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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

Anti-Riot Forces Violently Attack Peacefully Protesting Tehran Bus Union Members

- Members of one of Iran's oldest unions who were peacefully demanding their past due housing allowances and other benefits in front of the Tehran Municipality building were violently attacked by anti-riot police on December 4, 2016. - 12/7/16

Iran safest investment market for Japan in Mideast: Iranian FM

- Visiting Japan, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif bills Iran as the "safest" destination for foreign investment in the troubled Middle East, calling on the Japanese businesses to seize the opportunity and promote their role the Iranian market. He made the remarks at a major economic gathering bringing together the Iranian and Japanese business personalities at Hotel Okura in Tokyo on Wednesday under the auspices of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). - 12/7/16

In Iran, Women's Basij Leader Demands Persecution Of Gender-Rights Activism

- Minou Aslani, head of the Women's Basij organization in Iran, has condemned efforts to increase the number of women in parliament and opposed campaigns to curb domestic violence as perceived assaults on Iranian society and traditional family values. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 12/7/16

Iran Offers Incentives For Foreign Investment

- Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia said Iran welcomes foreign investment and offers investors with a variety of incentives, IRNA reported. Speaking at the 20th general meeting and conference of Asia-Pacific Central Securities Depository Group (ACG20) in Tehran on Tuesday, the minister explained some of incentives which foreign investors can benefit from in the country. - 12/7/16

IAEA report confirms Iran's shipping of excess heavy water

- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran's shipping of 11 tons of heavy water out of the country as part of its commitments to last year's nuclear agreement. According to a diplomat citing a confidential IAEA report, the transfer brings Iran's stock of heavy water to below 130 metric tons which is in accordance with the nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries. - 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

Why Iran is finding it hard to create jobs

- The country's economy is finally taking off: boosted by sanctions relief, GDP is set to grow about 4.5% this year, up from 0.4% in 2015. Yet few ordinary Iranians have felt the benefits. Unemployment actually went up in the first half of this year, from 10.7% to 12.2%. Underemployment is also rife, at about 9.5%. Why is Iran's rebound failing to create jobs? -Economist - 12/7/16

Prominent Iranian Lawyer, Writers Arrested With "Overwhelming Force" at Chain Murders Commemoration

- Police and plainclothes security agents arrested a prominent human rights lawyer and several members of the Writers Association of Iran at a commemoration event for victims of the "chain murders" of dissidents in the 1990s by agents of the Iranian government. - 12/6/16

Iranian President Threatens US Over Sanctions Extension

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is threatening the United States with a "harsh reaction", after Congress voted last week to renew sanctions against the country for an additional 10 years. Rouhani said if U.S. President Barack Obama implements the sanctions it would mark a "blatant and clear breach" of the nuclear agreement reached last year. - 12/6/16

Iran seizes 'unauthorized' film package heading to Berlin Film Festival

- Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dowlatabadi announced on Sunday that Iranian police have seized a package of 'unauthorized' Iranian films from the consultant of the Berlin Film Festival - Berlinale at a Tehran airport. "A woman named Anke Leweke [the Iran consultant for the Berlin Film Festival] has recently arrived in the country, visiting with some of the 2009 post-election sedition convicts," Jafari-Dowlatabadi said in a meeting. - 12/6/16

Report: Iran Jails 12 Working In Fashion Industry

- An Iranian court has sentenced 12 people working in the fashion industry to jail for posting images on the Internet, according to a report in local media. The eight men and four women were given sentences ranging from five months to six years in jail by a court in the southern city of Shiraz on December 5, the semiofficial ILNA news agency reported. - 12/6/16

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

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

Iran's President Rouhani submits $486 billion budget bill to Parliament

- President Hassan Rouhani presented the administration's draft of the national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year 1396, which starts on March 21, 2017, to the Majlis. The proposed national budget amounted to about 10.849 quadrillion rials (about $486 billion), an 11 percent rise year on year. - 12/5/16

Rights Activist Files Complaint Against Iran's Revolutionary Guard Agents for Excessive Force

- The young human rights activist Atena Daemi has filed a formal complaint against agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for using excessive force when transferring her to Evin Prison to begin her sentence, she said in a letter written to a source who wished to remain anonymous due to security concerns. - 12/5/16

Iran fashion workers jailed for 'spreading prostitution'

- Twelve people involved in the fashion industry in Iran are reported to have been jailed for "spreading prostitution" via images posted online. The eight women and four men were handed sentences of between five months and six years by a court in Shiraz, a lawyer told the Ilna news agency. - 12/5/16

Iran President Demands Obama Not Sign Extension Of U.S. Sanctions

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has urged U.S. President Barack Obama not to sign a 10-year extension of U.S. sanctions approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate. In a speech to Iran's parliament on December 4, Rohani said the bill violates a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. - 12/4/16

Amnesty Calls On Iran To Release Four Arrested At Commemoration For Murdered Writers

- Amnesty International has called on Iran to release "immediately and unconditionally" four individuals arrested on December 2 at a gathering marking the 18th anniversary of the killings of two prominent intellectuals. - 12/4/16

Iranian Official Arrested for Supporting Release of Imprisoned Human Rights Activist

- Alireza Rahmani, the director of public relations for the governor's office in Qazvin, 89 miles (143 kms) northwest of Tehran, was arrested on November 29 for inviting friends online to support the release of imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi. - 12/4/16

Iran Officials Upset Over Extension of US Sanctions

- Iran's top diplomat has strongly condemned a bill that passed the U.S. Congress earlier this week to extend sanctions against the country. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Iranian state broadcaster IRIB the extension of the sanctions "shows the unreliability of the American government" to the rest of the world. "America is acting against its commitment," he said. - 12/3/16

Iran's Supreme Court Upholds Billionaire's Death Sentence

- Iran's highest court has upheld a court decision imposing the death penalty on billionaire businessman Babak Zanjani, who was convicted of massive embezzlement and sentenced in March. Zanjani, one of Iran's richest people, was arrested in 2013 and accused of stealing more than $2 billion from the government through crooked oil sales he made during the administration of former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. - 12/3/16

Iran Says Extension Of Sanctions Act By U.S. Congress Violates Nuclear Deal

- Iran says the extension of sanctions legislation by the U.S. Congress is "a violation" of the nuclear deal (JCPOA) reached between Tehran and world powers last year. "We will report it to Iran's committee assigned for monitoring the implementation of the deal," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on December 2. - 12/3/16

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

Iran Considers Renewal of US Sanctions a Violation of Nuclear Deal

- Iran is threatening to retaliate after the U.S. Senate gave Congress' final approval to an extension of the American sanctions against Iran that lawmakers of both parties said is crucial to enforcing the international nuclear accord with Tehran. -Michael Bowman - 12/2/16

Family Breaks Silence Over Iranian-American and Wife Held for Three Months Without Charge or Counsel

- December 2, 2016-Karan Vafadari, an Iranian-American national belonging to the Zoroastrian faith, and his wife Afarin Niasari, have been in detention in Tehran's Evin Prison without public charge or access to counsel since their arrest by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Intelligence Organization agents three months ago, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. - 12/2/16

German-Iranian Assistant for Berlin Film Festival Barred from Leaving Iran

- Nooshafarin Dastoori, the dual national translator for a prestigious film festival, was prevented from boarding a flight to Germany at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport and her passport confiscated as she was leaving the country together with her colleague on November 27. - 12/2/16

Iran vows 'appropriate' response to US sanctions

- Iran says the US Congress' vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another decade violates last year's nuclear accord, adding Tehran will take "appropriate measures" against the decision. The extension passed the Senate on Thursday, after easily clearing the House of Representatives last month, with a White House official saying President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure. - 12/2/16

Defiance Thrusts Iranian Lawmaker Into Spotlight

- Until recently, Mahmud Sadeghi was an obscure legal expert whose most conspicuous professional accomplishment was a two-year advisory stint with Iran's Education Ministry. That changed with the 54-year-old's election to parliament in Iran's tightly controlled elections in February, as one of 133 relative moderates allied with reformist President Hassan Rohani to have won seats in the 290-seat legislature, known as the Majlis. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 12/1/16

Imprisoned Human Rights Activist to Sue IRGC Agents for Violent and Illegal Arrest

- Human rights activist Atena Daemi, 29, was taken into custody from her home in Tehran by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) Intelligence Organization on November 26 and transferred to Evin Prison to begin a seven-year prison sentence. "After being taken to Evin Prison's Women's Ward, Atena contacted her family by phone and told them she will sue the IRGC agents who used violent and illegal means to arrest her before being formally summoned to prison" - 12/1/16

Iranian Judiciary and Parliament Clash Over MP's Questions on Judiciary Chief's Banking Activities

- After avoiding a summons for days, Member of Parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi appeared in the Culture and Media Court in Tehran on November 29 to respond to questions from assistant prosecutors about several complaints against him, after he publicly questioned the Judiciary Chief about state funds deposited into his bank accounts. - 11/30/16

Iranian Women's Rights Activist Arrested After Attending Workshop in Georgia

- Photographer and women's right activist Alieh Matlabzadeh has been undergoing interrogation in Evin Prison since November 26 when Intelligence Ministry agents took her into custody without charge, her husband, Sadra Abdollahi, said in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Twenty Others Who Attended Women's Empowerment Workshop Also Questioned. - 11/30/16

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

Prosecutor Tells Iran Lawmaker To Turn Himself In After Flubbed Arrest

- Security officers reportedly arrived to arrest Mahmud Sadeghi at his home in Tehran on November 27. Sadeghi is said to have defied the officers while colleagues and activists came to his defense and gathered outside his home. The chief prosecutor in Tehran says an arrest warrant against a reformist lawmaker who publicly questioned the financial dealings of Iran's chief justice remains legal and valid. - 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

Iran: Shocking Montazeri Sentence Reveals a Prosecution Lacking Legal or Moral Legitimacy

- The six-year prison sentence handed down to Ahmad Montazeri for publishing an audio tape on the mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s, by a clerical court whose Lead Prosecutor is one of the officials implicated in the tape, reflects a profound conflict of interest and arbitrary ruling that renders the verdict completely illegitimate. - 11/29/16

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

Ayatollah Montazeri's son receives a 21 year sentence for disclosing audio tape about mass execution of Iranian political prisoners in 1988

- Ahmad Montazeri the son of a high-ranking political and religious cleric has received a 21 year prison sentence for publishing an audio file belonging to his father that proves state involvement in the execution of 4000 political prisoners in Iran in the year 1988. In the text of the judgment Ahmad Montazeri's sentence has been reduced from 21 years to 6 years in prison because his brother is a martyr. - 11/28/16

Iran ready to respond to US if sanctions renewed: Nuclear Official

- Iran is ready to respond if the US violates the landmark nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and the group of six countries known as the P5+1 by renewing sanctions against the Islamic Republic, says the top Iranian nuclear official. - 11/28/16

Iran: IRGC Chief Touts Economic Agenda

- Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Mohammad Ali Jafari on Saturday defended IRGC's economic activities, saying that the military's economic muscle is intrinsic to its commitment to the Islamic revolution and promotion of its goals. - 11/28/16

Iran State Railway Chief Resigns, 3 Arrested After Train Crash Kills 44

- Three railway staff have been detained after a deadly train collision took place in Iran's north-central province of Semnan on Friday. The accident happened when a passenger train in motion crashed to another one that had stopped at the station. 45 died and over 100 got wounded. - 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

President Trump and the Art of the Iran Nuclear Deal

- Much remains uncertain about the foreign policy direction President-Elect Donald J. Trump will take, but his rhetoric on the campaign trail, as well as the Iran-regime-change stance of some of his first appointees, raise concerns for the viability of the nuclear accord with Iran. -International Crisis Group - 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

Missing Spiritual Leader's Supporters Beaten by Plainclothes Intelligence Agents at Iran's Parliament

- Approximately 50 followers of imprisoned spiritual leader Mohammad Ali Taheri-who has been missing for more than a month-were beaten by plainclothes members of Iran's intelligence forces and then arrested by the police in front of Parliament on November 21, 2016, according to eyewitnesses. - 11/26/16

Iran to respond if US renews bans: Supreme Leader

- Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that Iran would respond if the US proceeded to renew the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) which expires at the end of 2016. The US House of Representatives voted for a 10-year extension of the ISA earlier this month but to become law, the bill has to be endorsed by the Senate as well and signed by the US president. - 11/25/16

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

Iran says imports of cars from US 'authorized'

- Iran says imports of cars from the United States are authorized as long as they are produced by non-American brands. Farhad Ehteshamzadeh, the president of Automobile Importers Union of Iran, was quoted by the domestic media as saying that he had made an inquiry to the same effect from the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade. - 11/25/16

Iranian parliament takes step to reduce drug-related executions

- Iranian lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of a motion under which minor drug offenders would face imprisonment instead of execution. If the motion is ratified, the drug offenders who are not charged with capital crimes would face between 25 to 30 years imprisonment as a substitute for execution and life imprisonment. - 11/25/16

Why Iran's private sector hasn't benefited from privatization

- Privatization in Iran only effectively started in 2001. Five years later, in 2006, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backed a constitutional amendment -- the Law on Implementation of General Policies of Article 44 of the Constitution -- to ease the sale of state-owned enterprises in an attempt to downsize government and help expand the private sector. -Navid Kalhor, Al Monitor - 11/25/16

U.S. Issues License For Sale Of More Than 100 Commercial Planes To Iran

- The United States has issued a second license to France's Airbus to sell more than 100 commercial planes to Iran. Airbus in September received a license to sell 17 planes to Tehran. Officials said that the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control on November 21 gave the French manufacturer permission to sell 106 more planes to Iran Air. - 11/23/16

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

Iranian MP Compares Prosecutor's Abrupt Cancellation of His Speech to ISIS Tactics

- Following the abrupt cancellation of his speech by a prosecutor, the Iranian Parliament's Deputy Speaker Ali Motahhari has written to the president calling for an investigation into the incident, while comparing it to the tactics used by the Arab terrorist group the Islamic State, which Iranians refer to as Daesh. - 11/23/16

Iran stops sending artworks to German, Italian shows

- Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi-Amiri has said that Iran's plan to loan a collection of Western artworks from the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) has been halted. Earlier in September, the plan to loan the collection to Germany and Italy faced opposition from Iranian art experts and gallery owners. - 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

Iranian-U.S. Dual Citizen Convicted Of Attempted Weapons Smuggling

- U.S. prosecutors say a federal jury has found an Iranian man with U.S. citizenship guilty of trying to buy surface-to-air missiles to smuggle into Iran. The Justice Department said the Manhattan jury convicted Reza Olangian on four counts, including conspiring to acquire and transfer antiaircraft missiles. - 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

Iran, EU resolved to strengthen JCPOA: President Rouhani

- Iran and the European Union (EU) are resolved to "strengthen" a nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and world powers, says the Iranian president. "With all their might, Iran and the European Union are seeking to strengthen this important multilateral agreement and to use the post-JCPOA opportunities," President Hassan Rouhani made at a joint press conference with his visiting Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor on Tuesday November 22, 2016. - 11/22/16

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Must Stop Using Dual-Nationals as Hostages

- Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei should put an immediate end to the practice of the Revolutionary Guard's Intelligence Organization, which operates under his direct authority, of arresting dual nationals and using them as hostages to collect ransom money and demonstrate political muscle, the International Campaign for Human Rights said today. - 11/22/16

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

Activist Who Lost Parents in "Chain Murders" of Iranian Dissidents Summoned to Court

- Prominent rights activist Parastou Forouhar, whose parents were slain by agents of the Iranian government during a series of murders of dissidents beginning in the late 1980s, has been summoned without a given reason to appear in court at Evin Prison on November 22, 2016. - 11/22/16

Iran transfers 11 tonnes of heavy water to Oman: AEOI Chief

- The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country has transferred 11 tonnes of heavy water to Oman as part of its obligations under last year's nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries. - 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

Stairway to Heaven: Iranian Artist's Mural Turns Heads

- Seen by thousands of eyes a day at one of Boston's busiest intersections, the giant outdoor mural by Iranian artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo is a stunning expression of optimism he hopes can lead to better understanding between his homeland and the United States. -AP - 11/21/16

Report: Iran Transfers Excess Heavy Water To Oman

- An Iranian nuclear official says the country has transferred stocks of so-called heavy water to Oman. A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency last week showed that Iran's stocks of heavy water -- a key component in nuclear reactors -- had reached above the 130-ton level set out in the nuclear deal signed by Tehran and world powers. - 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

In Iran, treatment of transgender people is a double-edged sword

- Iran -- an Islamic theocracy that criminalizes consensual same-sex relations, forces women to adhere to a strict and modest dress code in public, and has zero-tolerance for dissidents' freedom of expression -- presents a surprisingly lenient attitude on trans issues. -Kevin Schumacher - 11/21/16
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