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Website lists hardships of Evin's female political prisoners
Iranian opposition website reports that a majority of female political prisoners in Tehran's Evin Prison are being denied any furloughs. Kaleme website reports that 17 of the 25 female political prisoners in Evin have never been granted a temporary leave since the beginning of their incarceration. - 8/31/13

Hundreds of Iranians call for university president to be fired
Hundreds of students and alumni of Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran have called for the removal of university president Sadreddin Shariati. In a letter addressed to Iran's new president, Hassan Rohani, the students criticize Shariati's policies, which they summarize as "gender segregation, the promotion of disciplinary committees, a decline in academic quality, dogmatism, suspensions and the dismissal or forced retirement of professors." - 8/31/13

Iranian Foreign Minister Discusses Syria -- On Facebook
In an unprecedented move, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has initiated a debate over the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria on Facebook. On August 30, Zarif posted some questions and thoughts, first in Persian and later in English, that prompted hundreds of reactions and comments from his more than 95,000 Facebook followers. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/31/13

I'd Love To Play For Iran: Braunschweig's Goalkeeper Daniel
Braunschweig goalkeeper Daniel Davari has admitted he would love to play for Iran football team. The 25-year-old year was invited to Iran football team in March in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification but failed to make his debut against Kuwait. - 8/31/13

Iran's Plan To Sue U.S. Over 1953 Coup A Nonstarter, Experts Say
Iran's parliament approved a bill this week that requires the government to sue the United States over its role in the 1953 coup that overthrew the country's democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/31/13

Iran's Guards Commander warns of regional consequences of US attack on Syria
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari has warned against the regional consequences of a US military attack on Syria. "The US opinion about its ability to limit a military intervention to Syria is nothing more than an illusion. The reactions will go beyond Syrian borders," Jafari said on Saturday. - 8/31/13

US: Iran Can't Access Much Oil Income
The U.S. has concluded that nearly half of Iran's monthly earnings from crude oil exports are accumulating in accounts overseas because of sanctions that restrict Tehran's access to the money. The senior U.S. official also disclosed a previously unreleased government estimate that crude oil revenues have fallen 58 percent since late 2011 because of sanctions. The revenues averaged an estimated $8 billion a month in the first half of 2011, then fell to $6.3 billion in the first half of 2012 and an estimated $3.4 billion monthly in the first half of 2013, according to the assessment. -AP - 8/31/13

Ahmadinejad administration accused of "illegal" money transfer
Akbar Torkan, the chief aide to President Hassan Rohani, says it was "illegal" for 160 billion rials to be transferred from presidential coffers to the newly established Iranian University, which is linked to former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. - 8/31/13

Hypocrisy and Legacy of Death Linger as US Claims Moral Authority in Syria
US slams "chemical weapons" in Syria while being a serial user of weapons widely condemned by the global community. -Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams - 8/31/13

Photos: Dress code crackdown underway in Tehran
Tehran's Morality Police have become more active in confronting citizens for violating codes of appropriate dress. ISNA reports that a larger number of Morality Police personnel have been seen across the city, especially in the recreation centres such as Farahzad, Darband, Darekeh, Lavasan and Tochal. - 8/30/13

U.S.-Iran Rapprochement: Over Before It Started?
A U.S.-led military attack on Syria will inevitably cause collateral damage, and one casualty could be rising optimism for rapprochement between Tehran and Washington... any military action would strengthen the position of Iran's hard-liners, who oppose talks with the United States and could drown out voices of moderation within Iran if Syria is attacked. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 8/30/13

Iran's Foreign Ministry Appoints First Female Spokesperson
Mohammad Javad Zarif has announced that Marzieh Afkham will be the new spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry. President Hassan Rohani had promised to include more women in his administration saying: "This is by no means doing women a favour but rather their legal and natural right." - 8/30/13

Iranian Parliament Passes Bill To Sue Washington Over 1953 Coup
The Iranian parliament has approved a bill calling on the government to take legal action against the United States for its role in the 1953 coup in Tehran. The bill, passed on August 27, calls for "political and legal investigation" into the coup that toppled Iran's democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. - 8/30/13

Jailed Iranian Student Activist Gets First Furlough
Majid Dori, a jailed Iranian student activist who was arrested in the election protests of 2009, has been given his first furlough since first being arrested. Dori, who has been expelled from university for his activism, was arrested four years ago and sentenced to six years in jail. - 8/30/13

Iran's first fertility center via 'telemedicine' network to kick off
Dr. Maghrebi explained that there are 50 fertility centers currently operating in the country and based on statistics around 15% of married couples are infertile, therefore such centers are perfect places for these couples to take advantage of. - 8/30/13

Push for Military Action on Syria Appears to Slow
The drive for a quick military response to reports of a chemical weapons attack in Syria appears to be slowing, as legislators in the United States and Britain make clear they are in no hurry to become involved in another Middle East conflict. -Kate Pound Dawson, VOA - 8/30/13

Tour Iran? Operators Hope So
At the top of the agenda of Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, is fixing the country's crumbling economy, and promoting international tourism is part of his solution. Mr. Rouhani wants the number of foreign visitors to more than double, to 10 million from 4 million, each year... -NY Times - 8/30/13

BOOK: Independence without Freedom: Iran's Foreign Policy
Ruhi Ramazani is widely considered the dean of Iranian foreign policy study, having spent the past sixty years studying and writing about the country's international relations. In Independence without Freedom, Ramazani draws together twenty of his most insightful and important articles and book chapters, with a new introduction and afterword, which taken together offer compelling evidence that the United States and Iran will not go to war. - 8/29/13

What Message Did Sultan Qaboos Convey to Iran?
Every time that the names of Oman and its monarch, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, have hit the headlines in mainstream international media, there has been invariably a problem between Iran and the United States. Sultan Qaboos has so far managed to help with the resolution of a number of these problems and has emerged as a successful mediator in this regard. -Interview with Siavash Zargar Yaqoubi, Iran's Former Ambassador to Oman - 8/29/13

Volleyball: Iran shut out Egypt to become the first team to qualify for U21 World Championship quarterfinals
Iran defeated Egypt by 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-11) to become the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Ankara. The Asian team took 74 minutes to seal their superiority over the North African side who now have to make their way to Izmir and fight for the ninth place. - 8/29/13

Military adventure in Mideast would cause irreparable damage: Iranian President
Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Wednesday expressed deep concern about the unfolding developments in the Middle East, saying that the people in the region cannot tolerate a new war. - 8/29/13

Column: US Strike on Syria Could Be Prelude to Diplomacy
The apparent U.S. decision to strike Syria for what appears to have been a wide-scale and lethal use of chemical weapons on a Damascus suburb is in keeping with the Obama doctrine of selected use of force for carefully defined reasons. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 8/29/13

US Appeals to New Iranian President for Release of 3 Americans
The United States has issued an appeal to Iran's new president, asking for his help in returning three Americans to their families after lengthy detentions in the Islamic Republic. - 8/29/13

Iran dismisses Western reports on Parchin military site
Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi has dismissed as "unscientific" recent reports by Western media regarding Iran's Parchin military site. "Some Western media outlets are trying to affect public opinion regarding the issue and capitalize on public unawareness to level accusations against Iran," he said. - 8/29/13

Iran's Supreme Leader warns intervention in Syria will be catastrophic
Iran's Supreme Leader said on Wednesday August 28 that "U.S. intervention" in the Syrian conflict would be "a catastrophe that would cause an explosion in the region like a spark in a gunpowder store with unpredictable repercussions stretching in every direction." - 8/29/13

IAEA: Iran Expands Nuclear Capacity, Delays Sensitive Reactor
VIENNA - Iran plans to test about 1,000 advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges it has completed installing, a U.N. nuclear report showed, a move likely to worry Western capitals hoping for a change of course under the country's new president. -Reuters - 8/29/13

Photos: Performance of Street Theatre in the City of Lahijan in Northern Iran
The Citizen Theater Festival is being held in the town of Lahijan in the province of Gilan in northern Iran on August 26, 2013. Theatre groups from across Iran are participating in the event. These photos show the street performances by some of the troupes. - 8/28/13

Iran overpowers Mexico at FIVB U21 World Championships
The Iranian national junior team has registered its fourth consecutive victory at the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Turkey and advanced into the second round (Round of 16) on top of the pool ranking. - 8/28/13

Iranian-American Christian Convert's 8-Year Sentence Upheld
Iranian-American Christian convert Saeed Abedini's eight-year prison sentence has been upheld, and his wife told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that none of the objections they made in court were taken into account. - 8/28/13

Mehregan, The Ancient Persian Harvest Festival of Autumn, in Campbell, California
Pars Equality Center will be hosting a Mehregan Festival on Sunday, September 29th from 4:00-8:00 pm at the Orchard City Banquet Hall at the Campbell Community Center. This event will be fun for families and expose you and your children to Mehregan and Persian traditions. - 8/28/13

Iran to export $60B of gas to Oman in 25 years
Iran and Oman have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) according to which Oman will buy around $60 billion worth of natural gas from Iran during 25 years. The two sides have come to terms to build a pipeline for the export of Iranian gas to the Persian Gulf Arab state within two years. - 8/28/13

The war on Iran Syria
As the United States, along with its European and Israeli allies, prepares to launch yet another illegal war of aggression in the Middle East, the geopolitics of the US strategy could not be more apparent. -Eric Draitser, RT - 8/28/13

Iran replaces ambassador to UN nuclear watchdog
Reza Najafi was appointed by the new Iranian administration to represent Iran at the UN nuclear watchdog. Najafi has served as head of Political and International Affairs as well as head of Disarmament and International Security at the foreign ministry. - 8/28/13

US Melting Pot Adds Flavor to Ice Cream
With a 34-year history, Iranian American Mashti Shirvani makes Persian-style ice cream at Mashti Malone's Ice Cream shop. "I do the old-fashioned way when I make any food anything," Shirvani said. "I don't measure it. Just my eyes and my hand." -Elizabeth Lee - 8/28/13

In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail U.N. Probe
After initially insisting that Syria give United Nations investigators unimpeded access to the site of an alleged nerve gas attack, the administration of President Barack Obama reversed its position on Sunday and tried unsuccessfully to get the U.N. to call off its investigation. -Gareth Porter, IPS - 8/28/13

UN Official Urges Iran to Sway Syria Government on Peace Talks
A top U.N. official visiting Iran has urged it to use its influence to persuade the Syrian government to attend planned peace talks with opposition groups in Geneva, the United Nations said on Tuesday. -Reuters - 8/28/13

Iran's Natural Heritage: A Catalyst Symposium to Spark Measurable Change
A natural forest logged and reduced to scrub or a productive wetland reclaimed to arable land is as much a loss of heritage as a listed building reduced to rubble. We not only draw aesthetic sustenance from our natural heritage, it is the basic element from which we derive our food, raw materials and the very oxygen we breathe. - 8/27/13

7th Annual Festival Of Cheetah Conservation Day To Be Held In Tehran
August 31st has been named as Asiatic Cheetah Day in Iran. On this day in 1994 a cheetah cub was rescued from environmentally unaware people after having lost her mother and two siblings at a waterhole in central Iran. Since then, numerous programs have been organized in various parts of Iran each year to educate the public about this endangered specie. - 8/27/13

Iran-US Negotiation: Washington Should Show Goodwill, Build Confidence with Tehran
Management of Iran's relations with the United States has been one of the important issues, and perhaps the most important issue, in the Islamic Republic of Iran's foreign policy since the Islamic Establishment came into being, up to the present time. -Seyed Jalal Dehqani Firouzabadi - 8/27/13

Pollution protests in Zanjan lead to closure of metals factory
Citizens of Zanjan have succeeded in their protest against the pollution caused by a lead and zinc factory, with the provincial authorities announcing its closure. The announcement concludes that the shutdown order was issued following the residents' demands to transfer the factory's work. - 8/27/13

Iran: First FM spokeswoman, Female Ambassador To Be Named Soon
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi Tuesday announced that the countrys first ever spokeswoman and female ambassador will be appointed soon. Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference, he said The next spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry is a female who will be introduced by next week. - 8/27/13

Iran's Parliament to take legal action against US over 1953 coup
Iranian parliamentarians have approved fast tracking debate on a bill that seeks to sue the United States for its involvement in the 1953 coup d'etat against the democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq. - 8/27/13

Syria Says UN Site Visit Postponed Until Wednesday
Russia and Iran are warning of the drastic consequences for the region that would come with an outside military attack on Syria. The foreign ministries from each country made the statements Tuesday, a after officials from the United States, Britain, France and Turkey discussed the possibility of taking action in response to the chemical weapons allegations against Syria. - 8/27/13

Hojjatollah Ayyubi to helm Iran Cinema Organization
Hojjatollah Ayyubi, former director of the Economic Cooperation Organization's Cultural Institute, has been appointed the director of the Iran Cinema Organization. The organization is Iran's highest state body for making policy in cinematic affairs. The position was held by Javad Shamaqdari, who was famous for his 'anti-Western' inclination. - 8/27/13

Jailed Iranian Web Designer Dodges Death Sentence
Saeed Malekpour, an engineering student from Sanati Sharif University and a software designer, was accused of developing pornographic websites. He was arrested in September of 2008 when travelling to Iran from Canada and has been in jail since then. - 8/27/13

Rowhani the Decision Shaper
The election of Hassan Rowhani has brought a new sense of optimism to the international community. The Iranians are suddenly making the right sounds. And even Congress, after years of increasing hawkishness, briefly changed its tone as over a hundred lawmakers called for dialogue with Iran. -National Interest - 8/27/13

Iran: Controversial university head announces full gender separation
Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran has announced that in the coming academic year, all classes at the undergraduate level will be held separately for male and female students. - 8/26/13

Iran v-ballers outclass Japan in U21 World Championship
Iran's national junior volleyball team continues its winning streak at the group stage of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Turkey with a spectacular victory over Japan. In an exciting and competitive game at Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara on Sunday, the Iranian team defeated the Japanese side 3-0 (28-26, 29-27, 25-18) to stay on top of the pool ranking. - 8/26/13

US gave Saddam blessing to use toxins against Iranians
As Washington ponders over whether to hammer Damascus over unidentified use of toxic agents in Syria, declassified CIA documents reveal that 25 years ago the US actually indulged ruthless Saddam Hussein to use chemical warfare gases in war with Iran. -RT - 8/26/13

Hundreds of Iranian activists call for release of ill jailed blogger
395 Iranian activists have issued a letter calling for the unconditional release of jailed blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki. Ronaghi Maleki is suffering from severe kidney problems and other health issues and is reportedly in need of regular medical care. - 8/26/13

FOOTBALL: Iran's training camp in Portugal cancelled due to lack of funds
The Iranian Footfall Federation (IFF) announced that the training camp which was supposed to be held in Portugal has been cancelled due to lack of funds. "We tried to arrange the training camp but it's impossible due to lack of money," Mehr News Agency quoted head of IFF Ali Kaffashian as saying on Sunday. - 8/26/13

'Heart' Of Iranian Identity Reimagined For A New Generation
A thousand years ago, a Persian poet named Abolqasem Ferdowsi of Tous obtained a royal commission to put the ancient legends and myths of Iran into a book of verse. He called this epic Shahnameh, or "Epic of the Persian Kings." It took him more than three decades and comprises 60,000 couplets - twice the length of The Iliad and The Odyssey combined. -Jacki Lyden, NPR - 8/26/13

Travelling Muslims experience the 'Miranda' Treatment
Way back in 2001 when I was arrested and held by the Taliban for 10 days I was also thrust into the limelight and it is not a position most journalists seek or desire, so I felt a great deal of sympathy for Miranda and his partner, The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. -Yvonne Ridley - 8/26/13

Turkey's Cautious Steps to Improve Ties with Iran
Turkey is currently grappling in its domestic politics with widespread popular protests in a number of Turkish cities. Also, on a regional level, Ankara is dealing with the aftermath of another crisis in its southern neighbor, Syria, and is also looking for ways to give a proper response to the demands of its own Kurdish population. -Siamak Kakaei - 8/26/13

UN to Visit Alleged Damascus Chemical Attack Site Monday
United Nations inspectors are expected to gain access Monday to the site of a major suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian capital. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said hours before the team was due to begin its work that the mission's success could deter the future use of chemical weapons in Syria and elsewhere. - 8/26/13

Some 84.5 percent of young Iranians in favor of temporary marriage
Some 84.5 percent of Iranians aged 18 to 29 years are in favor of temporary marriage, Iranian Shargh newspaper reported citing Iran's Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry's study. According to the study which has conducted tests among 3000 young people of Iran's 14 cities, about 62.9 percent of Iranian youth avoid temporary marriage due to fear of bad reputation. -Trend - 8/26/13

Iran boosts iron exports to China, India as oil sales slump
Iran is raising its exports of iron ore and iron products to China and India in an attempt to replace at least a small part of the massive revenue that has been lost due to sanctions on its oil sales. -Reuters - 8/26/13

Iran's President Rouhani officially welcomes Omani ruler
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has officially welcomed Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, at the head of a high-ranking delegation. The official ceremony started at Sa'dabad Cultural Complex in Tehran on Sunday after the national anthems of the two countries were played and the two sides reviewed a guard of honor. - 8/25/13

New Iran's Central Bank chief calls exchange rate "reasonable"
Valiollah Seif has been appointed as the new head of Iran`s Central Bank, Iranian media reported on Sunday August 25. The appointment was approved by the new president, Hassan Rohani, as well as ministers of the Economy and Industry. - 8/25/13

Crossing red line on Syria will have severe consequences, Iran warns U.S.
"The United States knows the boundaries of the red line of the Syrian front and any crossing of the red line on Syria will have severe consequences for the White House," the deputy chief of the general staff of Iran's armed forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, said on Sunday in reference to recent hawkish remarks on Syria by U.S. officials. - 8/25/13

Iranian artist Mehdi Saeedi wins top award at US contest
Iranian graphic designer Mehdi Saeedi has garnered top award at the 2013 poster competition of Graphis, the American International Journal of Visual Communication Magazine. Saeedi was honored with a golden award for his poster 'Child Labor' in the Professional Services Category of the contest. - 8/25/13

Tehran Allows Test Run Of Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center
Tehran has issued a licence for the establishment of the city's first alcohol rehabilitation centre. ISNA reports that the head of the Public Health Department's Addiction Prevention Centre announced that the licence is for a pilot project for the treatment of alcoholics. - 8/25/13

Iran's Petropars to implement Phase 11 of South Pars development plan as foreign firms pull out
Iran's Petropars Company will implement Phase 11 of the South Pars gas field development project as France's Total, Malaysia's Petronas, and China's CNPC have pulled out of the project, IRNA reported. Phase 11 is projected to yield 2 billion cubic feet of sour gas and 80,000 barrels of as condensates per day. - 8/25/13

Photos: New Iranian Culture Minister Holds Meeting With Artists, Musicians
Iran's new Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati held a meeting with a large group of artists and cultural figures at Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Thursday. Master of calligraphy Gholamhossein Amirkhani, veteran stage actor Iraj Raad, musician Hamidreza Nurbakhsh, publisher Nader Qadyani, and Managing Director of Ettela'at newspaper Hojjatoleslam Mahmud Doaii were the representatives who spoke at the ceremony - 8/24/13

Iran v-ballers defeat Argentina in U21 World Championship
The Iranian national junior volleyball team has registered its second straight victory at the group stage of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Turkey. The Iranians shut out the Argentine side by 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-18) at the Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara on Friday, and pleased the numerous Iranian fans on the stands. - 8/24/13

U.S. Sanctions Derail Iranian Tennis Referee's Tournament Plans
Adel Borghei says sports and politics shouldn't be mixed and still hopes that the "wrong decision" will be reversed and he will be able to work at the U.S. Open in New York before it ends on September 9. - 8/24/13

Iranian Discus Thrower Ehsan Hadadi Wins Silver At Diamond League
Iranian discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi claimed a silver medal at the Diamond League meet held in Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday. The Iranian finished in second place with a throw of 63.64m. - 8/24/13

Iran football finishes 2nd in Asian Youth Games
The Iran U-14 football team lost to South Korea on Friday at the final match of the Asian Youth Games (AYG). In the match held at the Jiangning Sports Center in Nanjing, China, the Iranian outfit was defeated by the Korean team 1-0. Kim Jungmin scored the lone goal of the game two minutes into the second half. - 8/24/13

Alarm sounded over nursing shortage in Iran
A member of Iran's regulatory body for nursing has warned of a shortage of nurses in Iranian hospitals, adding that "the decline in the quality of nursing" is compromising the lives of patients. - 8/24/13

Rohani condemns chemical weapons use in Syria
Iranian president Hassan Rohani condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria, expressing grave concern for that country's people. "That the conditions dominating Syria led to the martyrdom of innocent people through chemical weapons is very distressing," Rohani said. - 8/24/13

Obama Weighing Options on Syria
WHITE HOUSE - Russia and China are joining international calls for an investigation into an alleged poison gas attack in a suburb of Syria's capital, as U.S. President Barack Obama said the reported incident is of "grave concern." - 8/24/13

Iran: The death of a musical colonel
Here is a story about another former Iranian colonel. Unlike other men of war, he loves to play the tar. However, after the Islamic revolution, the colonel was removed from duty and he could not even play the tar or give lessons because it was prohibited under the Islamic rules after the revolution. -The Typewriter - 8/24/13

Afghans Rally Against Iranian Interference In Herat
Activists in Afghanistan's western province of Herat have protested against what they see as the Iranian interference in the region. The demonstration attracted scores of political activists, clerics, and tribal leaders in the provincial capital on August 23. - 8/24/13

Photos: Tehran museum displays works of Saqqakhaneh Movement artists
An exhibition displaying works of a number of major artists of the Saqqakhaneh Movement, an artistic movement that began in Iran during the 1960s, opened during a ceremony at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMOCA) on Tuesday. - 8/23/13

After Forty Years!
Forty years ago, as the US launched its air bombardments of Vietnam, a forty two year old man and his one-year old son fled to the nearby jungles. Last week they were "found" by a farmer. Today, the man is eighty two years old and his son is forty one. They survived in the trees by eating wild fruits and vegetables. Both looked very run down. -A satire by Ebrahim Nabavi - 8/23/13

Iranian FM: US should seek win-win game
"If the US is seeking a game at the international scene whose sum is zero, both the US and the other side are losers," Mohammad Javad Zarif said, adding, "We need to perceive this reality and force others to perceive that the foreign policy is a game whose sum is positive and it is a win-win game." - 8/23/13

Mother of jailed Iranian activist joins his hunger strike
Zoleikha Mousavi, the mother of jailed Iranian activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, has begun a hunger strike to protest her son's situation in prison and to echo his own hunger strike. Hossein Ronaghi Maleki went on hunger strike because prison authorities refuse to give him sick leave to treat his kidney problem. - 8/23/13

A View From Inside Iran: What Sanctions Do to Real People
For about 10 days, I have been in Tehran visiting family. In my short time here, I have already heard about and seen the painful consequences of sanctions. Sanctions against Iran are doing great harm to an economic system that ordinary Iranians rely on to make a living, and are also indirectly increasing health and safety risks. -Amir Salehzadeh, Policymic - 8/23/13

Iran plans a strong return to oil markets: Oil Minister
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says the country will soon increase its oil exports in defiance of restrictions imposed on the Islamic Republic's energy sector. "Production capacity and output are the primary factors that elevate the status of countries in international markets, [thus] Iran's oil production capacity must return to the 2005 level in six to seven months," Zanganeh said on Friday. - 8/23/13

Iranian Navy dispatches 27th fleet to high seas
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari lauded the naval capabilities of the country, and said Iran sent the Navy 27th Fleet to high seas in a bid to provide security of trade crafts and tankers of the country. - 8/23/13

White Room Covered in Farsi Calligraphy Reflects Identity of an Immigrant
Germany-based Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar covers white walls and floors with black script in Farsi for her ongoing series known as Written Room. Each of her site-specific installations, which have been exhibited across the world since 1999, redefines an empty space with her decorative handwriting that is both visually pleasing, architecturally transformative, and deeply interpretive. -My Modern Met - 8/23/13

Iran seeks quick launch of five South Pars gas field phases: Oil Minister
"We have special focus on commissioning phases 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of South Pars, and we will utilize all available equipment and capacities to bring these phases on stream as soon as possible," Zanganeh stated during a visit to Phase 12 of South Pars gas field in Assalouyeh -- located some 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) south of Tehran -- on Thursday. - 8/23/13

Analysis: Iran's supreme leader does not rule supreme
U.S. President Barack Obama has twice written to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei believing that he, not the president, holds ultimate power in the Islamic Republic and the key to unlocking the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. -Reuters - 8/23/13

Photos: Iranians call for peace
The conference focused on how everybody from every religion can play a role in helping bring about peace. Religious leaders from the main religions in Iran from Christianity to Islam also took part. But the list also included Iran's renowned actors. - 8/22/13

Cyrus Cylinder U.S. Tour Culminates At The Getty Villa This Fall
On loan from the British Museum, The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning will conclude its highly successful U.S. tour at the Getty Villa beginning October 2 and continuing through December 2, 2013. The tour began in the nation's capital at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, before its final showing in Los Angeles. - 8/22/13

Column: Iran a Bright Spot in a Bleak Middle East?
In the midst of this bleak picture, however, there is one potential bright spot: Iran. With the switch in presidents from the provocative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the sober technocrat, Hassan Rouhani, there is a real chance to de-escalate the nuclear crisis and keep the United States out of another major war in the Middle East. Potentially, Iran could also help lower the temperature in Syria and Lebanon. - Barbara Slavin, VOA - 8/22/13

Iranian heart surgeons competitive with developed countries
On the sidelines of the 6th International Razavi Cardiovascular Congress in Mashad, capital of the Razavi Khorasan province, Professor Sotiris Parapas told IRNA on Wednesday, I have travelled to Mashad more than 10 times so far and every year, I witness great progress concerning modern equipment and possibilities of the Mashad Ultra-Specialist Heart Hospital. - 8/22/13

In A First, Top Iranian Government Official Admits To Being On Facebook
It was a small step for Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, but it could be a giant leap for Internet users in the Islamic republic, who have long fought against online censorship. The U.S.-educated Zarif acknowledged on August 14 that he and his family maintain a fan page on Facebook, the social-media site that the Iranian government blocks. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/22/13

Desertification in Esfahan Province brings pollution problems
Quemars Kalantari, the head of Iranian province of Esfahan, announced that the evaporation of the Gavekhoni Lagoon has turned the area into "a source of dust particles and air pollution in the province." Kalantari told IRNA that the drying up of the Zayandeh River has had a similar effect on the lagoon, which has led to other devastating consequences. - 8/22/13

Iranian football team into Asian Youth Games final
The Iran U-14 football team edged Iraq 1-0 on Wednesday to advance to the final match of the Asian Youth Games (AYG) on Wednesday. The Iranian outfit previously defeated Indonesia (4-0), Hong Kong (5-0), Saudi Arabia (5-0), and Vietnam (2-1) in the event. - 8/22/13

Airbnb Disables Iranian's Account Amid Sanctions Caution
While Mr. Shafi was providing feedback on Airbnb's website, an unrelated verification prompt popped up, asking him to provide a form of identification, he said. He scanned and uploaded his Iranian passport, because that was the first thing he grabbed, and logged out a little while later after completing the comment. -Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ - 8/22/13

Who Is Ali Khamenei?: The Worldview of Iran's Supreme Leader
In June, Hassan Rouhani was elected president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Rouhani ran as a reform candidate, and many have interpreted his victory as a harbinger of a possible liberalization or rationalization of Iranian domestic and foreign policy. But the dominant figure in Iranian politics is not the president but rather the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. -Akbar Ganji, Foreign Affairs - 8/22/13

Sanctions Against Iran Mean a Tennis Referee Can't Work at the Open
In May, the Iranian tennis referee Adel Borghei received confirmation that he had secured a coveted slot at the United States Open. "Congratulations," the letter started. Borghei booked his travel, obtained a visa and worked several other tournaments until he arrived in the United States. -Greg Bishop, NY Times - 8/22/13

Iran's Envoy to IAEA to Leave Post
Iran's envoy to the U.N. atomic agency will leave his post next month, in what may be a further sign of new President Hassan Rouhani's desire for a fresh start with the outside world over its disputed nuclear program. -Reuters - 8/22/13

"Barbaric US-led sanctions killing Iranian children": Dr. Alireza Marandi
In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, President of Iran's Academy of Medical Sciences Dr. Alireza Marandi has blasted Washington for exacting sadistic revenge on Iranian children through their inhuman sanctions against the nation. - 8/21/13

An Instant Fan Favorite: Arsalan Kazemi
In a city notorious for fanatic sports fans, Philadelphians are excited about Arsalan Kazemi, the first Iranian born basketball player to be drafted in the NBA. The twenty-three year-old second round draft pick out of the University of Oregon was selected by the Washington Wizards and immediately after traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. He led the Oregon Ducks to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament and as a four year collegiate athlete he led the nation in rebounding. - 8/21/13

Academic Agency Advises Iranian President On University Reforms
In a letter to President Hassan Rohani, the Iranian Academy of Sciences is calling for an end to the critical state of universities and the security-laden atmosphere dominating the higher-education system. - 8/21/13

'Special Circumstances' Behind Dearth Of Women In Iran's Cabinet
Iran's new president apparently has an answer for those who have criticized the lack of women in his cabinet: They aren't up to the task. Speaking at the Interior Ministry in Tehran on August 19, President Hassan Rohani provided some insight into what prevented him from nominating or appointing women to top posts in his government. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 8/21/13

Photos: Tepe Zagheh Early Urban Settlement In Qazvin, Iran
Tepe Zagheh is located c. 60km south of Qazvin city and 140km west of Tehran in Qazvin plain on the Central Plateau of Iran. The site covers 210m x 145m (c. 4ha), with nearly 6m of occupation deposits. The chronology of the site is debated. Malek Shahmirzadi (1977) has argued that the lower phase of Zagheh corresponds to the Archaic Plateau period (Pottery Neolithic), earlier than 6000 BC... - 8/21/13

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Should Honor Voters' Demand for Human Rights
In a briefing paper released today, Fulfilling Promises: A Human Rights Roadmap for Rouhani, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran details ongoing human rights violations occurring under the purview of nine separate ministries that are under the authority of the president, and provides recommendations he can implement to put an end to these violations. - 8/21/13

President Rouhani will swiftly revive Iran's key planning body
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani plans to reestablish the Management and Planning Organization (MPO), six years after the controversial dissolution of the strategic body, a presidential aide says. - 8/21/13

Iranian filmmaker killed while documenting Syrian conflict
An Iranian documentary filmmaker was killed this week by opposition forces in Syria. The Mehr News Agency reports that Hadi Baghbani, an Iranian reporter and documentary filmmaker, was killed in "conflicts with the terrorists in the suburbs of Damascus." - 8/21/13

Iran's President Still Undecided on His Nuclear Negotiator
President Hassan Rouhani is still deciding who will lead talks with world powers on Iran's nuclear program, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, more than two months after the moderate cleric was elected. -Reuters - 8/21/13

Cornered Hamas Looks to Iran, Hezbollah
Stunned by turmoil in neighboring Egypt and starved of funds, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas is looking to repair damaged ties with its traditional Middle East allies, Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah party. -Reuters - 8/21/13

Preparations have been made for Iranian President's New York visit
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday that all preparations have been made for Iranian President Hassan Rohani's visit to New York in September. Everything has been arranged for President Rohanis visit to New York in September to participate in the United Nations General Assembly session, Araqchi told reporters during his weekly press briefing. - 8/20/13

Iran's Bloody Decade of 1980s
During July-September of 1988 thousands of political prisoners were executed in Iran. Although some executions continued beyond September 1988, the bulk of them happened during the three month period. The executions were neither the first - both before and after the Revolution - nor the last of such criminal events. -Muhammad Sahimi - 8/20/13

Rohani vows government to be more inclusive of various groups
At the inauguration ceremony for Iran's new administration, President Hassan Rohani announced that the executive will enlist the power of Iran's ethnic and religious minorities as well the country's women and youth. - 8/20/13

Iran's inflation rate hits 37.5%: Central Bank
The Central Bank of Iran has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ended the fourth Iranian calendar month of Tir (July 22, 2013) compared to the same period in the previous year hit 37.5 percent. This is while the Statistical Center of Iran had put the figure at 33.9 percent - 8/20/13

Rooz Talks to Karbaschi: Our Demands Are the Promises Rowhani Has Made
The rejection of three of Hassan Rowhani's cabinet ministers by the Majlis, which has been promoting the idea of its cooperation with the new administration and other current issues were the subject of Rooz's talk with former mayor of Tehran and the current secretary general of the Kargozaran Sazandeghi (Agents of Reconstruction) party Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi. -Fereshteh Ghazi - 8/20/13

Iran regrets Azerbaijan's destruction of Persian poet inscriptions
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araqchi has expressed his profound regret over Azerbaijan's alleged move to destroy all tiles bearing Persian inscription in Nezami Ganjavi's mausoleum located in the Azeri city of Ganja. - 8/20/13

Jailed Iranian lawyer released, journalist gets furlough
Javid Houtan Kian, a jailed Iranian lawyer, was released on Monday August 19 after three years in prison. Also, jailed Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi was given a furlough on Sunday August 18. - 8/20/13

Putting Rivalries Aside, All Main Kurdish Parties To Meet For First Time
Across the four countries where most of the world's Kurds live, competing ideologies and rivalries have prevented the emergence of a single unified Kurdish movement. That has suited the governments of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, which have fanned Kurdish rivalries in the past because they don't want an independent Kurdish state carved out of their territories. -Ron Synovitz, RFE - 8/20/13

Iran's Unavoidable Influence Over Afghanistan's Future
Iran has positioned itself as an important regional actor in Central Asia and is committed to playing a role in neighboring Afghanistan. As U.S. troops draw down their numbers in Afghanistan, Washington should consider how improved U.S.-Iranian relations could further long-term U.S. policy goals in Afghanistan and in the region. -Martha Brill Olcott, Carnegie Endowment - 8/20/13

Waging Economic Warfare, Militarily Encircling Iran Won't Work
The moral of the story is two-fold. First, international bullying is not likely to render cooperation from the Iranians on the nuclear program. Second, Washington ought to stop waging economic warfare, militarily encircling Iran, and edging to the brink of war just to maintain control over the oil resources of the Middle East - because after all, that's what the Iran policy is about...not some implausible claim that it represents a threat (it doesn't). -John Glaser, - 8/20/13

CONFERENCE: The 19 August 1953 Sixty Years On: The Fall Of Mossadegh Revisited
6th - 7th September 2013 at The University of Manchester - The 19 August 1953 (28 Mordad 1332) continues to be one of the most discussed moments of modern Iranian history. Sixty years on, historians' opinions about the reasons for the downfall of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh are divided. - 8/20/13

CIA Admits Role In 1953 Iran Coup Against Democratically-Elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq
Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup. - 8/19/13

Interview with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: "It's US Turn to Show Political Resolve"
The new Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is taking over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran from his predecessor, Ali Akbar Salehi, at a time that the entire Middle East and North Africa from Syria to Egypt, from Tunisia to Libya, and also from Bahrain to Iraq and Lebanon, are grappling with various political and security crises. -Iranian Diplomacy - 8/19/13

Iranian charity provides medical care to refugee children
MAHAK is a non-profit, non-political, and non-governmental charity focused on treating children with cancer. It uses the most up-to-date diagnostic, treatment and prevention methods, with both outpatient and in-patient services. It provides chemotherapy, medication, lab tests, radiation therapy, CT scan, transportation and family counseling - all without regard to religion, race or nationality of patients. -Sharareh Jalali - 8/19/13

SINA Announces its 2013 Four Outstanding Achievers and Eight Hall of Fame Members
Spirit of Iranian Noted Achievers (SINA) announced today (August 5th) its 2013 outstanding achievers and Hall of Fame inductees. The honorees will be recognized during the international SINA Day conference to be held Oct. 12 at the Harvard University Science Center. - 8/19/13

Extremism harmful to national interests: Iranian President
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has described extremism as harmful to the country's national interests, reiterating that his 'foresight and hope' administration does not believe in political partisanship. "I regard extremism as harmful for the country's national interests and even for the Islamic Umma (community) and international security," Rouhani said Monday during a ceremony to introduce new Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli. - 8/19/13

Iran's lawmakers denounce 1953 coup led by US, UK
Iranian lawmakers have slammed the "shameful and inhumane" 1953 coup against the government of then Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq by the United States and Britain. The Iranian lawmakers also criticized Britain for orchestrating the 1921 coup d'etat that led to the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1925. - 8/19/13

FM Underlines Iran's Readiness to Hold Targeted, Time-Limited Talks with Powers
Iran's newly-appointed Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a phone conversation with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton stressed Tehran's readiness to hold targeted negotiations with the world powers within the framework of a definite time limit. - 8/19/13

Iranian director Reza Gamini honored in Locarno film festival
Locarno International Film Festival has honored an Iranian director as it was celebrating its 66th edition. Reza Gamini, an Iranian director, was warmly welcomed and lauded by jury members of the event for his 'Endorphin' in the short films section. - 8/19/13

Iranian Ministry Reverses Ahmadinejad's Controversial Appointment
The Ministry of Co-ops, Labour and the Social Security Organization has announced that Saeed Mortazavi will not be a board member of the social welfare office. Saeed Mortazavi's connection with the Social Security Fund has been the cause of overt controversy because of his link to the death of detainees at Kahrizak Prison. - 8/19/13

Genocide and its relationship to Human Rights
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic eradication or mass killing of a group or large population identified by the perpetrators. It is the large- scale violation of human rights. -12Petals Media Group - 8/19/13

Egypt Seen as Graveyard of Islamist Ambitions for Power
As the army ruthlessly crushes the Muslim Brotherhood on the streets of Cairo, having swept away its elected president, Egypt is being painted as the graveyard of the Arab Spring and of Islamist hopes of shaping the region's future. -Reuters - 8/19/13

Photos: People in Arak, Iran Hold Protest Gathering Against High Pollution
A group of residents of Arak in central Iran held a gathering to protest the dangerously high levels of pollution in the city. According to a report by Arakna News Agency, Arak has been suffering from high pollution for the last 83 days. People are blaming high rate of cancer and other health issues on the pollution and are demanding actions from the authorities to bring it under control. - 8/18/13

Iran: President Hassan Rohani holds first cabinet meeting
Iranian President Hassan Rohani held first meeting with his cabinet members in Tehran on Saturday. Rohani once again thanked the Iranian people for their vote to his government of "prudence and hope" and vowed that the government will make every effort to improve the people's lives. - 8/18/13

Iran has 18,000 centrifuges: Former AEOI chief
Former head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi says the Islamic Republic has a total of 18,000 centrifuges, ten thousand of which are currently running. - 8/18/13

Iran's Mellat Bank To Make Legal Claim Of 500 Million Pounds Against Britain For Loss Of Business
Iran's Mellat Bank intends to make a legal claim of 500 million pounds against the British government for loss of business between 2009 and 2013, lawyers for Mellat have told The Telegraph. The compensation bill comes after a test case won by Mellat Bank, which was banned from operating in Britain or Europe because Britain's Treasury officials thought it was linked to Iran's nuclear program. - 8/18/13

Reformist Mohammad-Ali Najafi appointed CHTHO director by President Rohani
President Hassan Rohani appointed Mohammad-Ali Najafi the director of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) on Saturday. Najafi failed to receive a vote of confidence as education minister during the Iranian parliament's confirmation process for nominees for ministerial posts last week. - 8/18/13

Inspired by Malala: Local Muslim Women Discuss Activism, Community, and Islamophobia
Inspired by the courage of Malala Yousufzai to speak up for equal rights of women and girls, this panel brings together local Bay Area Muslim women leaders to discuss Muslim women's agency and activism. - September 12, 2013 in San Francisco - 8/18/13

Iranian President Warns Against Populist Slogans
Iran's new president has called for a foreign policy free of populist slogans. Hassan Rohani said the clear message from voters who elected him on June 14 was that they wanted a new, more rational foreign policy. Rohani was speaking at the inauguration of Iran's new foreign minister, Muhammad Javad Zarif, on August 17. - 8/17/13

Tehran Stock Exchange up 57% since March, TEPIX hits 60,000
The Tehran Stock Exchange main index (TEPIX) has gained around 57 percent since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2013). The TEPIX surpassed 60,000 on Saturday, the Mehr News Agency reported. - 8/17/13

New Iranian Communications Minister Vows To Increase Internet Speed
Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran's new Minister of Communications and Information Technology, announced on Saturday August 17 that the speed and breadth of internet services in the country will be increased. - 8/17/13

Hunger-Striking Iranian Political Prisoner In Poor Health, Says Mother
Abolfazl Abedini, an Iranian political prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 20 days, is in grave health, his mother reports. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that Abedini's mother visited him on Wednesday August 14 and saw his severe weight loss. She reports that he has refused to end his strike. - 8/17/13

Iran football crushes Hong Kong at Asian Youth Games
Iran football team humiliated Hong Kong 5-0 at the 2nd Asian Youth Games on Thursday. The Iranian outfit, who had already defeated Indonesia 4-0 in Group C, beat Honk Kong 5-0 at the Wutaishan Stadium in Nanjing, China. - 8/17/13

FALLING LEAVES screening schedule at World Film Festival in Montreal, Canada
Amir waits alone in Tehran for his son's return from California to help him run the traditional family business. But Arash does not share his father's sense of duty and has chosen to follow his heart. Amir has no understanding or sympathy for his son's choice until he reconnects with the woman he would have married had his own father not intervened. - 8/17/13

Iran's Telling Ministerial Confirmation Hearings
Iran's cabinet confirmation hearings this week were painful, but not for its new president Hassan Rouhani, despite the rejection of 3 out of his 18 ministerial nominees. They were painful for Iran's hardliners, whose mismanagement of the country was spotlighted along with their weakening form of political speech. -Farideh Farhi, LobeLog - 8/17/13

Iran can pump gas to Ukraine, Moldavia, says envoy
Iran is ready to export gas to Ukraine and Moldavia, said Iranian ambassador to the two European countries Akbar Qasemi Aliabadi. "Iran is in possession of massive gas reserves and is ready to transfer natural gas to the two European countries," he said, adding Iran is providing a great deal of natural gas for Russia. - 8/17/13

India and China Ignore US Sanctions Against Iran
The US House of Representatives approved a bill at the beginning of this month aimed at completely closing off Iranian petroleum exports. Not since President Roosevelt told Japan in July 1941 that he was going to cut it off from American petroleum has the United States threatened to use oil to strangle a country so completely. -Juan Cole, - 8/17/13

Aftershocks Of Iran's 1953 Coup Still Felt Around The World, 60 Years Later
Sixty years ago, on August 15, 1953, Iranian military officers backed by U.S. and British intelligence agencies initiated a coup d'etat whose aftershocks can still be felt around the globe. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 8/16/13

The Failure of democracy in the Middle East
The terrible events in Egypt, especially the massacre of thousands of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, have not only marked the failure of Arab Uprisings, especially in the most important and the most populous Arab country, they have also revealed the lukewarm attitude and even the hypocrisy of many people in the democratic West towards the whole concept of democracy and representative government. -Farhang Jahanpour - 8/16/13

Four Days in Iran in August: Heat, Hijab and Hope
What is it about Iran and Western women journalists? Foreign reporters who got visas to cover last week's inauguration of Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, were overwhelmingly female and included me as well as correspondents for NBC and CBS. -Barbara Slavin - 8/16/13

Iranian Parliament Rejects Three Of Rohani's Proposed Ministers
Three of Hassan Rohani's proposed cabinet members have been rejected by the Iranian Parliament. Mohammadali Najafi, Jafar Mili Monfared and Masoud Soltanifar, who were respectively proposed for the ministries of education, science and sports, failed to receive majority votes in Parliament and will not join Rohani's cabinet. - 8/16/13

New Foreign Minister Promises Active Role For Iran
Zarif said Iran will not simply react to international affairs, adding that under his watch, he plans to transform the country into an active player on the international scene. He recognized the "heavy burden" of dealing with international sanctions and emphasized that every effort will be made to relieve the pressure borne by Iranians. - 8/16/13

Ali Akbar Salehi Returns As Iran's Nuclear Chief
President Hassan Rohani has named Ali Akbar Salehi to be Iran's new nuclear chief. Salehi has extensive experience in Iran's nuclear program, having served previously as both head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization and Tehran's envoy to the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency. - 8/16/13

Water levels have risen in previously shrinking Lake Oroumiyeh
The Iranian Power Ministry has announced that water levels in Lake Oroumiyeh have risen since last September. The drying out of Lake Oroumiyeh, Iran's largest inland lake, has caused great concern in recent years. - 8/16/13

Turkey Plays Big in Kurdistan's Energy Game
Turkey has quietly built up a large presence in Kurdistan's oil and gas industry, teaming up with U.S. major Exxon Mobil, as Ankara bets on Iraq's semi-autonomous republic to help wean it off costly Russian and Iranian energy imports. -Reuters - 8/16/13

Syria's war has exposed the hypocrisy of western powers
The conflict has become an ugly proxy battle between innumerable outside forces. If the Australian government is so worried about terrorism, it should stop backing it in Syria -Antony Loewenstein, Guardian - 8/16/13

Photos: Dams, Rivers Overflow In Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Heavy rainfall in in recent days have caused the dams and rivers to overflow resulting in floods in the cities of Iranshahr and Saravan in the Sistan and Baluchestan province in southeastern Iran. - 8/15/13

Iranian-American Women Leadership Conference, Orange County 2013
Through its Leadership Conference, the Iranian American Women's Foundation (IAWF) is once again bringing women together from across the country and the world to exchange education and inspiration about a wide range of issues important to all women, such as how to master the work-life balancing act, how to find the courage to follow your dream, and why one's legacy matters. - 8/15/13

US Condemns Egyptian Govt for Using Violence Against Protesters
The White House has strongly condemned Egypt's interim government for using violence against supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. In a briefing to reporters Wednesday in Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama is vacationing, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States has repeatedly called for Egyptian security forces to show restraint. -VOA - 8/15/13

Europe's Treachery in Deceptively Decorous Diplomatic Approach to Tehran
The belated, albeit very important letter written by the British Prime Minister [David Cameron] to the new President of the Islamic Republic of Iran [Hassan Rouhani] can be viewed from two important standpoints. -Shahriar Sabet-Saeidi - 8/15/13

Iran's Oil Minister Nominee: Oil Minister Is "Second Foreign Minister"
Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the nominee for the post of oil minister, says now that Iran's oil industry has been sanctioned by the West the oil minister plays the role of "the second foreign minister". "In the current situation, after the foreign minister, the oil minister, through active energy diplomacy, plays the role of the second foreign minister," Zanganeh told a meeting of private sector activists at the Tehran Chamber of Commerce. - 8/15/13

Tehran Exhibit Hangs Photos Of Last Qajar Crown Prince
Iran Photo Museum, which also known as Axkhaneh Shahr, has showcased a collection of photos of the last Qajar crown prince, Mohammad-Hassan Mirza (1899-1943), at an exhibition. The collection comprises 36 photos, which have been taken by Yusef Khan, an Armenian photographer who lived in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz. - 8/15/13

Iran condemns brutal killing of Egyptian people in Cairo
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Iranian ministry decried brutal crackdown on Egyptian protesters and condemned "massacre of people" while expressing "deep concern over the dire consequences" of the ongoing unrest in Egypt. - 8/15/13

Breaking Free, in Life and on Screen
Growing up in Iran, Golshifteh Farahani was a rebel. She persuaded her classmates to go on strike because their school had no heat, and she lied to her parents so that her sister could spend time with her boyfriend. In a protest against the head scarf at 16, she shaved her head, taped down her breasts, dressed like a boy and rode a bicycle around Tehran. -Elaine Sciolino, NY Times - 8/15/13

Rap, Drugs, And Hijabs: 13 Things You Should Know About Young Iran
From the green protests in 2009-2010 to the election of reformer Hassan Rouhani as president, young Iranians are increasingly powerful. Expert Robin Wright has called them "the determinators" - politically savvy, socially sassy, and media astute. They count, quite literally, as never before. -BuzzFeed - 8/15/13

BASKETBALL: Iran eyes second round of FIBA World Cup, coach says
Iran basketball team is going to advance to the second round of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, coach Memi Becirovic says. "I think Iran showed good performances in the Asian Championship. We played well in each match. I am satisfied with my players," Becirovic told the reporters in Tehran's Imam Khomeini International airport on Tuesday. - 8/14/13

Great Expectations: Iran's New President and the Nuclear Talks
In its latest briefing, the International Crisis Group examines the potential embodied by Rouhani's election. There are still far more questions than answers: about the extent of his authority; his views on his country's nuclear program; and the West's ability to display requisite flexibility and patience. But although both sides can be expected to show caution, now is the time to put more ambitious proposals on the table. - 8/14/13

Iran's 'Olive Branch' Foreign Minister Nominee Makes His Case In Parliament
When Iran's new president nominated Mohammad Javad Zarif, a U.S.-educated former United Nations diplomat, to be foreign minister, some observers described the move as a possible "olive branch" to the West. But within Iran, it appears that's not necessarily a good thing. At an August 13 parliamentary hearing convened to consider President Hassan Rohani's proposed cabinet, lawmaker Nasrollah Pejmanfar used the description against Zarif. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/14/13

The Official Selection of the 6th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival (NIFF)
Noor Iranian Film Festival is proud to announce the Official Selection of this year's festival. More than 30 films have been selected out of hundreds of entries from filmmakers around the world. These films consist of Animations, Shorts, Features, and Documentaries from new and seasoned directors. The screenings will be held in Beverly Hills / Los Angeles on October 18-24, 2013. - 8/14/13

Iran's Proposed Intelligence Minister Rejects "Harsh" Measures
Alavai told Parliament that his plans are aimed at establishing enduring security without creating an atmosphere of overt security measures. He stressed that the Intelligence Ministry has the capacity to replace "harsh security measures" with "soft security policies." - 8/14/13

Mashhad to host 6th Razavi International Cardiovascular Congress
The 6th Razavi International Cardiovascular Congress and the Second Cardiac Nursing congress will be held in Mashhad from August 21-23. Head of Razavi Hospital Saeed Abdolhosseini told a press conference on Wednesday that the congress will be held in collaboration with World Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons and Euro Asian Bridge. - 8/14/13

Iran To Hold 4th International Conference On Astronomy
"The 4th Occultations Conference on TNOs, occultations, variable stars, exoplanets, robotic and virtual observations, spectroscopy, image processing, astrobiology and other related areas will be held," said Mohammad Reza Shafizadeh, Director of the conference committee, adding the conference is scheduled for October 24. - 8/14/13

I am strongly influenced by Charlie Chaplin: Iranian cartoonist Derambakhsh
Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh has said that he is "strongly influenced" by English comic actor and filmmaker Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin. "He is my idol," Derambakhsh admitted during a meeting at the City Book Institute in Tehran on Monday. The meeting was part of "The Artistic Dialogue", a program organized by the institute every week. - 8/14/13

2013 NexGen Leadership Conference: Inspiring and Memorable
The inaugural PAAIA NexGen Leadership Conference (NLC) took place on August 2-4 at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The two-day conference brought together over fifty Iranian-American young professionals and students from across the United States with the goal of creating a strong network of future leaders in our community. - 8/14/13

Lead and Zinc Factory Near Zanjan Shut Down After Protests
In the wake of a protest by the people of Zanjan, the lead and zinc factory on the outskirts of the city has been shut down. In a mass protest last week, citizens of Zanjan demanded the plant be shut down because of its "deadly emissions." - 8/14/13

Perhaps Bowing To Pressure, Rohani Appoints Woman To Iranian Cabinet
Many women who helped vote Hassan Rohani into office as Iran's new president did so in the hope that he would push for equality. Yet, when Rohani released his proposed new cabinet on inauguration day on August 4, his list had the makings of an all-male club. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/13/13

Opponents, proponents declare views about proposed cabinet team
In an open session of the Iranian parliament on Monday, legislators expressed their views about the 18 people nominated for ministerial posts by President Hassan Rohani. Following are excerpts of the texts of the speeches made in favor or against the makeup of the new cabinet as in its entirety as a group. - 8/13/13

Javad Zarif's Plan
Mohammad Javad Zarif is among the few Iranian foreign ministry specialists who have both diplomatic experience and an education in international affairs. The US State Department knows him and he was a permanent member of 9 rounds of the international conference on the creation of the post-Taliban government in Afghanistan and the future direction of the country. He knows how to negotiate better than any mid-level slogan-obsessed Iranian diplomat just as he knows how to bargain better. -Farzaneh Roostaee, Rooz - 8/13/13

An Open Letter to President Obama and Secretary Kerry: The Contradictory Foreign Policy Of The United States
This letter is intended to communicate several serious concerns shared by me, many of my family members, and several friends who are Iranian-Americans and Americans, and vote as Democrats, Independent, and Republicans. Most of my family and friends persistently have supported the President at the levels similar to me. -Akbar Montaser - 8/13/13

Iran: Proposed Science Minister calls for expanded humanities programs
The proposed minister for the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology told ILNA that universities must expand the humanities branch of study and work toward increasing students' volunteer contributions to society. - 8/13/13

Previously condemned Iranian political prisoner released
Anvar Hossein Panahi, an Iranian political prisoner, was released on bail from the central prison in Sanandaj after six years behind bars. In Spring of 2008, he was charged with "enmity against god and acting against national security" and was sentenced to death. - 8/13/13

New York Times Fuels Anti-Iranian Sentiment
Times editors, columnists and contributors support the worst of US policies. They regurgitate official lies. They abhor truth and full disclosure. They substitute managed news misinformation. They do so consistently. They advocate business as usual. They betray their readers in the process. They do it unapologetically. -Stephen Lendman, - 8/13/13

Gay Men in Iran's Military Can Seek Exemption
Coming out as a gay man has severe consequences in Iran. Homosexuality is among the biggest taboos in Iran both on social and legal levels. The taboo transforms itself to a paradox however, if and when the issue of serving in the military arises. -Mehrnaz Samimi, Al-Monitor - 8/13/13

Iran: Protesters in Zanjan link cancers to factory emissions
Zanjan citizens staged a widespread protest on Sunday in front of the governor's office and the office of the Friday Imam, denouncing the pollution spewed by lead and zinc factories near the city. - 8/12/13

Want to book a flight to Iran on Kayak? Sorry. But North Korea's nice this time of year.
When Iranian Americans started reaching out to us a few weeks ago asking why websites like Kayak and Priceline were no longer allowing users to book flights to Iran, NIAC contacted the top executives of seven online travel agencies currently engaging in the practice to attempt to fix the problem. -Caroline Cohn, NIAC inSight - 8/12/13

Tiffany Ariany stars in L.A. GIRLS comedy web series
L.A. GIRLS is a spoof/spin off of the hit HBO show GIRLS. The web series takes the iconic characters from GIRLS and spins them into the Los Angeles versions. L.A. GIRLS is a raunchy comedy web series that pushes the limits of what has been seen on the web. - 8/12/13

In the Name of the Rose: A Group exhibition on occasion of 60th Anniversary of Coup d'etat
Sixty years ago in august 1953 a coup d'etat orchestrated by British and American governments removed Dr.Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882 -1967), the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, from power and changed the fate of millions of people in this part of the world. - 8/12/13

Iran: President Rohani defends cabinet choices in Parliament
Rohani added that he feels that "people are fed up with extremism and are welcoming moderation", adding that with his victory in the election, he is now certain that his proposed government can "address the collective demands of the people in a reasonable time with the cooperation of all the positive forces in the country." - 8/12/13

Military Men Insist on Being a Player in the Economy: Basij Commander
On the eve of the formation of Iran's new cabinet and following the various declarations of the country's military organizations that announce their readiness to cooperate with the new administration, the head of the Basij para-military force affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards once again called on newly elected president Hassan Rowhani to pay attention to "domestic potentials" while adding, "we must realize the benefits of international sanctions." -Bahram Rafiei, Rooz - 8/12/13

Iranian President appoints a woman, Elham Aminzadeh, as Vice-President for Legal Affairs
President Hassan Rohani in a decree on Sunday named Elham Aminzadeh as Vice-President for Legal Affairs. The president said in the text of the decree that she has been appointed to the post in light of her scientific competence and judicial qualifications as well as legislative experience and moral merits. - 8/12/13

Iranian women athletes shine in wushu championship in Philippines
Iranian women athletes snatched one gold, two silver and one bronze medals in the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championship in the Philippines on Sunday. The four-day contest opened in the capital, Manila, on August 8. - 8/12/13

"Nuclear Narratives"
Rather than asking why officials say what they say, and how best to settle the dispute on terms acceptable to all, news coverage-and as a consequence, public discussion-has been caught in a constrained and distorted narrative of how Iran threatens global security and how best to coerce it to stop. -Jonas Siegel and Saranaz Barforoush, Cairo Review of Global Affairs - 8/12/13

Biggest South Pars phase to start yielding gas in late September: Iranian official
The South Pars gas field, divided into 28 phases, is located in the Persian Gulf on the common border between Iran and Qatar. It is estimated that the field contains 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of condensate. - 8/12/13

BASKETBAALL: Iran wins FIBA Asian Championship
Iran won the 27th FIBA Asia Men's Basketball Championship by beating the Philippines on Sunday in Pasay City. The Iranian team defeated the Philippines 85-71 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. Both the teams secured berths in the World Championships in Spain next year. Iran had already won the Asian titles in 2007 and 2009. - 8/11/13

Will the U.S.-Iran Cyber Conflict Escalate?
When most people think of what will happen if tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to escalate, images of Iran's nuclear program, missile attacks, or another costly boots-on-the-ground conflict in the Middle East come to mind. -Caroline Cohn, NIAC - 8/11/13

Proposed Iranian Economy Minister Presents Platform
Ali Tayebnia, proposed as Minister of Economy and Finance by Iranian President Hassan Rohani, said on Sunday that a safe haven in the foreign exchange market is the requisite for better foreign investment. Speaking to IRNA, Tayebnia commented on ways to attract foreign investment and lift barriers to foreign investment and said that the difficulty in international relations affects foreign investment. - 8/11/13

Van accident kills 12 wedding guests in Dezfool, Iran
Twelve people drowned after a van fell into a canal in the city of Dezfool in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. The Mehr News Agency reports that the van was returning from a wedding when it fell in the canal. Of 13 passengers, 12 drowned. - 8/11/13

Outspoken Iranian Analyst Questions Iran's US Enmity
Tehran University professor and outspoken Iranian analyst Sadegh Zibakalam has written an op-ed on the front page of Reformist Bahar newspaper questioning the enmity between Iran and the United States, blaming part of the problem on what is "in the minds" of Iranians. -Arash Karami, Al Monitor - 8/11/13

Zimbabwe uranium deal with Iran, Western media fiction: Harare
Zimbabwean Mining Minister Obert Mpofu has rejected reports about signing an agreement to sell uranium to Iran as "fiction and wishful thinking" of Western media. "We are free to trade with any country but my ministry has not signed an agreement about uranium with Tehran," Mpofu said on Saturday. - 8/11/13

Interview: Maestro Loris Tjeknavorian Talks About The King Cyrus Symphonic Suite
Maestro Tjeknavorian composed the first version of the King Cyrus Symphonic suite in 1972 for the 2,500 anniversary celebration of the Iranian empire. It was performed in the presence of kings, queens and heads of state from across the world at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis. - 8/10/13

Iran cruises to FIBA Asia finals, qualifies for FIBA World Cup
Iran defeated Chinese Taipei in the semifinal round of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship on Saturday. The Persians remained undefeated after beating Chinese Taipei 79-60 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. - 8/10/13

Two MPs acquitted in historic Iranian bank fraud
The head of Parliament's Legal Commission has announced that the two MPs accused of involvement in the $3-billion bank fraud have been acquitted of the charges against them. The Tasnim website reports that the Tehran Prosecutor General announced the acquittals to Parliament. - 8/10/13

Rosatom Ready To Hand Bushehr Nuclear Plant To Iran
The head of Russian nuclear regulator Rosatom has said that state company will soon sign documents transferring operational control of the Bushehr nuclear power plant to Iran. "Bushehr is currently operating at 100-percent capacity and the process of preparing it for transfer to the project originator is concluding," Rosatom's Sergei Kiriyenko said. - 8/10/13

Group calls for release of jailed Iranian journalist brothers
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders has called for the release of Khosro and Massoud Kordpour, two jailed Iranian journalists who ran the Mukrian News Agency in Kurdistan Province. - 8/10/13

Iraqi Kurd President Says Ready to Defend Kurds in Syria
Iraqi Kurdistan is ready to defend Kurds living in Syria if it is found that they are being threatened by al-Qaida-linked fighters involved in the Syrian civil war, the president of the well-armed autonomous region said. -Reuters - 8/10/13

Activists, Political Prisoners Implore Obama To End Pressures On Iranians
Fifty-five Iranian activists, many of whom are currently behind bars in Iran, have written a letter reminding the U.S. president that sanctions are hurting the people of Iran. They urged him to seize the opportunity of a new Iranian administration to put an end to the pressures being imposed on Iranians. - 8/9/13

Column: US and Iran Cautious about Direct Talks
Iran's president may have changed, but the leadership's reticence about talking one-on-one with the United States continues - along with U.S. reluctance to recognize Iran's quasi-representative government as legitimate. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 8/9/13

Putin, Rohani To Meet In Kyrgyz Capital Next Mont
Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said during a Moscow press conference on August 9 that the two presidents will meet on September 13 on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). - 8/9/13

India Mulls Insurance Guarantee for Refiners Using Iran Oil
India is thinking of providing a 20 billion rupee ($327 million) state guarantee to back local insurance for refineries that use Iranian oil and therefore cannot get foreign cover due to Western sanctions, an industry source said. -Reuters - 8/9/13

Study finds 1080 wars in Iranian history
A team led by Iranian scholar Azizollah Alizadeh has recently completed research that shows Iranians have fought in 1080 wars with foreign countries over the past 2720 years ago. "The team composed of three experts spent four years studying wars in Iranian history" - 8/8/13

Iran: Withdraw Cabinet Nominee Implicated in Abuses
Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, should immediately withdraw his nomination of Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi for the post of justice minister, Reporters Without Borders, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and Human Rights Watch said today. Rouhani presented the list of his nominees for cabinet posts to the Iranian parliament during his inauguration ceremony on August 4, 2013. - 8/8/13

British PM Sends Hopeful Message To New Iranian President
British Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed hope that the presidency of Hassan Rohani will present an opportunity to improve long-strained relations between their two counties. - 8/8/13

Government Committee To Study Iran's Internet Problems
Iranian MP Reza Rahmani says a committee has been charged with reviewing internet services in the country. Rahmani told Khaneh Mellat website: "People are not happy with the prices and speed of internet service, and slow internet speed is a great concern." - 8/8/13

Iran to increase oil export with new supertankers
The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) has taken delivery of four new supertankers in recent weeks in the face of US-led sanctions against its energy sector. Recent data from the IHS Maritime show that four supertankers, each with a maximum carrying capacity of 2 million barrels, joined NITC's fleet between May and the end of July, Reuters reported Wednesday. - 8/8/13

Can Iran's New U.S.-Educated Foreign Minister Mend Ties With Washington?
Mohammad Javad Zarif, the man tapped to be Iran's next Foreign Minister, has been dealing with the U.S. for over two decades. Can he lead the push for rapprochement? -Ishaan Tharoor, TIME - 8/8/13

Iran's wheat output may rise 5%, hit 14.5m tons
Iran's wheat harvest may total about 14.5 million tons in 2013, up about 5 percent from the 13.8 million tons collected a year earlier, the United Nations' Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. Total grain production may be 21.85 million tons, up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, including 3.2 million tons of barley and 2.4 million tons of rice, it added. - 8/8/13

EXHIBITION: Cyrus Cylinder At The Asian Art Museum In San Francisco
The Cyrus Cylinder is among the most revered objects to have survived from the ancient world. The Asian Art Museum is one of only five venues in the Cyrus Cylinder's historic U.S. tour. This is the first time the Cylinder has visited the United States. - 8/7/13

Iran's Rohani Treads Carefully In Piecing Together Cabinet
Hassan Rohani is learning firsthand in his early days as Iran's president that pleasing everyone is difficult no matter how hard you try. One of his first actions as president, his proposed list of new cabinet members, was being picked apart even before his inauguration celebrations were over. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/7/13

Panel Discussion at Asian Art Museum in San Francisco: The Cyrus Cylinder: Uses, Misuses, and Contemporary Iran
One of the most iconic objects from the ancient world, the Cyrus Cylinder is widely considered a symbol of multiculturalism, tolerance, and human rights. Cyrus the Great, founder of the expansive Persian Achaemenid dynasty, had the Cylinder created to formally mark the establishment of Persian rule over Babylon in 539 BCE. - 8/7/13

Iran's Rohani Says U.S. Sending Mixed Messages
Just a few hours after the August 4 inauguration of Iran's new president, Hassan Rohani, the White House issued a statement saying that Tehran would find a willing partner in Washington should it choose to engage "substantively and seriously" on the issue of its controversial nuclear activities. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/7/13

Normalizing Ties With EU Would Be High on Agenda Of Iran's Foreign Minister Nominee
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian President Hassan Rohani's nominee for the post of foreign minister, announced the major components of his plan for his next four years in office, if he is approved by the parliament. - 8/7/13

Rouhani's Cabinet Picks
Cabinet appointments are watched closely in Iran, not only because ministers are key actors in guiding the direction and management of their ministries, but also because they say something about how the newly elected president will run the country and the compromises he is willing to or must make. -Farideh Farhi, Lobe Log - 8/7/13

Tehran calculations: Do US House members want a deal with Iran -- or war?
IN THE fall of 2008, a few weeks after the election of Barack Obama, I got an unexpected call from the Iranian government. Would I like to attend the 15th annual Press and Media Festival in Tehran? They had never invited an American before. -Farah Stockman, Boston Globe - 8/7/13

Iran's Musavi Reportedly Discharged From Hospital
An Iranian website says the country's main opposition leader, Mir Hossein Musavi, has returned home from hospital after several days of treatment. The opposition Kaleme website reported that Musavi, who has been under house arrest since 2011, was discharged from a Tehran hospital after receiving treatment for a heart problem. - 8/7/13

Court Convictions Deal Blow to Turkey's Military
The jailing of hundreds of senior Turkish army officers, including a former chief of staff, is the latest blow to NATO's second largest army. Turkey's military is facing increasing numbers of resignations, and questions are growing over the impact of the trial on its effectiveness at a time of regional instability. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 8/7/13

New Iranian airline to start operation
A new Iranian airline will start operation by the next two weeks, an official with the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization announced on Monday. Mohammad Khodakarami told ISNA that the airline owns three planes and will launch flights by the next two weeks. - 8/7/13

Rohani Says Iran Ready For 'Serious' Nuclear Talks
Iran's President Hassan Rohani says Tehran is ready to engage in "serious negotiations" with Western nations over the country's disputed nuclear program. Rohani was speaking in Tehran on August 6 in his first news conference since officially taking office. - 8/6/13

Drugs in short supply in Iran for blood disorder
The head of Iran's Thalassemia Society has expressed grave concern about the level of Iran's import and production of drugs for the blood disorder, announcing that what drugs are available are now being rationed. - 8/6/13

Noosheen Hashemi among top 50 philanthropists in Bay Area
Recognizing her work as the President of The HAND Foundation, Noosheen Hashemi, is named one of Gentry Magazine's top 50 philanthropists in their annual list of leading philanthropists in San Francisco, the Peninsula and Silicon Valley. - 8/6/13

Iran's New President Picks Reformist as Top Deputy
New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has picked a prominent reformer to be his top deputy. Iran's state-run TV on Monday said the president chose former industry and mines minister Eshaq Jahangiri as his first vice president. - 8/6/13

Once an Afghan refugee in Iran, now a high-flier in his own country
Twenty-eight years after his family fled war in Afghanistan to neighbouring Iran, Seyyed Zia Hosseini has returned home from the country that gave him shelter and an education that allows him to help rebuild his native land. -Dina Faramarzi - 8/6/13

Journalists' group urges renewed freedom for Iran's reporters
The Iranian Association of Journalists is calling for the elimination of "restrictions imposed on the press and reporters" and says the group should be allowed to officially reopen. The association maintains that more than 200 reporters have been arrested in the past four years and given harsh prison terms or been banned from media activities. - 8/6/13

Iran's inflation rate hits 33.9%
The Statistical Center of Iran has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ended the fourth Iranian calendar month of Tir (July 22, 2013) compared to the same period in the previous year hit 33.9 percent. - 8/6/13

Pieces by John Williams, Ennio Morricone to highlight Tehran Vocal Ensemble repertoire
The Tehran Vocal Ensemble plans to perform a repertoire of popular pieces by American composer John Williams and Italian musician Ennio Morricone in its upcoming concert in September. - 8/6/13

Iran Arrested Man On Charges Of Spying For Israel
Iranian authorities have arrested a man on charges of spying for Israel. Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency reported on August 5 that the unidentified man had allegedly passed on intelligence to a security officer at the Israeli Embassy in Thailand. - 8/6/13

Federal agents steal over $800,000 from used car dealer
On July 28, the Albuquerque Journal reported that federal law enforcement agents have seized $841,883.84 from the business and personal bank accounts of Reza Ella, a used car dealer who lives in Albuquerque, N.M. -Examiner - 8/6/13

Photos: The Iranian constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911
The establishment of a constitutional regime in Persia was the chief objective of the Revolution of 1323-29/1905-11. Like any other major revolution, the Constitutional Revolution in Persia encompassed a broad spectrum of ideas and objectives, reflecting diverse intellectual trends, social backgrounds, and political demands. - 8/5/13

Nefarious Fallouts of Iran Sanctions
The article demonstrates that on various grounds (socio-economic, politico-diplomatic, geopolitical and geo-economic) that the sanctions regime against Iran has been counterproductive. Crucially for Western policymakers and contrary to officially stated goals, the rapid escalation of economic sanctions during the past few years has been accompanied by the expansion of Iran's nuclear program. -Ali Fathollah-Nejad - 8/5/13

Iran's President Puts New Focus on the Economy
Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, vowed Saturday to work with the outside world to lift the "oppressive sanctions" crippling the Iranian economy, as he received the official backing of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a ceremony marking the start of his presidential term. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 8/5/13

Tehran police crack down on "inappropriate" clothing
The Tehran police department reports the closure of 235 clothing distributors for producing "inappropriate clothing." ISNA reports that Hossein Sajedinia, the head of the Tehran Police, said that the distributors were offering clothes with "signs from deviant groups or obscene symbols and images." - 8/5/13

"Games of Colors" helps people learn art in its correct form: Yasmin Sinaii
Iranian painter and sculptor Yasmin Sinai is convinced that the workshop "Games of Colors" now underway at the Iranian Artists Forum gives people a chance to learn art in its correct form. The workshops have been organized by the Damonfar Company, the Iranian representative of France's Pebeo and Germany's Faber Castell, two companies that manufacture art materials. - 8/5/13

Iran-Turkey ties key for regional peace, stability: Rohani
In a meeting with the visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday, Rohani said the two neighboring countries have great capacities for better ties which should be used to strengthen mutual relations at bilateral, regional and international levels. - 8/5/13

Steps should be taken to help resolve Iran nuclear issue: Solana
Former EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has said that steps should be taken to help resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program. He made the remarks during a meeting with Iranian Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani in Tehran on Sunday. - 8/5/13

Iran's wheat output may rise 5%, hit 14.5m tons
Iran's wheat harvest may total about 14.5 million tons in 2013, up about 5 percent from the 13.8 million tons collected a year earlier, the United Nations' Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) said. Total grain production may be 21.85 million tons, up 3.4 percent from a year earlier, including 3.2 million tons of barley and 2.4 million tons of rice, it added. - 8/5/13

Iran to expand ties with Armenia: Rohani
"The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Armenia have always been friendly, close and based on mutual interests, and definitely in the future, Tehran's efforts will focus on deepening relations and improving cooperation in all sectors," Rohani said in a meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Tehran on Monday. - 8/5/13

Ahmadinejad appointed to Expediency Council
Iran's Supreme Leader has appointed former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Expediency Council. Ayatollah Khamenei's website reports: "In consideration of your valuable eight-year effort as president and the experience you have gathered on this path, I appoint you to membership in the Expediency Council." - 8/5/13

How much influence will Iran have in post-US Afghanistan?
Those who speculate that Iran will somehow absorb western Afghanistan into its sphere of influence when US and NATO forces drawdown in 2014 have not been through the doors of the threadbare "Public Library and Cultural Center" in Herat. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 8/5/13

World should talk to Iran in the language of respect, not sanctions: Rohani
Rohani stated that his administration would make efforts to "enhance Iran's security at home and around it through building mutual trust between Iran, regional countries, and the world. "Transparency is the key to building trust. The transparency we are talking about cannot be one-sided." - 8/4/13

Iran's Rohani Takes Presidential Oath, Unveils New Cabinet
Iran's new president, Hassan Rohani, has taken the oath of office before the country's parliament. Iranian lawmakers and high-ranking officials and the representatives of more than 50 countries attended Rohani's inauguration ceremony in Tehran on August 4. - 8/4/13

Iranian President Hassan Rohani Submits List Of Proposed Ministers To Parliament
New Iranian president Hassan Rohani presented his list of proposed ministers to parliament on Sunday, the same day he was sworn in as the country's 7th president. Parliament has to approve Rohani's nominations for cabinet. According to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, MPs will vote on the nominees next week. - 8/4/13

Dr. Ghajar implants the first Telescopic Lens in Fresno
On July 17, 2013, Dr. Ghajar, cataract & corneal specialist, became the first local surgeon to implant a tiny telescopic lens in the eye of one of our patients at the California Eye Institute at St. Agnes. -Eye Medical Center of Fresno - 8/4/13

Iran's customs rule changes to help import of crucial drugs
Iranian customs authorities have announced that medical drug importers will be allowed to clear their back-up goods through customs if they have bank guarantees for money owing. Importers are instructed to go directly to customs, where all the necessary paperwork will be processed. - 8/4/13

Iran's Rouhani Takes Presidential Oath
Iran's new president, moderate Muslim cleric Hassan Rouhani, took the oath of office before parliament Sunday, a day after he was formally endorsed and confirmed in his new role by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - 8/4/13

U.S. senators call on Obama to tighten sanctions against Iran
Seventy-six senators signed a letter sent to President Barack Obama on Friday calling on the White House to toughen sanctions on Iran, despite the election of Hassan Rohani, the Jerusalem Post has learned. In the letter, the large Senate group tells the president that time for diplomacy is quickly running out. - 8/4/13

Thank the Lawmakers Who Stood Up Against Iran Sanctions Vote
On Wednesday, House leadership ignored the Iranian peoples' call for change and moderation and voted for new punishing sanctions (H.R.850) on the Iranian people. But the twenty lawmakers featured below showed courage and leadership by voting no, inviting attacks from the pro-war lobby. -NIAC - 8/4/13

Pakistan to pursue to Iran gas project despite U.S. pressure
Pakistan says it will go ahead with the planned gas pipeline project with Iran at all costs and won't drop the project under U.S. pressure. Pakistani officials have submitted a non-paper to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to highlight the importance of the multi-billion-dollar plan for their country. - 8/4/13

Rouhani Takes Office as Iran's 7th President
Moderate Muslim cleric Hassan Rouhani has taken office as Iran's seventh president, succeeding Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country's highest elected official. In his first speech as president, Rouhani vowed to work to lift Western sanctions on Iran. He said the goal of these penalties was to isolate Iran and push the country towards chaos. - 8/3/13

Iran: A Human Rights Agenda for New President
Iran's incoming government should take concrete steps to improve the country's dreadful human rights record, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to President-elect Hassan Rouhani. The letter identified key reform areas, ranging from freeing political prisoners to cooperating with UN rights bodies, that Rouhani and his new administration should take on during their next four years in office. - 8/3/13

Iranians Bid 'Bye-Bye' To Ahmadinejad
The time has come for Mahmud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian public to say "bye-bye" to his presidency. President-elect Hassan Rohani will be confirmed as president on August 3 and publicly inaugurated on August 4. For many Iranians, the moment has been a long time coming. "Ahmadi, bye-bye!" protesters chanted before the 2009 presidential vote. -Golnaz Esfandiari , RFE - 8/3/13

Analysis: The Challenges Facing Rohani
Taking over the presidency in a country where decisions are ultimately made by the supreme leader is challenging enough. Having to begin that task by clearing colossal hurdles left by your predecessor is nearly mission impossible. -Golnaz Esfandiari , RFE - 8/3/13

Mahmud Ahmadinejad's Legacy
As Iran's outgoing President Mahmud Ahmadinejad prepared to step down this weekend, there were few signs he would be remembered favorably either internationally or domestically. Instead, his legacy may be that of a leader with an unusually contentious personality who did little to solve Iran's problems during eight years in office and, sometimes, directly helped exacerbate them. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 8/3/13

Fatal ferry accident at Karoon Dam in southwestern Iran to be investigated
On Wednesday July 31, a bus carrying local passengers was being ferried across the waters of the Karoon Dam when the ferry overturned, leading to the death of five women and seven children. Reports indicate that since the construction of the Karoon Dam in 2004, the old bridge connecting the villages in the region was destroyed, and people have been using ferries or boats to cross the river. - 8/3/13

Rohani Appoints Oil Minister, Pending Approval by Parliament
Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has been chosen as oil minister in the Rohani cabinet that will take over the administration this month. ISNA reports that Bijan Namdar was the final choice of the president-elect and he will take over the oil ministry if Parliament endorses him with a vote of confidence. - 8/3/13

Online Travel Sites Block Flights to Iran as Sanctions Increase
Washington, DC - A number of online travel agencies have discontinued booking flights to or from Iran, citing broad sanctions restrictions against the country. Searching for a flight to Iran on Orbitz's site, for example, retrieves the error message: "Flights to/from Iran aren't supported by Orbitz. Sorry! Please choose another location." -Caroline Cohn, NIAC - 8/2/13

Reported Rohani Comments On Israel Spark Anger
ISNA and Mehr news agencies quoted Rohani as saying that "The Zionist regime has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and the wound should be removed." However, in a video of his comments to journalists at an International Quds (Jerusalem) Day events in Tehran on August 2, Rohani did not use the phrase "the wound should be removed." - 8/2/13

Iran: Alarm sounded over food shortages due to customs snags
The head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce warned on Wednesday July 31 that government mismanagement of the clearance of goods at customs will push the country into food shortages in the coming months. - 8/2/13

Interview with Nicole Kidman inspires Iranian writer's new story
An online interview with Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman provided inspiration for Iranian playwright and author Chista Yasrebi to write a short story for her collection "Dying Is Not a Good Job for You". - 8/2/13

New Iranian President Undertakes 'Damage Control'
After eight years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, almost anyone would look good by comparison. Still, the new president, Hassan Rouhani, a Scottish-educated cleric, comes equipped with personal qualities, experience and relationships that could help stem Iran's slide into economic crisis and international isolation. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 8/2/13

Russia chides further U.S. sanctions as unproductive
Russia has criticized the latest vote in the U.S. Congress to tighten sanctions against Iran, stressing that it does not help resolve the nuclear disputes. - 8/2/13

Iraq Sees Deadliest Month in Years
July was the deadliest month in Iraq since 2008, with around 1,000 people killed and many more wounded. The violence, escalating for months, is largely sectarian and analysts say is further fueled by a political deadlock in Baghdad and a spillover of al-Qaida from the conflict in Syria. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 8/2/13

Hopes Ride on Iran's Rowhani, but Huge Task Ahead
A wave of optimism has swept Iran since Hassan Rowhani was elected president last month, but as he takes office on Sunday the moderate cleric has a monumental task to resolve the nuclear dispute, ease stringent sanctions and revive a failing economy. -Reuters - 8/2/13

NIAC Deplores House Vote on Iran Sanctions Bill
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) deplores the House of Representative's passage of H.R.850, a broad new Iran sanctions bill. "This does not send a message of good cop President and bad cop Congress, it projects an image of the bad cop running amok and the good cop having lost control," said NIAC President Trita Parsi. - 8/1/13

Iran's medical drug imports stuck in customs limbo
Mohareza Naderi, the technical deputy at the Iran Customs office, told ISNA that currently the medical drugs are being held at customs because importers have not been able to pay the difference between the government-subsidized exchange rate for the dollar and the market rate for the dollar. - 8/1/13

Iran's New President: Challenges and Opportunities for Regional and International Cooperation
Analyses that suggest Iran's foreign policy, especially with regard to its nuclear issue, will change according to the personality of Iran's president or according to the mood of the Supreme Leader are misinformed and misleading. A culture of analysis based on personality of politicians, whether it be a "controversial" figure like Ahmadinejad or a "moderate" figure like Rouhani, amounts to not much more than unproductive political gossip. -Shirin Shafaie - 8/1/13

Obama White House Hosts Second Iranian-American Roundtable
The five-hour roundtable was organized by the White House Office of Public Engagement on Friday, July 26, 2013 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is an integral part of the White House compound. The administration officials engaged the three-dozen participants in an in-depth discussion of numerous domestic and foreign policy issues of interest to the Iranian-American community. - 8/1/13

U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Tough New Iran Sanctions
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran. Just days before Iran's new president is sworn into office, the House voted 400 to 20 on July 31 to approve the bill. The legislation would tighten sanctions and result in cutting Iran's oil exports by around 1 million barrels per day over the course of a year, with the goal of ending all Iranian oil sales worldwide by 2015. - 8/1/13

Iran Plans Its Own Sanitized Internet with Chinese Help
Iran, with a little help from China, is putting together its own closed version of the Internet to keep its citizens from viewing material it considers unsuitable. Experts say the project is struggling and unlikely to work. The project, begun a few years ago, is driven by concerns over national security as well as censorship - 8/1/13

Males account for 61% of students with highest scores in Iran's 2013 university entrance exams
The list of the students with the highest scores in this year's Iranian university entrance exams shows males outperformed females. Of the 36 with the highest scores, 22 (61%) are males and 14 (39%) are females. Eleven of the students with the highest scores are from Tehran, and the rest are from other provinces. - 8/1/13

Photos: Ahmadinejad attends last cabinet session
Outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has attended the last cabinet session of his second four-year term in office. The meeting was held in the city of Mashhad in the northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province on Wednesday. - 8/1/13

When I Ran Out of Birth Control in Iran
I recently had to extend my trip to Iran and ran out of birth control. No biggie, I thought, contraceptive pills are easily found in pharmacies throughout the country and you don't even need a prescription. I walked into a pharmacy in Tehran two nights ago, showed the pharmacist my own birth control pills from the United States, and asked for something similar. -Narges Bajoghli, Iran Wire - 8/1/13

Editorial Claims Iran's President-Elect Hassan Rohani Under Sway Of Seditious Elements
The head of the Keyhan Daily published a note in today's Tehran edition, saying the new president-elect is being pushed by anti-regime forces as he selects his cabinet members. Hossein Shariatmadari, who was directly appointed to head the Keyhan daily by Iran's Supreme Leader, claims that Rohani is being swayed by reformists who were involved in the so-called "sedition" of 2009. - 8/1/13

Iran Grants Syria $3.6B Credit Facility to Buy Oil Products
Syrian authorities and Iran signed a deal this week to activate a $3.6 billion credit facility to buy oil products with long term payment terms, officials and bankers said on Wednesday. -Reuters - 8/1/13

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