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December 07 2016
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Opening up, Iran has opportunity to commercialize its science and technology skills

- The Islamic Republic of Iran has developed the science and technology skills necessary to be a global player in more than oil and gas, but must invest more in innovation to compete effectively in the global economy, according to an UNCTAD report. 12/7/16

Anti-Riot Forces Violently Attack Peacefully Protesting Tehran Bus Union Members

- Members of one of Iran's oldest unions who were peacefully demanding their past due housing allowances and other benefits in front of the Tehran Municipality building were violently attacked by anti-riot police on December 4, 2016. 12/7/16

Iranian Basij Official Says 50 Student Volunteers Killed Fighting In Syria

- The press agency for Iran's hard-line conservative volunteer militia, the Basij, has quoted a senior official as saying that 50 Iranian student volunteers have been killed while fighting in Syria. 12/7/16

Iran safest investment market for Japan in Mideast: Iranian FM

- Visiting Japan, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif bills Iran as the "safest" destination for foreign investment in the troubled Middle East, calling on the Japanese businesses to seize the opportunity and promote their role the Iranian market. He made the remarks at a major economic gathering bringing together the Iranian and Japanese business personalities at Hotel Okura in Tokyo on Wednesday under the auspices of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). 12/7/16

In Iran, Women's Basij Leader Demands Persecution Of Gender-Rights Activism

- Minou Aslani, head of the Women's Basij organization in Iran, has condemned efforts to increase the number of women in parliament and opposed campaigns to curb domestic violence as perceived assaults on Iranian society and traditional family values. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 12/7/16

Iran Offers Incentives For Foreign Investment

- Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia said Iran welcomes foreign investment and offers investors with a variety of incentives, IRNA reported. Speaking at the 20th general meeting and conference of Asia-Pacific Central Securities Depository Group (ACG20) in Tehran on Tuesday, the minister explained some of incentives which foreign investors can benefit from in the country. 12/7/16

IAEA report confirms Iran's shipping of excess heavy water

- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran's shipping of 11 tons of heavy water out of the country as part of its commitments to last year's nuclear agreement. According to a diplomat citing a confidential IAEA report, the transfer brings Iran's stock of heavy water to below 130 metric tons which is in accordance with the nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries. 12/7/16

Britain Pledges To Help Gulf Countries Counter Iran's 'Aggressive Actions'

- British Prime Minister Theresa May says she hopes to deepen defense cooperation with Persian Gulf countries to "push back Iran's aggressive regional actions." In October 2015, Britain began to construct a naval base in Bahrain -- the country's first new permanent military base in the Middle East in four decades. 12/7/16


- Iran's monuments are spellbinding. But, as an American expecting a hostile reception, Tara Isabella Burton was even more captivated by the unexpected warmth and openness of the country's people -The Economist 12/7/16

Why Iran is finding it hard to create jobs

- The country's economy is finally taking off: boosted by sanctions relief, GDP is set to grow about 4.5% this year, up from 0.4% in 2015. Yet few ordinary Iranians have felt the benefits. Unemployment actually went up in the first half of this year, from 10.7% to 12.2%. Underemployment is also rife, at about 9.5%. Why is Iran's rebound failing to create jobs? -Economist 12/7/16

Featured Video


PEGAH: A Film by Javid Rezai - The summer before university, Pegah, a shy girl from a traditional Iranian family, finds herself on the cusp of an illicit relationship with her British friends recently divorced father. 25 year-old Javid Rezai is a British-Iranian director and screenwriter. His first narrative short, Another Life, premiered at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Madrid in 2016. The film went on to be nominated for 15 awards globally. 12/6/16

Prominent Iranian Lawyer, Writers Arrested With "Overwhelming Force" at Chain Murders Commemoration - Police and plainclothes security agents arrested a prominent human rights lawyer and several members of the Writers Association of Iran at a commemoration event for victims of the "chain murders" of dissidents in the 1990s by agents of the Iranian government. 12/6/16

Iranian President Threatens US Over Sanctions Extension - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is threatening the United States with a "harsh reaction", after Congress voted last week to renew sanctions against the country for an additional 10 years. Rouhani said if U.S. President Barack Obama implements the sanctions it would mark a "blatant and clear breach" of the nuclear agreement reached last year. 12/6/16

Iran seizes 'unauthorized' film package heading to Berlin Film Festival - Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dowlatabadi announced on Sunday that Iranian police have seized a package of 'unauthorized' Iranian films from the consultant of the Berlin Film Festival - Berlinale at a Tehran airport. "A woman named Anke Leweke [the Iran consultant for the Berlin Film Festival] has recently arrived in the country, visiting with some of the 2009 post-election sedition convicts," Jafari-Dowlatabadi said in a meeting. 12/6/16

Report: Iran Jails 12 Working In Fashion Industry - An Iranian court has sentenced 12 people working in the fashion industry to jail for posting images on the Internet, according to a report in local media. The eight men and four women were given sentences ranging from five months to six years in jail by a court in the southern city of Shiraz on December 5, the semiofficial ILNA news agency reported. 12/6/16

New IS Spokesman Takes Aim at West, Turkey and Iran - A new chief spokesman for the Islamic State is urging supporters to target the terror group's enemies wherever they find them and "burn the ground under their feet." IS, through it's al-Furqan media division, released an audio recording of Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, naming him as the replacement for Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. Adnani was killed in a U.S. drone strike near al-Bab, Syria August 30.-Jeff Seldin, VOA 12/6/16

Iran, Airbus to jointly produce plane parts - Iran says it will soon launch a cooperation scheme with France's aviation giant Airbus over the production of spare parts for planes - a move that could help the company get a stronger foothold in the Iranian market once a much-awaited agreement to sell planes to the country becomes effective. 12/6/16

Russia using Iran's airbase currently not on agenda: Iranian Official - Iran says Russia currently has no plans for using the airbase near the western Iranian city of Hamedan for its anti-terrorism operations. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi made the remarks during a press conference on Monday in response to earlier reports concerning Russia's use of the Nojeh airbase. 12/6/16

I Want to Cry Like Soraya - Don't we all? On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the passing of Iran's Queen Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiari, Joobin Bekhrad remembers her and two other Iranian luminaries who also met their untimely ends in Paris -Reoirent 12/6/16

Flynn Simply Unfit - General Flynn is entitled to differ from the large majority of the American security establishment by opposing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran. But his advocacy of "regime change" over diplomacy as a means of addressing Iran's nuclear program is reckless and incendiary. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 12/6/16

How the OPEC Deal Breaks Down for Three Big Producers - OPEC got what it wanted with Wednesday's agreement to cut oil production: higher prices. But that is a double-edged sword, as those higher prices could lead to a surge in production by U.S. shale producers and others outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. And if those producers exacerbate the supply glut that has plagued the market, it will be much more difficult to reach another deal when this one expires in six months. -Sara Vakhshouri, LobeLog 12/6/16

China's Foreign Minister warns against obstruction of Iran nuclear deal - China has warned that no party to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world countries should allow its domestic upheavals to adversely affect its commitment to the accord. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks in Beijing on Monday at a joint press conference with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. 12/5/16

Iran's President Rouhani submits $486 billion budget bill to Parliament - President Hassan Rouhani presented the administration's draft of the national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year 1396, which starts on March 21, 2017, to the Majlis. The proposed national budget amounted to about 10.849 quadrillion rials (about $486 billion), an 11 percent rise year on year. 12/5/16

Iran women's rugby sevens team vice champion at Germany tournament - Iran national women's under-22 rugby sevens team has made quite an achievement at a four-team round-robin tournament in Germany, finishing in the second place at the end of the event. 12/5/16

Rights Activist Files Complaint Against Iran's Revolutionary Guard Agents for Excessive Force - The young human rights activist Atena Daemi has filed a formal complaint against agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for using excessive force when transferring her to Evin Prison to begin her sentence, she said in a letter written to a source who wished to remain anonymous due to security concerns. 12/5/16

Iranian powerlifters pocket 8 gold medals in world tournament - Iranian powerlifters have started off to a vigorous and impressive campaign at the World Championship Amateur World Powerlifting Congress (AWPC)/ World Champions Cup World Powerlifting Congress (WPC)/World Armlifting Association (WAA) - 2016 in Russia, winning eight gold medals. 12/5/16

Iranian Female Soccer Pros Featured on Next 60 MINUTES SPORTS on Showtime - American citizen, who grew up in Tulsa, Okla., has become a leading coach in Iran's nascent professional girls' soccer program, and she tells Lesley Stahl she sees an increasing number of women and girls playing the sport across the country. Stahl goes to Iran to speak to Katayoun Khosrowyar and see this so-called soccer revolution first-hand on the next edition of 60 MINUTES SPORTS -Broadway World 12/5/16

Tabriz to host World ParaVolley World Club Cup May 1-6, 2017 - Northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz (map) has been chosen to host the 2017 World ParaVolley World Club Cup. The competition will be held in Tabriz next year from May 1 to 6. Gostaresh Foolad Tabriz will represent Iran in the competition. 12/5/16

December 4 marks International Cheetah Day: World's fastest land animal is racing against extinction - Cheetah is world's fastest land animal over short distances and also the most ancient of all the big cats. Years of persecution have made it one of the world's most vulnerable big cats. In their ancestral homeland of the Middle East the Asian subspecies of cheetah is critically endangered, with very few, if any, individuals left in remote parts of Iran. The situation is only slightly better in Africa. -Farnaz Heidari 12/4/16

Iran President Demands Obama Not Sign Extension Of U.S. Sanctions - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has urged U.S. President Barack Obama not to sign a 10-year extension of U.S. sanctions approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate. In a speech to Iran's parliament on December 4, Rohani said the bill violates a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. 12/4/16

Amnesty Calls On Iran To Release Four Arrested At Commemoration For Murdered Writers - Amnesty International has called on Iran to release "immediately and unconditionally" four individuals arrested on December 2 at a gathering marking the 18th anniversary of the killings of two prominent intellectuals. 12/4/16

Iranian Official Arrested for Supporting Release of Imprisoned Human Rights Activist - Alireza Rahmani, the director of public relations for the governor's office in Qazvin, 89 miles (143 kms) northwest of Tehran, was arrested on November 29 for inviting friends online to support the release of imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi. 12/4/16

Iranian Startups: Modiseh Online Store - Shanbe talks to Hadi Arbabi, the founder of Iranian online store Modiseh: We have chosen this name "Modiseh" because it has the word "mod" (fashion) and the name of one of Isfahan villages which is pronounced "Modiseh". In this way we included Iranian approach in our brand. On the other hand because internet includes searching and navigating, this name reminds us of "Odyssey", the hero of Greek epics and stories. 12/3/16

Iran Officials Upset Over Extension of US Sanctions - Iran's top diplomat has strongly condemned a bill that passed the U.S. Congress earlier this week to extend sanctions against the country. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Iranian state broadcaster IRIB the extension of the sanctions "shows the unreliability of the American government" to the rest of the world. "America is acting against its commitment," he said. 12/3/16

Titan Mercury of U.S. defeats Bimeh Razi of Iran to claim championship of World Wrestling Clubs Cup 2016 - Iranian wrestling club Bimeh Razi has been defeated by the Titan Mercury of the United States at the 2016 Freestyle World Wrestling Clubs Cup in Ukraine, and finished as the runner-up in the respected international event. 12/3/16

Iran's Supreme Court Upholds Billionaire's Death Sentence - Iran's highest court has upheld a court decision imposing the death penalty on billionaire businessman Babak Zanjani, who was convicted of massive embezzlement and sentenced in March. Zanjani, one of Iran's richest people, was arrested in 2013 and accused of stealing more than $2 billion from the government through crooked oil sales he made during the administration of former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. 12/3/16

Iran Says Extension Of Sanctions Act By U.S. Congress Violates Nuclear Deal - Iran says the extension of sanctions legislation by the U.S. Congress is "a violation" of the nuclear deal (JCPOA) reached between Tehran and world powers last year. "We will report it to Iran's committee assigned for monitoring the implementation of the deal," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on December 2. 12/3/16

OPEC deal: Iran turns the tables on Saudis - After months of talks and rounds of meetings, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) finally sealed a deal on November 30 for a production cut, marking a turning point in the organization's history. A deal which everyone believed had very little chance of success, is now done and the organization agreed to cut production by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), or about 4.5 percent of current production, to 32.5 million bpd. -Ebrahim Fallahi 12/3/16

Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Center renews establishment in Iran - Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Center, an institution aiming at protecting human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, extended its establishment in Iran for five more years until 2020. -Maryam Qarehgozlou 12/3/16

Iran Owns 5% Of Company Building Israeli Navy Subs; Gov't Probe Widens - During the 1970s, the Iranian government invested $400 million in the German conglomerate, a 24.9% stake, which was inherited by Iran's current Islamic government. At the time ThyssenKrupp was mostly building steel, and not yet in the shipbuilding business. The switch came after ThyssenKrupp acquired shipbuilder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in 2005. -Forbes 12/3/16

Egypt and Saudi Arabia: Marriage on the Rocks? - On the other hand, the Egyptian officials who have been in charge since 2013 do not view Iran with as much concern as do their Saudi counterparts. Consequently, in recent years Egypt has not been willing to embrace the same hardline anti-Iranian stance that Mubarak did for many years. -Cinzia Bianco and Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog 12/3/16

Iran Considers Renewal of US Sanctions a Violation of Nuclear Deal - Iran is threatening to retaliate after the U.S. Senate gave Congress' final approval to an extension of the American sanctions against Iran that lawmakers of both parties said is crucial to enforcing the international nuclear accord with Tehran. -Michael Bowman 12/2/16

Family Breaks Silence Over Iranian-American and Wife Held for Three Months Without Charge or Counsel - December 2, 2016-Karan Vafadari, an Iranian-American national belonging to the Zoroastrian faith, and his wife Afarin Niasari, have been in detention in Tehran's Evin Prison without public charge or access to counsel since their arrest by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Intelligence Organization agents three months ago, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. 12/2/16

German-Iranian Assistant for Berlin Film Festival Barred from Leaving Iran - Nooshafarin Dastoori, the dual national translator for a prestigious film festival, was prevented from boarding a flight to Germany at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport and her passport confiscated as she was leaving the country together with her colleague on November 27. 12/2/16

Good News: Lawmakers Push Back Against Registry of Iranians and Muslims - Two weeks ago, we learned that Trump advisors were working to setup a so-called "Muslim registry" by restarting the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program that targeted Iranians in the aftermath of 9/11. Today, 51 lawmakers in the House of Representatives sent a letter to the White House urging President Obama to rescind the NSEERS program. -NIAC 12/2/16

Iran could face severe water crisis in 2017: Report - Historically low rainfalls have raised concerns that Iran will have an arid year in 2017. Iran's Tasnim news agency in a report said the average rainfalls in the country dropped this autumn by 74 percent compared to last year. This was the lowest drop the country had seen for the past 47 years, Tasnim added. 12/2/16

Iran vows 'appropriate' response to US sanctions - Iran says the US Congress' vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another decade violates last year's nuclear accord, adding Tehran will take "appropriate measures" against the decision. The extension passed the Senate on Thursday, after easily clearing the House of Representatives last month, with a White House official saying President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure. 12/2/16

Learning to love the 'Persian Palaces' of Beverly Hills - The way Pourandokht Banayan tells it, she and her husband built the very first "Persian Palace" in Beverly Hills. The boxy yellow house bears the telltale mark of the now-outlawed style: four of those two-story columns out front. It was erected on this plot of land at the top of Coldwater Canyon in the late 1980s, before the rush of other Iranians building or renovating similar homes in the notoriously wealthy enclave -Curbed 12/2/16

UNESCO approves Noruz collective feast of 12 nations - The celebration of Noruz, the New Year shared by 12 countries, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO on Wednesday. Noruz marks the beginning of spring across a vast geographical area. It is celebrated on March 21st every year. 12/1/16

U.S. National Board of Review names "The Salesman" best foreign-language film - The National Board of Review (NBR) in New York has picked Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's drama "The Salesman" as best foreign-language film. The movie, which won Farhadi the award for best screenplay and the Palme d'Or for best actor for Shahab Hosseini at the Cannes Film Festival this year, is Iran's submission to the 89th Academy Awards in the best foreign language film category. 12/1/16

Caravan of the Arts: IRAN 2017 - I am excited to announce that we are going back to visit IRAN in 2017 and we are inviting several of our friends to join us! We have planned 2 special trips to Iran next year in partnership with AltruVistas (sustainable travel organization) and benefitting the OMID Foundation (charity/rehab facility for disadvantaged young women in Iran). I am thrilled to be leading these trips to introduce new people to my ancestral homeland. -Afshin Shirazian 12/1/16

Defiance Thrusts Iranian Lawmaker Into Spotlight - Until recently, Mahmud Sadeghi was an obscure legal expert whose most conspicuous professional accomplishment was a two-year advisory stint with Iran's Education Ministry. That changed with the 54-year-old's election to parliament in Iran's tightly controlled elections in February, as one of 133 relative moderates allied with reformist President Hassan Rohani to have won seats in the 290-seat legislature, known as the Majlis. -Golnaz Esfandiari 12/1/16

Iran's 8-month non-oil exports up 5.7% from last year - Iran's exports of non-oil products in the first eight months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-November 20) stood at $28.117 billion, with 5.74 percent rise from $26.59 billion in the same period last year, according to the official website of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Customs Administration (IRICA). 12/1/16

Iranian Judiciary and Parliament Clash Over MP's Questions on Judiciary Chief's Banking Activities - After avoiding a summons for days, Member of Parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi appeared in the Culture and Media Court in Tehran on November 29 to respond to questions from assistant prosecutors about several complaints against him, after he publicly questioned the Judiciary Chief about state funds deposited into his bank accounts. 11/30/16

Iranian chess master Sara Khademalsharieh sustains 1st loss in FIDE Grand Prix - Iranian International Master and Woman Grandmaster Sarasadat Khademalsharieh has sustained her first loss at the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) Women's Grand Prix in Russia, going down to a representative from China in the ninth round of the final leg of the tournament. 11/30/16

Iranian Women's Rights Activist Arrested After Attending Workshop in Georgia - Photographer and women's right activist Alieh Matlabzadeh has been undergoing interrogation in Evin Prison since November 26 when Intelligence Ministry agents took her into custody without charge, her husband, Sadra Abdollahi, said in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Twenty Others Who Attended Women's Empowerment Workshop Also Questioned. 11/30/16

CIA Chief Warns Trump Over Scrapping Iran Nuclear Deal, 'Russian Promises' - CIA Director John Brennan warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that abandoning the nuclear deal with Iran would be "disastrous" and "the height of folly." "I think it would be disastrous, it really would," the BBC quoted Brennan as saying on November 30 in an interview. 11/30/16

PAAIA Launches the Ansari Fellowship Program For Young Iranian-Americans - Iranian-Americans are some of the most successful entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, engineers and scientists in the United States. Yet, for various reasons, many are still not involved in politics or public service more broadly. We are aiming to change that by providing funding for unpaid summer internships, as well as access to a network of public policy experts and mentorship opportunities. 11/30/16

Yalda Evening in London: Musical performance by Vida Edalat and reception - Join the Iran Heritage Foundation for the final event of the year in anticipation of Shab-e Yalda, when the days once again start to get longer after the winter solstice. This will be a social evening, with a musical performance by Vida Edalat, accompanied by the Saba Ensemble, followed by a reception with drinks and Persian nibbles. 11/30/16

Prosecutor Tells Iran Lawmaker To Turn Himself In After Flubbed Arrest - Security officers reportedly arrived to arrest Mahmud Sadeghi at his home in Tehran on November 27. Sadeghi is said to have defied the officers while colleagues and activists came to his defense and gathered outside his home. The chief prosecutor in Tehran says an arrest warrant against a reformist lawmaker who publicly questioned the financial dealings of Iran's chief justice remains legal and valid. 11/30/16

Subterranean waterways offer clues to ancient way of life in Iran - Throughout the arid regions of Iran, mainly central parts of the country, agricultural and permanent settlements have been supported by the ancient qanat system of tapping alluvial aquifers at the heads of valleys and conducting the water along underground tunnels by gravity, often over many kilometers. 11/29/16

Iran: Shocking Montazeri Sentence Reveals a Prosecution Lacking Legal or Moral Legitimacy - The six-year prison sentence handed down to Ahmad Montazeri for publishing an audio tape on the mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s, by a clerical court whose Lead Prosecutor is one of the officials implicated in the tape, reflects a profound conflict of interest and arbitrary ruling that renders the verdict completely illegitimate. 11/29/16

Sadegh Zibakalam: I Will Not Trample on the American Flag - To get a better sense of how Trump's election is being discussed in Iran, IranWire spoke to Sadegh Zibakalam, an author, political analyst, and professor of political science at the University of Tehran. It has been about a week since Donald Trump won the election. Do you think his presidency will benefit Iran? -Shima Shahrabi, Iran Wire 11/29/16

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Point Weapon at US Helicopter - An Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) boat pointed its weapon at a helicopter launched from aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official told VOA Monday. 11/29/16

South Africa's MTN eyeing Iran's e-commerce opportunities - Telecom giant MTN Group says it has devised serious plans to boost its presence in the Iranian market, emphasizing that e-commerce will comprise a key theme of the company's agenda for its future business in Iran. 11/29/16

Iran Claims To Have Thwarted Islamic State Attack In Tehran - Iran's intelligence minister has claimed that his agents prevented a planned Islamic State (IS) terrorist attack in the capital, Tehran. Speaking on November 29, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said a "terrorist group" had been identified and "liquidated." He added that explosives had been confiscated. 11/29/16

Sheer incredulity - Journalists, business people, tourists, artists and culture professionals -- in 2016 many more foreigners travelled to Iran than in previous years. The visitors often remark on how inspiring the "desire for freedom" and "cosmopolitanism" of young Iranians in particular is, leading to a host of superficial observations. -Stefan Buchen, 11/29/16

Iran Should Be Worried About a Trump Administration - Those observers in Iran who thought that a victory by Donald Trump in the US presidential race would be in Iran's interests should by now have realized how wrong they were. It's not just because President-elect Trump vowed during the election campaign that he would tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action (JCPOA). More importantly, he has made key appointments that will have significant consequences for the future direction of American foreign policy. -Shireen T. Hunter 11/28/16

These stunningly beautiful photos show what ordinary life in Iran is like - Photographic work coming out of Iran isn't necessarily a rarity. But the vast majority of the work is either focused on political photo ops or, when it tries to go beyond that, depictions of anti-Western sentiments (billboards) or just street scenes filled with veiled women or men drinking tea and smoking hookahs. Francesca Manolino's work is different, though. -Washington Post 11/28/16

Iran State Railway Chief Resigns, 3 Arrested After Train Crash Kills 44 - Three railway staff have been detained after a deadly train collision took place in Iran's north-central province of Semnan on Friday. The accident happened when a passenger train in motion crashed to another one that had stopped at the station. 45 died and over 100 got wounded. 11/27/16

Iran non-oil exports to Iraq stand at $6.2B, including $2.2B of agricultural products - Ebrahim Rezazadeh on Sunday highlighted the importance of Iraq's market for exporting Iranian products, adding "since 2005, our exports to Iraq has increased 17 times, which is three times more than the four continents of America, Africa, Europe and Oceania in total." 11/27/16

Iranian Oil Ministry Helicopter Crash In Caspian Sea Kills 5 - News reports say an Iranian helicopter based at a Caspian Sea oil platform crashed late on November 26, killing all five people onboard. The helicopter belonged to the Oil Ministry and was carrying an engineer with heart trouble to the hospital when it crashed, the German news agency dpa reported, citing Iranian media. 11/27/16

Death toll in train collision in Semnan, Iran reaches 44 - At least 44 died and 100 got wounded after two passenger trains collided in Iran's north-central province of Semnan. So far, 80 of the injured have been transferred to nearby hospitals and 20 got outpatient care, IRNA quoted Mostafa Mortazavi, an official with Iran's Red Crescent Society as saying. 11/26/16

Iran to respond if US renews bans: Supreme Leader - Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that Iran would respond if the US proceeded to renew the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) which expires at the end of 2016. The US House of Representatives voted for a 10-year extension of the ISA earlier this month but to become law, the bill has to be endorsed by the Senate as well and signed by the US president. 11/25/16

U.S. Issues License For Sale Of More Than 100 Commercial Planes To Iran - The United States has issued a second license to France's Airbus to sell more than 100 commercial planes to Iran. Airbus in September received a license to sell 17 planes to Tehran. Officials said that the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control on November 21 gave the French manufacturer permission to sell 106 more planes to Iran Air. 11/23/16

Iranian girls crowned in world junior taekwondo championships - Young Iranian female taekwondo practitioners have put a tremendous end to their campaign at the 11th edition of the WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Canada, claiming the top podium place at the conclusion of the high-status tournament. 11/22/16

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Must Stop Using Dual-Nationals as Hostages - Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei should put an immediate end to the practice of the Revolutionary Guard's Intelligence Organization, which operates under his direct authority, of arresting dual nationals and using them as hostages to collect ransom money and demonstrate political muscle, the International Campaign for Human Rights said today. 11/22/16

Stars of Tomorrow: Iran's Mobina Nejad Katesari - Nobody can confirm whether or not if it is a world record, but everybody in Burnaby is talking about it: The incredible run by Iran's Mobina Nejad Katesari on Day 1 of the 2016 WTF World Taekwondo Junior Championships. Over a day of fighting that ended with her being crowned world champion in the female -42kg category, she scythed her way through the opposition, scoring 73 points and conceding none. 11/21/16

Photos: The Ancient Persepolis Ruins Under The Supermoon Light - This year, the full moons of October, November and December are called supermoons since these take place when the moon is at its closest point of approach in its orbit around Earth. The supermoons have been creating magnificant scenes across the globe. These photos show the ancient Persepolis ruins in Iran during the November 2016 supermoon. 11/21/16

Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) Launches #RejectHate Campaign - IAAB's Campus Action Network (I-CAN) launches IAAB's #RejectHate Campaign to ensure the right to a safe education in an inclusive environment for all students. Multiple IAAB students and alumni reported experiencing harassment and bullying at school and in public spaces in the past week. 11/19/16

Iran Nuclear Deal Opponents to Trump: Don't 'Rip it Up' - Republicans and other long-time opponents of an international nuclear agreement with Iran have walked back calls to scrap the deal and are now urging the incoming Trump administration to stiffen it rather than unravel what President-elect Donald Trump once termed as "the worst deal ever negotiated." 11/19/16

Lut Desert provides tourism development opportunity: Iranian Official - The Lut Desert, one of the two deserts dominating the landscape of eastern Iran, has got what it takes to lure travelers considering its geological uniqueness. Inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List, the scorching Lut, is a mix of sand and salt. Its calming silence is also amazingly attractive. 11/18/16

Iranian Officials Ignore Demands of Eight Ailing Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike - At least eight political prisoners are currently on life-threatening hunger strikes in Tehran and Karaj to demand better conditions and reviews of their unjust prison sentences. Even though at least one political prisoner in Iran has died as a result of his hunger strike, judicial officials have not only ignored the worsening conditions of the hunger strikers, but in some cases also punished them for their protests. 11/18/16

Former Terrorist Group To Enjoy Close Ties to Rumored Trump Cabinet - Donald Trump's rumored picks for key foreign-policy positions have already set off alarm bells about the future administration's embrace of war hawks and Islamophobes. Today, Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin pointed out that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is currently reported to be under consideration for an appointment to secretary of state or attorney general, potentially violated the law when he made paid speaking appearances for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), when the State Department listed the Iranian dissident group as a foreign terrorist organization. -Eli Clifton 11/16/16

Trump Presidency and Iran's Domestic Politics - If Iran's best option is to not fall in the reactive trap and continue working with other countries who participated in the formulation of the JCPOA, stability and continuity at the top combined with active diplomacy to paint the US as the egregious party will be needed more than ever. -Farideh Farhi 11/15/16

"Life+1 Day" Receives Best Film Award At Geneva Festival - "Life+1 Day" by Iranian director Saeid Rustai has won the best film award at the 22nd Geneva International Film Festival Tous Ecrans, which was held in the Swiss city from November 4 to 12. 11/15/16

Five Iranian And Foreign Scientists Receive Awards At 1st USERN Congress In Tehran - The 1st international congress of Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN) held in Tehran has announced its winners, including 2 Iranians and 3 scientists from other countries (Belgium, U.S. and the Netherlands). 11/13/16

iBRIDGE Barcelona: A Global Meetup with High Tech Entrepreneurs of Iranian Descent - iBRIDGE Barcelona, a three-day event to be held December 8-10, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. It will be the global meetup with high-tech entrepreneurs of Iranian descent who come from across the world to share experiences, challenges, and success stories with colleagues, potential investors, and corporate partners. 11/7/16

Europe Capitalizes on the Iran Deal - As Washington think-tanks, with some notable exceptions, keep churning out papers advising the next American president to double down on containing Iran, the European Parliament adopted a report on October 25 that is strikingly different in tone and substance. Drafted by the UK Labour Party politician Richard Howitt , the motion received overwhelming support in the house: 459 votes in favor, with 174 against and 67 abstentions. -Eldar Mamedov 10/29/16

Nasir al-Molk Mosque: Magestic and Historic - Located in downtown Shiraz lies the elegant Nasir al-Molk Mosque, which boasts extensive colored tilework and glass on its facade as well as exquisite architecture inside. Completed in the end of the 19th century, it is one of the most photographed mosques in southern Iran. 10/29/16

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last updated on Wed Dec 7 12:28:44 EST 2016