saying that just as there are substitutes for players on the football team, music groups should also have substitutes for their females players. - 6/7/14

Photos: Another storm batters Tehran but claims no lives
Tehran has been hit by a second severe storm on Friday afternoon, with gusting winds lifting garbage bins into the air and heavy dust overwhelming the city skies. The storm originated in Qazvin and entered Tehran from the western edges of the city after passing through Alborz Province. - 6/7/14

One of world's top pianist to play in Iran
One of the world's Russian prominent pianists Arcadi Volodos plans to have a performance in Iran mid June. The concert is scheduled for June 13-14 in Mild Tower. His piano is going to be transferred to Iran from Dubai in coming days. - 6/7/14

Former Iranian Leader's Memorial Disrupted By Chanters
A number of people taking part in the Memorial Service for the late Islamic Republic leader Ayatollah Khomeini were arrested by plainclothes officers. The Islamic Republic daily reported on Saturday that people who had been chanting in support of President Hassan Rohani were arrested at the end of the ceremony. - 6/7/14

Senior US, Iran Officials to Meet Next Week in Geneva
WASHINGTON -- Senior U.S. and Iranian officials will meet next week in Geneva for talks ahead of the next round of negotiations between Iran and six world powers on Iran's nuclear program, the U.S. State Department said Saturday. -Reuters - 6/7/14

POLL VAULTING: Did Gallup Really Find Iranians to be Among the Unhappiest People on Earth?
If there's an anti-Iran angle in any news story, the U.S. mainstream media will find it. So will the pollsters they cite, who seem to be willing, even eager, to misrepresent their own data to feed the seemingly insatiable appetite for anti-Iran propaganda. -Marsha B. Cohen - 6/6/14

Column: Senate Should Not Pass New Iran Sanctions Now
WASHINGTON - As a July 20 deadline for a long-term nuclear deal with Iran approaches, there are rumblings again in the US Senate about trying to pass legislation that would threaten Iran with more sanctions. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 6/6/14

Photos: Train Crash Kills 1, Injures 30 in Northern Iran
A passenger train collided with a freight train in Northeastern Iran, killing at least one people and injuring dozens. The incident happened at a railway station near the city of Damghan in Semnan province on Thursday night. - 6/6/14

WORLD PREMIERE of 'We Are Many' at Sheffield Doc/Fest
On February 15 2003, millions and millions of people, in over 800 cities across all seven continents, marched against the impending invasion of Iraq. It was the largest mobilization of people in human history and yet it remains an untold, little-known story. -Produced and Directed by AMIR AMIRANI - 6/6/14

Iran, Sextet end second day of expert-level talks
The details of the negotiations, which were held on Thursday in the Austrian capital, Vienna, between negotiators from Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China - plus Germany, have not been revealed yet. - 6/6/14

Iranian President Hassan Rohani to visit Turkey as countries grow closer
Iranian President Hassan Rohani president will make his first trip to Turkey on Monday June 9. A large delegation consisting of Rohani cabinet members will accompany President Rohani on this trip. - 6/6/14

Penpix of Iran's squad for World Cup finals
Iran's squad for the World Cup finals will comprise the following 23 players: Goalkeepers: Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan) Age 33; 11 caps. Daniel Davari (Eintracht Braunschweig) Age 26; 4 caps. Alireza Haghighi (Sporting Covilha, on loan from Rubin Kazan) Age 26; 7 caps... -Reuters - 6/6/14

Iran's Reporters Club Chief Summoned To Court For "Falsehoods"
Mehdi Khazali, a reformist political activist, wrote on his Facebook page: "After about two years of the Javan Reporters Club publishing falsehoods, and my complaining about it, finally the director of the club has been summoned to court to face charges." - 6/6/14

No shirt swap between Iran and Nigeria
It is customary for international footballers to swap shirts after matches but Iran's stars have been instructed not to do so at the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals in Brazil. President of Iran's Football Federation (FFI), Ali Kafaschian says players of the Team Melli would need "to be economical" with their shirts after matches at the World Cup. -SuperSport - 6/6/14

Openness on Israeli Issues Seen in Survey of Iranians
An unusual survey of Iranian public opinion indicates that 40 percent of Iranians would be willing to give up any ability to produce nuclear weapons in the future in return for the full removal of sanctions. Perhaps the most surprising detail about the poll was that it was conducted by Israelis. -Isabel Kershner, NY Times - 6/6/14

Dispute Over Heaven Rages In Iran
Twenty-five years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's death, the clerical establishment ushered in by the Islamic republic's founding father is at odds over how far its influence on Iranians' lives should extend. The debate pits powerful, hard-line religious conservatives against Iran's relatively moderate president, Hassan Rohani. And at the center of the debate is heaven, and the path leading to it. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/5/14

Azerbaijan's Plans for Nuclear Power Raise Concerns
At first glance, it doesn't add up; why is Azerbaijan, a country brimming with oil and gas, interested in developing nuclear power capacity? It's a question befuddling local experts and environmental activists in Baku. But the questions don't stop there. -Shahin Abbasov - 6/5/14

Iran: Ceremony for Ayatollah Taheri in Isfahan turns violent
The attack reportedly happened after the gatherers began chanting "Ya Hosein! MirHosein!" in support of opposition leader MirHosein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest together with his wife Zahra Rahnavard since February 2011. - 6/5/14

US suspends Iran oil sanctions for six months
The White House says President Barack Obama suspended sanctions on Iran's oil sector for six months. "The United States has committed to pause efforts to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales for a six month period under the Joint Plan of Action between the P5+1 and Iran," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. - 6/5/14

Kerry Calls On Assad Backers To End Syria War
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on key backers of President Bashar al-Assad to end the three-year war in Syria. Speaking during an unannounced visit to Beirut on June 4, Kerry called on Iran, Russia, and the Shi'ite militant group Hizballah to "engage in a legitimate effort to bring this war to an end." - 6/5/14

Historical sites of Iran attract international networks
Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (CHTHO) has issued licenses for 20 international networks to produce programs about the historical sites of Iran. - 6/5/14

Concern for jailed Iranian activist's health
Iranian political prisoner Shahram Radmehr was transferred from prison for medical treatments for the second time this week, and his health remains precarious. - 6/5/14

West Prods Iran to Speed Up Cooperation with IAEA Inquiry
VIENNA -- Iran faced Western pressure on Wednesday to speed up its promised cooperation with a long-stalled U.N. nuclear watchdog investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by Tehran, something the Islamic state denies. -Reuters - 6/5/14

Gates Wrote Obama's West Point Speech
In light of the chorus of criticism and contempt by neoconservatives and other hawks leveled at President Barack Obama's West Point speech last week, I found striking the similarities in basic viewpoints between his address and the concluding pages of Robert Gates' memoir, -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 6/5/14

Chairman of Iran's Assembly of Experts Hospitalized
The chairman of Iran's Assembly of Experts has reportedly been hospitalized after suffering a heart failure. The hard-line Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported that 83-year-old Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani was in a coma. - 6/5/14

Toward Better US-Iran Relations
The challenge of rebuilding the once strong but now broken ties between the United States and Iran was the topic of a June 3 Atlantic Council event, "US-Iran Relations: Past, Present, and Future." The discussion, moderated by Barbara Slavin, included John Marks, founder of the international NGO Search for Common Ground, and former Iranian diplomat, Seyed Hossein Mousavian. -Derek Davison - 6/4/14

Tehran council demands answers after violent storm
Tehran City Council members have criticized Crisis Management in connection with the severe storm that struck the capital on Monday June 2. The head of Tehran Safety for City Council said the Crisis Management administration needs to explain why a 25-minute storm led to the death of five people and caused 350 serious incidents across the capital. - 6/4/14

Photos: 5000-year-old water system discovered in western Iran
A 5000-year-old water system has been unearthed during the second season of a rescue excavation project at the Farash ancient historical site at the Seimareh Dam reservoir area in western Iran. - 6/4/14

Vyer Films Has Acquired Iranian Film Ziba by Acclaimed Director Bani Khoshnoudi
Iranian film Ziba, the first fiction feature from director Bani Khoshnoudi, has been acquired by Vyer Films marking the film's premiere web availability in the United States and release to a wide audience in Canada. Ziba will be available exclusively on vyerfilms.com starting May 29. - 6/4/14

Iranian women music festival opens mid June
A music festival for Iranian women will be kicked off in Tehran mid June. "The women music festival is scheduled for June 14-23 on 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm every day," said Kamran Hemmat-Pour, the festival Director. - 6/4/14

Ostad Lotfi's Memorial at Central Stage in Richmond, California
A celebration of Ostad Mohammad Reza Lotfi's life and music will be held on Saturday June 7, 2014 at Central Stage in Richmond, California. Many of his students will be performing in an ensemble to celebrate the memory and music of this great man - 6/4/14

Update on Iranians' Account Closures at Bank of America
WASHINGTON DC - Bank of America has issued a response to NIAC's request for the bank to stop closing accounts of Iranians located in the US. In its letter, Bank of America states that Iranian accounts are being terminated in order to uphold the bank's "due diligence" obligations under US sanctions law. -Tyler Cullis - 6/4/14

The Kremlin and the Kingdom: Contradictory Signals?
Two storylines about Saudi-Russian relations have recently dominated the airwaves. One is that Moscow and Riyadh are sharply divided by several issues: not only Syria and Iran, but also Crimea and the Russian belief that the Saudis are supporting Muslim opposition inside Russia. The other is that Saudi Arabia is about to buy $2-4 billion (reports vary) worth of Russian arms for Egypt. -Mark N. Katz - 6/4/14

Iran's Reactor-Fuel Demand Snarls Nuclear Talks
BRUSSELS -- Iran has said it should be able to produce fuel for its Bushehr nuclear power plant, a demand that world powers are unlikely to agree to and that may jeopardize a July deadline for a deal to end its nuclear standoff with the West. -Reuters - 6/4/14

Arab Publics Prefer Light U.S. Footprint, Even in Syria
In contrast to some of their leaders, people across the Arab world prefer President Barack Obama's efforts to reduce Washington's military footprint in the Middle East to the approach favored by neoconservatives and other U.S. hawks, according to the latest in a series of surveys of Arab public opinion released here Tuesday. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 6/4/14

Egypt's Sissi Wins 97 Percent; Iran Invited to His Inauguration
Former Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi secured a landslide victory in the country's presidential vote last week, the election commission confirmed on Tuesday. Egypt has invited Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the inauguration ceremony of newly elected Sissi, a trip that would make him only the second Iranian leader to visit Egypt since the countries severed ties in 1980. -Reuters - 6/4/14

Photos: Tehran Mega Storm Kills 5, Injures Over 30
A rare mega storm has roared into the Iranian capital city, Tehran, and its suburbs, killing at least five and wounding 30 people. The storm unleashed winds gusting to nearly 120 km/h at around 17:15 local time (1245 GMT) on Monday. - 6/3/14

Photos: Iran's National Football Team Off To Brazil
The Iranian national football team left for Brazil on Tuesday to participate in the 2014 World Cup. Iran will play Nigeria in Curitiba in their opening match on June 16. Iran has been drawn in Group F along with Nigeria, Argentina and Bosnia- Herzegovina. - 6/3/14

Catherine Ashton's Iran Legacy
The EU will usher in a new foreign policy chief come November. The anti-Kremlin Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has already expressed his desire to take on Catherine Ashton's position as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. -Eldar Mamedov - 6/3/14

Iranian Media Smears Champion Of Unveiled Women
The world took notice when Iranian women used a Facebook page to openly defy the clerical establishment by posting pictures of themselves in public without a hijab. Now the country's hard-liners appear to be using more traditional media to hit back at the woman who set up the page through a smear campaign that accuses her of espionage, drug use, and immorality that led to her rape. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/3/14

Hassan Khomeini: No return to pre-Internet era
Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the Founder of the Islamic Republic, here on Monday said it is not possible to go back to the era before the Internet. "The domain of technology is such that we cannot stand still, but we should manage it," he said on Monday. - 6/3/14

A Nuclear Deal With Iran Is Still Odds-On
The parties to the current negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program are being discreet about the details, as is sensible. Nonetheless, from the occasional statement or remark to journalists it is possible to form some impression of the issues that are causing the greatest difficulty. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog - 6/3/14

Iranian musicians in Brazil for cultural 'adventurism'
A group of Iranian composers and musicians will travel to Brazil to participate in a program intended to promote global peace through the World Cup. "The soccer-musical project will be part of a documentary film focused on peace and cultural activities to establish a dialogue between us and composers from countries in Group F" - 6/3/14

Iran defeated by Italy again in FIVB Volleyball World League
Iran's national volleyball team has suffered its second straight-sets loss against Italy in the 2014 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League. On Sunday, the Azzurri picked up another home victory over the Iranian squad and won the match played at Verona's Pala Olimpia sports hall in consecutive sets (27-25, 25-18, 25-22). - 6/3/14

Young Iranians 'claustrophobic' as culture is forced online but accessed in private
Iran's youth talk of social isolation as they're forced to navigate a dual existence - in a closed society and the seemingly more open space on the web -Guardian - 6/3/14

New Iran Video Purports To Show 2009 Election Was Rigged
A video has emerged that appears to show the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mohammed Ali Ja'fary, saying that a reformist election victory was likely in the 2009 elections. In the tape, Ja'fary is shown telling what appears to be an audience of high-ranking Revolutionary Guards after the elections that a reformist victory would have been unacceptable. - 6/2/14

Kuwaiti Emir arrives in Iran for landmark visit
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, for a landmark visit to discuss key bilateral and regional issues. Sheikh Sabah, on his first visit to Iran as head of state, was welcomed by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif upon his arrival at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on Sunday. - 6/2/14

President Rouhani says his administration prioritizes protection of the environment
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that his administration prioritizes the protection of environment and providing people with a healthy life. He made the remarks while addressing a gathering of environmental activists and NGOs in Tehran on Saturday, days close to the World Environment Day on June 5. - 6/2/14

Solution to Syria crisis can be found inside country: Iranian FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the national reconciliation agreements signed between the government and the opposition including the one in Homs indicate that the solution to the conflict can be found inside Syria. Zarif was talking in a conference of 'Syria Friends' in Tehran - 6/2/14

Photos: Woman Paraglider Caught In High Voltage Cables in Mashhad, Iran
Last Friday, a 25-year-old woman who was learning to paraglide in Mashhad, northeastern Iran was caught up in 20,000 volt cables. Lucky for her, she was rescued by Mashhad firefighters who had the electricity cut off before reaching her with a 32-meter ladder. - 6/2/14

Iran: Jailed reformist refuses to answer new charge
Prominent jailed reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh has been sentenced in absentia to another year in prison. Kaleme reports that Tajzadeh has been confronted with new charges of "propaganda against the regime by writing letters to Ayatollah Khamenei Leader of the Islamic Republic from inside prison." - 6/2/14

Freed Iranian rights lawyer: 'I've a bad feeling about the women I left behind'
The arrest and jailing of Nasrin Sotoudeh prompted an international outcry. Here she speaks of her ordeal -Simon Tisdall, Guardian - 6/2/14

Iran declares composition of national team for World Cup
Iranian Football Teamˈs Manager Carlos Queiroz on Sunday declared composition of Iranian national football team in the run-up for the World Cup finals in Brazil. The final list of 23 players per national team will be submitted to FIFA by 2 June 2014. - 6/1/14

Italy beats Iran with straight sets win in FIVB World League
Italy's national volleyball team has trounced Iran in straight sets at the 2014 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World League. On Friday, the Azzurri sealed their first home win of the tournament by seeing off Iran 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-23) in a match played at the Pala Trieste sports hall in the city of Trieste. - 6/1/14

Formerly banned magazine "Iran Farda" revived after 14 years
The monthly magazine Iran Farda, which is aligned with Nationalist-Religious groups in Iran, has resumed publication for the first time in 14 years. The late Ezzatollah Sahabi ran the monthly in its previous incarnation; it will now be published by Hamed Sahabi with Badrosaldat Mofidi as editor in chief. - 6/1/14

Pioneer Women of Iran now available on Google Play Books
"Pioneer Women of Iran" (Salar Zanan e Iran), authored by Mansoureh Pirnia, pictures the experience of Iranian women from pre-history up until the Islamic Revolution of 1979. "Pioneer Women of Iran" is the conclusion of 35 year experience and research, on Iranian women; the result of communication and correspondence with intellectual women as well, who have pioneered in the political and social arena of Iran. - 6/1/14

2014 Tehran Auction grosses over $4 million
The 3rd Tehran Auction sold out all the 90 lots on offer during its annual sale at the Parsian Azadi Hotel on Friday evening, grossing over 132 billion rials (over $4 million). Sohrab Sepehri's untitled painting from his Tree Trunk series sold for 18 billion rials (about $550,000), setting a new auction record for an Iranian painting, the Tehran Auction reported on Saturday. - 6/1/14

U.S. investors begin to imagine a return to Iran
For the first time in decades, business people from the United States are visiting Iran in significant numbers, exploring the possibility of future partnerships as Iranian and American entrepreneurs begin to envision a reopening of long-closed commercial channels. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 6/1/14
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