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March 06 2015
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Mr. Netanyahu, who are you kidding?

- Mr. Netanyahu's speech at the joint meeting of the United States Congress was nauseating enough. But what was far more disgusting to me was watching the American people's representatives so enthusiastically cheering this well-known liar and charlatan like a herd of obedient sheep. -Kam Zarrabi 03/5/15

Iran, U.S. Cite Progess, Tough Challenges In Nuclear Talks

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have wrapped up three days of talks over Iran's nuclear program, as a deadline for a framework deal looms. Zarif said on March 4 that progress was made during the talks in the Swiss resort of Montreux, but added that "a lot of work remains." 03/5/15

Shifting Goalposts to Kill Diplomacy with Iran

- Opponents of diplomacy with Iran aim to kill the nuclear negotiations by shifting the goalposts of the talks from nukes to global nemesis. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered this line of argument in his address to a joint session of Congress yesterday. World powers offered a prudent pushback from Switzerland where negotiations for a nuclear deal with Iran proceeded throughout Netanyahu's speech. -Ellie Geranmayeh 03/5/15

Iran's Role In Iraq's Fight Against IS

- The Iraqi government has launched an offensive against Islamic State militants (IS) in the northern city of Tikrit, but Iran appears to be leading the charge. Iran's military role in Iraq is highlighted by the presence of General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the elite Quds force in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Suleimani is reportedly on the ground with Shi'ite fighters, and has been described as coordinating the operation on Tikrit. -Frud Bezhan, RFE 03/5/15

Iranian Activist Ends Hunger Strike after Judge Agrees to Transfer to Evin's Political War

- Atena Faraghdani has ended her hunger strike in hospital, where she has been since her February 26 collapse in Gharchak Prison, after learning that a Revolutionary Court Judge agreed to return her to Evin Prison's Women's Ward for political prisoners, her lawyer told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 03/5/15

Iran and Russia have conflicting Interests in Export of Gas to Europe

- As far as the export of natural gas to Europe is concerned, Iran and Russia are serious rivals. Iran, due to sanctions is not a major exporter of gas at all; however, it has the potential to break the Russian dominance over the gas market in Europe. -Bahman Aghai Diba 03/5/15

Kerry, Persian Gulf Officials Discuss Impact of Iran Nuclear Deal

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Gulf state officials in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, in a bid to ease their concerns about the potential impact of an Iran nuclear deal. Kerry arrived in Riyadh late Wednesday, after holding three days of meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif in Switzerland. -Pamela Dockins, VOA 03/5/15

Republicans Overreach After Bibi's Speech

- No doubt emboldened by the enthusiasm of his fellow Republicans-and perhaps by Netanyahu himself-for Bibi's attack before Congress on Obama and the P5+1's negotiations with Iran, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to have overreached, compounding the growing perception that Israel has become a partisan issue. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 03/5/15

How Iran's feminist genie escaped

- Iran's 1979 revolution may have put an ayatollah in charge - but for women it had plenty of positive side-effects... in education, in the workplace, and even in the home, discovers Amy Guttman during a ride on the Tehran underground. -BBC 03/5/15

U.S. Strategy in Iraq Increasingly Relies on Iran

- At a time when President Obama is under political pressure from congressional Republicans over negotiations to rein in Tehran's nuclear ambitions, a startling paradox has emerged: Mr. Obama is becoming increasingly dependent on Iranian fighters as he tries to contain the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria without committing American ground troops. -Helene Cooper, NY Times 03/5/15

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Taxi | 2 clips - Winner Berlin Film Festival 2015 Jafar Panahi

Survey Shows Strong Majority Support for Obama Approach on Iran - According to a new poll, a strong majority of the U.S. public supports an agreement that would limit Iran's enrichment capacity and impose highly intrusive inspections on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The survey was released Tuesday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to persuade Congress to derail such a deal. -Jim Lobe 03/4/15

The Incoherence of Bibi's Sabotage Effort - Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu can claim a victory of sorts by having set the agenda and received wall-to-wall coverage for his congressional speech. He also succeeded in making his message rather than the empty seats the story. The speech is likely to play well in Israel, and today's events will not harm his re-election prospects. But that is probably where the good news for Netanyahu ends. -Daniel Levy 03/4/15

UN Secretary-General Expresses Alarm about Executions, Retaliation Against Activists and Attacks on Women in Iran - In his interim report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran published on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon detailed a long list of human rights concerns, leading with the ongoing application of the death penalty, retaliation against activists cooperating with the United Nations and a deterioration in women's rights. 03/4/15

Iran and U.S. hold more technical nuclear talks - Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz held expert talks on Iran's nuclear activities in Montreux, Switzerland, on Tuesday. The Tuesday's talks were a follow-up to technical talks on Monday and the previous round of talks in Geneva between the two energy officials. 03/4/15

President Rouhani: Iran nuclear talks have ruffled Israel's feathers - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers have ruffled the feathers of one aggressive and occupying regime, whose existence hinges on belligerence. 03/4/15

Iran's Culture Minister asserts authority over allowing concerts - Jannati said Muslim clergy have differences of opinion about music, with some who deem it haram (forbidden) and others who don't. He said, however, that his ministry's guide on this issue is the direction of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, whom he described as an "art connoisseur". 03/4/15

Israeli PM: Iran Nuclear Talks Are 'Very Bad Deal' - Netanyahu "did not offer any viable alternative," Obama said, speaking from the Oval Office. "We don't yet have a deal. But if we are successful, this will be the best deal possible with Iran to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon." Obama said Netanyahu's alternative to talks amounts to no deal at all, adding that would lead Iran to redouble efforts to build a nuclear bomb. -VOA 03/4/15

Corker Bill Threatens Iran Negotiations - Now, Kirk and Menendez are back with a new version of their deal that, despite their claims to the contrary, also appears aimed at sabotaging an eventual comprehensive deal between the P5+1 and Iran. But the negotiations face a more immediate threat from yet another bill, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, proposed by the new Republican chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 03/4/15

Tikrit: Iran key in fight to wrest city from IS - As Iraqi and Shia militias try to recapture the city of Tikrit from Islamic State (IS), the key role of Iran in the campaign is becoming clearer. Shia militia sources in Iraq have confirmed that Gen Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force is personally taking part in leading the operation. -Nafiseh Kohnavard, BBC 03/4/15

Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US - LONDON- A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyberattacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. 03/4/15

Iran Deputy FM Accuses U.S. Of Seeking To Control, Not Destroy, IS - Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, has accused the United States of supplying food and weapons to the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria, and of seeking to control, not destroy the extremists. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE 03/4/15

An Agreement That Is Good for Israel, Bad for Netanyahu - One of the strangest aspects of the frantic crying of alarm over Iran's nuclear program-with the crying having reached its most publicized peak in Benjamin Netanyahu's Republican/Likud campaign rally in the House chamber-is that the chief crier is the government of a country that not only has the most advanced nuclear program in the Middle East but has kept that program completely out of the reach and scrutiny of any international control and inspection regime. -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest 03/4/15

Amid Nuclear Dispute, Israel, Iran Face Off Over Oil Ties - TEL AVIV-- As Israel loudly and publicly denounces Iran and its nuclear program this week, the two countries are quietly tussling in a decades-old dispute over a secretive oil pipeline company that could be worth billions of dollars to Tehran. -Reuters 03/4/15

Bibi's Eleven Bogus Arguments on Iran - On March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress, where he is expected to make the case against a nuclear deal with Iran... In anticipation of these speeches and statements, it is important to "un-pack" and debunk the bogus arguments against an Iran deal that Netanyahu is most likely to be making. The eleven most prominent of those arguments are examined here. -Lara Friedman 03/3/15

Obama Defends Iran Nuclear Talks Ahead Of Netanyahu Speech - Obama downplayed Israeli concerns, telling Reuters the Israeli prime minister had been wrong on Iran before, when he opposed an interim agreement last year. "Netanyahu made all sorts of claims -- this was going to be a terrible deal, this was going to result in Iran getting $50 billion worth of relief, Iran would not abide by the agreement," Obama said. He said that none of that has come true. 03/3/15

NIAC Urges Senate Against Harmful New Iran Legislation - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) released the following statement regarding new legislation, S.615 - the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, introduced by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ): NIAC has serious concerns with this legislation and urges lawmakers to refrain from signing onto this bill. 03/3/15

Noam Chomsky: Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal, Israel's Goal Isn't Survival - It's Regional Dominance - "For both president-Prime Minister Netanyahu and the hawks in Congress, mostly Republican, the primary goal is to undermine any potential negotiation that might settle whatever issue there is with Iran. They have a common interest in ensuring that there is no regional force that can serve as any kind of deterrent to Israeli and U.S. violence, the major violence in the region." -Democracy Now 03/3/15

The Israeli Prime Minister to appear before the U.S. Congress - Deja vu all over again, the much hyped up appearance of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the U.S. Congress, purportedly to warn the legislatures about the possibility of Iran developing its own nuclear arsenal, would only amount to his usual ostentatious rhetoric, bogus theatrical diagrams, and frivolous pontificating allegations for which he has no independently verifiable evidence. -Rachel Eliasi Kohan 03/3/15

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained Washington Post Reporter - Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter detained in Iran for more than seven months, was granted access to a lawyer but not one of his choosing, his family said. Masoud Shafii, who has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian's attorney, said he has been trying to see his client in prison, but has been repeatedly stymied by the judge assigned to the case. -Farhad Pouladi, VOA 03/3/15

Iran's Guardian Council rejects bill of support for volunteer hijab patrols - The Guardian Council has once again rejected a bill to support volunteer hijab enforcers, saying it contravenes the constitution and needs to be reviewed by Parliament. The council had previously sent the bill back to Parliament for similar shortcomings. 03/3/15

Obama: Iran Must Freeze Sensitive Nuclear Activity for At Least a Decade - U.S. President Barack Obama says Iran must freeze its sensitive nuclear activities for at least 10 years in order for an agreement to be successful. In an interview with the Reuters news agency, the U.S. leader also conceded that the chances of reaching such a deal are still less than 50 percent. -Aru Pande, VOA 03/3/15

The Iran Deal and The Post-Ideological Moment - For those of us whose job (or hobby) is to understand Iran's position in the Middle East and in the world, the potential nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 should do more than just change the political and economic landscape we are tasked to analyze. It ought to change the very way we think about Iran. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog 03/3/15

Benjamin Netanyahu's Long History of Crying Wolf About Iran's Nuclear Weapons - Almost two decades ago, in 1996, Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress where he darkly warned, "If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, this could presage catastrophic consequences, not only for my country, and not only for the Middle East, but for all mankind," adding that, "the deadline for attaining this goal is getting extremely close." -Intercept 03/3/15

To Netanyahu, Peace Is an Existential Threat - To Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, peace between the US and Iran is an existential threat. By now, it should be clear to all: It's not an Iranian nuclear bomb he fears, but a US-Iran deal. -Trita Parsi 03/2/15

Iran negotiators leave Tehran to for talks in Switzerland - Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz are also participating in this round of talks on a request by Iranian FM Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry. Zarif and Kerry will join t he nuclear negotiators in Geneva on Monday afternoon and the nuclear talks will continue on Thursday when representatives from all members of P5+1 will participate in the talks. 03/2/15

Obama would veto bill to give Congress say on Iran deal - Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the U.S. and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear capabilities, the White House said on Saturday. 03/2/15

Iran Nuclear Talks, IS Among Key Issues for Kerry Trip - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry begins a trip Monday to Europe and Saudi Arabia, where he will hold talks on issues including efforts to combat the Islamic State group, rising tensions between the U.S. and Russia over separatist unrest in Ukraine, and Iran nuclear negotiations. -Pamela Dockins, VOA 03/2/15

Statue of Persian literary icon Ferdowsi returned to city square - Following protests against the removal of Ferdowsi's statue from a Salmas city square, reports from Iran on Thursday February 26 indicate that the statue was returned to tis original place in the Western Azerbaijan city. 03/2/15

Gathering of Iranian writers' group cancelled by authorities - A gathering called "Age of Translation" organized by the Iranian Writers Association for Friday February 27 was cancelled by the authorities one hour before it was scheduled to begin. A statement by the association indicates: "One hour prior to the program, a security official arrived at the hall and informed us that the gathering should not take place." 03/2/15

The Real Subject of Netanyahu's Congressional Spectacle (It Isn't Nukes) - Benjamin Netanyahu will talk next week, as he has innumerable times before, about how an Iranian nuclear weapon is supposedly an extremely grave and imminent threat to world peace and to his nation. -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest 03/2/15

Iranian Teachers Hold Silent Demonstrations Across Iran - Iranian teachers across the country gathered in silence in front of their local education ministry offices to protest their employment conditions. Teachers maintain that their wages are effectively keeping them under the poverty line. 03/2/15

First Iranian Direct Flight Lands in Shi'ite-Held Yemen Capital - An Iranian airliner carrying medical supplies and aid workers landed Sunday in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, less than 24 hours after Shi'ite rebels controlling the city signed an aviation pact with Tehran. 03/2/15

Iranian Journalist Behind Bars Since 2009 Suffers Heart Attack in Prison - The imprisoned journalist Massoud Bastani was transferred to the hospital on February 20, 2015, following a heart attack inside Shahid Rajaee Prison. The health conditions of Bastani, 37, who has been in prison since his arrest in the wake of the protests that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election in Iran, have steadily deteriorated during his six years of incarceration. 03/1/15

Iran says ready to cooperate with Google - Iran said on Sunday that it is ready to cooperate with Google to facilitate its services in the Persian Gulf region. Nasrollah Jahangard, Iran's deputy minister of telecommunications and information technology, has been quoted by local media as saying that negotiations are underway with Google to establish a version of its servers in Iran. 03/1/15

NIAC Delivers Book on "The Iranian Schindler" to All Senators - To strengthen the understanding of the positive historic relations between the Jewish and Iranian peoples, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) delivered copies of "In the Lion's Shadow: The Iranian Schindler and his Homeland in the Second World War" to all one-hundred members of the U.S. Senate earlier this month. The books were donated to NIAC with a signed dedication to each Senator by its author, Dr. Fariborz Mokhtari, a former professor at National Defense University in Washington. -Derya Corcor 02/28/15

Sen. Menendez Top Recipient of MEK-Related Campaign Funding - It appears that Menendez has also been the top recipient of campaign funding from donors with ties to the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK), the cultish group that was until recently included on the State Department's terrorism list -Jim Lobe 02/28/15

Iranian Cleric Says 'Final Steps' Being Taken In Nuclear Talks - Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers leader says the "final steps" are being taken in Iran's talks with six global powers aimed at reaching an agreement curbing Tehran's disputed nuclear program. Speaking to worshippers in the Iranian capital, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi praised President Hassan Rohani for his management of the talks. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 02/28/15

Iran eyeing development of small reactors - "During the recent talks with US negotiators in Geneva, US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Washington is also looking into this strategy," the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has been quoted as saying by the Persian-language newspaper Ta'adol. 02/28/15

Iranian Prisoner of Conscience Released After Nine Months of "Temporary Detention" At Deplorable Facility - Nine months after her arrest, the lawyer and prisoner of conscience Negar Haeri was released on bail of about US$580,000 on February 25, 2015. She spent her entire time in prison since her May 2014 arrest on "temporary detention orders. 02/28/15

Higher education in Iran means higher jobless rate - Iran's Minister of Science and Technology says the unemployment rate among university graduates is higher than the general unemployment average, and that is why the country's academic elite go abroad for work. 02/28/15

Two Iranian websites linked to reformists blocked - Fars News Agency reported on Friday February 27 that the Jamaran and Bahar News websites have been blocked and are no longer accessible by internet users. According to Fars News Agency Jamaran has published a number of interviews in recent weeks with "radical reformist figures" and also widely covered news of former Iranian president and top reformist figure Mohammad Khatami. 02/28/15

Silencing Khatami? - The judicial order of a media blackout on Mohammad Khatami and the reaction of Iranian social media users have once again highlighted the former president's political importance. As the potentially pivotal 2016 parliamentary elections draw near, the pressure on Khatami -- known as the "president of the reformist governments" -- will increase. -LobeLog 02/28/15

New Iranian Pro-Reform Party Holds First Congress - A new Iranian political party viewed as pro-reformist has held its first congress in Tehran. The Nedaye Iranian (Call of Iranians) party was formed in December and plans to compete in legislative elections in 2016. 02/27/15

Long March of the Yellow Jackets: How a One-Time Terrorist Group Prevailed on Capitol Hill - Menendez's advocacy for the Mojahedin at the October hearing wasn't new, but it signaled that by 2013 the group had come full circle: from an outlaw terrorist outfit to a player on Capitol Hill. How that happened is a classic story of money, politics and the enduring appeal of exile groups promising regime change. -Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, Intercept 02/27/15

Iran: Prosecutor cancels concert despite Culture Minister's stance - A few days after the minister of culture stressed that his ministry will not surrender to pressure from extremist groups regarding concerts, Alireza Ghorbani's Eshtiag music group was prevented from holding a concert that had been scheduled for Wednesday February 25. 02/27/15

Rohani Adviser Says Rights Violations Hurting Iran - Ali Yunesi, a senior adviser to Iran's President Hassan Rohani and a former intelligence minister, has admitted that "many cases" of human rights violations are taking place in Iran's courts and prisons, blaming them on extremists. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 02/27/15

Iran Launches 2.4 Billion Euro High-Speed Rail Project - The construction of a high-speed railway, extending about 400 kilometers from Tehran to Isfahan, started on Wednesday. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani officially launched the project during a visit to the city of Qom, which is located between Tehran and Isfahan. 02/27/15

Kerry: Netanyahu Misjudging Nuclear Talks with Iran - Kerry told a congressional hearing that what has been accomplished so far in talks with Tehran has actually made Israel safer by stopping Iran from advancing its nuclear program. He said critics of the ongoing talks with Iran, including Netanyahu, may not know what they are talking about. 02/26/15

Iran's Intent is the Real Issue, Says Former IAEA Inspector - Robert Kelley is a licensed nuclear engineer who has worked on many aspects of nuclear weapons and later on nuclear nonproliferation. His personal experiences include weapons simulation testing, plutonium metallurgy, isotope separation and emergency response. -RNN 02/26/15

Photos: IRGC flexes muscles in Strait of Hormuz - On Wednesday, the Naval Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps carried out a new round of exercises dubbed Payambar Azam 9 in the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz. As the main part of the drills, the naval forces successfully targeted a model U.S. aircraft carrier. 02/26/15

Nuclear Deal Could Increase Pressure On Rohani - Nonetheless, even though negotiations are still ongoing and success is far from guaranteed, President Hassan Rohani could come under pressure if his administration succeeds in reaching an enduring agreement that would rein in Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 02/26/15

Activists Ask FIFA to Intervene to End Iran's Ban on Women in Stadiums - In a letter addressed to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Swiss-based organization responsible for administering the World Cup soccer competitions, 190 Iranian activists have asked FIFA to suspend Iran's membership in FIFA, in response to the Iranian government's ban on the presence of Iranian women in soccer stadiums. 02/26/15

EU Says Iran Nuke Deal 'At Hand' - The European Union's foreign policy chief has said a nuclear deal with Iran was "at hand," urging different sides to show political will ahead of a new round of talks scheduled in Geneva next week. Federica Mogherini, whose predecessor Catherine Ashton chairs the talks in Geneva, said February 24, "We cannot miss this opportunity." 02/25/15

Subversive Facebook page wins women's rights prize - The Geneva Summit for Democracy and Human Rights announced on Monday that Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, creator of the My Stealthy Freedom Facebook page, is the recipient of its Women's Rights Prize for 2015. 02/25/15

2015 Farhang Short Film Festival Finalists Announced - Farhang Foundation's panel of judges has selected six short films as finalists for the 7th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival. The top six submissions represent a variety of genres and styles, including drama, romance, animation, stop motion, and more. 02/25/15

Iran sabre team comes 8th in Fencing World Cup - Iran sabre team finished in eighth place in the Fencing World Cup held in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday. Iran started the campaign with a 45-20 victory over Chile in the Round of 32. Iran beat the U.S. 45-39 in Round of 16 but lost to Italy 45-39 in the quarter-final. 02/24/15

Russia offers Iran latest anti-aircraft missile system - The head of Russian state defense conglomerate Rostec says Moscow has offered Iran its latest Antey-2500 missile defense systems after a deal to supply less powerful S-300 missiles was scrapped under Western pressure. 02/24/15

Maz Jobrani: I'm Not a Terrorist but I Played One on TV - World-renowned comedian and actor, Maz Jobrani, explains what it's like to be an Iranian American in Hollywood in his new book, "I'm Not a Terrorist, But I've Played One on TV." Following the book release earlier this week, Jobrani set out on a comedy tour explaining how he overcame Hollywood stereotypes and forged a path to stardom in an industry that only saw him as the perfect TV terrorist. 02/23/15

IAAB's Persian Language Educators' Symposium - May 23rd-24th in Berkeley, California - IAAB, in collaboration with directors of Persian language schools, is pleased to present the second biennial Persian Language Educators' Symposium from May 23-May 24, 2015 in Berkeley, California at Golestan Center for Language Immersion and Cultural Education. 02/23/15

Iran Seeking Role In Selling Gas To Europe - Russia, beware, Iran is trying to get into the European gas market. In recent months, Iranian officials have been signaling to potential customers in Europe, potential suppliers in the Caspian Basin, and transit country Turkey that Iran is not only ready to get into the game but that without Iranian participation the European Union's Southern Gas Corridor will take many years to realize, or might never be realized. -Bruce Pannier, RFE 02/22/15

Award-winning Taxi filmmaker on art and politics in Iran - Jafar Panahi, the winner of this year's Berlinale Golden Bear prize, responded to statements from the head of Iran's Cinema Organization about the "political" nature of Panahi's recognition by the film festival, saying that "for many years the art scene [in Iran] has been haunted by the footsteps of politics". 02/21/15

Reading the Runes in the Latest Report on Iran's Nuclear Program - The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear program contains much that is worth emphasizing. Iran is continuing to account for all its declared nuclear material (and the agency appears to have no reason to suspect the existence of undeclared nuclear material). Iran is also continuing to comply fully with the commitments it made to the United States and others on November 24, 2013 and which it has renewed since. -Peter Jenkins 02/21/15

American saxophonist Bob Belden impressed by Iran visit - American saxophonist Bob Belden, who gave performances with his band Animation in Tehran, says he will never forget Iran.James Robert Belden known as Bob Belden attended the 30th Fajr International Music Festival with 'Animation' band members, and gave performances on the last day of the gala on Thursday, Persian media reported on Friday. 02/21/15

Iran takes the 3rd place at Greco-Roman World Cup in Tehran - The Iranian wrestling team defeated Turkey at the Greco-Roman World Cup and finished in third place. In the third-fourth match held at the Azadi Complex on Friday, the Iranian wrestling team defeated Turkey 6-2 and came third. 02/21/15

Exhibition at Stanford: She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World - A major new exhibition at the Cantor Arts Center, She Who Tells a Story, presents the pioneering work of 12 leading women photographers from Iran and the Arab world. The artists explore identity, narrative, representation, and war in daily life, inviting a broader understanding of the Middle East than what Westerners glean through media reports. 02/20/15

Photos: Iran displays manned spacecraft prototype - In a ceremony on Tuesday Iran unveiled a mock prototype of its first domestically manufactured spacecraft that is capable of taking astronauts into space. The spaceship, built on a one-to-one scale, was put on display in an exhibition on Iran's latest achievements in space industry. 02/18/15

Farhang Foundation announces winners of its annual Nowruz competitions: Celebrations planed in Los Angles and Orange County - Preparations for Farhang's 7th Annual Nowruz (Iranian New Year) Celebrations are underway as the Foundation selects the winning submissions from this year's Nowruz Banner Contest and Nowruz Program Contest. 02/17/15

Iran's Neoliberal Austerity-Security Budget - President Hassan Rouhani submitted Iran's 1394 (the Persian New Year begins on 21 March 2015) Budget Bill to the Iranian Parliament this last December. The budget was put together before the sharp fall in oil prices and before the nuclear negotiations failed to reach the expected "comprehensive" deal on November 24, 2014. -Hooshang Amirahmadi 02/16/15

Iranian Cheetah's dwindling numbers lower than thought - The head of the Iranian Cheetah Association says the endangered feline's numbers are still falling in Iran, despite efforts, and their situation has become more critical. Morteza Eslami told ISNA that earlier estimates pointed to a population of between 70 and 120 Asiatic cheetahs in the country but the number is now put between 40 and 70. 02/15/15

Being Realistic about Nuclear Proliferation - Earlier this week, after a closed hite House briefing on Iran, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) said: "Instead of preventing proliferation, we are managing proliferation. If we enter a new world order where we are going to manage proliferation.... that is a different and far more challenging world." -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog 02/14/15

Photos: Village Students in Chabahar Looking For Philanthropists To Help Their Schools - These photos are from the schools at Kamb and Tiss Koopan villages in the district of Chabahar town in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province. At the age of the internet, the students at these schools are still deprived of the basic educational facilities. With their their government having failed them, these students have now turned to philanthropists and asking for their help so their schools can meet the minimum educational standards. 02/12/15

The Green Movement Stirs and Rouhani Responds - On February 14, Iran's Green Movement leaders will enter their fifth year of house arrest. Despite his implicit campaign promise, President Hassan Rouhani has been unable to gain the release of former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, his wife Zahra Rahnavard, and former speaker of parliament Mehdi Karroubi. As recent events indicate, however, supporters of the Green Movement are still demanding the release of these opposition leaders and insisting that Rouhani's office implement democratic reform. 02/12/15

Photos: Iran unveils indigenous supersonic fighter jet - Iran's Defense Ministry has unveiled a new domestically-built advanced supersonic trainer fighter jet, named Saeqeh 2 (Thunderbolt 2). Saeqeh was unveiled as a prototype in 2004 and later became operational in 2006. The jet is Iran's second domestically-developed fighter with many calling it the Iranian F-18. 02/11/15

Photos: Iranian village of Esfidan - Esfidan is a village located in Bojnourd County, North Khorasan Province in southeastern Iran. Due to its interconnected architecture, Esfidan village is known as the Masouleh of Iran's Eastern part. Masouleh is another village in north of Iran worldly known for its beautiful urban architecture. -Maryam Davarnia 02/11/15

Photos: Iran Successfully Sends 'Fajr' Satellite into Orbit - Iran successfully sent domestically-made Fajr (Dawn) satellite into orbit on Monday as the country prepares to mark National Day of Space Technology. This is the fourth homegrown satellite launched successfully into space by the Iranian experts at the Defense Ministry's Aerospace Industries Organization and Iran Electronics Industries. 02/2/15

Freer and Sackler Galleries Celebrate the Persian New Year and Iranian Art Exhibitions with a Free Family Festival - The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will present its seventh annual "Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration" free family festival Saturday, March 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Throughout the day, visitors of all ages can learn, play and feast at a celebration encompassing both museums to mark Nowruz, the beginning of the new year of 1394 in Iran, Afghanistan and many other countries, coinciding with the first day of spring. 01/29/15

Female Asiatic Cheetah, 3 Cubs Sighted In Turan National Park - Head of Khar Turan National Park in Shahrud has announced the sighting of four new Asiatic Cheetahs, including a female and her three cubs. Ali Akbar Ghorbanlou told Mehr News that the frequent sightings of Asiatic cheetahs have considerably raised the hopes among environment and wildlife lovers. 01/24/15

Photos: The Sistan Bread - Traditional bread making is still practiced in many villages across Iran. These photos by Hamed Gholami show the bread making process by the women in Sistan and Baluchestan province, from grinding the wheat to preparing the dough and baking the bread in the mud ovens. 01/6/15

Photos: The Grief of Bam Citadel - Bam Citadel (Arg-e Bam) is the largest adobe building in the world, located in Bam, a city in Iran's southeastern province, Kerman. Bam Citadel was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 2003. After 11 years and despite various restoration operations, ruin scars remain on the Citadel. -Hamid Sadeghi 12/29/14

Photos: The Citadel of Furg in Birjand - The Citadel of Furg, or Arg e Furg, is a citadel from the 12th century, located in Iran's South Khorasan province 90 km east of the city of Birjand. The citadel was founded by Meerza Muhammad Rafiee Darmiany I (Lama). Materials used in the building include stone, brick, clay, gypsum, lime and mortar (Sarouj). -Mohsen Nofresti 12/28/14

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last updated on Thu Mar 5 16:18:24 GMT 2015