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August 22 2017
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Iran to resume 20-percent enrichment in 5 days if necessary: Nuclear Chief

- The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the Islamic Republic is capable of resuming the enrichment of uranium to the 20-percent level at its Fordow facility within a maximum of five days if need be. In an exclusive interview with IRIB News Agency on Tuesday, Ali Akbar Salehi said President Hassan Rouhani's recent warning that Iran would accelerate its nuclear activities to an advanced level "within hours" if the US returned to a policy of sanctions had not been an "empty warning." - 8/22/17

Australia Defeats Iran, Claims Asian Cup Basketball Title

- Australia became the first-ever FIBA Asia Cup champions after beating Iran 79-56 in Sunday's Final in Beirut. Iran's Hamed Haddadi was named the tournament's MVP and headlined the All-Star Five where he was joined by his fellow countryman Mohammad Jamshidi, along with Shae Ili of New Zealand, Korea's Oh Sekeun and Lebanon's Fadi El Khatib. - 8/21/17

Iran will work to sustain nuclear deal: Foreign Minister

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his top priority is to ensure that a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six other countries will stand. Speaking in a televised interview on Sunday night, Foreign Minister Zarif said the ministry under his watch would work first and foremost to keep the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in place. - 8/21/17

US provocations aimed at demonizing Iran: UN Ambassador

- Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo has condemned Washington's latest accusations against Tehran regarding its nuclear deal as provocative measures aimed at creating Iranophobia. In a Friday statement, Khoshroo stressed that the August 15 statement by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Iran "is devoid of any shred of truth." - 8/20/17

Netanyahu's Priorities and U.S. Responses

- Recently I wrote about the two-sided Saudi policy on Iran, in which Riyadh sees good reason to take quiet steps to reduce tension with its neighbor across the Persian Gulf while still making alarm about a supposed Iranian threat the basis for keeping the United States tied to its side. But Saudi Arabia is not the only party in the region to exploit an anti-Iran theme as a basis for retaining U.S. support, and it certainly is not the most influential one in shaping U.S. policy. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/20/17

Iran Praises 'Martyrdom' Of Fighter Beheaded By Islamic State Terrorists

- A 25-year-old-member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who was recently beheaded by the extremist group Islamic State (IS) is becoming the poster child of Iran's military efforts in Syria and Iraq, where Tehran has deployed hundreds of so-called shrine defenders to assist the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, fight IS, and spread its influence. Mohsen Hojaji, who according to Iranian state media was a member of Iran's advisory support team in Syria, was reportedly captured by IS last week in an ambush near the border with Iraq. Iranian media report that he was beheaded two days later. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 8/17/17

Iranian Soccer Body Says Star Players Not Banned for Playing Against Israeli Team

- After days of public outcry over an Iranian official's declaration that two national soccer players were banned from the national team for playing against an Israeli team, Iran's soccer federation announced it has made no official decision. Banning the players, who played against the Israeli team while employed by the national soccer team of Greece, would have been a violation of the world soccer governing body FIFA's regulations. - 8/17/17

Moscow Voices Hope Iran Won't Quit Nuclear Deal

- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Moscow hopes Iran will not quit the agreement reached in 2015 with world powers to curb its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most economic sanctions. Lavrov spoke on August 16 after Iranian President Hassan Rohani's warning the previous day that Tehran could abandon the deal "within hours" if the United States imposed any more new sanctions. - 8/17/17

Detente in the Persian Gulf is in Everyone's Interests

- But a lessening of tension in that rivalry is in Saudi Arabia's interests, as well as being in the interests of Iran. Both countries rely on the oil trade continuing without interruption from armed conflict or the fear of such conflict. Both have potentially restive domestic minorities that could find sympathy and support on the other side of the Gulf. For the Saudis this mainly means Shia in the Eastern Province... -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/17/17

Turkey, Iran Voice Opposition To Kurdish Independence Vote In Rare Visit

- Turkey and Iran have voiced strong opposition to a referendum on Kurdish independence scheduled next month in neighboring Iraq during a rare visit to Ankara by Tehran's army chief of staff on August 16. Turkish media said it was the first such visit since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. - 8/17/17

NIAC: 'Trump's Violations of the Iran Deal Begets Unfortunate But Predictable Iranian Response'

- "It should now be clear that Donald Trump's moves to violate and hold certification of the Iran nuclear deal in doubt are actively destabilizing the accord. Unfortunately, in response to Trump's increasingly hostile rhetoric, as well as Congress' moves to escalate sanctions, Iran is now warning that it has its own options to back out of the deal if the U.S. continues to undermine it. We reiterate our call for all parties to the JCPOA to fully implement their obligations under the agreement. - 8/16/17

U.S. Says Iran Trying To 'Hold World Hostage' By Threatening to Quit Nuclear Deal

- The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has said Iran is trying to "hold the world hostage" by warning that it might abandon the 2015 nuclear agreement because of continued U.S. "sanctions and coercion." Rohani earlier in the day told lawmakers in Tehran that the Trump administration seemed to want to go back to the way it was before the nuclear agreement by repeatedly trying to force Iran to change through pressure tactics rather than negotiations. - 8/16/17

Iran's Top General Makes Rare Visit to Turkey

- In a rare visit, the head of Iran's armed forces is in Turkey. The two neighbors have found themselves increasing rivals in Iraq and Syria, but both sides are trying to find common ground. The chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, Major General Mohammad-Hossein Baqeri, arrived in Ankara, leading a high-ranking military and political delegation, for three days of talks. It is the first visit by Iran's chief of staff since the 1979 Iranian revolution. - 8/16/17

President Rouhani: If US Continues Threats, Iran Could Quickly Jump Start Nuclear Program

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday his country prefers abiding by the 2015 international agreement on its nuclear program, but that if the United States continues "threats and sanctions" then Iran could quickly revitalize its nuclear activity to an even higher level than before the deal went into effect. Speaking to members of parliament in a televised address, Rouhani said the U.S. is not a "good partner." - 8/15/17

Iranian Drone Buzzes Aircraft Carrier, Endangering Pilots, U.S. Navy Says

- An Iranian drone has flown close enough to a U.S. aircraft carrier to put the lives of American pilots of F-18 fighter jets at risk, the U.S. Navy said on August 14. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps issued a statement on August 15 saying their drones are guided "accurately and professionally," dismissing the U.S. Navy's concerns as "unfounded." - 8/15/17

Beheading of IRGC fighter unites Iranians

- Hojjaji, dressed in military fatigues, is held by an IS fighter with a knife in his hand. In the background, black smoke rises from the overtaken camp. Many who saw it drew comparisons between the expressions of Hojjaji and his captor. Hojjaji, who likely knew his death was imminent, seems resigned to his fate. The IS fighter, with blood running down his cheeks, appears almost anxious. -Al Monitor - 8/15/17

Iraq To Mediate Between Saudi Arabia, Iran: Reports

- An Iraqi leader has said his country will take the role as mediator between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, media in Iraq and Iran are reporting. Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Arraji on August 13 said Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman had requested Iraq get involved to help ease tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, according to Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency and Iraqi satellite channel Alghadeer. - 8/14/17

Iran book ticket for 2018 Men's Volleyball World Championships

- Iran, the only Asian team competing in the FIVB World League Group 1 this season, qualified for the 2018 FIVB Men's World Championships. On Sunday, the Iranian team eased past Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-16) in Pool A at the 6,000-seater Rezazadeh Stadium. - 8/13/17

Worsening Relations between Iran and Afghanistan?

- According to The New York Times, Iran is sending weapons on helicopters to help the Taliban destabilize Afghanistan. Iran is sabotaging Afghan markets to promote Iranian goods, stealing Afghanistan's water, attempting to bomb Afghan dams, and even participating in drug trafficking along with the Taliban... -Fatemeh Aman, LobeLog - 8/13/17

Kissinger's Dangerously Flawed Views on Iran

- There are few people in the universe of US foreign policy with the standing and prestige of Henry Kissinger... In a recent article Kissinger warned that the defeat of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS or IS) would lead to a consolidation of an "Iranian radical empire" if the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their "Shiite allies" in Iraq and Syria inherit the territory currently occupied by IS. -Eldar Mamedov - 8/11/17

Two Barred From Iranian National Soccer Team For Playing Against Israeli Club

- Iran says it has kicked two players off the national soccer team after they played on their Greek professional squad against an Israeli club last week in the Europa League tournament. Deputy Sports Minister Mohammad Reza Davarzani on August 10 said midfielders Ehsan Haji Safi and Masoud Shojaei could no longer wear the national shirt of Iran after they played for Panionios against Maccabi Tel Aviv on August 4. - 8/11/17

After Iranian adviser is beheaded by ISIS, IRGC General vows Iran not to rest until eradication of all terrorists

- General Qassem Soleimani says Iranian forces will not rest until they have taken out every last terrorist from the face of the Muslim world after Daesh reportedly beheaded Iranian military adviser Mohsen Hojaji in Syria. Mohsen Hojaji, who was a member of the Iranian advisory support team in Syria, was reportedly taken hostage by the Takfiri group near the Iraqi border on Monday and beheaded two days later. - 8/11/17

Trump Again Says Iran Violating 'Spirit' Of 'Horrible' Nuclear Agreement

- U.S. President Donald Trump once again asserted on August 10 that Iran is not "living up to the spirit" of its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, and added that it was a "horrible agreement." U.S. and UN watchdogs monitoring compliance with the agreement have universally found Iran has adhered to the deal. - 8/11/17

Statement on a Comprehensive Policy to Constrain Iran

- On August 8, 2017, a bipartisan group of 47 national security leaders issued a statement recommending a comprehensive Iran policy designed to further U.S. national security interests: "The international agreement with Iran continues to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. No American national security objective would be served by withdrawing from it as long as Iran is meeting the agreement's requirements..." -The Iran Project - 8/10/17

Dark Signs in the Persian Gulf

- The political and economic assault against Qatar by a Saudi-led coalition so far shows no signs of succeeding in bending Qatar to its will. More seriously, it raises ominous signals for the future of geopolitics in the Arabian Peninsula. That future may have less to do with Iran and more to do with a Saudi Arabia that is demonstrating a newfound aggressive drive towards hegemony in the Arabian Peninsula. -Graham E. Fuller - 8/10/17

Hezbollah and the Simplistic School of Counterterrorism

- Last month, President Trump made a joint appearance at the White House with a visiting head of government, during which Trump spoke of the visitor's country being "on the front lines in the fight against" an organization that is part of that same country's governing coalition. The visitor was Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the organization was Hezbollah. Members of Hezbollah are ministers in Hariri's cabinet. Hezbollah has the fourth largest bloc of seats among the two dozen parties that are represented in Lebanon's parliament. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/10/17

Stoking War with Iran Courts Disaster

- If President Trump's recent pronouncements on Iran are to be believed, it's all but certain that he will not recertify the Iran nuclear deal the next time around. He is expected to accuse Iran of advancing its missile technology and supporting terrorism, which in his view would be a violation of the spirit of the Iran deal, formally known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Trump and his Iranophobe supporters are itching for a war with Iran, without any consideration of the disastrous consequences that will ensue. -Emile Nakhleh - 8/9/17

Arrests, Crackdown Put Spotlight On Islamic State Threat In Iran

- A fresh wave of arrests of alleged Islamic State (IS) militants, while scant on details, is helping build the case that the extremist group's activities in Iran go beyond the recent deadly bombings in Tehran. That 10 of the 27 alleged IS members were arrested in another country revealed that the effort to clamp down on the militant group had expanded past Iran's borders. The authorities claimed the arrests resulted from intelligence sharing with a third country and they touted the operation as a success that was carried out as IS was planning further attacks on Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/9/17

Muqtada al-Sadr's Saudi Visit and Iraq's Shifting Shia Politics

- Last week, the Iraqi Shia cleric and the leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia and met with the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the power behind the throne. In view of the Saudi monarchy's rather dark record of treating Shias both in the kingdom itself and elsewhere, including Iraq, this visit is rather unusual. Muqtada could not have forgotten how Saudi Arabia supported Saddam Hussein who killed several members of his family, including his father Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr and the famed Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, his uncle. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog - 8/9/17

Iranian Drone Plane Forces U.S. Fighter To Take 'Evasive Action,' U.S. Navy Says

- The U.S. Navy says an Iranian drone flew within 30 meters of one of its jets on August 8 as the U.S. aircraft was trying to land on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command spokesman Bill Urban said the encounter occurred in international airspace as the U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter bomber was preparing to land on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. - 8/9/17

Asian Women's Volleyball Championship: Iran suffers loss against Chinese Taipei

- Iran started the 19th edition of the Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship campaign with a loss against Chinese Taipei. Akram Ghahremani's team lost to Chinese Taipei 3-1 (25-15, 25-27, 25-17, 25-20) in Group D. - 8/9/17

India cuts Iran oil imports amid Farzad gas field row

- India is making good on its promise to cut crude oil imports from Iran amid the two countries' spat over the development of a gas field in the Persian Gulf. According to new data released on Wednesday, India's purchases of Iranian crude fell 16.3 percent in July from a month ago to 414,900 barrels per day (bpd). - 8/9/17

Iran arrests 27 ISIS-linked terrorists plotting attacks

- According to a statement by Iran's Intelligence Ministry on Monday, Iranian security forces managed to identify and arrest the Daesh-linked terrorists, who were planning to carry out acts of terror in provinces deep in the country as well as religious cities ahead of the Saturday swearing-in ceremony of President Hassan Rouhani. - 8/8/17

It's Up to Europe to Save the Iran Deal

- Donald Trump wants to scrap the nuclear accord with Tehran. Here's how America's allies can stop him. -Tyler Cullis & Reza Marashi, Foreign Policy - 8/8/17

Tensions build along Iraq-Iran border

- The Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), which seeks Kurdish autonomy in the country and has been exiled to Iraq, has been intensifying its presence along the border area in recent days. The separatist group helped to defend northern Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and with the battle for Mosul now over, it is focusing on consolidating its control over parts of the Iraq-Iran border. -Mauricio Morales, Aljazeera - 8/8/17

U.S. violations of JCPOA destructive, warns Iran's President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned that the United States' repeated violations of the landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would have a "destructive" impact on the deal's implementation. "The recurrent breaches of commitments by the US government and its move to impose new sanctions on Iran have had negative impacts on Iran's public opinion," Rouhani said in a meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Tehran on Saturday. - 8/7/17

The Challenges Iranian President Rohani Faces In His New Term

- As Iranian President Hassan Rohani enters his second term in office, he faces a number of challenges both at home and from abroad. Hassan Rohani began his second term on August 5 amid an intensification of pressure from Washington, which has accused Tehran of noncompliance with international obligations following recent missile tests and has characterized the 2015 nuclear accord as a bad deal. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 8/7/17

Regional countries to help Iran reshape medical tourism

- Iran has signed agreements with 13 neighboring countries with the aim of developing and reorganizing its medical tourism sector. The state-run Tourism Holding Company, affiliated with the Social Security Organization, is to unveil this week a comprehensive plan, which will be implemented with the participation of 22 hospitals and over 200 physicians, specialists, and surgeons. - 8/7/17

The Persistence of Falsehoods About the Iran Nuclear Agreement

- The biggest current threat to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement that limits Iran's nuclear program, comes from Donald Trump's obsession with killing the accord. That obsession is driven by his impulse to undo whatever Barack Obama did and to fulfill campaign rhetoric based on such contrarianism. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/4/17

Iran footballers break Israel sporting 'taboo'

- Two Iranian footballers have been both praised and condemned in their home country after turning out for their Greek club side against Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv. While the Europa League third qualifying round match between Panionios of Athens and Maccabi will probably not last long in the memories of either set of fans, the appearance on the pitch of Iranians Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi in the Greek capital has not gone unnoticed back home. -BBC - 8/4/17

Addressing Iranian Influence in Iraq

- As Iraqis celebrate Mosul's liberation from the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), their country's future is anything but certain. Although it is premature to conclude that the fight against IS in Iraq is over, the Trump administration's approach to Iraq is likely to focus more on countering Iran's influence in the Shi'ite-majority Arab country. -Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog - 8/4/17

Provoking Iran into Tearing up the 2015 Nuclear Deal

- How easy will it be for President Donald Trump to use the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to provoke Iran to "tear up" the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aka the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran? Annex 1 of the JCPOA spells out the basis on which the IAEA may request extraordinary access to Iranian locations... -Peter Jenkins - 8/3/17

U.S., European Allies Urge UN To Take Action After Iran Launches Satellite-Carrying Rocket

- The United States and three of its European allies have urged the United Nations to send "a clear message to Iran" in response to its recent launch of a satellite-carrying rocket, which the Western powers described as having a "destabilizing effect in the region" Russia's new ambassador to the UN disagreed, however. Vasily Nebenzya told reporters in New York on August 2 that Russia does not consider the launch to be a violation of the nuclear agreement with Iran, the TASS news agency reported. - 8/3/17

US top diplomat Rex Tillerson repeats allegations against Iran

- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is repeating the Trump administration's anti-Iran allegations. Speaking to reporters at the State Department on Tuesday, he American top diplomat accused Tehran of violating spirit of the nuclear deal, which also involves the UK, Russia, Germany, China, and France. - 8/2/17

US, Iranian Leaders See Violations to Spirit of Nuclear Deal

- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal has taken focus away from other Iranian "destabilizing activities in the region," such as its ballistic missile program, support for terrorism and the roles it plays in conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. His comments Tuesday during a State Department briefing come as top officials in both the United States and Iran accuse the other side of violating the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which limited Iran's nuclear program to ensure it could not produce nuclear weapons while giving Iran sanctions relief. -VOA - 8/2/17

Don't Repeat the Iraq War False WMD Claims with Iran

- Where were you when the US invaded Iraq 15 years ago? I was an acting Deputy Assistant Secretary at the State Department, with an inside view on the decision-making process. My colleagues in the department's Intelligence and Research (INR) Bureau disputed supposed evidence about a reconstituted Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme that served as the justification for the invasion. I was not forceful in siding with them, ... -Mark Fitzpatrick, LobeLog - 8/2/17

Is the EU Pushing Back Against Trump on Iran?

- The European External Action Service (EEAS) has officially announced that the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will attend the inauguration ceremony of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on August 5. According to the brief statement released by the EEAS on July 29, Mogherini will visit Iran in her role as chair of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) tasked with overseeing the implementation of the agreement. It also says that she will meet with Iranian dignitaries to discuss issues of bilateral and regional relevance. -Eldar Mamedov - 8/1/17

U.S. sanctions violate its obligations to JCPOA: Iranian Committee

- A committee chaired by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that the US' sanctions directly violate its obligations to the JCPOA. On Monday, Iran's committee for monitoring the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also stressed the importance of an intelligent, appropriate, and powerful response to the recent US sanctions imposed on Tehran. - 8/1/17

Dire Consequences if Trump Pulls out of Iran Deal

- Donald Trump rarely tries to hide his intentions. When he intends to do something reckless that will seriously compromise not just US security but that of the entire world, he is not shy about sharing. The prime example of this is Trump's determination to destroy the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal struck between the P5+1 and Iran to limit Iran's nuclear program. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 8/1/17

Iran, Iraq reach deal over Kirkuk pipeline

- Iran says it has reached an agreement with Iraq to construct a pipeline that would export crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran. The announcement was made by Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh after a meeting with his visiting Iraqi counterpart Jabbar al-Luaibi. - 7/31/17

Iran flies first group of pilgrims since Saudi row

- Iran flies a first group of its pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia since the kingdom ruptured diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic and withheld cooperation towards enabling Iranians to partake in the rituals. - 7/31/17

Iranian Public May Be Turning More Skeptical, Hostile Toward US

- The election and subsequent actions of the Trump administration appears to have provoked much greater skepticism, if not hostility, regarding U.S. intentions among the Iranian public, according to a major new poll released here Friday by the Center for International & Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM). -Derek Davison & Jim Lob, LobeLog - 7/29/17

The Mask Is Off: Trump Is Seeking War with Iran

- Something extraordinary has happened in Washington. President Donald Trump has made it clear, in no uncertain terms and with no effort to disguise his duplicity, that he will claim that Tehran is cheating on the nuclear deal by October--the facts be damned. In short, the fix is in. Trump will refuse to accept that Iran is in compliance and thereby set the stage for a military confrontation. -Trita Parsi, Lobelog - 7/29/17

Iran Condemns Sanctions, Says It Will Pursue Missile Program 'With Full Power'

- Iran has condemned new sanctions passed by the U.S. Congress over its missile program and vowed to continue it. "We will continue with full power our missile program," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi was quoted as telling state-controlled television on July 29. "We condemn the hostile and unacceptable action," he said of the sanctions. - 7/29/17

Iran's IRGC reports 2nd US naval provocation in Persian Gulf in less than a week

- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has reported a second provocation by US warships in the Persian Gulf waters less than a week after a similar incident in the same region. "At 4 p.m. local time (1130 GMT) on Friday, the supercarrier USS Nimitz and its accompanying warship, while being monitored by the IRGC Nay's missile frigates, flew a helicopter near the Resalat oil and gas platform and approached the IRGC's ships," IRGC Navy said in a statement on Saturday. - 7/29/17

Iran Claims Successful Launch of Simorgh Satellite-carrying Rocket

- Iran announced Thursday that it had successfully launched a rocket carrying a satellite into space. State television in Iran claimed the "Simorgh" rocket, which means phoenix in Farsi, is capable of carrying a 250 kilogram satellite as far as 500 kilometers above Earth, but did not elaborate on the payload of the rocket launched Thursday. - 7/28/17

2017 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans: Poll Shows a Community Under Duress Due to Rising Discrimination

- Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) released the findings of its national public opinion survey of Iranian Americans revealing concerns over increased discrimination and domestic issues - a shift from previous polling. A great majority of respondents (82%) are worried about rising discrimination against Iranian Americans, and more than one-half (56%) report having personally experienced discrimination. - 7/28/17

Trump Seeks to Abuse Inspections in the Iran Deal to Fabricate Crisis

- "Reports that Trump is pushing for IAEA access to Iranian military sites without a compelling intelligence justification should be deeply concerning. Already, Trump has not only signaled his intent to withdraw from the nuclear accord, he's made clear that he wants to find Iran out of compliance even when the IAEA and U.S. intelligence services have confirmed that Iran is living up to the deal. Clearly, facts don't matter to the Trump administration - their desire to start a war trumps everything. Now, his team appears to be putting his desires into action." -NIAC - 7/28/17

Sanctions: Can Iran Avoid Taking the Bait?

- The U.S. House of Representatives has just imposed new sanctions on Iran as well as on Russia and North Korea. The Iran sanctions have been justified based on its missile development and its disregard of human rights, plus its so-called destabilizing activities in the Middle East. Because technically these sanctions are not new, they cannot be strictly speaking considered a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, they will undoubtedly undermine the success of the nuclear deal. -Shireen T. Hunter - 7/28/17

Islamic State Threatens Iran in New Video

- The Islamic State group has issued a short new video in which it threatens the Islamic Republic of Iran and vows to destabilize the country with terrorist attacks. The video, released Tuesday, depicts a teenage boy in military uniform who directly looks at the camera and speaks Persian with a bold voice, threatening the regime. -Mehdi Jedinia, VOA - 7/28/17

Firm Says Tehran-Linked Hackers Used Fake Female Profile To Lure Men

- A cybersecurity firm says hackers working for the Iranian government have impersonated a young female photographer on social media to lure men working in key industries of Tehran's regional rivals. - 7/28/17

U.S. Congress Reaches Deal Clearing Way For Russian Sanctions Bill

- Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress late on July 26 said they had reached an agreement clearing the way for final action on a bill that would impose new sanctions on Russia and put them into law, while also preventing President Donald Trump from easing punitive measures against Moscow without congressional approval. - 7/27/17

Is Sectarian Strife Brewing in Azerbaijan?

- At the beginning of July, two members of the Azerbaijani parliament, Qudrat Hassanguliyev and Fazil Gezenferoglu, launched a verbal attack against Iran. They accused Tehran of meddling in the internal affairs of a South Caucasus nation and supporting Armenia, which occupies Azerbaijani territory in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In the same vein, Yevda Abramov, the chair of the Israel caucus in the parliament, declared that Iran had no right to criticize Azerbaijan for its close ties with Israel, since it provided economic assistance to Armenia. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 7/27/17

Trump Warns Iran Faces 'Big Problems' If Doesn't Keep Honoring Nuclear Deal

- U.S. President Donald Trump issued another warning to Iran late on July 25, saying Tehran must honor its nuclear deal with world powers or face "big, big problems." Trump's harsh rhetoric against Iran, which was a feature of his campaign and has continued since he took office, recently has provoked equally harsh responses from Tehran. - 7/26/17

U.S. Navy Ship Fires Warning Shots Near Iranian Vessel In Persian Gulf

- The U.S. military says a U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots toward an Iranian Navy ship in the northern part of the Persian Gulf on July 25 after the Iranian vessel came within 140 meters of the U.S. ship. U.S. Central Command said the USS Thunderbolt fired the warning shots after attempts to communicate by radio were ignored by the Iranian vessel. - 7/26/17

House OKs New Sanctions Against Iran as Tehran Flexes Military Muscle

- The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday in favor of imposing new sanctions on Iran, a move that most likely will further exacerbate tensions between Washington and Tehran. - 7/26/17

No outright denial from Iran on Omani mediation with United States

- Iran neither rejected nor confirmed on Monday that Oman had acted as a go-between to pass messages between Tehran and Washington while highlighting "ongoing consultation" with the Arab sultanate. "There is ongoing consultation (between the two countries) and the visit of Oman's foreign minister to Tehran was part of bilateral and regional affairs," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told a press conference in Tehran on Monday. - 7/25/17

Russian, Kazakh, Iranian Warships In Baku For Caspian Competition

- BAKU -- Russian, Kazakh, and Iranian naval vessels are in Baku ahead of a four-nation "competition" that is to be held off Azerbaijan's coast in the Caspian Sea from August 1-11. - 7/25/17

Iran, Afghanistan to link railway networks

- Iran and Afghanistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sunday for implementing a project linking rail networks of the two neighboring countries. The MOU, between Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR), also known as RAI, and Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA), was signed by IRIR's Managing Director Saeed Mohammadzadeh and Afghanistan Railway Authority's Director General Mohammad Yamma Shams during a meeting at IRIR's building in Tehran. - 7/24/17

Photos: Iran launches mass-production line for Sayyad-3 missiles

- Designed and constructed by the scientists and experts of Aerospace Industry at the Ministry of Defense, Sayyad-3 Missile production line was launched on Saturday morning while a number of missiles were delivered to Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base. Dhghan said Sayyad-3 high-altitude air-defense missile has been designed with a range of 120 km and a 27-km flight altitude against airborne threats at medium and long range. - 7/23/17

Iran, Iraq sign MoU to boost defense and military cooperation

- Iran and Iraq have signed a memorandum of understanding to boost defense and military cooperation in a variety of fields. The agreement was inked by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and his Iraqi counterpart, Erfan al-Hiyali, in Tehran on Sunday. - 7/23/17

U.S. Lawmakers Reportedly Agree On Sanctions For Russia, Iran, North Korea

- U.S. lawmakers say they have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill that would bring new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The new sanctions package in the agreed-to legislation would impose mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic-missile program and any person or entity that does business with them. The measure would also apply "terrorism sanctions" to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and put in force an arms embargo. - 7/23/17

Iran and the Collision between Trump and Reality

- Donald Trump's disdain for the truth does not prevent reality from repeatedly bumping up against his policies, the most consistent theme of which has been to try to destroy his predecessor's accomplishments. The degree to which reality inconveniences Trump-and more importantly, how much Trump's efforts to shove reality aside damage U.S. interests-varies from issue to issue. -Paul Pillar - 7/21/17

Hacked Emails Reveal Close Ties Between UAE and Anti-Iran/Qatar Advocacy Groups

- Emails allegedly originating from the hacked email account of United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al-Otaiba and sent to LobeLog by "GlobalLeaks" appear to show a close relationship between UANI and CEP principals and the UAE government, raising questions about possible UAE funding of the U.S. based groups, both of which engaged in lobbying and public diplomacy campaigns. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 7/21/17

Iran nuclear deal outcome of collective global cooperation: EU Foreign Policy Chief

- The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, says the "strong" nuclear deal struck in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 states is the outcome of "collective cooperation," emphasizing that the landmark accord does not just belong to the signatories but the entire global community. - 7/20/17



Iran: Webster's Timeline History, 2005 - 2007

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