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October 21 2018
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Iran and the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea

- On 12 August 2018, five littoral states of the Caspian Sea (Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan) signed a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. This convention should be approved by the legislative bodies in all five states before it becomes officially binding. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 10/18/18

Khashoggi-Gate And U.S. Persian Gulf Strategy

- In U.S. assessments, which began well before the Trump administration, Saudi Arabia has been one of Washington's key pivots in the Middle East. Oil security? Check. Anti-Iran? Check. Moving toward Israel? Check. Given these three factors, the United States has been willing to turn a blind eye to other things that either Saudi Arabia or its citizens have done, especially rich supporters of Wahhabism who have bankrolled this extreme form of Islam and its malign behavior all over the Sunni world. -Robert E. Hunter - 10/17/18

IRGC says terrorists have abducted 11 Iranian forces near Pakistani border

- Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says terrorists have kidnapped a number of Iranian forces in the southeastern Province of Sistan-and-Baluchestan, which borders Pakistan. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the IRGC confirmed that local Basij volunteer forces and border guards had been among those abducted overnight near the town of Mirjaveh on the Pakistani border. - 10/16/18

India, Iran to speed up Chabahar plan before US sanctions take effect

- Indian media have quoted informed officials as saying that the country plans to speed up the development of Iran's Chabahar port before the new round of US sanctions against Tehran is put into place. - 10/16/18

Iran record best ever showing at Asian Para Games

- Iran delegation moved one place up to third place at the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Iran won 51 gold, 42 silver and 43 bronze medals and were placed third in the overall rankings. - 10/15/18

Qatar Airways will continue flights to Iran, unfazed by US sanctions

- Qatar Airways Group has expressed its commitment to continuing flights to Iran, saying it will not be affected by the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Addressing a high-profile business conference in the Qatari capital of Doha on Monday, the airline's Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said services to Iran would continue despite a tightening economic and political squeeze on Iran by the United States. - 10/9/18

"Iran ready to work with Saudis to build strong region, end US conceit": FM Zarif

- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is prepared to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in order to build a strong region together and put an end to the US humiliation of regional countries. "President Trump repeatedly humiliates the Saudis by saying they can't last 2 weeks without his support," Zarif said in a Thursday tweet. - 10/5/18

Iranian MPs Call Ahvaz Terrorist Attack An Intelligence Disaster

- Citing sources affiliated with the intelligence, security, and police forces of the Islamic Republic, Iranian MPs say they have evidence the recent terrorist attack in the southwestern city of Ahvaz was the result of carelessness on the part of the security apparatus. - 10/5/18

Iran's Persepolis earn remarkable win over Al Sadd of Qatar in ACL semis

- Persepolis of Iran football team earned a remarkable 1-0 win over Qatari giants Al Sadd in the first leg of the AFC Champions League semi-finals. In the match held in Doha's Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Ali Alipour was on target from the penalty spot in the 86th minute. - 10/3/18

Iran Says Missile Attack In Syria Killed 40 'Leaders' Of Islamic State

- Iran claimed the missile attack it launched at targets in Syria on Monday had killed 40 "top leaders" of Islamic State, and that intelligence for the operation had been provided by its elite Quds Force. Iran fired six missiles at targets in the Abu Kamal and Hajin regions in eastern Syria, in retaliation for an attack on a military parade in Iran on Sept. 22 that killed 25 people, nearly half of them members of its Revolutionary Guards. - 10/3/18


- President Trump's speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, September 25, left no doubt as to my depiction of him as the Clueless Clown. Trump's verbal barrage against Iran was by no means unprecedented. As he repeated allegations against Iran as the world's worst supporter of international terrorism and a destabilizing agitator in the region, etc., his delivery sounded as though he had not bothered to rehearse the text, or even understood the implications of what he was reading: that is not unusual for Mr. Trump! -Kambiz Zarrabi - 10/2/18

Iran's President Rohani Claims Trump Bid To Isolate Tehran Backfired At UN

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump failed to achieve the isolation of Iran that he sought at the United Nations, with the international community mostly ignoring his demands. - 9/28/18

UN Security Council Members Reject Trump's Calls For Sanctions On Iran

- U.S. President Donald Trump has taken his case against Iran before the United Nations Security Council, a day after urging all nations to isolate the Iranian government. But his calls for other countries to join U.S. sanctions against Tehran were rejected by the other signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran -- Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany. - 9/27/18

Trump And Rouhani UN Speeches Highlight U.S.- Iran Standoff

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has expressed a new view about negotiations between Iran and the United States during his speech at the UN General Assembly. "For dialogue to take place, there is no need for a photo opportunity. The two sides can listen to each other right here in this Assembly. I am starting the dialogue right here," he said. - 9/26/18

U.S. Iran Policy And Misusing The Fear Of Terrorism

- The history of U.S. administrations manipulating the issue of terrorism for purposes unrelated to terrorism predates Donald Trump's presidency. One reflection of this history is the official U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, which has never tracked very closely with the reality of specific states being complicit or not complicit in international terrorism. Some complicit states have never appeared on the list because they were considered U.S. friends or allies-such as Saudi Arabia with its nurturing of Sunni radicalism, Pakistan with its support to extremist groups in Afghanistan, or left-wing governments in Greece that condoned radical leftist terrorism. -Paul Pillar - 9/26/18

Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton Threatens Iran: 'There will be hell to pay'

- The National Iranian American Council condemned National Security Advisor John Bolton's saber rattling speech outside the UN in which he ominously threatened that 'there will be hell to pay' for Iran: "Bolton has called for the U.S. to bomb Iran for over a decade and is now in the driver's seat of the Trump Administration's foreign policy. His threats are aimed at inflaming tensions, preventing any possibility that his boss might negotiate with Iran, and goading Iran into to doing something that could justify a U.S. attack... - 9/26/18

Ahwaz Terror Attacks: Is Saudi Arabia Taking The War Inside Iran?

- Less than a month after Iran's consulate in Basra was attacked, a group of terrorists claiming to be members of the Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz attacked a military parade in the capital of Iran's Khuzestan province, killing 25 people and wounding many more. When the Basra consulate incident took place , some commentators in Iran speculated that the attackers also wanted to target Khorramshahr and Abadan. Now it seems that they were not too wrong. -Shireen T. Hunter - 9/25/18

Pentagon Denies 'Ludicrous' Accusations That U.S. Was Behind Deadly Attack In Iran

- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has dismissed Iran's accusations that the United States was behind a deadly weekend attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran, calling the allegations "ludicrous." Mattis pointed out to reporters at the Pentagon on September 24 that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the attack at a military parade in the city of Ahvaz on September 22, the day it occurred. - 9/25/18

President Rouhani: Iran ready to confront US, 'small mercenary states'

- President Hassan Rouhani says the United States wants to cause insecurity in Iran with the help of "small mercenary states" in the region, but that the Islamic Republic is ready to confront them. Rouhani's remarks in Tehran Sunday before leaving for New York to attend the UN General Assembly came a day after terrorists attacked a military parade in Ahvaz in southwest Iran, killing 25 people. - 9/23/18

Terror Attack On Military Parade In Iran Leaves 25 Dead, 60 Wounded

- At least 24 four people have been killed and 53 wounded in an attack on a military parade in southwestern Iran, the country's official IRNA news agency reported, prompting President Hassan Rohani to pledge a "crushing" response to threats against the country. - 9/22/18

Iran's Rohani Vows Tehran Will Not Abandon Its Defensive Weapons

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has vowed that Tehran will not abandon its missiles, despite U.S. pressure. Rohani made the remark in a speech carried live by state television that marked the start of the 1980-88 Iran Iraq war. "Iran will not abandon its defensive weapons...including its missiles that make America so angry," Rohani said. - 9/22/18

Iran's Problems With America Won't End With Trump's Departure

- According to reports in the U.S. media, former Secretary of State John Kerry in meetings with Javad Zarif , Iran's minister of foreign affairs, expressed the view that it would be better for Tehran to wait out the remaining years of the Trump administration before engaging in new talks with a Democratic successor. Actually what Secretary Kerry in his interview with Fox News host Dana Perino said was: " Well, everybody is waiting around talking about waiting out President Trump." -Shireen T. Hunter - 9/18/18

Trump Calls Kerry Meetings With Iranian FM Zarif 'Illegal'

- U.S. President Donald Trump has responded to news that former secretary of state John Kerry met several times with Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif recently, discussing the 2015 nuclear deal. In a tweet on Thursday, Trump called the meetings "illegal", characterizing Iran as a "very hostile" regime. - 9/14/18

Iran Calls U.S. Blame Over Iraq Attacks 'Astonishing, Provocative'

- Iran's Foreign Ministry has described accusations by the United States that Tehran's allies were responsible for recent attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq as "astonishing, provocative, and irresponsible," Iranian media report. - 9/13/18

Iranian Media Warned Not To Report On Iraqi Sex Tourism

- The head of the Islamic Republic's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, has warned Iranian media not to cover sex tourism unless they want to face prosecution. The warning was issued September 10 amid increasing reports of Iraqi Shi'ite pilgrims to the holy city of Mashhad hiring sex workers during their stay. Some reports allege sex tourism has become a bigger draw for Iraqis to the holy Shi'ite city than the religious sites. - 9/12/18

India's push on Iran's Chabahar puts US in tight corner

- India and Afghanistan have signaled their commitment to the development of Iran's strategic Chabahar port ahead of a Thursday meeting with the US which is pushing for economic strangulation of Tehran. - 9/12/18

Iraq officially removes US Dollar from Iran trade

- Iraq indicated that it has officially removed the US dollar in trade with Iran by announcing a legal limit for passengers to carry along Euros - instead of the customary US Dollars - into the Islamic Republic. - 9/11/18

Tensions Rise As Iraqi Shoppers Flood Iran

- A flood of Iraqi shoppers to Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan province in the southwest has led to protests and tensions. Following large demonstrations against the influx of Iraqi visitors, the province's representative to the influential Assembly of Experts said on Monday, September 10, "The issue of Iraqis' presence in Abadan and Khorramshahr needs a thorough investigation and should be resolved." - 9/11/18

Iran implementing commitments under nuclear deal: IAEA Chief Amano

- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano says Iran is living up to all its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. "Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the nuclear agreement, known as the JCPOA)," Amano said in his introductory statement to the IAEA's Board of Governors in Vienna on Monday. - 9/10/18

Khamenei tells Putin Iran, Russia can cooperate to contain US

- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the developments in Syria and the US defeat in the Arab country show that Washington can be contained. The Leader made the remarks in a Friday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin - 9/9/18

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Confirm Deadly Missile Strikes On Kurdish Rebels In Iraq

- Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says it was behind a rocket assault on an Iranian Kurdish rebel group in Iraq that killed at least 11 people. In a September 9 statement carried by Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency, the IRGC said it fired seven missiles in the attack a day earlier on the armed opposition group in northern Iraq. - 9/9/18

Basra Protesters Torch Iranian Consulate Amid Reports Security Forces Pull Back

- Amateur video broadcast on Arab news channels Friday showed protesters in Basra, Iraq torching the Iranian consulate and chanting anti-Iran slogans. The Iraqi government declared a curfew, a day before the Iraqi parliament is due to meet to discuss the situation in the southern port city. The protesters say Iran is interfering in Iraqi politics and blame Iran for the poor public services in the oil-rich city. -Edward Yeranian, VOA - 9/8/18

Presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran Meet to Plot Future of Syria Ahead of Battle for Last Rebel Stronghold

- The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey met Friday to discuss the future of Syria as a bloody military operation looms in the last rebel-held area of the war-ravaged nation, urging militants to lay down their weapons. -TIME - 9/7/18

Trump To Chair UN Council Meeting To Highlight Grievances With Iran

- U.S. President Donald Trump will chair a UN Security Council meeting on Iran this month during the annual gathering of world leaders in New York, to spotlight his grievances against Tehran. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced the move late on September 4 as the United States assumed the rotating presidency of the council, where it has pushed unsuccessfully in the past year for punitive measures against Iran. -RFE/RL - 9/5/18

UK minister: We seek no covert operation in Iran, plan to build ties

- UK's Minister of State for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, in an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times, reaffirms his country's support to the 2015 nuclear deal following the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the agreement, saying the UK, along with the European Union, are doing all they can to provide the mechanism by which they can continue trade transactions with Iran. - 9/4/18

Zarif, Assad say Western pressure will fail to stop Iran-Syria terror fight

- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif say Western pressure on Tehran and Damascus will fail to deter them from fighting terrorism. In a meeting in Damascus on Monday, Zarif and Assad asserted that Western countries would not be able to deter Iran and Syria from defending their principles, the interests of the two nations, and the security and stability of the entire region. - 9/4/18

EU will continue efforts to keep Iran nuclear deal alive: Federica Mogherini

- European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the 28-nation bloc would continue its work to preserve a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement Iran signed with the P5+1 group of countries after the US unilateral move to pull out from the deal. - 9/1/18

IAEA: Iran remains compliant with 2015 nuclear deal

- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again reaffirmed Iran's full compliance with its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal in the second such report after the US stopped fulfilling its side of the bargain and left the multilateral agreement in violation of international law. - 8/31/18

Trump Predicts Fall Of Iranian Regime

- In an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office on August 30, U.S. President Donald Trump speculated that the regime in Tehran might fall in the near future. Trump made this prediction based on his perception that his administration's policies were hurting the establishment in Iran. - 8/31/18

Iran's Sohrab Moradi breaks weightlifting's oldest world record at Asian Games

- Sohrab Moradi of Iran broke weightlifting's longest standing world record on his way to gold in the men's 94kg class at the Asian Games on Saturday. Moradi lifted 189kg in the opening discipline to better the snatch record set at 188kg in 1999 by Greece's Akakios Kakiasvilis. - 8/25/18

Iranian Women And Men Make History By Winning Kabaddi Gold In Asian Games

- Iran won two gold medals in kabaddi on Friday at the 2018 Asian Games underway in Indonesia, bringing the nation's total gold medal count to 12. Women's kabaddi made history in the Games, beating India 27-24 in the final. Men's team, who had ended India's supremacy on Thursday, defeated South Korea 26-16 in the final to win their first ever gold medal in the Asian Games. - 8/24/18

Has A Diversionary War (With Iran) Just Become More Likely?

- The likely adversary of any such Trumpian war would be Iran. The administration already has an ongoing campaign of ratcheting up tension with, and hostility toward, Iran, thus laying the political and psychological groundwork for a war. The consciously elevated tension has increased the probability of incidents that could spark a war or provide an excuse for initiating one. -Paul Pillar - 8/23/18

Bolton: EU has to choose between Iran and U.S.

- President Donald Trump's hawkish national security adviser says the Europeans have to make a choice between the US and Iran in observing American sanctions which he claims have been more effective than expected. - 8/22/18

Iran unveils first domestic fighter jet called Kowsar

- Iran has unveiled its first domestically designed and manufactured fighter jet named "Kowsar" during a defense show in Tehran. The aircraft conducted its first public display flight during Tuesday's ceremony in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani, Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and other senior military officials. - 8/21/18

In Iran, Official Spin Challenges Perceived Caspian Setback

- Senior Iranian officials found themselves in hot water after the recent signing of an eagerly anticipated, five-party deal on the Caspian Sea. While the so-called Convention On The Legal Status Of The Caspian Sea that was signed on August 12 appeared to postpone some of the most intense disputes between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Iran, it also appeared to ditch one of Tehran's strongest cards in any negotiations: the Soviet-era characterization, in multiple treaties, of the Caspian as a sea shared between two parties -- the Soviet Union and Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 8/18/18

Iran Blames Iraq For Continuing Wildfires On Border

- Efforts to prevent wildfires in Iraq from reaching Iran, has been halted, says President Hassan Rouhani's deputy and the head of Department of Environment (DoE). Iraqi part of Hour al-Azim wetland has been burning for weeks now and the wildfire smoke clouds have caused health problems for the inhabitants of cities on the Iranian side of the border, especially in Iranian Khuzestan province and its capital Ahvaz, local news outlets reported. -Radio Farda - 8/18/18

Iran's President Rouhani Defends Caspian Sea Convention, Saying No Sell-Out

- President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet members lined up on Wednesday to defend a Convention signed by the littoral states of the Caspian Sea. Responding to reports and speculations that question the possible benefits and advantages of the convention for Iran, Rouhani and his ministers tried to draw a rosy picture out of the treaty, presenting it as a "great national achievement" for the Islamic Republic. - 8/16/18

US to blame for burning bridges with Iran: President Rouhani

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has once again dismissed Washington's offer of talks, which followed its unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, saying the US, itself, burned its bridges for negotiations with Tehran. Currently, the Islamic Republic is holding talks with the entire world, the Iranian chief executive told a government meeting on Wednesday. Rouhani, however, said, "The US itself has acted in such a way that has destroyed the circumstances required for negotiations. It has burned its bridges." - 8/15/18

Iraq will not abide by US sanctions against Iran: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says his government will only refrain from using the dollar in transactions with Iran without complying with the full scope of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. "Our commitment in the Iran issue is to not use the dollar currency in transaction, not abiding by the US sanctions," state television quoted the premier as telling a news conference in Baghdad on Monday. - 8/14/18

Caspian Sea Countries Summit Delivers Less Than Expected

- The leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan met in Aqtau, Kazakhstan, on August 12 for what was supposed to be the long-awaited signing of a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The leaders met, and signed the convention, but after more than 20 years it was clear that some of the same issues that have prevented an agreement that suited all five countries remained. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 8/13/18

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei: No negotiations with cheating, bullying U.S.

- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Islamic Republic will not enter into new negotiations with the United States due to cheating and bullying nature of its government. Speaking in a meeting with a large group of Iranian people in Tehran on Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei dismissed talks with the US after President Trump called for direct negotiations with Tehran, saying Washington is only after concessions. - 8/13/18

Turkish Currency Lira Plunges As Trump Piles On The Pressure

- The embattled Turkish lira tumbled almost 20 percent to new record lows against the dollar on Friday as strains with the United States intensified, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defiantly proclaimed Turkey would emerge victorious in an "economic war". - 8/11/18

A Landmark Caspian Agreement (To Be Signed On August 12) -- And What It Resolves

- It has taken more than 20 years. But on August 12, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan will meet in the Kazakh port city of Aqtau, reportedly to sign a new convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Iran is arguably the loser under such an arrangement, as it would get only about 13 percent of the Caspian -- and the deepest and saltiest part at that. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 8/10/18

With 450,000 foreign nationals, Iran among top host countries for refugee students: Official

- Over the past 4 decades Iran has been faced with crowds of refugees due to the wars and conflicts in the region and currently Iran is among the countries with the highest refugee population and refugee students, deputy for international affairs department of the Ministry of Education said. There are some 450,000 foreign national students studying at schools in Iran of which 420,000 are Afghan nationals, Gholamreza Karimi told in an interview with the Tehran Times and Mehr news agency. - 8/9/18

Iran, Iraq, Syria to join hands against Sand and Dust Storms (SDS)

- A plan on combating sand and dust storms (SDS) is scheduled to be prepared in a collaborative initiative with three countries of Iran, Iraq and Syria under the auspices of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the current Iranian calendar year (ending on March 20, 2019), head of national working group on SDS has said. - 8/9/18

Trump Reimposes Iranian Economic Sanctions

- The United States has reimposed economic sanctions on Iran that were originally put in place to pressure the country to limit its nuclear program and later lifted under a 2015 international agreement. President Donald Trump has been a frequent critic of that deal and withdrew the United States from the agreement three months ago, setting in motion the reimposition of the sanctions effective at midnight Monday. -VOA - 8/7/18

Navy Chief to VOA: US Closely Watching Iran's Exercises in Persian Gulf

- The United States is closely watching Iranian naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and will maintain freedom of navigation through a strategic waterway that Iran has threatened to block, the head of the Navy told VOA on Thursday. -Carla Babb, VOA - 8/4/18

Iran's Foreign Minister: US 'doesn't know what it's doing in our backyard'

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticized the presence of American military forces in the Persian Gulf and has questioned why US forces are "in Iran's backyard" some 7,000 miles away from home. Zarif took to Twitter on Thursday to slam the US navy for using the fictitious name of "the Arabian Gulf" to refer to the Persian Gulf. - 8/3/18

Migrant: Photo Essay by Alain Trouilly

- In my library I have an old Russian Camera. It is an old gift my father gave me when I graduated from high school. Thus, began my lifelong passion for photography. On a shelf nearby is a book written by my father curiously titled: "Migrants in transit". The book chronicles the 1939 exodus of the people of Lorraine (a French province on the German border) fleeing the invading German Army. The story is told through the eyes of an 11-year-old child. His eyes. - 8/2/18

Iran's Foreign Minister says US can blame itself for leaving deal and halting talks

- "Iran & US had 2 yrs of talks. With EU/E3+Russia+China, we produced a unique multilateral accord-the JCPOA. It's been working. US can only blame itself for pulling out & leaving the table. Threats, sanctions & PR stunts won't work. Try respect: for Iranians & for int'l commitments," said Zarif on Twitter on Tuesday. - 8/2/18

Trump's War Hysteria Against Iran Ignores Middle East Realities

- By threatening a devastating war against Iran, President Donald Trump's recent response to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani's benign statement about "the mother of all peace" and "the mother of all war" is another example of erratic and dangerous foreign policy pronouncements. Trump tweeted in capital letters that Iran "will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before." -Emile Nakhleh - 8/1/18

Talking to Iran's Rouhani: Is Trump shooting from the hip or following a script?

- Message to Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Tel Aviv: Not to worry, US President Donald J. Trump has no intention of meeting his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, unconditionally. On the contrary, Mr. Trump's surprise announcement that he is willing to talk to Mr. Rouhani is likely part of a plan formulated almost a year before he returned to government service by his national security advisor John R. Bolton. -James M. Dorsey - 8/1/18

Trump Says Ready to Talk Directly with Iran's President with 'No preconditions'

- U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday made his most explicit statement yet that he is open to direct talks with Iran. Trump, in the White House East Room during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, was asked by a reporter if he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. - 7/31/18

Israeli Demands That Iran Exit Syria Not 'Realistic,' Russian Envoy Says

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's repeated demands that Iranian forces and their allies leave Syria are not "realistic," Russia's ambassador to Israel has said. "The Iranians are playing a very, very important role in our common efforts to eliminate the terrorists in Syria," Anatoly Viktorov said in English on Israel's Channel 10 broadcaster on July 30. - 7/31/18

Trump's Iran Strategy: Regime Change on the Cheap

- War with Iran would be a disaster, but the administration's apparent plan A of indirectly fomenting regime change in Iran also carries grave risks. For one thing, even if it succeeds, the collapse of a state governing over 70 million people and controlling a vast, well-funded, fanatical paramilitary force will necessarily be a chaotic and traumatic process for Iran... - Jonah Shepp, New York magazine - 7/30/18

Iran Crowned Asian U20 Volleyball Champion

- Iran swept past South Korea in straight sets (25-22, 25-14, 25-18) in the final match of the 2018 Asian Men's U20 Volleyball Championship on Saturday. Iran and South Korea had already secured their places in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship. - 7/29/18

Mattis: U.S. Not Pursuing Regime Change In Iran

- The United States is not after regime change in Iran, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said. Asked whether the U.S. administration had created a regime change or collapse policy, Mattis said on July 27, "There's none that's been instituted." He said the goal of the United States was to change Iran's behavior, as stated by other U.S. officials. - 7/29/18

Quds Force Chief Tells Trump That Iran Is Ready To Confront U.S.

- A top Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander in Iran says his forces are ready to confront U.S. forces should President Donald Trump act on his warning that Tehran will "suffer consequences" if it threatens the United States. "Mr. Trump, how dare you threaten us?" Qassem Soleimani, who leads the IRGC's elite foreign operations Quds force, was quoted as saying on July 26. - 7/26/18

President Xi Visits the UAE but Skips Iran and Saudi Arabia

- On his way to a tour of several African nations China's President Xi Jinping paid an official visit to the United Arab Emirates...Yet an even more significant aspect of President Xi's visit, that has not received any media attention, is that unlike his previous visit to the Middle East, President Xi did not stop at several capitals and instead limited his visit to one country. -Nader Habibi - 7/26/18

Analysts Hope US-Iran War of Words Will Lead to Dialogue

- As an August 4 deadline approaches for the first round of new U.S. sanctions on Iran, the war of words between Tehran and Washington has prompted some Mideast commentators to question if a conflict might break out. But Iran's currency, the riyal, has hit a record low of 95,000 to the dollar, losing more than half its value since the start of the year and putting pressure on the government to do something. -Edward Yeranian, VOA - 7/26/18

After Threats, Trump Says Ready To Negotiate 'Real' Nuclear Deal With Iran

- Two days after exchanging harsh warnings with Iranian leaders, U.S. President Donald Trump says he is still eager to negotiate a new nuclear deal with Tehran. "We'll see what happens, but we're ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done by the previous administration, which was a disaster," Trump said on July 24 in a speech to veterans in the U.S. state of Missouri. - 7/25/18

The Ugly Destination Of Trump's Iran Policy

- President Trump's belligerent, all-caps tweet about Iran this past weekend is hardly a natural response to anything the Iranians have been saying or doing lately. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did make a speech on Sunday in which he stated, "America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars," while advising Trump that "to play with the lion's tail" would become a source of "regret." So, Rouhani was saying that he wants peace with America and that moving toward war would be a bad idea. Hardly the stuff that ordinarily would provoke a flaming riposte. -Paul Pillar - 7/24/18

Iranian FM Zarif warns Trump: We've been around for millennia, BE CAUTIOUS!

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warns US President Donald Trump to be cautious after he threatened the Islamic Republic with incredible hardships in a Tweet. "COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them -albeit more civilized ones-for 40 yrs. We've been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, including our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS! ," Tweeted Zarif on Monday. - 7/24/18

Islamist Hardliners Are Threatening Iran's Very Survival

- Since last year, Iran's economy has seriously deteriorated as speculators have rushed to exchange national currency for dollars while others, fearing more troubles to come, have been moving their capital out of the country. Close to $30 billion has reportedly left the country since the currency crisis began. The mounting economic problems have also caused social and political instability. -Shireen T. Hunter, - 7/21/18

Terrorist attack near Iraq border leaves 10 Iranian forces dead: Report

- A terrorist attack on a military checkpoint on the western border with Iraq and subsequent blast at an arms depot has left 10 members of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) dead, Fars News Agency reported Saturday. - 7/21/18

The Persian Album, 1400-1600 : From Dispersal to Collection

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