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US Congress Considering Tough New Iran Sanctions
U.S. lawmakers are debating an Iran sanctions bill that seeks to further cut that country's oil exports. The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is considering legislation that aims to reduce Iran's oil exports by another 1 million barrels per day within a year. - 7/31/13

Cancer patient advocate warns of soaring treatment costs for Iranians
The head of Society Supporting Cancer Patients in the Central Province has reported that the cost of cancer treatment across the country is rising at an alarming rate. Ahmad Ghorbani said: "Currently, the cost of medication has quadrupled, and 13 percent of patients have abandoned their course of treatment." - 7/31/13

A Book by Reza Aslan -- Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that calls into question everything we thought we knew about Jesus of Nazareth. - 7/31/13

CEO Profile - Lily Sarafan, President & COO, Home Care Assistance
In 2005, Lily Sarafan, age 23 and recent graduate from Stanford University with a Masters in Management Science and Engineering, saw an ad on Craigslist for a senior in-home care company looking for "experienced team members." Fast forward eight years, and 31-year-old Sarafan is President and COO of the company, Home Care Assistance -President&CEO - 7/31/13

Turkey says trade with Iran could reach $30B in 2013
Trade volume between Iran and Turkey could grow by a third to reach $30 billion in 2013, the Hurriyet Daily News quoted Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazici as saying on Tuesday. The announcement comes as the U.S. threatens further economic sanctions on Iran, while NATO member Turkey has made it clear that it will continue, and even step up, trade with Iran. - 7/31/13

Small signs of change in Iran as Hassan Rouhani's inauguration approaches
Rouhani has not yet formed a government, so the hopes and doubts swirling around his presidency are based mostly on speculation. However, Iranians report that since the election there has been a distinct thaw in the air. -Guardian - 7/31/13

Rohani's Inauguration Lacking VIP Allies
The obvious no-shows will be the United States and Israel, who were not invited. But the Europeans appear to be shunning the ceremony, with Britain's Foreign Office saying that the agreed European Union position is that the event would only be attended by diplomats based in Iran. -Antoine Blua, RFE - 7/31/13

Iran to take Chinese subway cars for oil
Amir Jafarpour, who is deputy head of the Transportation and Fuel Management Committee, says officials were forced to order the coaches because billions of dollars of payments from crude oil exports to China have not been transferred to Iran because of sanctions. - 7/31/13

Middle East, Sudan Turmoil Cuts Into World Oil Supply
Oil outages in Iraq, South Sudan, Libya and Iran are combining to help keep oil prices well above $100 a barrel, partly countering the rise in U.S. shale oil supply and concern about the strength of Chinese demand. -Reuters - 7/31/13

Media Unveils Names Of Iran's New 'Government Members'
Iranian media has published a list purportedly containing the names of 33 future members of President-elect Hassan Rohani's government due to be announced this week. There was no official confirmation of the list. Parliament must approve all the nominees. Rohani will be inaugurated on August 3. - 7/30/13

Book Release: Cyrus the Great An Ancient Iranian King
Cyrus is among the most impressive characters in the ancient world. From the Old Testament to Xenophon's Cyropaedia, ancient texts have made him to an example of tolerance and just kingship. Hailing from a small principality in southwest Iran, he rapidly rose to power, creating a world empire. - 7/30/13

Forest Fires on the Rise in Iran
With summer well underway, Iranian forests and ranges have fallen prey to blazing fires; fires that in many areas are attributed to the heavy heat but elsewhere can only be linked to negligence and even willful arson aimed at turning trees into ashes. -Bijan Rohan - 7/30/13

Iranian MP calls for "closure" for detained reformist leaders
Conservative MP Ali Motahari told an official session of Iranian Parliament that the country must release political prisoners and find "final closure" in the case of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since 2011. - 7/30/13

Iran's Foreign Minister Nominee Seen as Olive Branch to US
If Iranian President-elect Hassan Rowhani wanted to signal his determination to rebuild relations with the United States and strike a "grand bargain," he could hardly do better than to select Mohammad Javad Zarif as his foreign minister. -Reuters - 7/30/13

Maryam Mirzakhani Receives The Simons Investigators 2013 Award
Maryam Mirzakhani is an Iranian-American mathematician, Professor of Mathematics (since September 1, 2008) at Stanford University. Mirzakhani's work is focused on Teichmuller theory and dynamics of natural geometric flows over the moduli space of Riemann surfaces. - 7/30/13

Iran: Hashemi calls for unified support of new administration
The head of Iran's Expediency Council said on Monday July 29 that he is confident Hassan Rohani can satisfy the people's demands, so long as he is supported by all branches of government. - 7/30/13

Liberal Democrats Move to Torpedo Iran Sanctions Bill
In a letter obtained by The Cable, Reps. Jim McDermott, John Conyers, Keith Ellison and Jim McGovern urge the House leadership to delay the vote on the bill which they fear could jeopardize the Obama administration's renewed effort to engage Iran's newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani on the country's nuclear program. - 7/30/13

New President, New Hope?
As Hassan Rouhani awaits to be sworn in as Iran's seventh president, the world anxiously anticipates to see if the ever-mounting tides of mistrust and deception between Iran and the West can be placated with this man's relatively surprising victory. -Omid Irani - 7/29/13

Drying Bakhtegan Lake a hazard to flamingos
Many flamingos have fallen victim to the drying up of Bakhtegan Lake in Fars Province, Iran Environment Watch reports. Officials reports that Bakhtegan Lake has dried out due to severe summer heat this year and the continued low precipitation that's been felt in recent years. - 7/29/13

Iranian Official: Lack Of Hard Currency Has Halted Imports
An Iranian official says the country has halted imports due to the lack of hard currency. Iranian news media is reporting that Majid Reza Hariri, the head of the commission on imports for Iran's Chamber of Commerce, discussed the problem on July 28. - 7/29/13

Iran's Supreme Leader Demands Apology For Election-Fraud Accusations
Iran's supreme leader has demanded apologies from those who alleged there was fraud during the 2009 presidential election. Addressing a group of students in Tehran on July 28, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that "illegal" protests after the election could have "led Iran into chaos." - 7/29/13

Iran's oldest man dies at 126
Abbas Fallahzadeh, the oldest Iranian man, died on Thursday at the age of 126. He lived in the Abarkouh region of Mehrdasht in Yazd Province. Fallahzadeh was probably the longest-living man in the world. - 7/29/13

Iran: Halt Execution of Arab Minority Men
Iran's judiciary should stop the executions of four members of Iran's Ahwazi Arab minority because of grave violations of due process, Amnesty International, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, and Human Rights Watch said today. - 7/29/13

Iranian-American Writer Debuts Graphic Novel Trilogy "Persia Blues"
New York Times best-selling writer Dara Naraghi and artist Brent Bowman have co-created an epic graphic novel trilogy titled Persia Blues, published by acclaimed New York-based NBM Publishing. The complex, multicultural story features the parallel lives of a resourceful, strong-willed young Iranian woman, and explores the universal themes of tradition, family, guilt, and freedom. - 7/29/13

Carpet factory closure in Yazd throws 120 out of work
ILNA quotes the head of the Yazd House of Workers, Ali Dehghani, saying that "the lack of liquidity and the shortage of primary material for continued production" have forced the factory to shut down. - 7/29/13

Iranian Authorities Stop Ghadr Night Ceremony
Police and security forces prevented a group of Iranian reformists from holding the Muslim ceremony of Ghadr Night in Darolzahra last night, Saturday July 17. Reformists reportedly have been prevented from holding any Ghadr Night ceremonies in the past four years, even in other religious centres such as Hosseineh Ershad and Towhid Centre. - 7/29/13

13 heads of state to attend Rohani's inauguration
Thirteen heads of states, five parliament speakers, and six foreign ministers will certainly attend the President-elect Hassan Rohani's inauguration ceremony on August 4, the director of the formalities affairs of the Majlis announced on Sunday. - 7/29/13

White House-Congress divide on Iran nuclear sanctions widens
Secretary of State John F. Kerry and other officials are urging Congress to hold off on new sanctions before expected international nuclear talks, warning of the risk of alienating new leaders who might be willing to give diplomacy a chance. -Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times - 7/29/13

Iran's Relations with Saudi Arabia during Rouhani's Tenure
If one wanted to describe the whole history of political relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia from the World War II up to the present time using just one word, "rivalry" would have been undoubtedly the best word for this purpose. -Hassan Ahmadian - 7/28/13

Iran: Hundreds of factory workers unpaid in Lorestan
The head of the Farsit Factory Labour Association in Lorestan says 400 workers there have not been paid in the past six months. The Iranian economy has been on a decline due to widespread sanctions and the lack of effective administrative action, which has led to widespread layoffs and the closure of many factories. - 7/28/13

Ahmadinejad gets clearance to establish new university
At the latest meeting of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that he has obtained the necessary permission from the Ministry of Science to launch a new university. - 7/28/13

Iran builds 4.6bcm natural gas storage facility
Iran has built a new natural gas storage facility with a capacity to store 4.6 billion cubic meters of gas, the National Iranian Gas Company managing director stated. - 7/28/13

NIOC and the State: Commercialization, Contestation and Consolidation in the Islamic Republic of Iran
While Iran's oil industry has long been a subject of great interest for academics, industry analysts and the news media surprisingly little attention has been paid to the institutional apparatus of the Iranian hydrocarbon sector and its embeddedness in networks of political power. -William Yong, Oxford Energy - 7/28/13

Death Of A Playwright: Mahmud Ostand-Mohammad dies at 63
TEHRAN -- Veteran playwright, director, and actor Mahmud Ostand-Mohammad died after a three-year battle with liver cancer at Tehran's Jam Hospital on Thursday morning. He was aged 63. Ostand-Mohammad was famous for his talent in writing stories about the everyday lives of Iranians in the plays he composed, which were based upon the basic principles of modern Western theater. - 7/27/13

Iran denies report it sent message on direct talks to U.S. via Iraq
The Iranian ambassador to Iraq on Friday dismissed a report by New York Times that Tehran had sent a message to the United States about bilateral talks through Iraqi officials. "The news is not true and has no basis in fact," Ambassador Hassan Danaeifar told ISNA. - 7/27/13

Heat wave threatens Tehran water supply
he Mehr News Agency reports that the "unprecedented" heat has caused a significant fall in water sources for Tehran, and residents will have to face periodic water cut-offs on a daily basis. - 7/27/13

New Chapter in Iran-EU Relations: Major Steps Ahead
The main signal sent by the European countries to Iran these days is their readiness to cooperate with the new Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani. It seems that the announcement by the new Iranian president about his decision to engage in constructive interaction with the world has drawn serious attention from all quarters. -Behzad Ahmadi Lafuraki - 7/27/13

In U.S., 99-Year-Old Woman From Iran Becomes Citizen
A 99-year-old woman who was born in Iran has obtained U.S. citizenship in Los Angeles,15 years after moving to the United States. Khatoun Khoykani joined about 3,700 other people on July 26 for a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center. - 7/27/13

Renault blames anti-Iranian sanctions for seeing red
French automaker Renault says sanctions on Iran have triggered a steep loss for the company. Renault announced an operating loss of $327 million for the first half of 2013, compared to a $687-million operating profit in the same period last year. - 7/27/13

Iran's share in hand-woven carpet exports at 35 percent
Iran's world share in hand-woven rugs and carpets exports totals 35 percent, said Chairman of Iran's National Carpet Center Mohammad Baqer Aqa-Alikhani, adding the country's carpet exports in 2012 reached over 420 million dollars. - 7/27/13

Iran to send labor force to 10 countries
Iran is in talks with 10 countries for the dispatch of expert labor force to the states with whom Iran is exchanging forces, said Iranian Deputy Labor and Social Affair Minister Ali-Akbar Labbafi. - 7/27/13

Washington Reassesses Iran Policy
Just when you think you understand how American and Iranian politics work, a lightning bolt comes from the sky to shake up conventional wisdom. That lightning bolt appeared last month, when the Iranian people elected a new President, Dr. Hassan Rouhani, on the first ballot. -Joel Rubin, Huffington Post - 7/27/13

U.S. Authorizes More Medical Exports to Iran; Financial Sanctions Remain Obstacle
NIAC applauds the Obama administration for expanding the list of medical devices that can be exported to Iran, and urges it to follow up on this action by addressing financial sanctions that have been cutting off humanitarian exports to Iran. - 7/26/13

Iran's Judicial Chief Rebuked For Comment On "Seditious Elements"
One day after Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani warned against the return of "the seditious elements of 2009", the Jomhouri Eslami daily expressed its disappointment at the statement by Iran's top judicial official. - 7/26/13

A Historic Kiss
Recently, when Mohammad Nourizadeh bestowed a kiss on the foot of a child, he threw the whole contemporary political and social history of Iran into turmoil and challenge. Nourizadeh is a well-known Iranian writer and critic film-maker who until a few years ago was closely affiliated with the Iranian clerical regime and its supreme leader. -Mehrangis Kar - 7/26/13

Cyrus Cylinder Heading to San Francisco: Celebrate the Legacy of Cyrus the Great
With less than 2 weeks left, we are quickly selling out at the events that PAAIA will be hosting to celebrate the legacy of Cyrus the Great and the upcoming Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning exhibition, opening at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, CA on August 9, 2013. - 7/26/13

Hezbollah and Iran Pay the Price for Syria Role
Two years after President Barack Obama confidently predicted a swift demise for Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president seems relatively secure. Pro-regime forces have clawed back swaths of key territory as the opposition splinters into hundreds of rebel groups. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 7/26/13

As an Anglican ex-bishop, I can tell you: Iran's new president could be our best hope for peace
The installation of Hassan Rouhani as President of Iran next month heralds a new chapter for the country. It is clear that he was elected not only because it was felt - both at the highest levels and by the people - that he was best placed to negotiate with the West on Iran's nuclear programme but also because he was the candidate most likely to appeal to reform-hungry Iranians. -Michael Nazir-Ali, Spectator - 7/26/13

BOOKS: Iran's Coup, Then and Now
Ervand Abrahamian, a leading historian of modern Iran, has recently explored the 1953 Anglo/American-sponsored coup that overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq. The 28 months under Abrahamian's scrutiny in The Coup: 1953, The CIA, and the Roots of US-Iranian Relations form a defining fault line in Iranian history. -Reyhaneh Noshiravani, IPS - 7/26/13

Iran's Fashion Revolution
A new kind of revolution seems to be taking place in the streets of Tehran. There are no displays of political banners, thrusting of fists in the air or chanting of slogans; only tossing of headscarves, colorful flower-pattern fabrics and fancy jewelry. -Alice Curci, Al Bawaba - 7/26/13

Iran to launch largest floating oil storage terminal in Persian Gulf: Official
The Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) says it will launch the Persian Gulf's largest floating oil storage terminal in the southern Iranian province of Bushehr in a few months. - 7/26/13

How two Iranian brothers created one of the world's first travel documentaries
In the 1950s, the Omidvar brothers travelled the Congo, the Arctic and the Andes on motorbikes and in a 2CV. The recently rediscovered film of their trip will be shown at next month's Adventure Travel Film Festival. -Guardian - 7/26/13

Bahareh Hedayat's letter from Evin prison to her husband Amin Ahmadian
Bahareh Hedayat is a student, political activist, initiator of the campaign ŕ Million Signatures for the Repeal of Discriminatory Laws." She has been sentenced to nine and a half years in prison and is serving time in Evin prison in Tehran. Hedayat recently sent an open letter to her husband Amin Ahmadian. - 7/25/13

Market Insight: Iran's Healthcare Market on the Rise
Iran's healthcare industry is set for a bright future. The country is ranked 15th among Middle East and Africa (MEA) countries in terms of long-term investment potential. With a population of 75 million people - more than 50% of which is under the age of 35 ... -Frost & Sullivan - 7/25/13

Putin to visit Iran after new president is sworn in
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Iran in mid-August, shortly after president-elect Hassan Rohani will have taken over the administration. The Kommersant daily reports that Putin's trip is aimed at the resumption of nuclear negotiations with Iran. - 7/25/13

Congressman Dan Kildee Urges U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Act Swiftly on the Release of Former Marine and Flint Native Held Captive in Iran
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) sent a letter today to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling on the U.S. Department of State to prioritize attaining the release of Amir Hekmati, a former Marine and Flint, Mich., native, who has been held in captivity in Iran for nearly two years. The letter is signed and supported by 112 Members of Congress - 7/25/13

Iranian folktales come to life at Albany, New Zealand
A Night in Iran, produced and performed by well-known professional storyteller Derek Gordon, who teaches at Massey's Expressive Arts programme, and Iranian migrant Sanam Vaziri, will offer audiences a rare glimpse into Iran's legends and rich literary history in a performance of colourful storytelling, traditional songs and music. - 7/25/13

American Pastor Saeed: 300 Illegal Days in an Iranian Prison
Today (July 23, 2013) is the 300th day of American Pastor Saeed Abedini's illegal imprisonment in Iran - 300 days away from his wife and kids, 300 days of torment for his Christian faith, 300 days and counting. - 7/25/13

Iranian students win four silvers in 45th International Chemistry Olympiad
Iranian students won four silver medals in the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad, which was held from July 15 to 24 in Moscow, Russia. The four-member team was comprised of Mahdiyar Amani Tehrani, Hirbod Heidari, Ashkan Khavaran, and Arya Aminorroaya. - 7/25/13

Iran's tragic carpets: Industry hit by sanctions and economic crisis
Iran's rug exports, however, are declining - revenue was down 17 per cent last year - as are the number of people employed in the industry. Many associated with the trade believe its survival is threatened. Carpet experts and economists say that Iran's rug production may ultimately return to being what it was when it started, a specialised art form. -Jason Rezaian, Independent - 7/25/13

"There is No Medicine; Remain on the Waiting List"
When some callers ask for medicine which is not available in drugstores, pharmacists ask them to leave their phone numbers on the waiting list. And when they ask when the medicine may be available, the response they get is "nobody knows." Sometimes callers are asked to ask their physicians for substitutes. -Niusha Saremi, Rooz - 7/24/13

NIAC Condemns Sen. Graham's Call for Iran War Authorization
Washington, DC - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) condemns the recent calls by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for war against Iran. Graham today told a Christians United For Israel conference that he plans to introduce an authorization for the use of military force in Iran in two months. - 7/24/13

Photos: Iran's biggest telescope unveiled
Iran has unveiled its largest domestically-manufactured telescope, as part of an overall policy to achieve self-sufficiency in the field of technology. The telescope has been manufactured by Golpayegan's Astronomy Society with a fund worth $80,000 to be used in the fields of astronomy, medicine, and military. - 7/24/13

Who should Lead Iran's New Nuclear Team?
The first and most important decision Rohani, the newly elected Iranian president, has to make is to select a capable and competent nuclear team for future discussions with P5+1. Resolving the nuclear issue will overshadow everything else that Rohani has to accomplish in the first year of his presidency. -Nader Bagherzadeh - 7/24/13

Sufi Page Yet Another Website That Iran Really Doesn't Like
There are many websites that the Iranian establishment doesn't like. It shows its feelings by blocking them, usually on allegations of immorality or offenses against the country's national interests. Then there are websites that Iran really doesn't like. Those are blocked, too, and the people behind them are often punished. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/24/13

PAAIA NexGen Presents 2013 NexGen Leadership Conference
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans is proud to announce that the first NexGen Leadership Conference (NLC) will take place on August 2-4, 2013 at the Harvard Kennedy School. - 7/24/13

Iranian Mobile Provider Under Fire For Insulting Sunnis
A prosecutor from Sistan and Baluchistan Province, an impoverished area that is home to a large Sunni community, last week filed charges against Irancell in the wake of protests over a quiz question sent to the company's subscribers. ''Which judge was deceived by the devil during the time of [the first imam of Shi'a] Imam Ali?'' subscribers were asked in a text message. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/24/13

3 Dead, 150 Rescued After Asylum Boat Sinks off Indonesia
Indonesian authorities are searching for survivors after an Australia bound boat full of asylum seekers sank off the southwest coast of Java. Some of the rescued passengers say they were from Iran and Iraq. Other said they were from Southeast Asian nations. - 7/24/13

Mohsen Makhmalbaf's "THE GARDENER" in Los Angeles
After screening in more than 15 film festivals around the world, the award-winning film finally comes to Los Angeles for a week-long run, from August 2 - 8, 2013. The film explores the relevance of religion in today's world and was filmed at Baha'i, Christian, Islamic, and Jewish holy sites in Israel. - 7/24/13

Washington concerned about Iran-Iraq gas deal
Washington is concerned about a $14.8 billion gas deal, which was signed by Iran and Iraq on Sunday, according to which Iran will supply Iraq with natural gas for four years. The deal offers Tehran a respite from sanctions and Iraq a needed energy source, and has already prompted concerns in Washington. - 7/24/13

Iran blasts EU for blacklisting Hezbollah's military branch
"We as lawmakers of the Iranian nation categorically condemn the inhuman and anti-Islamic move and we strongly support Hezbollah and its great and brave leadership Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah," the statement read. - 7/24/13

Iran pursuing the fate of missing mountaineers: Shocking letter by one of the climbers
Before embarking on their journey, Aydin Borzorgi had written a letter which has now been published on the blog of mountain climber Parastoo Abrishami. In this shocking and revealing letter, Borzorgi has harshly criticized the authorities for their lack of support and for crippling the Iranian mountaineers by throwing many obstacles in front of them. Borzorgi and Arash team members were clearly aware what they were against... - 7/23/13

A New Era of Iranian Pragmatism?
In the months prior to the 2013 Iranian presidential election, few political commentators and observers in the media could have predicted the landslide victory of Hassan Rouhani. The majority of the dialogue concerning the Iranian elections focused on expectations of voter non-participation, a lack of political organization among reformist and moderate groups, and another hardliner, conservative victory. -Parsa Garrett, NIAC - 7/23/13

EXHIBITION: The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination
This exhibition will provide a visual narrative of the history of Zoroastrianism from its ancient Iranian roots, to its emergence as the foremost religion of the Achaemenid and Parthian empires and its consolidation as the state religion under the Sasanians and the establishment of the great regnal fires. - 7/23/13

Photos: It dried up again!
It's summer, and once again Zayandeh Rud has dried up. This river, which passes under the historical sio-seh-pol bridge is one of the icons of the city of Isfahan in central Iran. However, in recent years the river has been drying during the summer months creating a depressing landscape. - 7/23/13

Iranian building "No Name Shop" shortlisted for prize at Singapore architecture festival
A building called No Name Shop in an Iranian shopping center was nominated for a prize at the World Architecture Festival, which will be held from October 2 to 4 in Singapore. Ali Dehqani, Ali Soltani and Atefeh Karbasi designed No Name Shop at Ayeneh Office in 2012. The 794-squaremeter building is located in the town of Najafabad in Isfahan Province. - 7/23/13

Imprisoned Journalist Remains in Solitary Confinement Without Charges
Security forces arrested Fariba Pajouh, a journalist who worked for reformist newspapers, on July 10 at her home. Four security force members searched her home, confiscated her laptop computer and satellite receiver, and transferred her to Evin Prison. - 7/23/13

Paper-thin e-skin responds to touch, holds promise for sensory robotics and interactive environments
A new milestone by engineers at UC Berkeley can help robots become more touchy-feely, literally. A research team led by Ali Javey, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, has created the first user-interactive sensor network on flexible plastic. - 7/23/13

Iran Khodro to introduce 6 new cars by year end
Iranian automaker Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) has announced plans to produce six new cars by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, 2014. IKCO aims to produce 550,000 units of car in the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2013), out of which 50,000 will be exported to international markets. - 7/23/13

Iran mobile company indicted for ''insulting Sunnis''
Authorities in Iran have indicted the main mobile network operator, Irancell, on charges of insulting Sunni Muslims in an SMS competition. -BBC - 7/23/13

Iran Supreme Leader: U.S. 'Not Trustworthy'
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is urging Iran's new administration to be cautious in its dealings with the United States, saying Washington is "not trustworthy." Speaking to officials July 21, Khamenei was quoted as saying he has not prohibited talks with the United States. - 7/22/13

Three Iranian mountaineers missing in Broad Peak
Aydin Borzorgi, Puya Keyvani and Mojtaba Jarahi are the three Iranian mountaineers that went missing upon return from the 8051m Broad Peak also known as K3. The three mountaineers are members of a five-person group named Arash and on Tuesday July 16, they reached the tip of Broad Peak. - 7/22/13

Photos: Kariz Aqueducts in Kish Island
The aqueducts of Kish date back to 2500 years ago and provided the islanders' drinking water. Today, it has been transformed into an amazing underground city, with an area of 10 000 square meters. Experienced advocates took on the painstaking design work and have tried to keep its historic fabric while providing new uses during its renovation. - 7/22/13

A Directive for Maintaining Positive Atmosphere in Iran-US Relations
Two major political developments have taken place in the past few days which have increased optimism about a possible detente between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The first development was a recent letter written by 131 members of the United States House of Representatives to President Barack Obama ... -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 7/22/13

Kambiz Derambakhsh wins Grand Prize at Turkish cartoon contest
Veteran Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh won the Grand Prize at the 33rd International Nasreddin Hodja Cartoon Contest in Turkey. Four other Iranian cartoonists were also honored with special prizes. - 7/22/13

Iran signs deal to export gas to Iraq
Iran and Iraq signed a high profile agreement on Sunday according to which Iran will supply natural gas to Al-Baghdad, Al-Mansouriyah and Sadr power plants in Iraq. The deal was signed by Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi and his Iraqi counterpart Abdul Kareem Luaibi in Baghdad. - 7/22/13

Iran defends credit record with World Bank
Iran says it has not missed any payments on its World Bank loans, citing international sanctions as the reason why its money is not reaching the global lender. On June 30, Iran owed $697 million to the World Bank, and $79,000 of that is now overdue. - 7/22/13

Next Steps With Iran
The closer the world gets to serious diplomatic engagement with Iran on its nuclear program, the more hard-liners in Washington and abroad will push military action if the effort fails...This will be a testing time for Mr. Obama and Mr. Rowhani. Failure to make progress on a deal could be catastrophic for the entire Middle East. -New York Times Editorial - 7/22/13

Exhibition by Monir Shahroudi Farmanfarmaian: Hejleh -- As Public Art
Hejleh is bridal chamber, a room prepared and decorated by the family of the bride and groom with colorful glass, mirror, and textile for the newly-wed to spend their first night in. It has its own place in the Iranian lore and can be found in such classic works as Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh and Nezami Ganjavi's Khosrow o Shirin. It also appears in many miniature paintings of scenes of festivity and merriment. -Yahya Dehghanpour, Rose Issa Projects - 7/21/13

Revolutionary Guards Speak Out On Green Movement Leaders: If They Are To Be Freed They Must First Be Tried
Even though calls for the release of Green Movement leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karoubi and Zahra Rahnavard have grown since the election of Hassan Rowhani as president, the official website of the political bureau of the Revolutionary Guards force (IRGC) for the first time acknowledged the illegal detention of the GM leaders and wrote, "If the law is to be followed, a competent court must first meet to look into the crimes of these individuals." -Bahram Rafiei - 7/21/13

Iranian students rank 4th in International biology Olympiad
Iranian students managed to stood 4th in the 24th International Biology Olympiad, wining two gold and two silver medals. The competitions were held on July 14-21 in Bern, Switzerland. Amir Ashraf Ganjouei and Amin Arasteh won gold medals and Bahar Saberzadeh and Neda Nilforoushan won silver medals. - 7/21/13

Indonesia tightens visa rules for Iranians
Indonesia has announced that it will no longer issue visas to Iranians at its airport. ISNA reports that Iran's ambassador to Jakarta announced the news today, June 21, adding that Iranians will now be required to obtain a visa to enter Indonesia from the Indonesian embassy in Iran prior to traveling to the country. - 7/21/13

Iranian auto parts workers cut down by poor economy
Iran's automotive sector announced today, July 21, that close to 122,000 workers in auto parts factories have lost their jobs in the past year. Rising inflation in Iran over the past two years has caused havoc in many production sectors, leading to widespread unemployment. - 7/21/13

Photos: The Mannequins Of Tehran
Mannequins are often seen behind the store windows in the large cities of Iran. A mannequin is an often articulated doll used by artists, tailors, dressmakers, windowdressers and others especially to display or fit clothing. Iranian clothing stores usually advertise their items to customers using plastic mannequins. - 7/21/13

New Iran president expected to tap US-educated advisers, bringing 'worldly outlook' to Tehran
Several U.S.-educated Iranians are expected to be tapped for key posts in President Hassan Rowhani's new administration, hinting at a break from the antagonistic rhetoric of predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Ali Arouzi, NBC - 7/21/13

Advocates of Iran Engagement Get Unexpected Boost
For the first time in many months, supporters of intensified diplomatic engagement with Iran appear to be gaining strength here. Following last month's surprise election of Hassan Rouhani - widely considered the most moderate of a field of six candidates - as the Islamic Republic's next president, the possibility of a deal over Iran's nuclear programme has become more widely accepted. -Jim Lobe - 7/21/13

Unprecedented: 131 in Congress Call for New Iran Diplomacy
The National Iranian American Council commends Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. David Price (D-NC), and all of the 131 representatives who signed a bipartisan letter encouraging President Obama to reinvigorate diplomacy with Iran. - 7/20/13

Blood disease sufferers face drug shortage in Iran
The head of Iran's Thalassemia Society told Mehr News Agency that Thalassemia sufferers are faced with a drug crisis because the domestic production of the drugs cannot meet the needs of the country's patients, and in the past four months, even domestic production has fallen to 30 percent of the usual output. - 7/20/13

Interview: Prison Child Of The Iranian Revolution
Sahar Delijani was born in Tehran's notorious Evin prison in 1983, the child of a secular activist who took part in the 1979 Islamic Revolution but was later jailed for her political activities. In her recently published debut novel, "The Children of the Jacaranda Trees," Delijani draws on her and her family's experiences to paint a fictional account of Iran through the eyes of children who, like her, were born to jailed revolutionaries. - 7/20/13

U.S. Lawmakers' Call For Iran Engagement 'Not Dramatic Shift'
WASHINGTON -- More than 120 members of the U.S. Congress have signed a letter calling on President Barack Obama to reengage Iran diplomatically over its nuclear program following the election of the Islamic republic's next president. - 7/20/13

Iran at a crossroad with Hassan Rohani
More than 100 years after the Mashrooteh (Law or legal) revolution in Iran, the election of Mr. Rohani has brought the Iranian nation and government to a major cross road once more. The difference however is the fact that at this point in history choosing the wrong path will contribute to complete disintegration of Iran as a nation in the near future. -Farhad Fauhaum - 7/20/13

Interview: U.S. Lawmaker Discusses Letter Urging Reengagement With Iran On Nuclear Issue
More than 120 members of the U.S. Congress have signed a letter calling on President Barack Obama to reengage Iran diplomatically over its nuclear program following the election of the Islamic republic's next president. RFE/RL's Radio Farda correspondent Fred Petrossians spoke to one of the co-authors of the letter, U.S. Representative David Price... - 7/20/13

Late cleric's son calls for release of Iranian political prisoners
Ahmad Montazeri, the son of the late dissident cleric Ayatollah Montazeri, has written to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to ask that he release the two detained opposition leaders, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, so they can attend the inauguration of president-elect Hassan Rohani. - 7/20/13

Iranian athletes win gold and at World Taekwondo Championships
Behnam Asbaghi of Iran won a gold medal at the 2013 World Taekwondo Championships in Puebla, Mexico on Thursday. In the men's +87kg, Sajjad Mardani claimed a silver medal on Saturday. - 7/20/13

Tehran Should Trust West One More Time
Since April 6, 2013, when the representatives of Iran and the group P5+1 of world powers - comprising the United States, the UK, France, China, and Russia plus Germany - came together for talks, negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 have been at a standstill because of the presidential election in Iran. - 7/20/13

Catching up with the Cyrus Cylinder
Following in the footsteps of the Cyrus Cylinder trekking through five museums in the United States, we have reached the mid-point in Manhattan. So let's pause for a commercial break and see how far this iconic object has come, as we eagerly await its arrival on the West Coast. -A.J. Cave - 7/19/13

Congress, Former Policymakers Urge Obama to Revitalize Diplomacy with Iran
After an initial hard diplomatic push at the beginning of his first term, President Obama has overwhelmingly relied on economic pressure over diplomacy in an attempt to force Iran to satisfy international concerns regarding its nuclear program. But economic pressure has undermined prospects for a negotiated solution ... -Ryan Costello, NIAC - 7/19/13

Pars Equality Center: June 2013 Newsletter
This past month we participated in World Refugee Day events in Santa Clara, Oakland and the Los Angeles area. Pars staff and volunteers operated booths and communicated with attendees who were interested in services provided by Pars. The Pars Los Angeles office grand opening is set for Thursday, September 26! - 7/19/13

Water shortages strike rural areas in Iran
Up to 600 rural areas in various regions of Iran are facing critical water shortages. The Tasnim News Agency reports that Sattar Farhadi, the head of Charmahal Bakhtiyari Province, reported today that residents in 250 villages in the province are struggling with a severe water shortage. - 7/19/13

Report: Iranian Naval and Maritime Strategy
Across the Mediterranean and Pacific worlds, Iran is striving to strengthen and extend its influence. From Libya to Sri Lanka and beyond, the regime is building networks of trade, power, and control. Collisions with other world powers have generated political friction and strategic setbacks. However, the nation remains committed to expanding its regional significance. Iran's ambitions are serious. -Christopher Harmer, Institute for the Study of War - 7/19/13

Iranian president arrives in Iraq to discuss bilateral relations
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has arrived in Iraq for an official visit aimed at further expansion of bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries. Heading a high-ranking delegation, the Iranian president will hold two days of talks with senior Iraqi officials. - 7/19/13

Iran ready to build mini-refineries abroad
Oil Ministry spokesman says. Alireza Nikzad Rahbar said that Tehran has already signed agreements with Baghdad and Islamabad under which Iran is to build several refineries in Iraq and Pakistan. - 7/19/13

On stage in Tehran: Stories of death row youth
The stage curtains open. Six nooses hang above the young inmates, who are making chairs in the prison workshop to be used as the platforms in their own hangings. The audience gasps. This is theater that is intended to be raw, edgy and political. What's even more jolting for some in the Tehran audience is that it's all been cleared by Iranian authorities. -Nasser Karimi, AP - 7/19/13

Persian polo thrives in Islamic republic
It is probably the last thing you would expect to come across in the capital of the Islamic republic of Iran: a polo club, more commonly associated with the aristocracy. -AFP - 7/19/13

Photos: Footballer Nekounam receives captaincy armband from children fighting cancer
Iran football captain Javad Nekounam was given a symbolic captaincy armband from children fighting cancer on Wednesday. Esteghlal player Nekounam along with Persepolis goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi played football for a few minutes with the children of the Mahak Charity. - 7/18/13

World Premier of the King Cyrus Symphonic Suite to be held in San Francisco
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is proud to announce the world premiere of The King Cyrus Symphonic Suite: From Birth to the Proclamation of Human Rights for a one night only performance on August 10, 2013. Composed and conducted by Maestro Loris Tjeknavorian and performed by the San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra - 7/18/13

Call for Submissions: 2014 Nowruz Banner Contest
Farhang Foundation is calling on aspiring or veteran graphic artists to submit original designs that conceptualize Nowruz (Iranian New Year) or some other aspect of Iranian culture. Farhang also invites artists, writers, directors, and performers to join us in our efforts to create a dynamic and immersive theatrical experience in honor of Nowruz - 7/18/13

Exhibition at the Asia Society in New York: Iran Modern
Asia Society is organizing a landmark exhibition, Iran Modern, that will focus on Iranian art created during the three decades leading up to the revolution of 1979. Asia Society's aim is to shed light on a period when Iranian artists were engaged with the world through the Tehran Biennial in Iran as well as exhibitions overseas, and when their work was collected by institutions inside and outside of Iran. - 7/18/13

New Art on Market Street Poster Series Celebrates 50 Years of Bay Area Activism
Ever since moving to San Francisco in 2009, Iranian-born Sanaz Mazinani has been fascinated by the narrative of political struggles and the ways in which the people of San Francisco have played a major role in advancing important social issues, such as free speech and LGBTQ rights. - 7/18/13

Iranian journalist couple gets jail leave together
Jailed Iranian journalist Mahsa Amrabadi was granted leave from Evin Prison on Wednesday July 18. Kaleme reports that Amrabadi is now serving a two-year sentence, and her furlough coincides with her husband's furlough from Rejaishahr Prison. - 7/18/13

Shock Therapy in Iran-UK Relations
Historical experience has regularly shown that shock therapy is one of the similarities that exist between a game of soccer and the game of politics. When a soccer team fails to win its matches over a period of time, the shock therapy method is usually administered by changing the head coach... -Seyed Jalal Dehqani Firouzabadi - 7/18/13

For a New Approach to Iran
Could this be the year for an engagement with Iran that "is honest and grounded in mutual respect," as President Obama proposed over four years ago? That goal seems unlikely without a shift in Iranian thinking and without a change in American diplomatic and political strategy. But two developments, one in Iran and one in the region, provide reason to think that diplomatic progress might be possible. -William Luers, Thomas R. Pickering, and Jim Walsh, NY Books - 7/18/13

Iran: Efforts underway to end Karroubi house arrest
A senior member of the National Trust Party reports that some action is being taken toward the release of party leader Mehdi Karroubi and he expressed great hopes that it will be fruitful. - 7/18/13

Iranian filmmakers acquitted of "collaborating with BBC"
A group of documentary makers who had been accused by the Iranian judiciary of "collaborating with BBC" have been acquitted of the charges. The head of Persian BBC announced at the time that the British Broadcasting Corporation has no collaborators in Iran and denied any direct relation with the detained filmmakers. - 7/18/13

Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons.
It's been seven months since I've been inside a prison cell. Now I'm back, sort of. The experience is eerily like my dreams, where I am a prisoner in another man's cell. Like the cell I go back to in my sleep, this one is built for solitary confinement. I'm taking intermittent, heaving breaths, like I can't get enough air. -Shane Bauer, Mother Jones - 7/18/13

Photos: Qajar era monument converted into museum for works of Kamalolmolk and students
The Negarestan Garden, a Qajar era monument in Tehran, has been converted into a museum to display works of Qajar era painter Mohammad Qaffari (1847-1940), known as Kamalolmolk, and his students. - 7/17/13

Following Pope's Example, Iranian Dissident Kisses Feet Of Baha'i Boy
On July 15, Mohammad Nourizad, a former hard-line conservative columnist turned dissident, kissed the feet of a 4-year-old Baha'i boy named Artin. Nourizad posted a photo of the scene on his blog along with an account of the meeting. "I told Artin: 'My little boy, I apologize to you on behalf of all of those who, in these Islamic years, have made you and your [Baha'i] fellows face injustice.' " -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/17/13

UK drops no-travel advice on Iran
The British government has dropped its no-travel recommendation on Iran, voicing willingness to improve ties with Tehran on a "step-by-step basis." The British Foreign Office on Wednesday modified its travel advice on Iran on its website, removing a recommendation that warned against travelling to Iran. - 7/17/13

Stately trees disappearing from renowned Tehran avenue
The Human Rights Activists News Agency reports that Tehran city officials are cutting down 70-year-old trees at night on one of the city's main arteries, Vali Asr Avenue. Reports indicate that pedestrians have been shocked to find stumps and other evidence of the missing trees. - 7/17/13

No furlough for jailed Iranian student activist
Jailed Iranian student activist Majid Tavakoli has been denied a furlough three and a half years into his jail term. Daneshjoo News reports that the Tehran Prosecutor's office has reportedly informed the family that the Intelligence Ministry is refusing leave for Tavakoli. - 7/17/13

Israel's War Talk on Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is pounding the war drums on Iran again, drawing support from the usual suspects in Washington's think tank community and the media. The goal seems to be to derail prospects for negotiations with Iran and on the Palestinian dispute, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar, Consortium News - 7/17/13

Iran's Rouhani dismisses Israeli threats
Hassan Rouhani, Iran's president-elect, has brushed off threats of military action by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over Tehran's nuclear programme. Referring to the US and Israel, Rouhani said: "When some say that all options are on the table and when a miserable regional country says such things, it makes you laugh." -Al Jazeera - 7/17/13

Iran conducts first facial reconstruction surgery successfully
The first and most important facial reconstruction surgery in Iran which lasted for nearly 5 hours ended with successful results. Mousa Sheikh has undergone the surgery at Golestan Hospital after his face was badly damaged following hitting a guardrail. - 7/17/13

Russia, China block U.N. condemnation of Iran missile tests
A U.N. Security Council committee is split over whether Iran's missile tests last year violated U.N. sanctions imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Australia's U.N. envoy said on Monday. -Reuters - 7/17/13

Former Officials Call on Obama to Reinvigorate Iran Diplomacy
Twenty-nine prominent former government officials, diplomats, military officers, and national security experts are calling on the White House to pursue direct negotiations with Iran once the country's new president, Hassan Rouhani, is inaugurated. In a letter to President Obama today, the group called the election of Iran's new president "a major potential opportunity to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program." - 7/16/13

Iranian Economists Call For 'Civil Movement' To Counter U.S.-Led Sanctions
The call comes as ordinary citizens bear the brunt of the sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy and contributed to soaring prices. It appears to be a sign of growing concern among Iran's elite over the damage the sanctions are inflicting on the country's economy and the life of Iranians. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/16/13

Reza Vali: An Iranian Composer to Watch and - of course - to Hear
Reza Vali is an Iranian-born composer and Professor of Composition at the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. (See interview below.) Though having lived most of his life in the West and being educated in western classical music, Vali remains thoroughly Iranian, albeit a musical polyglot. -Maryam Pirnazar - 7/16/13

Attending Israel's Film Festival: An interview with Mohsen Makhmalbaf - Banned from Flying in the Sky
Mohsen Makhmalbaf's trip to the Jerusalem Film Festival in Israel has caused a lot of controversy. For instance, Fars New Agency reported: "Mohsen Makhmalbaf talks about friendship with Israel right at a time when the regime has started a new wave of cultural and media propaganda against what Makhmalbaf calls 'cultural dialogue between Iran and Israel'." - 7/16/13

Iran's inflation rate hits 35.9%
The Central Bank of Iran has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ended the third Iranian calendar month of Khordad (June 21, 2013) compared to the same period in the previous year hit 35.9 percent, the Mehr News Agency reported. This is while the Statistical Center of Iran has put the inflation rate for the mentioned period of time at 32.6 percent. - 7/16/13

MP calls again for action on Lake Oroumiyeh
Iranian MP Mehdi Issazadeh has once again raised the alarm about the declining water levels in Lake Oroumiyeh, saying the lake is on the verge of drying out completely. Khaneh Mellat reports that the MP said: "The situation at Lake Oroumiyeh is a wake-up call for officials and it threatens the country." - 7/16/13

Tirgan Festival 2013 in Toronto, Canada
Tirgan Festival is returning to Toronto's Harbourfront Centre from July 18-21, 2013, bringing together artists from around the globe to showcase the richness and diversity of Iranian art and culture through their mosaic of world-class talents. - 7/16/13

Film Museum of Iran holds private screening of "The Past" with Asghar Farhadi
The Film Museum of Iran (FMI) held a private screening of "The Past" with director Asghar Farhadi on Saturday evening. Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and a number of cineastes also attended the program, Persian news agencies reported on Sunday. - 7/16/13

Steelworkers take protests to Iranian Parliament
Protests by workers from the Zagros Steel Factory continued Tuesday in front of the Iranian Parliament in Tehran. The Fars News agency reports that the workers are protesting their dismissal and months of unpaid wages. - 7/16/13

14th Anniversary of Uprising of Iranian Students
uly 9 marked the 14th anniversary of the uprising of Iranian university students that began in the dormitories of the University of Tehran and spread to several campuses around the nation. It shook the foundations of the Islamic Republic and demonstrated that, despite the vast purges of progressive faculty that took place in the 1980s under the guise of "Cultural Revolution"... -Muhammad Sahimi - 7/15/13

Photos: A Sunflower Farm
These beautiful photos by Mohammad Moheimany are from a very warm and welcoming sunflower farm in the South Khorasan province in northeastern Iran. The sunflower got its name from its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun. - 7/15/13

Iran unveils 12 domestically produced medicines
Iran unveiled 12 types of domestically produced medicines, including nine anti-cancer drugs, during a ceremony held at Pardis Technology Park in Tehran on Sunday. According to ISNA, Bortezomib, Cytarabine, Capecitabine, Erlotinib, Vorinostat, and Irinotecan are some of the drugs which were unveiled. - 7/15/13

Iran's New President Pledges Good Relations With Parliament
Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani has pledged to work closely with parliament, setting a more conciliatory tone than outgoing President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who was known for his feuds with lawmakers. - 7/15/13

Iran ranks 6th in Austrian International Informatics Olympiad
Iranian students stood 6th in the 2013 International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), wining 4 gold, silver and bronze medals. The competitions were held in Brisbane City on July 6-13 where four Iranian students Denial Mehrjerdi, Farzad Abdolhosseini, Keiwan Alizadeh, Vahid Valizadeh and Hamed Valizadeh represented Iran - 7/15/13

Iranian dervishes linked to website get harsh jail terms
Seven detained Iranian dervishes have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms by the Islamic Republic judiciary. The seven dervishes have been found guilty of "establishing the illegal organization Majzooban-e Noor in an attempt to disturb national security, propagate against the regime, insult the leader and disrupt public order." - 7/15/13

Iranian MP calls for answers on surveillance of fellow MP
Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli has called for the Intelligence Minister to be summoned to Parliament over recent reports that an MP`s office was illegally wiretapped by an unknown group. - 7/15/13

Iranian researchers produce flexible electronically-conductive textiles
A group of Iranian researchers at Islamic Azad University, Yazd Province, have produced electronically-conductive textiles, using nano-graphene sheets, whose conductivity can be adjusted. - 7/15/13

Tehran theater serving iftar to avoid drop in box office receipts
Tehran's Sangelaj Hall has decided to serve iftar, the evening meal for breaking the fast during Ramadan, as part of its program to avoid a decline in the number of theatergoers during the month of fasting. Reza Shafiian's troupe is currently performing "The Chef Offers" in the theater. - 7/15/13

Iran scores 5 medals in International Physics Olympiad
Iranian students won several models in the 44th International Physics Olympiad in Copenhagen, Denmark capital city, including 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals. It is expected that the Iranian team would be ranked 3rd or 4th in the event which ran on July 8-14. - 7/14/13

Open Letter to Filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf: Please Be a Messenger of Freedom for Iranian and Palestinian People
We, the undersigned, are a group of Iranian scholars, artists, journalists and activists who are deeply concerned by the recent decision of Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf to take part in the Jerusalem International Film Festival from July 4-13, 2013. His participation directly violates the International call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of the State of Israel ... - 7/14/13

1.18m Iranian families receive low-cost Mehr houses
The administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has handed the keys to over 1.18 million low-cost houses to applicants under the Mehr Housing Project, the transport and urban development minister announced on Friday. - 7/14/13

Oligarch Valley: How Beverly Hills billionaire farmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick profit from the Iran sanctions they lobbied for
Economic sanctions are what have allowed the Resnicks to create their pistachio empire, which would suffer a severe blow if relations with Iran were ever normalized. Iran's pistachios are considered to be superior to America's, so much so that Israelis still buy Iranian pistachios shipped in through Turkey. -Yasha Levine, Mondoweiss - 7/14/13

Solmaz Sharif: Poetic rewrite of the U.S. Department of Defense's dictionary
I've been working on a poetic rewrite of the US Department of Defense's Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms for several years now. My own experience as an Iranian born in Turkey beneath the long shadow of the Iran-Iraq War has always been an impetus behind this project. -Kenyon Review - 7/14/13

Pakistan Taliban Set up Camps in Syria, Join Anti-Assad War
The Pakistani Taliban have set up camps and sent hundreds of men to Syria to fight alongside rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, militants said on Sunday, in a strategy aimed at cementing ties with al-Qaida's central leadership. -Reuters - 7/14/13

Iranian Women's Rights Activists Tell Rohani What They Want
A group of prominent Iranian women's rights activists and intellectuals have outlined some of their main demands for Iran's President-elect Hassan Rohani, who spoke against gender discrimination during his campaign and said women and men should enjoy the same rights and opportunities. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/13/13

Iran basketball team wins William Jones Cup
The Iranian national men's basketball team claimed the title of the William Jones Cup by beating Taiwan on Saturday. The Iranian team defeated Taiwan 72:67 and earned the seventh straight victory in the competitions. The Persians have already defeated Jordan, Taiwan B, Egypt, South Korea, the U.S and Japan. - 7/13/13

Iran volleyball team wins first game, loses the second one against Germany in 2013 FIVB World League
Germany's national men's volleyball team defeated Iran 3-0 in World League match in Tehran on Saturday. The German team defeated Iran 25-21, 25-23 and 25-22. The Iranian team had defeaterd the European powerhouse 3-0 in the first game on Friday. - 7/13/13

Iranians among refugees on capsized boat
A boat carrying Iranian, Afghan and Sri Lankan refugees to Australia has capsized in the Indian Ocean. According to Australian authorities, one infant died and eight people are currently missing. - 7/13/13

Iranian MP complains of wiretap, secret surveillance
Iranian conservative MP Ali Motahari says his offices were wiretapped and illegally videotaped. Motahari said in a statement that surveillance equipment was accidentally discovered in the air conditioning ductwork, and his own video surveillance shows that intruders have entered the premises at night. - 7/13/13

Doubt Over Syrian Steps to Control Hyperinflation
Efforts by the Assad government's closest ally, Iran, to assist with credit lines and loans of billions of dollars, plus foreign assistance from Russia, is saving Syria from Serbian-style inflation. But Hanke says Assad's allies will have to dig deeper. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA - 7/13/13

Iraq 'Can't Stop' Iran Arms Transfer To Syria
Iraq's foreign minister has told a pan-Arab newspaper that his country is unable to stop neighboring Iran from sending weapons to Syria through its airspace. Zebari said random checks by Iraq on Iranian aircraft bound for Syria since September had only found medicines and food onboard. -RFE - 7/13/13

Obama Administration Looks to Address Humanitarian Impact of Sanctions
The State Department's top official coordinating Iran sanctions acknowledged on Wednesday that U.S. sanctions have impeded humanitarian transactions for Iran and could potentially undermine international support for the sanctions, indicating that the United States government is actively considering ways to solve the problem. - 7/12/13

Photos: Fatal fire strikes Tehran textile factory
At least four workers have died from a Thursday morning fire at a six-storey textile factory in Tehran. The Fire Marshall reported that the number of casualties may increase. He said firefighters rescued several workers from the roof, adding that one worker jumped from the building in panic. - 7/12/13

Beware Unpeeled Fruit -- Iran's Intelligence Ministry Issues New Security Advice
Iran's Intelligence Ministry has issued a long list of advice to Iranians on a wide range of topics, from cellphone use to cybersecurity, travel, praying, and how to deal with one's neighbors. "We live in a turbulent world," the Intelligence Ministry declares in the directive, which was published by Iranian news agencies. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/12/13

Iran dismisses MKO allegation of secret nuclear site near Tehran
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has rejected allegations by the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) accusing Tehran of building a secret nuclear site. Reacting to the allegation on Friday, the ministry's spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, dismissed the claim as mere lies by the "desperate" terrorist group. - 7/12/13

Mother of dead Iranian blogger wants his body exhumed
The mother of deceased blogger Sattar Beheshti is calling for her son's body to be exhumed for further investigation, after Iran's chief coroner's office announced that his death was not the result of blows he suffered during interrogation. - 7/12/13

Half of Iranians Lack Adequate Money for Food, Shelter
Half of Iranians say there have been times in the past year when they have had trouble paying for adequate shelter and for food their families needed. In each case, the 50% figure is the highest among 19 populations in the Middle East and North Africa region that Gallup surveyed in 2012 and 2013. -Gallup - 7/12/13

Don't Attack Us, Asks Exiled Iranian Filmmaker
Exiled Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf has urged Israel to not to attack the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, AFP reports. Makhmalbaf made the call during a visit to the Jewish state to promote his new film. -Arutz Sheva - 7/12/13

Iran's Water Crisis: A Bigger Threat Than Israel?
Issa Kalantari, the minister of agricultural under president Hashemi Rafsanjani, told Ghanoon newspaper this week that the water crisis is the "main problem that threatens" Iran, adding that it is more dangerous "than Israel, America or political fighting" among the Iranian elite. -Zachary Keck, The Diplomat - 7/12/13

Iran Cleric: Women Must Satisfy Men's Sex Drive
A leading Iranian cleric has denounced those women who do not cater sexually to men. Hojatolislam Hossein Dehnavi discussed the duty of women under Islam at a conference on family issues, according to Fars News Agency, a media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards. -Reza Khalili, WND - 7/12/13

Escalating Iran Sanctions Could Damage Hopes for New Beginning
U.S. policymakers and experts, while not calling for sanctions to be removed, have urged that no further sanctions be ratcheted up ahead of Rouhani's inauguration and that existing sanctions be exchanged in negotiations for Iranian nuclear concessions. -Layla Oghabian, NIAC - 7/11/13

"Arash: A Play Reading" at Stanford University
Arash is one of the most enduring stories of Iranian mythology. A few artists have offered their own renditions of this remarkable tale - the story of a man who offers to end the bloodshed between Iran and its neighbor, Touran, and instead uses the power of his arrow to determine the border of the two countries. - 7/11/13

Some In U.S. Congress Urge More Iran Pressure, Others Want Relationship 'Reset'
Is the election of cleric Hassan Rohani as Iran's new president an opportunity for the United States to intensify its diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff over Tehran's controversial program, or a chance to tighten the screws on a new regime? Members of Congress are arguing both sides in the wake of Rohani's June 14 election. - 7/11/13

Rafsanjani laments medicine shortage due to 'cruel' sanctions on Iran
Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has described foreign sanctions on Iran as cruel, saying that the so-called advocates of human rights have upset the Iranian people, especially the patients. - 7/11/13

How Can I Buy Some Democracy?
People stage a revolution and a republican form of government is created. They lose everything they had including political freedoms. But at least now they can elect a president. -Satire by Ebrahim Nabavi - 7/11/13

Berkeley Lecture Series: "The UN Special Procedures and Situation of Human Rights in Iran"
On 17 June 2011, the President of the UN Human Rights Council appointed Dr Shaheed, as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mr Shaheed commenced his duties officially on 1 August 2011. He has since submitted four reports to the United General Assembly and the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the country. - 7/11/13

14,000 foreign students studying in Iran
Fourteen thousand students are studying at Iran's universities and efforts are underway to attract more international students, according to Iran's minister of science, research, and technology, Kamran Daneshjoo. - 7/11/13

Egypt Condemns Iranian 'Interference' After Tehran Comments
Egypt has accused Iran of "unacceptable interference" in its domestic affairs after Tehran criticized the army's removal of Islamist President Muhammad Morsi. In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry also expressed "extreme discontent" with the Iranian comments. - 7/11/13

Iran to set up 18 new petrochemical complexes
Iran will establish 18 new petrochemical complexes, special for downstream industries, IRNA quoted National Iranian Petrochemical Company official Mohammad Ziar as saying. The number of the complexes will be increased to 300 by the next four years, he added. - 7/11/13

Putin's Asian Oil Drive Brings Pain to European Refiners
European refineries are seeing their bills soar by billions of dollars a year as Russia shifts oil exports to Asia, driving up the values of Urals, one of their preferred crudes. Huge volumes have switched away from saturated European markets. -Reuters - 7/11/13

Photos: A Birds Paradise: Dayer-Nakhiloo National Park
A section of Mand Protected Zone in Bushehr province of Iran was converted into Dayer-Nakhiloo National Park in 2008. This park includes the four islands of Tahmadoon, Khan, Nakhiloo and Ummol-Karam. Ummol-Karam Island,which extends over 70 hectares, and Nakhiloo Island are home to birds such as crab plover, egret, white swallow and rested terns, the Persian daily Hamshahri wrote. - 7/10/13

Former Iranian Minister Says New President To Inherit Economic Challenges
A former Iranian agriculture minister and current member of the advising committee helping Hassan Rohani select his cabinet has warned that the president-elect will inherit a blighted economy. When asked in an interview published in the June 9 issue of the daily "Ghanoon" about the health of the country's agriculture sector, Issa Kalantari replies, "May God help Rohani." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/10/13

Officials Express Concern over Illiteracy Conditions: Ten Million Iranians Cannot Read or Write
According to the latest official statistics provided by Iran, there are now some ten million Iranians who cannot read or write at all. The Markaze Sarshomarie Amar (Statistical Center) 14 percent of people over the age of 6 and seven percent of individuals between the ages of 10 and 49 are illiterate. -Niusha Saremi, Rooz - 7/10/13

Iran's President-Elect Hassan Rowhani: People Want Change
These days are hectic for Iran's president-elect Hassan Rowhani. In addition to meetings with prominent political personalities, he spends much time searching for members of his to-be-cabinet while at the same time planning the direction of his future team. -Arash Bahmani, Rooz - 7/10/13

Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi summoned by authorities
Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi must appear before Iranian authorities to provide "certain explanations," Iranian media report. ILNA states that Farhadi's passport was briefly confiscated when he entered the Imam Khomeini Airport on Tuesday July 9. - 7/10/13

Iranian film "Hush... Girls Don't Scream" to hit world theaters
"Hush... Girls Don't Scream", Iranian director Puran Derakhshandeh's social drama on the problems of Iranian girls, will hit world theaters in early August concurrent with theaters in Iran. The film will go on screen in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, England and Germany - 7/10/13

The Metamorphosis of a Cloak
At the heart of this transformation is a single garment: the manteau, whose evolution from the drab smocks of Haft-e Tir to the height of today's fashion tells us a broader story about women in Iran and the possibilities for change. The manteau, though an imposed garment, is proving remarkably flexible to change. -Azadeh Moaveni, Iran Wire - 7/10/13

Suspected Suicide Bomber Shot Dead In Iran
Iranian security forces have shot dead a suspected suicide bomber. Iranian news agencies reported the incident happened in the southern port city of Chabahar early on July 9 when security forces observed a man trying to enter a police headquarters. - 7/10/13

Iran to boost output at joint oilfield with Oman
The Hengam oilfield development plan is also projected to produce 80 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. The field is estimated to hold 700 million barrels of crude oil and 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. - 7/10/13

NGOs Call on US Congress to Halt Further Iran Sanctions Legislation
Washington, DC - Twenty-three organizations, including the National Iranian American Council, sent a letter to the relevant Congressional committees today calling for a halt to any further consideration of Iran sanctions legislation in light of Iran's recent elections in which the Iranian people defied the odds and voted for moderation over radicalism. - 7/9/13

Photos: The Magnificent Persepolis!
Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550-330 BCE). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. - 7/9/13

Iranian Filmmakers Detained In Golestan Province
Three Iranian documentary makers have been arrested in Kalaleh in Golestan Province for trying to make a film that puts the country in a negative light. The local Golestan News Agency refers to the detained filmmakers as "cinema criminals" who were "making a dark documentary commissioned by Western media." - 7/9/13

General Atmosphere in Iran Following Presidential Election
The election of Mr. Hassan Rouhani as the 11th president of the Islamic Republic of Iran was a great event for the Iranian people. One may almost categorically predict that if the current conditions continue, the Islamic Republic will experience one of its most powerful positions both inside the country and on a regional scale during the next few years. -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 7/9/13

Iranian Dissidents Publicize Their Support For Mandela
A group of Iranian human rights activists have joined the wave of support for South Africa's antiapartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, who has been hospitalized in Pretoria since June 8. In a letter of support (in Persian and English) to the family of the 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, the activists have expressed their best wishes for his health and full recovery. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/9/13

Evidence of Early Agriculture Found in Iran
New research shows that early agriculture sprang up in the eastern Fertile Crescent, in modern day Iran, at roughly the same time as it did in areas of the region -- in what are now Israel, Syria, Turkey and Iraq. - 7/9/13

Coroner releases autopsy findings for jailed Iranian blogger
The Iranian Coroner's Office has announced that the results of Sattar Beheshti's autopsy have been finalized, classifying the cause of death as "death due to psychological pressure." Sattar Beheshti, a blogger, was arrested last October by Tehran's Cyber Police, and five days later his family was informed of his death. - 7/9/13

Iran To Give E-Mail Addresses To Citizens
Iran's minister of communications says citizens of the country who desire to use e-mail will have accounts given to them by the government. Mohammad Hassan Nami did not say on July 8 whether the national e-mail addresses would be mandatory, but his announcement comes one day after Iranian state television reported the country now has its own domestic e-mail service. - 7/9/13

IAEA and Iran may meet in August: diplomats
The UN atomic agency and Iran may hold a new round of nuclear talks in August, diplomats said on Monday, in what would be their first meeting since last month's election of a centrist cleric as the Islamic Republic's president, Reuters reported. - 7/9/13

Iran designing new 150-seat passenger jet
Iran has started designing a 150-seat passenger jet for the first time in the country and the Middle East, said Head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization Hamidreza Pahlevani. The project would be implemented jointly by Iranian Sharif, Amir Kabir, ElmoSannat and Isfahan universities - 7/9/13

Iran implementing water projects worth $3.5b in foreign countries
Iran is implementing water projects worth $3.5 billion in foreign countries, according to Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Alireza Daemi. The value of the water projects in foreign countries has risen by 282 percent since the start of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration in 2005 - 7/9/13

Report: Web monitoring devices made by U.S. firm Blue Coat detected in Iran, Sudan
American-made devices used for Internet monitoring have been detected on government and commercial computer networks in Iran and Sudan, in apparent violation of U.S. sanctions that ban the sale of goods, services or technology to the autocratic states, according to new research. -Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post - 7/9/13

Photos: Sika Village in Mazandaran Province, Iran
These photos show the beautiful village of Sika nestled among the lush mountains and forests of Hezar Jarib region of Neka in Mazandaran province, northern Iran. People of the village live a simple life, compared to others living in towns and cities. But they seem to enjoy a vast, green and peaceful nature unmatched by what the urban life has to offer them! -Mostafa Shanchi - 7/8/13

Volleyball: Iran takes 4th place in FIVB U19 World Championship
Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico, July 7, 2013 - Poland took the bronze medal with a four-set victory (19-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-17) over Iran in 2013 FIVB Boys U19 World Championship. The winners scored 18 blocks, including a tournament-high 9 by Batlomeij Lemanski who shared the spotlight with captain Bartosz Bucko, both with 18 points. - 7/8/13

Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Summoned Back To Evin Prison
Nasrin Sotoudeh, the jailed Iranian human rights lawyer who had been granted a furlough, was summoned back to Evin Prison on Sunday July 7. Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, reports that his wife was given a four-day leave, which was later extended another 10 days, but she was finally summoned back to prison. - 7/8/13

Photos: Welcoming Ramadan
To welcome the arrival of Ramadan, it is customary for the devote Muslims in Iran to dust and sweep the mosques. These photos show the cleaning of mosques in the cities of Arak and Qom. -Varvani Farahani and Hojattollah Ataei - 7/8/13

Iranian airplane overruns runway in Germany
An Iranian Airbus overran the runway at Hamburg airport and broke through a fence on Sunday June 7 at 11:44 AM. The Aviation Herald reports that the Iran Air Airbus A310, flying from Imam Khomeini Airport to Hamburg, failed to stop in time and broke through a protective fence before coming to a stop. - 7/8/13

"Rainbird" troupe cancels Dubai performance over UAE decision to expel Iranians
Veteran Iranian director Pari Saberi's troupe has canceled its planned performance of "Rainbird" in Dubai over the United Arab Emirates' decision to expel Iranian nationals from the emirate. "Rainbird" is based on a story from the Persian poet Ferdowsi's magnum opus the Shahnameh. It tells the story of the battle between the evil ruler Zahhak and the mythical hero Kaveh. - 7/8/13

Photos: Off-road Races in Lahijan, northern Iran
Iran's Off-road Championship races were held in Soostan course in the city of Lahijan Friday morning. Lahijan is a Caspian sea resort in and the capital of Lahijan County, Gilan Province, Iran. - 7/8/13

Iran makes S-200 missile system mobile
Commander of Iran's Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli said the country has successfully made S-200 missile system mobile, adding the system is scheduled to be unveiled in the country's upcoming military drill, Modafe'an-e Aseman-e Velayat 5, (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 5). - 7/8/13

Iranian volleyballers score double over Cuba in FIVB World League
Iran's national volleyball team has defeated its host Cuba for the second time in the space of a day in Pool B of the 2013 FIVB World League. The Iranians began the Sunday game in Havana on a high note but it was Cuba which bagged the first set 25-22. The Iranian team, however, went on to stage a comeback in the second set 25-20 - 7/7/13

Iran developes new method raising cloning speed by 100 times
Iranian researchers at Royan Research Institute in the central Isfahan Province, have managed to increase cloning process speed by as much as 100 times through developing a method for producing transgenic animals, said Head of the research institute Mohammad Hossein Nasr Esfahani. - 7/7/13

I'm different alike
Over 100 Summer Leadership Institute participants filled the Whittier College amphitheatre with cheer as the Camp Ayandeh spirit torch was passed on to Team Foozool, formerly group 2, for a winning team chant. For the rest of the night, the rainbow star-studded stick was theirs to hold. - 7/7/13

Iranian Film Golchehreh Grabs Golden Dhow Award In Zanzibar International Festival
An Iranian film dubbed 'Golchehreh' directed by Vahid Mousaian has won the Golden Dhow Award at the 16th Zanzibar International Film Festival. Golchehreh is based on a true story about Taliban in Afghanistan and how they tried to destroy their National film archive and closing the movie houses. - 7/7/13

Make Way For MOOCs: How Free, Online Courses Could Revolutionize Education
Raza is one of the several million learners worldwide to have discovered "massive open online courses," or MOOCs. A group of U.S. education technology startups, in partnership with dozens of top U.S. universities, now offers MOOCs on everything from poetry to physics. -Richard Solash, RFE - 7/7/13

Iran: Government of Moderation
The recent presidential election in Iran started with confusion, doubt and misunderstanding and ended in transparency, admiration and hope. Not only the result of the election, but also its process were quite interesting. -Gholamali Khoshroo - 7/7/13

Farming Got Hip In Iran Some 12,000 Years Ago, Ancient Seeds Reveal
Archaeologists digging in the foothills of Iran's Zagros Mountains have discovered the remains of a Stone Age farming community. It turns out that people living there were growing plants like barley, peas and lentils as early as 12,000 years ago. -Rhitu Chatterjee, NPR - 7/7/13

Iran's parliament to investigate expulsion of nationals from UAE
Chairman of Foreign Policy Committee of Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Vahid Ahmadi lashed out at the UAE officials for revoking citizenship of hundreds of Iranian, saying the commission plans to probe into expulsion of Iranian expatriates from the UAE. - 7/7/13

Iranian MP comments on sentence of former prosecutor
Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli commented on the sentence given to former Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, saying: "Mortazavi's actions harmed the integrity of the system much more than the sentence he was handed by the judiciary." - 7/7/13

Iran offers 100% tax exemption to foreign investment in agriculture sector
Iran offers one hundred percent tax exemption for an unlimited period of time to foreign investment in the agriculture sector, the Iranian deputy economy minister Behrouz Alishiri said. Tax exemption up to 80 percent are being offered to investments in the industry and mine sector, he said, adding that the figure will be one hundred percent for a period of ten years in underdeveloped areas - 7/7/13

Iranian women's futsal team wins silver at Asian Indoor Games
The Iranian national women's futsal team has claimed the silver medal at the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in South Korea, even though they lost the final match to powerhouse Japan, which won the gold. - 7/6/13

Iran futsal team beats Japan, wins gold at Asian Indoor Games
The national Iranian men's futsal team has beaten Japan, winning the gold medal at the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in South Korea. Iranians trounced the Japanese 5-2 at the Songdo Global University Campus in South Korea's northwestern city of Incheon on Saturday and clinched the gold medal. - 7/6/13

Volleyball: Iran defeats Cuba 3-2 in 2013 FIVB World League
The Iranian national men's volleyball team have achieved a superb win against their Pool B rivals Cuba as part of their heroics in the 2013 FIVB World League in a thrilling five-set match in the Cuban capital city of Havana. Iranian sportsmen outclassed their opponents 3-2 (26-24, 25-19, 25-19, 25-22, 16-14) in an extraordinary game in Havana early Saturday. - 7/6/13

Conservative Iranian MP supports release of political prisoners
Iranian conservative MP Ali Motahari told the Khabar on line website that it's no longer necessary to continue incarcerating political prisoners who were jailed following the 2009 election protests. "I believe after this year's election and in view of the national reconciliation, there is no need to persist in certain decisions including the house arrest of certain people," Motahari said. - 7/6/13

Iran's Ayatollahs Blame Morsi's 'Pro-Israeli, Pro-U.S.' Stance For Egypt Crisis
"Islamic Awakening" was the Iranian establishment's term of choice for the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa that began in late 2010. Tehran described the unrest as a sign of the defeat of U.S. influence and of people's desire to embrace Islam. Now, the crisis in Egypt has posed a fresh challenge for Iran, sending it scrambling to explain how Egypt's "Islamic Awakening" went wrong. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/6/13

Iranian hardliners apoplectic over Shakira Confederations cup shot
When the cameras panned to the Colombian singer Shakira cheering on her footballing husband, Gerard Piqué, during a Confederations cup match, to many it was just another shot of a glamorous celebrity. But in Iran, the few seconds of a woman with bare arms and a revealing top broadcast on national television for the first time prompted furious debate. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 7/6/13

Photos: "Nanny Hassan" Exhibition at the Iranian Artists Forum
An exhibition of paintings by self-taught artist Monavvar Ramezani known as "Nanny Hassan" is being held at the Nami Gallery of the Iranian Artists Forum today. The 76-year-old Nanny Hassan lives in the town of Qeydar of Zanjan Province. She used to weave carpets and draw carpet designs, but found interest in paintings over the past few years. - 7/5/13

Quri Qaleh, the biggest and longest water cave in Asia
The Quri Qaleh Water Cave is one of the outstanding tourist attractions of the western Iranian province of Kermanshah. Located 84 kilometers from the city of Kermanshah, Quri Qaleh is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world and the longest water cave in Asia. - 7/5/13

US and Latest Political Chess in Iran
The eleventh presidential election in Iran, which was held on June 14, 2013, can be considered a turning point in the course of Iran's domestic and foreign relations. Following the election, major changes took place in Iran's domestic and foreign political milieus. -Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour - 7/5/13

Photos: Mass Family Walk in Tabriz, Iran
People in the city of Tabriz in the province of East Azerbaijan in northwestern Iran participated in a mass family walk on Friday July 6th. In recent years, many cities in Iran have been holding family walk days to promote exercise for a healthy body. - 7/5/13

World's most ancient Armenian Church in Iran
The oldest Armenian church known as Saint Thaddeus Monastery or Kara Kilise (The Black Church) is located in Chaldoran district, West Azerbaijan Province, northwestern Iran, and will host Eucharist ceremonies for three days from Thursday. - 7/5/13

Rouhani Win Could Bring Dividends in Syria
Since the surprise election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran's next president, most expert commentary has focused on the potential to improve US-Iran relations and resolve the long-running dispute over Iran's nuclear program. However, the replacement of the abrasive Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by a veteran negotiator nicknamed the 'diplomat sheikh' could also provide an opportunity to ease growing sectarian tension in the region and to tamp down the civil war in Syria. -Barbara Slavin - 7/5/13

Ahmadinejad boosts maternity leave
Outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced increased maternity leave for mothers. The legislation has been implemented as part of the general policy of encouraging population growth, which the Ahmadinejad adopted in recent years. - 7/5/13

Azerbaijan Opposition Pins Hopes On Cultural Heavyweight For Presidential Vote
Surprises are hard to come by in the highly managed world of Azerbaijani elections. But Azerbaijan's opposition has already managed the first twist in what may prove an unusually lively electoral season by backing screenwriter Rustam Ibragimbekov to face off against incumbent Ilham Aliyev when the oil-rich nation votes for a president in October. -Arifa Kazimova and Daisy Sindelar, RFE - 7/5/13

Female Iranian Athlete Bucking Official Tide Over 'Record' Swim
Imagine swimming in a wet suit, a swimming cap, a scarf secured tightly around your face, and a body-covering cape -- and then being told the attire is too revealing. That's what Iranian swimmer Elham Asghari was wearing on June 11 when she swam for eight hours along the Caspian Sea coast in northern Iran... -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/4/13

Iran: Ahmadinejad administration urged to release political prisoners
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has called on the Ahmadinejad administration to make efforts to release political prisoners and leave behind a "positive legacy." Speaking to a group of student activists on July 3, Khatami said: "These things have happened during the tenure of this administration whether they wanted it or not. - 7/4/13

Iran: Opposition Figure's Health Raises Red Flags
The hospitalization of a detained opposition figure and the death of an imprisoned labor rights activist highlight the problems that prisoners in Iran face in accessing adequate medical care and regular visits, Human Rights Watch said today. - 7/4/13

Russia and Iran's Nuclear Dossier in Rouhani's Tenure: The Need for a Change
The election of Mr. Hassan Rouhani as the new president of Iran and the emphasis he has put on the "moderation" in foreign policy and "constructive interaction" with the world, are telltale signs which show the "high" probability that a major change in "methods" and approaches in Iran's foreign policy is on the horizon. -Alireza Noori - 7/4/13

Iranian woman activist released in Shiraz after 80 days
Jamila Karimi, an Iranian political activist in Shiraz, has been released after 80 days in prison. The Kaleme website reports that Karimi was arrested in April and transferred to the Ministry of Intelligence office in Shiraz. - 7/4/13

Egypt Swears in Interim President as Morsi Ouster Brings World Concern, Support
CAIRO - The chief justice of Egypt's supreme constitutional court has been named president, after the military ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi only a year into his term. -Sharon Behn, VOA - 7/4/13

Ala Ebtekar's works on display at the Migrating Identities exhibition in San Francisco
Ala Ebtekar was born to Iranian parents in 1978 in Berkeley and was raised in both the United States with frequent visits to Teheran. As a young teenager he joined the K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), working with artist Tim Rollins on collaborative artworks involving groups of urban youth. - 7/3/13

Iran's President-Elect Urges End To Meddling In Private Lives
Speaking to clerics in a televised address in Tehran on July 3, Rohani called for freeing up access to the Internet and said that state media should report about ordinary people's problems. Rohani said that "today the ground has been prepared for popular participation. The people have pinned their hopes on the future." - 7/3/13

Iranian women futsal into Asian Indoor Games final
Iran women's futsal team advanced to final match of the first Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games on Wednesday. In the match held at the Songdo Global University Campus in Incheon, South Korea, the Iranian team defeated Indonesia 4-0 in the semis. - 7/3/13

Iranian official calls for greater role for women in politics
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council, has expressed his support for the widespread participation of women in the political arena, dismissing the restrictions on their activities as "dogma." - 7/3/13

Princess Fawzia of Egypt and Iran dies at 91
Princess Fawzia, the first wife of the Shah of Iran and a daughter of King Fuad I of Egypt, has died at the age of 92, according to a member of the former royal family. Her death was reported on social media by her nephew King Fuad II, who was Egypt's last king before he was deposed in 1953, when Egypt was declared a republic. - 7/3/13

Groups Advise Iranian President-Elect Rohani On Cultural, Environmental Leaders
Sixty organizations active in the fields of cultural heritage and the environment have written a letter to president-elect Hassan Rohani with recommendations for leadership of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism and Environmental Protection Organizations. - 7/3/13

Detained Iranian opposition leader goes to hospital for heart problem
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was at Tehran's Cardiology Hospital today, where doctors saw him for heart complications. Khe Kaleme opposition website reports that Mousavi, who has been under house arrest with his wife Zahra Rahnavard since February 2011, was taken to hospital today, July 2, and Rahnavard was allowed to accompany him. - 7/3/13

Iranian News Agency Removes 'Exclusive' Interview With U.S. Official
Iran's hard-line Fars news agency has published what was billed as an "exclusive interview" with the U.S. State Department's Persian-speaking spokesman Alan Eyre, only to remove it from its website. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/3/13

Iran to face Egypt in FIVB U19 World Championship
Iran defeated Rwanda in straight sets (25-19, 25-19, 25-16) to advance to the round of sixteen of the FIVB Boys' U19 World Championship on Wednesday. The Persians will face Egypt on Wednesday, according to FIVB. - 7/3/13

Georgia Unilaterally Cancels Visa-Free Travel With Iran
TBILISI -- Georgia's Foreign Ministry says Tbilisi has revoked visa-free entry for Iranians. The ministry announced on July 2 that, effective the previous day, Iranian citizens must obtain visas to enter Georgian territory. - 7/3/13

In Russia, Ahmadinejad Says Iran Wants More Nuclear Plants
Visiting Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says his country is ready to build new nuclear power plants with the aid of Russia. The outgoing Iranian president told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a visit to Moscow on July 2 that "we can expand our cooperation and build new nuclear power plants." - 7/3/13

Why Spend $50 Billion for an Intelligence Community When AIPAC Knows Better?
The letter, which, normally reliable sources tell me, was initially drafted in the offices of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), calls for a whole new round of sanctions to be imposed against companies and countries doing business with Iran, notably in its mining, engineering and construction-based sectors, as well as other measures that will "increase the pressure on Iran in the days ahead." -Jim Lobe, Lobe Log - 7/3/13

Photos: Life in Ardeh Village, Iran
Ardeh village is about 33 kilometers to the west of the city of Rezvanshahr in the northern Iranian province of Gilan. Ardeh is located in a lush green valley with beautiful natural scenery and very warm and hospitable people. Life is simple and good in Ardeh! -Sajad Rafikhah - 7/2/13

Former Iranian president visits convicted human rights lawyer
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has visited human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is currently on leave from Evin Prison. Sotoudeh is serving a six-year sentence for "acting against national security, propaganda against the regime and membership in the Human Rights Defenders Centre." - 7/2/13

Iranian judiciary officials accused in torture, deaths get off lightly
The case against judiciary officials accused of perpetuating the torture of detainees and the death of at least three of them culminated with a mere slap on the wrist, Iranian media report. - 7/2/13

Threats Pour In from Khamenei's Appointees and Revolutionary Guards Commanders: Rohani to be Careful!
As the new administration is beginning to take shape, the Islamic Republic supreme leader's appointees and Revolutionary Guards commanders are threatening the president-elect that he will suffer "consequences" if he opposes the supreme leader. - Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 7/2/13

Volleyball: Iran defeats France in FIVB U19 World Championship
Iran earned a vital victory over France in Pool C of the FIVB Boys' U19 World Championship on Sunday. The Iranian boys defeated France in three straight sets (25-20, 25-18, 25-15) in Tijuana, Mexico. - 7/2/13

Mohammad Rahmanian to stage "Ballad of Aurash" in Canada
Celebrated Iranian director Mohammad Rahmanian will stage "The Ballad of Aurash" in Vancouver's Kay Meek Center from July 12 to 14. The full name of the play, which is written by the acclaimed director and playwright Bahram Beizaii, is "Ballad of Aurash as Performed by the Inmates of the Half-ruined Asylum of Freedom with the Look to the Drama 'Marat-Sade'". - 7/2/13

Iranian Prisoner of Conscience Said To Be Alive, Though No One Has Seen Him In Prison
Following rumors that prisoner of conscience Arash Sadeghi had died in prison, his former lawyer told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he is alive, though the lawyer refused to answer questions about whether Sadeghi had been beaten in prison. - 7/2/13

Iran: Journalist brothers transferred to prison
Khosro and Massoud Kordpour, two Iranian journalists, have been transferred to the central Mahabad Prison four months after their arrest. The journalists reportedly have been accused of "propaganda against the regime by reporting on the situation of political prisoners." - 7/2/13

Volleyball: Italy defeats Iran in FIVB World League
Italy beat Iran in a five-set match 3-2 at home (25-22, 25-20, 18-25, 15-13) Sunday night in a Pool B match in the fourth week of 2013 FIVB World League. In the match held in Sassari, Italy in front of the 4,300 fans, giant Italy exacted revenge on Iran after the world's No.3 lost to the visiting team 3-1 in Modena on Friday. - 7/2/13

Guardian Council: The Iranian Bilderberg
What the hay is a Bilderberg? Is it some kind of disease like Lou Gehrig? Actually, for people who live in the Western World, Europe and North America, it is a disease and one that they can't cure. In reality, Bilderberg is a group of influential elites which control the destiny of "their" people in Europe and North America. -Sina Alavi - 7/2/13

Ahmadinejad calls perspective of Iran-Russia ties 'very good'
Ahmadinejad, who is in Russia for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) meeting, called the conference a 'good step' to unify the member states and move towards becoming an efficient international organization. - 7/2/13

Photos: Operation Golestan!
The Iranian Red Crescent Society's relief and rescue teams participated in a preparedness program by hiking and climbing in the forest and mountain areas of the Golestan province in northern Iran. - 7/1/13

Iranian addiction clinics hampered by rising drug costs
The rising price of medical drugs has severely restrained the services offered by addiction treatment clinics. ILNA reports that the head of Addiction Prevention and Treatment has said its clinics are faced with a 60- to 80-percent increase in the price of the medical drugs they need to deliver adequate treatment. - 7/1/13

Iranian team stands first in international 2013 RoboCup
Iran's MRL team of Islamic Azad University, Qazvin Branch, Central Iran ranked first in 2013 RoboCup in Netherlands in the multi-agent simulator league. 8 teams from China, Turkey, Japan, Italy, Brazil, the US and Egypt had attended this section of the competition. - 7/1/13

Tehran Stock Exchange up 30% so far this year
The Tehran Stock Exchange main index (TEPIX) has gained around 30 percent since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2013). The TEPIX hit 43,153 on Saturday. - 7/1/13

Iranian officials nab poachers of rare panther
The head of Iran's Environment and Wildlife Watch has reported that poachers hunted down a rare Iranian panther. Latest reports indicate that from 2008 to 2011, 71 panthers were killed in Iran. Of those deaths, 70 percent were due to illegal hunting with the rest attributed to road accidents. - 7/1/13

CONFERENCE: Regional vis-a-vis Global Discourses: Contemporary Art from the Middle East
There have been limited attempts to theorise unresolved questions about definitions and regional/local forms of logic in the contemporary global art discourses. Therefore addressing these deficiencies is now timely when we see the growing interest in the different levels of the market and exhibitions and gradually in academia, ... - 7/1/13

My "Satmar": Orthodox or Ultra-Orthodox?
On Sunday June 9, 2013 a massive rally organized by The Satmar, a Chassidic Jewish community, brought more than 20.000 believers to the Federal Plaza in New York City. For me, the colorful gathering invoked distant fond memories: there they were, my erstwhile neighbors, in their 17th century garbs, listening to speeches in Yiddish that denounced the recently reinvigorated attempts of the Israeli military to draft their young Yeshiva students. -Mahmoud Sadri - 7/1/13

Iran's Messiah ensemble to perform world love songs
Messiah, an Iranian ensemble led by Assyrian conductor Honiball Yousef, will be giving a concert of world love songs at Tehran's Milad Tower on July 5. People fall in love and express their love in their own languages, Yousef said, adding that this concert is filled with love and love songs are heard in different languages here. - 7/1/13

Hossein Alizadeh and Pejman Hadadi Live in Concert in New York
Maestro Hossein Alizadeh, the Iranian Tar and Setar virtuoso, and Pejman Hadadi, one of the most innovative Iranian percussionists, will be in New York for a unique musical event. In addition to the live concert on August 3, there will be master classes/workshops for Tar and Setar (and possibly Tombak and Daf) on August 2 and August 4. - 7/1/13

Iranian director Jafar Panahi invited to join prestigious body
Iranian director Jafar Panahi has been offered membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The invitation has been offered for his films This is not a Film and The Circle. 276 artists, including Jafar Panahi, will join the Oscars academy this year. - 7/1/13

Phoenix Suns waive Hamed Haddadi
The Phoenix Suns have waived Hamed Haddadi, paying him $200,000 rather than letting a $1.4 salary for 2013-14. Haddadi was acquired February 21 along with a second-round pick from the Toronto Raptors for Sebastian Telfair. - 7/1/13
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