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Golden Cells campaign in Iran aims to promote stem cell donation
"Golden Cells" is another public-led campaign in Iran with the aim of promoting stem cell donation. The campaign was initiated by those who have one way or another dealt with cancer and diseases that can be cured by stem cells and started to let others know about the stem cell bank, the campaign spokesperson Sameen Razavi told Fars news agency. - 8/31/16

U.S. Commander Denounces 'Provocative' Iranian Guard Maneuvers in Persian Gulf
A top U.S. commander sharply criticized recent high-speed maneuvers by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps patrol boats in the Persian Gulf that last week prompted a U.S. Navy ship to fire warning shots. General Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, said on August 30 that these episodes are worrying because they risk triggering a dangerous escalation. - 8/31/16

Hackers Exploit Android Phone Security Flaw to Target Iranian Activists
Suspected state-sponsored hackers have intensified their attempts to break into the online accounts of Iranian rights activists in recent weeks by exploiting security vulnerabilities in Android smartphones, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. - 8/31/16

Jailed Canadian prof in Iran can 'hardly walk or talk,' say relatives
After three months in solitary detention, the Canadian-Iranian university professor Homa Hoodfar's health has declined to the point that she can barely walk or talk, her relatives say. In a statement released Tuesday, the family of Prof. Hoodfar said the 65-year-old Concordia University anthropologist had to be hospitalized as her condition worsened since being held after June 6 at Tehran's Evin Prison. -Globe & Mail - 8/31/16

Iranian Judiciary Blocking Compensation for False Arrests
More than a year after Iran's new Code of Criminal Procedure went into effect, the Judiciary is resisting implementing Article 255, which grants individuals the right to sue the government and seek damages for false arrests. - 8/31/16

Iranian General Killed During Battle In Aleppo, Syria
Iranian state media reports say a retired Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) general has been killed while battling against Islamic militants in northern Syria. The Fars news agency, which is closely affiliated with the IRGC, reported on August 31 that General Ahmad Gholami was killed on August 30 while fighting against Sunni militants in Aleppo. - 8/31/16

India firm raises Iran oil imports, pays over $500M of debt
Iran's crude sales to Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) has risen four folds, reflecting the country's success in raising exports in order to claw back its market share after the lifting of sanctions. - 8/31/16

Turkish Troops in Syria Deepen America's Quandary
The Turkish military incursion into Syria is yet another chapter in the continuing tragedy for that country, for Syrians of all confessions and ethnicities, and indeed for most of the Middle East. Ankara is acting, it says, because of a threat from Kurdish fighters (which has a long history) and forces of the so-called Islamic State (a relatively new phenomenon). -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 8/31/16

Seedstars to gather startups in Tehran in September
Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Tehran on September 15, 2016 to host a startup competition at the Incubator of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Up to 12 startups will compete to win the title of Iran's Best Startup and one will be chosen to represent the country at the Global Summit in Switzerland. - 8/30/16

PHOTOS: Iran opens doors to women motorcyclists
The Motorcycle and Automobile Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (MAFIRI) has allowed the Iranian women to take part at the motocross race. Mahmoud Seydanlou, the head of Iran's Motorcycle and Automobile Federation, paid tribute to the motorcyclists women at the Azadi complex motocross race in Tehran. - 8/30/16

Iran draws closer to OPEC's number 2 position
Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran's oil exports have risen to 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd), bringing the country closer to its former position as the second biggest OPEC producer. "Our crude oil and condensate exports have now reached 2.5 million barrels per day and crude oil (exports) have solely hit 2.1 million barrels per day," Zangeneh told the state television on Monday night. - 8/30/16

Unjustly Imprisoned Young Iranian Physicist Granted Conditional Release After Five Years
August 29, 2016-Imprisoned Iranian scientist Omid Kokabee, who spent more than five years in Evin Prison for refusing to work on Iran's military projects, was granted conditional release on August 29, 2016. Kokabee, currently on medical leave, was diagnosed with kidney cancer this past April after years of being denied proper medical treatment by prison authorities. - 8/30/16

Recording on 1988 Prison Massacre Exposes Early Fissure in the Islamic Republic of Iran
The recently released audio recording of Grand Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri sharply denouncing the mass execution of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 has highlighted disagreements among prominent figures of the Islamic Republic that arose from the decision by Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 revolution, to put thousands of political dissidents to death. - 8/30/16

US 'terrorizing' Europe into avoiding Iran: Official
A senior Iranian official says the US is terrorizing the Europeans into shunning business with Iran despite the lifting of sanctions under a landmark nuclear deal. Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia has said US officials are deliberately keeping the terms of engagement with Iran opaque. - 8/30/16

Iran World Cup qualifier slogan: "All Iranians for Team Melli"
Iran national football team revealed its slogan ahead of the Qatar match, scheduled for Thursday. Team Melli will host the Qatari football team in Group A of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Tehran's Azadi Stadium. - 8/30/16

9th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco: September 24-25, 2016
This year, the festival presents 37 films from Iran, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, India, Czech Republic, and Spain. We are happy and proud to continue our mission to discover and support the next generation of Iranian filmmakers living and working around the world, while we honor the veteran filmmakers for their distinguished careers. - 8/29/16

Iran Inaugurates Its Own Intranet
Iran's official news agency reports the country has launched the first phase of its National Network of Data, an attempt by Tehran to create its own Intranet. The new network aims to promote online Islamic content and encourage less dependency on the worldwide Internet, IRNA reported on August 28. - 8/29/16

House of Khomeini and Mass Executions of 88
Figures at various levels of the Islamic Republic continue to react to the release of audio files involving conversations between the late dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and top government figures regarding the "death committee" in charge of the mass execution of political prisoners in Iran in 1988. - 8/29/16

Iran and Venezuela sign economic agreements, announce new era of bilateral relations
Venezuela and Iran agree to increase economic cooperation, signing agreements between the two countries' central banks and announcing a new dynamic era in bilateral relations. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who was in Caracas on the last leg of a Latin America tour also taking him to Cuba, Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua and Ecuador. - 8/29/16

Iran Deploys Russian Long-Range Missiles At Nuclear Site
Iranian officials say they have deployed a new Russian-made long-range missile system to protect its Fordo nuclear facility. General Farzad Esmaili, the commander of Iran's air defenses, told the state IRIB channel on August 28 that protecting the country's nuclear facilities is paramount "in all circumstances." - 8/29/16

Iran, Russia ink oil rig deal worth $1 billion
Iran's Tasdid Offshore and Onshore Development Company and Russia's OJSC Krasnye Barrikady Shipyard signed a deal worth $1 billion to cooperate in building jack-up rigs in Iran, Tasnim news agency reported on Saturday. - 8/29/16

CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran
The U.S. knew Hussein was launching some of the worst chemical attacks in history -- and still gave him a hand. -Foreign Policy - 8/29/16

Iran's Internet Bandwidth Grown 590%
Growth in Iran's internet infrastructure translates into growth in internet based businesses like tech startups. Iran's internet bandwidth has grown significantly in the past 3 years, though it's far beyond where it should be. -Alireza Jozi, Techsara - 8/29/16

Iran Arrests a 'Spy' Who Helped Negotiate a Landmark Nuclear Deal
Iran has arrested a member of a team that played a role in negotiating a milestone nuclear agreement with world powers. According to IRNA, Iran's state media, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said Sunday that a "spy who had infiltrated the nuclear team" was released on bail after being held in jail for a few days. - 8/28/16

French Environment Minister Visits Iran, Announces Plans For Joint Projects
French Environment Minister Segolene Royal has announced plans for a series of joint projects with Tehran that are aimed at dealing with energy, water shortages, and pollution. Royal said on August 28 after talks with the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, Massoumeh Ebtekar, that they had discussed the creation of several key partnerships by February 2017. - 8/28/16

Iranian Official Admits Executions Haven't Slowed Drug Trafficking
A top Iranian judiciary official says the death penalty hasn't deterred drug trafficking, which is in fact on the rise. "The truth is, the execution of drug smugglers has had no deterrent effect," Mohammad Baqer Olfat, deputy head of judiciary for social affairs, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on August 27. - 8/28/16

Burkas, Burkinis, Veils and Women's Rights
Symbolism matters. Especially when it comes to other people's cultures. Most recently we see the old/new issue about Muslim women's dress, especially now grabbing headlines in France where "Islamic beachwear" or the "burkini" (burka-bikini), has been banned in several Riviera beach towns. France of course leads the world in its militantly secular posture on cultural and civic affairs. As well as the symbol of the bikini itself. (Topless--I won't even go there.) -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 8/28/16

Renowned Iranian actor, producer Davoud Rashidi passes away at 83
Born in 1933 in Tehran, the notable veteran artist had played starring roles in theater, cinema and television productions. He graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Geneva in 1960 and also attended the school of theater in Geneva. - 8/26/16

For Hawks, Every American Captive Returned Home Diplomatically is a Failed Opportunity
This month, opponents of the Iran deal have decided to run with the talking point that the delivery of $400 million to Iran in January was a "ransom payment" for the release of three American citizens. TheNew York Times editorial board concluded that their release was "pragmatic diplomacy not capitulation," not to mention the fact that the funds actually belonged to Iran... -Eli Clifton - 8/26/16

US: Navy Ships Fired Warning Shots After Encounters with Iranian Vessels
U.S. Navy ships sailing in the Persian Gulf were forced to fire warning shots and flares after being harassed by Iranian vessels in recent close encounters, the Pentagon said. In one incident Wednesday, the patrol ship USS Squall fired three warning shots into the water in the direction of an Iranian boat that was approaching another American ship head-on. -VOA - 8/26/16

OVERCAUTIOUS OBJECTIVITY: Losing Perspective by Being Politically Correct
I have often appreciated Mr. Gharib's articles and analyses of America's policies toward Iran in general, even though I do not always agree with all of his views. In his latest article appearing, he offers a careful and concise critique of the Wall Street Journal's chief foreign affairs reporter, Jay Solomon, addressing the historic P5+1/Iran nuclear agreement and its aftermath. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 8/26/16

Fans Take To Social Media To Demand Release Of Iranian Rapper Amir Tataloo
Iranian fans have taken to Instagram and other social media to demand the release of Amir Tataloo, a popular and controversial rapper arrested on charges of spreading depravity among youth. "Free Tataloo!" and "He Is Not Guilty!" say dozens of comments posted on the Instagram account of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. -Farangis Najibullah and Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah - 8/26/16

Iran crowned Continental Beach Soccer Tournament champion
Iran became the champion of the Continental Beach Soccer Tournament Ordos on Thursday, following an impressive win over 2015 Asian champion Oman. - 8/26/16

Iran Confirms It Will Join OPEC Talks To Support Oil Prices
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh confirmed that Iran will take part in an OPEC meeting next month in Algeria to discuss ways to support global oil prices. Zanganeh's remarks to the ministry's Shana news service on August 25 helped spur a jump in oil prices, with premium crude rising 62 cents to $49.67 a barrel in London trading. - 8/26/16

Armenia, Iran Creating Free Economic Zone To Expand Exports
Armenia's government is working with Iran to create a free economic zone in the country's southernmost Meghri region, Economy Minister Artsvik Minasyan said on August 25. - 8/26/16

The International Community's Failure in Yemen
This week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Riyadh amid renewed criticism of the ongoing Saudi-led military operations against the Al Saud ruler's adversaries in Yemen and the international community's failure to resolve the Yemeni Civil War. This meeting will hopefully begin the process of finding a new solution to what has been a devastating political and humanitarian crisis. -Joseph Cozza, LobeLog - 8/26/16

4 Iranian Vessels Sped Close to a US Ship in Strait of Hormuz, Navy Says
Four Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels sped close to a U.S. guided missile destroyer in international waters Tuesday in an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday. - 8/25/16

BOOK: The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration - 8/25/16

Afghan Girl's Death Has Iranians Questioning Ban On Organ Transplants For Foreigners
The death of a 12-year-old Afghan girl in Iran has prompted that country's health minister to publicly defend a national ban on organ transplants for foreigners that some were initially blaming for the tragedy. - 8/25/16

3 Iranian films among 21st century's top 100
Three Iranian movies have been enlisted in the 21st century's top three movies, BBC reported. The list has been prepared by views of 177 film critics around the world. - 8/25/16

Iranian students stand 3rd in International Olympiad in Informatics
Iranian students won two gold and two silver medals in the 28th International Olympiad in Informatics, standing in the third position. Ali Behjati and Arash Mahmoudian-Bidgoli won gold and Amir-Mohammad-Dehghan and Parsa Mir-Taheri grabbed silver medals in the competition held in Russia. - 8/25/16

Lecture in London - Iran's Water Myths: should Iran focus on the problem's root causes or its solutions?
Despite having a more advanced water management system than most Middle Eastern countries, similar to the other countries in the region, Iran is experiencing serious water issues. The country is faced with major challenges in the water sector, including, but not limited to: rising water demand and shortage; declining groundwater levels; deteriorating water quality; and increasing ecosystem losses. - 8/25/16

Iran names Daesh leader killed in Kermanshah, says nothing is off the country's radar
Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi revealed in a live TV program on Wednesday that Abu Aeshe Kurdi, commander of a Daesh brigade in Mosul, was one of those killed in recent clashes with a terrorist cell in Kermanshah province, western Iran. - 8/25/16

Does Fighting in Hasakah Signal a Diplomatic Realignment on Syria?
When I asked Landis about how the PYD might view a Turkey-Russia-Iran axis, if one were to emerge, he said, "I think they are worried about it. It could be one reason why they're grabbing territory now, to limit the amount of pressure that the Syrian government can put on them in the future." It is possible that such an axis is emerging, amid all the diplomacy that followed the failed coup in Turkey and ... -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 8/25/16

Iranian Journalists Alarmed As Media Legislation Resurfaces
Critics say proposed new legislation in Iran would mean an end to any form of independent journalism in the Islamic republic while playing into the hands of the country's security organs and hard-line conservative judiciary, who would like to see even tighter state control of the media. - 8/24/16

What Hamadan Says About the Fragility of Russian-Iranian Ties
Just one week after Russian bombers began flying missions over Syria out of an Iranian air base in Hamadan, Tehran has revoked its permission for Moscow to use the base. These missions never would have begun if Tehran had not agreed that they could take place. But Russia's public declaration that they were occurring had a negative impact on Iranian domestic politics. -Mark N. Katz - 8/24/16

Mehregan 2016 Celebration in Santana Row, San Jose
Santana Row, in partnership with the Iranian Federated Women's Club (IFWC), will proudly celebrate the arrival of fall and the 2016 Persian Fall (Mehregan) on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at Park Valencia, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the evening. There will be nationally-acclaimed Persian musicians and artistic performers free to the public. - 8/24/16

Iran Warns, Detains 450 Social-Media Users, Citing 'Immoral' Posts
Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said it has summoned, detained, and warned some 450 administrators of social-media groups in recent weeks. - 8/24/16

Iconic Persian songwriter Mohammad Heydari Passes Away in Exile
Mohammad Heydari, one of the iconic Persian songwriters and santur players, passed away today in Los Angeles, due to the cancer. Mr Heydari was 79. - 8/24/16

Iran softens to oil production freeze?
Iran has been ramping up output since the lifting of sanctions in January to reclaim its lost market share, dismissing demands to join the freeze initiative. On Tuesday, Reuters cited unnamed sources as saying that Iran was sending "positive signals" that it might get behind the push to curb production. - 8/24/16

Iran's foreign trade exceeds $35.8B in 5 months
According to a Tuesday report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), the country's non-oil exports in the aforementioned five months reached $19.108 billion, showing a 10.22-percent increase in comparison with the similar period the previous year. - 8/24/16

Of Course "the Ayatollah Thinks He Won"
In the Wall Street Journal last weekend, the paper's chief foreign affairs reporter, Jay Solomon, unloaded a 2,500-word essay looking back at the Iran nuclear deal a little more than year after the accord was signed. Solomon, a measured and well-sourced reporter, examined how the deal had, after this short period of time, affected Iranian politics. The piece bore the online headline: "Why the Ayatollah Thinks He Won." -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 8/24/16

Exactly 500 Years Ago, This Battle Changed the Middle East Forever
Five centuries ago, the contours of the modern Middle East were shaped through a series of Ottoman battles. The outcomes of these battles-which shaped the region's politics, demographics and religious movements-were much more important in the long run than modern phenomena such as the Sykes-Picot Pact. -Akhilesh Pillalamarri, National Interest - 8/24/16

The Night Of's Payman Maadi on Middle Eastern Stereotypes in Hollywood and Getting Past the Censors in Iran
Payman Maadi was writing his own films when renowned Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi threw him a curveball, asking him to act for the first time in one of his movies (2009's excellent About Elly). -Gazelle Emami, Vulture - 8/24/16

Upro Nature taps Iranian promise
The new joint venture between Iran's Upro Tarh Pouya Kish and Italian firm Nature aims to bring Iran's agriculture sector into the modern era -Fruitnet - 8/24/16

U.S. State Department warns Iranian-Americans about travel to Iran
Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and Western countries including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran. U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel. U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country. - 8/23/16

PHOTOS: 16th Mobarak International Puppet Theatre Festival opens in Tehran
16th Mobarak International Puppet Festival was inaugurated the evening of the first day of the last Iranian month of summer in the presence of the joyful children of Tehran, who had come with their parents to Vahdat Hall to celebrate the opening. - 8/23/16

Iranian FM Zarif meets Cuban President Castro
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with Cuba's President Raul Castro while on the first leg of a six-nation tour of Latin American countries. Zarif leads a group of 120 businessmen and financial executives from government and private sectors. - 8/23/16

PHOTOS: 25th Iran Handmade Carpet Exhibition kicks off in Tehran
Iran exported $82.9 million of hand-woven carpets, registering 39.5 percent rise, in the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20- July 21, 2016), compared with the same period last year, the Head of Iran National Carpet Center said on August 17. - 8/23/16

Russian jet fighters still flying from Iran: Parliament Speaker
Speaker of the Iranian Parliament has emphasized that flights of Russian fighter aircraft are still being performed from Nojeh airbase in Hamedan. Ali Lasrijani made the remarks dring the Parliament open session on Tuesday morning, when answering the comments of MP Mahmoud Sadeghi. - 8/23/16

Elderly Pro-Democracy Iranian Activist Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
The four-year prison sentence handed down to imprisoned author and peaceful political activist Kourosh Zaim has no legal basis and the 77-year-old should be immediately released because of his advanced age, his lawyer Giti Pourfazel told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 8/23/16

German exports to Iran soar in H1 2016
Official figures show that Germany's exports to Iran soared in the first half of 2016 after a series of US-engineered sanctions that had been in place against the Islamic Republic for several years were eventually lifted. - 8/23/16

NIOC, Chinese CNPCI sign new deal on southern Iranian oil field
Chinese CNPCI has been given a chance to participate Masjed Soleiman oil field recovery rate for the second time after an aborted deal in 2011. - 8/23/16

How Parasitic Finance Capital Has Turned Iran's Economy into a Case of Casino Capitalism
Critics have often blamed President Rouhani of Iran for blindly following the neoclassical-neoliberal model of capitalism. The critical problem with Mr. Rouhani's economic policies, however, is more than just following the dominant economic model of neoliberalism; more gravely, it is following the worst aspects of that model. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 8/22/16

Anahita Sadighi, Berlin's youngest gallery owner, revitalises Asian art
The Berlin based gallery was founded in summer 2015 by Anahita Sadighi. Located in the western district of Berlin close to Savigny Platz, the gallery features antique arts of East Asia and the Middle East. 'My aim is to liberate far eastern cultures from their negative and controversial reputation and to awaken again the mesmerisation for the oriental', says Sadighi. - 8/22/16

Iran finishes 25th in Rio Olympics 2016
Iran has finished in the 25th place at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Iranian delegation won three gold medals, one silver and four bronzes. USA won the title with 121 medals, including 46 golds, 37 silvers and 38 bronzes. - 8/22/16

Iran: Russia Has Stopped Using Iran Base for Syria Strikes
Russia has stopped using an Iranian air base for launching airstrikes on Syria for the time being, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday, just hours after the Iranian defense minister criticized Moscow for having "kind of show-off and ungentlemanly'' attitude by publicizing their actions. - 8/22/16

Iran Green Movement leaders under house arrest; more than 2000 days
It has now been established that Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) Supreme Leader has absolute jurisdiction over the release of the three opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since February 2011. Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard are the leader of the 2009 Green Movement in Iran and they are still being kept under house arrest without due processes. -Ehsan Mehrabi - 8/22/16

Iran to award two key oil deals to China
Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, the deputy director for engineering and development affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has been quoted by the media as saying that China's CNPC will be awarded the development of the second phase of North Azadegan project. Manouchehri added that the second company - Sinopec - will be awarded the development of the second phase of Yadavaran project. - 8/22/16

Congress Needs to Press the Pentagon, Saudi Arabia on Abuses in Yemen War
On August 9, one day after the Pentagon notified Congress of its intention to sell $1.2 billion in weapons systems to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi-led coalition resumed airstrikes on Yemen's capital, Sanaa, after peace talks that began in April shut down. One strike hit a potato chip factory, reportedly killing 14 civilians. -Belkis Wille, LobeLog - 8/22/16

Iran Launches its First Private Cloud Data Center
Iran's first private cloud data center gets launched in Tehran during a ceremony attended by the Minister of Communication and Information Technology. The construction for this data center took 3 years and 12 million dollars. -Hamed Jafari, Techsara - 8/22/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Komeail Qasemi wins silver for Iran in freestyle wrestling
Iranian freestyle wrestler Komeail Qasemi is stripped of an Olympic gold as he loses against his Turkish opponent Taha Akgul in the final of the 125-kilogram class of 2016 Rio games. He is the first heavyweight Iranian wrestler to reach the final in Olympic history. - 8/21/16

Iranian-Belgian woman Raheleh Asemani shines at Rio 2016 Olympics
Raheleh Asemani, a taekwondo practitioner who was representing Belgium in Rio 2016 Olympics, also came close to earning a medal in the Women's 57 kg taekwondo competitions. Asemani lost the contest for bronze medal to Hedaya Wahba of Egypt, while her countrywoman Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin won a bronze medal in the same weight category to become the first Iranian female Olympian. - 8/21/16

Banks become Iran's economic nightmare
In recent years, banks and financial institutions have mushroomed in Iran, engaging more in speculative activities than finance. A number of manufacturing corporations, pension funds, charity foundations as well as civil, military and state organizations have established their own banks to cash in on the lucrative speculative sector. - 8/21/16

Iran Unveils New Long-Range Missile-Defense System
Iran has released images of its first domestically built long-range missile defense system, the Bavar-373. The photos carried by several Iranian news agencies on August 21 showed President Hassan Rohani and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan standing in front of the defense system. Rohani also unveiled the first Iranian-made fighter jet engine. - 8/21/16

Iran pitches huge gas reserves for Asia markets
Iran is pitching its massive gas sector for trade with Asia where it sees a better market for exports than Europe. "Gas prices are more attractive in East Asia than in Europe," Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir-Hossein Zamaninia has said. - 8/21/16

Russian Realism in the Middle East
We should reflect on the meaning of Russia's use of a base in Iran for staging airstrikes in Syria, and about what lessons we could learn from the Russians. The significance does not have to do with any grand realignment in the Middle East or the emergence of a military alliance between Russia and Iran. Russians and Iranians are not buddies. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/21/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iran's Yazdani aces freestyle wrestling bouts, clinches gold
Iranian freestyle wrestlers Hassan Yazdani Cherati and Hassan Rahimi have adeptly employed a mix of primal hand-to-hand combat and complex tactics at the wrestling competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and picked up two medals, including one gold. - 8/20/16

President Rouhani congratulates Iran's first female Olympic medalist
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani extends his congratulation to taekwondo practitioner Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin for becoming the first Iranian female Olympian after winning the bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games. Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin received huge coverage by the Iranian media. Many newspapers covered the story prominently on their front pages. - 8/20/16

Defining "Ransom" for the Anti-Iran Crowd
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration had "secretly" sent $400 million to Iran in January, at the same time that the Iranian government agreed to release three American citizens whom it had detained (a fourth prisoner was also released in a separate deal). The Journal's framing was a bit odd-it's a stretch to call a payment "secret" when the president of the United States publicly acknowledged it when it was made. -Derek Davison - 8/20/16

First Medical Biotechnology Accelerator Established In Iran
The first accelerator in the fields of medical biotechnology (medicines and equipment) and regenerative medicine (stem cells) and the ninth accelerator member of the Innovation Acceleration Center of Pardis Technology Park started its activity. - 8/20/16

Disappointment with JCPOA Behind Iran's Closer Ties with Russia
The Iranian public and international observers received with surprise the news that Iran had allowed Russian planes to use an airbase in its Hamedan province for bombing expeditions in Syria. The Islamic government's emphasis on independence, the Iranian constitution's ban on granting basing rights to any foreign country, and the Islamist opposition's use of the presence of American military personnel and advisers as weapon against the Shah during the monarchy all made the granting of permission to Russia highly unusual. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog - 8/20/16

Taekwondo Player Kimia Alizadeh Is First Iranian Woman To Win Olympic Medal
Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin claimed the first ever Olympic medal by an Iranian woman in Rio on Friday. Alizadeh, 18, defeated Sweden's Nikita Glasnovic 5-1 in the under-57kg division to win the historic medal. "I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal, and I hope at the next Olympics we will get a gold," said Alizadeh, who wears a head covering under her headguard. - 8/19/16

Russia, Iran Appear to Double Down on Assad's Behalf in Syria
Russia's use of an Iranian base to launch airstrikes in Syria jolted the U.S. and its allies in the region, but the timing may have more to do with concerns about the fate of the Syrian regime than the need of Moscow or Tehran to send a message. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 8/19/16

U.S. Says It Withheld Cash To Secure Release Of Prisoners In Iran
The U.S. State Department said it released $400 million in cash to Iran under a court settlement in January only after it was assured that American prisoners had been freed by Tehran. - 8/19/16

Iranian researchers develop new method for breast cancer treatment, replacing chemo
Iranian researchers at Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, in Tehran, along with scientists at the country's Pastor Institute have conducted a study on effects of plasma in treating breast cancer. - 8/19/16

Zamaneh Conference and Festival in Amsterdam - Iran: The Road Ahead
Together with friends and partners, Zamaneh Media will celebrate its 10 yr. anniversary with a conference and festival. -October 21-22, 2016 at Pakhuis De Zwijger Amsterdam - 8/19/16

Reformist Iranian Journalist's Prison Sentence Reduced on Appeal
The prison sentence of reformist journalist Ehsan (Saman) Safarzaei has been reduced from five to two years, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. Safarzaei's lawyer, Iman Mirzadeh, confirmed he received the ruling in writing from Branch 36 of Tehran's Appeals Court on August 15, 2016. - 8/19/16

Iran's pharmaceutical ambitions are a Catch 22
Iran's pharmaceutical industry has found itself in a catch-22. On the one hand, the country is trying to grow its pharmaceutical exports and attract investment in the industry. But on the other hand... -Chloe Pfeiffer, Business Insider - 8/19/16

Passing the Foreign Policy Baton
President Barack Obama has 22 weeks left in office. But in practice, his useful mandate will expire on November 9, the day after the presidential election. That does not mean he will be unable to exercise his duties as commander-in-chief for the 72 days remaining in his term. However, given his inclination not to do "stupid stuff," he is unlikely to leave any poisoned chalices for his successor. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 8/19/16

Preschool to PhDs: Iranian-American Women Discuss the Future of Education
Join the Iranian American Women Foundation's Northern California Chapter as we hear from Iranian American women changing the field of education, from pre-K to college. Since 2010, the Iranian-American Women Foundation (IAWF) has set the stage to empower and inspire Iranian-American women of all ages and career paths through its nationally recognized annual Women's Leadership Conferences. - 8/18/16

Rio 2016 Olympics - Men's Volleyball: Italy defeats Iran to advance to semifinals
Italy gained their seventh entry to the Olympic semifinals, following their 3-0 (31-29, 25-19, 25-17) victory over Iran in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's volleyball quarterfinals at Maracanazinho on Wednesday. - 8/18/16

Why Has Tehran Allowed Russian Bombers to Use an Iranian Base?
In a highly dramatic development, Russian bombers have begun using an Iranian base for bombing missions over Syria. Why Moscow would want to do this is clear: flight time to Syria is much shorter from northwestern Iran than from southern Russia. This allows Russian bombers to carry less fuel and more bombs, which holds out the prospect for more effective Russian bombing missions against Syrian opposition targets. -Mark N. Katz - 8/18/16

Norway To Fund 1 Billion Euro Development Projects In Iran
Norway has opened a line of credit worth 1 billion Euro aimed at funding development and infrastructure projects in Iran. The Export Guarantee Fund of Iran and the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency signed three deals in the presence of Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with his Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende in Tehran on Wednesday. - 8/18/16

Imprisoned Epileptic Iranian Journalist Denied Request for Early Release
Imprisoned reformist journalist Ahmad Asgari, who suffers from severe epilepsy, has been denied early conditional release and medical furlough (temporary leave), an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, despite doctors' determination that he is medically unfit to continue serving his sentence. - 8/18/16

KIOSK Free Summer Concert in Los Angeles: With special guest Ardeshir Farah
One of the most influential underground rock bands to emerge since the Iranian Revolution is joined by the Grammy-winning guitarist, Ardeshir Farah, renowned jazz drummer Scott Amendola & progressive Brazilian trumpet player Leandro Juaquim for an evening of stinging satire hidden within a blues and folksy sound. - 8/18/16

Iran's Amir Naderi to receive Venice Film Festival honour
Iranian director Amir Naderi (Vegas, Manhattan by Numbers) is to receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival(August 31-Sept 10), dedicated to a personality who has made an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema. -Screen Daily - 8/18/16

Iran's police to use sniffer dogs at train stations
Commander of Iran's railroad police unveiled plans for the formation of a dog squad to help the forces in anti-drug operations. Speaking to Tasnim on Monday, General Alireza Akbarshahi said the railroad police is already using the canines trained by the Police Special Forces on a limited scale. - 8/18/16

Why Victory Over IS Won't Solve the Real Problem Facing Iraq and Syria
A recent spate of high-casualty Islamic State-linked attacks in France, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and (arguably) Orlando, Florida, has raised fears about the group's ability to carry out international terrorist strikes while also obscuring its failures at creating a "state." The group has lost a considerable amount of the territory it controlled at the height of its military success. - 8/18/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Behdad Salimi breaks world record in weightlifting but wins no medal
Iran's Behdad Salimi broke the world record in the snatch weightlifting of the Men's over 105-kilogram class at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games, but he was later disqualified in the clean and jerk stage following a controversial decision by the jury. - 8/17/16

Russian Planes Conduct More Syria Airstrikes From Iran
Russian warplanes flew from Iran to carry out airstrikes in Syria for a second day Wednesday. The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes originating from Hamedan airbase targeted Islamic State militants. The first round of airstrikes Tuesday were aimed at Islamic State as well as the jihadist group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front. - 8/17/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iran's Greco-Roman wrestler Ghasem Rezaei wins bronze
Ghasem Rezaei from Iran claimed a bronze medal in the men's Greco-Roman 98kg division at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The London gold medalist defeated Carl Fredrik Stefan Schoen of Sweden. - 8/17/16

Olive: The World's First Intelligent Suitcase
A team of Iranian researchers at Tehran's Pardis Technology Park (PTP), using tracking algorithms, have recently presented a robotic intelligent suitcase. According to the public relations department of PTP, Olive Intelligent Robotic Suitcase is the outcome of efforts by the engineers at Idea Kavan San'at Pardis Company (IKAP) . - 8/17/16

Prominent Iranian Human Rights Activist Mehrangiz Kar to Teach at California State University, Northridge in the Fall
The Iranian government has made it clear that it doesn't like what Mehrangiz Kar has to say about what is happening in Iran or how Islamic law impacts women. The prominent Iranian lawyer, writer and activist doesn't care. - 8/17/16

Iran Arrests Dual National on Security-related Charges
Iran has detained an Iranian with citizenship in another country over allegations the person had links to British intelligence services, a prosecutor said Tuesday, the latest dual national arrested in the country. - 8/17/16

US has delivered another $1.3 billion of Iran's money: Report
US payment of $400 million of Iranian money which sparked outcry among American politicians was followed by another transfer of $1.3 billion, it has been reported. - 8/17/16

Michael Weiss and the Iran-U.S. Hardline Nexus That Led Iranian-American to Evin Prison
How Daily Beast Editor, Michael Weiss Helped Send Iranian-American to Torture Chambers of Evin Prison -Richard Silverstein, Unz Review - 8/17/16

Former Iranian World Champ Helps Coach US Weightlifters at Olympics
Shahin Nasirinia represented Iran as a weightlifter at two Olympics, but at the Rio Summer Games he is helping coach the United States' weightlifting team. "I am happy with it. I love this sport. I love this job and I put my heart, everything into it," Nasirinia told VOA. - 8/16/16

From Sa'dabad to Zanjan: First all-women car rally to be held in Iran
The first women-only car rally in Iran will be held on August 23-28, it was announced at a press conference at Sa'dabad Palace in Tehran last week. The rally will start at Sa'dabad Tourism Complex in Tehran and will end in the city of Zanjan, passing through Iranian provinces of Alborz and Qazvin. - 8/16/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Russia defeats Iran in men's volleyball
Defending Olympic champions Russia overpowered Iran 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-20) for its fourth victory and one loss in Pool B of the men's volleyball tournament at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. - 8/16/16

President Rouhani Battles Religious Hardliners Over Concert Cancellations in Iran
A simmering battle between the government of President Hassan Rouhani and hardline religious figures over music concerts is playing out in northeastern Iran. Most recently, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli questioned the the announced suspension of all music concerts in Khorasan Razavi Province in a letter to the Judiciary. - 8/16/16

Russia uses Iran as base to bomb Syrian militants for first time
Russia used Iran as a base from which to launch air strikes against Syrian militants for the first time on Tuesday, widening its air campaign in Syria and deepening its involvement in the Middle East. In a move underscoring Moscow's increasingly close ties with Tehran, long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Iran's Hamadan air base to strike a range of targets in Syria. -Reuters - 8/16/16

Iranian carpets recapture US market
According to head of the Iranian National Carpet Center Hamid Kargar on Tuesday, Iran's carpet exports to the US significantly grew in the four months since the beginning of the Persian year on March 21, totaling $27.6 million. - 8/16/16

Iran unveils definite medicine for migraine
Iranian researchers at Pardis Technology Park have unveiled a definite medicine for migraine dubbed 'MigriHeal'. Dr. Ramezani, one of the researchers of the plan, said the drug is prescribed for people suffering migraine based on special protocols. - 8/16/16

Iran kills four Daesh affiliates, arrests six: Kermanshah Governor
Iranian security and intelligence officers on Monday and Tuesday killed four members of a Daesh-affiliated network in the western province Kermanshah, Kermanshah governor said on Tuesday. They were planning suicide bombings in central parts of the country, IRNA quoted Assadollah Razani as saying. - 8/16/16

Iranian Rap Music Flourishes Underground Despite Strict Religious Laws in Tehran
Now, roughly six months after the U.S. lifted economic sanctions, young Iranians are euphoric about rejoining the rest of the world. But many are still frustrated with the lack of jobs and still resentful of laws that prohibit criticizing the government in public, smoking marijuana or even drinking alcohol. Despite these strict rules, or perhaps because of them, underground music is flourishing, especially hip-hop. -Newsweek - 8/16/16

President Rouhani: Iran removed bases for sanctions with JCPOA
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration pulled off the task of removing the bases for sanctions against the Islamic Republic, not just the bans themselves, by achieving a nuclear deal with six world powers. - 8/15/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iran's Saeid Abdevali wins bronze in men's Greco-Roman wrestling
Iranian wrestler Saeid Morad Abdevali has won a bronze medal in the men's Greco-Roman 75-kilogram category after defeating Hungary's Peter Bacsi on August 14, 2016, during the wrestling event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 2 in Rio de Janeiro. - 8/15/16

Traditional Music genres of the Iranian World
Music and songs transferred orally among various Iranian tribes and peoples is an invaluable inheritance which should be known in order to be properly preserved. Iranian local music also called regional music according to some sources include the music of micro-cultures classified under Iranian or Persian Culture. - 8/15/16

Iran to introduce MasterCards: Communications Minister
Iran is about to introduce credit card services processed by global payment operator MasterCard for the first time, Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi says. - 8/15/16

New Report Details Massive Disparity in Middle East Arms Race
An August 2016 report on Iran's military capabilities in comparison with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) offers a straightforward take away: "the Arab countries are decisively winning this arms race." -NIAC - 8/15/16

Overblown Claims about Hezbollah in Latin America
But some in Washington, DC, far removed from the harsh realities of violent gangs uprooting entire neighborhoods and police death squads assassinating young men, are fond of stirring up fears of Islamist terrorist activities in Latin America with overblown claims about the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah. -Michael LaSusa, LobeLog - 8/15/16

Weightlifter Sohrab Moradi wins second gold medal for Iran at Rio 2016
Iran's weightlifter Sohrab Moradi has lifted a total of 403 kilograms at the 94-kilogram category of Rio 2016 Olympics Games, and won the second gold medal for the Iranian squad at the event. - 8/14/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iran's Taftian Strolls into Olympics 100m Semis
Iranian athlete Hassan Taftian qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games 100m semi-final on Saturday.The Iranian athlete advanced to the semis with a time 10.17 seconds. - 8/14/16

Boeing representatives in Tehran: Iranian Minister
Boeing representatives are currently in Tehran, discussing the US plane maker's planned sale of commercial aircraft to Iran, an Iranian minister says. "Right now, Boeing representatives including three financial, legal and technical groups are in Tehran and negotiating" the sale of jetliners to Iran, Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi said on Saturday. - 8/14/16

Iran oil fires raise cyber sabotage fears
Iran's cyberspace security authorities are looking into possible sabotage by the US or Israel following a recent string of fires in Iranian oil and gas facilities. - 8/14/16

Author Shares Persian Culture At Rockville Library
Author Pari Forood spoke at the Rockville Public Library on July 28, about her book, The Gates of Light, which is an account of her experiences growing up with an Iranian father, as well as with her part in helping a relative escape the compulsory draft in Iran during that country's war with Iraq in the 1980s. -Courant Community - 8/14/16

Iran Olympic protest: Woman asked to take down sign
A female Iranian activist who held a protest banner during a volleyball match at the Rio Olympics was asked to take it down and leave by security staff. Darya Safai's sign read: "Let Iranian women enter their stadiums." -BBC - 8/14/16

Weightlifter Kianoush Rostami Sets New World Record, Wins First Rio Gold For Iran
Iran has won the first medal of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games as weightlifter Kianoush Rostami grabs gold in the men's 85-kilogram category with a world record after lifting a total of 396 kilograms. The 25-year-old Iranian athlete lifted 179 and 217 kilograms in snatch and in clean and jerk respectively. - 8/13/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iran defeats Egypt, advances to quarterfinal in men's volleyball
Shahram Mahmoudi led Iran in their 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-16) win over Egypt in Pool B on Saturday, to advance to the quarterfinal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men's volleyball competition at Maracanazinho. - 8/13/16

Iranian athletes fail to clinch medals at Rio 2016 Olympics's athletics competitions
Iranian men and women athletes have demonstrated lackluster performances at the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and have fallen short to claim a single medal at the major international multi-sport event. - 8/13/16

Iran's Foreign Minister Boosts Ties During Ankara Visit
The foreign ministers of Turkey and Iran agreed Friday to boost trade relations and pledged greater cooperation on resolving the Syria crisis despite their differences on the issue. -VOA - 8/13/16

Acceptable Losses: Aiding and abetting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen
Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.'s Human Development Index. Such was the dire condition of the country before Saudi Arabia unleashed a bombing campaign in March 2015, which has destroyed warehouses, factories, power plants, ports, hospitals, water tanks, gas stations, and bridges, along with miscellaneous targets ranging from donkey carts to wedding parties to archaeological monuments. -Andrew Cockburn, Harper's Magazine - 8/13/16

Interview with Ahmad Kiarostami
What would you say tonight in Piazza Grande about your father, Abbas Kiarostami? Actually I didn't know I had to make a speech, so I prepared something last minute. Nothing about my father's movies, there are so many more competent professionals here allowed to talk about that. I will rather tell some personal stories regarding my father and me and our family. -Pardo Live - 8/13/16

Is Iran's President Rouhani in Trouble?
Perhaps because of this unpleasant political landscape for the conservatives the attacks against Rouhani are intensifying and will likely worsen as the election nears. For example, the Friday Prayer Leader of the city of Mashhad, Ahmad Alamolhoda, chose this week to ignore Ayatollah Khamenei's stamp of approval on the nuclear agreement when he called Rouhani "gullible" for stating that the nuclear has brought Iran respect. -Farideh Farhi - 8/12/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iran volleyball team defeats Cuba
Iran recorded its first victory in day three of the men's volleyball tournament at Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a straight-set decision 3-0 (25-21, 31-29, 25-16) over Cuba in a match between winless teams of Pool B on Thursday morning. - 8/12/16

Iran's weak economic growth undermines supporters of engagement
President Rouhani won the presidency of his country under a campaign which promised to improve Iran's economy and increase the standard of living of its people. This promise was grounded in another promise, to negotiate a deal with the United States which would end a decade's worth of economic sanctions -NIAC Insight - 8/12/16

Policy Memo: Understanding U.S. Sanctions-Related Obligations Under the JCPOA
It is an elemental condition of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ("JCPOA") -- the nuclear accord between the United States, other major world powers, and Iran - that the U.S. ensure that Iran receives the full benefit of the lifting of sanctions under the nuclear agreement. -Tyler Cullis, NIAC - 8/12/16

This Iranian-Born Actress Is Changing the Acting World
After graduating with honors in biology from the University of California, Irvine, Nazanin Boniadi swapped the security of a ­medical career for her dream of becoming an actor. "Luckily, nine months after I made that decision, I got my SAG card," she says. She landed her first role as a nurse on the soap opera General Hospital: The Night Shift. -Nina Terrero, TIME - 8/12/16

Five Prisoners Hanged in Iran in Accelerating Rate of Executions
All of the prisoners except for Mohammad Abdollahi were sentenced to death on drug-related charges. The UN has stated that drug-related crimes do not meet the standard of the most serious crimes for which capital punishment may be applied. - 8/12/16

Turkey Says It Wants To Buy More Gas From Iran
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Ankara wants to buy more natural gas from Iran and that the two sides have discussed pricing issues. - 8/12/16

Iran to attract $30B for power projects
Iran's Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian says the country has devised serious plans to overhaul its power industry within the next five years, adding that those plans need a collective investment of $30 billion to be materialized. - 8/12/16

Iran wins another legal battle against Israel
Switzerland's highest court has rejected an appeal by an Israeli company against a verdict to pay Iran money owed over a joint venture set up before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. - 8/12/16

The War Candidates
A common observation about the role of foreign policy in the current presidential race is that Donald Trump's candidacy is profiting from a lack of appetite among much of the electorate for continued heavy and costly U.S. involvement in overseas conflict. With Trump having made some remarks that sound critical of that involvement, support for Trump gets interpreted as a rejection of establishment thinking on foreign involvement and of Hillary Clinton's hawkishness -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/12/16

"World Youth Orchestra - Sounds for Iran" project performs first concert in Tehran
The World Youth Orchestra and the Tehran Symphony Orchestra performed their first joint concert in Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Wednesday August 10. Two more performances are scheduled on Thursday and Friday nights. These concerts are organized by the National Academy of St. Cecilia and the Sapienza University of Rome. - 8/11/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iranian fencer Abedini just short of bronze medal
Mojtaba Abedini, Iran's only fencer who has been a surprise by defeating world's great figures, has just come short of a medal for Iran's delegation. In semifinals, Abedini lost to his US rival Daryl Homer before a second defeat by South Korean Kim Young-Hwan 15-8. - 8/11/16

Some Thoughts on Donald Trump...
The "folk hero", the visionary Donald Trump, during his speech on economic policy on Monday, attacked Obama and Hillary Clinton(!), for "giving 150 billion dollars, plus another 400 million in ransom, to the world's biggest sponsor of terrorism, Iran." -Kam Zarrabi - 8/11/16

Iran Eases Process For Adoptive and Foster Parenting
The State Welfare Organization of Iran has facilitated the process for prospective foster or adoptive families, an official with the organization announced. The adoption and foster laws which dated back to some 44 years ago were revised and modified in 2013 and are going to be implemented in the near future - 8/11/16

Iran expects first wheat export in years
Iran is expecting a surplus of wheat this year, which it plans to release onto the regional markets, the country's top body in charge of ensuring food security says. - 8/11/16

Iran's miraculous desert glacier
In the Zard-Kuh, a 4,200m-high mountain range bordering the western flank of Iran's vast central deserts, hides one of the Islamic Republic's most unexpected geographical finds: on the edge of the hot desert is a series of sub-tropical glaciers. -Ian Lloyd Neubauer, BBC - 8/11/16

What If Saudi Arabia Collapses?
The geopolitical tsunami that would result from Saudi Arabia's collapse would have enormous consequences regarding Iranian influence across the region. From Iraq to Lebanon, and from Yemen to Syria, the struggle on the part of hardline Sunni Islamists to counter Shi'ism and Iran's reach would enter a new phase should Saudi Arabia cease to exist as a unified nation-state. -Theodore Karasik and Joseph Cozza, LobeLog - 8/11/16

In L.A.'s 'Little Persia,' Iranian-Americans split on Clinton v. Trump
In spite of the heated rhetoric about immigration and banning Muslims which has defined the campaign, in the largest Persian community in the country, the 2016 vote for president is still divided. Traditionally a left-leaning community, Republican Donald Trump has found a surprising advantage among Iranian-American voters USA TODAY spoke to here. -USA Today - 8/11/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iran Volleyball Team Suffers Second Loss
Iran volleyball team was defeated against Poland 3-2 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 20-25, 18-16) in the men's volleyball tournament of Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Tuesday night. Poland improved its win-loss record to 2-0 in Pool B, while Iran fell to 0-2. - 8/10/16

The Strange Bedfellows of U. S.-Iranian Animosity
A semi-irony of the 37-year-old animosity between Iran and the United States is the repeated convergence of short-term interests between hard-liners in the Iranian theocracy and right-wing political forces in America. The latest example is the dispute over the U. S. government's $400 million payment to Iran. -Mansour Farhang - 8/10/16

Iran's Nemati Bows Out Of Rio Olympics But Urges Disabled To Compete
Iranian archer Zahra Nemati, a disabled trailblazer who in one of many firsts was Iran's flag-bearer in the Rio Olympics, exited from the games on August 9 after a loss to Russia's Inna Stepanova. Nemati, who won the gold medal in archery at the London Paralympics in 2012, was quickly eliminated by Stepanova in a first-round encounter, leaving the Iranian shaken. - 8/10/16

British Prime Minister Presses Rohani Over Detained British-Iranian Woman
British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged the Iranian president to resolve the case of a British-Iranian aid worker who faces trial in Iran. May's office said on August 9 she had "raised concerns" about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals during a telephone call with President Hassan Rohani. - 8/10/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iranian rower says she lost by just few seconds
Iranian female rower Mahsa Javar says she lost out her contest at the rowing events of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to globally distinguished athletes with just a few seconds' delay. - 8/10/16

Iran to promote environmental awareness at schools, universities
Mentioning the Education Ministry's active cooperation with the DoE, Ebtekar pointed that all the schools nationwide are required to initiate green management and encourage students' participation in environmental fields as well as raise awareness among teachers. - 8/10/16

Iran will never compromise on distance from US: Supreme Leader
"Keeping a distance from the head of the arrogant movement, i.e. the US, is one of the most important definitive principles of the great founder of the Islamic Republic and there is no room for any compromise or negligence in this regard," Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi and other senior personnel of the ministry on Tuesday. - 8/10/16

Is Saudi Arabia Pivoting Toward Iranian Radicals?
Turki al-Faisal appears to be Riyadh's point man once again. Last month, the former head of Saudi intelligence called for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic at a meeting of the Iranian opposition in Paris. His remarks coupled with recent diplomatic moves signal a new tougher policy toward Iran from Saudi Arabia. -Joseph Hammond, National Interest - 8/10/16

The Defector Who Returned to Iran
The bizarre saga of Shahram Amiri, a broad-shouldered young nuclear scientist who was executed last week in Iran, is the stuff of literary thrillers and movie blockbusters. Depending on whom you listen to, Amiri was either a defecting spy for the United States or a double agent for Iran. The enmity between the two countries briefly played out over this one man. -Robin Wright, New Yorker - 8/10/16

Can Iran go around Turkey to reach Europe?
Iran's geostrategic location, along with its historic role as a conduit for the exchange of goods -- especially its position on the ancient Silk Road -- has made the country one of the most active transportation hubs in the world. -Al Monitor - 8/10/16

Iranian President meets Russian and Azeri counterparts, urges dialog for all regional disputes
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for efforts to resolve all regional disputes through dialog and diplomacy. Rouhani made the remarks during a trilateral meeting with his Russian and Azeri counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, respectively, in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku on Monday. - 8/9/16

Interview: Young Iranian American Entrepreneur, Rostam Zafari
Rostam Zafari is a 20-year-old Iranian American from Atlanta studying social entrepreneurship and creative writing at Emory University. He is especially interested in designing impactful solutions in the fields of healthcare and education. At 18, he helped create a rapid test strip for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) for which he was awarded the 2015 Cyrus Prize. - 8/9/16

Anti-Pollution Initiative Stymied by Ban on Women Riding Bicycles in Public
Women's rights activists and environmentalists joined forces in the city of Marivan, in Iran's Kurdistan Province, after a local anti-pollution initiative encouraging people to ride bikes or walk instead of using their cars ran aground when security agents objected to women riding bicycles in public. - 8/9/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iranian boxer and all three table tennis players eliminated
Iranian professional boxer Ehsan Rouzbahani has experienced a bitter defeat at the boxing tournaments of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and subsequently dumped out of the high-status international multi-sport event. - 8/9/16

Iran, Russia Presidents Urge Acceleration Of Relations Promotion
Presidents of Iran and Russia have stressed the importance of accelerating the development of bilateral relations in all fields. In a meeting in the Azeri capital city of Baku on Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, said Tehran and Moscow need to make more efforts to speed up the development of all-out cooperation. - 8/9/16

Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad Writes to Obama Over $2B Court Ruling
TEHRAN-Iran's former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to "quickly fix'' a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could cost Iran some $2 billion. - 8/9/16

Iran Says Cash Payment From U.S. Not Related To Nuclear Deal
A top Iranian security official says a January cash payment by the United States was unrelated to the landmark nuclear deal, as speculation continued to swirl around the timing of the transfer. - 8/9/16

The surprising women of Iran
Cambridge photojournalist challenges perceptions of Iranian women in latest exhibit: Photojournalist Randy H. Goodman returned to Iran after 33 years to see how life has changed for women since her visits to the country to document the hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy and the Iran-Iraq War. -John Michael Baglione, Harvard - 8/9/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Argentina's volleyball team defeats Iran in opening match
Argentina's national volleyball team has defeated the Iranian side with a straight-set win in its opening match at the preliminary round of the volleyball tournaments in the ongoing 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. - 8/8/16

Photos: Drought In Nahbandan, Eastern Iran
Drought affects the lives of residents of the eastern city of Nahbandan seen in these photos (taken on July 31) where people wait for tankers to bring them drinking water. - 8/8/16

Cyrus Habib Poised to Become the First Iranian-American Lt. Governor
State Sen. Cyrus Habib (D-WA) has announced his victory in August 2nd's crowded primary election for Washington State Lieutenant Governor. If successful in the November general election, Habib will become the first Iranian American to be elected to the position of Lieutenant Governor, the highest officer of a state after the Governor. - 8/8/16

Iran's President Rouhani heralds free trade with Caucasus and Eurasian countries
President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the purpose behind development of Iran's ties with countries in the Eurasian and Caucasus regions is to move toward "free trade." "Proximity and development of ties with Eurasian countries, the Caucasus region, especially the country of Azerbaijan, is very important and we should move toward free trade in the future," Rouhani told a press conference with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku. - 8/8/16

Tehran exhibition chronicles 70 years of cooperation between UN, Iran
An exhibition of historic photos and documents illustrating 70 years of cooperation between the United Nations and Iran opened in the Iranian Artists Forum on Sunday. - 8/8/16

Ground broken for Iran-Azerbaijan joint car plant
Iran-Azerbaijan joint car manufacturing project launched in Azerbaijan's Neftchala Industrial District on Saturday. Production capacity of the $15 million joint venture plant, which will be constructed by Iran Khodro Company and Azevrocar Company, is 10,000 cars per year and it is expected to create 300 new job opportunities. - 8/8/16

Israeli-owned oil company ordered to pay Iran $1.2 billion after losing appeal
An Israeli-owned oil company has been ordered by an arbitration court in Switzerland to pay Iran USD 1.2 billion in revenues for oil supplied to Israel before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. - 8/8/16

Iranian Ritual Performer Aram Khalkhali Selected As Peace Ambassador Of MusicFestival Of Montignac
Montignac festival was held from July 26 to July 31, 2016 in the town of Montignac, France. At the closing ceremony, Ms. Khalkhali delivered the Peace Message to the other groups and as the representative of the festival expressed the international great aspiration for Peace on Earth. - 8/7/16

Rio Olympics 2016: Iran's Elaheh Ahmadi earns sixth place in women's 10m air rifle
Elaheh Ahmadi of Iran finished in sixth place, scoring 122.5 in the women's 10m air rifle on Saturday. "I worked hard for two years to earn my first Olympic medal but unfortunately finished in sixth place," Ahmadi said. - 8/7/16

Iran Executes Nuclear Scientist For Spying For U.S.
Shahram Amiri, the Iranian nuclear scientist who disappeared from Iran in 2009, later on claiming that he was kidnapped, tortured and bribed to cooperate with the CIA on revealing Iranian nuclear secrets was covertly executed in Iran. - 8/7/16

Iran, Russia map out rival to Suez Canal
A major project to foster trade connectivity through a less trodden path straddling a promising market is about to feature prominently in discussions when presidents of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan meet in Baku on Monday. - 8/7/16

'Atlan' by Iranian director Moein Karimoddini receives Best Documentary award at Rural Route Film Festival in New York
'Atlan', an Iranian documentary directed by Moein Karimoddini, has won the Best Documentary Award from Rural Route International Festival in New York, as the event celebrated its 12th edition. - 8/6/16

Rio Olympics Begin With First Female Iranian Flag-Bearer, More Cleared Russians
The 2016 Summer Olympics have opened amid fanfare and partying in the host city Rio de Janeiro, featuring a diminished Russian team, Iran's first-ever woman flag-bearer, and a team from Kosovo who are in their first games. - 8/6/16

Pokemon Go Banned In Iran, Due To "National Security Concerns"
The Iranian regime apparently has little tolerance for virtual monsters. On Friday, Iran officially became the first nation to ban Pokemon Go, the dizzyingly popular mobile phone app game that has taken the world by storm in recent months. Some countries, like Indonesia, have placed partial bans on the use of Pokemon Go. -Mehdi Jedinia, VOA - 8/6/16

Names of Mass Execution Victims in Iran Still Not Released
Iran is withholding the names of ten of the twenty Sunni prisoners who were executed in Rajaee Shahr Prison in the city of Karaj on August 2, 2016 even though the prosecutor general and the Intelligence Ministry have made statements on the executions. - 8/6/16

One Killed, Three Injured In Gas Pipeline Explosion In Southern Iran
At least one person was killed and three others injured in an Iranian gas pipeline explosion early on August 6 near the town of Genaveh in the southern province of Bushehr, Iranian news agencies reported. - 8/6/16

TIME Person Of The Year, The Short List: No 5, Hassan Rouhani
It is not easy to be a moderate politician in Iran. Every day is a somersault through flaming rhetorical hoops. Here, for example, is Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, responding in November to a question from an Italian newspaper about the possibility of establishing formal diplomatic relations with the U.S.... -TIME - 8/6/16

Why the U.S. Owed Iran That $400 Million
The money was part of a hostage deal, but not the one some might think It does look fishy as all get out: $400 million in assorted denominations, stacked on wooden pallets and flown to Tehran in the dead of night by the government of the United States. -Karl Vick, TIME - 8/6/16

Obama Says $400 Million Payment To Iran Not 'Nefarious' Ransom Deal
U.S. President Barack Obama has dismissed criticism of his administration's $400 million cash payment to Iran to settle a long-standing legal claim, adamantly rejecting charges that it was a ransom paid for the release of imprisoned Americans. - 8/5/16

Rights Groups Condemn Iran's Executions of 20 Kurdish Prisoners
Human rights groups on Thursday condemned the execution of at least 20 Kurdish activists in Iran who had been charged with links to terrorism. A statement by the Iranian intelligence ministry confirmed the Wednesday executions, saying the convicts were part of a terrorist cell that was responsible for armed attacks in Iran's western provinces. -VOA - 8/5/16

Iran offers human rights dialog with Europe
Iran's Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani has proposed that the Islamic Republic and Europe initiate a dialog on human rights. Human rights have long been a point of friction between Iran and the West, with Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani saying Europe and the US are making an "instrumental use" of the issue. - 8/5/16

Putin renews vow to give Iran $2.5bn loans
Russia says it is still committed to a pledge it has already made to grant two loans worth $2.5 billion to Iran. Russia's President Vladimir Putin says the loans will be meant to help Iran develop two key energy-related projects. - 8/5/16

Major Sanctions Renewal Risks Complicating Iran Deal
Congress is expected to consider legislation soon to renew the Iran Sanctions Act, the law that mandates many of the existing U.S. sanctions on Iran's energy sector and which expires at the end of the year. Legislators from across the aisle have pledged to renew the bill but failed thus far to coalesce around a single proposal. -Roksana Borzouei, NIAC - 8/5/16

Iran supertanker smashes into container ship in Singapore Strait
An Iranian supertanker collided with a container ship in the Singapore Strait with no loss of life or pollution despite damage to both vessels, shipping officials said on Thursday. - 8/5/16

Bloody Lake in Iran Captured by NASA Satellite
The waters of Iran's Lake Urmia turned from green to blood-red as captured by a NASA satellite. Lake Urmia, which is located near the border of Iran and Turkey, used to have a distinctive green color. But on July 18, satellite images of the lake showed that it now looks like a large pool of blood. -Nature World - 8/5/16

'She lived her life to the fullest': Iranian woman who fought red tape to remain in Canada dies of cancer
Fatemeh Kamkar, the Iranian woman who battled both cancer and bureaucratic red tape while earning her PhD in cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Ottawa, has died. -Ottawa Citizen - 8/5/16

THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS How Might the Outcome Affect US/Iran Relations
What is the most important step a candidate for any office, including that of the presidency of the United States, must take to reach that goal? The answer is simple: try your best to get elected by attracting the greater number of voters to his or her camp. As elementary as that answer appears at first glance, the means of achieving that objective are anything but simple, straight forward or even honest and acceptable for the average voter. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 8/4/16

White House Rejects Charges It Paid Iran Ransom To Free Prisoners
The White House has rejected a charge from Republican leaders that it secretly paid Iran $400 million in cash in January as ransom for the release of imprisoned Americans. - 8/4/16

Iran's South Pars Gas Field: Phase 18 platform installation completed
The platform 18B of Iran's South Pars gas field was fixed on its jacket in the phase 18 of the giant gas field in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, Shana reported. The operation of loading the 2,300-ton platform from Bandar-Abbas yard was conducted by Iran Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Complex Co. (ISOICO) on June 23. - 8/4/16

Iran Executes Up To 20 Kurdish Militants, Drawing Human Rights Criticism
Iran has executed up to 20 Kurdish Islamists suspected of attacks on security forces, drawing condemnation from rights groups who say the convictions may have been based on forced confessions. - 8/4/16

Iranian Cabinet Adopts New Oil-Contract Model To Woo Foreign Investors
Iran's government has approved a new oil contract model designed to attract foreign investors in its energy industry following the easing of sanctions in January. The contract model was approved at a cabinet meeting on August 3, local media reported. - 8/4/16

Head Of Tehran Think Tank Arrested For Criticizing Iran's Army
Iranian authorities have arrested a hard-line theorist who heads a think tank in Tehran after he criticized the Iranian Army. In a video published on social media networks in Iran, Abbasi, criticized the army for inaction -- particularly on social and political issues. - 8/4/16

Radical Iranian Newspaper Suspended for Lewd Sexual Slurs against Actors
The weekly Ya Lesarat, the official publication of the ultraconservative vigilante group Ansar-e Hezbollah, has been suspended by Iran's Press Oversight Committee for printing a sexual smear campaign about actors' wives. - 8/4/16

Inside Tehran: how Iran is changing, one year on from the landmark nuclear deal
A report from one of the Iranian capital's poorest and most conservative areas, and a trip around a new shopping mall in the north of the city. -Dominic Waghorn, New Statesman - 8/4/16

Olympics: Utah businessman offers cash donations to U.S., Iran wrestling winners
Khosrow Semnani was never a wrestler, but when he discovered his favorite sport's future at the Olympics was pinned against the mat, the Utah businessman helped turn a dire situation into a victory. Semnani, an Iranian-born businessman and philanthropist, has pledged cash donations to American and Iranian wrestlers and their coaches for winning a medal. -Salt Lake Tribune - 8/4/16

Trump's Love Affair with Nukes Is Actually a Threesome
Yesterday morning, MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough revealed that "several months ago, a foreign policy expert, on the international level, went to advise Donald Trump and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons." Scarborough said that Trump asked the expert, "If we have them, why can't we use them?" -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 8/4/16

AP FACT CHECK: Trump off base on Clinton and Iran payment
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was responsible for negotiations that led to a $400 million U.S. payment to Iran. THE FACTS: Trump is wrong about Clinton's involvement. -AP - 8/4/16

Lawyers Still Languishing in Jails in Iran for Defending Dissidents Under Rouhani's Watch
Dozens of human rights lawyers who have been imprisoned for years in Iran for defending civil rights and political prisoners, remain behind bars three years after President Hassan Rouhani came to office, despite his campaign pledge to free political prisoners. - 8/3/16

Ninety-two Student Groups in Iran Criticize Rouhani for Unfulfilled Promises
Ninety-two university student groups have issued a joint letter to President Hassan Rouhani criticizing the persistent "atmosphere of fear and intimidation" in Iran's universities following a spate of attacks and sabotage against peaceful student activities. - 8/3/16

British-Iranian Aid Worker Charged In Tehran's Revolutionary Court
A British-Iranian aid worker detained since early April and accused of trying to overthrow Iran's government has appeared in Tehran's Revolutionary Court for the first time, her family said on August 2. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard Ratcliffe, dismissed accusations she sought a "soft toppling" of the government. - 8/3/16

30 Sunni prisoners on the death row transferred to an undisclosed location in Iran
Riot control guards have raided prison ward 4 associated with Sunni prisoners on death row in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, Iran. The riot control police known as the Black Guards then cuffed 30 Sunni prisoners and transferred them to an undisclosed location. - 8/3/16

Iranian President Says World Powers Must Fulfill Nuclear Deal
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has criticized world powers for not fulfilling all of their commitments under a historic nuclear deal signed last year. Rohani said on state television on August 2 that the failure to lift all sanctions against Iran had harmed the country's economic growth. - 8/3/16

I'll win a medal at the Olympics: Iranian woman shooter Elaheh Ahmadi
"I've worked hard during the last couple of months and I think I'm completely ready to win my first Olympics medal. I've strong opponents who are all world champions but I've beat them in the past," Ahmadi said. - 8/3/16

Iranians donate $1.1B to healthcare causes over 8 years
Some 4 trillion rials (nearly $1.15b) has been donated since 2008 by philanthropists in Iran to healthcare services in the country, an official with the health philanthropists society has said. - 8/3/16

Russian industrial giant seals deal with Iran
Russia's Technopromexport has become the country's first enterprise to win a major industrial deal from Iran after the removal of the sanctions against the country. Technopromexport, part of Russia's state industrial conglomerate Rostec, will reportedly build a thermal power plant in Iran with a capacity of 1.4 gigawatts (1.4 billion watts). - 8/3/16

Iranian-Swedish woman among winners of top European math prize
Iranian-Swedish mathematician, Sara Zahedi, has been awarded a prominent prize by the European Mathematical Society. This is the top honor for young European mathematicians awarded once every four years, according to NPR. - 8/2/16

Iran's Rohani Orders Delay In State Recruitment Exams To Address Gender Quotas
President Hassan Rohani has ordered the postponement of state recruitment exams for Iranians seeking government jobs, saying that gender quotas must be fixed and based on "justice." Rohani's order on July 31 followed Iranian media reports alleging that some of the 13 state bodies participating in the exam, which had been scheduled for September 6, have quotas that discriminate against women. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 8/2/16

Iran's Sayeh Theater Troupe to perform "The Door" in New York and Chicago
The Sayeh Theater Troupe led by Iranian director Mehdi Mashhur will be performing the play "The Door" in the United States during August. The play will first go on stage at the New York International Fringe Festival (Fringe NYC), running from August 12 to 28, Mashhur told the Persian service of Honaronline on Monday. - 8/2/16

Opinion: Thanks to Trump, We Will Remember Humayun Khan
In the year since he announced his candidacy for U.S. president, Donald Trump has insulted Mexicans, war heroes, women, disabled people, the children of immigrants and Muslims. So perhaps no one should have been surprised when he denigrated the parents of an immigrant Muslim American war hero, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, killed by a suicide car bomb in Iraq in 2004 while he was protecting those under his command. - 8/2/16

Tehran rejects non-nuclear negotiations with Washington
Tehran has stressed it has had no dialogue with Washington on issues other than those related to Iran's nuclear program. CIA Director John Brennan had said in a session at the Aspen Institute that Washington and Tehran keep exchanging ideas on a wide range of issues. -Barbara Slavin - 8/2/16

Is Saudi Arabia Really Inviting Russia to Play a Bigger Role in the Middle East?
Much attention was generated by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir's interview with politico.eu. The minister appeared to offer Russia an economic lifeline from Western sanctions through economic access to the Gulf Cooperation Council--the grouping of the six Arab Gulf monarchies, most of which have large oil reserves--and "a pool of investment that exceeds that of China." -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog - 8/2/16

Exclusive: Hackers accessed Telegram messaging accounts in Iran - researchers
Iranian hackers have compromised more than a dozen accounts on the Telegram instant messaging service and identified the phone numbers of 15 million Iranian users, the largest known breach of the encrypted communications system, cyber researchers told Reuters. -Reuters - 8/2/16

Junior Iranian basketballers claim Asian title for 3rd time
Iran's national junior basketball team gave Japan a drubbing in the finals of 2016 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship to win the Asian trophy for the third time. On Sunday evening, young Iranian basketball players overcame Japanese rivals 71-65 in the final showdown of the sportive extravaganza staged in Azadi Sports Complex. - 8/1/16

Call for Submissions: 2017 Nowruz Banner Contest
Farhang Foundation is calling on aspiring and veteran graphic artists to submit original designs that conceptualize Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) commemorating Farhang's annual celebration of Nowruz in Los Angeles. - 8/1/16

Germany, Italy and France send most tourists to Iran
Most of the tourists who apply for getting visa to visit Iran are from Germany, Italy and France, the head of Iranian Tour Operators Association, Ebrahim Pourfaraj, told IRNA on Thursday. "Not taking religious tourists [visiting holy shrines] into account, Europeans rank first among tourists who visit the country," he said. - 8/1/16

Iran, Russia taking partnership to new levels
More signs have appeared showing that Russia is already working on what may be a special industrial alliance with Iran. The country says it is preparing a road map for dozens of joint industrial projects with Iran, adding that it would be signed by the related officials of the two countries in the near future. - 8/1/16

JCPOA proved necessity of distrust in US promises: Iran's Supreme Leader
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran's experience in striking a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries, including the United States, was a clear example of the enemies' untrustworthiness. - 8/1/16

Iran basketball team finishes 4th in William Jones Cup
The Iranian men's national basketball team landed fourth at the 2016 William Jones Cup in Taiwan with 6 wins and 2 losses overall. Last day encounters of William Jones Cup were held on Sunday at the Hsinchuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City with the Iranian players pulling out a 71-56 victory over India. - 8/1/16

53% of Iranians Are a Member of at Least One Social Media Platform
According to Iran's head of Digital Media Development Center, 53% of Iranians are a member of at least one social media platform. "The average daily presence of Iranians on the internet is between 5 to 9 hours, while the global monthly average is 16 hours," claimed this Iranian official. -Hamed Jafari, Techsara - 8/1/16
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