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The United States and Iran: A Great Rapprochement?
In 1968, as the world was unravelling at the seams, the historian Bradford Perkins published The Great Rapprochement. The book chronicled the U.S. move away from "Anglophobia" and toward "Anglophilia" during the two decades prior to the First World War. Without the "great rapprochement," a product of geopolitical calculations and cultural affinities, the United States may not have allied with Great Britain during the world wars. What a different world it could have been. -Matthew Shannon - 9/30/15

Iranian Hard-Liners Criticize Zarif's Handshake With Obama
Hard-liners in Iran are criticizing a handshake and encounter between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that, according to a senior White House official, lasted less than one minute. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/30/15

Penelope brings message of peace and friendship to National Museum of Iran
TEHRAN - National Museum of Iran is playing host to the exhibition of "A Statue for Peace: The Penelope Sculptures, From Persepolis to Rome", which features four statutes of Penelope from the collections of the National Museum of Iran and two European museums. - 9/30/15

Iranian Judiciary Silent on Status of Tech Expert almost Two Months after His Arrest
Nearly two months after the arrest of information technology expert Arash Zad, who was detained at Imam Khomeini Airport by the authorities as he was leaving Iran on August 1, 2015, officials have released no information as to why he was arrested or the charges that he is being held under. - 9/30/15

Hawks Add Arsalan Kazemi To Training Camp Roster
The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has signed forward Arsalan Kazemi (are-suh-lahn kah-ZEE-me) to a contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. - 9/30/15

Iran: No government fanfare for victorious women's futsal team
The Iranian Women's National Futsal team, which won the Asian Championship Cup last week, arrived in Tehran on Sunday September 27 without any reception from the country's Ministry of Sport. - 9/30/15

The Caspian Horse: 50th anniversary of its rediscovery
his year is the 50th anniversary of the rediscovery of the Caspian horse. The breed is thought to have been the preferred choice of the kings of ancient Persia, with carvings depicting Caspians found at the Achaemenid site of Persepolis. Scholars had unsuccessfully looked for this unique horse for two centuries and eventually the species was thought to be extinct. - 9/30/15

Iran issues treasury bills for first time
Iran issues its first Islamic treasury bills in a bid to provide stimulus for its market and bring it out of stagnation. At least 400,000 notes with maturity date of March 3, 2016 were issued on Fara Bourse, Iran's over-the-counter market for securities and other financial instruments. - 9/30/15

What Happens if Turkey's Next Election Is Still Inconclusive?
On November 1, Turks will head back to the polls to redo their country's inconclusive June elections. That vote stripped Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of the parliamentary majority it had held since 2002 (the first election in which it stood) and led to months of negotiations over forming a coalition government. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 9/30/15

President Rouhani: Iran Seeks Peace, Development
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that the nuclear deal agreed to between the six major powers and Tehran should signal a new era and help lead to peace and stability in the Middle East. Speaking at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, Rouhani said the nuclear deal is "not the final objective, but a development which can and should be the basis of further achievements to come." -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 9/29/15

Obama, Zarif 'Shake Hands' At United Nations
U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have reportedly shaken hands on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Reuters news agency quoted an unidentified Iranian official as saying the "accidental" event occurred on September 28. - 9/29/15

IAAB's YAR Fellowship: An Exciting New Opportunity in Iran
We're excited to share our new and improved itinerary for the YAR Fellowship, our newest groundbreaking program! YAR is a yearlong fellowship program that includes a three-week full-immersion course in Iran, to be held January 4th- 24th, 2016. YAR will bring together advanced undergraduates, recent college grads and graduate students, who will deepen their scholarly, professional and cultural understanding of Iran. - 9/29/15

Obama Says U.S. Willing To Work With Russia and Iran To Resolve Syrian War
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States is prepared to work with Russia and Iran to bring an end to the conflict in Syria but that a resolution to the war must include a "managed transition" away from Syrian President al-Bashar Assad. - 9/29/15

Accused Iranian tycoon gets trial date two years after arrest
Almost two years after Iranian tycoon Babak Zanjani was arrested for embezzlement and corruption, his first trial will finally take place on October 3 before Judge Salavati. IRNA reports that Zanjani's lawyer says it is not yet clear whether the trial will be held behind closed doors or not but he adds that his client prefers an open trial in the interest of "public enlightenment". - 9/29/15

Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq to Share Intelligence on Islamic State
Iraq says it will share military intelligence and security information with Syria, Iran and Russia to fight Islamic State. A spokesman for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the intelligence group will focus on "monitoring the movements of the terrorists...and degrading their capacity." - 9/29/15

Mecca Stampede: Behind Iran's Reaction
The stampede in Mecca has opened the door to criticism of the Saudi monarchy and its management of a religious holiday that brings some two million Muslims to the holy city each year. Unsurprisingly, the loudest critiques have come from the Iranian government. At the heart of Iran's discontent is the sense that the Saudis, through their mismanagement, have deliberately put Iranian pilgrims in harm's way. -Henry Johnson, LobeLog - 9/29/15

Russian, Iranian Leaders: Assad Must Remain in Power
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, have told U.S. media outlets that embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must remain in power to fight terrorism. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Rouhani said that in driving out terrorists in Syria, "we have no solution other than to strengthen the central authority of that country." -Victor Beattie, VOA - 9/28/15

Iranian actress, stage director Homa Rusta dies at 69
Veteran Iranian actress and stage director Homa Rusta died at a hospital in Los Angeles on Saturday after a long battle with cancer. She was 69. She left the country months ago to receive further treatment in the United States, Persian Media reported on Sunday. - 9/28/15

Iranian mothers still denied getting citizenship for children
Iranian Parliament has voted against giving citizenship to the children of Iranian mothers and fathers who are foreign nationals. A spokesman for the Social Commission of Parliament said it is estimated there are one million children born from marriages between Iranian women and foreign nationals and the children's "status remains undefined". - 9/28/15

West's actions fomenting violence in Mideast: Iran's President Rouhani
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has hit out at the West for adopting measures that have fueled tensions in the region. He made the remarks in a Sunday meeting with members of American think tanks in the US city of New York, where he is to take part in the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). - 9/28/15

Iranian official denies Superjet deal with Russia
An Iranian official has denied reports that the country had signed contracts to buy Superjet 100 passenger aircraft from Russia. The rebuttal by head of the Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Ali Abedzadeh came after a Russian news agency alleged that Iran had signed contracts worth $21 billion to buy satellite equipment and aircraft from Russia. - 9/28/15

Israel's Opposition to the Nuclear Treaty with Iran
Relations between Iran and Israel go back almost to the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948. Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign state, following Turkey, and the two countries had very close diplomatic and even military cooperation for many decades. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/28/15

ENTIRE INTERVIEW: Amanpour/Rouhani
This is the full interview and accompanying transcript of CNN's Christiane Amanpour's conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Mr. President, welcome. Welcome to the program. Thank you for joining us. PRES. HASSAN ROUHANI, IRAN (through translator): I thank your program and you for preparing this interview. -CNN - 9/28/15

Russia is Back. Get Used to it.
This coming Monday, President Barack Obama will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the UN General Assembly, their first meeting in 15 months. This will be no ordinary occasion, given Russian aggression in Ukraine, the West's sanctions, and a lot of bad blood between the United States and the Russian Federation. -Robert E. Hunter - 9/28/15

Iranian women win their first futsal championship
Iran's women's national futsal team has lifted the trophy at the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Futsal Championship in Malaysia following a victory over the Japanese side. - 9/27/15

Top US, Iranian Diplomats Discuss Syria, Iran Nuclear Deal
The United States sees a "major opportunity" in diplomatic talks at the United Nations to end the bloodshed in Syria and Yemen and to make progress toward achieving peace there. Secretary of State John Kerry gave that optimistic assessment following his talks in New York Saturday with Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, ahead of the opening of the annual U.N. General Assembly debate on Monday. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 9/27/15

Iran: Saudi Arabia Should Apologize for Hajj Deaths
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday in a statement on his Website, "The Saudis should accept the responsibility and apologize to the Muslims and the victims' families. ... This issue will not be forgotten and the nations will pursue it seriously. ... The Islamic world has a lot of questions." - 9/27/15

Film on prophet's childhood chosen as Iran's Oscar entry
Iran is sending Majid Majidi's latest film Mohammad, the Messenger of God to vie for the Oscar for best foreign language film for 2016. The Mehr News Agency reports that from the six films being considered in Iran, Mohammad, the Messenger of God was unanimously chosen. - 9/27/15

How Pope Francis US Visit Can Help Boost Diplomacy and Defeat Militarism
Pope Francis's visit to Washington DC could not have been better timed for the Obama administration. Relations with Cuba have been normalized and the Iran nuclear deal has survived the theatrics of the mandated Congressional review. Pope Francis has of course played an important role in many of these wins for President Barack Obama. He helped with the backchannel diplomacy with Havana, he has endorsed the Iran deal and the White House has reportedly also enlisted his offices to help secure the release of three American citizens imprisoned in Iran. -Trita Parsi - 9/26/15

Whatever Happened to the Iranian Parliament's JCPOA's Review?
Earlier this week Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appointed Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs and chief nuclear negotiator, to oversee the implementation phase of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The appointment came after Secretary of State John Kerry designated Ambassador Stephen Mull as lead coordinator for JCPOA's implementation on the US side. -Farideh Farhi, LobeLog - 9/26/15

Rohani: 'Long Road To Travel' Before U.S.-Iran Ties Normalize
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said that ties with the United States had improved, but there was a "long road to travel" before their relations could normalize. "The situation has certainly changed," Rohani said on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York to a group of senior editors from media organizations. - 9/26/15

US-Iran Talks to Focus on Nuclear Deal, Regional Tensions
Working out ways to implement the Iran nuclear deal and possible discussions of the Syrian conflict will be on the agenda when Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. The two will meet Saturday in New York, where world powers are gathering for the U.N. General Assembly. - 9/26/15

Iran: Release Teachers as School Year Begins
The Iranian authorities should immediately release seven teachers apparently detained for peaceful union activities. By stepping up the arrests and sentencing of outspoken teachers in the weeks prior to the start of the school year on September 23, 2015, the authorities appear to be sending a message to other educators not to speak out about their concerns. -Human Rights Watch - 9/26/15

Iran Urges Saudi Arabia To Find Over 300 Missing Iranians In Hajj Stampede
Iran has urged Saudi Arabia to find 344 of its citizens who are still unaccounted for in the aftermath of the deadly stampede at the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia that killed 717 people on September 24. Some 136 Iranians were killed and 102 injured, according to Said Ohadi, head of Iran's hajj organization. - 9/26/15

Iranian Americans to Hold Press Conference and Vigil in Honor of Shayan Mazroei
The family of slain Iranian-American college student Shayan Mazroei will hold a press conference on Monday, September 28, 12 p.m., at 2955 Main Street in Irvine. Members of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) and the local Iranian-American community, will also join together that evening to honor Mazroei during a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. outside the Orange County District Attorney's Office - 9/26/15

NeekOn Celebrates Iranian & Persian Communities with Music, Dance, Art and More Tonight
A dazzling array of artists, musicians, dancers, food stars and more from the Iranian/Persian and International communities will come together and bring their talents for an entertaining day located at two venues in Golden Gate Park: Outdoors at the Band Shell, and Indoors at the Koret Auditorium in the de Young Museum in San Francisco. -BWW - 9/26/15

IAEA Welcomes Pope's Support for Iran Nuclear Deal
Speaking at the U.N.'s headquarters in New York, the pope said the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers "is proof of the potential of political good will and of law, exercised with sincerity, patience and constancy." The pope had expressed hope for a lasting agreement that would "bring forth the desired fruits with the cooperation of all the parties involved." He noted "an urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons." -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 9/26/15

Iran's commitments under the Nuclear Treaty are just short of total surrender
After 13 years of intensive talks and a fast-developing nuclear enrichment program, Iran has agreed to the most intrusive, restrictive and comprehensive set of demands to which any member state of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has ever been subjected. In reality, as some Iranian commentators have argued, Iran has relinquished most of her rights as an NPT member, short of total surrender. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/26/15

No Meeting With Rohani On Obama's Busy UN Schedule
U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with the leaders of Russia and India on the sidelines of a United Nations summit in New York next week, but Iranian President Hassan Rohani is not on his busy schedule, the White House has said. - 9/25/15

UC Davis receives $1.5 million from prominent Iranian-American philanthropist Bita Daryabari
The gift will establish the Bita Daryabari Presidential Chair in Persian Language and Literature and help transform UC Davis into a leading force in teaching, research and outreach that advances global understanding of Persian language and culture. The UC Davis Presidential Chair in Persian Language and Literature position will be awarded to an Iranian studies scholar whose research and teaching will focus on these areas. Funds will also support a colloquium on Iranian culture. - 9/25/15

Donya Nasser becomes the First Iranian American U.S. Youth Observer to UN
In July, 2015, Donya Nasser became the first Iranian American to be appointed as the U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations. An incredibly inspiring young professional, she seeks to galvanize and empower youth to strive to secure equality and justice, and to protect the marginalized. - 9/25/15

Tehran Says 131 Iranians Killed In Hajj Tragedy
Iranian officials say at least 131 Iranians were among the more than 700 pilgrims killed in a stampede at the hajj in Saudi Arabia on September 24, the worst disaster at the annual Islamic event since 1990. Said Ohadi, the head of Iran's hajj organization, told the official IRNA news agency that more Iranians could still die, as 60 others were injured in the tragedy. - 9/25/15

Mother of Imprisoned Iranian Physicist Writes Letter to Khamenei Pleading for His Freedom
The mother of Omid Kokabee, a physicist imprisoned in Iran since January 2011, has written a letter to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, calling for her son's freedom on the occasion of the start of the new academic year. Omid Kokabee, 32, was a doctoral physics student at the University of Texas, who was arrested at Imam Khomeini Airport on January 30, 2011, as he was about to leave Iran to return to the U.S after visiting his family. - 9/25/15

Imprisoned Iranian Teacher Sentenced to Three More Years in Prison after Completing Six
Teachers' rights activist Rassoul Badaghi, who was near the end of serving a six-year prison sentence for his peaceful labor activism, has been condemned to an additional three years in prison. - 9/25/15

Jafar Panahi, Iranian Filmmaker, Persists Despite a Ban
There's a memorable scene in "Taxi," the latest film by the Iranian dissident director Jafar Panahi, in which his vivacious, now 11-year-old niece recites the rules for making a movie in Iran. They include: Respect Islamic headscarves, avoid contact between men and women, avoid violence, avoid discussing political or economic issues, avoid "sordid realism." -Rachel Donadio, NY Times - 9/25/15

The Real Reason America Needs to Engage with Iran
A U.S. policy that counters bad Iranian behavior while increasing engagement will not turn Tehran into ally. But it may over time turn it into just a "competitor," and that would be a good thing. -Ilan Goldenberg, National Interest - 9/25/15

Iranian American author finds balance in Seattle rain, S.F. sun
For Siamak Vossoughi, whose debut collection "Better Than War" won a 2014 Flannery O'Connor Award for short fiction and was published this week, writing is an opportunity for growth. "I tried to think," he said by phone, "about the essential ideas and things that I feel make me as a person and as a writer, that inevitably led me towards the basic roots of my own life in terms of family and upbringing, and discoveries of America and what it meant to live here. -SFGate - 9/25/15

How Europe helped save Obama's historic nuclear deal with Iran
On the surface it might appear that the key players who lobbied lawmakers the hardest for the congressional vote on this issue were the Obama administration and the pro-Israel lobby. However, the role of European members of the P5+1 (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) should not be ignored. These countries influenced the decision of the members of the US Congress both directly and indirectly, and it's possible the deal wouldn't have survived without their efforts. -Nader Habibi - 9/24/15

Not Losing Face in Syria
After four years of war, with more than 200,000 dead and several million displaced and refugees, there's no end in sight to the Syrian crisis. On the contrary, the risks have increased that the West's differences with Russia over Ukraine and some other issues-and Moscow's greater involvement in support of Bashar al-Assad's government-will cause the Syrian conflict to acquire global dimensions far beyond the Middle East. -Shireen T. Hunter - 9/24/15

Supreme Leader Revives Feared Intelligence Unit Of Iran's IRGC
When reports emerged earlier this month that prominent Iranian Internet entrepreneur Arash Zad had been arrested in August at Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport, it was unknown who apprehended him, or why. But suspicion has since fallen on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) intelligence arm, whose increased activities could indicate that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejuvenated the much-feared unit so he can gain greater control over the country. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/24/15

Over 700 Killed in Hajj Stampede Near Mecca
At least 717 people are dead and 805 more are injured, after a stampede during the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Mina, on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca. Saudi officials say the incident occurred Thursday in Mina where pilgrims throw rocks at pillars representing the devil in the final hajj ritual before beginning the Eid al-Adha festival. - 9/24/15

Cardin's Bill Softer But Still Toxic
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) appears to have watered down his "Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015" in the hopes of wooing more Democrats to support it. But the latest draft, while not as toxic as the first, still contains a number of elements that are likely to prove highly objectionable and provocative to Iran and Washington's P5+1 partners. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/24/15

Iran displays new drone Mohajem-9
Iranian Air Force introduced on September 23 a new domestically manufactured drone with a 500 km range. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) introduced at the exhibition is reportedly capable of travelling for six hours reaching top speed of 200 kilometres per hour at sea level and 120 kilometers per hour on cruise. - 9/24/15

The longest subway line in Middle East inaugurated in Tehran
The longest subway line in Tehran, considered the longest in the Middle East, was inaugurated in attendance of President Hassan Rouhani and Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf on Tuesday. - 9/24/15

France welcomes Iran's accession to World Trade Organization
Matthias Fekl, the French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and Tourism Development, has said that his country supports Iran's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Fekl made the remark in an interview to Radio France Internationale (RFI) on Wednesday after returning from Iran. - 9/24/15

Iranian female futsallers thrash Uzbekistan in AFC championship
Iran women's national futsal team has romped to another emphatic win at the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Futsal Championship in Malaysia, overwhelming Uzbekistan. - 9/23/15

Message to Rouhani: Rights Crisis in Iran Must Finally Be Addressed
When Iranian president Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, 2015, his third trip to the organization's New York headquarters since his election in June 2013, he will stand on a record of great success in the nuclear negotiations-and abject failure in delivering on his pledges to defend basic civil rights and liberties in Iran. - 9/23/15

In appreciation of Farrokh Najmabadi's life
Farrokh Najmabadi, the former Iranian minister of Industries and Mines, a high official in the National Iranian Oil Company, and a former official of the World Bank, passed away in Bethesda, Maryland on September 17 after a long illness. As director of the national telephone company, he laid the foundation for Iran's modern telephone system; he played a key role in the formation and operations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC); and was one of the architects of Iran's industrialization drive in the 1960s and 1970s. - 9/23/15

Iran-Europe Forum seeks to revive trade
The second Europe-Iran Forum will be held in Geneva on Thursday and Friday to discuss reviving trade links which have hit a bottom low because of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic. - 9/23/15

Cyrus Habib Announces Bid for Washington State Lieutenant Governor
Washington State Senator Cyrus Habib has announced his candidacy for the Washington State Lieutenant Governor. If successful, Habib will become the first Iranian American to be elected to the position of Lieutenant Governor, the highest officer of a state after the Governor. - 9/23/15

"Baba Joon" the first Farsi-language Israeli film wins Best Picture at Israeli Oscars
Baba Joon, the first Israeli film in Farsi, Yuval Delshad's debut feature, Baba Joon - beat all the competition in sight to be crowned Israel's Best Film of the year at the annual Israeli Film Academy Awards ceremony. The film also wins - Best Cinematography, Best Original Music, Best Production Designer and Best Casting at the Israel's Ophir Awards Yesterday night. As such, Baba Joon will represent Israel for next year's Foreign Language Oscars. - 9/23/15

In post-nuclear-deal Iran, a modest academic opening to the US
Iran has given permission for five Americans to study in a Tehran University masters program - a 'breakthrough,' the department head says. Others are enrolling in Persian language classes. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 9/23/15

Positive to Finish with Victory, Iran's Volleyball Coach Kovac Says
Iranian national volleyball team's coach Slobodan Kovac said that to finish the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup with victory was positive. Iran defeated Egypt 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-23) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Wednesday. The Iranian team finished in eighth place in the tournament. - 9/23/15

AIPAC's Democrat Problems Go Beyond Obama
Last week, journalists Josh Rogin and Eli Lake published a piece at Bloomberg Businessweek explaining how the influential pro-Israel lobby AIPAC came to be defeated in the biggest fight in a generation. The story holds important truths. It's essentially about the tough spot AIPAC was put in by the Obama administration's hardball tactics to protect the achievement of the nuclear deal with Iran, hardly a surprise given the stakes at hand. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 9/23/15

Iran's Parchin Nuclear Myth Begins to Unravel
For well over three years, heavy doses of propaganda have created a myth about a purported steel cylinder for testing explosives located on a site at Iran's Parchin military testing reservation. Iran was refusing to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site while it sought to hide its past nuclear weapons-related work, according to that storyline. -Gareth Porter, CounterPunch - 9/23/15

Iranian Activists Call On Iran To End Support For Syria's Assad
Scores of Iranian political activists and intellectuals have launched an online campaign calling on Iran to end its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and take in Syrian refugees fleeing violence there. The more than 70 activists, who include several former political prisoners, blame Assad and his foreign supporters, including Tehran, for the exodus of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees to Europe. - 9/23/15

Could Iran, U.S. tag-team ISIS? 'You must be dreaming,' Iranian general says
Some of Iran's top commanders we spoke to laughed off any notion of cooperating with the U.S. in the battle against the extremist group. Many of the country's military and political leaders accuse the United States of being responsible for ISIS' rise. They also believe that the American-led air campaign to root out ISIS is deeply ineffective. -CNN - 9/23/15

Iran's Shoppers Wait for Foreign Brands
Two months after Iran reached a nuclear deal that will open its markets to the world, officials are warning of economic stagnation as consumers hold off on purchases of domestic goods while they wait for international brands to arrive. From cars to fridges and televisions, shoppers are excited at the prospect of more choice and competition that should force Iranian manufacturers to lower prices and improve quality. -Reuters - 9/23/15

Iranian officials head to US to follow up on JCPOA
A number of high-ranking Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have headed to New York, the United States, to pursue the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) recently clinched between the Iran and the P5+1 group of countries. - 9/22/15

Iran making film on 175 martyred military divers
Iran is making a film to pay tribute to 175 military divers whose bodies were recently recovered some 30 years after the end of the Iraq-Iran war. Some of the retrieved bodies had their hands tied and bore no scars, indicating that they were buried alive by the forces of the former Iraqi Ba'ath regime during Operation Karbala-4. - 9/22/15

Is Russia Dictating Next Steps in Syria?
A series of Russian moves to bolster support for dictator Bashar al-Assad and for a negotiated political settlement to Syria's four-and-a-half-year civil war may allow for a new, unified focus on combating the Islamic State (ISIS or IS). But many questions remain about Russia's true aims, America's response, and the willingness of the Syrian parties themselves to negotiate an end to their conflict. -Derek Davison - 9/22/15

Iranian political prisoner's sentence extended by new charges
Saeed Razavi Faqih, an Iranian political prisoner currently in Rejaishahr prison, has been sentenced to another three and a half years in jail. The Kaleme website reported on Sunday September 21 that the Revolutionary Court has sentenced Razavi Faqih to two years for "insulting the leader", one year for "propaganda against the regime" and another six moths for "insulting the Assembly of Experts". - 9/22/15

President Rohani Says Iranian Military Ready To Fight IS
Iranian President Hassan Rohani says his country's military is the most reliable force to take on "terrorists in the region." Rohani said Iranian troops are willing to help both Iraq and Syria in the struggle against Islamic State militants, but insisted Tehran has no military intentions toward other nations. - 9/22/15

France business development office inaugurated in Tehran
France has inaugurated a business development office in the Iranian capital Tehran as part of efforts to strengthen economic ties with Iran. French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll and Minister of State for Foreign Trade Matthias Fekl inaugurated the "Business France" office on Monday. - 9/22/15

World's biggest insulin maker invests in Iran
Denmark's Novo Nordisk is investing 70 million euros in Iran for the production of a new generation of insulin drugs, officials from the two countries say. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Food and Drug Organization of Iran (FDO) to build a manufacturing plant in the next two years, FDO head Rasoul Dinarvand said on Tuesday. - 9/22/15

Russian Involvement and a Redirection of Policy on Syria
The recently increased Russian involvement in Syria ought to be viewed as an opportunity, more so than as a threat or as something that needs to be countered. Although Moscow's current involvement is only an extension of its longtime relationship with the Syrian regime, it represents just enough of a change to serve as the closest thing we are likely to have to a peg on which to hang some needed rethinking about the Syrian conflict. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 9/22/15

UN Watchdog Reports 'Significant Progress' in Iran Probe
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday that "significant progress" has been made in the U.N.'s long-running probe into allegations Iran worked to develop nuclear weapons. Yukiya Amano said he reported to the IAEA's board about his trip to Iran that included visiting the Parchin military site that has been a key focus of the investigation. - 9/21/15

Rohani Says Most Iranians Back Nuclear Deal
In an interview with the U.S. television program "60 Minutes" broadcast on September 20, Rohani said Iranians still distrust the United States, but that the deal should improve relations. - 9/21/15

Iranian designer chosen for one of a kind project: Eco Desert Retreat in UAE
Baharash Architecture were recently tasked to design a luxury desert eco-retreat for one of Emirate's highest profile individuals. The eco retreat which is located in Liwa, in southern region of UAE, is designed to be in harmony with the pristine and untouched desert-scape. - 9/21/15

Tehran's Milad Tower hosts event on International Day of Peace
UN Resident Coordinator in Iran has attended a ceremony in Milad Tower of Tehran on the occasion of International Day of Peace. Last Thursday, Gary Lewis applied a knot to carpet called 'Carpet of Peace' along with all guests and dignitaries of the ceremony. - 9/21/15

Imprisoned Iranian Artist Goes on Hunger Strike to Protest Prison Staff Verbal Abuse
Atena Farghadani, the recipient of the 2015 Courage in Cartooning Award by the Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), was sentenced on June 1, 2015, to 12 years and nine months in prison after drawing a cartoon that showed members of the Iranian Parliament as animals and posting it on her Facebook page. - 9/21/15

Iran volleyballers lose to Australia in FIVB World Cup
Iran's national volleyball team has sustained an astonishing loss today in the 2015 FIVB World Cup currently being held in Japan, going down to Australia by losing all 3 sets. - 9/21/15

Iran to issue credit cards, SIM cards for tourists
Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft Organization (CHTHO) will introduce new services for foreign tourists during World Tourism Day celebration on September 27, CHTHO Deputy Director for Tourism Affairs Morteza Rahmani-Movahhed told a press conference on Sunday. - 9/21/15

French companies rue lost chances in Iran
French firms are worried that their government's headstrong approach in nuclear talks with Iran might have harmed their business chances as international companies are jostling for position in one of the lucrative emerging markets. - 9/21/15

Iran inks gas deal as Omani minister visits
Iran and Oman have signed an agreement on studying an undersea gas pipeline across the Persian Gulf in a project worth $60 billion, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Exports Company (NIGEC) says. - 9/21/15

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano visits Parchin military site in Iran
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano has visited the Parchin military site in Iran as a formality arranged during his brief stay in the country. Iran has repeatedly denied Western allegations about secret nuclear activity at the site. - 9/20/15

Iran's surprising currency drop casts suspicion on government
The Iranian currency market is in shock with the value of the national currency once again falling against foreign currencies and the dollar trading 150 toumans higher, despite expectations that the prospect of the nuclear agreement would strengthen the touman. - 9/20/15

Iran expects IAEA to monitor JCPOA implementation fairly: President Rouhani
During a meeting with the visiting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran expects the UN nuclear monitoring agency to be "fair" in overseeing the implementation of the Islamic Republic's nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of world countries. - 9/20/15

War Profits Drive GOP Hawks: Wilkerson on GOP Debate
Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell: But there is a group in this country who will put money behind anyone who looks like he's going to maintain and even push more stridently than before the business of war, if you will. I've recently had a person at the highest levels of power in this land say to me, inside Washington there's a bias toward war. That's absolutely correct. Lots of people made a lot of money off the invasion of Iraq. Lots of people made a lot of money off Afghanistan. - 9/20/15

Kerry: Syrian President Must Step Down
Speaking in London after talks with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Kerry urged Russia and Iran to use their influence in Syria to persuade Assad to negotiate his eventual departure in order to end to the country's catastrophic civil war. - 9/20/15

Washington's Great Game and Why It's Failing
For even the greatest of empires, geography is often destiny. You wouldn't know it in Washington, though. America's political, national security, and foreign policy elites continue to ignore the basics of geopolitics that have shaped the fate of world empires for the past 500 years.- Alfred McCoy, LobeLog - 9/20/15

Rethink for Iran's Exiles Who Never Looked Back
For years after the 1979 revolution, Iranians who left were dismissed as traitors and those who returned often treated as outsiders. Hundreds of thousands moved to southern California, dubbed their new city Tehrangeles, and didn't look back. But following the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, and his government's success in reaching a nuclear accord with world powers last month aimed at lifting international sanctions, a shift has begun. -Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg - 9/20/15

Afghan Army Now Ready ... to Lose to the Taliban
One need not be prophetic to sense a bad outcome for the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Almost nothing has gone by plan since the Bush administration joined forces with the Northern Alliance in 2001 to kick the Taliban out of Kabul and into the tribal territories of Pakistan. -Charles Knight, LobeLog - 9/20/15

Rohani Urges Americans Not To Fear 'Death To America' Chants
In an interview with the CBS show 60 Minutes to be broadcast on September 20 in the United States, Rohani said the famous chanting ritual on Fridays after Muslim religious services is not a swipe at the American public but rather a reaction to historic Washington policy decisions that hurt Iran. - 9/19/15

Iranian Who Barred Soccer-Star Wife From Travel Says It's Private
An Iranian man who barred his soccer-star spouse from playing in a tournament abroad has defended his actions and criticized foreign media for covering the case. Mehdi Toutounchi, a prominent sports journalist and television presenter, said he had to "take control" of the situation. - 9/19/15

Hillary Clinton's Aggressive Approach to Iran
Many Europeans are indifferent to whether the occupant of the White House is a Democrat or a Republican. What concerns them is that he or she be a "safe pair of hands." They want someone who is knowledgeable and intelligent on the one hand, and dispassionate and free of prejudice on the other hand. -Peter Jenkins - 9/19/15

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, September 17
The sixty-day period for congressional review expired today, Sept, 17, and without the passage of resolution of disapproval, the Obama administration will be able to waive sanctions as required under the deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA.) -Kelsey Davenport, Arms Control Association - 9/19/15

Flash Floods Kill 10 In Iran
Iranian state TV says flash floods triggered by heavy rains have killed 10 people in the capital, Tehran, and southern regions. The report on September 19 said the flash flood killed six in Tehran and four in the southern province of Hormozgan a day earlier. - 9/19/15

Jailed Iranian activist writes to judicial chief about plight as a mother
Jailed human rights activist Nargess Mohammadi has written to the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, to protest that she can't speak to her children on the telephone. Nargess Mohammadi reports that she also has been completely forbidden from talking to her husband, whom prison authorities have referred to only in insulting terms. - 9/19/15

Iranian activist arrested following funeral of jailed labour champion
Ali Nejati, a prominent labour activist and an executive member of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Syndicate, was arrested by Islamic Republic authorities following the funeral of jailed labour activist Shahrokh Zamani, who was laid to rest in Tabriz after he suffered a stroke that caused his death in Rejaishahr Prison. - 9/19/15

Boeing foresees big business in Iran
Boeing sees a good opportunity for business in Iran, citing its "long history" in the country and saying it was awaiting a good-ahead from the US government to enter commercial talks with Iranian airlines. - 9/19/15

The Rubicons That Have Been Crossed
In their attempts to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, the United States and Israel have resorted over time to a number of unorthodox, illegal and in some cases criminal methods to achieve their aims. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/19/15

Iran is Standing!
Why should I care whether Iran has nukes? It most likely doesn't, but even if it does... it never attacked anyone, never overthrew any government, and never performed experiments on human beings. It had not committed a single genocide, and never dreamed about conquering the world. -Andre Vltchek, CounterPunch - 9/19/15

The Star Trek Fallacy
They were the "best and the brightest" but on a spaceship, not planet Earth, and they exemplified the liberal optimism of their era. The original Star Trek,whose three-year TV run began in 1966, featured a talented, multiethnic crew. The indomitable Captain Kirk had the can-do sex appeal of a Kennedy; his chief advisor, the half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock, offered the cool rationality of that "IBM machine with legs,"... -John Feffer, LobeLog - 9/19/15

Iran Nuclear Deal Withstands Final Vote in Congress
The U.S. Congress has failed to kill the Iran nuclear deal, and in another month the accord will begin to go into effect, as Iran makes the changes required so that economic sanctions can be lifted. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 9/18/15

White House Announces New Chief Floral Designer, Iranian-American Florist-Entrepreneur Hedieh Ghaffarian
"I am deeply honored to serve the President and First Lady as the new White House Chief Floral Designer," said Ms. Ghaffarian. "I am humbled by the opportunity to serve in this Administration and will dedicate myself to advancing the tradition of excellence and elegance in the White House." - 9/18/15

Iranian-American Professor Devotes Teaching, Research to 'Words, Not Swords'
University of Virginia Professor Farzaneh Milani says the common theme in her teaching and scholarship is "the genuine belief in the power of words, the conviction that while violence begets more violence, words are mightier than swords." In fact, her 2011 book is titled "Words Not Swords: Iranian Women Writers and Freedom of Movement." - 9/18/15

Golriz Hashemi's Piano Recital at Leighton House Museum in London
All the way from Iran "Golriz Hashemi "will be visiting London this autumn to perform her piano recital at the most beautful and unique venue "The Leighton House Museum". - 9/18/15

Top Ten Ways That Iran Hawks Became Their Own Worst Enemies
Opponents of the agreement negotiated by the U.S. and its European allies to limit Iran's nuclear program haven't yet given up. There's still a likelihood that "poison pills" will be introduced in forthcoming legislation designed to win over nervous Democrats and derail implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But the Obama administration cleared its biggest hurdle on September 10... -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 9/18/15

A Surprising Advocate of Engagement with Iran
While Majority Leader McConnell tries to delay the inevitable and AIPAC's current favorite cat's paw, Ben Cardin, tries to persuade half a dozen wobbly Democrats to join his effort to "strengthen" (read "sabotage") the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) through his poison-pill-filled "Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015," I've been going through some old clippings... -Jim lobe - 9/18/15

Telegram Denies Claims by Iranian Government that it Has Servers in Iran
The popular instant messaging service Telegram has dismissed claims by Iranian officials that a third of the data from its Iranian users is processed by servers based in Iran, saying such statements were "100 percent" wrong. - 9/18/15

India's OVL submits $10bn proposal to develop Iran gas field
India's ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), which is the overseas arm of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has offered a proposal worth USD 10 billion for development of Iran's Farzad B offshore gas field. - 9/18/15

U.S. Appoints Lead Coordinator On Implementing Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has appointed Stephen Mull, a former U.S. ambassador to Poland, as the lead coordinator for ensuring that Iran complies with its obligation under the nuclear agreement reached in July with six world powers. - 9/18/15

We showed Iranians photos of Republican candidates -- here's what they told us
The Republican 2016 hopefuls may have spent most of Wednesday night's CNN debate savaging each other on everything from marijuana and immigration to abortion and taxes, but they also devoted plenty of time to their favorite boogeyman abroad: Iran. -CNN - 9/18/15

Bandisadr on the Iran Nuke Deal: the CounterPunch Interview
The day after the Vienna agreement was signed, you argued that the Iranian regime "capitulated" to the United States. What did you mean by this? And, if it did, why does the U.S. Republican Party oppose it? -Mahmood Delkhasteh - 9/18/15

$25B Investment Package To Revitalize Iran's Tourism Industry
"In the year 2025 vision plan, Iran must annually host 20 million foreign tourists who could generate between $25-30 billion in foreign exchange earnings," head of the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Masoud Soltanifar said. - 9/17/15

China and the U.S. may help modernize Arak reactor: Iran's President Rouhani
President Hassan Rouhani has said that the Arak heavy water reactor will be modernized by the cooperation of two members of the 5+1 group. Under the July 14 nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it has been agreed that the Arak reactor be redesigned. - 9/17/15

The Roots of the Current Refugee Crisis
The British historian Arnold Toynbee is reputed to have said that migration is the punishment for the sin of colonialism. This observation may or may not be true. But it is certainly the case that the neglect of large parts of the globe and their peoples, along with the continuing practice of treating them as faceless pawns on the chessboard of world politics, has been largely responsible for the refugee and migration problems, including the latest crisis. - 9/17/15

The Zoroastrian Temple of Greater New York will soon open
he state of the art grand Dar-e-Mehr Zoroastrian Temple, the DMZT, located in Suffern New York, a few minutes' drive west of the Tappan Zee Bridge, is only one last step away from its completion. DMZT aka Atashkadeh Arbab Rostam Guive, conceived in 1977, was initially located in New Rochelle for over two decades. It was then moved to this newly acquired multimillion dollar property in Suffern, New York over ten years ago. -Davood N. Rahni - 9/17/15

Iranian Academic Suggests Opening for Changing Iran's Role in the Middle East
Earlier this week, the Atlantic Council published a new paper by University of Tehran political scientist Nasser Hadian that outlines a substantial difference of opinion within Iran between two coalescing factions: a "pro-stabilization" faction (which he says is the dominant faction at the moment) and a "pro-minimal engagement" one. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 9/17/15

Iran's Leader tells IRGC to guard against western influence
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has called on the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to beware of efforts by the U.S. and the West to infiltrate the country's economy, security system and culture. - 9/17/15

Post-Deal Iran Asks if U.S. Is Still 'Great Satan,' or Something Less
Negotiating the nuclear agreement was a torturous, two-year process for Iran's leaders, but a new kind of struggle is unfolding now in Iran, where the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Hassan Rouhani have begun to tackle a question Iranians have not thought about much since the revolution 37 years ago: How to deal with their great enemy, the United States, after having reached a compromise with it. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 9/17/15

Asia Frontier Capital Iran Economic Report: Waiting For The Sanctions To Be Lifted Soon
Iran's economy suffered from crippling sanctions: exports dwindled, the currency weakened and inflation soared. Listed stocks on the Tehran Stock Exchange "TSE" are trading at very attractive valuations: weighted average P/E ratio is only 5.3x. Various Western multinationals, especially food and oil companies among others, should benefit. -Seekingalpha - 9/17/15

US Official: Iran Nuclear Deal Going Forward
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's national security adviser said Tuesday that despite the best efforts of opponents to "demonize" the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. is moving forward with the agreement. "We are going to implement the deal," Colin Kahl told VOA's Persian service. "If Iran complies with its side of the bargain, we will comply with ours and I think the proof will be in the pudding." - 9/16/15

Iran's Pallet band launches concert tour in US
Iran's Pallet music band has launched its new international concert tour with a successful performance in the US city of Portland. The group went on stage in Portland, Oregan on September 11. The tour will continue with concerts in 11 other US cities and wrap up in Washington D.C on October 4. - 9/16/15

What Iranians Think about the Nuclear Deal
During my recent two-weeks in Iran, I spoke about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with many Iranians including working people, students, professors, business owners, professionals, public employees and community leaders in cities, small towns and villages. As expected, I heard diverse opinions and was asked questions reflecting a multiplicity of concerns that are not often raised in the public domain given the official ban. -Hooshang Amirahmadi - 9/16/15

The Russians Are Coming!
Washington has been wrapped in confusion and indecision for years now in trying to sort out just what its real objectives are in Syria. Its obsessive, and ultimately failed goal of denying Iran influence in the Middle East has notably receded with Obama's admirable success in reaching a deal with Iran on the nuclear issue and gradual normalization of Iran's place in the world. -Graham E. Fuller - 9/16/15

Rohani Says Water Shortages, Unemployment, And Drugs Threaten Iran
Iran's President Hassan Rohani has warned that water shortages, unemployment, inflation, and problems like drug addiction are threatening the Islamic republic. Rohani made the remarks in a September 15 speech to commanders of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Rohani said: "Our enemies are not just Zionists, America, and terrorists." - 9/16/15

Iran's Khamenei Consolidates Power over Internet Policy in Hard Line Council He Controls
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has announced that authority for Internet policy will be exclusively centered in the country's Supreme Cyberspace Council, a move that will consolidate decision-making power over the Internet into an organization the hardline cleric controls. - 9/16/15

Iranian labour groups accuse authorities during jailed activist's funeral
A funeral was held in Tabriz on Tuesday September 15 for Shahrokh Zamani, the labour activist who died in prison. The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that security forces were present at the funeral; however, the ceremony concluded without any disruptions. - 9/16/15

From Academia to Hackademia: Hamid Dabashi as Native Informer
For some time Hamid Dabashi held considerable influence over the subaltern intellectual scene among the Iranian diaspora in the West as well as a generation of leftwing and progressive Iranian thinkers and activists inside Iran itself. -Wahid Azal, Counterpunch - 9/16/15

Conference of Presidents Illustrates Gulf in Jewish Opinion on Iran
There's no better illustration of the yawning gap between the leadership of major national Jewish organizations and the larger community that it purports to represent than the coincidence of the release of the latest survey of Jewish opinion by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and a statement by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) directed at its 53 constituent members. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/16/15

Opinion: Iran and Nuclear Weapons, a Dangerous Delusion
Despite all the propaganda about the Iranian leaders' rush to acquire nuclear weapons, ever since the start of the country's nuclear programme, Iranian leaders have been adamant that they only wish to make peaceful use of the nuclear energy to which they are entitled as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/16/15

Iran's Education Minister hopes freedom looms for jailed teacher protesters
Iran's Education Minister has expressed hope that teachers who were arrested and jailed for labour protests will soon be released. The minister reported on Tuesday September 15 that he has met with the families of the jailed teachers and assured them he is trying to secure their release. - 9/16/15

Our Base Nation
With the U.S. military having withdrawn many of its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, most Americans would be forgiven for being unaware that hundreds of U.S. bases and hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops still encircle the globe. Although few know it, the United States garrisons the planet unlike any country in history, and the evidence is on view from Honduras to Oman, Japan to Germany, Singapore to Djibouti. -David Vine, LobeLog - 9/16/15

First Microsoft Store opens in Iran: Tasnim
A Microsoft Store has opened in Tehran for sales of mobile phones produced by the multinational US technology giant, an Iranian news agency says. If confirmed, it will be the first US company to open a presence in Iran, coming on the heels of a landmark nuclear agreement reached in July to lift all trade sanctions on the Islamic Republic. - 9/16/15

RECKLESS HYPOCRISY: The Folly of Self-Righteous Indignation
I have been mulling the futility of critiquing America's tragically misguided foreign policy toward the Islamic world, the Middle East, and particularly in dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Of course I would like to believe, and sometimes do even pretend, that my articles or lectures, like those of many other observers and analysts who have similar views, have had an impact, however minute, in bringing about some detectable change of attitude in the public domain. -Kam Zarrabi - 9/15/15

Iranian Female Soccer Star Faces Husband-Imposed Travel Ban
It's a man's world for Niloufar Ardalan, one of Iran's best female soccer players and known as Lady Goal for her on-field exploits in international women's Islamic tournaments. Ardalan says she will not be able to compete in an upcoming tournament in Malaysia because her husband has refused to grant her permission to travel abroad as required by Islamic laws enforced in Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/15/15

The EU's Emerging Post-Deal Iran Strategy
Although the debate in the US on the Iran nuclear deal is heated and ongoing, the EU is quietly forging ahead with its own post-deal Iran strategy. Unlike in the US, there is no need for parliamentary review in the European Parliament or in the national parliaments of the EU member states to make the deal effective. On the same day that the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the deal, so did the Council of the EU-a body representing the national governments of the EU states. -Eldar Mamedov - 9/15/15

Iran to host trade teams from 10 EU states
Iran says it is preparing to host 10 European trade delegations within the next two weeks, stressing that the rise in the frequency of visits by trade delegations is a result of July nuclear breakthrough with the P5+1. - 9/15/15

Now Comes the Hard Part on Iran
The painful spectacle of congressional disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal, followed by a presidential veto and an override vote, has been averted. It's a big win for the White House, whose skillful political work--aided by a well-coordinated and effective grassroots lobbying campaign--brought an even larger margin of victory than most had expected. But as soon as the giddiness wears off, supporters of the agreement should start planning for the long, hard slog ahead. -Diana Ohlbaum, LobeLog - 9/15/15

EU sees Iran as major gas supplier
The European Commission estimates that Iran could become a major natural gas supplier to the European Union by the next decade, a new report says. According to an EU official, cited by the Wall Street Journal, the bloc could import up to 35 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Iran by 2030 that would help reduce dependence on Russian shipments. - 9/15/15

Local campaign for disabled Iranians spreads through social media
The Blue Lids campaign, which was launched only two weeks ago in Sanandaj to collect plastic bottle lids as a fundraiser to provide wheelchairs to the disabled, has picked up momentum, with other cities joining the campaign even in other provinces. - 9/15/15

Iran holds ground in pomegranate battle with US
Iran is on course to assert its place as the world's largest producer of pomegranates with one million metric tons of the crop this year, an Agriculture Ministry official says. Harvest is about to begin within a month over 62,000 hectares of land in the country's central, southern and northeastern provinces. Iran's rival in pomegranate production is the US which grows the Iranian native in California. - 9/15/15

Iran: IAEA Chief to Visit Tehran This Week
Iran's nuclear chief said late Monday that the head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog will visit Tehran later this week. Ali Akbar Salehi made the comments to Iranian television after meeting in Vienna with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano. - 9/15/15

Great powers, small powers: The example of Iran
The behavior of small powers suits their interests, not necessarily ours as the world's dominant power. When Russia, China and Iran behave in their interests, these often do not coincide with America's global vision as the world's superpower, resulting in friction and discord. -R. K. Ramazani - 9/14/15

Refugees and Responsibilities
The picture last week of the little Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi dead on the beach in Turkey is one of those iconic pictures whose intense human face forces deeper reflection, especially upon publics for whom distant tragedies tend to be statistics rather than specific human stories. -Graham E. Fuller - 9/14/15

Rohani Congratulates Jews On New Year
Iran's President Hassan Rohani has sent greetings to the Jewish people on the occasion of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. Rohani's Twitter account posted the message, "May our shared Abrahamic roots deepen respect and bring peace and mutual understanding. L'Shanah Tovah." - 9/14/15

Iran To Turn Kish Island In Persian Gulf Into Key Aviation Hub
Iran says it plans to turn a key airport in the Persian Gulf island of Kish into a regional aviation hub. Based a plan that has been devised to the same effect, the Kish International Airport will be provided with adequate facilities to host tourists that use Iran's airspace to reach other countries like India, Malaysia, Syria, Iraq or the Persian Gulf littoral states. - 9/14/15

Next Hurdle for Iran Deal: AIPAC's Plan B (Endorsed by Post)
AIPAC's Plan B--codified in the "Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015" of Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)--is now definitely in the cards (pun intended) and will pose the next major obstacle to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/14/15

Iranian labour activist found dead in prison
Jailed Iranian labour activist Shahrokh Zamani was found dead in Rejaishahr Prison by other inmates. HRANA and Kaleme websites report that his death was "sudden" and preliminary reports indicate that it was caused by a stroke. - 9/14/15

The Recent Stages of Iran's Nuclear Programme
When negotiations between Iran and the European "Troika" broke down, the reformist government of Mohammad Khatami was discredited in the eyes of the Iranian electorate which had seen the futility of negotiating with the West. Despite Iran's support for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and its help in persuading the Northern Alliance leaders in Afghanistan to join talks in Bonn, Iran was rewarded with U.S. President George Bush's 'Axis of Evil' speech. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/14/15

U.S. and Iran Both Conflict and Converge
BAGHDAD -- American troops advising Iraqi security forces in restive Anbar Province are sharing a base with odd bedfellows: an Iranian-backed militia that once killed United States soldiers. Both are fighting the militants of the Islamic State. Here in the capital, though, Tehran and Washington still line up on opposite sides. -NY Times - 9/14/15

'Refugee Air' Aims To Get Sky Route For Refugees Off The Ground
Agroup of Iranian emigres and friends has announced an ambitious project to mount a crowdfunded airlift from troubled areas around the Mediterranean to Sweden, allowing would-be refugees to bypass hazardous land-and-sea journeys via what they're calling Refugee Air. -Elisabeth Braw, RFE - 9/13/15

Iranian freestyle wrestlers land in 2nd place in world wrestling championships
Iran's national freestyle wrestling team has finished its campaign at the 12th edition of the World Wrestling Championships in the United States, taking the second place at the end of the prestigious international with no gold medal in tally. - 9/13/15

The Jewish Community and the Iran Deal
First, of the 28 Jewish members of Congress, 19 effectively voted in favor of the JCPOA, while nine opposed, including the one Jewish Republican (Lee Zeldin) in the House. Of the Democratic opponents, seven Jewish senators supported the deal. Only two Jewish senators--Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin--opposed it. In the House, 11 Democratic members voted to approve it; nine were opposed. -Jim Lobe - 9/13/15

Does Sheldon Adelson Hold the GOP Captive?
A critical congressional battle--but by no means the final one--over the fate of the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action between the P5+1 and Iran has been fought, and the powerful Israel lobby has been at least temporarily defeated. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/13/15

Russian volleyball team defeats Iran 3-0 in FIVB World Cup
Iran men's national volleyball team has suffered a straight-set loss at the first round of the 2015 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World Cup in Japan, slumping to the Russian side. On Sunday, the Iranian squad conceded a 3-0 (24-26, 18-25 and 20-25) defeat to Russia in a match staged at the Hamamatsu Arena in the western Japanese city of Hamamatsu. - 9/13/15

US House Votes to Reject Iran Nuclear Deal
In a written statement issued by the White House, Obama maintained that the House vote showed that the more lawmakers studied the deal, the more likely they were to support it. "Now, we must turn to the critical work of implementing and verifying this deal so that Iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon," he said. "In doing so, we'll write the latest chapter of American leadership in the pursuit of a safer, more hopeful world." -Cindy Saine, VOA - 9/13/15

AIPAC Spent Millions of Dollars to Defeat the Iran Deal. Instead, It May Have Destroyed Itself.
It is hard to exaggerate the damage inflicted on AIPAC by the congressional defeat of its efforts to torpedo the Iran nuclear deal. It is not as if AIPAC won't live to fight again, because it will, but this defeat has ruptured the status quo, possibly forever. -M.J. Rosenberg, The Nation - 9/13/15

Without Effective Safety Laws or Unions, Workplace Deaths Increase in Iran
Without adequate laws protecting workers' safety or independent labor groups able to organize and advocate effectively for workers' rights, workplace deaths in Iran have risen to alarming numbers. - 9/12/15

U.S. Republicans Threaten To Sue To Stop Iran Nuclear Deal
Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress, having nearly exhausted legislative options for stopping the Iran nuclear deal, say they now may take their case to the courts. A lawsuit "is an option that's very possible," House Speaker John Boehner said September 11 after Democrats successfully blocked the Senate from voting on the deal. White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed the latest Republican plan as "desperation," however, and suggested the GOP would lose the battle in court as well. - 9/12/15

Imprisoned Leader of Spiritual Group on Hunger Strike
Mohammad Ali Taheri, the leader of a spiritual group who has been behind bars since 2011 oncharges of "corruption on earth" and "blasphemy," has been on a hunger strike since August 13, 2015 to protest his sentence and prison conditions, a member of his family told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 9/12/15

U.S. Senate Democrats Block Vote On Iran Nuclear Deal
A move in the U.S. Senate to hold a vote of disapproval on the international nuclear deal with Iran has been defeated on a first vote. Sixty votes in favor were needed to move the resolution forward, but the vote on September 10 was 58-42 -- two votes short -- with Democrats largely voting against and Republicans voting in favor. - 9/11/15

The Fantasy and Folly of the "Better Deal" with Iran
Those in and out of Congress who are working to reject or otherwise scuttle the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) insist that their goal in opposing the nuclear accord isn't war with Iran. Rather, they say that they want to see the U.S. and its partners negotiate a "better" deal with Tehran. -Derek Davison - 9/11/15

France to send major trade team to Iran
French officials say a major trade delegation will arrive in Tehran later this month to study investment potentials in Iran. The initiative will be led by France's main business lobby group, the Medef. The delegation that it plans to send to Tehran will comprise about 130 firms, including top companies such as Total and Peugeot. - 9/11/15

British, French, German Leaders Support Iran Nuclear Deal
The leaders of Britain, France, and Germany have defended the Iran nuclear deal agreed in July between Iran and major powers in a U.S. editorial as the debate in the U.S. Congress heats up. - 9/11/15

Iran drops oil price to grab market share
Latest trading data figures show Iran has lowered the quarterly price for its flagship crude to the lowest in three years in a bid to lure Asian buyers to lock in more term supplies next year. - 9/11/15

Opinion: The Early History of Iran's Nuclear Programme
Iran has had a nuclear programme since 1959 when the United States gave a small reactor to Tehran University as part of the "Atoms for Peace" programme during Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi's reign. When the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was introduced in 1968 and entered into force in 1970, Iran was one of the first signatories of that Treaty. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/11/15

The Nuclear Deal and Iran's Missile Program
On July 20, 2015, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2231, endorsing the Iran nuclear agreement and overturning previous resolutions that imposed restrictions on Iran over its nuclear program. However, not all of the restrictions levied on Iran as a result of past UN resolutions concerning its nuclear program will be removed. -LobeLog's Tehran correspondent - 9/11/15

Lindsey Graham Blames Iran For 9/11 Attacks
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took to the floor of the Senate to decry the nuclear deal with Iran as a betrayal of Israel, "damning the Middle East to holy hell" and explaining why the Ayatollah isn't celebrating by "dancing in the street": "He just doesn't believe in dancing." -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 9/11/15

What Iranians want: U.S. vacations and German cars
Iran has been cut off from the world economy for years but that is about to change and its people are gearing up for a shopping spree. -Virginia Harrison, CNN Money - 9/11/15

The Nuclear Deal Was A Win for Rouhani. But Iranians Have High Expectations
A poll just out on Iranian public opinion in the wake of the historic nuclear deal reached in July indicates extensive domestic support for the accord and President Hassan Rouhani. That said, the support is tied to several prevailing misperceptions about the deal, so it remains to be seen whether this trend will continue. -Jasmin Ramsey - 9/10/15

Iran blanks Venezuela with straight-sets win in FIVB World Cup
Iran's national volleyball team has trounced Venezuela in straight sets at the first round of the 2015 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) World Cup currently being staged in Japan. - 9/10/15

Obama the Hedgehog Must Now Become a Fox
In fighting and succeeding to gain congressional approval of the agreement to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, President Barack Obama has proved to be a very able hedgehog. "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing," as Isaiah Berlin used to say. Obama indeed knew the "one big thing" he most needed to know, rolled himself into a ball, and warded off an army of determined opponents. -Robert E. Hunter - 9/10/15

House Republicans Shake Up Plans on Iran Deal Vote
Facing a wave of strong dissent from their conservative rank-and-file members, House Republican leaders now have changed their strategy on holding a vote of disapproval on the Iran nuclear deal, which was expected Friday. Despite all the wrangling, Republicans in the House cannot prevent the deal from being implemented, but some are hoping to delay the process. -Cindy Saine, VOA - 9/10/15

Iran's Supreme Leader ends debate over Guardian Council's role in elections
Following efforts by President Hassan Rohani to limit the role of the Guardian Council in the elections, Iran's Supreme Leader sided with the conservatives, emphasizing the legitimacy of the Guardian Council as the final authority on the election process. - 9/10/15

Workforce participation much lower for Iranian women
The most recent statistics reveal that the Iranian labour market is predominantly occupied by men, and for every 5.31 men who have jobs, only one woman is employed. IRNA reports that based on Spring 2015 statistics in the agriculture sector, the ratio of men to women is 7.1 to 1, in the industry sector it's 6.7 to 1, and in the service sector it is 5.03 to 1. - 9/10/15

Clinton Vows To Enforce Iran Nuclear Deal, Stand Up Against Abuses
Hillary Clinton says she would enforce the nuclear agreement with Iran if elected president of the United States, and take action should Tehran violate the accord. In a major address on the accord, the Democratic candidate for the 2016 U.S. presidential election said that she would take military action should Iran move to obtain nuclear weapons. - 9/10/15

Moody's says Iran banking growth coming
Moody's rating agency says the removal of sanctions against Iran will be "credit positive" for Iranian banks and will eventually lead to a significant growth in Iran's banking sector. Moody's in a report has emphasized that an anticipated rise in trade and investment in Iran could support asset quality of domestic banks. - 9/10/15

Is This How It Ends?
Twelve years after playing perhaps the pivotal role in leading the United States into its worst foreign policy disaster since at least the Vietnam War, Dick Cheney took the podium at the American Enterprise Institute Tuesday to rally opposition to the Iran deal. Before he even got started, the series of interviews he did in the run-up to the speech made him a target of the White House's satirical eye. Cheney, after all, is the perfect foil for supporters of the Iran deal. -Ali Gharib and Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/10/15

Sending MOPs and Bombers to Israel: Big Mistake
Over the past week, the failure of the opponents of the Iran nuclear deal to kill it in Congress has become a foregone conclusion. With that in mind, advocates of war with Iran have adopted a new idea: giving Israel the means to attack Iran on its own, without US assistance. -Robert Farley, LobeLog - 9/10/15

White House Clinches Votes To Block Bill Rejecting Iran Deal
President Barack Obama has secured 42 votes in the U.S. Senate for the nuclear deal with Iran, more than enough to keep Congress from passing a resolution rejecting the pact. - 9/9/15

Iranian football team blanks India in FIFA World Cup qualifier
Iran's national soccer team has defeated India to register a much-deserved win in an AFC Second Round qualifier for 2018 FIFA World Cup. Team Melli thrashed its host 3-0 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in the southern city of Bangalore on Tuesday. The Iranian outfit had pummeled Guam 6-0 in its second Group D showdown at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on September 3, nearly three months after an away 1-1 tie against Turkmenistan in Daşoguz. - 9/9/15

Humans of Iran
In the summer of 2010, Brandon Stanton set out to take pictures of the Humans of New York. He posted his touching photographs of ordinary people to a blog, captioning them with quotes from his conversations with the subjects. The Humans of New York website and social media pages went viral. Stanton travelled to Iran in 2012 and again in 2015 where he continued to take pictures of strangers, conveying their hopes, dreams, disappointments, and stories. - 9/9/15

Khamenei: No Iran Talks With US Outside Nuclear Deal
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said any future talks with the U.S. will only deal with issues related to the nuclear deal reached with world powers, and not any other areas. In a statement on his website Wednesday, Khameini said, "We approved talks with the United States about nuclear issues specifically. In other areas, we did not and will not allow negotiations with the U.S." -William Gallo, VOA - 9/9/15

Reid on Iran Deal: "This Agreement Will Stand"
In remarks delivered to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) forcefully expressed his support for the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and the P5+1 nations (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China). -Derek Davison - 9/9/15

Republican Opponents Of Iran Deal Aim To Keep U.S. State Sanctions In Place
Republican opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran, facing likely defeat in Washington, are now aiming to keep economic sanctions in place at the U.S. state level. Roughly half of the 50 U.S. states have enacted measures that punish companies if they do business with Iran. - 9/9/15

A Win for Diplomacy and the World
While the historic nuclear pact between Iran and the West was largely billed to bring about the elimination of perceived threats and the reassurance of nuclear passivity, there can also be, as there always is, divergent interpretations of the implications as to what will truly transpire in the long-term manifestation of the deal. As the 13 th century Persian poet Rumi famously said: "Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day." Let us heed these ageless words and not just look at the deal, but foresee the promise it personifies. -Omid Irani - 9/9/15

Nuclear States Do Not Comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty
Article Six of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) makes it obligatory for nuclear states to get rid of their nuclear weapons as part of a bargain that requires the non-nuclear states not to acquire nuclear weapons. Apart from the NPT provisions, there have been a number of other rulings that have reinforced those requirements. However, while nuclear states have vigorously pursued a campaign of non-proliferation, they have violated many NPT and other international regulations. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/9/15

Inside Cardin's Anti-Deal Legislation
In tandem with the announcement of his opposition to the Iran nuclear accord last week, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) declared his intent to introduce new legislation aimed at forging a "functional, bipartisan approach to Iran" in the wake of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ("JCPOA") reached between the U.S., other major world powers, and Iran. -Tyler Cullis, LobeLog - 9/9/15

Why Manchin Opposed The Iran Deal After He Was For It
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced earlier today that he will oppose the agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran to constrain Iran's nuclear program. He joins a short list of Senate Democrats, including Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), that have broken with their party to oppose the deal. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 9/9/15

Iran, Austria Presidents Discuss Regional Security and Trade
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the priority for the resolution of conflict in Syria is to stop bloodshed there. "The first step is to stop the bloodshed [in Syria]," Rouhani said in a joint press conference with visiting Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Tehran on Tuesday. - 9/8/15

The Iran Deal and American Jews
Far too much of the analysis of the nuclear deal with Iran has focused on what the American Jewish community and Israeli leaders think, as if those opinions were more important than those of the other Americans, Iranians, and international community at large who are also affected by the deal. -Naomi Dann, Jewish Voice for Peace - 9/8/15

US Congress Returns to Final Stage of Iran Nuclear Deal Review
Congressional review of the international agreement on Iran's nuclear program enters its final stretch Tuesday, as U.S. lawmakers return from a month-long recess to consider measures officially disapproving the deal. - 9/8/15

Tehran welcomes foreign investors: Iran president
"Under the new circumstances and following the Vienna agreement, Tehran welcomes the presence of foreign investors and entrepreneurs, and Spanish companies can enter the Iranian market as well, " said Rouhani in a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo in Tehran on Monday. - 9/8/15

Iran's highly educated women face tougher job market
President Rohani's adviser for women and family affairs says more than 40 percent of women with higher education are unemployed. The deputy minister of labour has said the unemployment rate among people with higher education surpasses the country's overall unemployment average, and the rate among educated women is two and a half times higher than among men. - 9/8/15

President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton is currently blogging in Iran. During his trip, Stanton met a father and son who were celebrating the boy's tenth birthday. The famed blogger posted an image on Thursday from the Iranian town of Tabriz. -Independent - 9/8/15

Explanations demanded for Iranian football players' tattoos
Ashkan Dejagah and Sardar Azmoon, two strikers on Iran's National Football team, have been summoned by the Ethics Committee of the Iranian Football Federation for revealing tattoos on their arms during the team's visit with Guam's football team. - 9/8/15

Chief of Staff who Prepared UN Statement in Support of Iraq War says "Cheney should be in Jail for War Crimes!"
A former member of the George W. Bush Administration who was involved in taking the US into war in Iraq in 2003 has been speaking out, long and loud against those who created the disaster - and he's not going to stop talking anytime soon. -Ring of Fire Radio - 9/8/15

Photos: Air Drills In Isfahan, Iran
Islamic Republic of Iran's Air Force (IRIAF) held large-scale drills, codenamed Fada'eeyan-e Harim-e Velayat 5 (Devotees of the Velayat Territory 5) in the country's central province of Isfahan Saturday and Sunday. On the last day of the drill, Iran's Air Force (IRIAF) test-fired domestically-made weapons such as laser and radar-guided missiles and smart heavy and semi-heavy bombs as well. - 9/7/15

Iran-Germany trade to see major rise
Nils Schmid, the deputy minister-president and minister of finance and economics of Germany's Baden-Wurttemberg State, who is currently visiting Iran has told reporters that the volume of trade between Iran and Germany stands at $1 billion. "Based on plans, this will increase by two folds in the near future and by four folds at a later stage," Schmid has been quoted by the media as saying. - 9/7/15

Iran basketball team crowned in 2015 William Jones Cup
The Iranian national men's basketball team has finished first at the 2015 William Jones Cup in Taiwan, after pulling off an emphatic victory over Russian squad Spartak Primorye. - 9/7/15

Iran: Leader's appointments revive plan to control cyberspace
Iran's Supreme Leader has appointed the members of the Supreme Council of Virtual Space for a four-year period. The council's duties include guarding against the unrestricted flow of information on the internet and creating a National Internet (Intranet). - 9/7/15

Major corruption case alleged at Iranian fuel agency
Analysts speak of systemic corruption in Iran that reached its apex when international sanctions on Iran made the lack of accountability in handling resources and revenues by various government bodies a norm. Efforts by the Rohani administration to uncover some of these corruption cases are reportedly only scratching the surface. - 9/7/15

Keeping Iranian Activist Bahareh Hedayat in Prison is Against the Law Says Legal Expert
Political motivations are taking precedence over the law when it comes to activists such as Bahareh Hedayat, who is being kept in prison despite the completion of her sentence, legal expert Mohammad Oliaei-Fard told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 9/6/15

Over 40,000 Girls under Age Married Each Year in Iran
Official Iranian government statistics show that tens of thousands of girls under the age of 15 are married off by their families each year in Iran. The numbers may actually even be quite higher. Many families in Iran do not register underage marriages, or do so illegally, according to attorney Shima Ghoosheh, who spoke to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 9/6/15

Iran, Iraq sign three agreements on economic cooperation, eyeing $20bn trade
Iran and Iraq have signed three agreements for the expansion of cooperation in various economic fields between the two neighboring countries. According to Iranian media, the agreements were signed in presence of Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia and his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, in Tehran on Sunday. - 9/6/15

PAAIA to Air TV Ad in Support of Iran Nuclear Agreement
Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans announced that it will be releasing a series of TV advertisements starting this Sunday, September 6th in support of President Obama's diplomatic achievement with the nuclear agreement reached between the world powers and Iran. - 9/6/15

Behind the Scenes: How the US and Iran Reached Their Landmark Deal
When groggy diplomats announced the successful completion of the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna on July 14, it ended one of the longest continuous negotiating processes in diplomatic history and produced what may be the longest (at 159 pages) and most complex international arms-control agreement ever. -Gareth Porter, The Nation - 9/6/15

Opinion: Iran and the Non-Proliferation Treaty
Iran's nuclear programme has been the target of a great deal of misinformation, downright lies and above all myths. As a result, it is often difficult to unpick truth from falsehood. -Farhang Jahanpour, IPS - 9/6/15

Jewels of Allah: The Untold Stories of Women In Iran
I grew up in Iran with two very different grandmothers. As a young girl, I took at face value the fact that one of my grandmothers was a devout woman who never left her home without wearing a head scarf, and the other was a Western-educated progressive-minded woman who didn't think twice about swimming topless in the family pool. Yet both women were forces to be reckoned with and by no means subservient. -Nina Ansary, Huffington Post - 9/6/15

The Saudi Problem
Saudi King Salman visits Washington this week amid disagreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia on a broad range of issues. Moreover, the disagreements are rooted in fundamental characteristics of the anachronistic Saudi regime. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 9/6/15

Cardin Opts for Plan B and Bibi
In an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Friday, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) announced that he will join Republicans and Sens. Menendez (NJ) and Schumer (NY) in voting to reject the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA). He also pledged to introduce new legislation designed to "strengthen" congressional review of the agreement and "U.S. regional security strategy." -Jim Lobe - 9/5/15

Cardin's Dangerous and Irresponsible Move on Iran Deal
NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding the decision by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) to vote to oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran: "Senator Cardin's decision to vote against the Iran deal is unconscionable. The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is voting on the same side as Dick Cheney. - 9/5/15

Iran's Cyberpolice Call On Internet Giants To Prevent 'Crime' Amid Telegram Concerns
An Iranian cyberpolice official says the authorities have called on Internet giants like Google to cooperate with the government to prevent online crimes, a move that comes amid concerns that a renegade Russian tech mogul's messaging app may have caved in to Tehran's demands. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 9/5/15

Obama Wins Saudi Endorsement of Iran Nuclear Deal
Meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House Friday, Saudi Arabia' s King Salman expressed support for the nuclear agreement between Iran and five Western powers, including the United States. -Carolyn Presutti, VOA - 9/5/15

Disabled push for a better life in Iran
"London has completely changed my life," says 31-year old Marjan Kalanaki, a post-graduate computer science student from Tehran who now lives in the UK. "Sometimes I can't believe how independent I have become and how easily I can get by on my own." -Camelia Sadeghzadeh, BBC - 9/5/15

Two U.S. Presidential Hopefuls Vow To Rework, Not Repeal Iran Deal
With the Iran nuclear deal considered likely to survive in the U.S. Congress despite near-unanimous opposition from Republicans, two leading GOP presidential candidates now say they only want to rewrite the deal, not repeal it. - 9/5/15

Looking Back At The Shiraz Arts Festival
There is something surreal about finding a piece of history in a room - specifically in a confined space on the first floor of London's Whitechapel Gallery next to the reading room. The exhibition is entitled: A Utopian Stage: Festival of Arts Shiraz-Persepolis. -Cyrus Kadivar - 9/4/15

Iran conquers Guam 6-0 in FIFA World Cup qualifier
Iran men's national soccer team has demonstrated an outstanding performance in its 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match staged on home soil, trouncing the squad from Guam - a US island territory in the Western Pacific - with a comfortable six-goal margin. - 9/4/15

Iran basketball team suffers defeat against US in William Jones Cup
The Iranian national men's basketball team has suffered its first loss at the 2015 William Jones Cup in Taiwan, going down to USA Overtake Select squad. The Iranian side lost out to the American representative by 15 points (66-81) in a match played at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City on Wednesday. - 9/4/15

Cardin, the Iran Deal, and the Future of Plan B
As most readers of this blog know, three more Democratic senators came out in support of the JCPOA today -- Heidi Heitkamp, Mark Warner, and, most significantly, Cory Booker. That definitely puts the administration within reach of the magic 41 votes that would make it unnecessary for Obama to veto a resolution disapproving the Iran agreement. That said, my understanding is that AIPAC's Plan B is still very much in play... -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/4/15

Iranian Lawmakers Say Efforts Under Way To Free U.S. Reporter
Iranian lawmakers attending a conference in New York have divulged that efforts are underway to free Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who was jailed over a year ago on espionage charges. Separately, Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran's Parliament, told National Public Radio that there are "practical" ways to release Rezaian, such as through a swap of prisoners with the United States. - 9/4/15

Iran's 'red gold' output to hit 300 metric tons
Iran's production of saffron, the world's most expensive spice known as "red gold," is expected to hit 300 metric tons this year thanks to better rainfall, officials said. -Iran is the world's largest producer and exporter of the ingredient staple used to flavor food and pastries, with further application in medicine and cosmetics. First harvest of the reddish, aromatic plant dates back to 3,000 years ago in Iran. - 9/4/15

Iran's elite military is entangled in regional wars. Mission creep?
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps projects Iranian military power across the Middle East, to the alarm of critics of the nuclear deal. But it has become entangled in protracted conflicts that are testing its limits. - Scott Peterson, CSM - 9/4/15

Khamenei: No Nuclear Deal Unless Sanctions Are Lifted
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said world powers must lift international sanctions as part of a landmark nuclear agreement. In remarks broadcast live on state television on September 3, Khamenei warned that "there will be no deal" if the sanctions are not lifted. - 9/4/15

The New Middle Passage
During the slave trade, which forcibly transferred 12.4 million Africans from their homeland between the late 15th and 19th centuries, as many as 1.8 million died during the infamous "middle passage" to Europe and the Americas -- a casualty rate of around 15 percent. Today's migrants are not slaves. They're coming to Europe voluntarily. Indeed, they're desperate to leave their homelands and find even the lowest-paying jobs in Europe. -John Feffer, LobeLog - 9/4/15

Shahrzaad's Tale From Iran's First Woman Filmmaker, Actress, Dancer And Poet To A Wandering Homeless
Shahrzaad's Tale is a story of a lost era and a forgotten star of pre-revolutionary Iranian cinema; it is the story of an accomplished poet, filmmaker and cultural critic who was tragically silenced by the political storms of the period. - 9/3/15

The Iran Deal: And Mikulski Makes 34. Now What?
As we predicted yesterday, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski has said that she will vote against any resolution to reject the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA), thus making it certain that a veto cast by Obama against such a resolution will be sustained. But no one should believe for a minute that this marks the end of the struggle. -Jim Lobe - 9/3/15

Kerry Pushes for Public Support of Iran Nuclear Deal
Secretary of State John Kerry is appealing to the American public to support the Iran nuclear deal. "I believe, based on a lifetime's experience, that the Iran nuclear agreement is a hugely positive step," Kerry said in a speech Wednesday to a group that included religious organizations and students in Philadelphia. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 9/3/15

Two more Iranian teachers arrested
Mohmmadreza Nikzad, an executive member of the Tehran Teachers' Association, and Mehdi Bohlouli, an independent teacher activist, were arrested in their homes by security forces on Monday August 31. - 9/3/15

When the New York Times Becomes a Shill for Iran's Hardline Press
The headline in The New York Times Story on Iran on August 31 was succinct. It stated: "Iranian State Media Reports Arrest of Reformist Politician." Although the headline later changed to "Reformist Politician Is Said to be Held," the only problem was that by the time the story came out in the newspaper of record the reformist politician, Ali Shakurirad, was already released. -Farideh Farhi - 9/3/15

Spain ministers due in Iran with big delegation
Three Spanish ministers will begin an official visit to Iran on Sunday along with a 70-member delegation, including representatives of major businesses such as global energy company Repsol. - 9/3/15

Iran's Justice Minister attempts to explain persistence of house arrests
Mostafa PourMohmmadi said on Wednesday September 2 that the decision to arrest the challengers of the 2009 president election results came after a social conflict, adding: "Therefore, we cannot argue the issue of house arrests in the context of legal and judicial provisions." - 9/3/15

AIPAC's Plan B?
A summary of a draft bill, which I obtained from a source who asked to remain anonymous, is circulating that is designed (almost certainly by AIPAC) to appeal to those Democrats eager to "kiss and make up" after their defiance of Washington's most powerful foreign-policy lobby group (whose reputation for omnipotence just took a very heavy hit) and its funders. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/3/15

Ten Iranian provinces suffering seven-year drought
The head of drought and crisis management for the Iranian Meteorological Organization reports that 10 of the country's provinces have been grappling with seven consecutive years of drought. - 9/3/15

Photos: Iran's Basij Force Stages Drill In Tehran
Iran's Basij paramilitary force has held a two-day exercise in the capital, Tehran. Some 50,000 members of the force took part in the drill, which culminated on September 3. Basij spokesman General Nasser Shabani said the exercise was intended to "prove the security forces' ability to safeguard national security." - 9/3/15

Leading Societal Figures in Iran Urge Americans to Support Nuclear Deal
More than fifty prominent members of Iranian society have written an open letter to the American people urging them to ask their Congressional representatives to support the nuclear agreement reached with Iran in July 2015. Describing themselves as "a group of Iranian civil society activists, intellectuals, journalists, lawyers, university professors, religious [scholars], senior members of political parties and reformists," the letter implores the people of the United States to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and "raise our collective voices in support of peace and diplomacy." - 9/2/15

Game Over? With Sen. Casey, Pro-Deal Forces Win Over Key Iran Deal Vote
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey's announcement Tuesday that he supports the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) merits special notice. According to my calculations, Casey's announcement, which was coupled with a lengthy and thoughtful memorandum on why he reached his decision, makes it a virtual certainty that Obama will have enough support among Senate Democrats to sustain his veto - if one proves necessary - of any resolution to reject the nuclear deal. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/2/15

Top Officials Visit Hospitalized Persian Music Maestro Mohammadreza Shahjarian
Shajarian faced a performing ban in Iran following his criticism of the Iranian government for the events in the aftermath of the presidential election in 2009. In a presidential debate in 2013, Rouhani called Shahjarian "a cultural ambassador of Iran". In his campaign film, he also spoke about his deep interest in Shajarian's songs. However, Shahjarian has not yet been allowed to perform in his homeland under Rouhani. - 9/2/15

Obama Closes In on Votes to Clinch Iran Deal
Supporters of the international nuclear agreement with Iran moved to within one vote Tuesday of mustering enough support to protect the deal in the U.S. Congress when two more Senate Democrats said they would support the pact. - 9/2/15

The Effort to Destroy the Iran Agreement: Chapter Two
Anyone tired of hearing about the agreement to restrict Iran's nuclear program is not going to get relief soon, despite the Congressional voting this month that is supposed to decide the matter. It now appears likely that even if the Republican-controlled Congress enacts a resolution of disapproval, any such resolution would not survive a presidential veto, which means the agreement itself will come into force. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 9/2/15

Iran's 'Death To America' Graffiti Reappears After Vanishing Act
New "Death to America" graffiti has appeared, disappeared, and reappeared on the walls of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran in recent days, according to reports and photographs published by Iranian media. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/ - 9/2/15

Conference - Sovereignty and Imperialism: Non-European Powers in the Age of Empire
In the heyday of empire, most of the world was ruled, directly or indirectly, by the European powers. On the eve of the First World War, only a few non-European states had maintained their formal sovereignty: Abyssinia (Ethiopia), China, Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Persia (Iran), and Siam (Thailand). Some others kept their independence for a while, but then succumbed to imperial powers, such as Hawaii, Korea, Madagascar, and Morocco. - 9/2/15

Iran welcomes cooperation with US companies in petchem sector: Official
Managing director of Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) says the country welcomes cooperation with US companies in petrochemical sector considering that American petrochemical firms are also interested in working with Iran. - 9/2/15

Iranian Exiles Embrace Israel's Drive Against Nuclear Deal
Since July 14 when the Vienna nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 - the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany - was announced, its opponents have been waging an all-out war against it. In particular, the same pundits who lied to us to lead the United States to a catastrophic war in Iraq are doing the same again, this time against Iran. But, one opposition group is most interesting because it consists of some of the Iranian exiles living in the United States. -Muhammad Sahimi - 9/1/15

Iran Reformist Leader Detained, Released
Iranian media reports say that the leader of the newly established reformist National Unity Party has been released after being detained for several hours in Tehran. The state news agency IRNA on August 31 cited a member of the party's central council as saying that Ali Shakouri-Rad was released on bail. The reason for his detention was not clear. - 9/1/15

Prominent Iranian actor Ali Tabatabaei dies of heart attack at 32
Ali Tabatabayi, a 32-year-old Iranian actor, died on Sunday August 30 from a heart attack. ISNA reports that the death of Tabatabayi, who began his film career at the age of 22, has shocked the Iranian film community. - 9/1/15

PERSIAN 101: Farhang Foundation Partners with Star Education to Launch After School Program
Farhang Foundation, in collaboration with STAR Education, a leading nonprofit at the forefront of innovative education programs and community-based cultural enrichment projects for more than 25 years, will be launching "Persian: 101", an after school Persian language program for K-6 students. - 9/1/15

Obama: Iranian Economy Won't Recover from Sanctions Until 2022
President Barack Obama says it will take the Iranian economy until 2022 to get back to its pre-sanctions level after the recently negotiated nuclear deal comes into force. The president said in an interview with the Jewish newspaper Forward, published Monday, that Iran is going to have to use the $50 billion in unfrozen assets just to prop up its badly-sagging economy. - 9/1/15

New Survey Indicates Majority Support for Iran Deal
After assessing detailed arguments for and against the pending Iran deal, as well as alternatives proposed by its critics, a majority of a representative sample of registered voters concluded that Congress should approve the July 14 agreement if it comes to a vote next month, according to a major new survey released Tuesday. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 9/1/15

Dissidents Join Iranian Majority in Supporting Nuclear Deal
Seventy-four prominent Iranians living abroad who self-identify as opponents or critics of the Iranian government have signed the following letter urging Congress to support the nuclear agreement with Iran. -Jasmin Ramsey, LobeLog - 9/1/15

Obama Decries Accusations Iran Deal Backers Are 'Anti-Semitic'
U.S. President Barack Obama said he's hurt and angered by people who say supporters of the Iran nuclear deal are "anti-Semitic." In response to a question from Forward, a Jewish newspaper, Obama said "of course" he's bothered by such accusations. - 9/1/15

Iran's Interior Ministry says new reformist party needs permit for political activity
Iran's Ministry of Interior announced on Monday August 31 that the Union of Islamic Iran People party does not have the necessary permit to begin political activities. The new party elected Ali Shakourirad as its leader on August 20 in its first congress and also elected the 30 executive members to run the party activities. - 9/1/15

Iran's foreign debt rising
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced that the country's foreign debt has been on the rise during the first three months of the Persian calendar year. According to a new report released by the CBI, Iran's total foreign debt reached 5.48 billion dollars in the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (which started on March 21st). - 9/1/15
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