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May 22 2015
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"Vote for Peace..."

- Join NIAC's #Vote4Peace campaign to ensure Congress does not vote to kill an Iran deal that prevents war, prevents nukes, and lifts sanctions that hurt ordinary Iranians. - 5/14/15

Iran trade team in rare US visit

- Iran's media reported on Sunday that a 15-member delegation comprising Iranian traders, entrepreneurs and artists is in a rare visit to the United States. The visit - which officials say started two weeks ago and is expected to end next week - has been arranged by a US-based non-governmental institution called Learning. - 5/11/15

Secretary Kerry Weighs In

- Just last week, the pagliacci at the head of America's Department of State, John Kerry, gave an interview on the much-esteemed house organ of domestic propaganda, the "PBS NewsHour". The entire interview was a farce of human reason, yet was mindlessly absorbed by millions of armchair Americans, 41 percent of whom cannot name the Vice President of the United States. -Jason Hirthler, Counterpunch - 4/16/15

Photos: Tehran Erupts in happiness after Rouhani endorses the nuclear agreement and presses for interaction with the world

- People poured into the streets of Tehran celebrating President Rouhani's endorsement of the preliminary nuclear agreement with the 5+1 group. In his televised address, Rouhani said the nuclear agreement is just a step toward interaction with the world including all those countries that want to respect the Iranian nation and "work with the people of Iran within framework" of mutual interests. President Rouhani also stated that there is no doubt that cooperation and interaction will benefit all. - 4/4/15

Iran: A Lesson in the Art of Building Confidence

- Much of the comment on yesterday's "decisive step" towards a "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (JCPOA), which will ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program, has been based on the factsheet put out by the White House. -Peter Jenkins - 4/4/15

Iran nuclear deal: They've done it!

- At last they have done it! After 36 years of hostility between Iran and the West, 12 years of nuclear negotiations initially between Iran and the European Troika (Britain, France and Germany), followed by talks between Iran and the P5+1, finally the two sides have agreed on a framework for a final, comprehensive agreement before the end of June. -Farhang Jahanpour - 4/4/15

The Iran Agreement Is Historic: Will Congress Destroy It?

- Take Mark Kirk, the Republican senator from Illinois and AIPAC stalwart. Building on his past theme comparing negotiations to the Munich Agreement that ceded the Sudetenland to Hitler, but didn't satisfy the Nazi appetite for conquest, Kirk lashed out. "Neville Chamberlain got a lot of more out of Hitler than Wendy Sherman"-the State Department number three-"got out of Iran," he said. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 4/4/15

Fearing Success of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement

- Those determined to kill any agreement with Iran have trotted out a succession of rationales for doing so but have kept their focus firmly fixed on the U.S. Congress. That is hardly surprising, given that both houses of Congress are now controlled by the anti-Obama party and Congress is where the lobby that acts on behalf of the right-wing government in Israel exerts its power most directly. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 3/26/15

In Nowruz message to Iranian People and Leaders, Obama Urges Progress on Nuclear Deal

- President Obama sends best wishes to everyone celebrating Nowruz. In his video message, the President speaks directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran about a path of greater opportunity for the Iranian people. - 3/20/15

Americans broadly support direct negotiations with Iran: Poll

- As Iran and the United States are holding intense talks about Tehran's nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne, a new poll shows that Americans broadly support direct negotiations with Iran. According to a CNN/ORC International Poll, direct diplomatic negotiations between Iran and the US are broadly popular as 68 percent of the total 1,009 respondents voted in favor of the talks. - 3/17/15

The Times Errs on Iran Weaponization

- A recent piece in The New York Times purports to explain why Iran has not been clear about its nuclear bomb aspirations. The article tries to link this alleged silence to the successful agreements in the P5+1 negotiations that have begun again in Switzerland. However, the article is based on misconceptions, innuendo, and technical ignorance. -Robert Kelley - 3/17/15

The Worst Case for War With Iran You'll Read in a Major Newspaper

- Many opponents of a nuclear deal with Iran simply won't come out and say what they seem to be constantly getting at: that the United States should go to war. Well, kudos to the hawkish opinion pages of The Washington Post and the neoconservative scholar Joshua Muravchik for making just that argument in Sunday's paper. -Ali Gharib, The Nation - 3/17/15

Who's Afraid of the Israel Lobby?

- Congress is the last place to look for "the brightest and the best" or the most knowledgeable. Still, most Senators and Representatives are at least somewhat better informed than people whose window on the world is Fox News. Why then did they make spectacles of themselves listening, yet again, to what Benjamin Netanyahu has to say about Iran? Why would they care? -Andrew Levine, CounterPunch - 3/17/15

Fifty Pro-Diplomacy Organizations Urge Senate to Reject Dangerous Iran Legislation

- Washington, DC - On the heels of a series of political stunts on Capitol Hill that have heightened partisanship and threatened to sabotage nuclear negotiations with Iran, 50 organizations sent a letter to the Senate today warning against legislation that would entrust Congress with expanded powers to block an eventual nuclear deal. - 3/13/15

Ford and Helsinki, Obama and Iran

- In July 1975, just weeks before President Gerald Ford planned to travel to Helsinki, Finland, to wrap up more than three years of negotiations with European partners and the Soviet Union, Senate lawmakers moved to block what they believed to be a "one-sided agreement" favoring the Soviets. Like their anti-Iran counterparts in Congress today, ... -Tyler Cullis, NY Times - 3/13/15

Netanyahu's Insulting, Dangerous and Divisive Speech: Wrong in Detail and Wrong in Substance

- After all the huffing and puffing and all the aroused expectations about the speech by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the joint session of US Congress, the speech proved a great disappointment and even an embarrassment. -Farhang Jahanpour - 3/9/15

The Jewish Billionaire Behind a New Christian Anti-Iran Group

- Yesterday, a new organization's "promoted" (read: sponsored) tweet popped up on my timeline. It came from The Philos Project, a group dedicated to promoting "Christian engagement in the Middle East." The tweet read: "Iran is known to sponsor #terrorism. Iran wants a nuclear bomb. What could possible go wrong? #StopIran." A quick glance at the website reveals a heavy emphasis on rehashing fear-mongering cliches about Iran's nuclear ambitions. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 3/6/15

Mr. Netanyahu, who are you kidding?

- Mr. Netanyahu's speech at the joint meeting of the United States Congress was nauseating enough. But what was far more disgusting to me was watching the American people's representatives so enthusiastically cheering this well-known liar and charlatan like a herd of obedient sheep. -Kam Zarrabi - 3/5/15

Shifting Goalposts to Kill Diplomacy with Iran

- Opponents of diplomacy with Iran aim to kill the nuclear negotiations by shifting the goalposts of the talks from nukes to global nemesis. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered this line of argument in his address to a joint session of Congress yesterday. World powers offered a prudent pushback from Switzerland where negotiations for a nuclear deal with Iran proceeded throughout Netanyahu's speech. -Ellie Geranmayeh - 3/5/15

Survey Shows Strong Majority Support for Obama Approach on Iran

- According to a new poll, a strong majority of the U.S. public supports an agreement that would limit Iran's enrichment capacity and impose highly intrusive inspections on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The survey was released Tuesday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to persuade Congress to derail such a deal. -Jim Lobe - 3/4/15

An Agreement That Is Good for Israel, Bad for Netanyahu

- One of the strangest aspects of the frantic crying of alarm over Iran's nuclear program-with the crying having reached its most publicized peak in Benjamin Netanyahu's Republican/Likud campaign rally in the House chamber-is that the chief crier is the government of a country that not only has the most advanced nuclear program in the Middle East but has kept that program completely out of the reach and scrutiny of any international control and inspection regime. -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest - 3/4/15

Bibi's Eleven Bogus Arguments on Iran

- On March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress, where he is expected to make the case against a nuclear deal with Iran... In anticipation of these speeches and statements, it is important to "un-pack" and debunk the bogus arguments against an Iran deal that Netanyahu is most likely to be making. The eleven most prominent of those arguments are examined here. -Lara Friedman - 3/3/15

NIAC Urges Senate Against Harmful New Iran Legislation

- The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) released the following statement regarding new legislation, S.615 - the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, introduced by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ): NIAC has serious concerns with this legislation and urges lawmakers to refrain from signing onto this bill. - 3/3/15

Noam Chomsky: Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal, Israel's Goal Isn't Survival - It's Regional Dominance

- "For both president-Prime Minister Netanyahu and the hawks in Congress, mostly Republican, the primary goal is to undermine any potential negotiation that might settle whatever issue there is with Iran. They have a common interest in ensuring that there is no regional force that can serve as any kind of deterrent to Israeli and U.S. violence, the major violence in the region." -Democracy Now - 3/3/15

The Israeli Prime Minister to appear before the U.S. Congress

- Deja vu all over again, the much hyped up appearance of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the U.S. Congress, purportedly to warn the legislatures about the possibility of Iran developing its own nuclear arsenal, would only amount to his usual ostentatious rhetoric, bogus theatrical diagrams, and frivolous pontificating allegations for which he has no independently verifiable evidence. -Rachel Eliasi Kohan - 3/3/15

To Netanyahu, Peace Is an Existential Threat

- To Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, peace between the US and Iran is an existential threat. By now, it should be clear to all: It's not an Iranian nuclear bomb he fears, but a US-Iran deal. -Trita Parsi - 3/2/15

NIAC Delivers Book on "The Iranian Schindler" to All Senators

- To strengthen the understanding of the positive historic relations between the Jewish and Iranian peoples, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) delivered copies of "In the Lion's Shadow: The Iranian Schindler and his Homeland in the Second World War" to all one-hundred members of the U.S. Senate earlier this month. The books were donated to NIAC with a signed dedication to each Senator by its author, Dr. Fariborz Mokhtari, a former professor at National Defense University in Washington. -Derya Corcor - 2/28/15

Tell Congress: Don't Attend Netanyahu's Speech

- Congressional hawks have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress to directly challenge President Obama's diplomacy with Iran and promote sanctions that could start a war. - 2/13/15

U.S. Congress can't go against world to annul a deal with Iran: Professor

- Farhang Jahanpour of Oxford University's Faculty of Oriental Studies says the Republican-dominated Congress won't be able to rescind a possible nuclear deal with Iran because it will go against the wishes of the American voters and the international community who greatly favor a nuclear pact with Iran. - 2/6/15

Sponsor of Iran War Bills Backs Netanyahu Speech

- The Congressman responsible for several pushes for military action against Iran is now leading an effort to ensure that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is given Congressional platform to oppose the Iran nuclear talks.-Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 2/6/15

Fact-checking Bibi and Company's Talking Points on Iran

- There's been considerable media buzz in the past several days about Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer's role in engineering an invitation from Republican leaders for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address both Houses of Congress about Iran. Dermer's partisan machinations deliberately excluded the White House and State Department from any knowledge of the invitation. -Marsha B. Cohen, LobeLog - 2/2/15

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back for Iran Sanctions Bill

- After a three week showdown between supporters of the nuclear negotiations with Iran and Senators bent on passing new sanctions that would upend the talks, the pro-diplomacy crowd won the day - for now. -Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 1/30/15

Let Nuclear Sanctions on Iran Serve Their Final Purpose

- The kerfuffle over congressional moves to impose additional sanctions on Iran is obscuring a question that requires attention. Have the US and EU understood that the nuclear negotiations will not yield the non-proliferation measures that the US and EU need if they refuse Iran the sanctions relief that Iran needs? -Peter Jenkins - 1/27/15

A Portal Between Tehran and NYC: Open For Conversation

- Without a doubt, the lack of diplomatic relations between the US and Iran creates a serious hurdle for Iranians and Americans to meet one another. But artists in NYC and Tehran launched a project, known as Portals, that solves that problem. - 1/25/15

Middle Eastern Turmoil and the Scaremongering on Iran

- It has not been a smooth month for those who want to keep Iran in pariahdom forever and thus seek to kill any international agreement on Iran's nuclear program. The sanctions bill that is the deal-killers' principal vehicle at the moment and is in the Senate banking committee has not been attracting the hoped-for Democratic co-sponsors. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 1/25/15

Allies, Lawmakers and Officials Warn Against New Iran Sanctions

- Key allies, policymakers and members of Congress have recently warned about the impact that new Iran sanctions legislation would have on efforts to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran. -Ryan Costello, NIAC - 1/25/15

Obama's State of the Union Address and its Bearing on US/Iran Relations

- When it comes to America's foreign policies, It's too bad that trying to do what's good for America is so often blocked by special interest groups and elected officials who owe their positions, hence their loyalties, to influence peddlers with different agendas. Watching the proceedings of January 21st Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on C-SPAN exemplified this tragic state of affairs. -Kam Zarrabi - 1/24/15

Boehner, Netanyahu conspire to push war on Iran

- House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress next month about negotiations with Iran, a visit that would come right at the time that Congress is debating controversial bills that would tighten Iranian sanctions. -Jay Bookman, AJC - 1/22/15

Former Iranian leader calls on UN to promote "reconciliation"

- Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has issued an open letter to the United Nations Secretary General calling for immediate action to "achieve historic reconciliation" in response to growing extremism across the world. - 1/18/15

The Senate's Gift to ISIS: Sanctions on Iran

- The Islamic State has many enemies and very few friends. But sometimes, even declared enemies of the Caliphate (or ISIS) can lend it a helping hand. That is essentially what is happening now as Senators Mark Kirk and Bob Menendez push to undermine the nuclear talks with Iran -- a key adversary of ISIS. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post - 1/16/15

Cotton Makes Aim of Iran Sanctions Legislation Kristol Clear

- As foes of a nuclear deal with Iran prepare new sanctions legislation that the Obama administration firmly opposes, Arkansas's new Republican senator, Tom Cotton, told a policy conference at the far-right Heritage Foundation Tuesday that the pending bills, which could be unveiled at any moment, are intended to sabotage the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 1/16/15

NIAC Warns Against Diplomacy-Killing Senate Sanctions

- The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is deeply concerned by reports that the Senate will begin considering new Iran sanctions next week and warns that passage of new Iran sanctions into law would violate the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) and dramatically reduce, if not eliminate, the prospect of striking a comprehensive nuclear accord. - 1/15/15

GOP Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Funds Mysterious Anti-Iran Pressure Group

- Nearly one-third of anti-Iran pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran's 2013 budget came from the country's foremost Republican mega-donor, a man who invested a reported $98 million to defeat Barack Obama in the 2012 election, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson routed his $500,000 donation to UANI through his family foundation, according to tax documents. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 1/15/15

New Optimism Over Iran Talks Tempered by Threat of Incoming Congress

- The new year may have brought with it some signs of progress toward a comprehensive deal between world powers and Iran, lending credence to one of Graham Fuller's 2015 predictions for the Middle East. However, any movement toward a nuclear agreement must now contend with a potentially game-changing complication: the desire of a new and more hawkish Republican-led Congress to impose additional sanctions on Iran regardless of how the talks are progressing. -Derek Davison - 1/6/15

Lindsey Graham Says Congress Will "Follow Bibi's Lead"

- Lindsey Graham, who is not a stupid person, can be so embarrassing. Speaking at a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem Saturday, Graham said the following in response to Bibi's call for "more sanctions, and stronger sanctions" against Iran. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 12/29/14

Ex-IAEA Chief Warns on Using Unverified Intel to Pressure Iran

- In a critique of the handling of the Iran file by the International Atomic Energy Agency, former IAEA Director General Han Blix has called for greater skepticism about the intelligence documents and reports alleging Iranian nuclear weapons work and warned that they may be used to put diplomatic pressure on Tehran. -Gareth Porter, LobeLog - 12/20/14

Film Director Abbas Kiarostami visits Tehran Peace Museum

- Celebrated filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has visited the Tehran Peace Museum at the invitation of Hassan Hassani-Sadi, a war veteran who is a curator of the museum, some Persian news agencies reported on Saturday. - 12/17/14

The IAEA Faces a Major Credibility Test

- On December 11, the spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that his agency was, as Gareth Porter asserted on this website earlier this month, not interested in accepting a recent invitation by Iran to visit Marivan, at least at this time. -Robert Kelley, LobeLog - 12/15/14

Why Hasn't the IAEA Followed Up Iran's Inspection Offer?

- When Iran offered last month to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the Marivan region near the border with Iraq, the IAEA might have been expected to respond with alacrity to the opportunity. -Gareth Porter, LobeLog - 12/8/14

Poll: 81% in Tehran approve extension of nuclear talks

- A recent IRNA survey shows 81 per cent of people in Tehran have a positive view about 'Vienna agreement' and see the second extension of nuclear talks as positive for Iran. Results of this IRNA poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 25-26, 2014, with a nonprobability sampling of adults between 19-85 living in all 22 districts of Tehran. - 12/2/14

Pro-Israel Hawks Take Wing over Extended Iran Nuclear Talks

- Buoyed by the failure of the US and five other powers to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran over its nuclear program after a week of intensive talks, pro-Israel and Republican hawks are calling for Washington to ramp up economic pressure on Tehran even while talks continue, and to give Congress a veto on any final accord. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/25/14

Top Foreign Policy Experts Endorse Iran Nuclear Deal

- As Iran and six world powers scramble to reach a deal over Iran's nuclear program by the deadline of Nov. 24 in Vienna, Washington is seeing a flurry of last-minute events focused on the pros and cons of pursuing diplomacy with Tehran. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 11/22/14

TAKE ACTION: They Almost Killed The Deal

- Last week, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) almost killed the Iran talks. He went to the Senate floor and attempted to pass a bill to give Congress the authority to kill any nuclear deal. Thankfully, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) intervened and blocked Graham's gambit. But it was a close call -- too close. -Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 11/21/14

Calling Sens. Mitchell, Daschle--Your "Bipartisan" Center Is In Funny Company

- On Thursday, BPC will co-sponsor a forum ("Looming Deadline and Unanswered Questions: What's Next for the P5+1 and Iran") at the Senate Visitors Center with two hard-line neoconservative groups closely tied to and funded by wealthy donors of the Republican Jewish Coalition (chaired by multi-billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson) -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 11/20/14

Iranian Activists, Intellectuals Express Support For Nuclear Deal

- Many Iranians are watching the new round of nuclear talks in Vienna between major world powers and Iran with great interest, hoping for a deal that would lead to the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on their country and an improvement in their daily lives. Among those hoping for an agreement are intellectuals, political activists, opposition members, and some victims of the Iranian establishment's repressive policies. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/19/14

On the long-term agreement between Iran and the P5+1: Is Israel losing the war to wage war on Iran?

- The world's attention is focused once again on the negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, commonly referred to as P5+1. Many are speculating about whether these negotiations will bear fruit by November 24, 2014, and reach a long-term agreement on curtailing Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for removal of sanctions imposed on the country. Whatever the outcome, however, one thing is certain: the role of Israel in these negotiations has diminished considerably. -Sasan Fayazmanesh - 11/19/14

The Rare Place Where Israelis And Iranians Play Together

- What do you get when three Israelis, two Iranians and a German walk into a room? A Berlin-based world music ensemble known as Sistanagila, named after an Iranian province - Sistan and Baluchestan - and the popular Jewish folk song "Hava Nagila." -Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR - 11/14/14

Leading Iranian Figures Support Nuclear Negotiations and Hope for an Agreement

- As the P5+1 negotiations on Iran's nuclear program between the world powers and Iran approach the November 24 deadline, it is important that the negotiators on both sides of the table take note of the voices of their respective citizens at home: support for the nuclear negotiations and hope for a successful agreement is clear and strong among both the Iranian and the US public. - 11/13/14

Iran's President Rouhani: Nuclear deal to benefit entire world

- President Hassan Rouhani said a nuclear deal between Iran and Group 5+1 will benefit the entire world. He made the remarks in his statement to the cabinet meeting. He made clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran would cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to assure transparency of the Iranian nuclear program. - 11/12/14

Top political donors: "Bomb the daylights" out of Iran

- Did you hear what two of the most powerful political donors in America said yesterday about a potential deal with Iran yesterday?Haim Saban, a top Democratic donor who has given millions to candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, told the Israeli American Forum he "would bomb the daylights out of those SOBs" in Iran. - 11/11/14

The Imminent Prospect of a U.S.-IRAN Breakthrough worries the Hawks

- The international community grapples once again with the imminent prospect of a "nuclear deal" between the U.S. (aka P5+1) and Iran before the extended deadline of November 24. Meanwhile, the neo-cons and fundamentalists from both sides have begun undermining and harming possible breakthroughs. With the visionary brinkmanship of both sides the lingering stalemate may be resolved, ending the fraught sanctions, and opening trades and diplomatic relations. -Rachel Eliasi Kohan - 11/8/14

Why Israel Opposes A Final Nuclear Deal with Iran and What to Do About It

- November 24 is the deadline for six world powers and Iran to reach a final deal over its nuclear program. If there is no deal, then the talks are likely to be extended, not abandoned. But as I learned from more than three decades' work on Middle East issues, in and out of the US government, success also depends on Israel no longer believing that it needs a regional enemy shared in common with the United States to ensure Washington's commitment to its security. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 11/6/14

US Catholic Bishops: Consider Iran's Nuclear Weapons Fatwa

- In March of this year, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a delegation of religious and academic figures to the Iranian religious city of Qom to begin a dialogue with Shia scholars and ayatollahs. According to Bishop Richard Pates, chair of the USCCB's Committee on International Peace and Justice, the discussion in Qom focused heavily on the morality of weapons of mass destruction. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/31/14

Beltway Foreign Policy Groups to Congress: Stay Out of the Way on Iran!

- The November 24 deadline for Iran and world powers to reach an agreement on Iran's nuclear program is quickly approaching. If negotiators can reach a deal next month, it will almost certainly provide unprecedented access for inspectors to Iran's nuclear sites... -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 10/25/14

37 Organizations to Congress: Quit Playing Politics with Deal to Prevent Iran War

- The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) was one of 37 organizations to send a letter to Congress today regarding the roles of Congress and the President in sealing a nuclear deal with Iran. The letter was prompted when certain lawmakers reacted harshly to a New York Times report that, if there is a nuclear deal with Iran, the White House plans to initially use executive action to temporarily suspend certain sanctions. - 10/24/14

"Peace Horn" to sound in Tehran

- The Tehran Chamber Orchestra will perform a concert entitled "Peace Horn" at Tehran's Milad Tower on October 18. The concert aims to convey Iranians' message of peace to the world, vocalist Mohammad Motamedi, who will accompany the orchestra at the performance, said during a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. - 10/15/14

The Iran Nuclear Talks: Show Us Your Brackets

- Some optimistic comments have been made about the nuclear negotiations with Iran, to the effect that we should not pay too much attention to indications of stalemate because both sides probably are saving their biggest remaining concessions until the last minute. Maybe, but there still seems to be good reason to worry... -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest - 10/12/14

Former US diplomat working behind scenes to foster US-Iran ties

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held an off-the-record dinner last month in New York with an elite group of former US officials. Among the guests were three former US national security advisers and a former secretary of state. -Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor - 10/8/14

Six Iranian Filmmakers Launch Campaign Urging Deal Over Nuclear Crisis

- Six prominent Iranian movie directors have launched an Internet campaign saying "there is no deal that is worse than no deal" in an effort to end the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. The website for the campaign, which is in English, says international sanctions have hurt the Iranian people without harming Iran's nuclear program and urges Tehran and world powers to "address the issues, not special interests." -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 10/1/14

Iranians and Israelis find an unlikely musical detente in Germany

- Israeli-Iranian ensemble Sistanagila, which combines both cultures' music into melodic wholes, is just one of several such collaborations that have sprung up in Germany. -Rachel Stern, CSM - 9/28/14

U.S. and Iran Engage in Volleyball Diplomacy

- Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Iranian and American people have been isolated from one another due to long-standing disputes between their governments. Routine interactions, like sporting events between national clubs, and other cultural exchanges have been few and far between. However, recently thousands of fans across Southern California were able to witness a rarity: the U.S. and Iranian national volleyball teams squaring off in friendly exhibition matches as part of a goodwill exchange between the two estranged nations. -Farshad Farahat - 9/13/14

New Sanctions Threaten Iran Nuclear Deal

- On Aug. 29 the US Treasury added 28 Iranian individuals and entities to its ever-expanding sanctions list. Expectedly, Tehran denounced the decision. "They are in conflict with the spirit of talks. They are unconstructive in my opinion," said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during an Aug. 30 news conference broadcast on State TV. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog - 9/2/14

Is nonprofit "United Against Nuclear Iran" a Mossad front?

- On July 19, 2013 Greek shipping magnate Victor Restis sued the U.S. based nonprofit American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran Inc. which is more popularly known as United Against Nuclear Iran. -Grant F. Smith, IRMEP - 8/29/14

Israeli Democracy Evaporates While Gaza Burns

- The wanton destruction Israel is wreaking in Gaza right now, its blatant declarations that it will never relinquish control of most of the West Bank, and its adamant refusal to recognize that Palestinians, whether citizens or not, are entitled to the same basic human, civil and, yes, national rights as anyone else, all make outside interference imperative. -Mitchell Plitnick - 8/22/14

Policy Memo: New Senate Bills Concerning Iran Nuclear Negotiations

- In the last week of July, three separate pieces of legislation were introduced in the Senate that, if passed, would have a significant impact on nuclear negotiations with Iran. -Tyler Cullis and Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 8/21/14
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