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September 26 2016
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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'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 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 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

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FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016: Iran defeats Paraguay, heads to semifinals

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

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

​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

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

FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016: Iran heads to quarterfinals after stunning win over Brazil - Iran defied the odds against Brazil in a match that also defied belief. As expected, A Selecao controlled the early exchanges and went two goals up thanks to Falcao. The Asian champions quickly pulled a goal back and remained in contention through to the closing stages, eventually forcing extra time and penalties, where they finished the job off and ended an era. 9/22/16

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

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

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

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

Iran's exports to EU rise despite hurdles - Official figures show Iran's non-oil exports to Europe are increasing in what is interpreted as a sign of growing interest of European consumers in Iranian products. Figures released by Iran's Customs Administration show that the value of the country's non-oil exports to Europe stood at $643 million over a period of five months starting March 20, 2016. 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

First Boeing Jet Joins Iran's Naft Airline: Report - Iranian Naft Airlines, a homebound charter airline providing passenger and cargo services to Iran's Ministry of Petroleum, says it has received the first Boeing jet. The aircraft, one of the four Boeing 737 single-aisle jetliners bought from the US aviation company, was delivered to Naft Airlines on Sunday 9/20/16

Utah State Senator's Summer Visit to Iran Sparks Firestorm - A Utah state senator who traveled to Iran last week has set off a firestorm there, where hard-liners accuse him of being "part of a major Western project to infiltrate'' the country as authorities imprison others with ties abroad. -AP 9/20/16

Iran Sentences Lebanese IT Expert To 10 Years In Prison - A Lebanese information-technology (IT) expert detained in Iran for more than a year has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $4.2 million, his supporters say. Nizar Zakka, a Washington resident, was detained in September 2015 in Tehran after attending a government-organized conference on entrepreneurship and employment, where he was a panelist. 9/20/16

Persian Gulf incidents spike, sending message from Iran hardliners - Iran and the US have been provoking each other militarily for more than 30 years, engaging in a volatile tug-of-war in the Persian Gulf, where one-third of the world's seaborne oil supply travels through the Strait of Hormuz. But threatening incidents have spiked recently, with at least 32 reported so far this year, compared with 23 in all of 2015. -Scott Peterson, CSM 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

Tributes paid to late Iranian cyclist Golbarnezhad at Closing Ceremony Of 2016 Paralympics - Athletes and spectators observed a minute of silence in memory of Iran's cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad who died after crashing in a road race during the Paralympic Games, during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday. 9/19/16

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

Iranian Paralympic Cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad Dies Day Before Closing Ceremony - A minute of silence will be held at the Sunday's 2016 Paralympic closing ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in honor of an Iranian cyclist who died in a road race on the penultimate day of the Rio Games. Bahman Golbarnezhad crashed in the C4-5 event at the first portion of the Grumari loop on a mountainous descent of the cycling course. 9/18/16

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

Tabriz carpet, conveying message of peace and friendship, to be unveiled at WCC 2016 in Isfahan - The carpet being woven by Hamid Kazemnia under the auspices of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization will be unveiled at the 18th General Assembly of the World Crafts Council, which will be held in the city of Isfahan from September 24 to 27. 9/18/16

NAM indisputable part of solutions to world crises: Iran's President Rouhani - "At the current juncture, NAM member states more than ever require solidarity, convergence and coordination. The truth is that as a bloc that comprises about two-thirds of the United Nations members, we are an undeniable part of the solutions to the challenges facing today's world," Rouhani said at the opening ceremony of the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit on Margarita Island, Venezuela, on Saturday. 9/18/16

Absolute distrust in US important part of Iran's soft power: Supreme Leader - Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says absolute distrust in hegemonic powers topped by the United States is an important component of Iran's soft power and this distrust must increase on a daily basis. The Leader made the remarks in a meeting on Sunday with commanders and high-ranking officials of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran on on Monday 9/18/16

Powell Acknowledges Israeli Nukes - According to hacked emails reviewed by LobeLog, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged Israel's nuclear arsenal, an open secret that U.S. and Israeli politicians typically refuse to acknowledge as part of Israel's strategy of "nuclear ambiguity." Powell also rejected assessments that Iran, at the time, was "a year away" from a nuclear weapon. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 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

Rio 2016 Paralympics: Iran's sitting volleyball team cruises into final - Iran's sitting volleyball players have managed to book a place in the final fixture of the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, following a sweeping victory over the hosts. On Friday evening, the Iranian squad achieved a remarkable 3-0 win, with set scores of 25-20, 25-19 and 25-17, against the Brazilian side at the massive Riocentro - Pavilion 6 indoor stadium. 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

Notorious former Tehran prosecutor issues public apology for prisoner killings - Former Tehran Prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, accused of orchestrating the abuse and death of political detainees during the election protests of 2009 in Iran, has issued a public letter addressed to the judge apologizing to the survivors and families of the victims. 9/14/16

Rio 2016 Paralympics: Iranian archer Gholamreza Rahimi grabs the gold - Iranian Paralympic archer Gholamreza Rahimi has collected another gold medal for the Iran at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On Tuesday, Rahimi recorded an impressive performance in the final match of men's individual recurve section 9/14/16

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

Rio 2016 Paralympics: Iran's Sareh Javanmardi Dodmani wins historic gold at women shooting event - Javanmardi made history by becoming Iran's first ever female gold medallist in shooting para-sport winning the P2 (women's 10m air pistol SH1) event. "I am very happy that I could get the very first quota for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the very first gold medal for my delegation," said Javanmardi Dodmani. 9/10/16

Montazeri Comes Back To Haunt Tehran Over Mass Killings - Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, once in line to become Iran's supreme leader, has come back from the grave to haunt the Islamic establishment that punished him for openly criticizing the regime's mass killing of political opponents in the late 1980s. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 9/9/16

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

Iranian Women's Cycling Barred by Law or Sharia? - Tehran police forcefully dispersed a crowd of cyclists who had gathered in Tehran's Laleh park for a weekly gathering of the Tuesdays: No Car Day. On 6 Sept, Tehran police prevented green campaigners from holding a group ride in Tehran. Javad Heydariyan, reporting from Tehran says that the police's action were despite the fact that some government officials were also among the mixed gender crowd. 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

Tehran Philharmonic Orchestra To Perform Concert for Peace - Tehran Philharmonic Orchestra will perform on 24 and 25 September 2016 at Roudaki Hall after 2 years of silence. Directed by Arash Guran Tehran Philharmonic Orchestra will resume its work after 2 years of silence in a new way and context. 9/3/16

Top Six Finalists Announced for the 8th Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival - Immerse yourself in Los Angeles' most intriguing cinema scene at the 8th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival at LACMA on September 24th. More than 180 films from around the world have been submitted-the most ever for this festival. The six finalist films will be screened and three winners will be announced, receiving top prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000. Over the festival's history, the Farhang Foundation has granted over $120,000 in cash prizes. 9/1/16

Federalism and Regionalism in the Middle East, Not Territorial Disintegration - Since the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003, which exacerbated Iraq's ethnic and sectarian divisions and the manipulation of these divisions by regional and international actors, centrifugal tendencies in Iraq have become quite strong... The increasingly common talk of disintegration has not been limited to Iraq. In other Middle East states, similar trends are under way. -Shireen T. Hunter 9/1/16

Seedstars to gather startups in Tehran in September - Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Tehran on September 15, 2016 to host a startup competition at the Incubator of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Up to 12 startups will compete to win the title of Iran's Best Startup and one will be chosen to represent the country at the Global Summit in Switzerland. 8/30/16

9th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco: September 24-25, 2016 - This year, the festival presents 37 films from Iran, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, India, Czech Republic, and Spain. We are happy and proud to continue our mission to discover and support the next generation of Iranian filmmakers living and working around the world, while we honor the veteran filmmakers for their distinguished careers. 8/29/16

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last updated on Mon Sep 26 16:01:44 GMT 2016