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U.S. returns ancient artifact to Iran as token of friendship
The United States has returned a 2,700 year-old Iranian artifact to the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage Department as a token of the budding friendship between the two countries. The chalice was delivered to Mahmmad Ali Najafi, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage Department, who was part of President Hassan Rohani's retinue as he travelled to New York to attend the UN General Assembly. - 9/30/13

Arrests made after shoe thrown during President Rohani's return
Iranian media report that two people have been arrested in connection with the shoe-throwing incident at the welcoming party for Iranian President Hassan Rohani. The Mehr News Agency reports that a spokesman for Iran's Security Forces announced that on Sunday September 29, two people were arrested for "the disruption of the welcoming party for the president." - 9/30/13

Iran To Consider Resuming Flights To U.S.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has ordered aviation authorities to study the possibility of resuming direct flights between Iran and the United States for the first time in more than three decades. - 9/30/13

Iran to Top Agenda During Netanyahu US Visit
Israel's leader is coming to the United States, hoping to counter media and diplomatic appearances by Iran's new president that seemed to improve ties with the West. Netanyahu is deeply concerned about eased tensions between Iran and the international community,... -Robert Berger, VOA - 9/30/13

Iran's "Le Passe" Submitted For Oscar Consideration
Iran has submitted "Le Passe," the latest film from director Asghar Farhadi, for consideration as best foreign language film in the U.S. Oscar Awards. The submission comes despite opposition from conservatives, who say the film is too French. - 9/30/13

Interview: Ex-Ambassador Crocker Says U.S. Needs Action From Iran
Ambassador Ryan Crocker: It was a good week, I think, in terms of showing some of what may be possible with the Iranians. Now we have to see whether what's possible may actually be implemented. The Iranian president's performance has been called a "charm offensive." I think it's more than that. - 9/30/13

Iranian Hardliners Silent on Rouhani's US Diplomacy
Following the phone conversation between Presidents Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani, the atmosphere in Iran has taken a happier turn while remaining surprisingly calm. Contrary to predictions made over the past week and during Rouhani's trip to the UN, it appears the Iranian president has little problem in dealing with Iranian hardliners on his diplomatic approach with the USA. What exactly is happening here? -Ali Reza Eshraghi, Lobe Log - 9/30/13

Israel detains man for allegedly spying for Iran's IRGC
Israel's General Security Service Shin Bet claims it has arrested an Iranian agent on spying charges. Israel has opposed recent attempts by the U.S. and the West to establish more amicable relationships with Iran, dismissing the new Iranian president's attempts to ease international concerns about Iran's nuclear program as hypocrisy. - 9/30/13

Foiling Medical Implant Hackers
Professor Farinaz Koushanfar at Rice University and doctoral candidate Masoud Rostami created a system to secure implantable medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps from wireless attacks. -R. Colin Johnson, EE Times - 9/30/13

Kerry Sees Potential for Quick Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a deal on Iran's nuclear weapons program could be reached relatively quickly, and it would have the potential to dramatically improve the relationship between the two countries. -Reuters - 9/30/13

Argentina says Iran still joining probe of deadly explosion
Argentina has announced that Iran remains committed to participating in an investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires. - 9/30/13

President Obama Speaks by Phone to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani
WHITE HOUSE - President Obama and Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, have spoken by telephone, discussing efforts to resolve long-running international concerns over Iran's nuclear program. It was the first such contact in more than 30 years. Obama revealed his phone call with President Rouhani at the beginning of a previously unscheduled appearance in the White House briefing room. - 9/28/13

Rohani Returns To Mixed Welcome After Historic Chat With Obama
Iran's President Hassan Rohani has returned to a mixed reception in Tehran after his historic phone call with U.S. President Barack Obama. Iranian media said hundreds of Rohani supporters turned up at the airport to greet him. But about 100 hard-liners shouting "Death to America" reportedly pelted his car with eggs and stones in protest. - 9/28/13

Photos: Iran Unveils New Combat Drone "Yasir"
The Iranian Ground Force unveiled the country's latest home-made combat drone named 'Yasir' on Saturday. Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said: "One of the capabilities of Yasir is detection and targeting of remote targets." He said that the drone is equipped with the most advanced reconnaissance systems. - 9/28/13

NIAC Applauds Historic Phone-Call Between Obama and Rouhani
Washington, DC - The President of the National Iranian American Council Dr. Trita Parsi released on behalf of the organization the following statement in regards to the historic telephone conversation between President Barack Obama and President Hassan Rouhani: - 9/28/13

Beach Soccer World Cup: Champ Russia ends Iran hopes
Reigning world champions Russia moved into the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 semifinals for the fourth successive time with hard-fought 6-5 victory over Iran. - 9/28/13

Rouhani Wants Quick Results from Nuclear Talks
NEW YORK - New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday he wanted talks with major powers on Iran's nuclear program to yield results in a short period of time and that the improved mood in U.S.-Iranian relations could lead to better ties. -Reuters - 9/28/13

Kerry Holds Historic Meeting with Iran's FM
The United States and Iran have held the highest level direct talks in over 30 years on the sidelines of a meeting in New York aimed at resolving the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. Following a meeting with leaders from five other world powers on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pulled aside Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for about 30 minutes of unexpected, one-on-one nuclear talks. - 9/27/13

Iran's President Tells Asia Society 'Sooner the Better' in Resolving Nuclear Issue
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today that his government would leave "no stone unturned" while seeking a mutually acceptable solution to the nuclear impasse, and committed to resolve any "reasonable questions" on Iran's nuclear program. The president described the dedication of the Iranian people to protecting their right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, but underscored his commitment to resolve concerns - "the sooner the better." - 9/27/13

New Approach Creates Optimism About Iran Talks
Conciliatory statements by U.S. and Iranian leaders at the United Nations this week, a historic ministerial meeting and an agreement between key U.N. countries and Iran to resume detailed talks on its nuclear program next month raise hopes of progress after years of stalemate. -Al Pessin, VOA - 9/27/13

Rohani Tells UN No Nation Should Have Nuclear Weapons, Challenges Israel On NPT
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has told a UN meeting on nuclear disarmament that no country should have nuclear weapons and called on Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Rohani, whose country is suspected by the West of seeking the capability to produce atomic bombs, urged Israel, which has never officially acknowledged its presumed possession of nuclear weapons, to put its nuclear arms under international control. - 9/27/13

Iran Holds 'Constructive' Meeting With Nuclear Watchdog
Iranian officials held talks Friday with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), their first meeting with the U.N. body since Hassan Rouhani was elected Iran's president in June. IAEA chief negotiator Herman Nackaerts called the talks in Vienna "very constructive" and said the two sides would meet again next month. - 9/27/13

Documentary Film on Cyrus the Great's Capital City to be Aired on PBS
Farhang Foundation will be sponsoring the premiere broadcast of Recreating Pasargadae: Cyrus the Great's Paradise, a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Farzin Rezaeian that explores the palaces and gardens of Pasargadae, the first capital of the Persian Empire, on PBS SoCal HD on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 11 a.m. PST. - 9/27/13

Join Maz Jobrani and Elon Gold to Give Peace a Dance
Iranian American comedian and NIAC Advisory Board member Maz Jobrani teamed up with Jewish American comedian Elon Gold in a new campaign called "Give Peace a Dance" asking for peace between the United States, Israel, and Iran through diplomatic channels rather than military strikes. -Parsa Garrett - 9/27/13

Former Iran President Urges Release of All Political Prisoners
Reformist former president Mohammad Khatami called for all political prisoners in Iran to be freed following a decision to pardon 80 people in an easing of the Islamic Republic's strict security policies. -Reuters - 9/27/13

Rouhani's Electoral Honeymoon Won't Last Long
This week's events at and surrounding the UN General Assembly will help determine whether the U.S. and Iran can resolve their differences, or if hardliners on either side will once again succeed in sabotaging reconciliation. -Ryan Costello and Jamal Abdi, Huffington Post - 9/27/13

Iran, World Powers Set for Talks on Nuclear Issue
World leaders hold nuclear talks Thursday with Iran's top diplomat, amid fresh signs Tehran is looking to negotiate a settlement over its controversial nuclear program. Most analysts do not expect a breakthrough at the meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. But diplomats hope to agree on a restart of the so-called P5+1 nuclear talks, which were last held in April. - 9/26/13

President Rohani says he brings peace and friendship from Iranians to U.S. citizens
Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Tuesday delivered his first English-language TV message to the people of the United States in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "I would like to say to American people: I bring peace and friendship from Iranians to Americans," he said. - 9/26/13

At UN, Obama And Rohani Sound Optimistic On Iranian Nuclear Crisis
No one in Washington or Tehran underestimates the difficulty of trying to bridge the U.S.-Iran divide. But in their separate speeches to the United Nations on September 24, both U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rohani opted for a new tone of hope and expressed the readiness to try. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 9/26/13

New Iranian President Wants Nuclear Deal in 3-6 Months
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said he wants a deal with the West on his country's nuclear program in as little as three months. President Rouhani told The Washington Post on Wednesday that Iran is willing to take unspecified transparency measures to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful. - 9/26/13

Iran: UN expert hails release of rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, and urges government to free remaining ones
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, has welcomed the recent release of a number of prisoners of conscience, and renewed his call for the release of hundreds of other prisoners detained "solely for exercising their rights to freedoms of expression, association and assembly." - 9/26/13

"My Stolen Revolution" and "For the Birds" to screen at the Vancouver International Film Festival
Iran-born, Sweden-based director Nahid Persson Sarvestani was a member of the Communist Party and an anti-Shah activist before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Following the revolution, the better-organized Islamists cracked down on other parties, jailing and executing thousands. With arrest imminent, Nahid was able to flee the country and find political asylum in Sweden... - 9/26/13

A Meeting That Was Not Held "Hastily"
The issue of relations between Iran and the United States has taken a new turn in the past months, particularly in the past few weeks, which has convinced even the most cynical observers that the time is now ripe for a "change" in those relations. -Davoud Mohammadi, Editor of Tehran's Shargh Newspaper - 9/26/13

Film: The Muslims Are Coming!
The Muslims Are Coming! is a road movie, that follows a comedy tour of middle Amerca. A traveling band of comedians visit big cities, small towns, liberal enclaves, conservative hotbeds, rural unincorporated villages, and everything in between to explore the issue of Islamophobia! They'll perform, meet the locals, and take the pulse of real Americans. - 9/26/13

Column: Rouhani Charts Cautious Course in UN Debut
Rouhani's much-anticipated speech to the General Assembly sounded like it had been written by a committee - with a turgid beginning that criticized the United States - without naming it - for relying on "archaic ways of preserving domination" and dividing the world into a "superior us and inferior others." But just when it seemed as though he was channeling his obstreperous predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani pivoted to declarations of Iranian good will and cooperation. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 9/26/13

A New Head For Student Basij: Ghadiani, A Former Attacker Of British Embassy, Removed
With the beginning of the new school year in Iran, the commander of the country's Basij Mostazafan para-military mobilization force, Reza Naghdi, replaced the head of the Student Basij Hossein Ghadiani with Mohammad Vadood Heidari, the current managing editor of the force's newspaper Javan. - 9/26/13

Obama and Rouhani Welcome New Talks, Offering Hope to Iranians Suffering Under U.S.-Led Sanctions
While Obama and the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not meet at the United Nations or shake hands, Rouhani echoed Obama's call for diplomacy. He reiterated Iran has no nuclear ambitions, but noted Iran has a right to enrich uranium on its territory within the framework of international rules. -Democracy Now - 9/26/13

Death Toll Rises to 327 in Pakistan Quake
ISLAMABAD - Authorities in Pakistan say earthquake relief efforts are being hampered by the remoteness of the mountainous quake zone. Officials say at least 327 people were killed after thousands of mud homes collapsed in the mountainous Awaran district of Baluchistan province. Hundreds of other people have been injured and displaced. - 9/26/13

Iran, US Talked Big, Now Take it Slow
WASHINGTON - A hoped-for thaw between the U.S. and Iran is not taking hold as quickly as some had hoped. Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke at the United Nations Tuesday, but instead of grand gestures, the world saw optimistic yet cautious rhetoric. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 9/25/13

US Official: Obama-Rouhani Meeting 'Too Complicated' for Iran
NEW YORK - U.S. President Barack Obama and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani did not meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly despite conciliatory signals sent by President Rouhani that had increased hopes that he and Obama might find a moment to shake hands in New York. -Dan Robinson, VOA - 9/25/13

Rouhani: Iran Has Right to Peaceful Nuclear Program
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that he is open to a transparent and immediate dialogue with the United States and the West about Iran's nuclear program. Addressing the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Rouhani also reiterated his country's long-held position that Iran has a right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, including the enrichment of uranium. - 9/25/13

More Iranian political prisoners to be pardoned by Supreme Leader
Iran's Intelligence Minister announced on Wednesday September 25 that more prisoners are set to be released within the next month. ISNA reports that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has pardoned these political prisoners, adding that Ayatollah Khamenei is inclined to have "this kind of atmosphere persist in the country." - 9/25/13

Obama: Diplomatic Path With Iran Should Be Tested
U.S. President Barack Obama says the new Iranian government's pursuit of a "more moderate course" should offer a basis for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Addressing the opening session of the UN General Assembly on September 24, Obama told world leaders the roadblocks may be too big, but that the "diplomatic path should be tested" to resolve the Iran nuclear issue. - 9/25/13

U.S. dollar fall against Iranian rial would be harmful: Central Bank Chief
The U.S. dollar exchange rate in Iran is reasonable and any further fall of the rate will be harmful to the Iranian economy, the Iranian central bank governor said on Tuesday. The current [free market] exchange rate is reasonable. It is the bottom rate and it will hardly fall further, Valiollah Seif added. - 9/25/13

FOOTBALL: Tehran's Esteghlal loses to FC Seoul in ACL semis
Esteghlal lost to FC Seoul in the first leg of the semifinals of Asian Champions League on Wednesday. The Iranian representative was defeated 2-0 by the Korean football team at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul. - 9/25/13

Iranian, French presidents meet at UN
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has met with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the 68th annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The two leaders shook hands before entering closed-door talks on Tuesday. The meeting was expected to focus on the crisis in Syria and Iran's nuclear energy program. - 9/25/13

The Handshake That Never Happened
Rouhani never showed up at the luncheon, and therefore the handshake that was supposed to have shaken the world never happened. Maybe he'd had a big breakfast and just wasn't that hungry - or maybe he lost his appetite after listening to Obama's speech. I'm betting on the latter. -Justin Raimondo, Antiwar - 9/25/13

Iran, Russia FMs express satisfaction with preventing war in Syria
Iranian and Russian foreign ministers met on the sidelines of the 68th UN General Assembly annual meeting in New York where the two sides discussed the main regional and international developments and expressed satisfaction with preventing any war in Syria. - 9/25/13

Iran's President Condemns Holocaust
New Iranian President Hassan Rohani has condemned the Holocaust as a "reprehensible" crime committed by the Nazis against Jews. In a CNN interview on September 24, during his visit to the United Nations in New York, Rohani said: "Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn." - 9/25/13

Seizing Iran's Slice of Fifth Avenue
For years, tenants have worked uneasily inside the Manhattan skyscraper formerly known as the Piaget Building, as federal prosecutors tried to wrest the prime real estate from Iranian-related partners. -Julie Satow, NY Times - 9/25/13

'It Is Now Your Turn': 'Don't Miss Golden Opportunity,' 500 Iranian Activists Tell Obama
It is now Obama's turn to take steps at ending the 35-year long hostilities in US-Iranian relations, say a group of more than 500 Iranian dissidents, intellectuals and public figures. In a letter to US President Barack Obama, more than 500 Iranian intellectuals, former and current political prisoners, as well as civil society and political figures, said that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani had taken "substantial" steps at reform in the country. - 9/24/13

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Strike Softer Tones at UN
UNITED NATIONS - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will address the United Nations General Assembly for the first time at Tuesday's opening session. After setting a reformist tone throughout his early days in office, expectations are high for Iran's new leader, who is taking a less aggressive approach to nuclear talks. - 9/24/13

Many Iranians Have High Hopes As Rohani Heads To UN
The much anticipated trip to New York by Iranian President Hassan Rohani, who is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, has generated hope and high expectations among many Iranians. - 9/24/13

80 Iranian Political Prisoners pardoned, but report of meeting with Mousavi refuted
A spokesman for Iran's judiciary has announced that Ayatollah Khamenei has pardoned 80 prisoners sentenced for security charges. The Mehr News Agency reports that Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told a press conference on September 23: "Some of these prisoners have been released and some will be released soon." Ejei added that there are still two more occasions when further pardons may be granted. - 9/24/13

Iran, World Powers to Hold Nuclear Talks
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when he joins the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany later this week to discuss the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. The meeting, scheduled for Thursday, would be the highest level diplomatic encounter between Washington and Tehran in at least six years. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 9/24/13

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup: Iran advances to knockout stage
Iran lost to Ukraine 3-2 in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 in Papeete, Tahiti but qualified for the knockout stage. The match was a tight and bruising affair throughout with scores tied 1-1 at the first interval with goals from Iran's Mohammad Ahmadzadeh and Ukraine's Andrii Borsuk. - 9/24/13

The Right Timing for a Thaw in US-Iran Relations?
WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran's new foreign minister, Javid Zarif, are set to talk later this week at the United Nations as part of a meeting of world powers concerned about Tehran's nuclear program. Some analysts believe this may be the first step in a significant thaw in U.S.-Iran relations. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 9/24/13

Analysts' View: Iran's Reforms
There are a host of unanswered questions surrounding Iran's new President Hassan Rohani and the more moderate domestic and foreign policies he says he wants to pursue. RFE/RL turned to four Iran-watchers for their thoughts on the course the country may follow. - 9/24/13

UK Open to Improving Relations with Iran
UNITED NATIONS - Britain's foreign secretary says his country is open to better relations with Iran, and would consider re-opening its embassy in Tehran. William Hague met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javid Zarif Monday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. - 9/24/13

Iran: This time, the west must not turn its back on diplomacy
As Hassan Rouhani, the president of the Islamic republic of Iran, prepares to deliver a speech on Tuesday to the UN general assembly, advocating "constructive engagement" with the world, I reflect on my own experience as president of this great country, and my attempts to promote dialogue among nations, instead of hostility. -Mohammad Khatami - 9/24/13

Handshake With Iran Might Say Much More
It has become the diplomatic big tease of the year, a rumored geopolitical rendezvous that, if not quite as momentous as Nixon and Mao in 1972, would still rank as a landmark encounter for two countries that have been estranged for more than three decades. -Mark Landler, NY Times - 9/24/13

UK Open to Improving Relations with Iran
UNITED NATIONS - Britain's foreign secretary says his country is open to better relations with Iran, and would consider re-opening its embassy in Tehran. William Hague met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javid Zarif Monday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. - 9/24/13

Mother on hunger strike takes son's case to Supreme Leader
Zoleikha Mousavi has written to Iran's Supreme Leader to plead the case of her son, jailed blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki. The Kaleme website reports that in her letter, Mousavi writes that she has been let down by all judiciary officials and is now forced to resort to the power and judgement of the Supreme Leader. - 9/24/13

Is Iran the Fourth Reich?
In the fall of 1956, Nikita Khrushchev threatened to rain rockets down on London for the British invasion of Suez and sent his tanks into Budapest to drown the Hungarian Revolution in blood. He blew up the Paris summit in 1960, banged his shoe at the U.N., and warned Americans, "We will bury you!" Those were sobering times and serious enemies. -Patrick J. Buchanan, Antiwar - 9/24/13

Iranian President heads to New York for United Nations General Assembly
President Hassan Rohani left Tehran for New York Monday morning to take part in the 68th annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. He is leading a ranking economic and political delegation to the event. The representative of the Iranian Jews in the parliament is also accompanying the President in the visit. - 9/23/13

Photos: Enjoying the last days of summer by the Caspian Sea shores
These photos show people enjoying their last days of summer by the shores of Caspian Sea in Iran's Mazandaran province. The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. - 9/23/13

President officially starts new school year in Iran
President Hassan Rohani here on Monday officially started the new school year in the country by ringing the bell at a high school in downtown Tehran. Addressing the students, President Rohani highlighted the importance of school years in making young people acquainted with principles of rule of law. - 9/23/13

Photos: Inauguration Of Nuclear Medicine Department Of Razavi Hospital In Mashhad, Iran
On Saturday September 21, the second phase of Razavi Hospital in Iran's northeast city of Mashhad was inaugurated in an official ceremony on Saturday. The new building has 40 thousand square meters of space with the most advanced facilities and medical equipment. But what makes it really important is its state-of-the-art nuclear medicine department. - 9/23/13

Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler bags gold, helps team finish 4th
Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler Amir Aliakbari has bagged a gold medal in the 2013 World Wrestling Championships to help the national team stand in the fourth place of the event. Aliakbari beat 2012 Olympic silver medalist Heiki Nabi from Estonia 4-0 in the final encounter of the category of 120 kilograms in the Hungarian capital Budapest on Sunday. - 9/23/13

Iranian shipbuilding company in Bushehr lays off entire workforce
All 1,500 workers at the Sadra Shipbuilding Company (Iran Marine Industrial Company) in Bushehr Province have been laid off. ILNA reported earlier that 800 employees had been laid off, and now the remaining 700 workers have also lost their jobs. The international sanctions on Iran have created widespread economic problems that have strained many industrial sectors. - 9/23/13

Why Iran is Ready
Iran's entire socio-political landscape has changed since President Hassan Rouhani's June election. There are a lot of hopes that things are going to get better, especially given what happened under the previous government. But this is a cautious hope or optimism, not the wild-eyed optimism of former President Mohammad Khatami's era. Nasser Hadian, Iran Primer - 9/23/13

Hassan Rouhani: Iran's Mysterious New President
This week everybody will be watching as he visits New York. But who is Hassan Rouhani and what does he want? The three words to best define Rouhani are "disciplined, rational, and convincing." -Omid Memarian, Daily Beast - 9/23/13

Iran's elite military warns of dangers of dealing with U.S
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard has warned of the dangers of dealing with U.S. officials, ahead of expected diplomatic contacts, underlining the internal challenges President Hassan Rouhani could face to improve ties with the West. -Reuters - 9/23/13

Iranian currency rises in anticipation of Rohani visit to UN
Reports from Tehran indicate the Iranian currency is gaining in value following its sharp decline over the past two years. Reports indicate that the dollar is now being traded below 30,000 rials while only a week ago it was trading at 32,000 rials. - 9/22/13

Iran's New President Launches Charm Offensive
WASHINGTON - Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani has launched what analysts are calling a charm offensive before next week's United Nations General Assembly in New York. It is raising hopes there might be a fresh opportunity to negotiate with Iran over its controversial nuclear program. -Meredith Buel, VOA - 9/22/13

New Iranian university chief says students won't be booted for beliefs
The new head of Iran's Azad University has announced that students will no longer be expelled or suspended for their political beliefs. ISNA reports that Hamid Mirzadeh told a press conference on Saturday September 21 that this new directive has been issued to all the branches of the Azad University faculty. - 9/22/13

Heroic Flexibility, New Opportunity for West to Change Its Approaches
The remarks made by the Leader of Iran [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] in his last week meeting with the senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and his emphasis that he believes in "heroic flexibility" in diplomacy have reverberated far and wide in the Western media. -Interview with Mohammad Farhad Koleini, Senior Analyst of Strategic Issues - 9/22/13

Iranian journalists want association reopened
Iranian journalists have called on the three relevant ministries to approve a relaunch of the Association of Iranian Journalists. Badrolsadat Mofidi, a member of the association, reported that a letter has been written to the ministries of intelligence, employment and culture to facilitate the reestablishment of the independent organization that supports Iranian journalists. - 9/22/13

Iran's Nematpour seizes gold in wrestling worlds
Taleb Nariman Nematpour of Iran claimed the gold medal at the 2013 Wrestling World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Saturday. In 84kg final, Nematpour won the gold medal with a 5-3 victory over Saman Tahmasebi of Azerbaijan. Tahmasebi represented Iran at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. - 9/22/13

Iran defeats Senegal in Beach Soccer World Cup
Iran defeated Senegal in the Group C of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 at Tahua To'ata Stadium. Iran revived its Tahiti 2013 hopes with an action-packed 5-3 victory over Senegal. Brazil defeated Ukraine 4-2 in the group. - 9/22/13

Iran To Take Over Temporary Control Of Unit 1 of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant On Monday
The first unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant will be temporarily handed over to Iranian experts on Monday, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Ali Akbar Salehi announced on Sunday. "During the temporary handover, the Bushehr nuclear power plant must operate for two years or 7,000 hours under the Russian side's warranty," Salehi told IRNA. - 9/22/13

US, Iran Move Closer to Negotiations But Neo-Con Objectives Attempt to Pull Them Apart
Larry Wilkerson (retired United States Army soldier and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell): Senators Graham and McCain represent a strong opposition backed by Israeli lobby looking to knock down Iran as a regional power - 9/21/13

Iran war bill must be stopped!
This is shocking. Just as positive signals are being sent between Presidents Obama and Rouhani, Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have announced that they are introducing legislation to authorize war on Iran! - 9/21/13

Iranian President scheduled to deliver speech in UN annual meeting
Hassan Rouhani would leave for New York on Sunday to join the 68th UN General Assembly meeting and is scheduled to deliver speech on Tuesday in the assembly meeting. Rouhani is also planned to meet with officials and heads of states of other countries. The Iranian President would take part in the Nuclear Disarmament conference scheduled for Thursday as Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) President. - 9/21/13

Another Iranian Official Comes Out In Favor Of Facebook
The debate in Iran regarding the censorship of Facebook - the most popular social-networking site among Iranians - continues. Not that long ago, Iranian authorities were describing Facebook as a "Zionist" tool used by foreign intelligence services for spying purposes. But under the government of new President Hassan Rohani, Facebook has undergone something of a redemption. -Golnaz Esfandiar, RFE - 9/21/13

Brazil defeats Iran in Beach Soccer World Cup
Four-time world champion Brazil defeated Iran in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 on Thursday. Bruno Xavier scored a hat-trick as Brazil kicked off its campaign with a morale-boosting 4-1 win over Iran to move top of Group C. - 9/21/13

Syria Crisis, Iran Will Top Agenda at Annual UN Assembly
UNITED NATIONS - On Tuesday, world leaders will convene in New York for their annual gathering at the United Nations General Assembly. The Syrian conflict - and an appearance by Iran's new president - are likely to overshadow the meetings. - 9/21/13

French president plans to meet Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani
French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday he would meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next week, the first meeting between presidents of the two countries since 2005, Reuters reported. - 9/21/13

Obama UN Speech to Cover Syria, Chemical Weapons, Iran, Arab Transformations
Syria's civil war and the use of chemical weapons, Iran's nuclear program, and transformations in the Arab world will be key topics in U.S. President Barack Obama's address next Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly. Recent statements by Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, about a desire to increase cooperation and engagement have increased speculation about a possible meeting with Obama. -Dan Robinson, VOA - 9/21/13

Iran's annual petrochemical output may double to $40B: Oil Minister
The value of Iran's annual petrochemical output may double to $40 billion, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. For the time being, the value of domestic petrochemical products per year is about $20 billion, he said, hoping that the figure would increase to $40 billion. - 9/21/13

Iran's President Seeks 'Constructive Engagement'
Iran's newly elected President Hassan Rouhani is advocating the use of constructive dialogue to solve global problems such as wars and terrorism. In an opinion piece in The Washington Post, Rouhani wrote that a constructive approach to diplomacy does not mean relinquishing one's rights. Rather, he said, it means engaging with counterparts to address mutual concerns and achieve shared objectives. - 9/20/13

A crisis averted: Now time for serious work to bring peace to the Middle East
The "framework document" agreed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Saturday 14 September has averted an imminent crisis and has provided hope for the eventual resolution of the Syrian civil war by peaceful means. -Farhang Jahanpour - 9/20/13

Iranian President Hassan Rohani says he has full authority in nuclear talks
Rohani told the ABC television network that Iran is not after atomic weapons and that he has complete authority to forge an agreement with the West during nuclear negotiations. The statement appears to challenge speculation that the Iranian president cannot influence the direction of nuclear talks without the consent of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei - 9/20/13

Analysis: Obama may extend his hand to Iran's Rouhani at U.N.
Next week's U.N. General Assembly meetings will offer U.S. President Barack Obama a chance to extend a hand, both literally and figuratively, to new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The White House said on Thursday a meeting was possible, the first between U.S. and Iranian presidents since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. -Reuters - 9/20/13

Iran: Moderation, Hope, and Changing Attitudes
The recent presidential polls in Iran resulted in the election of Hassan Rouhani, who began his term after introducing his cabinet for a vote of confidence to the Iranian parliament (Majlis). Fifteen of his ministers won the Majlis' vote of approval. Caretakers currently run the three remaining ministries -Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh - 9/20/13

Muslim Women Compete in Miss Muslima Beauty Pageant
JAKARTA - In Indonesia, organizers of the "Miss World" beauty pageant have bowed to pressure from Islamic hardliners and moved the event to the Hindu-majority island Bali. But in the country's capital, Muslim women from across the globe took to the catwalk to compete in a Miss World of their own. -Kate Lamb, VOA - 9/20/13

Prominent Iranian Musician Challenges Public Executions in New Music Video
Today the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran released the music video "Execution" by Okhtapus, featuring acclaimed Iranian singers Shahin Najafi and Majid Kazemi, which directly confronts the Iranian government's routine practice of inhumane state executions. - 9/20/13

Iran's Khatami strikes back
Even before his presidency ended in 2005, Mohammad Khatami was dismissed as ineffective by both conservative and radical critics. Conservatives mocked his expensive leather shoes and stylish clerical cloak, while radicals said he had "sold out" on promises to reform the Islamic republic: both mocked his notion of a "dialogue between civilisations". -Gareth Smyth, Guardian - 9/20/13

Russian firm ready to develop Iranian gas field
Zarubezhneftegaz Company of Russia has announced readiness to develop a newly discovered gas field in Iran. The Russian company had signed an MOU with Iran in 2010, the Pana News Agency reported. The gas field is located near the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf. - 9/20/13

`Iran Modern' Exhibition: Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose, Sept. 16: A discussion on the new "Iran Modern" exhibition, currently on display at the Asia Society in New York, with museum director Melissa Chiu, and vice presidents Suzanne DiMaggio and Tom Nagorski. - 9/20/13

Prominent Iranian Human Rights Lawyer, 11 Other Political Prisoners, Released From Jail
Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been released from jail. She was reportedly released along with several 11 other political prisoners, including Mohsen Aminzadeh, a reformist former deputy foreign minister. Her release follows the election of Iran's new president, Hassan Rohani, who has promised moderation and more rights for Iranians. - 9/19/13

Iranian Prisoner Release Seen As Harbinger Of Reforms
Iran's unexpected release on September 18 of about a dozen political prisoners, among them prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, is being seen as the first tangible sign of change in the country since the July election of moderate cleric Hassan Rohani as president. - 9/19/13

Iranian wrestlers are world champions
Iran won the title of the 2013 World Wrestling Championships at the Papp Laszlo Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday. The Iranian free-style wrestlers won two gold medals, one silver, and two bronze medals. - 9/19/13

Iran's Rouhani: We've Never Pursued Nuclear Weapons
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is vowing his country will never pursue a nuclear bomb, in the latest sign the newly elected leader is open to improving relations with the United States. In an interview from Tehran with NBC News, President Rouhani said Iran has never sought nuclear weapons and that it would under no circumstances "seek any weapons of mass destruction." - 9/19/13

Rohani Says Citizens Should Have 'Access To Information'
Iranian President Hassan Rohani, in an interview with the U.S. network NBC, appears to support increasing Iranians' access to the Internet. "In today's world, having access to information and the right of free dialogue, and the right to think freely, is the right of all peoples, including the people of Iran," Rohani says in the interview, which aired on September 19. - 9/19/13

Iran: Open University replaces top official after controversial tenure
The chair of Iran's Open University board of directors announced today, Wednesday September 18, that Farhad Daneshjoo is stepping down from the helm of the Open University and Hamid Mirzadeh has been elected to fill Daneshjoo's shoes by a majority vote of the board. - 9/19/13

Former British Foreign Secretary: Iran 'Ready For A Settlement' On Nuclear Issue
Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says new Iranian President Hassan Rohani is a "realist" who is "ready for a settlement" in Tehran's long-standing dispute with the West over its disputed nuclear program. - 9/19/13

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an hour after release: "They told me, 'You are free.' Other prisoners and lawyers should be released, too"
An hour after her release from prison, human rights lawyer and prisoner of conscience Nasrin Sotoudeh told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, "When they took me out of the prison, they told me, 'You are free.' Last night they told four others. They told me that my furlough was approved, but when I came out of the prison door, they told me 'You are free.' - 9/19/13

Could US, Iran Agree On Syria Without Assad?
More than two years after President Barack Obama said it was time for Syria's president to go, Bashar al-Assad is still in power in Damascus. But new evidence from the United Nations pointing to his regime's large-scale use of chemical weapons makes it more plausible that Assad could leave office as part of an international peace plan. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 9/19/13

Obama Wants to Test Iran Leader's Interest in Dialogue
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani appears to want to open a dialogue with the United States and that he is willing to test whether this is the case. - 9/18/13

Famously Inflexible Iranian Leader Advocates Flexibility
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the famously inflexible and uncompromising hard-line cleric who wields the most power in Iran, appears to have softened his position toward international diplomatic dealings. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/18/13

Some Iranian professors forced into retirement return to faculty
The head of Allameh Tabatabai University has announced that some retired professors have now returned to the university faculty. Under the leadership of the last university president, Sadreddin Shariati, scores of professors were forced into early retirement because of political biases. - 9/18/13

Environment official tries to halt sale of Tehran's "ecological" park
The head of Iran's Environment Department has written to the vice president to call for a halt to the proposed sale of Pardisan Park. The Fars News Agency reports that Massoumeh Ebtekar has told Eshagh Jahangiri that Pardisan is "the only ecological park and natural and environmental resource in Tehran." The former administration decided to allow the sale of Pardisan Park, and Ebtekar is now seeking to rescind that decision. - 9/18/13

INLA asks Azerbaijan to stop replacement of Persian inscriptions of Nezami's tomb
The director of the Iran National Library and Archives has asked the Republic of Azerbaijan to stop the replacement of the Persian inscriptions at the tomb of the Persian poet Nezami Ganjavi in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja. - 9/18/13

Iran-Owned New York Building Seized
On September 17, a district court ruled that the office building's owners -- Alavi Foundation and Assa Corp. -- were "shielding and concealing Iranian assets" in violation of U.S. economic sanctions on Iran's government. - 9/18/13

UK asks US, EU to exclude BP from anti-Iranian oil embargo
Britain has called on the US and the European Union to partially ease the anti-Iranian embargo imposed on a joint UK-Iran natural gas field in the North Sea. UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) consulted the US and EU officials over releasing sanctions on Iran's state oil company, the Wall Street Journal said in a report. - 9/18/13

Gas Bills go up in Iran
Iran has increased gas bills by 100 rials (about 5 cents) per each cubic meter consumption in a bid to raise funds for implementing gas supply projects across the country. Recently, Iran's energy ministry increased the electricity bills of subscribers from 430 rials (about 0.02 cents) per kilowatt hours to 433 rials. - 9/18/13

Iranian freestyle wrestlers win two gold medals in world championships
Iranian freestyle wrestlers have snatched two gold medals at the 2013 Senior World Wrestling Championships in Hungary following convincing victories over their rivals. On Monday, Reza Yazdani won the gold medal in the men's 96-kg category after he defeated his Azerbaijani opponent at Budapest Sports Arena. Earlier in the day, Iran earned its first gold medal in the world championships when freestyle champion Hassan Rahimi overwhelmed India's Amit Kumar in the final match of the men's 55-kg category. - 9/17/13

Iranian Authorities Restore Blocks On Facebook, Twitter
Iranian authorities have restored blocks on Facebook and Twitter after filters were removed from the social networks overnight. Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, who is a senior member of the board overseeing the Internet in Iran, as saying the filters' removal had been caused by what appeared to be a technical failure. - 9/17/13

Expelled Iranian students allowed to return to studies
During the administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the term "starred students" was coined, referring to students who were deemed to have "unacceptable" political activities or beliefs. These students were often suspended or expelled from university and not allowed to continue their studies. - 9/17/13

South Korea upsets Iran at Asian Women's Volleyball Championship
South Korea brushed aside Iran at the 2013 Asian Women's Volleyball Championship on Monday. The Korean team defeated Iran in straights sets (25-14, 25-10, 25-18) in Pool F at the Chatchai Halland in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. - 9/17/13

Iranian actors Saye Yabandeh and Marsh Mokhtari to attend 6th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco
3 times Best Actress Award winner Saye Yabnadeh, after deciding to use film to build a platform to share a message with the world, Saye moved to Los Angeles and studied acting at The Meisner Center and directing at UCLA. Although Marsh Mokhtari was born in the UK, his father's nautical career took him to Persia for his first six years. He then spent the next 19 years in the UK. - 9/17/13

Iran to engage in SESAMI project
Mahmoud Reza Aghamiri, co-Vice President of the SESAME Council said Iran plans to join the biggest Middle East project in building SESAME accelerator equipment and providing 1 million dollar annually to the International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME). - 9/17/13

Cultivating a Culture of Human Rights and Responsibilities
The principles and modern universal concepts of human rights belong to everyone. For the realization, upholding, and protecting of all rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, compassion and persistent and great efforts are needed from many sources at all levels in every society. -12Petals Media Group - 9/17/13

US Company Shuts Down Iran Opposition Website
A U.S. web-hosting company has shut the website of an Iranian opposition leader held under house arrest in Tehran to comply with U.S. sanctions, underscoring the unintended impacts of some of the curbs imposed on the Islamic Republic. -Reuters - 9/17/13

Obama: Syria Deal Could Influence Iran Nuclear Talks
U.S. President Barack Obama says he and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have exchanged letters about the situation in Syria, and that diplomacy backed by military threat is a model for negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear ambitions. - 9/16/13

STAY CLOSE: A Contemporary Music Project
Stay Close is a ten-month project funded by Arts Council England and Jerwood Charitable Foundation exploring contemporary classical music as a means of cultural exchange between the UK and Iran. Following research periods in both countries, British-Iranian composer Soosan Lolavar will write a new piece of music considering ethnic identity in the UK through the lens of the Iranian-British community. - 9/16/13

Industrial pollution in Arak inspires yet another protest
Protests were held on Sunday in the city of Arak, with citizens demanding that authorities take immediate to reduce environmental pollution. Sunday's demonstration marked the thirteenth time that people in Arak have staged a protest to demand clean air. - 9/16/13

Iran: Rohani calls on IRGC to help build economy
Iranian media report that in a meeting with commanders and senior staff of the IRGC, the Iranian president said: "With our economy under target, the Guards have to move in and take on three or four large national projects." He added: "While the IRGC should be aware of politics, it should not interfere in it because the Guards belong to all of the people of Iran." - 9/16/13

Tehran Ready To 'Build Trust' With Washington
Zarif's statement, given to the Lebanese news channel Al-Mayadeen on September 16, comes one day after U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed on ABC's "This Week" program that he and Iranian President Hassan Rohani have exchanged letters. - 9/16/13

We, the Simorgh
Ever since I joined NIAC as Outreach Director six months ago, and as NIAC's Third Annual Fall Leadership Conference fast approaches, thoughts of birds cloud my mind... I'll be more specific: the birds on my mind are those from Farid ud-Din Attar's famous 12th century epic poem, The Conference of the Birds. -Yasmin Radjy - 9/16/13

Meet Shirin Gerami, Iran's first female triathlete
Shirin Gerami, a 24-year-old woman from Iran, has made history by becoming the country's first female triathlete to have taken part in the sport's world championship. -Guardian - 9/16/13

OMID Foundation's Angel Program
The Omid Foundations (Empowering disadvantaged young women in Iran ) consist of three registered charities, which were established by Marjaneh Halati, a London-based social psychologist and psychotherapist. It is her unique vision and passion that is the driving force behind their growth. - 9/16/13

Iran: Bus drivers' rep blames scrapped subsidies for fatal crash
The head of the Association of Bus Drivers says a bus accident last week that claimed 44 lives was a direct result of the elimination of government subsidies. He says cash-strapped transportation companies have been forced to use low-quality bus parts. - 9/16/13

EU court rejects sanctions on Iran shipping firm
The European Court of Justice has struck down the European Union's sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and seven other Iranian companies, the IRISL chief says. - 9/16/13

First UN humanitarian aid team formed in Iran
The first UN humanitarian aid team was officially established in Iran following signing an agreement between the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and Iran. - 9/16/13

Photos: Iranian Mountain Climbers, Environmental Activists Form Human Chain To Save Mountain From Mining
Over the past two days, hundreds of mountain climbers and environmental activists from across Iran have gathered in Kerman to create a human chain around Kouhshah (Mount King) in an effort to halt mining activities in the mountainous region. - 9/15/13

Female Iranian photographer unveiling the turmoil of war
Iranian photographer Shokoufeh Malekkiani blends her extraordinary artistic vision with a dedication to philanthropic causes as she continues to make a difference in this world. According to Malekkiani, "the power of art is limitless," and it is her greatest hope that she is able to leverage that artistic power to shed light on some of humanity's most devastating realities. - 9/15/13

Iran into Asian Women's Volleyball Championship last eight
Iran booked a place at the 2013 Asian Women's Volleyball Championship on Sunday. Iran beat India 3-1 (13-25, 25-22, 9-25, 18-25) in Pool B at the Chatchai Halland in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand and advanced to the last eight. - 9/15/13

Iran: Expelled, Suspended Students Protest For Right To Teturn To University
A group of Allameh Tabtabai University students who have been suspended or expelled from the university on mostly political grounds held a protest on Saturday in front of the new university supervisor. - 9/15/13

Iranian Guidance Minister Reports On Use Of Satellite Dishes
Iran's Culture and Guidance minister says 60 percent of Tehran residents use satellite dishes.Their use is prohibited in Iran, and the police are authorized to confiscate them. - 9/15/13

Iran, U.K. Top Diplomats To Meet At UN
Britain's Foreign Office says senior officials from Britain and Iran have agreed to meet in September on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. - 9/15/13

Iranian Political Prisoners Lobby Judicial Head About Sick Prisoners
42 Iranian political prisoners at Rejaishahr Prison have called for the release of prisoners suffering from serious health problems. In an open letter to the head of Iran's judiciary, the signatories remind Ayatollah Larijani of the death of Hoda Saber in Evin Prison and Afshin Osanloo in Rejaishahr Prison, both due to heart complications. - 9/14/13

EXHIBITION: Bozorgmehr Hosseinpur's cartoons disclose Qajar king's harem
An exhibition of cartoons by Bozorgmehr Hosseinpur on women in the harem of the Qajar king Nasser ad-Din Shah (1831-1896) will open at Tehran's Silk Road Gallery on September 20. A collection of 14 cartoons inspired by photos from the Qajar era, will be on display at the exhibit until September 30. - 9/14/13

Former Iranian President calls for action after "great harm" of last 8 years
Mohammad Khatami said in a speech on September 13 that there is not much time to remedy the "great harm" Iran has suffered in the past eight years. The Kaleme website reports that Khatami said: "If we cannot remedy at least some of the major problems in the economy, international relations and internal issues, we may suffer greater harm." - 9/14/13

Putin Lauds Iran In First Face-To-Face With Rohani
The presidents of Iran and Russia have held their first face-to-face talks, following the conclusion of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek. Russian President Vladimir Putin said after the September 13 meeting that he was pleased to meet Iran's new leader, Hassan Rohani, for the first time. - 9/14/13

Saudis Shun Diplomacy in Syria Crisis
Saudi Arabia has backed Syria's rebels in a civil war that has directly affected much of the region, but with little transparency in the kingdom, its precise role remains unclear. Saudi animosity is not aimed exclusively at Syria's government, but also at Assad's biggest regional backer, Iran, a Shi'ite-led Saudi rival. -Elizabeth Arrott, VOA - 9/14/13

Iran's National Development Fund to boost assets to $61B
Assets of Iran's National Development Fund will increase by over $8 billion in the current Iranian calendar year to reach $61 billion, the NDF deputy director has said. Qasem Hosseini said the figure represents the worst case projection. - 9/14/13

Foreign Policy published an exclusive investigative report that shows for the first time that how the CIA helped Saddam Hussein as he gassed Iranian troops and civilians from 1983-1988. The fact that the US and Western European powers, particularly Germany, France, and Italy, assisted Saddam during the bloody 8-year war with Iran is not new. -Behrooz Ghamari - 9/13/13

Iranian Tycoon Owes Iran $2 Billion
According to Iran's oil minister, billionaire businessman Babak Zanjani owes the Iranian treasury $2 billion. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters yesterday that "Zanjani has not yet returned $2 billion in oil sales. He said the money has been deposited in his account, but the account has been blocked by the Americans." - 9/13/13

Rohani To Court Russian, Chinese Support At SCO Summit Over Iran Nuclear Crisis
Iran's new president might seem to be taking a humble role on the world stage by debuting at a summit where Tehran only has observer status. But by attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting on September 13 in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, Hassan Rohani has an opportunity to directly advance his most urgent foreign-policy priority. - 9/13/13

New culture minister reopens Iran's House of Cinema
Iran's House of Cinema was finally opened today, September 12, in the presence of numerous members of the Iranian film community. The closure of the House of Cinema had been contested by many prominent figures in the Iranian film community and had become a controversial issue in the final days of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad''s administration. - 9/13/13

Iran's New Security Council Secretary Should End Illegal House Arrests
he newly appointed Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, should immediately review the situation of the opposition leaders under house arrest and prepare for their release, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today. - 9/13/13

PAAIA Congratulates Darius Shahinfar on Historic Primary Election Win
Darius Shahinfar claimed victory in Tuesday's primary election for City Treasurer of Albany, New York. Unofficial results show Shahinfar with 61% of the vote, while his opponent, County Legislator Gary Domalewicz, earned 34% percent. - 9/13/13

THE THIRD SPACE: Iranian Women Artist Exhibition in Toronto
The Third Space is a group exhibition featuring a selection of works by six female artists of Iranian descent working in media as varied as drawing, photography, collage, video, and sculpture. Collectively, their works address issues about life in the diaspora. - 9/13/13

Ex-Nuclear Negotiator Jalili Named To Iranian Arbitration Body
Said Jalili shows thanks to supporters on June 12, during his ultimately unsuccessful presidential campaign. Hard-line former top nuclear negotiator Said Jalili has been appointed to Iran's top political arbitration body, the Expediency Council. - 9/13/13

Photos: Iranian House of Cinema reopens after forced shutdown
The Iranian House of Cinema (IHC) in Tehran reopened Thursday September 12, Iran's National Cinema Day, after about a two-year forced shutdown ordered by the Ahmadinejad's Culture Minister. The cheerful ceremony, held at the hall of the IHC in the morning, was attended by groups of jubilant cineastes. - 9/12/13

Iranian Ministers Join Facebook En Masse, Sparking Debate About Online Censorship
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, was the first. In August, after his Facebook page began showing activity, Zarif announced that it was being updated by him and his children. He quickly gathered 160,000 "likes" and became jokingly known as the "minister of Facebook." - 9/12/13

Photos: 45th Armenian Olympics start in Tehran
The 45th Armenian Olympics opened Wednesday evening at Ararat Club in the Iranian capital. The Armenian Orthodox primate of the diocese of Tehran, Archbishop Sebuh Sarkisian as well as Armenian ambassador to Iran and a number of well-known Armenian athletes were present in the opening ceremony of the games. - 9/12/13

Iranian President Hassan Rohani Meets With China's Xi
President Hassan Rohani said on Thursday Tehran is ready to cooperate with Beijing to help resolve regional issues, the Syrian crisis, in particular. He made the remarks in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 13th Shanghai cooperation Organization. - 9/12/13

U.S. Treasury Issues Two New General Licenses For Iran
We are pleased to announce that on September 10, 2013, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which oversees the sanctions on Iran, said in a statement that it had eased sanctions on Iran that will enable U.S. nongovernmental organizations to perform humanitarian work in the country. -Child Foundation, Portland, Oregon - 9/12/13

Russia to offer S-300 missiles to Iran at SCO summit: report
Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet Iranian President Hassan Rohani for the first time this week, reportedly armed with an offer to supply missile systems and build a second nuclear power reactor. - 9/12/13

Chomsky: Instead of "Illegal" Threat to Syria, U.S. Should Back Chemical Weapons Ban in All Nations
MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky. "The Russian plan is a godsend for Obama," Chomsky says. "It saves him from what would look like a very serious defeat. He has not been able to obtain virtually any international support, and it looked as though Congress wasn't going to support it either, which would leave him completely out on a limb." -Democracy Now - 9/12/13

Iran Exiles Move Out Of Iraq Camp
More than 40 remaining members of an Iranian dissident group at a camp inside Iraq have left following a disputed outbreak of violence there earlier this month. Some 50 members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) were reported killed during a shooting at Camp Ashraf in Iraq's Diyala Province on September 1. - 9/12/13

Judge finds owners of Iran-linked tower violate U.S. laws
A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the owners of a New York City skyscraper at the center of a long-running dispute violated U.S. laws against doing business with Iran. - 9/12/13

Iran offers scenarios for lifting of ban on using Facebook
The Iranian government department that monitors and filters internet use has announced it may end the Facebook prohibition for internet users in the country. Mohammadreza Aghamiri, a member of the presiding committee, said: "This could be made possible in the long run by smart filtering software that can separate criminal content from beneficial content." - 9/11/13

Iranian Conservatists are Angry at FM's Media Diplomacy: Tweet Diplomacy No Substitute for Ahmadinejad's Courage
The continued presence of Iran's new Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif on Facebook and Twitter, the latest encounter involving well-wishes to the Jews on Rosh Hashanah which brought forth a high visibility response from Nancy Pelosi's daughter Christine, has received wide international coverage. - 9/11/13

Iranian President Rohani Says 'Win-Win' Deal Possible
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said his country is ready to strike a deal with world powers over its nuclear program, but that time is limited. Rohani said Iran is "ready for the win-win game," and suggested fresh talks could take place when he travels to New York later this month to address the UN General Assembly. - 9/11/13

Iran's economy shrank 5.4% in past calendar year: Central Bank
TEHRAN - The Central Bank of Iran has confirmed that the national economy contracted by 5.4 percent in the past Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia stated. - 9/11/13

NIAC Applauds Easing of Humanitarian Sanctions
NIAC applauds the Treasury Department's decision to ease sanctions to enable humanitarian activities by nongovernmental organizations in Iran and athletic exchanges between the U.S. and Iran. This long sought action will help ensure that sanctions do not prevent humanitarian organizations from providing disaster relief and other services to meet basic human needs. - 9/11/13

DC Community Addresses Generational Gap
Ethnic Social Service Referrals (ESSR), in collaboration with IAAB, is hosting its annual conference titled 'Aberoomoono Nabar! Addressing the Generational Gap', which will be held at Northern Virginia Community College on Sunday, September 29th from 10am to 5pm. - 9/11/13

Iran: Supreme Leader orders review of detained opposition leaders
The official files of the three Iranian opposition leaders under house arrest have been forwarded to the Supreme Council of National Security by order of the Supreme Leader, reports the son of one of those leaders. - 9/11/13

Former Hostage Crisis Spokeswomen Named Iranian Vice President
A female politician who once served as a spokeswoman for the hostage-takers at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran has been named a vice president of Iran. According to Iranian media reports on September 10, Masoumeh Ebtaker was given the post of vice president for environmental affairs. - 9/11/13

Iran welcomes Russia's proposal on Syria
Iran has welcomed Russia's proposal for Syria to place its stockpile of chemical weapons under international control, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday. "We find this initiative to be within the framework of putting a halt to militarism in the region," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham told reporters at a press conference in Tehran. - 9/11/13

What an attack on Syria will mean for US-Iran relations
If President Barack Obama does indeed attack Syria, with or without congressional approval, he will forfeit an opportunity to make headway with Iran over its nuclear programme and risk allowing Tehran once again to reap the greatest benefit from Washington's military excesses in the Middle East.-Geneive Abdo, Al Jazeera - 9/11/13

American 'spy' hits back at Iranian captors
Amir Hekmati, a US citizen accused of espionage and jailed in Iran, has said his televised confession was forced and asserted that he is in fact being held hostage for use in a prisoner exchange and mistreated. -Guardian - 9/11/13

Is Iran coming in from the cold? Hints pile up as new president prepares for NYC trip
Anti-Israel rants and 9/11 conspiracy theories often made Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's fiery speeches to the U.N. General Assembly a cue for many Western delegates to leave the chamber. But all eyes will be on Hassan Rouhani, the centrist cleric who was elected as Iran's new president in June, when he steps onto the world stage at this year's gathering in New York later this month. -Henry Austin, NBC - 9/11/13

Did Obama Quietly Reach Out To Iranian President Rohani?
Tehran and Washington have exchanged messages over the crisis in Syria, according to comments made by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Zarif was quoted on September 9 as saying that the two sides have been in communication about what's happening in Syria, Iran's main regional ally. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/10/13

"Rehabilitation of Tabriz Bazaar" receives 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture
The Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex was officially protected in 1975 and has been covered by special stewardship measures until 2010, when it was added to the World Heritage List. Since 2000, numerous complexes within the bazaar have been rehabilitated with the participation of the owners and tenants. - 9/10/13

Photos: 44 Killed In Iranian Bus Collision
Iranian state television says at least 44 people have died and dozens of others are injured after two intercity buses collided south of the capital, Tehran. The report says the crash occurred late on September 9 when one of the buses swerved into the opposite lane due to a flat tire, colliding head-on with the other bus. - 9/10/13

Carlos Queiroz prefers not to talk about Iran football
Carlos Queiroz would rather not talk about Iran football. The reports in the media claim that there was a rift between the coach and the Iranian football officials. The Portuguese coach left Iran on Saturday and the Iranian media reported that he will likely quit his job. - 9/10/13

Iran to send Sharifsat to orbit soon: Sharif University chancellor
Iran plans to send the domestically designed Sharifsat Satellite into orbit in the near future, the chancellor of Sharif University of Technology has said. More than 100 students, alumni, and academics of the university have worked to design and manufacture the Sharifsat satellite, which weighs less than 50 kilograms - 9/10/13

Momeni Foundation announces 2013 scholarship recipients
It is a great pleasure to introduce the Momeni Foundation's Year 2013 scholarship award recipients to you. This year we are awarding $10,000 dollars to 17 well deserving students. The following students have demonstrated outstanding achievements in both academics and social/civic causes. - 9/10/13

Golreezan Launches New Products Including The First-Ever Persian Alphabet Blocks, an Iranian-American design brand, is thrilled to announce a variety of new and exciting Persian-inspired products, including alphabet blocks, apparel, magnets and stickers. - 9/10/13

Iran: Honor Afghans' Right to Seek Asylum
Iranian authorities should shelve plans to expel hundreds of thousands of Afghans after their visas were set to expire on September 6, 2013, Human Rights Watch said today. Iran should not expel any Afghan refugee until a system is in place that allows asylum seekers to have their asylum claims considered fairly and to challenge any order to deport them. - 9/10/13

Who broke the Cyrus Cylinder?
Just one look at the Cyrus Cylinder (normally on display at the British Museum, on tour in the United States during 2013), and it is obvious that the celebrated cylinder was badly broken at one point during its existence and pieced together, with roughly one-third of it missing. -A.J. Cave - 9/9/13

Wrestling remains in Olympics
Wrestling won back its spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after beating bids from rivals squash and baseball/softball in an International Olympic Committee vote on Sunday, Reuters reported. Wrestling, which featured in the ancient Olympics and in every modern Games apart from 1900, had been surprisingly taken off the Games in February as the IOC looked to refresh its sports program. - 9/9/13

Iran to send second monkey into space soon
Iran plans to send the second monkey into space aboard the Pishgam (Pioneer) II space capsule within 45 days, Iran Space Agency director Hamid Fazeli said. Iran had successfully sent a monkey into space and brought it back to Earth safely in January 2013. - 9/9/13

Sam & Saam: A Bilingual (Persian-English) Children's Show
Sam and Saam are two eight year old boys. Sam is American whose father is from Iran, and Saam is Iranian. They wake up into what appears to be a dream at first but turns out to be reality. They are stuck on a spaceship, apparently a bit damaged with no record of how or why it arrived there, guided only by the on-board computer. They need to work together to find a way back home. - 9/9/13

JEWELS OF PERSIA: Onboard the golden eagle danube express
As rail tours go, Jewels of Persia is truly amazing. Travelling from the banks of the Danube to the shores of the Bosphorus and onto the ancient land of Persia, this unique journey takes in destinations that are rarely experienced by the Western visitor which makes it all the more special. - 9/9/13

Dam-Building Forbidden In Area Of Endangered Lake Oroumiyeh
Iranian Minister of Power Hamid Chitchian has announced that all dam-building in the Lake Oroumiyeh catchment region has been prohibited by special order of the president. - 9/9/13

President Rohani welcomes Japan's decision to expand Iran ties
TEHRAN - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said that the Islamic Republic welcomes Japan's decision to expand its ties with Iran. Rohani made the remarks during a meeting with Masahiko Komura, the special envoy of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Tehran on Sunday. - 9/9/13

To resolve the Syria crisis, the US must negotiate with Iran
As the carnage in Syria becomes steadily more appalling, the peace process begun last year remains effectively frozen. That is largely because of Washington's refusal to participate in talks that include Iran. -Stephen Kinzer, Al Jazeera - 9/9/13

Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria
As President Obama continues to push for a plan of limited military intervention in Syria, a new poll of Americans has found that though the nation remains wary over the prospect of becoming involved in another Middle Eastern war, the vast majority of U.S. citizens strongly approve of sending Congress to Syria. -The Onion (Satire) - 9/9/13

Photos: Qazvin hosts Pars Bike Trials Cup 2013
Pars Bike Trials Cup 2013 were held in the city of Qazvin in central Iran on September 7-8, with the participation of bikers from France, Spain, Germany, Estonia, China and Iran. Total prize money of this competition is set to be 5000 USD which will be presented to the top 5 riders in each category. - 9/8/13

Tehran's Mayoral Battle: Ghalibaf reelected as tie vote broken
Tehran City Council has elected Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf as Tehran Mayor. Ghalibaf attracted 16 votes of the 31 votes cast by city councillors, which gave him victory over Mohsen Hashemi, the former head of the Tehran Subway System. - 9/8/13

NUMBER ONE: Iran pegged as country with world's highest inflation rate
The World Economic Forum reports that Iran has the highest inflation rate among 148 countries listed in its study for 2012. ISNA reports that Iran sits at the top of the forum's inflation chart with a rate of 30.6 percent in 2012. - 9/8/13

Return Of Chemical Warfare Resonates Among Survivors In Iran, Iraq
Hoshmand Morad vividly remembers the day his city suffered the deadliest chemical-weapons attack ever carried out on a civilian population. The air suddenly smelled of apples. Pink, white, and yellow clouds cast a pall over the city. Dead bodies littered the road. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/8/13

Iranian Foreign Minister Visits Iraq
Iran's new foreign minister has arrived in Iraq on his first trip abroad since taking office. Mohammad Javad Zarif landed in Baghdad on September 8 and was met by his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari. Zarif is also due to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. - 9/8/13

EU Court Deals Blow To Iran Sanctions
A top European Union court has ruled that the EU should unfreeze the assets of seven Iranian banks and other businesses hit by sanctions. The European Court of Justice said on September 6 there was not sufficient evidence that the businesses concerned were involved in Iran's disputed nuclear program. - 9/7/13

Iran's inflation rate hits 39%, up over 5% in one month
Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ending in the fifth Iranian calendar month of Mordad (August 22, 2013) hit 39 percent. The inflation rate for the 12-month period ending in the fourth Iranian calendar month of Tir was 33.9 percent, the Mehr News Agency reported. - 9/7/13

Iranian FM Condemns Nazi Holocaust On Facebook
A message issued on the Facebook page of Iran's foreign minister condemns the massacre of Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II. The post on the page of Mohammad Javad Zarif also condemns "the massacre of Palestinians by the Zionists." - 9/7/13

Iran ready to address West's concerns over nuclear program: AEOI Chief
The director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has said that the Islamic Republic is ready to address the West's concerns over the country's nuclear program. "We accept their concerns and are ready to ease their concerns using the international conventions, regulations, treaties, and mechanisms recognized by the international community," Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview with IRNA - 9/7/13

Ashton to discuss nuclear talks with Iran's Foreign Minister at UN
Catherine Ashton, the head of EU foreign policy, is scheduled to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of this year's UN General Assembly in New York. - 9/7/13

U.S. rewards countries for cutting Iranian oil imports
Japan and 10 EU countries will be exempt from U.S. sanctions on the import of Iranian crude for another six months. The U.S. granted the extension because those countries are now buying much less Iranian oil. - 9/7/13

Iraq To Relocate Iranian Exiles From Camp Ashraf
The United Nations says Iraqi authorities are planning to relocate dozens of Iranian exiles from a camp where 52 residents were killed last week. The UN office in Baghdad said on September 7 that the authorities will transfer the remaining residents of Camp Ashraf in northeastern Iraq to another facility in the Baghdad area. - 9/7/13

The Question Before Us: Can Anti-War Forces Stop Obama from Attacking Syria?
As Obama remains steadfast in his push for military action, can those calling for restraint and diplomacy win out? -Jon Queally, Common Dreams - 9/7/13

Iran-Contra Redux? Prince Bandar Heads Secret Saudi-CIA Effort to Aid Syrian Rebels, Topple Assad
The Wall Street Journal recently revealed new details about how Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud (Saudi's former ambassador to the United States) is leading the effort to prop up the Syrian rebels. Intelligence agents from Saudi Arabia, the United States, Jordan and other allied states are working at a secret joint operations center in Jordan to train and arm hand-picked Syrian rebels -Democracy Now - 9/7/13

At Least One Killed In Protest At Iranian Consulate In Afghanistan
At least one person has been killed when a protest outside the Iranian Consulate in Afghanistan's western Herat Province turned violent. Police said hundreds of people gathered outside the Iranian Consulate in Herat city on September 7 to protest against visa delays. - 9/7/13

Moms Against Poverty: Building Schools and an Education & Cultural Center in Iran
The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) has extended Moms Against Poverty's (MAP) special permit to build schools and an Education & Cultural Center in Bushehr. Bushehr, one of Iran's poorest regions, was devastated by an earthquake earlier this year. The OFAC permit also allows MAP to continue their work in building the The Asheglou High School in Azerbaijan. - 9/6/13

Iran's President Puts Foreign Ministry In Charge Of Nuclear Negotiations
The decision gives Rohani and U.S.-educated Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif more influence over one of the Islamic republic's most important foreign-policy dossiers, but Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is highly suspicious of the United States and Western countries, will remain the ultimate decision-maker. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/6/13

Trees of My Homeland: A collection of contemporary art from Iran
Kicking off the grand opening of Tara Gallery in Los Angeles - sponsored by the American Foundation for Contemporary Iranian Art (AFCIA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting contemporary Iranian art - TREES OF MY HOMELAND is curated by veteran art expert and Tara Gallery director, Homa Taraji. In cooperation with the Golestan Gallery in Tehran - 9/6/13

Iranian American Artists On A Mission to Stop War Through Hip Hop
Iranian American rap artist Base One Basic and director Justin Mashouf released their video "Call to Disarms (Why Are You Scared of Iran?), Thursday (09/05/13) as US lawmakers debate taking military action in Syria. Director, Justin Mashouf, mentions "As the Syrian civil war escalates and American intervention becomes more likely, anti-Iran hawks have increased their efforts to justify action against Iran." - 9/6/13

US Congress Questions Rationale for Striking Syria
President Barack Obama's abrupt decision to seek congressional authorization for striking Syria has had at least one salutary effect so far: it has given Americans and their elected representatives a chance to express serious reservations about the limits of U.S. military intervention in shaping troubled foreign societies. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 9/6/13

Persian Pianist Ends Up With Viral YouTube Video
Persian American pianist and composer Faranak Shahroozi is a unique personality in Persian culture. A pianist raised on Beethoven and Bach, she also grew up during the turmoil of Iran in the 1970′s and took her own path, avoiding the usual engineering career so many Iranians excel at. - 9/6/13

Iran's New Foreign Minister Has Amazing Twitter Exchange With Nancy Pelosi's Daughter
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has been tweeting for just a couple of days, and he's already causing a bit of a stir. Yesterday Zarif tweeted a new year message to Jews around the world - 9/6/13

Khomeini's Granddaughter Photoshops Her Daughter's Skinny Trousers
Naeimeh Eshraghi, granddaughter of Ayatollah Khomeini, caused a mini-scandal this week when users discovered a photoshopped picture of her daughter on her Facebook page. Eshraghi had altered the image of her daughter Naima Taheri accepting an award at her university in Canada to include a manteau over her skinny black trousers and platform heels. -Reza HaghighatNejad, Iran Wire - 9/6/13

Should We Believe What We Hear?
It is the first time that an official of the Islamic republic of Iran has expressly used language that criticizes the earlier foreign policy of the country. At the ceremony introducing Mohammad Javad Zarif (Zarif in Persian means delicate) as the new foreign minister to the staff of the foreign ministry, president Hassan Rowhani laid out the general contours of the country's foreign policy in language that were compatible with international standards. -Mehrangis Kar - 9/5/13

Photos: Tehran's Malek Museum and Library refurbished
Malek Museum and Library has undergone refurbishing to better display its collection of thousands objects, which range from paintings, rare manuscript books, and calligraphy works to carpets, rugs, coins, and postage stamps. A group of journalists visited the museum and library on Tuesday by invitation of Managing Director Seyyed Mojtaba Hosseini. - 9/5/13

Iranian President To Address UN General Assembly in New York
President Hassan Rohani is to address the yearly United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month on his first official trip to the United States. The semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying on September 4 that meetings are also planned for Rohani with U.S. media. - 9/5/13

Programmers: Rock Stars of the Future
Twin Iranian American brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi launched and donated $1 million each to the organization. advocates that "every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code." Since its launch, 3.5 million students have participated in's online courses - 9/5/13

Iranian President Hassan Rohani Wishes Jews A Happy New Year
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has wished all Jews, "especially Iranian Jews," a happy Jewish new year, or Rosh Hashanah, in a message on his English-language Twitter feed late on September 4. - 9/5/13

Tehran's Street Style
See what people wear in Tehran, and you may conclude you are shopping at all the wrong places! - 9/5/13

Iran will continue efforts to prevent Syria strike: Rohani
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has made and will make every humanitarian effort to help the Syrian people, and has taken and will take the measures necessary to fulfill its commitment to (help maintain) the stability of the region," Rohani said in a speech during a meeting of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran on Wednesday. - 9/5/13

Iran's Supreme Leader Calls Chemical Weapons Concerns A Ruse
In a speech to the members of the Assembly of Experts on Thursday September 5, Ayatollah Khamenei said the U.S. and its allies are trying for total domination of the region, and chemical weapons have been dressed up as a humanitarian cause when in fact they're being used as an excuse to attack Syria. - 9/5/13

Analysis: US Strike on Syria Could Derail Iranian President's Master Plan
If one thing could scuttle Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's big plan - to fix Iran's economy by winning some relief from Western sanctions - a U.S. strike on Tehran's ally Syria is it. As the president prepares to travel to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly this month, U.S. military strikes on Syria could derail Rouhani's diplomacy before it even starts. -Reuters - 9/5/13

In Iran, a change in tone on Syria
As the Obama administration builds its case for military strikes on Syria, Iran's new president and his foreign policy team are steering clear of a confrontational tone even as they express support for Tehran's longtime allies in Damascus. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 9/5/13

Announcing 6th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Celebrating Iranian Heritage
Calling on individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life to submit short films visualizing some aspect of Iranian art, culture, and heritage, Farhang Foundation's annual online short film festival offers contestants the opportunity to compete for $10,000 (first prize), $5,000 (second prize), and $3,000 (third prize). - 9/4/13

Photos: Sepahsalar Mosque and school in Tehran
The Sepahsalar Mosque or Motahari Mosque is the largest Mosque in Tehran. With its distinctive eight minarets is an important Qajar era landmark. The Mosque was built through the largess of Nasser od-din Shah`s Grand Vizier, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Commander-in-Chief (Sepah Salar) Mirza Hossein Khan. - 9/4/13

Britain leads the way
In his most statesmanlike statement, a short while ago (31 August 2013) President Barack Obama announced that he would seek Congress's approval before ordering military action against Syria. After all the hype about an imminent strike, this statement was a breath of fresh air, and it has renewed many people's faith in President Obama. -Farhang Jahanpour - 9/4/13

Persian Spirit, Indian Sound: Spring Reveals the Joy of Unexpected Conversation Across Cultures, Guided by the Poetry of Rumi
The beautiful and lasting imprint of Rumi's jubilance remains in his words, words that have inspired generations of Persian singers, writers, musicians, and thinkers. This legacy lies at the heart of Spring (release: October 8, 2013), the latest collaborative work of Katayoun Goudarzi and Grammy Award nominated master North Indian sitar player Shujaat Husain Khan. - 9/4/13

Arab king proposes talks between Obama, Rohani
An Arab daily reports that Sultan Qaboos, the King of Oman, has proposed a direct meeting between Hassan Rohani and Barack Obama, the presidents of Iran and the United States. The Al-Watan daily, published in the U.S., reports that Sultan Qaboos's trip to Iran reveals Muscat's willingness to act as a mediator between Iran and the United States. - 9/4/13

Reformist wins lead position on Tehran City Council
Prominent reformist figure Ahmad Masjed Jamei has won the leadership of Tehran City Council with a vote of 31 to 16. Iranian media report that the election of the presiding board took place on September 3 at the council's first meeting. - 9/4/13

Ferdows Kazemi: About my novel 'The Unwanted Son'
'The unwanted son' tells you about the lives of three strong and independent women and their struggle to make a better life in turbulent Iran. It's about breaking taboos within an Islamic regime that tries to regulate the private lives of the people in that country. It's about homosexuality, as the biggest taboo in Iran, and its impact on family life and that of friends. It's about love, hope and dreams that exist in any other society. - 9/4/13

Chemical Catastrophe in Damascus
The Middle East region is currently contaminated with blood and violence, horror and hatred. The true nature as well as the reasons behind the ongoing developments should be considered within framework of covert and overt realities of the region. -Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq Kharrazi - 9/4/13

Iranian Cheetah Conservation Day
They say that outside the African Continent, Iran is the only country where a limited number of leopards still make their home in the fields; however, their number in Iran is estimated to be little more than 50 heads. The Asiatic Cheetah is a beautiful and agile species that is now apparently breathing its last breaths. With its only habitat now limited to Iran, the Asiatic Cheetah is on the verge of extinction and after the Amur leopard, it is the most endagered feline in the world. -Bijan Rohani - 9/3/13

Photos: A Sunflower Farm in Hamedan, Iran
These beautiful photos by Pouria Pakizeh are from a very warm and inviting sunflower farm in the province of Hamedan in western Iran. From the Americas, sunflower seeds were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. - 9/3/13

Volleyball: Iran finishes in fifth place at FIVB Men's U-21
Iran managed a 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18) victory over the home team of Turkey in the classification match for the fifth place at the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Ankara. The winners are happy to have finished the tournament with a win, while the losing side claims they could have done better. - 9/3/13

Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi is a recipient of the 2013 Thomas Edison Patent Award
Dr. Eslambolchi is Chairman and CEO of 2020 Venture Partners and CyberFlow Analytics. Recognized as a quintessential telecommunications visionary and thought leader, he provides consulting to private equity firms, telecommunications service providers, enterprise customers, venture capitalists and start-ups in the areas of business transformation, content distribution, and wireless technology and IP communications. - 9/3/13

Jailed Iranian blogger, mother both in danger from hunger strikes
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, the jailed Iranian blogger who's on a hunger strike, and his mother, Zoleikha Mousavi, who is also on a hunger strike in support of her son, are both in critical condition, says Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, the family's father. - 9/3/13

Video Shows Iran's Ex-President Criticizing Damascus Over Chemical Attack
A video has surfaced that shows former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani clearly blaming Damascus for chemical attacks, despite the Iranian government's claim that the media had wrongly reported his remarks. - 9/3/13

Iran unveils N. fusion plasma confining system
Iran unveiled the first nuclear fusion plasma confining system locally designed and built by Iranian experts, which is the home-made version of next generations of energy-producing machines. - 9/3/13

Advanced weapons, radars mounted on Iran's Lavan warship
Commander of Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says state-of-the-art weapons and radar systems have been installed on the newly-overhauled Lavan warship. "The warship needed an overhaul and had to be fitted with sophisticated and novel technologies," Sayyari told reporters - 9/3/13

Iranian Referee Gets a Long-Awaited Call: He's In
Adel Borghei spent Saturday at the United States Open, inside Louis Armstrong Stadium, clad in the navy blue uniform of a referee. He wore sunglasses and made line calls and blended into the background, even if this was far from a normal day at work. -Greg Bishop, NY Times - 9/3/13

Two Top US Senators: Obama Plan for Syria Emerging
Two key U.S. senators say the Obama administration is putting together a solid plan to boost the Syrian opposition and help drive Bashar al-Assad from power. Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham -- two supporters of strong action against Syria -- met with President Barack Obama at the White House Monday. - 9/3/13

"We Informed US of Chemical Weapons Transfer to Syria 9 Months Ago": Iranian FM
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic had sent an official memo to the United States through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran (which serves as the US interests section in Iran) last December, in which Washington had been forewarned that "handmade articles of chemical weapons, including sarin gas, are being transferred into Syria." - 9/2/13

Iranian university students to get new political freedom
Jafar Tofighi, the caretaker of Iran's Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, has announced that in the new academic year, no student will be expelled or denied education because of his or her political interests. - 9/2/13

Iran: Caretaker Minister Fires Controversial Head Of University
Sadreddin Shariati, the controversial head of Allameh Tabatabai University, was removed from his position on Monday by the caretaker of Iran's Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Jafar Tofighi. ISNA reports that on Monday September 2, Hossein Salimi was appointed as the president of Allameh Tabtabai University and will begin his tenure on September 3. - 9/2/13

Iran Dissidents Killed at Iraq's Camp Ashraf
An Iranian dissident group and Iraqi authorities say clashes and explosions at a contested camp housing Iranian dissidents have killed some of the group's members. The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, known as MEK, and the Iraqi government have offered different accounts of Sunday's unrest. - 9/2/13

Mass murder of 1988 in Iran: The Iranian killing fields
It was the end of Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) and I was sent to Evin Prison for an indefinite time. The agent of the Intelligence Ministry who was escorting me to the prison let me lift my eye-cover and look around. He said: you are not going to leave this place alive, so have a look. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 9/2/13

Iran Oil Minister orders more attractive oil contracts
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has ordered a review of buy-back oil contracts in a bid to make them more attractive for potential foreign investors, a senior oil official says. - 9/2/13

Mixed Reaction in Mideast to US Syria Strategy
At a press conference in Damascus, the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs committee chief, Ala'a Eddin Borojurdi, insisted that Tehran "condemns the use of chemical weapons," but accused rebels of "using hand-made chemical weapons" against government troops. -Edward Yeranian, VOA - 9/2/13

Iran Releases Some Slovak Paragliders
Iran has released six of eight Slovak paragliders accused of espionage. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who introduced the released paragliders to reporters on September 1 in Bratislava, said they had been treated well and denied they were engaged in any spying. - 9/2/13

New round of Iran-IAEA talks set for late September: Salehi
Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi says a fresh round of talks between Iran and the UN nuclear agency will be held in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in late September. - 9/2/13

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