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May 01 2016
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President Rohani's Allies Score Resounding Win In Second-Round Elections

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has welcomed the success of the moderate-reformist bloc in the second round of parliamentary elections. Reformist and moderate politicians allied with Rohani won 42 percent of the total seats, short of an absolute majority. But their conservative rivals were outnumbered for the first time since 2004. - 5/1/16

Number of female MPs in Iran Parliament reaches record high

- With the victory of four more women in the second round of parliamentary elections, the number of women in the 10th Iranian parliament reached 17, which is a record high for the Islamic Republic. - 5/1/16

South Korea President Arrives In Tehran For Historic Visit

- Park Geun-hye has arrived in the Iranian capital Tehran for a historic visit to strengthen political and economic relations between the two countries. Park landed in Mehrabad Airport on Sunday for a three-day official visit together with representatives from some 236 South Korean companies and organizations. She was welcomed by Iran's Industry, Mines and Trade Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh. - 5/1/16

Iranian workers cry out against job insecurity

- The head of Iran's Workers' House opened Workers' Day events by speaking of the lack of job security for hundreds of thousands of Iranian workers. Iranian workers marked International Workers' Day one day early, on April 30, with thousands of workers joining the march, Iranian media report. - 5/1/16

UN Ready To Help On Iran Assets Dispute With U.S. If Both Sides Ask

- The UN says that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is ready to help settle a dispute between Iran and the United States over Tehran's frozen assets if both sides ask for his assistance. - 5/1/16

Self-immolating Iranian migrant dies in Australian hospital

- The 23-year-old Iranian migrant named Omid who set himself on fire in Nauru's camp for asylum seekers trying to get into Australia has reportedly died. He reportedly lived in the camp with his wife and was airlifted to Australia to get treatment for his burns. His wife alleges that officials delayed his transfer to hospital. - 5/1/16

Could Runoffs Tilt Iran's Balance Of Power?

- Iran's fractious political camps clash on April 29 in runoff votes to finalize the makeup of parliament two months after a split result dealt a blow to hard-liners but failed to produce a majority. There are reasons to watch the voting again this time around, even if the contests make less of an international splash than when reformists and moderates came back in from the political cold in late February. -Frud Bezhan, RFE/RL - 4/29/16

Four Iranian Rights Activists Summoned to Appear Together at Appeals Court

- Rights activists Omid Alishenas, Atena Daemi, Ali Nouri and Aso Rostami have been summoned to appear together at an Appeals Court in Tehran on July 5, 2016 to appeal the prison sentences they received from a preliminary court. - 4/29/16

German firms cite troubles in Iran deals

- German industries on Thursday refreshed complaints that obstacles are still hampering a smooth business with Iran even though the international sanctions that had kept them away from the Iranian market were effectively lifted in January. - 4/29/16

U.S. Arrest Awakens Ghosts Of Turkey's Iran-Gold Scandal

- Reports of shoe boxes stuffed with $4.5 million in cash hidden in the home of a Turkish state bank head, plus a money-counting machine in the bedroom of a government minister's son. And allegations that state funds are being used illegally to buy and funnel gold to Iran to help it evade international sanctions over its nuclear program. Welcome back to 2013, when Turkey was rocked by a corruption scandal that implicated some of the closest associates of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Charles Recknagel, RFE/RL - 4/29/16

Iran Asks UN Chief To Intervene To Prevent U.S. Diversion Of Funds

- Iran has asked the United Nations to intervene to prevent the United States from diverting $2 billion in frozen funds to victims of terrorism under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on April 28, asking him to convince the United States to stop what he said would be a violation of state immunity. - 4/29/16

Public Outcry in Iran Over Plan for Increased Morality Police Prompts Review

- Deploying 7,000 undercover morality police in Tehran contradicts the principle of the presumption of innocence, Iranian lawyer Ali Rambod told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. "We should move towards interpreting laws on the basis of innocent until proven guilty," he said. "It appears this principle has been overlooked in regards to the undercover police force." - 4/28/16

Human Rights Groups Condemn Journalists' Prison Sentences in Iran

- U.S. human rights groups are condemning the sentences imposed by an Iranian court on four journalists who were arrested late last year. The four were accused of "paving the way for U.S. infiltration of the country."The Iranian judiciary has handed down sentences of five to 10 years in prison to the journalists who were arrested last November in the period leading up to parliamentary elections. - 4/28/16

Minister intervenes in plot to block winning Isfahan candidate

- Iran's interior minister has written to the head of the country's three branches of government to say the Guardian Council's cancellation of the votes obtained by parliamentary candidate Minoo Khaleghi's is "an error" that needs to be examined by Parliament. - 4/28/16

Hadi Heidari, creator of controversial "Blindfold" cartoon, finishes serving sentence

- In September of 2013, several Iranian MPs maintained that the cartoon was intentionally released during the week of Holy Defence, which is the term used in Iran to refer to the eight-year Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. They maintained that the blindfolds reflect the black headband worn by Iranian soldiers and that the cartoon suggests the soldiers went to war blindly. - 4/28/16

Iran, Russia draft military cooperation roadmap

- Iran and Russia have developed "specific plans" for bolstering the two countries' military and technical cooperation, says Iran's defense minister. Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan made the announcement following a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held on the sidelines of the 5th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in the Russian capital on Wednesday. - 4/28/16

U.S. Senate Democrats Block Bid To Kill Heavy Water Deals With Iran

- U.S. Senate Democrats blocked an attempt by Republicans on April 27 to prevent future purchases of Iranian "heavy water" by the U.S. Energy Department. Republicans offered an amendment to a department spending bill to bar future purchases after an $8.6 million deal to buy 32 metric tons of heavy water from Iran was announced on April 22 to help Tehran carry out its obligations under a nuclear deal with world powers. - 4/28/16

Gold Trader Pleads Not Guilty To Helping Iran Evade U.S. Sanctions

- A Turkish gold trader pleaded not guilty to charges that he conspired to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars in financial transactions to help the Iranian government evade U.S. sanctions. Reza Zarrab, a dual citizen of Turkey and his native Iran, entered the plea at a hearing before Judge Richard Berman in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. He was arrested last month in Miami. - 4/28/16

Has The American Age of Decline Begun?

- "Low-energy Jeb." "Little Marco." "Lyin' Ted." "Crooked Hillary." Give Donald Trump credit. He has a memorable way with insults. His have a way of etching themselves on the brain. And they've garnered media coverage, analysis, and commentary almost beyond imagining. Memorable as they might be, however, they won't be what last of Trump's 2016 election run. -Tom Engelhardt, LobeLog - 4/28/16

Four Iranian Journalists Jailed For 'Acting Against National Security'

- Four Iranian journalists have been given prison sentences of between five and 10 years on charges of acting against Iran's national security. Lawyers for the journalists announced the sentences to Iranian state media on April 26. - 4/27/16

Terror Payout Latest Challenge to U.S.-Iran Reconciliation

- Chances for a more constructive U.S.-Iran relationship in the aftermath of a landmark nuclear deal are eroding with new disputes over missiles, Iran's access to its assets in foreign banks and now a Supreme Court judgment allowing distribution of $2 billion in Iranian government money to relatives of U.S. victims of alleged Iran-backed terrorism. -Barbara Slavin - 4/27/16

Revolutionary Guards' Cyber Attacks Now Directed at Rouhani Cabinet Members

- Iran's Revolutionary Guards, who have long waged cyber attacks against the country's activists and journalists, have extended their hacking attacks to Rouhani administration officials, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned, including close associates of President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet members. To date, the Rouhani administration has not publicly criticized the Guards' cyber attacks. - 4/27/16

Iranian Hard-Liners Link Afghan Girl's Killing To Telegram Messaging App

- After a horrifying crime sent shock waves through Iranian society, hard-line conservatives found the perfect scapegoat -- technology. "When there are pornography websites and Internet freedom, any underage child can easily buy a SIM card and access this material," the ultraconservative news outlet wrote in a recent commentary. "The result is the bitter tragedy that we are witnessing today." -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 4/27/16

US seizure of USD 2 billion in Iranian assets highway robbery: FM Zarif

- Iran says the seizure of around $2 billion in frozen assets recently authorized by a US court ruling is "highway robbery," vowing that the Islamic Republic will retrieve the sum anyway. "It is a theft. Huge theft. It is highway robbery. And believe you me, we will get it back," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told The New Yorker in an interview published on Monday. - 4/26/16

Iran Nuclear Deal at Risk

- Concern has recently grown over the ultimate sustainability of the Iran nuclear accord. Having withstood the full-frontal attack of congressional hawks last summer, the Obama administration faces the challenge of securing the agreement's viability beyond its own tenure in office. -Tyler Cullis - 4/26/16

Iranian Judiciary insists ailing physicist's sentence for espionage is final

- The spokesman for Iran's judiciary says Omid Kokabi's sentence is final and he is "being provided with all necessary facilities". ISNA reports that on Sunday April 24, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said that Omid Kokabi, the physicist who has served five years in jail, was tried for espionage and his 10-year sentence is final. - 4/26/16

Iran Said Ready To Release Jailed Cartoonist Farghadani Soon

- A lawyer for prominent jailed Iranian artist and activist Atena Farghadani has said that the authorities will soon release his client. In June 2014, a court sentenced her to 12 years in prison for a cartoon that depicted Iranian politicians who passed a law limiting women's access to birth control as goats and monkeys. - 4/26/16

U.S. Sanctions Spite Europe, Not Just Iran

- Evidence continues to mount on how lopsided has been the implementation so far of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a.k.a. the Iran nuclear agreement, with Iran's rigorous carrying out of its obligations regarding its nuclear program being unmatched by the sort of financial and commercial opening to Iran that was a fundamental part of the bargain that was struck. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 4/26/16

Washington-Riyadh Chill: The Sequel

- After three months on the road, I returned to work on the eve of President Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia to discover that in my absence the decades-long strategic partnership between the kingdom and the United States had vaporized. It had passed into history, finito, kaput, done. -Thomas W. Lippman, LobeLog - 4/26/16

Iran's Final Vote: Battle Beyond the Ballot Box for Rouhani's Reformers

- For Iran's reformists, it's been a long couple of months. Despite a widely-expected victory in February's first-round parliamentary election, the final runoff has been repeatedly delayed. Contrary to popular belief, Iran does have real political debates. Noisy elections have been routine since the 1979 Islamic revolution. -Natela Outtier - 4/25/16

Health care denied to jailed Iranian cleric who championed internet

- Jailed Iranian cleric Mohammadreza Nekounam is suffering from health problems, and the special court for the clergy refuses to let him to be hospitalized. Nekounam was arrested entenced to five years in jail after he reacted to statements by Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi declaring high-speed internet service was "haram" (religiously forbidden). - 4/25/16

Is Trip To Iran On President Obama's Agenda?

- US President Barack Obama will likely not visit Iran before his term in office ends, White House official Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser, told reporters on Thursday April 21, 2016. "Oh, Iran. Yes. Well, I think the trip to Cuba was probably enough in terms of breaking a longstanding taboo." - 4/24/16

Mehdi Karroubi: Despite Five Years of House Arrest, He Continues to Speak Out against Abuse of Power in Iran

- Former presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, who has been living under extrajudicial house arrest for over five years for contesting the result of Iran's widely disputed 2009 presidential election, has written an open letter to President Hassan Rouhani calling on him to convince the "ruling dictatorship" to allow Karroubi to stand trial. - 4/24/16

South Africa's trade with Iran to rise to $8B: President Zuma

- South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said in Tehran on Sunday that his country plans to increase the volume of trade with Iran to as high as $8 billion by 2020. Zuma told a meeting of Iranian and South African businessmen that the figure had been agreed on in his meeting with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani earlier in the day. - 4/24/16

Iranian Women's Issues Advisor Says Mothers Fear "Morality Police"

- Shahidokht Molaverdi, the Iranian president's advisor on women and family affairs, says the new plan to deploy 7,000 "undercover morality police" on the streets of Tehran is causing serious concern for families. - 4/24/16

Kerry Says U.S. Won't Block Foreign Firms Doing Business With Iran

- "The United States is not standing in the way, and will not stand in the way, of business that is permitted in Iran since the [nuclear deal] took effect" in January, Kerry said on April 22 before meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York. - 4/23/16

Public demand cited as reason for undercover morality policing in Tehran

- The Tehran police chief says the deployment of undercover morality police has been initiated due to public demand. Hossein Sajedinia said on Wednesday April 20 that the public expects the police to act against "harassment in the streets" and "inappropriate behaviour and hazardous traffic acts". - 4/23/16

Iran, P5+1 meet for 1st time after JCPOA implementation

- Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 group of countries hold their first joint commission meeting to discuss framework for the implementation of the historic nuclear agreement they struck last year. - 4/23/16

EU Must Not Ignore Iran's Human Rights Record, Says Former Political Prisoner

- Saeed Razavi Faghih, a reformist journalist who was released from Evin Prison on April 6, 2016 after serving two years for his political beliefs, has issued an open letter urging the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to not "sacrifice human rights for commercial greed" during her April 16, 2016 trip to Tehran. - 4/23/16

US to Buy Iranian Heavy Water as Part of Nuclear Deal

- STATE DEPARTMENT-The United States is purchasing 32 tons of a key component in the development of atomic weapons from Iran, in a bid to help Tehran implement provisions in the landmark nuclear deal. The U.S. Energy and State departments confirmed Friday the purchase of heavy water, which can be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium. -Pamela Dockins, VOA - 4/23/16

Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia on the Hill

- As we have over the past few months, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. -LobeLog - 4/23/16

U.S. Congressional Leaders Warn Kerry Over Moves To Help Iran

- U.S. congressional leaders warned Secretary of State John Kerry against going too far in his effort to help Iran realize the economic benefits of its nuclear accord with world powers. The warning came on the eve of an April 22 meeting between Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York that Kerry had said was aimed at addressing Iranian concerns that remaining U.S. sanctions are blocking economic relief for Tehran. - 4/22/16

Imprisoned Iranian Physicist Loses Kidney to Cancer, Must Be Released Permanently

- Omid Kokabee, the young physicist who has been imprisoned in Iran for over 5 years for his refusal to work on military research, underwent surgery on April 20, 2016 to completely remove his right kidney, which was in an advanced stage of cancer. - 4/22/16

Iran slams US Supreme Court ruling as money theft

- Iran has strongly condemned a ruling by the US Supreme Court granting some two billion dollars in frozen Iranian assets to the families of victims of a 1983 bombing in Beirut, saying it violates international law. - 4/22/16

Saudi Arabia and Obama: Time to Reset Relations

- President Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia comes in the midst of a changing kingdom with a different outlook on its regional role and its relations with the United States. The US-Saudi relationship is becoming less "special," which is not a bad thing. Washington cannot remain slavishly dependent on the Kingdom. Nor can the Saudis expect to ride on the American coattails freely. According to The New York Times, Obama will find Saudi Arabia "deep in turmoil." -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 4/22/16

Where are the censors? Popular TV drama flouts Iran's Islamic taboos

- "Shahrzad", a slick, new Iranian TV series set in the Shah era, is raising eyebrows and wowing audiences across the country. But it's also sparking fears of a crackdown to come. -France24 - 4/22/16

Obama in Saudi Arabia, Exporter of Oil and Bigotry

- I'm glad that President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia, for engagement usually works better than isolation. But let's not let diplomatic niceties keep us from pointing to the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in sowing instability, and, for that matter, in tarnishing the image of Islam worldwide. -Nicholas Kristof, NY Times - 4/22/16

Obama Discusses Security With Gulf Allies

- At talks with King Salman, Obama's aids said he made it clear he would like the Sunni-led states to "share the neighborhood" with Iran. "The president and King discussed the challenges posed by Iran's provocative activities in the region, agreeing on the importance of an inclusive approach to de-escalating regional conflicts," the White House said. - 4/21/16

Former French embassy employee held in solitary in Tehran's Evin prison

- Nazak Afshar, a former staff member of the French Embassy in Tehran who was arrested upon returning to Iran last March for a visit, is reportedly being held in solitary confinement for questioning in Evin Prison. Also, Sabri Hassanpour, the executive and host of an online network has reportedly been arrested in Iran. Hassanpour, who currently resides in the Netherlands, had reportedly travelled to Iran to visit relatives. - 4/21/16

Russia, Iran Poised to Break Syrian Opposition Toehold in Aleppo

- Russia and Iran are gearing up around the key northern Syrian city of Aleppo in what appears to be the beginning of a renewed push to shore up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 4/21/16

Iranians May Soon Be Able to Make International Online Transactions

- A global payment service provider based in the U.S. has announced that it has made its platform available to Iranians, enabling them to make international online transactions, which was previously almost impossible. But a representative from the Central Bank of Iran reportedly denied the announcement, raising questions over whether the deal would be completed. - 4/21/16

US High Court Awards $2B in Damages for Iran-Sponsored Terrorism

- The U.S. Supreme Court says Iran must pay nearly $2 billion in frozen assets to American families of people killed by Tehran-sponsored terrorism. Iran's Bank Markazi argued that congressional passage of the law specifically directing the damages be awarded to victims' families intruded on U.S. courts that were already considering the damage claims. - 4/21/16

What Have the Saudis Done For Us Lately?

- The president of the United States is going on a foreign trip, and that means it is time for another surge in temperature-taking regarding the state of relations between the United States and some of its "allies." -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 4/21/16

Rouhani clashes with Iranian police over undercover hijab agents

- Iran's president criticized the use of thousands of undercover morality police in Tehran to report on young women who are not wearing a full Islamic hijab or those who play loud music in their cars. -Reuters - 4/21/16

Top US, Iranian Diplomats Confer on Sanctions Relief for Tehran

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held talks Tuesday in New York with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, aimed at ensuring that Iran gets the sanctions relief promised in the landmark nuclear deal reached in January. - 4/20/16

U.S. Senate Effort to Lift Dual Nationals Restrictions Blocked

- Washington, DC - The Senate voted Tuesday afternoon to approve legislation authorizing the Federal Aviaton Administration, but an amendment authored by Sen. Jeff Flake that would repeal discriminatory Visa Waiver Program (VWP) restrictions on certain dual nationals was blocked from consideration. - 4/20/16

President Rohani accused of folding to U.S. during nuclear talks

- The Iranian president tried to defend his administration's record on the nuclear agreement as the ultra-right factions of the Islamic Republic heightened their criticism of the significance of the deal with the world powers. - 4/20/16

Obama in the Arab Lions' Den

- President Barack Obama would surely not compare himself to a Biblical prophet. But by going this week to Riyadh to take part in a summit meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, he might as well be like Daniel in the Old Testament, thrown into the lions' den. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 4/20/16

Does the US Really Want Iran to Moderate Its Policies?

- Only three months after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the success of the nuclear deal with Iran already appears in doubt. The underlying reason is that those in the United States and Iran who opposed the agreement in the first place remain determined to sabotage it. -Shireen T. Hunter - 4/19/16

Iran, US at Odds Over Nuclear Sanctions Relief

- STATE DEPARTMENT-Iran's concerns about its perceived lack of sanctions relief and Syria's faltering political talks will be focal points for Secretary of State John Kerry when he sits down for talks Tuesday with his Iranian counterpart. - 4/19/16

Imprisoned Young Iranian Physicist Stricken with Cancer after Years of Denied Medical Care

- Prisoner of conscience Omid Kokabee, the young physicist who has been imprisoned in Iran for over five years for his refusal to work on military research for the Islamic Republic, has been diagnosed with kidney cancer after years in which prison authorities denied him treatment for his kidney illness. - 4/19/16

Iran Launches Undercover Morality Unit

- Iranian authorities have launched a new undercover police unit that will be tasked with monitoring citizens' morality in the Iranian capital and reporting transgressions to authorities. - 4/19/16

Iranian Political Prisoner in Critical Condition Vows to Continue Hunger Strike

- Prisoner of conscience Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who has been on dry and wet hunger strikes since March 26, 2016 to protest being denied crucial medical treatment, is in critical condition, but has vowed to continue until his situation changes. - 4/19/16

Oil Price Falls In Asian Trading After Doha Talks Fail

- Russia's Energy Minster Aleksandr Novak said at the end of the April 17 Doha meeting that the Kremlin was not optimistic about an agreement to freeze production because of "heated debates" at the conference and "Iran's position." - 4/18/16

First Air France jet lands in Iran after eight years

- Iran's media said on Sunday that the first Air France plane had landed in capital Tehran after a hiatus of eight years. The plane - an A330 - has reportedly landed in Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA). It is carrying the French Transport Minister Alain Vidal as well as the CEOs of Air France and Boeing among others, reported, the news agency of Iran's state broadcasting IRIB. - 4/18/16

India Between Iran and Saudi Arabia

- Continuing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the subsequent deteriorating security situation challenge India's interests. Saudi-Iran tension and its impact in Yemen have forced India to evacuate thousands of its citizens from Yemen. Therefore, it is in India's interest to maintain an effective balance between the two countries, and both countries seem to understand that. -Fatemeh Aman - 4/18/16

Business Leaders around the World Call for an End to Iran's Closure of Baha'i Businesses

- In a signed statement addressed to Iran's supreme leader, 54 leading business people and economists from countries around the world asked Ayatollah Khamenei to stop the harassment and discrimination against Baha'i business owners in Iran. - 4/18/16

Parts Of S-300 Missile System Unveiled At Iranian Army Parade

- Iran has showcased parts of S-300 air-defense missile systems ordered from Russia during its annual National Army Day parade in Tehran. S-300 missile tubes and the radar equipment were shown during the April 17 military parade, according to pictures by the semiofficial ISNA news agency. - 4/18/16

Principle and Pragmatism, Here and Abroad

- In a story out of Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani, who in the Iranian political context merits the labels "reformist" and "moderate", is being pushed by others in the reformist camp who believe he has not been aggressive enough in challenging Iranian hardliners across the full spectrum of issues that separate hardliners from reformists. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 4/18/16

Iran-EU statement urges full commitment to JCPOA

- Iran and the European Union say last year's nuclear agreement reached between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries has opened a new chapter in bilateral relations, urging all parties to fully carry out their commitments stipulated in the deal. - 4/16/16

Iran, Turkey must up anti-terror efforts: President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran and Turkey have minor differences on certain regional issues but must boost cooperation in the campaign against terrorism. Rouhani was talking to to reporters in Ankara on Saturday after he and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan oversaw the signature of eight documents for cooperation.  - 4/16/16

Iran sends OPEC governor to Doha oil freeze talks

- Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh will not attend upcoming talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Doha to find a solution to tumbling oil prices, but will send Iran's OPEC governor to the meeting. - 4/16/16

Unclear on US Rules, Banks, Corporations Wary of Doing Business in Iran

- Three months after the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, banks and other corporations are wary of doing business in the country due to concerns over running afoul of U.S. sanctions, especially as U.S. lawmakers ponder a clampdown over Iran's missile development. -Luis RamirezT, VOA - 4/16/16

Governor of Iran's central bank holds western states responsible to keep JCPOA alive

- Governor of Central Bank Valiollah Seif attended a Council of Foreign Relations meeting Friday saying that the western governments are responsble to keep alive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. - 4/16/16

The New Normal in U.S.-Saudi Relations

- Next week's U.S.-GCC summit in Riyadh is the last opportunity for the Obama administration to recalibrate the U.S.-Saudi relationship. While officially a multilateral summit between the United States and the six Gulf monarchies, all eyes will be on President Obama and King Salman. Both leaders will seek to project an image of comity. -Perry Cammack and Richard Sokolsky, LobeLog - 4/16/16
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