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December 07 2016
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Iranian Basij Official Says 50 Student Volunteers Killed Fighting In Syria

- The press agency for Iran's hard-line conservative volunteer militia, the Basij, has quoted a senior official as saying that 50 Iranian student volunteers have been killed while fighting in Syria. - 12/7/16

Britain Pledges To Help Gulf Countries Counter Iran's 'Aggressive Actions'

- British Prime Minister Theresa May says she hopes to deepen defense cooperation with Persian Gulf countries to "push back Iran's aggressive regional actions." In October 2015, Britain began to construct a naval base in Bahrain -- the country's first new permanent military base in the Middle East in four decades. - 12/7/16

New IS Spokesman Takes Aim at West, Turkey and Iran

- A new chief spokesman for the Islamic State is urging supporters to target the terror group's enemies wherever they find them and "burn the ground under their feet." IS, through it's al-Furqan media division, released an audio recording of Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, naming him as the replacement for Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. Adnani was killed in a U.S. drone strike near al-Bab, Syria August 30.-Jeff Seldin, VOA - 12/6/16

Russia using Iran's airbase currently not on agenda: Iranian Official

- Iran says Russia currently has no plans for using the airbase near the western Iranian city of Hamedan for its anti-terrorism operations. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi made the remarks during a press conference on Monday in response to earlier reports concerning Russia's use of the Nojeh airbase. - 12/6/16

Flynn Simply Unfit

- General Flynn is entitled to differ from the large majority of the American security establishment by opposing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran. But his advocacy of "regime change" over diplomacy as a means of addressing Iran's nuclear program is reckless and incendiary. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 12/6/16

How the OPEC Deal Breaks Down for Three Big Producers

- OPEC got what it wanted with Wednesday's agreement to cut oil production: higher prices. But that is a double-edged sword, as those higher prices could lead to a surge in production by U.S. shale producers and others outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. And if those producers exacerbate the supply glut that has plagued the market, it will be much more difficult to reach another deal when this one expires in six months. -Sara Vakhshouri, LobeLog - 12/6/16

China's Foreign Minister warns against obstruction of Iran nuclear deal

- China has warned that no party to the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world countries should allow its domestic upheavals to adversely affect its commitment to the accord. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks in Beijing on Monday at a joint press conference with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. - 12/5/16

OPEC deal: Iran turns the tables on Saudis

- After months of talks and rounds of meetings, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) finally sealed a deal on November 30 for a production cut, marking a turning point in the organization's history. A deal which everyone believed had very little chance of success, is now done and the organization agreed to cut production by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), or about 4.5 percent of current production, to 32.5 million bpd. -Ebrahim Fallahi - 12/3/16

Iran Owns 5% Of Company Building Israeli Navy Subs; Gov't Probe Widens

- During the 1970s, the Iranian government invested $400 million in the German conglomerate, a 24.9% stake, which was inherited by Iran's current Islamic government. At the time ThyssenKrupp was mostly building steel, and not yet in the shipbuilding business. The switch came after ThyssenKrupp acquired shipbuilder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in 2005. -Forbes - 12/3/16

Egypt and Saudi Arabia: Marriage on the Rocks?

- On the other hand, the Egyptian officials who have been in charge since 2013 do not view Iran with as much concern as do their Saudi counterparts. Consequently, in recent years Egypt has not been willing to embrace the same hardline anti-Iranian stance that Mubarak did for many years. -Cinzia Bianco and Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog - 12/3/16

UNESCO approves Noruz collective feast of 12 nations

- The celebration of Noruz, the New Year shared by 12 countries, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO on Wednesday. Noruz marks the beginning of spring across a vast geographical area. It is celebrated on March 21st every year. - 12/1/16

Oil Prices Surge As OPEC Agrees To First Production Cut Since 2008

- Ministers from the 14 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have reached agreement to cut their production by 1.2 million barrels a day, in a bid to boost slumping global prices. The November 30 deal by the oil cartel will lower the total output of the cartel to 32.5 million barrels a day beginning in January. - 12/1/16

CIA Chief Warns Trump Over Scrapping Iran Nuclear Deal, 'Russian Promises'

- CIA Director John Brennan warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that abandoning the nuclear deal with Iran would be "disastrous" and "the height of folly." "I think it would be disastrous, it really would," the BBC quoted Brennan as saying on November 30 in an interview. - 11/30/16

Secretary Kerry defends Iran nuclear deal

- Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Tuesday defended the Obama administration's foreign policy legacy, including the nuclear deal with Iran. In a speech to the Women's Foreign Policy Group, Kerry seemed to make a direct appeal to President-elect Donald Trump not to abandon international agreements or undermine alliances. - 11/30/16

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Point Weapon at US Helicopter

- An Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) boat pointed its weapon at a helicopter launched from aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official told VOA Monday. - 11/29/16

Iran Claims To Have Thwarted Islamic State Attack In Tehran

- Iran's intelligence minister has claimed that his agents prevented a planned Islamic State (IS) terrorist attack in the capital, Tehran. Speaking on November 29, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said a "terrorist group" had been identified and "liquidated." He added that explosives had been confiscated. - 11/29/16

Iran Should Be Worried About a Trump Administration

- Those observers in Iran who thought that a victory by Donald Trump in the US presidential race would be in Iran's interests should by now have realized how wrong they were. It's not just because President-elect Trump vowed during the election campaign that he would tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action (JCPOA). More importantly, he has made key appointments that will have significant consequences for the future direction of American foreign policy. -Shireen T. Hunter - 11/28/16

An Iranian Chain Restaurant After A Global Thinking

- Baguette Challenges Its International Rivals Welcoming the world's standard restaurants' presence in Iran, Baguette Restaurants, a well-known Iranian brand in terms of serving healthy and diverse foods, called these restaurants for a commercial competition in Iran and in the Middle East. - 11/28/16

Iran non-oil exports to Iraq stand at $6.2B, including $2.2B of agricultural products

- Ebrahim Rezazadeh on Sunday highlighted the importance of Iraq's market for exporting Iranian products, adding "since 2005, our exports to Iraq has increased 17 times, which is three times more than the four continents of America, Africa, Europe and Oceania in total." - 11/27/16

Russia May Use Iran's Hamadan Base if Admiral Kuznetsov Moves Away From Syria

- Russia could use Iran's Hamadan airbase in case the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier used for anti-terror strikes in Syria moves away from the Syrian borders for a new mission, the Russian upper house of parliament's defense committee chair said Saturday. - 11/27/16

Deputy NSC Advisor Pick McFarland: Treat Middle Easterners Like Kids

- On Friday, Donald Trump's transition team announced that Fox News national security analyst Kathleen Troia McFarland will serve as his Deputy National Security Advisor, working under National Security Advisor-designate Michael Flynn. McFarland previously served on Gerald Ford's National Security Council and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in the Reagan administration, from 1982 to 1985. -Derek Davison - 11/26/16

Mattis on Iran: Belligerent, but Don't Tear Up Nuclear Deal

- Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis is the odds-on favorite for Donald Trump's choice for secretary of defense. It's worth exploring his views on Iran particularly in light of the ultra-hawkish positions of both National Security Adviser-designate Gen. Michael Flynn and CIA director-designate Mike Pompeo, both of whom have made no secret of their desire to destroy the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/26/16

Iranian Oil Minister optimistic about OPEC deal

- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Saturday that it is possible for OPEC members to reach an agreement to stabilize the oil market. "If OPEC reaches an agreement I am quite optimistic that oil prices will rise and this is what global economy demands," Zanganeh was quoted by Shana as saying after meeting Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Bouterfa in Tehran. - 11/26/16

Iraq Blast Claimed By IS Kills More Than 80, Mostly Iranian Pilgrims

- A suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State (IS) militants has killed at least 80 people, most of them Iranian pilgrims, some 100 kilometers south of Baghdad, according to Iraqi officials. The truck bomb tore through a gas station with an adjacent restaurant where buses packed with pilgrims were parked as the believers returned from the commemoration of Arbain in Karbala on November 24. - 11/25/16

A157, documentary on victims of ISIS, goes to French film festival

- Behrouz Nouranipour's chilling war documentary 'A157' will be screened at the 14th International Festival Signes de Nuit in France. The shocking documentary 'A157' which has been recently awarded by Library International Film Festival of India and won the Special Jury Award at Iran's Cinema Veritere, relates the horrors of war and terrorism in Syria, with a focus on three pregnant girls recounting their stories of war, violence and sexist conquest in a land where people have no more dreams. - 11/23/16

Trump and the Iran Deal: A view from Israel

- For many the combination of the words "Donald Trump" and "nuclear weapons" is the stuff of nightmares. "If we have nuclear weapons - why don't we use it?" asked Trump during his presidential campaign. In his view nuclear weapons is akin to conventional weapons, which means they can be used to promote U.S. interests. This is the man who on January 20th, 2017 will be in control of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. -Shemuel Meir, LobeLog - 11/23/16

Photographer Combats Trump's Islamophobia With Stunning Portrait Series

- You could turn on the television and watch President-elect Donald Trump or one of his right-hand men tell you about Islam. Or, as photographer Mark Bennington did, you could sit down with some of the three million Muslims in America and get to know them that way, instead. - Antonia Blumberg, Huffington Post - 11/23/16

Trump: Encourage Saudi-Iranian Dialogue to Stop War in Middle East

- As Donald Trump prepares to take office as U.S. president, he'll inherit a set of conflicts in the Middle East more intractable and destructive than at any other point in recent history. The very territorial integrity of the region is at risk. The killing in Syria, where close to half a million people have died since 2011, grinds on with no end in sight. -Henry Johnson, LobeLog - 11/22/16

Death toll among Iran's forces in Syrian war passes 1,000

- More than 1,000 soldiers deployed by Iran to Syria to back the government side in its civil war have been killed, an Iranian official said, underlining Tehran's increasing presence on front lines of the conflict. -Reuters - 11/22/16

US President Obama seeks to fortify Iran deal before leaving office: Officials

- The administration of US President Barack Obama is planning to take measures in its last months in office to "strengthen" a multi-lateral nuclear deal with Iran, amid the probability that an incoming American president and his hawkish possible appointees may act to undermine the international agreement and the US stature as a result, American officials say. - 11/21/16

Building on the Iran Nuclear Agreement

- Among the foreign policy issues on which Donald Trump took a simple anti-Obama, or anti-Clinton, stance during the campaign but about which he had not seemed to have devoted much thought, one of the most prominent and important is the agreement that restricts Iran's nuclear program, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 11/21/16

Trump, Though Critical of Nuclear Deal, Could Offer Opportunities for Iran

- At first blush, the election of Donald J. Trump would seem to be bad news for Iran. But there is a chance that on balance, things could work out surprisingly well for the clerics... Mr. Trump also presents new opportunities for Iran, many analysts say. While he has criticized the nuclear deal, he has also said that the United States should stop backing rebels in Syria and focus on the Islamic State militant group -- effectively shifting its support to Iran's ally in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 11/21/16

Flynn Has It In For Iran

- On the news that Donald Trump has asked Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to be his national security adviser, I decided to look up Flynn's testimony on Iran before the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa on June 10, 2015. That was just a month beforethe P5+1 and Iran concluded the the Iran nuclear deal, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). -Jim Lobe - 11/19/16

Iran Nuclear Deal Opponents to Trump: Don't 'Rip it Up'

- Republicans and other long-time opponents of an international nuclear agreement with Iran have walked back calls to scrap the deal and are now urging the incoming Trump administration to stiffen it rather than unravel what President-elect Donald Trump once termed as "the worst deal ever negotiated." - 11/19/16

Foreign Policy in an Ignorant Democracy

- Amid the voluminous post-election analysis based on exit polls, and the many observations about such things as how Hillary Clinton fared compared to Barack Obama among blacks or women, one demographic pattern sticks out at least as much as any other in characterizing the 2016 presidential race. Support for Donald Trump was strongly correlated with low education. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 11/19/16

With CIA, National Security Adviser Choices, Trump Signals Sharp Turn In Foreign Policy

- There was never much doubt that Donald Trump would take U.S. foreign policy in a sharply different direction from the one pursued by his predecessor, President Barack Obama. His choices for two of the U.S. government's most influential foreign-policy posts only bolster that conclusion. -Mike Eckel, RFE - 11/19/16

Trump Seeks Kissinger's Advice On Relations With China, Russia, Iran

- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump sought out the advice of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on China, Russia, Iran, and Europe, his office said on November 17. Kissinger, 93, who served under former Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, is best known for opening the door to China after decades of isolating the Asian giant. - 11/18/16

Trump's Real Basket of Deplorables

- Hillary Clinton's characterization of Trump's supporters may well have been too "grossly generalistic," in her words. But as Donald Trump's national security team begins--albeit chaotically--to take shape, it's becoming clear that Trump does have a "basket of deplorables" around him. And many of them are going to wind up serving in his administration. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/18/16

OPEC moves closer to oil output deal as Iran gets new offer

- OPEC is moving closer toward finalizing this month its first deal since 2008 to limit oil output, with most members prepared to offer Iran significant flexibility on production volumes, ministers and sources said on Friday. -Reuters - 11/18/16

Can the Iran Deal Survive a US Withdrawal?

- As we all know by now, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal could be a very simple matter for the United States. It could come in three ways. First, a vote by Congress to reintroduce sanctions that were previously suspended or cancelled, if not waived or vetoed by the new president, would represent a sufficiently significant breach of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to constitute an effective withdrawal if any of the parties, including Iran, wanted to construe it as such. Second, ... -Francois Nicoulaud - 11/17/16

Report: Trump Administration Should Build on the JCPOA, Not Tear It Down

- In a new report signed by 76 scholars and national security experts, including former officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations, the National Iranian-American Council is arguing that the incoming Donald Trump administration should take the opportunity presented by the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and expand upon it in order to improve U.S.-Iran relations more broadly. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/17/16

Maximizing the Opening with Iran: How President Trump Can Secure American Interests in the Middle East

- It lies in the interest of the United States to build on the Iran nuclear deal to resolve remaining tensions with Iran and help stabilize the Middle East, argues a new report signed by 76 national security experts and published by the National Iranian American Council. Maximizing the Opening with Iran: How President Trump Can Secure American Interests in the Middle East provides concrete policy recommendations on eight issues critical to U.S. national security: From the fight against ISIS, to the bilateral relationship with Iran, to the Saudi-Iranian rivalry, to the stabilization of Iraq and Afghanistan, to sanctions relief and Human Rights in Iran. - 11/16/16

Former Terrorist Group To Enjoy Close Ties to Rumored Trump Cabinet

- Donald Trump's rumored picks for key foreign-policy positions have already set off alarm bells about the future administration's embrace of war hawks and Islamophobes. Today, Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin pointed out that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is currently reported to be under consideration for an appointment to secretary of state or attorney general, potentially violated the law when he made paid speaking appearances for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), when the State Department listed the Iranian dissident group as a foreign terrorist organization. -Eli Clifton - 11/16/16

U.S. House Votes To Renew Iran Sanctions, Sanction Syria's Backers

- The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation to renew a decades-old Iran sanctions law and impose new sanctions on supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. - 11/16/16

Bolton, Giuliani: Finalists to Head Trump State Department

- The choice between the two would force Mr. Trump to choose between Mr. Giuliani, a longtime friend and ally in New York, and Mr. Bolton, a hawkish conservative diplomat who called last year for the U.S. to bomb Iran. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/16/16

EU To Stand By Iran Nuclear Deal: Foreign Ministers

- The European Union says it will keep pushing to restore ties with Iran in line with last year's nuclear deal. In a November 14 statement, EU foreign ministers said the bloc was committed to lifting nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against Iran while engaging with banks and other economic operators "to promote growth in trade and investment." - 11/15/16

Russian Legislator Says Russia, Iran Discussing $10 Billion Arms Deal

- A senior Russian senator says Russia and Iran are in talks over an arms deal worth around $10 billion. Viktor Ozerov, head of the defense and security committee in Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, said on November 14 that the potential deal would see Moscow deliver tanks, artillery systems, planes, and helicopters to Tehran. - 11/15/16

Russian Parliamentary Delegation Begins Two-Day Visit To Iran

- A delegation from Russia's upper house of parliament has begun a two-day visit to Iran, led by the Federation Council's speaker, Valentina Matviyenko. - 11/14/16

Iran, China sign agreement to boost defense-military cooperation

- Iran and China have signed an agreement to boost defense-military cooperation and fight terrorism. The agreement was inked by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and his Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan in Tehran on Monday at the end of an earlier meeting between the two sides. - 11/14/16

EU-Iran Relations in the Trump Era

- There is, however, a danger of some neoconservatives moving closer to Trump and setting his administration on a more aggressive course than his campaign pronouncements suggested. Already some notorious uber-hawks, such as New Gingrich, John Bolton, and Rudy Giuliani, are slated for top jobs in the Trump administration, including the crucial secretary-of-state job. All three have deep ties with the Iranian dissident cult MEK, on the US terror list until 2012, bitterly opposed to the current Iranian government and advocating regime change in Iran. -Eldar Mamedov - 11/12/16

The Iranian nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement between U.S. and Iran: EU's Federica Mogherini

- EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Wednesday that the JCPOA, the official name for the nuclear deal between Iran and great powers, is a "multilateral agreement" and that she is tasked to guarantee its full implementation. - 11/12/16

Iran Expects Trump To Accept Nuclear Deal 'Once Dust Settles'

- PRAGUE -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he believes the next U.S. administration will accept the landmark nuclear deal signed by Tehran and world powers, despite U.S. President-elect Donald Trump pledging to "tear up" the agreement. - 11/12/16

Iranian reporter Mohsen Khazaei killed in Aleppo, Syria

- Iranian reporter Mohsen Khazaei was killed in Syria's Aleppo on November 12, 2016 while reporting the fighting between Syrian government forces and terrorists in the embattled city. - 11/12/16

Why the Iran Deal Will Survive the Trump Presidency

- Trump's triumph is sending shockwaves through the foreign policy community, particularly among supporters of the Iran nuclear deal. Reuters has already reported that Trump's election puts the Iran Deal "on shaky ground." Richard Nephew, a former State Department official who was involved in the nuclear negotiations, told Reuters, "Say goodbye to the Iran deal." -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 11/11/16

PHOTOS: Iran Holds Funeral For 10 More Soldiers Killed In Syrian War

- Iran's official IRNA news agency reports that a funeral ceremony has been held in the city of Qom for 10 soldiers who were killed while fighting in Syria. - 11/11/16

U.S. Officials Say Trump Can Devastate Iran Nuclear Deal By Walking Away

- U.S. officials said on November 10 that President-elect Donald Trump can devastate Iran's nuclear deal with world powers by walking away from it as he has vowed to do. - 11/11/16

Iran and the Trump Presidency

- Donald J. Trump's election as the 45th president of the United States has elicited both predictable and unanticipated reactions from Iranian politicians ranging across the political spectrum. First, a prominent reformist politician and former vice-president, Hojjat al-Islam Mohammad Ali Abtahi, waxed lyrical on how Trump is better for Iran, confidently stating that "a businessman is never dangerous." -Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, LobeLog - 11/11/16

The Iran Deal Is in Critical Danger

- There will be plenty of time to dissect Donald Trump's surprising victory over Hillary Clinton in last night's presidential election, and what a President Trump will mean for American foreign policy generally. But one thing is clear: the nuclear deal negotiated between the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China) and Iran may very well be among the first casualties of the incoming Trump administration. -Derek Davison - 11/10/16

After Trump Victory, Fears Grow Of Iran Nuclear Deal Unraveling

- Addressing an influential pro-Israel lobbying group in March, Donald Trump said that the landmark nuclear deal signed with Iran was a disaster and that dismantling it would be his "No. 1 priority." Now, a day after Trump pulled off a stunning victory to capture the U.S. presidency, observers are watching closely for signs that his administration could indeed follow through on this threat when he takes office in January. - 11/10/16

Iran Deal Is Key Test of Trump's Commitment to NATO Allies

- Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton last night threatens to mainstream the Islamophobia, misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism that swirled around his candidacy and supporters. On the foreign policy front his comments were no less shocking. But the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump hasn't discussed in any depth beyond his promise at AIPAC's March conference that his "number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran," may stand as an early litmus test for his relationship with NATO allies. -Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/10/16

IAEA: Iran Again Exceeds Limits on Heavy Water

- The United Nations atomic watchdog says Iran for a second time this year has exceeded a so-called "soft limit" on sensitive material that was agreed upon under its 2015 nuclear agreement with six world powers. - 11/10/16

U.S. Support for Israel's Nuclear Ambitions Will Come at a Price

- Israel is investing great efforts in declaring victory over Egypt on the nuclear issue. As if it were a kind of ritual, reports keep coming out lauding Israel's victory in the diplomatic arena, and how it foiled the Egyptian demand made at the annual International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference, which called for the Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona to be subject to an inspection regime. -Shemuel Meir, LobeLog - 11/10/16

Obama's Departure: More Difficulties for Iran

- Although disappointed about the economic benefits flowing from the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran's political leadership feels fairly certain that at least the threat of a potential U.S. military strike has now disappeared. Also, even if the United States were to re-impose sanctions, in addition to those non-nuclear related sanctions already in existence, the Iranian leadership is confident that other countries, including European states, will not follow America's lead. -Shireen T. Hunter - 11/9/16

Iran Says Trump Should 'Stick' To Nuclear Deal

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says U.S. President-elect Donald Trump should remain committed to the nuclear deal signed between world powers and Tehran. - 11/9/16

Turkey's Post-Mosul Calculations in Iraq

- Turkey does not have one foreign policy toward Iraq but several. Its primary concern is not toward the Shi'a-dominated government in Baghdad but rather toward the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Irbil, and, in particular, toward the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Massoud Barzani, who is also the KRG's president. -Robert Olson, LobeLog - 11/9/16

Iran Seeks Deeper Ties With Lebanon's New President

- Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif became the first foreign minister to visit Lebanon's new President Michel Aoun on November 7, with the goal of deepening ties between Tehran and Aoun's Hizballah-backed government. - 11/8/16

The Tangled Politics Of Caspian Energy

- The Caspian seabed contains some of the largest reserves of oil and natural gas in the world. And if one adds the hydrocarbon wealth present onshore in the Caspian littoral countries -- Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Russia -- the volumes are staggering. - 11/7/16

Iran runner-up at Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2016

- Iran men's national beach soccer team has achieved a commendable second-place finish at the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2016 in the United Arab Emirates. - 11/7/16

Iran, the US, and the Persian Gulf

- Despite current tensions, cooperation between Tehran and Washington is possible. -Sina Azodi, Diplomat - 11/7/16

Can Iran and Israel Make Up?

- As Iran watchers in Washington brace for a more hawkish new US administration, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted a conference on October 31 on a subject that continues to bedevil US-Iran relations: the mutual security perceptions of Israel and Iran. -Eldar Mamedov - 11/5/16

Cyber Strike Empowered Iran: Nuclear Chief

- Iran's top nuclear official says the 2011 cyber attack by the US and Israel against the Iranian nuclear energy program worked against their intended objectives and helped improve the Islamic Republic's readiness against such acts of sabotage. - 11/5/16

Azerbaijan: Choosing Between Repressing Dissent and Western Loans

- Azerbaijan must make legislative changes within four months that expand rights for local civil society organizations, or risk losing billions of dollars in loans it needs to build a key gas pipeline. The demand, made by an international watchdog group, marks a potential source of humiliation for the Azerbaijani government... -Joshua Kucera, LobeLog - 11/5/16

Unpacking some Untruths about Iran

- On October 21, 2016 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a substantive assessment of Iran's foreign and defense policies. For the most part this research meets the high standards of accuracy and objectivity that we have come to expect of the CRS. In two respects, however-concerning Iran's development of ballistic missiles and its possession of a capability to produce chemical warfare agents-the report is misleading. This matters if members of Congress look to the CRS for accurate assessments when debating policy proposals. -Peter Jenkins - 11/4/16

Armenia, Iran Sign Deal To Increase Gas Imports, Power Flows

- Armenia is looking to increase imports of natural gas from neighboring Iran after the two countries signed an agreement earlier this week. Armenia currently imports up to 500 million cubic meters of Iranian gas annually through a pipeline built in 2008. By comparison, Russian gas supplies to the South Caucasus country total around 2 billion cubic meters. - 11/3/16

The Significance of Lebanon's New President

- Why, for the last two-and-a-half years, was it so difficult to agree on and then elect a single candidate? Some incorrectly blamed a sectarian divide among Sunnis, Shia, and Christians and/or the intense competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia (each in support of a different candidate). Others pointed to the war in neighboring Syria... -Aurelie Daher, LobeLog - 11/3/16
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