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September 30 2016
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Upholding 16-Year Prison Sentence of Iranian Political Prisoner Narges Mohammadi is Indefensible

- The upholding of the 16-year prison sentence against human rights defender Narges Mohammadi by Iran's Appeals Court for her peaceful work is cruel and indefensible, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said in a statement today. Mohammadi, winner of the 2011 Per Anger Prize for her activism in human rights, was arrested in 2009 9/29/16

OPEC Agreement Overcomes Saudi-Iran Rift, Spurs Rally On Global Markets

- OPEC's agreement to mend an internal rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran and curb production surprised global markets and sparked powerful rallies from Wall Street to Hong Kong. Oil analysts said the deal was a major breakthrough as it included a major concession by Saudi Arabia to let Iran keep increasing its production to levels that prevailed before international sanctions. 9/29/16

Donald Trump: The American version of Ahmadinejad?

- Broadly, in assessing the likely direction of policy under either of the two (U.S. presidential) candidates, one has to expect that Trump would follow through on his rhetoric and take a hard line on Iran. Trump is plainly populist and unpredictable - an American version of Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But even to him, a US policy initiative to tear up the nuclear deal must look like only adding to the problems of a murderously chaotic region. -Michael Axworthy 9/29/16

2016 Annual Mehregan Conference at University of California, Irvine

- Join Farhang Foundation and the Jordan Center for Persian Studies at the University of California, Irvine for the 2nd Annual Mehregan Conference! Featuring: THE MANY VOICES OF MOWLANA by Professor Alan Williams of the University of Manchester; ATTAR AND HIS SOCIETY by Dr. Soheila Saremi of Saddleback College; Musical Perforamnce by the Traditional Persian Quartet 9/29/16

In memory of Iranian American physicist Ali Javan: 1926-2016

- A respected and accomplished Iranian American physicist, Javan was a professor emeritus of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Co-inventor of the gas laser in 1960, he secured his spot among the great scientific minds of the 20th century, and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1964 for his contributions to the fields of laser spectroscopy and quantum physics. 9/29/16

The world's fastest animal is in a race for survival in Iran

- The three-acre hilltop park overlooking Iran's smog-blanketed capital might seem like a nice spot for romance. But the couple has not been in the mood. Delbar, a 4-year-old female Asiatic cheetah, was brought to the fenced enclosure at Tehran's Pardisan park by conservation officials who hoped she would mate with Koshki, a 10-year-old male. -Los Angeles Times 9/29/16

Foreign tourist visits fetches Iran $24B in 3.5 years: Official

- Some $24 billion came into Iran over the past three and a half years because of foreign tourists, the deputy director of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO), Morteza Rahmani-Movahhed, said on Monday. More than 16 million foreign tourists have visited the country during the mentioned period, ISNA quoted him as saying. Each traveler has, therefore, spent $1,500 on average in the country, Rahmani-Movahhed explained. 9/29/16

'It's wonderful to be home,' Homa Hoodfar says after landing in Montreal

- Homa Hoodfar arrived in Montreal this morning to hugs and cheers after being detained in an Iranian prison since June. "It's wonderful to be home and united with family and friends again," Hoodfar said at a news conference at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, as she smiled and clutched the hand of her niece, Amanda Ghahremani. -CBC/Radio-Canada 9/29/16

Iranian Kurds Bolster Anti-IS Forces in Iraq, Syria

- Hundreds of Iranian Kurds are bolstering Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq as volunteers in the fight against the Islamic State, according to fighters and Kurdish sources in Iraq and Syria. The Iranian Kurds are choosing to volunteer, working outside Iran's official military involvement in the region. -Mehdi Jedinia and Sirwan Kajjo, VOA 9/29/16

Austria's OeKB raises Iran export financing

- OeKB's export insurance cover for exports to Iran has increased to 1 billion euros from 280 million euros. The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) says Austrian export credit agency OeKB has raised its cover for Iran transactions to 1 billion euros 9/29/16

Featured Video


FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016: Russia defeats Iran 4-3 in semifinals

FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016: Russia outlast Iran to make final - Russia booked their place in the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 final after outlasting Iran 4-3 in Tuesday's semi-final in Medellin. Iran will play in Saturday's third-place match against the loser of Wednesday's semi-final, also in Cali. 9/28/16

'I'm Lake Urmia' campaign seeks international support to save Iran's salt water lake - The "I'm Lake Urmia" hashtag is a newly initiated campaign spearheaded by the public aims to collect one million signatures to push the United Nation to take serious measures to restore the lake. Launched in late August in the platform of social media, the campaign was first supported by actor Reza Kianian and later was taken up by other actors, politicians, and athletes. 9/28/16

Australia hails 'dawn of new age' in Iran ties - Iran and Australia have signed fresh agreements to forge closer ties, with Austrian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo announcing the dawn of a new age of relationship. Ciobo is leading a trade delegation of more than 20 companies to Tehran, seeking out opportunities, buoyed by the prospects in Iran's mining, oil and gas, and other industries as well as the near 80 million population. 9/28/16

Baha'i Student Expelled and Banned from University for His Faith - Iranian authorities have ignored requests to reinstate a student expelled from a university because of his faith. Nineteen-year-old Faraz Karin-Kani Sisan was expelled from Ghiyaseddin Jamshid Kashani Institute for Higher Education (GJKI) in Abyek, Alborz Province, 62 miles northwest of Tehran, after completing his second term in development studies. 9/28/16

Iran's gas exports up 3.4% in first half of 2016 - Iran's gas exports reached near 4 billion cubic meters in the first six months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-September 21), registering a 3.4 percent rise compared to the same period in the preceding year, Shana quoted a gas official as saying on Tuesday. 9/28/16

Did AIPAC Pocket Its Iran Deal Fundraising Revenue? - Last year, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) led the charge against the Obama administration's efforts to reach a diplomatic resolution to concerns about Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. Indeed, in many ways, AIPAC became the face of the opposition to Obama's signature second-term foreign policy initiative. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 9/28/16

President Rouhani: Governments encouraging citizens to visit 'safe' Iran - Iran's huge investment in security has borne fruit which include drawing foreign investment and tourists, said President Hassan Rouhani. Speaking at a ceremony to mark World Tourism Day (Sept. 27), he said, "Today, even the governments which used to issue warnings to their citizens against traveling to Iran, now acknowledge that Iran is a secure tourist destination." 9/27/16

Tehran on Mastercard's top ten fastest growing destinations list - Tehran comes ninth among the top ten fastest growing destination cities, according to the annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index report which released on September 22. The bustling yet historical Iranian capital has witnessed a growth of 12.98 percent in terms of the international overnight visitor arrivals 9/27/16

Airplanes collide in minor accident in Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport - Two Iranian passenger planes belonging to Mahan Air and Iran Air collided in Imam Khomeini Airport on Tuesday, an official said. Spokesman for the Civil Aviation Organization Reza Jafarzadeh told IRNA that the incident was a minor one which caused no casualties. 9/27/16

Ahmadinejad Confirms He Won't Seek Reelection - Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad says he will not seek reelection in the country's 2017 presidential vote, one day after media reported that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had told him not to run. 9/27/16

Shiraz in Shiraz: Why wine is integral to Persian culture - IT IS easy to assume that Iran has never been a site of drunken revelries. Westerners imagine Iranians to be a homogenously pious and modest group, and so suppose that viticulture is wholly foreign to them... Yet suggesting that drinking is a quasi-blasphemous act obfuscates the fact that alcohol-and wine in particular-has been an inextricable part of Iranian culture and identity for millennia. Indeed, current estimates suggest that Iranians imbibe around 60m litres of alcohol a year despite the government crackdown. -Economist 9/27/16

Iran, Japan seal deal to fund petrochemical plans - Iran says Japan has agreed to fund the development of some of its petrochemical projects - a groundbreaking move that could open the way for similar funding mechanisms for other sectors in the future. 9/27/16

Raag and Roll - Qais Essar doesn't play in a rock and roll band, nor does he want to; he's too cool for that. He'd rather stick to his guns and play the twangy lute he was born to strum: the robab, which, like he himself, hails from beautiful Afghanistan. Qais has long been plucking the strings of his robab, and has just released a new album, Tavern of Ruin, as well as a charming and otherworldly promotional video for one of its songs, which is enjoying its debut, well ... here on REORIENT. -Joobin Bekhrad 9/27/16

Iran Releases Canadian-Iranian Professor Detained on 'Security Charges' - Iran says it has released a retired Canadian-Iranian professor, who had been detained on "security charges." A foreign ministry spokesman, quoted by the official IRNA news agency, said Homa Hoodfar was released on humanitarian grounds. 9/26/16

Opposition against Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) gains momentum in Iran - Iran is seeing its most vociferous outcry yet over the use of genetically-modified ingredients in food production. Opponents of food products with GMOs have recently elicited fatwas from top clerics, declaring commercial sale and cultivation of genetically-altered crops "not permitted." 9/26/16

PHOTOS: Iran launches production line for Zolfaqar missiles - Iran launched production line for its first solid-fuel pin-point precision and long-range missile dubbed Zolfaqar on Sunday. Zolfaqar missile is the first Iranian missile using solid fuel with a range of 700 kilometers and high-precision guide capability. 9/26/16

Iran to dispatch 3,500 skilled manpower to Ireland: Deputy Minister - Deputy Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Mohammad Amin Sazegarnejad said on Saturday that somer 3,500 Iranian skilled manpower in the fields of Hoteliering and culinary will be dispatched to the Republic of Ireland. Iran and Ireland have signed a memorandum of understanding to that effect. 9/26/16

Iran's first online census gets into high gear - Iranians have begun taking part in the country's first national online census, with one official saying general response on the first day was "unprecedented". Ashkan Shabbak, head of the supervisory committee on the census, told IRNA news agency on Sunday that he expected 35% of Iranians to fill out online version of the survey. Those who do not use the Internet will be surveyed in October. 9/26/16

​Iran introduces own credit cards - Iran has introduced credit cards for the first time in what appears to be a plan to encourage spending by the public. The credit cards will be presented to applicants with three limits of Rials 100 million ($3,000), Rials 300 million ($10,000) and Rials 500 million ($15,000). They can be used for purchases in shops or online, the media reported. 9/26/16

Congress: DIY Approach to Saudi Arabia - If there were a "basket of deplorables" for foreign countries, Saudi Arabia would surely be in it. The Saudi government holds one of the world's worst records on religious freedom and women's rights, and harbors one of the most repressive media environments. Saudi forces have committed "gross and systemic" violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen... -Diana Ohlbaum, LobeLog 9/26/16

Defying prejudice, Islam's mystical, musical strain appeals to New Yorkers - Every Thursday night, the music of a tanbour, a long-necked stringed instrument, resounds across the wooden floors of a Manhattan room, wrapped with warm Persian rugs. Barefoot men and women create circles and sway to the cadence of the melody. -Economist 9/26/16

FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016: Drama as Iran clinches win at the death to reach semifinals - Iran clinched a FIFA Futsal World Cup semi-final place for the first time since 1992 as Ahmed Esmailpour struck deep into extra time to see off Paraguay 4-3 in an incredible climax during Bucaramanga's final game of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016. 9/25/16

Italian Navy Ship Docks In Iran - An Italian navy ship has docked in the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the first official visit by a Western naval vessel to the country in 15 years. The Italian Navy said the visit comes as part of the resumption of "historic and excellent relations" between the two navies. 9/25/16

Iranian Beauty Takes US State Department by Storm - The recent appointment of Iranian-American Sahar Nowrouzzadeh as Persian spokesperson for the US Department of State is likely to help improve the dialogue between Washington and Tehran. -Sputnik 9/25/16

Syria as Metaphor - Syria is a nightmare for individuals, millions of them. But it's not just that. If states could dream, then Syria would be their nightmare as well. This scenario might seem unique. It isn't. Disharmonious pluralism has become the new global standard. Other countries - Turkey, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the EU, even the United States - gaze upon the Syrian example and tremble. -John Feffer, LobeLog 9/25/16

US vows to change course on JCPOA: Iran's President Rouhani - Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Tehran from New York on Friday, Rouhani added that the ministerial meeting of a commission established to monitor the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) confirmed that the US is not complying with the nuclear agreement. "The Joint Commission verified the Islamic Republic of Iran's stance and did not see the US conduct as consistent with the JCPOA," the Iranian president said. 9/24/16

Director of "Kami's Party" asks Iranians to download his banned film and donate to charity - Protesting against the banning Ali Ahmadzadeh put a copy of his film on the internet for free download and asked those who downloaded it and were eager to pay, to donate the money to the Children's Charity Refaah. According to the director, Kami's Party attempts to depict the relationships between young members of today's Iranian upper class which, for reasons unknown, have never been depicted in any other Iranian film. 9/24/16

Iran not interested in any provocation with US: FM Javad Zarif - The Iranian minister made the remarks in an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank, on Friday, in response to a quote, raised by the interviewer, from US Republican presidential nominee Donald trump, who had said he would shoot the Iranian ships out of the Persian Gulf. 9/24/16

Saudis offer oil production cut deal if Iran freezes output - Saudi Arabia has reportedly announced that it is ready to reduce its oil production provided that Iran agrees to cap its own output over the remaining months to the end of 2016. Reuters has quoted unnamed sources as saying that the Saudi offer, which is yet to be accepted or rejected, was presented to Tehran earlier this month. 9/24/16

Iran: The Calligraphic Challenge - Mehdi Saeedi turns words into art. The Iranian graphic artist has transformed Farsi script into posters, paintings, and other works. He has taken a traditional form, calligraphy, and made something even more startling and beautiful from it. -John Feffer, LobeLog 9/24/16

Inside Iran: Middle East marvel has been off limits for years but is now welcoming Westerners with open arms - The scorching desert sun has just set behind the majestic, centuries-old Khaju Bridge. But its ancient arches now glow bright yellow in the night sky and set the scene for a wonderful spectacle. The people of Isfahan meet beneath the lights here - and on the Zayandeh River's other crossings - every evening to socialise. -Ben Rankin, The Mirror, UK 9/24/16

Apple iPhone Has A One Billion Dollar Market in Iran - There are 5M to 6M iPhones in Iran. With the recent report from the Iranian officials, 100 thousand new smuggled iPhones get activated in the country each month. That's about 1.2M new iPhones being imported illegally into the country each year which is a one Billion dollar market in Iran. -Techrasa 9/24/16

Iran's President Rouhani Urges Implementation of Nuclear Deal at UN - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani used his speech at the U.N. General Assembly to urge the United States to step up implementation of the landmark nuclear deal and to rebuke Saudi Arabia for its actions in the region. "The lack of compliance with the JCPOA on the part of the United States in the past several months represents a flawed approach that should be rectified forthwith," Rouhani told the annual gathering of leaders 9/23/16

Iran Complying With JCPOA: EU Foreign Policy Chief - Speaking at a press briefing following a meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany - at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, Federica Mogherini said the common assessment was that Iran was living up to its commitments under the deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 9/23/16

Kahrizak Torture Victim Rejects Former Tehran Prosecutor's Apology for Detainees' Deaths - Reza Zoghi, who was tortured at the Kahrizak Detention Center in south Tehran where three young men died as a result of the torture, has rejected an apology from then-Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi. "His apology is an insult," Zoghi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 9/23/16

​Iran, Japan to devise economic roadmap - Iran says it is ready to work with Japan on devising a 10-year roadmap to expand economic relations between the two countries. The announcement was made by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani during his meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York. 9/23/16

Ahmadinejad advised by the Supreme Leader not to run for president: Report - On Monday Fars published a note by its former director Mehdi Faza'eli in which he said former president Mahmud Ahmadinejad has been advised not to run for the next year's presidential election. 9/23/16

Ancient Settlement Uncovered In West-Central Iran - According to Ghafour Kaka, the head of exploration expedition at the site of Sarsakhti castle hill in an eponymous village in Shazand: the results of cultural findings of archaeological excavation of the area and its surrounding show it has been inhabited since Neolithic age (8000 years ago) until the Qajar Era. 9/23/16

Iran says purchases from Boeing 'easier' - Iran says it expects the proceedings to purchase planes from US aviation giant Boeing to proceed faster than those with Airbus. "Negotiations with Boeing started much longer [after Airbus] but it appears they will lead to success sooner," said Asghar Fakhriyeh Kashan, Iran's deputy minister of roads and urban development. 9/23/16

With Boeing Deal, Americans Are Coming to Iran - Long before the first newly purchased Boeing airliner lands at Imam Khomeini International Airport, Iran and the United States will have had to come to terms with a new reality: American citizens will once again be taking up residence in Tehran, the first to do so since the Islamic Revolution and subsequent hostage crisis in 1979 and 1980. -Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times 9/23/16

Airbus, Boeing Get U.S. Approval To Sell Planes To Iran - The U.S. Treasury Department has granted licenses to Airbus and Boeing to sell jet planes to Iran in multibillion-dollar deals. 9/22/16

Iran's Nuclear Program and International Law - Anyone who took an interest in the diplomatic twists and turns that finally resulted in last year's Iran nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) are likely to enjoy Iran's Nuclear Program and International Law by Daniel H. Joyner, professor of law at the University of Alabama. -Peter Jenkins 9/22/16

UN aid covers less than 3% of Iran's spending on refugees: Interior Minister - The Iranian interior minister says the UN has failed to provide Tehran with sufficient aid to help the country cover the expenses of the services it is offering to refugees on its soil, particularly Afghan nationals. Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli made the remarks in a Tuesday meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi in New York. 9/22/16

Iran: Ailing Reformist Journalist's Prison Sentence Reduced - Prominent reformist journalist Issa Saharkhiz's prison sentence has been reduced based on Article 134 of the New Islamic Penal Code, his lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaee, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 9/22/16

Iran's President Rouhani demands political settlement of Syria conflict - "What is of utmost importance is to understand that Syria doesn't have a military solution. And the Syrians' problems must certainly be resolved politically. Only politically," Rouhani said in an interview with NBC television news network on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. 9/22/16

Women in Iran defy fatwa by riding bikes in public - Women in Iran have been posting photos on social media of themselves riding bicycles, defying a fatwa forbidding them from cycling in public. It had been understood women that could cycle as long as religious concerns were respected. But when asked recently, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, said women were not allowed to cycle in public or in the presence of strangers. -BBC 9/22/16

Persian Food Primer: 10 Essential Iranian Dishes - A visit to Iran yields a stunning variety of culinary delights. Between the familiar kebab and the decidedly outré grilled lamb's testicles, there's a vast spectrum of foods: caviar, pickle, and smoked fish in the north; samosas, falafel and hot and sour shrimp in the south; noodles, flatbread and rosewater-scented ice cream across the country. -Louisa Shafia, Food Republic 9/22/16

Iran president arrives in New York for 71st UN General Assembly session - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has arrived in New York to participate in the 71st annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Rouhani arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday 9/21/16

Females outnumber males in 2016 university admissions in Iran - As the final results for the Iranian university entrance exam, also known as Konkur, was announced, females who got admitted into the universities outnumbered males. According to Sanjesh Organization, an Iranian organization in charge of coordinating and administrating Konkur, 57 percent of those admitted into the universities are females. 9/21/16

Iran Marks War Anniversary With Military Parades - Various divisions of Iran's Armed Forces are holding annual military parades on the first day of the Sacred Defense Week, which marks the 36th anniversary of the eight-year Iraqi war on Iran. 9/21/16

Reformist Editor Arrested Ahead of President Rouhani's Trip to the United Nations - Sadra Mohaghegh, the social affairs editor of the reformist Shargh newspaper, was arrested on September 19, 2016, but the circumstances surrounding his arrest and the charges against him are unclear, according to his lawyer. 9/21/16

Mark Kirk's Surprising Disinterest In Boeing's Iran Sales - Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) opposes pretty much anything that might take the pressure off Iran. He called Obama the "drug dealer in chief" for delivering $400 million in cash to the Islamic Republic as part of a settlement for money owed to Iran since 1979. He has gone so far as to say that "it's okay to take food out of the mouths" of the Iranian people to punish their government for its behavior. -Eli Clifton 9/21/16

Our Hardliners Are Still Helping Iran's Hardliners - The unrelenting urge among American politicians to keep punishing Iran--or more precisely, to be seen supporting steps with that objective--continues to work against sensible statecraft and U.S. interests in multiple respects. One of those respects concerns how measures taken by the United States affect political competition within Iran. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 9/21/16

Smoking ban in public places in Iran to go into effect from September 22nd - Iran will start banning smoking in public spaces from September 22, a decade after a relevant legislation was ratified, IRNA quoted the secretary general of Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association as saying on Monday. "Smoking claims 65,000 lives in Iran annually," Masjedi regretted, an alarming figure that has to concern the public. 9/21/16

Ending the Iran-Saudi Cold War - In January, Saudi Arabia severed formal diplomatic ties with Iran after a row over its execution of a prominent Shia cleric ended with angry protestors attacking its Tehran embassy. Diplomacy has since been replaced by an ever-escalating war of words, and tensions have reached an all-time high. -Seyed Hossein Mousavian and Sina Toossi 9/20/16

President Rouhani visits Havana, urges enhanced Iran-Cuba trade ties - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stressed the need for the promotion of all-out relations between the Islamic Republic and Cuba, particularly trade ties, following a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Rouhani arrived in Havana on Monday September 19, 2016 and was officially welcomed by President Raul Castro 9/20/16

IRAN: On Hunger Strike, Imprisoned Music Distributors' Health Deteriorates - Imprisoned music distributors Mehdi Rajabian and Hossein Rajabian are in poor health after starting a hunger strike on September 8, 2016 in Tehran's Evin Prison. The brothers are protesting being held in separate wards and the denial of access to medical care. 9/20/16

The Subtle Secrets Of Persian Home Kitchens - It's a little strange to ponder how closely Naomi Duguid's cookbooks track with President Obama's foreign policy initiatives; those aren't typically two topics one discusses in the same breath... Today, as her new book Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan is released, the U.S. and Iran have signed a comprehensive nuclear deal and newly relaxed sanctions have sent waves of Western tourists to Tehran and beyond. -Roads and Kingdoms 9/20/16

Contesting the U.S.-Saudi Bromance With 1,000 Cuts - On September 8, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Al Franken (D-MN) introduced a bipartisan resolution, SJ Res 39, to disapprove the $1.15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia notified to Congress on August 8. New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich joined SJ Res 39 as a co-sponsor on September 13. -Robert Naiman, LobeLog 9/20/16

Rio 2016 Paralympics: Iran sitting volleyball crowned - Iran's national team of sitting volleyball has been crowned as the gold medalist of Paralympic Games in Brazil. The Iranian outfit managed to beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 at Riocentro, Rio de Janeiro, on Sunday, winning the prestigious gold for the sixth time in the Paralympics. 9/19/16

PHOTOS: The 4th "Art For Peace" Festival at Iranian Artists' Forum in Tehran - The fourth term of "Art for Peace" Festival opened at Iranian Artist Forum on 15 September 2016. 140 artists are exhibiting their works in painting, photography, Sculpture, installation, video art, music and performance at various galleries of Iranian House of Artists. 9/19/16

Iran urges U.S. to unblock aircraft deals, seeks investors - Iran urged the United States on Sunday to remove remaining obstacles to buying passenger planes following the lifting of international sanctions and it spread out the welcome mat to foreign investors as it seeks to boost its aviation sector. -Reuters 9/19/16

Lecture by Homa Sarshar at UC Davis - Incast and Outcast: Yesterday, Today, and Everyday A Story of Personal Experience - Homa Sarshar is a published author, award-winning journalist, writer, media personality, philanthropist, and arts advocate. She is the author of four books and the editor of eleven other volumes, including five volumes of the Iranian Women's Studies Foundation Journal and four volumes of The History of Contemporary Iranian Jews. Herlatest book Sha'ban Jafari was the number one best seller Persian book in Iran and abroad in the year 2003. 9/19/16

Pouran Derakhshandeh's "Hush, Girls Don't Scream" wins two awards in U.S. - Iranian film 'Hush, Girls Don't Scream', by Pouran Derakhshandeh, won the Best Feature Film and Best Actor awards at the 12th Action on Film Festival held in Monrovia, California. 9/18/16

Iran's largest aviation event opens in Tehran - Airline companies from around the world are attending a major conference in Tehran, scoping out what many believe is set to be a promising market. The two-day CAPA Iran Aviation Finance Summit opened at Novotel Imam Khomeini International Airport on Sunday with the participation of business leaders and representatives of 150 aviation companies such as Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer. 9/18/16

PHOTOS: Mass Daf Performance In Sanandaj - A thousand players of Daf musical instrument have performed together at 6th National Daf Festival in the city of Sanandaj for the first time in Iran's history. The group included thousands of men and women of various ages from Sanandaj, wearing traditional Kurdish clothes. 9/17/16

Iran's Entry For The Academy Awards: "The Salesman" - Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi's acclaimed movie "The Salesman" was selected on Saturday as Iran's submission to the 89th Academy Awards in the best foreign language film category. A committee of nine film experts was assigned by Iran's Farabi Cinema Foundation to choose the county's submission to the Oscar race. "The movie was selected by a majority vote," committee spokesman Amir Esfandiari said in a press release. 9/17/16

Can International Cooperation Revitalize Wetlands on Afghanistan-Iran Border? - Efforts to revive the Hamoun wetlands on the Iran-Afghanistan border are intensifying. A recent panel at the Atlantic Council described international involvement as vital both to help resolve this environmental challenge and to raise awareness about the devastating impact of climate change on the region. -Fatemeh Aman 9/17/16

12 Organizations Write Congress on Potential Iran Sanctions Act Debate - Washington, DC - A dozen national organizations that have supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) delivered a letter to Congress today outlining key considerations for any potential debate over legislation to extend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (ISA), which is set to expire at the end of the year. 9/17/16

Iranian Woman Archer Zahra Nemati Takes Paralympic Gold - Iran won their second archery gold at Rio 2016 on Thursday (15 September), after Zahra Nemati claimed the women's individual recurve open title. "There was just a feeling that I had that I knew I was going to win today," Nemati said. "That's why I was very calm and relaxed. I just knew I could do it. 9/16/16

World's Strongest Paralympian: Iranian powerlifter Siamand Rahman breaks world record - Iran's heavyweight powerlifting champion Siamand Rahman has smashed three world records and won the gold medal at the Rio Paralympics. In his first attempt in the +107kg category, Siamand Rahman lifted 270 kilograms and broke the Paralympics record at Rio's Riocentro Pavilion 2 on Wednesday. 9/16/16

AWAITING A HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENCY - To repeat, my main interest in the Clinton/Trump rivalry in their campaign for the presidency of the United States is how each candidate might affect the prospects of a rapprochement between the world's greatest economic and military superpower, and the Middle East's most consequential counterweight, Iran. -Kambiz Zarrabi 9/15/16

Rio 2016 Paralympics: Iran's Sareh Javanmardi wins 2nd shooting gold medal - Iranian female sports shooter Sareh Javanmardi has received a second gold medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. -On Wednesday, the 31-year-old sportswoman participated in P4 mixed 50-meter pistol SH1 competitions at the Olympic Shooting Center in the western Rio neighborhood of Deodoro. She racked up 189.5 points to claim the top position and finish as champion. 9/15/16

Group Photo Exhibition in Berkeley, California: Iran Unveiled - A unique photo project, curated by San Francisco local Mahya Jaberiansari, and co-curated by local artist Arash Shirinbab. The collection allows you to experience the country up close and personal, through the lens of 9 Iranian photographers residing in Iran and America. 9/15/16

Calling Iranians "Descendants of the Magi" Is Actually a Compliment - Recently, the chief mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, said that Iranians are Majus. This is the Arab name for Iran's Zoroastrians, who were the majority of the people at the time of the Arab invasion of Persia in the 7th century AD. The mufti was implying by this statement that Iranians are not Muslims. This belief is neither new nor limited to the Saudis or the Wahhabis. -Shireen T. Hunter 9/15/16

Stealth Sectarianism - Not a week goes by without Saudi Arabia and Iran ratcheting up their war of words. In the latest round of colorful insults, the Iranian leader called Saudi leaders "puny satans" incapable of managing Hajj while the Saudis retorted that Iranians are not real Muslims but, rather, Zoroastrians or "sons of Magi" (no mention was made of Iranian women). -Sanam Naraghi Anderlini 9/13/16

Isfahan Music Museum: "Captivating, Wonderful" - Isfahan Music Museum features roughly 300 traditional musical instruments, those that are currently being played or used to be practiced across Iran. The private museum, named after the central Iranian city, has been divided into two main sections dedicated to the national and regional musical instruments. 9/13/16

Five-Year Prison Sentence for Dual National Woman Casts Shadow Over Iran's Opening to World - The five-year prison sentence for Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, a dual citizen of Iran and the UK who has been inside Iranian prisons for the past five months, lacks any legal justification, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said in a statement today. The Campaign asked the Iranian government to immediately release Ms. Zaghari, as well as the other dual citizens imprisoned in similarly politicized cases. 9/13/16

Running Toward Dreams: A touring exhibition, including Iranian and American young artists - The University of Arkansas Student Gallery, sUgAR is featuring Running Toward Dreams, curated by Maryam Amirvaghefi and Ziba Rajabi, from September 1st to 25th. This is a touring exhibition, including Iranian and American young artists. The exhibition first showed in Tehran, Iran. 9/8/16

FAO launches four-year holistic program to save Urmia Lake - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed an agreement on Tuesday (6 September 2016), with the Urmia Lake Restoration Commission (ULRC) in Tehran at Sharif University of Technology to lend substantive technical assistance for the execution of an integrated programme that aims ultimately to secure sustainable water resources management in the Urmia Lake basin. 9/7/16

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last updated on Thu Sep 29 15:35:10 GMT 2016