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April 23 2017
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Trump Accuses Iran Of 'Not Living Up To Spirit' Of 2015 Nuclear Deal

- U.S. President Donald Trump has accused Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of its nuclear agreement with world powers and said the United States would soon have a response. At a White House news conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on April 20, Trump repeated his criticism that "it was a terrible agreement...as bad as I've ever seen negotiated." - 4/21/17

Championing Nuclear Non-Proliferation Rules: The EU and Iran

- In a newly published book, Tarja Cronberg contrasts EU and US conceptions of multilateralism in the nuclear field. Her work is titled Nuclear Multilateralism and Iran. A former member of the European Parliament (EP) and chair of the EP delegation for EU relations with Iran, Cronberg writes: "For the US multilateralism is a means to an end, but for Europeans it is an end in itself." -Peter Jenkins - 4/20/17

Iranian Foreign Minister slams 'worn-out' US accusations

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed fresh accusations leveled by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson against the Islamic Republic, urging Washington to honor its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. - 4/20/17

Has Donald Trump Learned To Love The Iran Deal?

- All this Republican party fighting over the Iran nuclear deal, it's almost enough to forget that it's America's greatest foreign policy achievement in years. At least that's what the Trump administration has seemingly acknowledged. In a statement released late Tuesday evening, they certified that Tehran continues to comply with its end of the bargain. -Tyler Cullis and Reza Marashi, LobeLog - 4/20/17

Trump Orders Review of Iran Nuclear Deal

- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed the review in a letter Tuesday to House Speaker Paul Ryan. Tillerson said that as of Tuesday, Iran is complying with its responsibilities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which it agreed to in 2015 after negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. - 4/19/17

Conflict and Famine in Yemen

- Yemenis are starving because of war. No natural disaster is responsible. No amount of humanitarian aid can solve the underlying problem. Without an immediate, significant course change, portions of the country, in the 21st century and under the watch of the Security Council, will likely tip into famine. -International Crisis Group, LobeLog - 4/19/17

The Syrian War: Two Lessons for Trump

- The roots of US involvement in the Syrian war run deep and wide. On our side we can start with the Korean conflict, which ended in a tie and a lesson taught: never fight a land war in Asia. Unfortunately, the lesson wasn't learned because about a decade later we were subbing for the French in Vietnam. From that losing fight we should have learned, but didn't, not to take the corrupt, unpopular side in an internal conflict. -Henry Precht, LobeLog - 4/18/17

Muslims in Abadan, Iran join city's only Christian to celebrate Easter

- Abadan's only church, Surp Karap, is adjacent to Musa ibn Jafar Mosque. Surp Karap Church was built in 1940 and damaged during the Iraq-Iran war. The church was renovated in 1991 and registered as national heritage. On Sunday, Muslims joined the single Christian citizen in the city to mark Easter. - 4/17/17

Foreign Minister Zarif in Central Asia as Iran seeks to fire up economy

- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has started touring Central Asia and the Caucasus to boost Iran's ties with three major countries in the region, especially in the field of economy. The three-day tour spans Turkmenistan, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. A 20-member delegation of businessmen and company representatives is accompanying Zarif who cited transit cooperation among the objectives of the visit. - 4/17/17

Trump Administration Sees Bahraini Crisis Through Saudi Lens

- As tensions between Bahrain's marginalized Shi'ites and Sunni rulers escalate, the royal Al Khalifa family feels emboldened by Donald Trump's administration and its prioritization of security issues above human rights. Trump's ascendancy to the White House comes as a major relief to Bahrain's rulers whom Barack Obama's administration repeatedly irked. -Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog - 4/17/17

Iran's President Rouhani inaugurates mega gas projects in Persian Gulf

- Iran has officially inaugurated several mega projects in its natural gas hub of South Pars - projects that can put the country in the lead over production from a giant field that it shares with Qatar. The projects included South Pars Phases 17 and 18, Phase 19, as well as Phases 21 and 22. They were inaugurated by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. - 4/16/17

Russia, Iran, Syria Issue Warning Against Another Syria Strike

- Russia, Syria and Iran have warned the United States against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international investigation into the chemical weapons attack in Syria. - 4/15/17

Iran's first ever cruise ship completes maiden voyage in Persian Gulf

- Iran says its first cruise ship since the 1979 Islamic Revolution has completed its maiden trip and docked in the Persian Gulf resort island of Qeshm. The ship - which reports said were built in Sweden - carried more than 200 passengers on the 127-kilometre voyage from Kish, Iran's other main resort island. The trip - that was made overnight -reportedly took around 12 hours. - 4/15/17

Russia Hosts Afghanistan Meeting Boycotted By Washington

- Russia opened meetings with top diplomats from Afghanistan, China, and several Central Asian countries in talks that are aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan but are being boycotted by the United States. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement April 14 that India, Iran, and Pakistan were also attending the Moscow talks. - 4/15/17

Rebekah Mercer Joins Board of Anti-Muslim Think Tank

- Earlier this month, Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of billionaire Trump backer Robert Mercer, was listed as a member of the "Board of Governors," of the Gatestone Institute, a New York City-based anti-Muslim organization that has long opposed the immigration of Muslims to the West. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 4/14/17

Assad vs Regime of Warring Jihadis

- The Syrian agony poses a straightforward strategic question: which is worse, Assad or the opposition? Choosing between these two brutal sides is unpalatable. But there is a powerful case to be made that the motley grouping that makes up the armed opposition affects nearly all players far more negatively than the continuation of Assad's ugly regime. -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 4/13/17

G-7 countries seek Iran's help to stabilize Middle East

- The Group of Seven foreign ministers who met in the Italian city of Lucca on Tuesday urged Iran to help end the conflicts in the Middle politically, IRNA reported. In their final statement, the foreign minister also requested Iran's help to fight terrorism in the region. - 4/12/17

Iran named as Afghanistan's biggest trade partner

- Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Spokesman said Iran has turned into the biggest trading partner of Afghanistan. "With 1.8 billion dollars of trade exchange level between the two countries, Iran is now Afghanistan's biggest trade partner," Seyamuddin Pesarlai told IRNA correspondent in Kabul, on Monday. - 4/12/17

Restraining Trump: The Prometheus Strategy

- When Zeus was displeased with Prometheus, he chained him to a rock where an eagle feasted each day on his liver. Prometheus was immortal, so his liver regenerated each day. But even mortals, however immune they may be to criticism and scandal, can be bound so tightly that the harm they can do is minimized-perhaps not forever, but at least for the duration of a presidential term. -Gary Sick, LobeLog - 4/12/17

General: Game Changer in Iran-Pakistan Relations?

- Iran and Pakistan have experienced many ups and downs in their relationship dating back to the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Despite Iran's persistent conflict with Pakistan's closest ally Saudi Arabia and broad economic relationship with Pakistan's rivals India and Afghanistan, they have managed to maintain a relatively healthy relationship. Will this relationship be now influenced by the appointment of former army chief (retd) General Raheel Sharif as the leader of the Saudi military alliance? -Fatemeh Aman - 4/11/17

Iranians Express Solidarity With Victims Of Alleged Chemical Attack In Syria

- Iranians have demonstrated at the location of a decades-old chemical attack to condemn a suspected gas attack on a Syrian town last week that killed dozens of civilians, and to call for an end to the use of such weapons. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 4/11/17

Lies, Damned Lies, And The "Breaking News"

- The dust hasn't settled quite as yet over the recent events in Syria, the allegations against Bashar Assad for gassing innocent babies and the United States' "measured and proportional" surgical strike to punish him for that heinous crime. But there is enough light passing through the dust to give us reasons to question the whole scenario. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 4/10/17

How Will Iran Respond to US Missile Attack in Syria?

- Iran has been a major supporter of Bashar al-Assad, Syria's beleaguered president, throughout its civil war, which has entered its sixth year. In fact, until Russia decided to conduct airstrikes in Syria in September 2015, Iran was the only country that actively and meaningfully supported the Syrian regime. -Shireen T. Hunter - 4/9/17

Iran, Russia Presidents and top generals Condemn U.S. 'Aggression' In Syria

- The Russian and Iranian presidents have condemned in a phone call "aggressive" U.S. actions against Syria, the Kremlin says. Both Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rohani "noted the inadmissibility of U.S. aggressive actions against a sovereign state in violation of international law," the Kremlin said on April 9. - 4/9/17

Trump's Syria Strikes Don't Bode Well for Iran Policy

- Twenty-four hours after launching missiles at Syria, Donald Trump's decision to increase America's bombing campaign in the Middle East has received much fanfare and little public debate. Regardless of whether these strikes are a one-off, the beginning of a more robust regime change effort, or something in between, over 25 years of uninterrupted U.S. bombing in the region highlights an inconvenient truth: For every action, there is a reaction. -Tyler Cullis and Reza Marashi, LobeLog - 4/9/17

Bahrain Arms Sales Belie US Commitment to Human Rights

- The New York Times reported last Thursday that the US State Department has decided to lift human rights as a condition for the sale of F-16 fighter jets and other weapons to Bahrain, a small, Sunni, family-ruled kingdom in the Persian Gulf. Ostensibly, the justification that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave for his decision was that Bahrain is a key ally in the fight against Iran-supported Houthis in Yemen. The US Navy Fifth Fleet is also home-ported in Bahrain. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 4/5/17

Saudi-Iranian Rivalry Spills Over to Europe

- This increased Shia visibility, however, has triggered a reaction from Salafist circles that see in these activities a nefarious Iranian plot to promote Tehran's political agenda. It's also only one example of how the Saudi-Iranian rivalry has reached beyond the Middle East and into Europe. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 4/5/17

Does the Road to Tehran really lie through Sana'a?

- The Washington Post reports that "The Pentagon is looking to increase support for Saudi Arabia's two-year-old war against Houthi rebels in Yemen[. ...] The Pentagon views increased support for the Saudi-led coalition as one way of potentially pushing back against Iran's influence in Yemen, as well as shoring up ties with an ally that felt neglected by the previous administration." -James Spencer - 4/2/17

New Iran Sanctions Bills Could Kill the Nuclear Deal, Pave the Way to War

- Congress is in an apparent race with the Trump administration to see who can pose the greater threat to the sustainability of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)-the nuclear accord between the United States, other major world powers, and Iran. -Tyler Cullis, LobeLog - 4/2/17

Is it foolish for a woman to cycle alone across the Middle East?

- When Rebecca Lowe set off solo from the UK for Iran by bicycle, her friends thought she had taken leave of her senses. But although she had to endure gropers, extreme heat and heavy-handed police, most of the people she met were a long way removed from stereotypes. -BBC - 4/2/17

Iran Rejects U.S. Terror Claim, Blames Saudi Arabia

- Iran has rejected U.S. allegations that the Islamic republic continues to be a main sponsor of terrorism and suggested that the main source was its regional rival and U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi reacted on April 1, saying, "Some countries led by America are determined to ignore the main source of Takfiri-Wahhabi terrorism and extremism" - 4/1/17

Congress cautiously takes on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

- Advocates of the Iran nuclear deal argue that the bill from Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would label the 100,000-strong Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist group and trigger a showdown between the United States and Iran. -Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor - 3/31/17

Assessing the Putin-Rouhani Summit

- The successful meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Moscow on March 28 indicates that the two leaders have similar views not just on Syria, but on several other issues. Still, areas of disagreement between them remain, even when it comes to issues on which they're broadly cooperative. -Mark N. Katz - 3/30/17

Iran's Upcoming Election and the GCC Nations

- Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's death on January 8 was a major blow for the Islamic Republic of Iran's traditionally marginalized reformists and moderates. The former Iranian president's passing raised many questions about how the Iranian regime, without Rafsanjani's moderating influence, might approach Tehran's relations with the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members. -Jesse Schatz, LobeLog - 3/30/17

US should use 'military means' against Iran: CENTCOM chief

- The United States should consider using "military means" against Iran, US Army General Joseph Votel says, calling Tehran "the greatest long-term threat to stability" in the Middle East. Votel, who heads the US Central Command (CENTCOM), made the hostile remarks while speaking before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. - 3/30/17

US Arrests Turkish Banker in Iran Sanctions Case

- Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a prominent ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came to New York this week to school investors on his state bank's plans to sell new dollar bonds. Instead, he was placed under arrest by U.S. authorities and accused of conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran by teaming with wealthy Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal transactions through U.S. banks to Iran's government. -Kasim Cindemir, VOA - 3/30/17

Iran's Waiting Game With Trump?

- As the Trump administration appears to be taking a tougher line on Iran and the U.S. Congress ponders new hostile actions against the country, several members of the European Parliament visited Tehran in mid-March. The visit, organized jointly by the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, close to the Social-Democratic party, and the Institute for Political and International Studies, the Iranian foreign ministry's think-tank, served to take the temperature in Tehran. -Eldar Mamedov - 3/29/17

Iran, Russia lay out roadmap to enhance strategic cooperation

- Iran and Russia issue a joint statement, outlining a roadmap for the future status of their bilateral relations and cooperation on the regional and international stage. The 16-page statement was released during talks between President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart, Vladmiri Putin, in the Kremlin on Tuesday, the second day of a two-day visit to Moscow by the Iranian chief executive. - 3/29/17

UNESCO celebrates Norooz in Paris

- Norooz World Festivity was held in UNESCO headquarters in Paris with Iran's permanent representative to UNESCO sponsoring the festivity and 12 member countries of Norooz world registration dossier participating in the event. - 3/29/17

IS Threatens Iran in Persian Language Video

- Islamic State has issued a video threatening Iran and promising to conquer the country soon. The 36-minute, Persian-language video is aimed at Iran's Sunni Muslim minority and accuses Tehran of persecuting them. But analysts said the intention behind the video released late Monday may be a desperate effort to show that IS, at its weakest since its declaration of a caliphate in June 2014, is still a potent force. -Mehdi Jedinia, VOA - 3/29/17

Why Give Trump The Keys To War With Iran?

- When Trump won the elections, many worried that it could lead to war between the United States and Iran, due to his desire to kill the Iran nuclear deal. Now, thanks to the U.S. Senate, we may be one step closer to this nightmare scenario: The Senate is poised to pass legislation that will place President Trump's trigger-happy finger on the ignition switch of a deadly conflict with Iran. -Jamal Abdi & Adam Weinstein, Huffington Post - 3/29/17

Has Afghanistan Become America's Afghanistan?

- Fifteen years and counting. America's longest war keeps getting longer. The very duration of the expedition, with an end no more in sight now than it had been at any of several points one could have chosen over the last several years, ought to indicate the need for a fundamental redirection of policy. And yet there continue to be calls, including from influential members of Congress, to sustain and even enlarge the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 3/29/17

Iran defeats China in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

- Group A leader Iran moved a step closer to the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 by subduing China at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Tuesday March 28. As part of FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Asian Qualifiers Final Round, the Iranian National Football team pulled out a 1-nill victory against Chinese rivals. The sweet victory left Carlos Queiroz's men within touching distance of automatic qualification. - 3/28/17

Iran, Russia closely cooperating on fighting terrorism: President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic and Russia have been working closely together to fight terrorism and promote stability in the region. "Relations between Iran and Russia are aimed at promoting regional stability and the two countries' main objective is to promote regional peace and tranquility," Rouhani said in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, Moscow, on Tuesday. - 3/28/17

Russia can use Iran bases for anti-terror battle in Syria: Iranian FM Zarif

- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran could, if necessary, allow Russia to use its military bases on "a case by case basis" for missions against terrorists in Syria. "Russia doesn't have a military base (in Iran), we have good cooperation, and on a case by case basis, when it is necessary for Russians fighting terrorism to use Iranian facilities, we will make a decision," Reuters quoted Zarif as saying in Moscow on Tuesday. - 3/28/17

Pence: Trump Administration 'Has Put Iran on Notice'

- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the Trump administration "has put Iran on notice," and will not tolerate Iranian efforts to "destabilize the region and jeopardize Israel's security." His comments Sunday night in Washington came at the opening of the three-day annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). - 3/27/17

Iran Denies It Harassed U.S. Warship Flotilla In Persian Gulf

- Iran has denied claims by the United States that Iranian fast-attack boats were "harassing" warships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Iranian state news agency IRNA on March 25 quoted Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, as saying U.S. claims were based on false reports or "other intentions." - 3/27/17

Defund Islamophobia Now

- While a commitment to standing with the Muslim community against Islamophobia is as important as ever, words are meaningless if not backed up in real ways that reflect this commitment. That means definitively opposing all forms of Islamophobia. -Donna Nevel, LobeLog - 3/27/17

Iran defeats Qatar 1-0 to get closer to 2018 FIFA World Cup

- The Iran men's national football team, also known as Team Melli, inches closer to the 2018 FIFA World Cup after extending its unbeaten run in the Asian qualifying tournament with a victory over Qatar. On Thursday evening, the Iranian outfit notched up a 1-0 win over the Maroons in a Group A fixture at the multi-purpose Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in the Qatari capital city of Doha. - 3/24/17

U.S. Senators From Both Parties Sponsor Bill Tightening Iran Sanctions

- U.S. senators from both major political parties introduced legislation on March 23 to tighten sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile launches and other non-nuclear military activities. - 3/24/17

Did AIPAC Help Fund Attack-Ad by Islamophobic Group on J Street?

- The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is going to have a challenging time at its annual policy conference this weekend persuading attendees and those watching at home that it has healed the partisan rift it opened by investing millions of dollars in opposing the Iran nuclear deal. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 3/24/17

Iran to divert water from Gulf of Oman inwards

- Iran says it is implementing a landmark project to divert water from the Gulf of Oman to its central plateau - a project that could not only address the country's surging water crisis but could also help push ahead relevant economic plans in host regions. - 3/23/17

Congress races to craft Iran sanctions bills ahead of AIPAC conference

- Key lawmakers in the House and Senate are racing to craft bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation before the nation's largest pro-Israel lobby holds its policy conference starting this weekend, March 26. -Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor - 3/22/17

Evolution, Not a New Revolution, in Iran

- Some hardline myths about Iran never seem to die. One myth especially pertinent to U.S. policy is that revolutionary regime change in Iran is a significant possibility in the near future and that with a bit more of a push from the outside, the Islamic Republic will collapse and be replaced by something much more to our liking. This illusion was prevalent in much of the George W. Bush administration, which accordingly adhered to a policy of refusing to deal with Iran and instead of trying to isolate it and to inflict economic pain through sanctions. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 3/21/17

White House Appeals Court Decision Blocking Trump Travel Order

- The U.S. government on March 17 announced it is appealing a court decision blocking President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration from taking effect. The Justice Department said in a court filing it would appeal a ruling by a U.S. District Court in the state of Maryland that halted the part of Trump's March 6 order temporarily banning the entry of travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries. - 3/18/17

Iran Takes Stand On Nuclear Deal Provision That Clashes With U.S. View

- Iran is questioning a provision of its nuclear deal with world powers in a way that could lead to confrontation with the United States. The 2015 deal restricts Iran from accumulating a large stock of Heavy Water, which is used in scientific research as well as in nuclear reactors that produce plutonium. - 3/18/17

Saudi Arabia Says Iranians To Take Part In Hajj This Year

- Saudi Arabia says Iranian pilgrims will take part in this year's annual hajj pilgrimage, after they did not attend last year amid tensions between the countries. The Saudi Ministry of Pilgrimage said the sides had finalized arrangements for Iranians' participation in the pilgrimage scheduled for September. - 3/18/17

US welcomes India's plan for Iran's Chabahar port

- The United States has welcomed India's plan to expand Iran's Chabahar port as a project that a top military official says will help the long-term stability of Afghanistan. US Army General John Nicholson, who commands US combat operations in Afghanistan, told the US Senate in a hearing that he welcomed the Chabahar project because it would offer Afghanistan a viable and economic alternative to shipping all its goods via Pakistan. - 3/17/17

The "#LiveTogether Norooz Challenge" spreading message of tolerance

- Over the past few days, the viral "Norooz Challenge" has brought Americans & Iranians together to broadcast "Happy New Year" in Persian, then challenge friends to follow suit. The Norooz Challenge is the first of several challenges in the #LiveTogether campaign, with a theme of crossing borders and cultures to put our similarities above our differences. - 3/16/17

Federal judges block Trump's travel ban

- A federal judge in Maryland Thursday morning temporarily blocked the 90-day ban on immigration for citizens of six countries in President Donald Trump's executive order, dealing another blow to the President's revised travel ban. Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order nationwide over the ban, hours before it was set to go into effect. -CNN - 3/16/17

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Gave $60K to Architect of Trump's Muslim Ban

- Newly released tax filings show that the country's biggest pro-Israel group financially contributed to the Center for Security Policy, the think-tank that played a pivotal role in engineering the Trump administration's efforts to impose a ban on Muslim immigration. -Eli Clifton - 3/16/17

UN praises Iran's 'exemplary' refugee efforts

- While Iranians would bear the brunt of Donald Trump's visa ban, which has been blocked on the orders of a US court, international officials say the country has quietly emerged as one of the most generous towards refugees. "The leadership demonstrated by the Iranian government has been exemplary in hosting refugees and keeping borders open," said Sivanka Dhanapala, who heads the UN High Commissioner for Refugees team in Tehran. -AFP - 3/16/17

Reimagining International Relations

- International reactions to the election of Donald Trump have catalyzed a far swifter collapse of the American-led world order than anyone could have imagined. Interactions between great and middle-ranking powers are undergoing rapid evolution. The political, economic, and military interests and influence of the United States still span the globe, as does American popular culture -Chas W. Freeman, Jr., LobeLog - 3/16/17

Iranian Americans Afraid to Travel Under Trump Travel Order

- In the heart of Persian Square, in West Los Angeles, everyone is getting ready for Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, when family members visit each other.Normally it's the busy season for the travel agencies that cater to the Iranian community. But not this year. President Donald Trump's revised executive order banning travelers who do not currently have visas from six Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S. for three months is scheduled to take effect on March 16.Among the six countries on the travel order is Iran. -Elizabeth Lee, VOA - 3/15/17

Two Iranian Navy Ships Enter Gulf of Aden

- Iranian Navy has announced that two of its warships have entered the Gulf of Aden in recent days, Tasnim news agency reported. The two warships will be protecting Iran's cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb, the navy said on Monday. - 3/14/17

American Musicians To Perform Works by Iranian Composers in Gesture of Welcome

- n late January, after the first of the recent U.S. travel bans was signed, Los Angeles-based violist and violinist Andrew McIntosh put a post on Facebook looking for recommendations of violin repertoire by living composers from the affected countries. "The response that I received to that post was astounding, with many friends and acquaintances chiming in with suggestions, mostly of music by composers from Iran," McIntosh said. -Laurie Niles, Violinist - 3/13/17

Iranian FM: Netanyahu faking history, falsifying Torah to sell bigoted lies against Iran

- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has resorted to fake history and falsifying the Torah to sell lies against Iran. Zarif made the comment on his official Twitter account on Sunday in response to claims made by Netanyahu that Iran had been trying to "destroy the Jewish people" for some 2,500 years. - 3/13/17

Trump's Executive Order Is an Existential Threat to America

- While immigrants and refugees from the six countries included in the ban are not responsible for terrorism in the US, that hasn't stopped administration spokespersons from using them as scapegoats to justify their proposed policies. The Order, itself, is designed to set up Muslims as a "bogeyman" in order to win support for Trump's efforts to overhaul of the entire immigration/refugee program. -James J. Zogby, LobeLog - 3/13/17

Iran crowned 2017 AFC Beach Soccer champions

- Iran was crowned AFC Beach Soccer Championship Malaysia 2017 champions on Saturday after beating the United Arab Emirates 7-2 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. Also, Iran's talisman Mohammadali Mokhtari was crowned the Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer - 3/11/17

Iran UN Envoy: Israel behind assassinations of nuclear scientists

- The Iranian ambassador to the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that "Israel-hired terrorists" were behind the assassinations of several nuclear scientists in recent years. "While nuclear scientists across the entire Middle East have been assassinated by Israeli-hired terrorists, the regime's nuclear experts are allowed access to some countries' nuclear facilities," Reza Najafi said. - 3/11/17

Iran's IRGC Reportedly Test-Fires Sea-Launched Ballistic Missile

- Iranian news agencies are reporting that the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has "successfully" test-fired a sea-launched ballistic missile. Tehran's state-run Fars and Tasnim news agencies on March 9 said the Iranian-built Hormuz-2 missile was test-fired sometime during the previous week. - 3/10/17

Russia's Putin urges Israel's Netanyahu to focus on modern world affairs when judging Iran

- Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop adopting hostile policies against Iran based on a legend in "the fifth century B.C.," instead of focusing on the realities on the ground. - 3/10/17

Trump's Travel Ban: Exempting the Next Osama Bin Laden?

- The Trump administration introduced a new Executive Order that revised its previous order blocking visitors / immigrants from seven countries: Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Sudan. In the new order, Iraq has been dropped, but the other six countries remain on the list. Trump's new ban, like his old ban, is a policy in search of a justification. -Bahman Baktiari, LobeLog - 3/9/17

Iran's Geopolitical Predicament and Its Consequences

- For some time now, most Middle East states and a good number of Western countries have portrayed Iran as the main cause of problems in the Middle East and parts of South Asia. Iran emerges from this narrative as the world's biggest sponsor of terrorism and, in general, an all-around source of evil. -Shireen T. Hunter - 3/8/17

What's Behind Iran's Muted Official Criticism of Revised Travel Ban?

- Iran has given a muted response to a revised U.S. immigration policy that temporarily bars entry to most Iranians, with a junior Iranian official criticizing it as the product of a disorganized U.S. foreign policy. Iranian state media quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi as telling reporters on Tuesday that Tehran "rejects" the new U.S. travel order, signed by President Donald Trump a day earlier. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 3/8/17



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