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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

Profiting From Iranophobia?

- Eli has a new blog post on The Nation's website today that provides additional details about the curious - one is tempted to say incestuous - relationship between the staff of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and the corporate interests of billionaire gold and silver investor, Thomas Kaplan. -Jim Lobe - 8/16/14

Iran and the U.S. sign MOU to boost Volleyball standards

- Iran's Volleyball Federation President, Mohammad Reza Davarzani and his U.S counterpart signed memorandum of understanding in Los Angeles on Monday in order to expand cooperations. Iran's men national volleyball team is in California for a four-game tour against the U.S. - 8/13/14

Washington's Sketchy Pro-Israel/Anti-Iran Camp

- My colleague Eli Clifton has a new piece up at Salon about the pro-sanctions group United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) and its somewhat murky links to a billionaire precious-metals investor named Thomas Kaplan. I suggest everyone check it out -Ali Gharib - 8/13/14

UANI, Silver Futures, and Confrontation with Iran

- Along with AIPAC and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), one of the most active groups that have promoted a policy of confrontation with Iran has been United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), headed by a former Bush administration representative (under John Bolton) to the UN, Mark Wallace. -Jim Lobe - 8/12/14

Photos: Iran-USA volleyball match at USC in Los Angeles

- Olympian Matt Anderson had 23 points and the U.S. men's national team beat Iran 27-25, 25-21, 27-29, 25-17 in the opening match of the USA Volleyball Cup at USC's Galen Center on Saturday night. The series of exhibitions between the two teams are preparation for the upcoming FIVB World Championship later this month in Poland. - 8/11/14

Iran vs. USA Men's Volleyball Coming to Southern California

- In less than a week, the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team will host Iran for four matches at sites around Southern California. The matches will help both teams prepare for the 2014 FIVB Men's World Championship on Aug. 30-Sept. 21 in Poland. - 8/4/14

Congressional Backlash on Iran is a Problem for Europe, Too

- In recent weeks, hard-line members of the US Congress have stepped up their game of obstructing diplomacy with Iran. Resolving the Iranian nuclear conflict has been used as a chip in domestic politics rather than a foreign policy issue pursued through a multilateral track.-Ellie Geranmayeh - 8/1/14

As World Condemns Attack on Gaza, US Resupplies Israel with Weapons

- The Pentagon on Wednesday announced its recent approval for unlocking a massive stockpile of ammunition for use by the Israeli Defense Forces who continue to pummel the civilian population living inside the Gaza Strip where the death toll now nears 1,400 people-a majority of whom are civilians, including close to 300 children. - 8/1/14

As a Jew, This Makes Me Angry

- On Monday, I attended the National Leadership Assembly for Israel. The gathering was more than a little disquieting. Big names who addressed the audience included National Security Adviser Susan Rice, House Speaker John Boehner, Former Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and current Chairman Ed Royce, and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer. -Mitchell Plitnick - 8/1/14

Polo in Iran: Breaking barriers, building diplomacy

- When the doorbell rang at our California winter home, it was George Dill, telling me in his trademark, gruff voice, "Gery, I've got some Iranian visitors here. I want 'em to meet you." -Gery and Suzanne Warner, Common Ground - 8/1/14

Gaza: Ode to the Lost American Conscience

- Watching the US-backed Israeli bombardment of Gaza makes me ashamed to be an American. The sight of US-made bombs bursting in the air, in hospitals, in homes, and over beaches is a far cry from the sense of American exceptionalism engendered by Francis Scott Key's observations of the British shelling of Baltimore during the war of 1812. -James A. Russell - 7/31/14

Neocons Agree: Pressure Iran Forever

- One of the unintended consequences of the decision to extend the international talks on Iran's nuclear program is the growing number of neoconservative calls for even more pressure on Iran. -Derek Davison - 7/30/14

How to End the Gaza War

- As the killing and destruction rages on in Gaza, and as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Hamas leadership exchange recriminations and threats, key regional and world players must accept a central truism: No peace can be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians without including Hamas. The quicker they internalize this fact, the faster the cycle of violence can be broken. -Emile Nakhleh - 7/30/14

"All is lost" -- Unless the US and EU Start Thinking Straighter

- On the face of it, July has not been a bad month for those of us who would like to see the West's nuclear quarrel with Iran resolved peacefully, not least so that the US, EU and Iran can feel less inhibited about regional security cooperation, and so that trade and investment can resume, sanctions having created hardship not just for ordinary Iranians but also for many EU companies. -Peter Jenkins - 7/29/14

In death, soccer fan-turned soldier embodies Israeli-Palestinian gap

- In death, Staff Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli, a 21-year old soccer fan, embodies the deep fears, distrust and dehumanization of the other that has exploded into massive bloodshed in Gaza, threatens to spark another uprising on the West Bank and makes achievement of even a temporary Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire an almost impossible task. - James M. Dorsey - 7/28/14

Why the Hawks Are Winning the Iran Debate

- Last week, my colleague Ali Gharib and I published an article in The Nation in which we explored the influence of hawkish groups in shaping congressional legislation on Iran sanctions. One of the explanations we offered was the overwhelmingly large budgets enjoyed by hard line, pro-sanctions organizations such as the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). -Eli Clifton - 7/26/14

Photos: Iranian Mothers For Peace group protests attacks on Gaza

- Iran's Mothers for Peace gathered in protest in front of the United Nations offices in Tehran to condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Iran's Mothers for Peace expressed affinity with the Palestinian mothers who have lost family members in the Israeli attacks. - 7/24/14

Fuzzy Math From Iran Hawks

- Being a Washington analyst means never having to say you're sorry. And so it has been throughout the diplomatic process with Iran, where naysayers who stridently opposed talks have found themselves dealing with the reality of negotiations over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program by not dealing at all with their past records on the matter. -Ali Gharib - 7/24/14

Meet the Billionaire Funders of the Anti-Diplomacy Lobby

- My colleague Ali Gharib and I just published an article in The Nation in which we explore how hawkish, deep-pocketed organizations hold disproportionate influence in shaping the discussion about Iran-policy on Capitol Hill. -Eli Clifton - 7/24/14

Fear of an Iranian Bomb Grips Capitol Hill

- With the rumored extension of the negotiations in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program hanging in the air, a group of legislators and right-wing thinkers gathered on Capitol Hill on Friday to talk about what they believe a comprehensive deal with Iran should entail. -Derek Davison - 7/20/14

Iranian Human Rights Defenders Voice Support for Nuclear Talks

- The talks in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program will likely continue past the July 20 deadline for reaching a final deal. President Barack Obama noted "real progress" but hinted at an extension yesterday after being briefed by Secretary of State John Kerry, who held several meetings with the Iranians this week. -Jasmin Ramsey - 7/18/14

Strong US Majority Prefers Iran Deal says "Citizen Cabinet" Survey

- Sixty-one percent of the American public prefers a deal permitting Iran to continue limited uranium enrichment and imposing intrusive inspections on its nuclear facilities in exchange for some sanctions relief, according to a unique new survey released here Tuesday. -Jim Lobe - 7/16/14

New Study Shows Leading Iranian Figures Support Nuclear Negotiations

- In a study released by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today,Voices from Iran: Strong Support for the Nuclear Negotiations, prominent members of Iranian civil society expressed their strong support for the P5+1 nuclear negotiations between Iran and the world powers. - 7/16/14

Column: Religion, Sports Exchanges Bring Iranians and Americans Closer

- While U.S. and Iranian negotiators labor to reach a long-term nuclear agreement, other Americans and Iranians are stepping up contacts in a new wave of people-to-people diplomacy. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 7/14/14

The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted & Speaking Truth to Power

- As part of my original posting, I mirrored a map of modern Palestinian history that has the virtue of showing graphically what has happened to the Palestinians politically and territorially in the past century. -Juan Cole - 7/13/14

Spoiler Alert: Iran Hawks Take Wing Against Nuclear Deal

- After a period of relative (and blissful) quiescence, the Iran hawks are springing back into action, preparing the groundwork for sabotaging any nuclear deal that may be reached by Iran and world powers by July 20 or shortly thereafter. -Jim Lobe - 7/12/14

The Hopes and Fears of an Agreement with Iran

- Over the last century, July 20 was more than once a consequential date, for good and ill. The ill was in 1944: the unsuccessful plot to kill Adolph Hitler. The good was in 1969: the first manned landing on the moon. Success on the former July 20 might have spared at least some of the terrible suffering that continued for another 10 months; the latter ushered in a new era of expectations. -Robert E. Hunter - 7/12/14

US Backing Israeli War of Choice In Gaza

- The moral high ground is always a tenuous piece of property. It is difficult to obtain and is easily lost. It is seen, however, as crucial because most people, all over the world, cannot accommodate the notion that life is composed of shades of grey; they desperately need to see black and white, good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains, in every situation. Nowhere is this truer than in the Israel-Palestine conflict. -Mitchell Plitnick - 7/12/14

How a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal could help save Iraq

- A new strategic relationship between the United States and Iran may seem impossible and risky, yet it is also necessary and in the interests of both. While an alliance is out of the question, mutually informed parallel action is essential. -Ryan Crocker, William Luers and Thomas Pickering, Washington Post - 7/12/14

Israel's Groundhog Day: Reverse Snowballs and the Horror of Lawn-Mowing

- As in the Bill Murray science fiction vehicle "Groundhog Day," the Israelis, the Palestinians and the world are doomed to relive these periodic slaughters over and over again, until slowly, inexorably, they further corrupt the Israeli soul and make the Zionist enterprise so unlovely in the eyes of the world that it loses crucial support, and the snowball rolls uphill, getting smaller and smaller. -Juan Cole - 7/12/14

Linking the US and Iran

- Should the (Iran nuclear) talks fail to reach agreement, what happens next? More sanctions, more enrichment, and more talk of military action are the most likely outcomes. What has been missing from the debate, and what could save the long-term relationship between Iran and the West, is more talk of enhancing "linkage" with Iran. -David Collier - 7/11/14

NIAC Statement on Royce-Engel Iran Letter

- National Iranian American Council (NIAC) Policy Director Jamal Abdi released the following statement regarding the "Royce-Engel letter" that was sent to the President today concerning nuclear negotiations with Iran: - 7/11/14

Iran and the Six Powers Must Make a Good Deal, But Can They?

- Verifiably trusting Iran may be the best option. After all, if a country the size and geography of Iran intended to clandestinely build a bomb, no amount of inspection and verification will ever be able to detect or stop it. Even if Iran had the intention to build bombs it could be better diverted by other means than sanctions and inspections - like regional security cooperation, trade and foreign investment, and political reform in Iran, all of which will build trust and confidence. -Hooshang Amirahmadi - 7/4/14

Iran volleyball team to play U.S. in Los Angeles

- Head of Iran Volleyball Federation Mohammad Reza Davarzani said that the Iranian team will play four friendlies against the U.S. in Los Angeles in preparation for the 2014 Volleyball World Championship. - 7/2/14

"Bad Deal" Better Than "No Deal"?

- "No deal is better than bad deal:" that's the mantra that has been heard ad nauseam in the recent past and presented as self-evident of U.S. toughness in the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. -Francois Nicoulaud - 7/2/14

Sport, in the name of Iranian-US diplomacy

- Creative solutions are necessary to sustain more peaceful relations between Iran and America. Your Middle East's contributor Sam Khanlari offers you some real insight into what role sport can play. -Sam Khanlari, -Your Middle East - 7/1/14

Iran extends welcome to US religious groups

- Iran is reopening the gates to delegations from the US religious community as part of a broader outreach meant to smooth the way for a nuclear agreement and improve relations with the United States. -Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor - 6/30/14

U.S.: What Is the Greatest Threat of Them All?

- This month's stunning campaign by Sunni insurgents led by the radical Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) against the mainly Shi'a government of Iraqi President Nouri Al-Maliki is stoking a growing debate here about the hierarchy of threats facing the United States in the Middle East and beyond. -Jim Lobe - 6/29/14

Reaching a Compromise on Iran's Enrichment Program

- Right now the buzz around Iran is related to Iraq, but the July 20 deadline to reach a final nuclear deal set by last year's interim accord is fast approaching, and as of July 2 representatives from Tehran and the P5+1 will be in Geneva for a marathon round of talks. -Derek Davison - 6/27/14

Advancing U.S. Interests Through Cooperation With Iran

- Alarm about the advance in Iraq by the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has led even as inveterate a hawk as Lindsey Graham to see some advantage in cooperating with Iran. The United States and Iran may indeed seem like the ultimate in strange bedfellows, but that is only because of rigid thinking that divides the world into allies and adversaries and rejects having anything to do with the adversaries. -Paul Pillar - 6/25/14

Sign this petition to reject Sunni-Shia violence

- Sectarian violance between Shia and Sunni muslims is escalating. The violance is intensifying and it is spreading to more regions of the world every year. Unfortunately millions of tolerant Shia and Sunni muslims are silent and do not realize how dangerous this situation is. -Nader Habibi - 6/23/14

Pro-Diplomacy Groups Call for Congress to Clarify Iran Sanctions Letter

- Washington, DC - Twenty-six organizations called on the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee today to clarify a pending Congressional sign-on letter to the President concerning nuclear negotiations with Iran. - 6/20/14

Panel Sees Opportunities for U.S.-Iran Cooperation Post-Nuclear Deal

- "Up until now, the two sides in nuclear negotiations have agreed to focus narrowly on the nuclear issue for an understandable fear that broadening agenda too much, too fast will reduce chance of getting a deal," said Dr. Paul Pillar, a former CIA and National Intelligence Council officer, speaking at a briefing hosted by National Iranian American council for Congressional staff. - 6/20/14

2014 Global Peace Index released

- Terrorist activity, the number of conflicts fought, and the number of refugees and displaced persons were the key contributors to the continuing deterioration in global peacefulness last year. This confirms a seven year gradual, but significant downward slide, which overturns a 60-year trend of increasing global peacefulness dating back to the end of the Second World War. - 6/20/14

World Cup: Bay Area's Beitashour wearing jersey of Iran

- San Jose native Steven Beitashour wasn't about to let international politics squash his World Cup dream. Instead of donning the colors of his country this month in Brazil, Beitashour is wearing the white and red of Iran. -Elliott Almond, San Jose Mercury - 6/14/14

Iran Nuclear Talks: The Choice is About War and Peace

- Iran Review.Org conducted an exclusive interview with Shahir Shahidsaless, an Iranian-Canadian political analyst and freelance journalist, about the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group in Vienna, the prospects for the resolution of the nuclear standoff, existing problems between Iran and the United States and the main steps that Iranian and American officials can take to dispel the current atmosphere of mistrust. -Firouzeh Mirrazavi - 6/10/14

How Not to Make Comparisons Between Iran and China

- The folks at FDD do not want any agreements with Iran, they want Iran to continue to be ostracized, and they are trying to torpedo the nuclear negotiations. The China opening is today widely and rightly seen as a significant and positive achievement by Nixon. So FDD endeavors to beat back any tendency to think of agreements or rapprochement with Iran in the same light as the China opening. -Paul Pillar, National Interest - 6/9/14

'We Have Something In Common' -- Obama's Spiritual Adviser On Iran Trip

- Joel Hunter, a spiritual adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, recently spent about a week discussing religious tolerance with officials in Iran, a country often singled out by rights groups for its intolerance toward its religious minorities. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/7/14

Column: Senate Should Not Pass New Iran Sanctions Now

- WASHINGTON - As a July 20 deadline for a long-term nuclear deal with Iran approaches, there are rumblings again in the US Senate about trying to pass legislation that would threaten Iran with more sanctions. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 6/6/14

WORLD PREMIERE of 'We Are Many' at Sheffield Doc/Fest

- On February 15 2003, millions and millions of people, in over 800 cities across all seven continents, marched against the impending invasion of Iraq. It was the largest mobilization of people in human history and yet it remains an untold, little-known story. -Produced and Directed by AMIR AMIRANI - 6/6/14

Toward Better US-Iran Relations

- The challenge of rebuilding the once strong but now broken ties between the United States and Iran was the topic of a June 3 Atlantic Council event, "US-Iran Relations: Past, Present, and Future." The discussion, moderated by Barbara Slavin, included John Marks, founder of the international NGO Search for Common Ground, and former Iranian diplomat, Seyed Hossein Mousavian. -Derek Davison - 6/4/14

Iranian musicians in Brazil for cultural 'adventurism'

- A group of Iranian composers and musicians will travel to Brazil to participate in a program intended to promote global peace through the World Cup. "The soccer-musical project will be part of a documentary film focused on peace and cultural activities to establish a dialogue between us and composers from countries in Group F" - 6/3/14

WSJ Editorial Board Toes MEK Line on Iran's Nuclear Program

- The Wall Street Journal's opinion pages have long served as a welcoming home to pundits toeing a hawkish line on Iran, Iraq and a laundry list of foreign policy challenges facing the United States. Tuesday, the Journal's editorial board exclusively published details of a report provided by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranian opposition group that until less than two years ago was designated a terrorist group in the United States and Canada. -Eli Clifton, Nation - 5/31/14

Congress and Attempts to Kill the Iran Deal

- Those who want permanent pariahdom for Iran and thus oppose any agreement with the government in Tehran keep looking for ways to use the U.S. Congress to sabotage the deal that has been under negotiation in Vienna and would restrict Iran's nuclear program. -Paul R. Pillar, National Interest - 5/31/14

US religious leaders meet with major Iranian cleric in Qom

- The US delegation who met with Ayatollah Javadi Amoli included Dr. Joel Hunter, Dr. Barbara Skinner, Head of National Network of US-African Priests, Dr. James August Kovalevsky, Professor Anthony Destro, from Faculty of Washington Catholic University, and Dr. Alex Roy Medley, Head of National Council of US Churches. - 5/30/14

The Iranian Drones That Save Lives

- Your neighborhood quadcopter probably doesn't have the ability to launch Hellfire missiles, but just saying the word "drone" conjures up images of flying, buzzing death. But what about drones' potential for saving lives? - 5/26/14

Iran students gear up solar car for US challenge

- Clouds may still linger over relations between Washington and Tehran, but that's not stopping a group of Iranian students and their teachers from gearing up for a summer road trip through the American heartland. -Nasser Karimi, AP - 5/26/14

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urges full demolition of WMDs

- Addressing the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday, the Iranian president said that the "only way to remove the threat of these weapons is their full demolition." - 5/21/14

Iranian women theological students pay first visit to the US

- As the United States and Iran sat down in Vienna to begin drafting a long-term nuclear agreement, an exchange of another kind was playing out in and around a pastoral university a couple of hours from Washington. -Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor - 5/18/14

How to strike a win-win deal with Iran

- The United States and its allies are now preparing for the home stretch in their nuclear negotiations with Iran. And, as they approach the finish line, it will be critical for insightful voices to help the Obama administration parse through difficult issues that remain on the negotiating table.-Reza Marashi and Trita Parsi, CNN - 5/13/14

The MEK's Influence in EU Politics Matters

- The good news is that MEK lobbying efforts against diplomacy with Iran are unlikely to succeed. Even with the extravagant funds the MEK has spent on endorsements by political elites, the group's prominence in the EU is confined only to one part of the EP...It would be a mistake, however, to completely disregard the capacity of the MEK to poison the present atmosphere of European-Iranian relations. -Eldar Mamedov - 5/7/14

Confrontation with the world is not path to success: Iran's President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said confrontation with the world will not bring the country success and thus his government has adopted a constructive approach toward the world. Responding to certain criticism of his government's policies, which are based on "constructive interaction" with the world, Rouhani said, "Yes, we want to talk to the world; we want to speak with logic and resolve our issues." - 5/5/14
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