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Pakistani PM Imran Khan in Tehran, says held 'constructive' talks

- Prime Minister Imran Khan says Pakistan will do its utmost to enable talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia as he arrived in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials. "Pakistan does not want conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia...I am happy to facilitate talks between Tehran and Riyadh...I am very hopeful as I had constructive talks with the (Iranian) president," he said at a joint news conference with Hassan Rouhani. -Press TV - 10/13/19

Putin Heads to Saudi Arabia, Offers Himself as Peacemaker

- Russian leader Vladimir Putin travels to Saudi Arabia, a traditional U.S. ally, Monday, offering to act as a peacemaker between Riyadh and Tehran in a diplomatic offensive aimed at balancing Moscow's relations across the Middle East. - 10/13/19

Iran, Caspian Sea littoral states ink military cooperation agreement

- Iran and other Caspian Sea littoral states have inked a joint military agreement covering cooperation in such areas as security, training, technical work and search and rescue operations. Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi signed the agreement in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg along with his Russian, Azerbaijani, Kazakh and Turkmen counterparts on Friday. -Press TV - 10/11/19

Europe Is Not Bowing To The U.S. On Iran

- Following the (still unexplained) September 14 strikes on two Saudi oil facilities, there is a growing perception-expressed with hope by some, dismay by others-that Europe is moving closer to the United States in its assessment of the Iranian threat. The reality, however, may be more complex. -Eldar Mamedov - 10/10/19

Persian Gulf Arab States Should Accept Iran's Olive Branch

- Despite setbacks at the international level to defuse Iran's tensions with the U.S., a number of activities have recently happened at the regional level that might indicate a possible thaw in Iran's relations with Saudi Arabia, and therefore with other Gulf Arab states. -Shireen T. Hunter, LobeLog - 10/7/19

Russian Journalist Detained In Tehran, Accused Of Spying For Israel

- Russian journalist Yulia Yuzik has been detained in Iran, her relatives, colleagues, and an official at the Russian Embassy in Tehran say. The embassy's spokesman, Andrei Ganenko, told Interfax news agency on October 4 that Russian diplomats were aware of the situation and were working on obtaining more information. He did not provide any details. - 10/4/19

President Rohani: Iran Backs European Plan To Bolster Nuclear Deal

- Rohani said on October 2 that the plan put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron includes preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, securing its support for regional peace, lifting U.S. sanctions, and the immediate resumption of Iranian oil exports. "We agree with the general framework by the Europeans," he said. -RFE//RL - 10/3/19

Iran Says It Foiled 'Plot' To Kill Elite Force Commander Qassem Soleimani

- A senior Iranian official says Tehran has foiled a plot by Israeli and Arab agencies to assassinate Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). -RFE/RL - 10/3/19

President Rouhani Says An Agreement Was Made In NY Involving Iran And The U.S.

- Defending his achievements during the United Nations General Assembly, the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani claimed on Monday that the remaining signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal, "had discussions within the framework of the P4+1, and preparations for a P5+1 meeting were made, which had been agreed upon by all parties." Mentioning "all parties" would mean the United States was also involved in the agreement Rouhani spoke about. - 10/1/19

Turkey's Erdogan Defies Trump Over Iran Sanctions

- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday continued to chart a collision course with Washington over Iran. Erdogan is categorically ruling out enforcing American sanctions intended to put Iran in an economic straitjacket. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 9/28/19

Word Leaders Call For Meeting Between Trump, Iran's Rohani

- Britain, France, Germany, and Japan have tried to get the leaders of the United States and Iran to revive diplomacy while attending the annual UN General Assembly in New York this week. French President Emmanuel Macron said on September 24 it would be "a lost opportunity" if Iranian President Hassan Rohani left the United States without meeting with Trump. -RFE/RL - 9/25/19

The indispensable mediator: Europe's role in the US-Iran dispute

- Tensions between Iran and the United States have risen to a dangerous new level. Recent attacks on Saudi Arabia - which the US blames on Tehran - severely disrupted global oil supplies, prompting President Donald Trump to consider tapping into US strategic reserves and, once again, threaten military action against Iran. Yet the events of recent months only hint at how bad things could become. -Ellie Geranmayeh, ECFR - 9/24/19

Iran volleyball crowned Asia's champions

- Iran overpowered Australia in straight sets (25-14, 25-17, 25-21) in the 2019 Asian Men's Volleyball Championship at the 12,000-seater Azadi Sports Complex here on Saturday. Team Melli win Asian Men's Volleyball Championship for the third time, as the Persian had already won the title in 2011 and 2013. - 9/23/19

2 U.S. Senators Warn Trump Against Nuclear Deal With Saudis

- Two U.S. senators are warning the Trump administration against a nuclear cooperation deal with Saudi Arabia, fearing it could set off a nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East. "Sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia, especially without adequate safeguards, will give Riyadh the tools it needs to turn the crown prince's nuclear weapons vision into reality," Democratic senators Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley said in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. -VOA - 9/19/19

Realism must prevail on all sides to deescalate the tensions after total failure of U.S. "maximum pressure" policy on Iran: Scholar

- As we see the total failure of the "maximum pressure" policy, and as we have been reminded of some of the possible consequences of a war between Iran and other regional states, it is more urgent than ever for realism to prevail on all sides and to deescalate the tension. The United States should lift the sanctions and should return to the JCPOA. Regional countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, should realise that they will not gain anything by intensifying hostilities - 9/18/19

Iran Judo Federation suspended By The International Judo Federation

- Following what happened during the last World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019, the International Judo Federation suspended Iran Judo Federation from all competitions, administrative and social activities organized or authorized by International Judo Federation and its Unions. - 9/18/19

Stoking Middle East Conflicts Has Just Become More Damaging

- Within hours of the attack on Abqaiq, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacted the way he always reacts to any bit of trouble in the Middle East, which is to place complete, unequivocal blame on Iran. "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen," he declared-an interesting statement in that it evidently counted neither the Houthis' rapid claim of responsibility nor their ongoing efforts to retaliate against the Saudis as "evidence," especially in light of Pompeo providing no evidence for his assertion about Iran. -Paul Pillar - 9/17/19

Iranian, Russian and Turkish Presidents Focus on Unity in Efforts to End Syrian War

- The presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia met in Ankara Monday in the latest trilateral summit to resolve the Syrian civil war. Launched in 2017 in the capital of Kazakhstan and known as the Astana peace process, summit leaders Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin focused on cooperation, despite profound differences on the future of Idlib, the last enclave of Syrian rebels. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 9/17/19

PHILANTHROPY: Founder of Iranian charity Mahak receives Muslim World Rania Award 2019

- The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) granted the Muslim World Rania Award to Saeedeh Ghods, the founder of MAHAK, a charity society dedicated to treating pediatric cancer in Iran, the public relations department of MAHAK reported. - 9/17/19

Turkey's Erdogan Hosts Russia's Putin and Iran's Rohani To Discuss Syrian War

- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hosting his Russian and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on September 16 for their latest meeting on Syria. Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, and Hassan Rohani are expected to focus on the Syrian government's advance on the last rebel-held stronghold of Idlib in the country's northwest, where a cease-fire went into effect at the end of last month, following a four-month offensive by government forces. -RFE/RL - 9/16/19

Trump Says 'Iranian Leadership Wants To Meet'

- President Donald Trump has once again signaled that a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in September is a possibility. He told reporters on September 12 that Iran's leadership wants to meet. "I can tell you that Iran wants to meet," he told reporters at the White House. -Radio Farda - 9/13/19

Is Iran At Risk Of Becoming A Chinese Colony?

- According to an article in the Petroleum Economist, during Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's visit to China in late August, Tehran and Beijing updated an agreement they had reached in 2016 called the China-Iran Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and added new items to it. Most of these new points have not been publicly released. -Shireen T. Hunter - 9/12/19

Trump Makes The Right Call: Bolton Out

- The single biggest factor in getting Bolton the job was Sheldon Adelson, whose weighty political checkbook has won him much influence over Trump's policies. The policies that by far have mattered most to Adelson are any that deal with Israel or are important to the right-wing government of Israel. Adelson and Bolton both have openly advocated bombing Iran, which is music to the ears of the ultra-hardline policy toward Iran favored by Benjamin Netanyahu's government. -Paul Pillar - 9/11/19

U.S. 'Warmongers' Should Go, Iran Says After Bolton Firing

- Iran has urged the United States to "put warmongers aside" following the departure of hard-line U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton, amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran in the wake of the unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. Speaking at a cabinet meeting on September 11, President Hassan Rohani said the United States "must understand that bellicosity and warmongering don't work in their favor. Both...must be abandoned." -RFE/RL - 9/11/19

Iraq's Al-Sadr In Iran Meets Khamenei

- Iraqi Shiite politician Muqtada al-Sadr was in Iran and met Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during the religious Ashura mourning gathering on September 10. It is not clear if he is still in the country. Official photos released show the maverick cleric sitting next to Khamenei, flanked by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Qods force commander Qassem Soleimani. -Radio Farda - 9/11/19

Is an American-Iranian Dialogue Coming?

- When it comes to the clash between the Trump Administration and the Iranian government, three days can seem like a lifetime. This point was displayed by the sequence of events that began with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's August 25 visit to the G-7 meeting in Biarritz, France at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron. -Daniel Brumberg, Arab Center - 9/10/19

IAEA confirms Iran's installation of advanced centrifuges

- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran is installing advanced centrifuges after warning signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal that the clock is ticking for them to salvage the accord. In a statement issued on Monday, the United Nations nuclear agency said it has "verified that the following centrifuges were either installed or being installed...: 22 IR-4, one IR-5, 30 IR-6 and three IR-6s". -Press TV - 9/9/19

The Stubborn Persistence Of Failed Maximum Pressure Against Iran

- It is a sure sign that the Trump administration's campaign to squeeze Iran into submission is a failure when those who customarily favor pressuring Iran acknowledge that failure. Take what has become the administration's go-to rationale for the campaign in the face of other evidence that it is not working: the claim that U.S. sanctions have undercut Iran's "malign" activity in the Middle East by reducing the funds available for such activity. -Paul Pillar - 9/4/19

EU Backs U.S.-Iran Talks, but Experts Call Them Unlikely

- EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini on Thursday said the bloc would support talks between the United States and Iran, as long as the current nuclear deal with Tehran was preserved. "We are always in favor of talks," Mogherini said before entering an informal meeting of European Union ministers in Helsinki. "The more people talk, the more people understand each other better, on the basis of clarity and on the basis of respect." -Valeria Jegisman, Danila Galperovich, VOA - 8/30/19

Israel Uses Its Firepower, Far And Wide

- Israel recently has been expanding its military attacks across much of the Middle East, hitting multiple countries. The aggressive campaign far outpaces anything any adversaries of Israel have been doing to it, or even trying unsuccessfully to do to it. -Paul R. Pillar - 8/28/19

Iran's President Rohani Says No Talks With U.S. Unless Sanctions Lifted First

- Iran won't talk to the United States unless it lifts all the sanctions Washington has imposed on Tehran, President Hassan Rohani has said, after President Donald Trump said he was open to meeting him under the "right" circumstances. In an August 27 speech broadcast live on state television, Rohani said that Iran is ready to hold talks, "but first the U.S. should act by lifting all illegal, unjust, and unfair sanctions imposed on Iran." - 8/27/19

Trump Says US Not Interested in Iran Regime Change

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's visit to the French city hosting the G-7 summit of world leaders was not a surprise to President Donald Trump, the U.S. leader said Monday. Trump told reporters in Biarritz as he began a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi that he respected that Zarif came to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and others. -VOA - 8/26/19

Either security for everybody or insecurity for everybody, Iranian FM warns

- The top Iranian diplomat says "security is a common global commodity," that either exists for everybody or no one. Speaking at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) during a visit to Sweden, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comments Wednesday amid the US military presence in the Persian Gulf. -Press TV - 8/21/19

The Five Caspian Sea Littoral States Ink Economic Cooperation Deal

- Iran and four other Caspian Sea countries have signed an agreement on economic cooperation in Turkmenistan's capital. Senior officials from Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia signed the deal during the First Caspian Economic Forum in Bishkek on Monday, according to Fars News. -Press TV - 8/12/19

Iran And Its Neighbors Face 'Extraordinary Water Crisis' - Report

- The World Resources Institute's (WRI) latest report says that Iran, along with Israel, Lebanon, and Qatar, are struggling with an "extraordinary water crisis." The three are among the most water-stressed countries, according to the new data, consuming an average of 80% of their available water resources every year. -Radio Farda - 8/8/19

This Iranian War Vet Has Some Advice for Trump: Don't Play Checkers with the Grandmasters of Chess

- Dear President Trump, In a recent Tweet, you claimed that "Iranians never won a war, but never lost a negotiation." As a world citizen and a veteran of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, I have firsthand experience with the bitterness of war, and I have a few suggestions and responses for you. First, I would advise you against using the words win and winning to describe war, especially from a US perspective. -Habib Ahmadzadeh - 8/7/19

Which "Gulf" Do They Mean?

- If you've ever wondered how historical realities can be sacrificed and manipulated in the service of myopic political goals, there is a great example for you to follow in your daily roundup of international news offered by the mainstream media. While reading through coverage of current Middle Eastern affairs in international newspapers, magazines, and news websites, it's very common for readers to come across the words "the Gulf." -Kourosh Ziabari - 8/7/19

U.S.-Iran Relations ... Waiting For The Adults: Then And Now

- Marx tells us that history happens first as tragedy and then as farce. He was predicting what has occurred between the U.S. and Iran-first forty years ago and then today-when the children take over and the adults choose to disappear. -John Limbert - 8/6/19

Germany Refuses to Join US Naval Mission in Strait of Hormuz

- Germany has rejected the U.S. call to join an international mission to protect maritime traffic in the Strait of Hormuz. The United States had asked Germany to join France and Britain in a mission to secure shipping through the strait, the narrow maritime passage through which international tankers transport at least a fifth of the world's crude oil supply. -VOA - 8/1/19

Coalition of Foreign Policy Experts Outline 8 Recommendations to Deescalate Tensions with Iran

- Today, an expert group of foreign policy practitioners published a letter underscoring the dangerous new phase that has put the U.S and Iran on the path toward war. The signatories include prominent academics, such as John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Andrew Bacevich; foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal; former Member of Congress John F. Tierney; former ambassadors and diplomats, such as Thomas Pickering, Francois Nicoullaud, and Peter Jenkins; national security expert Edward Price; and Iran experts such as Jamal Abdi, Dina Esfandiary, and Farideh Farhi. - 7/31/19

Macron Calls For 'Break' To Ease Tension Between Iran, U.S.

- French President Emmanuel Macron has called for tensions between Iran and the United States to be scaled down on July 30 after speaking with Iranian President Hassan Rohani. Meeting at the French presidential summer retreat, Macron said he wanted "to ensure that all parties agree to a break and open negotiations." He "recalled the need to initiate a de-escalation of tensions." -RFE/RL - 7/31/19

War in the Persian Gulf? Let's hope not

- In recent weeks, we have witnessed an alarming escalation of tensions between Iran and world powers that should frighten everyone involved. Uncertainty and mutual hostility have propelled the United States and Iran towards a perilous conflict that can only lead towards one terrifying conclusion (unless immediate measures are taken): war. -Younes Mahmoudieh, Foreign Policy - 7/22/19

The Symbolism Behind The Latest U.S. Sanctions Against Hezbollah

- While the latest American sanctions, imposed on July 9, continue a trend of US pressure on Hezbollah, they symbolize an imperfect realignment of interests between the Trump Administration's Iran approach and Lebanese leaders' aim to alter their country's political dynamics. Lebanon has been mostly shielded from US-Iranian tensions over the nuclear deal, but there are questions about whether this is about to change. -Joe Macaron, Arab Center - 7/22/19

Behind The Foundation For Defense Of Democracies' Embrace Of Authoritarianism

- The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neoconservative organization in Washington founded after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has long been obsessed with Iran and has vocally opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement between Iran and 5+1 group of nations. While much is known about FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz-whose purported "defense of democracies" has been undermined by his recent calls for "inclusive authoritarianism" in the Middle East-his right-hand man on Iran, Saeed Ghasseminejad, has gone largely unnoticed. -Muhammad Sahimi - 7/18/19

Hard Choices Facing Tehran And Washington

- Perhaps Iran has done the Trump Administration a favor by announcing that it has moved to enrich uranium at five percent, thus violating the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA). -Daniel Brumberg, Arab Center, DC - 7/15/19

Joint Statement: House Reins In Trump on Iran

- CREDO, Foreign Policy for America, J Street, NIAC Action, and Win Without War issued the following joint statement regarding the House vote passing the Khanna-Gaetz amendment to block any funds for an unauthorized war with Iran -Win Without War - 7/12/19

Trump Administration's Futile Flailing On Iran

- The administration went to the IAEA board in order to be seen doing something about an Iranian nuclear issue the administration itself has stirred up, and it has no better ideas on what to do. It is flailing in trying to get out of a box of its own making, and it sees no way to get out-other than the way it refuses to admit, which would be to reverse its own action that built the box in the first place. -Paul Pillar - 7/12/19

U.S. Iran Policy Gives Me Vertigo

- In the interest of confronting Iran, the U.S. government has sacrificed its credibility, has put at long-term risk U.S. primacy in global finance, and has infuriated virtually all of this country's closest traditional allies. Washington is goading Tehran to renege on its nuclear promises, bringing both countries perilously close to another catastrophic war in the Middle East. -Gary Sick - 7/11/19

Iran warns UK about 'consequences' of oil tanker seizure

- President Hassan Rohani warns the UK about the "consequences" of its recent seizure of an Iranian supertanker. "I remind [this] to the Britons," Rohani cautioned on Wednesday, "You are the ones initiating insecurity, and will come to realize its consequences in the future." Rohani, who was addressing a government meeting in Tehran, called the action "very juvenile, heinous, and wrongful" and "to their [Britain's] detriment," noting that all international efforts should instead be focused on ensuring maritime security. -Press TV - 7/10/19

We're Not the Good Guys: Why Is American Aggression Missing in Action?

- Headlined "U.S. Seeks Other Ways to Stop Iran Shy of War," the article was tucked away on page A9 of a recent New York Times. Still, it caught my attention. Here's the first paragraph: "American intelligence and military officers are working on additional clandestine plans to counter Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf, pushed by the White House to develop new options that could help deter Tehran without escalating tensions into a full-out conventional war, according to current and former officials." Note that "Iranian aggression." -Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch - 7/4/19

Open Letter by academics and civil society activists to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on significance of return to JCPOA

- Hon. Secretary General, You are well aware that in 2015 with the support of all permanent members of the UNSC (China, France, Russia, UK, and US) plus Germany and Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was drafted, upon which UNSC issued Resolution 2231, replacing all previous UNSC resolutions targeting Iran's nuclear program. - 7/3/19

Arak reactor to resume pre-deal activities if EU fails to meet pledges: Iran's President Rohani

- President Hassan Rohani says Iran's Arak heavy water nuclear reactor - which was agreed to be redesigned under a 2015 nuclear agreement - will resume its previous activities after July 7 if the other signatories to the deal fail to uphold their end of the bargain. Rohani said Iran's decision concerning the reactor could only be reversed "if they (the other signatories) act on all of their commitments concerning the facility." -Press TV - 7/3/19

Iran exported $13B worth of goods and services to Iraq

- Iran has managed to export some $13 billion worth of goods and services to neighboring Iraq in the last Iranian calendar year which ended in March 2019, a business magnate has revealed. Yahya Al Eshaq, who heads the Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, said on Tuesday that the value of the Iranian export to Iraq increased by 37 percent in the 12-month period. -Press TV - 7/3/19

The JCPOA And Exiting The Iran Crisis

- "No nuclear weapons," declares President Trump, identifying that objective as his top priority regarding Iran. The contradiction with Trump's own policy toward Iran is jarring. The starting point, and a continuing leitmotif, of that policy has been the administration's reneging on, and effort to destroy, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the multilateral agreement that has the very purpose of preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and that closed all possible paths to such a weapon. -Paul R. Pillar - 6/28/19

Persian Gulf Escalation Threatens Drinking Water

- The Persian Gulf is one of the most populous and environmentally-sensitive regions in the world. Consequently, it is no surprise that Gulf states are increasingly dependent on desalination for their drinking water. But that dependence carries severe risks in a region as volatile as the Gulf has been, especially in light of recent tensions between the United States and Iran. -Najmedin Meshkati - 6/27/19

Seven Steps For Trump To Get U.S. Out Of The Mess Of His Own Creation

- This time the Islamic Republic of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, the IRGC, had no problem admitting, even bragging, about shooting down the most advanced and the most expensive American pilotless drone out of the skies. The ten-miles-high drone was hit by an indigenous surface-to-air missile over what the IRGC insists was Iranian airspace. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 6/26/19

Can International Institutions Stop A U.S.-Iran War?

- The similarities between the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and today's rhetoric and events triggering Iran-U.S. hostilities are startling. The March 2003 invasion of Iraq, for instance, was premeditated. Preparations for attacking Iraq had been underway for months prior to the actual start of military activities. -Parisa Zangeneh - 6/26/19

Iran Can Do Better Than Counter Pressure With Pressure

- There is a flaw in the Iranian plan to use partial non-implementation of the 2015 nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA)-and maybe eventual withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)-to put pressure on Europe and other U.S. allies to persuade President Donald Trump to lift the economic siege of Iran. It assumes that those allies have greater influence over Trump's decision-making than has been apparent in the past. -Peter Jenkins - 6/25/19

The Fog Of Selling A War

- The "fog of war," about which Carl von Clausewitz wrote, refers to the confusion and lack of knowledge of what an adversary is up to on a chaotic battlefield. Currently, those promoting or welcoming a war with Iran are using a different kind of fog. It should be easier to see through the current war-selling fog than it was to see what was happening on smoke-filled battlefields of Clausewitz's time. -Paul R. Pillar - 6/21/19

IN THE SHADOW OF PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY: Realities Don't Always Follow Common Sense

- The shape of Iran in geographic atlases resembles a sitting cat; perhaps sitting and waiting as cats often do. We all know how a cat behaves when cornered and threatened by some formidable enemy such as a large dog. The cat, not seeing some escape route, does not cower and crawl into a tight spot and plead for mercy! It puffs up, making itself look as big as possible, and attacks its adversary with fully spread claws. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 6/17/19

President Xi: China to promote ties with Iran no matter what

- Chinese President Xi Jinping says Beijing will continue to promote steady development of ties with Tehran no matter how the situation changes. He made the remarks on Friday during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit underway in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, the official Xinhua news agency said. -Press TV - 6/14/19

What does the Trump administration want from Iran?

- The showdown in the Persian Gulf is not like the U.S. and the Soviet Union incrementally adjusting the balance of power, as they did during the Cold War. Mixed signals, bad timing and this kind of uncalibrated brinksmanship is how World War I began and spiraled out of control. It has brought the U.S. closer to the next Middle East war. -Noah Weisbord, The Conversation - 6/14/19

Iran's Supreme Leader to Japan's Prime Minister: Trump not worthy of exchanging messages with

- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei dismisses US President Donald Trump as a person not worthy of a response or a message, stressing that negotiations with Washington cannot help solve any problem. Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a Thursday meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who told the Leader he was carrying a message from the US president. - 6/13/19

Tanker Crews Rescued Safely By Iran After Reported Attacks In Gulf Of Oman

- Dozens of crewmembers have been rescued after two tankers transporting petroleum products were reportedly attacked and caught fire in the Gulf of Oman. The June 13 incidents come a month after attacks on four tankers off the nearby United Arab Emirates increased tensions between Tehran and Washington and U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf. - 6/13/19

Japan's Abe On Tehran Mission To Help Ease U.S.-Iran Tensions

- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a military conflict should be avoided at all costs amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran. Abe spoke in Tehran on June 11 following talks with Iranian President Hassan Rohani, who praised his meeting with the Japanese prime minister as successful and said that the two had discussed economic ties and the 2015 nuclear deal with major world powers. -RFE/RL - 6/13/19

Japan's Prime Minister Abe arrives in Tehran on historic visit

- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived in Iran on a first visit by a Japanese premier to Tehran in more than 40 years, with a plan to help ease tensions between the Islamic Republic and the United States. Prime Minister Abe arrived in Tehran on Wednesday morning. -Press TV - 6/12/19

Can Mediation Efforts Between US And Iran Succeed?

- The visit of the German foreign minister was not a resounding success, to say the least. First, prior to coming to Tehran, he visited some Arab states, including Jordan and the UAE, demonstrating where Germany's priorities were. Second, his tone during his talks, according to Iranian news outlets, was arrogant and hectoring. -Shireen T. Hunter - 6/12/19

200 Iranian Activists Call For Unconditional Talks With U.S.

- In a statement on Sunday, June 9, more than 200 civil and political activists living in and outside of Iran called for unconditional talks between Iran and the U.S. Referencing the Iranian people's desire for detente with forces around the region and world at large, 225 signatories to the statement called for the public and civil and political activists to urge the Iranian and American administrations to hold talks. -Radio Farda - 6/11/19

Russia And China Voice Support For Iran After Xi Visit To Kremlin

- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping for Kremlin talks that reflected increasingly close ties between the two countries that were communist rivals during the Cold War. At the conclusion of the meetings a joint statement by Russia and China voiced support for Iran and commended Iran's implementation of the requirements of the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers, reported Russia's Interfax news agency. -Radio Farda - 6/6/19

Iran's Khamenei Speaks Softly About Trump, Lashes Out At Saudi Arabia, Bahrain

- An unprecedented change of tone about U.S. President Donald Trump turned out to be the highlight of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's speech on the 30th anniversary of his predecessor's death on Tuesday June 4. -Radio Farda - 6/5/19

My Pentagon Regret: As the U.S. Rattles Its Sabers at Tehran, Echoes of Sabers Past

- Earlier this month, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group -- the massive aircraft carrier itself with its dozens of warplanes and thousands of sailors and marines, a guided missile cruiser, and four destroyers -- suddenly began to make its way from the Mediterranean Sea into the Persian Gulf, heading for the waters off Iran. Pentagon sources spoke of ominous but unspecified threats. The U.S. military moved into a showy state of readiness, with reports that a force of up to 120,000 troops might be mobilized and sent to the Middle East for a possible future war with Iran. -James Carroll, TomDispatch - 6/4/19

U.S. Displays Lack Of Understanding Of Iranian Politics And Society By Designating IRGC

- Trump is making a strategic mistake with significant consequences for Iran-West/US relations. The Guard has much domestic support in Iran due to its role in rebuilding the nation after its costly war with Iraq. Without the Revolutionary Guards, an indispensable part of the official army, Iran could not have defeated Saddam's invasion (1980-1988). Conservative estimates place casualties of Saddam's "imposed war" at around 1 million for Iran. -Younes Mahmoudieh - 5/30/19

Trump: U.S. Wants Iran Without Nuclear Weapons, Not Seeking Regime Change

- U.S. President Donald Trump, who is on a state visit to Japan, has said that the United States is not seeking regime change in Iran, amid heightened tensions between the two countries. "We're not looking for regime change, we're looking for no nuclear weapons," Trump said after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, adding that he thinks "we'll make a deal" with Tehran. -RFE/RL - 5/27/19

Iran's Zarif says finds no reason to answer Pompeo's phone call

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said because of the bad approach of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he finds no reason to answer the phone if he calls. "Pompeo makes sure that every time he talks about Iran, he insults me," Zarif said in a recent interview with Reuters. "Why should I even answer his phone call?" -Tehran Times - 5/26/19

Effort To Force Trump To Seek Congressional War Approval For Iran Fails

- An effort to force the Trump administration to seek congressional approval before taking military action against Iran has failed after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee turned down the bipartisan proposal tabled by Democratic senators Chris Murphy and Tom Udall. -Radio Farda - 5/24/19

The Colonel

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