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Iran Investigates Acid Attacks On Women

- Iranian officials said they are investigating a series of acid attacks on women that occurred in the historic city of Isfahan in recent days. Some social network users in the country wrote that there had been up to 13 acid attacks against female drivers who allegedly were targeted for not being properly veiled. - 10/20/14

Caspian Summit: review of zones of national jurisdiction

- The Fourth Caspian Summit of the Caspian States was held on the 29th of September 2014 in Astrakhan of Russia. (1) The Summit failed to find a new legal regime for the Caspian Sea which was its most important mission and discussions on it have been going on for the last two decades between the littoral states of the Caspian Sea.... -Bahman Aghai Diba - 10/20/14

Press TV reporter accused of spying killed in accident

- Press TV reporter Serena Shim, who recently reported that Turkish security forces had accused her of spying, has been killed in an automobile accident. Press TV reported on Sunday that Serena Shin was killed in an accident in Turkey near the Turkey-Syria border while covering news of ISIS. - 10/20/14

Iraq's PM to Visit Iran, Seeking Help in Fight Against IS

- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is headed to Iran Monday for talks with key Tehran officials about the joint fight against Islamic State militants and economic links between the two countries. - 10/20/14

Obama Sees an Iran Deal That Could Avoid Congress

- But the White House has made one significant decision: If agreement is reached, President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it. -David E. Sanger, NY Times - 10/20/14

In Iran, Political Cartoons Reflect Attitudes Toward IS

- The rise of the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq, and the advent of the anti-IS coalition led by the United States and including several of Iran's rivals has inspired political cartoonists in several of Iran's media outlets. The cartoons are used to express Tehran's various attitudes or viewpoints on Islamic State (IS). -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/20/14

Has Washington's Focusing on Iranian Nukes Distracted It from ISIL's Rise?

- One potential reason for the slow U.S. reaction to ISIL is that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran has been hyped at the expense of major, more-realistic security challenges across the region. Spurred by hawks, Washington got busy with the nuances of a potential nuclear "breakout capacity" in Iran and overlooked the real-time breakout of the barbarous ISIL. -Ryan Costello and Ali Fatemi, NIAC - 10/20/14

Iran Bans Human Rights Lawyer From Practicing Law

- A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer says she has been banned from practicing her profession for three years. Sotoudeh told AFP that she would not try to appeal the decision but will conduct a sit-down protest outside the Iran Bar Association's headquarters in Tehran, starting October 21. - 10/19/14

Seven Worst-Case Scenarios in the Battle with the Islamic State

- You know the joke? You describe something obviously heading for disaster - a friend crossing Death Valley with next to no gas in his car - and then add, "What could possibly go wrong?" Such is the Middle East today. The U.S. is again at war there, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria, advising here, droning there... -Peter Van Buren, LobeLog - 10/19/14

Iran scholars, associations deplore 'medieval' death verdict on Saudi cleric

- Iranian grand ayatollahs and associations have deplored death sentence against Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Saudi Arabian Shia cleric. A death sentence passed against the dissident Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia after a deeply flawed trial is appalling and must be immediately quashed, said Amnesty International. - 10/19/14

Ahmad Montazeri summoned after defending Iranian opposition leaders

- Ahmad Montazeri, whose late father Ayatollah Montazeri was a chief critic of the Islamic Republic regime, has been summoned by the Special Court for the Clergy. The Kaleme opposition website reports that Ahmad Montazeri appeared in court on Saturday, but so far nothing has been confirmed about the charges against him. - 10/19/14

Acid attacks against women on the rise in Isfahan

- Reports from Isfahan indicate that in recent weeks there has been a rise in the incidence of people throwing acird onto women, purportedly for not wearing appropriate hijab or Islamic gard in public. - 10/18/14

Pakistani Guard Killed Near Iranian Border

- Pakistan says Iranian forces have killed an officer and wounded three members of its border security force. The rare clash occurred Friday, a day after Tehran warned it would intervene on the Pakistani side if the neighboring country failed to prevent terrorist infiltrations into Iran. -Ayaz Gul, VOA - 10/18/14

Keeping the ISIS Challenge in Perspective

- Once again American observers are outbidding each other over how serious a threat the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) poses. Recent IS gains in Iraq heightened Washington's concern, causing President Obama to huddle with coalition defense ministers. In this air of heightened crisis, the option of deploying US combat troops has been revived. Yet this supposed fix (even just talk of it) involves a host of likely problems. -Wayne White, LobeLog - 10/18/14

Iranian Strategy in Syria Could Make Peace Possible

- The group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS), beyond its doctrinaire propaganda and lurid beheadings, is beginning to uproot the foundations of order in the Middle East, and the United States has decided to not sit idly by. -Henry Johnson, LobeLog - 10/18/14

Iranian MPs push bill to crack down on immodest attire, satellites

- A number of Iranian MPs have introduced a bill to punish violations of hijab (the Islamic dress code) with fines and the possession of satellite receivers with prison terms. - 10/17/14

Islamic State 'Funded By Saudi Petrodollars,' Says Iran's Friday Prayer Leader

- "Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says Iran is part of the problem not the solution. That's strange; everyone knows that the IS group was created with your petrodollars," Khatami said, adding that everyone also knew that every act of terror in the Muslim world was also funded by the Saudis. "The reality is that you are not only part of the problem, you are the entire problem!" Khatami said. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/17/14

Most art forms in Iran are illegal. Artists shirk the law by going underground

- Tehran is the seat where most of Iran's artistic community resides and hopes to one day thrive, despite the tremendous censorship restrictions regarding who can perform and under which circumstances. Navigating these restrictions has become an art form itself, while social media sites (at least those that are allowed) are continuously monitored. -Nicole Crowder, Washington Post - 10/17/14

Iran and the United States: An Insider's View

- Seyed Hossein Mousavian, the lead author of Iran and the United States: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace, has two objectives: to help American readers understand the Iranian perspective on the fraught US-Iranian relationship, and to advocate a sustained attempt to break the cycle of hostility that was triggered by the 1979 Islamic revolution. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog - 10/17/14

Iran Boasts Of 'Magnificent' Qods Force Commander In Fight Against IS

- It is no coincidence that Fars bothered to fashion a whole news article out of the fact that an "English newspaper" has commented on Soleimani's presence and "key role" in combating IS in Iraq. Iran has made a concerted effort in recent weeks to show the world that Soleimani -- and by extension, the Qods Force -- is playing an important role in bolstering Shi'ite militias against Islamic State militants in Iraq. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE - 10/17/14

Iranian investment scene 'improving' as relations thaw

- International investors looking to exploit opportunities in Iran have been meeting for the first time in concert since the country's 1979 revolution. Hundreds of people gathered at The 1st Europe-Iran Forum in London to hear from the likes of former foreign secretary Jack Straw and meet members of Iran's top business families. -hilip Hampsheir, BBC - 10/17/14

1st Europe-Iran Forum kicks off in London

- With the prospect of improved political relations and a new business climate between Europe and Iran, the 1st Europe-Iran Forum kicked off in London Wednesday morning. The two-day event, organized by European Voice aims to "properly prepare and evaluate the post-sanctions trade framework and investment opportunities", according to a brochure released by the organizers. - 10/16/14

US: Nuclear Talks With Iranian FM Zarif 'Very Concrete'

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met Wednesday in Vienna for talks on international efforts to limit Iran's nuclear program. Kerry and Zarif were joined by European Union representative Catherine Ashton, who has been leading efforts by Germany, Russia, Britain, France, China and the United States to convince Iran to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 10/16/14

Talking Turkey on ISIS, the Kurds, and Kobani

- Turkey, nominally a member of America's new anti-ISIS coalition (well, maybe), has for some time now been refusing to allow Kurdish reinforcements and weapons to cross its Syrian border into the besieged city of Kobani. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 10/16/14

Bookends of America's Broken Regional Policy

- It's hard not to cringe watching the United States careen around the Middle East these days, dispensing bombs, money and political fealty in various doses depending on the crisis of the day to a series of supposed allies that take turns slapping us around while demanding our protection. - James A. Russell, LobeLog - 10/16/14

New Videos Confront Iran's Rights Violations through Personal Stories of Persecution

- Impact Iran, a coalition of human rights organizations, in partnership with theInternational Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, today launched a new video, "Promises Made, Promises Broken." The video is part of a series aimed at drawing attention to Iran's second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council on October 31, 2014. A new video will be released each week leading up to the review. - 10/16/14

Iranian activist Qavami ends hunger strike after closed-door trial

- The trial of Ghoncheh Qavami, the jailed Iranian activist, was held on Tuesday, October 14 behind closed doors in branch 16 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court for the charge of propaganda against the Islamic Republic regime. - 10/16/14

Iranian security officials wounded in attack in Sistan-Baluchistan

- Three Iranian security officials were wounded in an attack in the southern regions of Sistan Baluchistan province, Security Commander Hossein Rahimi reported. - 10/16/14

Falling Oil Prices Spell Trouble For Some, But Could Also Boost Global Growth

- Suddenly, the world seems to be awash in oil, with benchmark Brent crude that sold for $110 a barrel in June dropping to under $88 a barrel on October 13. That's a 20 percent price plunge and one that bodes serious economic trouble for countries whose revenues depend heavily on their oil exports. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 10/15/14

Retrial Granted for Iranian Nuclear Scientist Omid Kokabee, Raising Hope for His Release

- The request for a retrial for the imprisoned young scientist, Omid Kokabee, has been accepted by Branch 36 of the Supreme Court, according to Kokabee's lawyer, Saeed Khalili, who posted the update on his Facebook page. "Acceptance of the retrial request means that the top judicial authority has deemed Dr. Omid Kokabee's [initial] verdict against the law," he wrote. - 10/15/14

Kerry, Iranian FM in Vienna for Nuclear Talks

- Kerry and Zarif will be joined by European Union representative Cathy Ashton, who has been leading efforts by Germany, Russia, England, France, China, and the United States to convince Iran to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions. -Scott Stearns, VOA - 10/15/14

Iran's Message to World: You Need Us to Fight Islamists

- In the fight against Islamic extremists, the commander of Iran's secretive special forces is turning into an unlikely celebrity. Iranian television published last week a picture of Quds Force Major General Qassem Suleimani on an Iraqi battlefield surrounded by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. -Kambiz Foroohar - 10/15/14

Iranian FM Continues Diplomacy Over IS, Despite Supreme Leader's Hard-Line Stance

- In the wake of strident accusations by Iran's supreme leader and other senior Iranian figures that the Islamic State (IS) militant group is a Western creation, Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, continues to push a more diplomatic approach to combating IS. - 10/15/14

Who are the "Iranian dissidents?" US media promotes bizarre terrorist cult

- The forgotten history of a group of "Iranian dissidents" being promoted in Western media shows the hypocrisy of the so-called "War on Terror." -Caleb Maupin, RT - 10/15/14

Iranian peshmerga chief: Iran set ambushes for us

- The Iranian Kurdish leader said he was committed to resolving issues with Tehran peacefully, saying, "We cannot destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran and it cannot destroy us, therefore both sides have to find a solution for this issue one day." -Al-Monitor - 10/15/14

Why President Rouhani's "Economic Package" is Empty

- Tired of the oppressive financial hardship, wrought largely by the imperialist economic war against Iran, the Iranian people elected Hassan Rouhani president (June 2013) as he promised economic revival. He premised his pledge of economic recovery mainly on his alleged ability to bring the brutal sanctions against Iran to an end and integrate the Iranian economy into the world capitalist system. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 10/14/14

US Policy Towards Iran Played Big Role in Rise of Sunni Extremism

- Throughout the recent handwringing about how the US and other Western countries failed to foresee the emergence of ISIS, one factor has been totally ignored, either intentionally or inadvertently: the impact of Washington's hostility towards Iran, especially its persistent tendency to treat any anti-Iranian movement or idea in the Middle East as either good or the lesser evil compared to dealing with Tehran. -Shireen T. Hunter - 10/14/14

World recognizes Iran's nuclear rights, deal is certain: Rouhani

- President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran and the Sextet of world powers will "certainly" reach a deal on Iran's nuclear power as the group has come to recognize the country's nuclear rights. - 10/14/14

Iranian Ministry of Youth and Sports questions Persepolis friendly against Real Madrid

- Iran's Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports asked Persepolis officials to explain details of their trip to Spain and meeting with Real Mardid president Florentino Perez. Persepolis officials held a meeting with Real Madrid directors on Thursday. Two clubs reached an agreement to play a friendly in the summer of 2015. But it's now revealed that the man who has arranged this meeting is opposed to the Islamic Revolution. - 10/14/14

Iranian activist filmmaker detained for one day, reportedly beaten

- Mohammad Nourizad, an Iranian political filmmaker and activist, reported on his Facebook page that he was released from Evin Prison on Sunday October 13 after a one-day arrest. Nourizad posted a photo of himself and a report about his release on his Facebook page and thanked his supporters. - 10/14/14

Qassem Suleimani photo makeover reveals Iran's new publicity strategy

- Suleimani and the Iraqi militias he commands have played a key role in halting Isis. But neither he nor any other Iranian official has been invited to Tuesday's strategy meeting in Washington between US president Barack Obama and military chiefs from 20 western and Arab countries, which aimed to draw up a plan to defeat the militants. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 10/14/14

Tehran Workshop Offers Insight Into Nuclear Talks

- With only a little over a month to go before the deadline for a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear program, a group of European, Gulf and Iranian academics and policymakers gathered Oct. 6-7 in Tehran to discuss the future of EU-Iran relations. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 10/14/14

Iran's Khamenei Accuses U.S., Britain Of Creating Islamic State (IS)

- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on October 13 that Washington and "the wicked government of Britain" created both IS and Al-Qaeda "to create divisions and to fight against the Islamic Republic," but the militant groups have turned against them. - 10/14/14

Saudi Arabia, Iran Swap Accusations as Tensions Persist

- Senior Saudi and Iranian officials have renewed criticism of each other's interventions in the Middle East in a sign that tensions between the rival Gulf powers remain high despite top-level meetings this summer. -Reuters - 10/14/14

Direct Iran-US talks, no longer a taboo: Iran Daily

- Considering that many believe US is the P5+1 leader and that the nuclear issue can only be resolved if Tehran and Washington bury the hatchet and reach a settlement, there shouldn't be a hue and cry over a possible Rouhani-Obama meeting, underscored 'Iran Daily' on Sunday. - 10/13/14

Photos: Russian Navy Vessels Visit Iran Before Heading To Azerbaijan

- A fleet of Russian warships berthed in the Caspian port of Anzali in Iran on October 13. Russian Navy ships "Daghestan" and "Grad Sviazhsk" were welcomed by local Iranian officials and Russia's Ambassador to Tehran, Levan Dzhagarian. - 10/13/14

Iran oil price cut nothing to do with rivalry with Saudi Arabia: NIOC

- In a recent report, Bloomberg reported that Iran has slashed its crude prices in an attempt to attract Asian customers following Saudi Arabia's decision to cut its oil price to the lowest level since 2008. - 10/13/14

Iran's Judicial Chief Warns Media To Lighten Corruption Coverage

- The head of Iran's judiciary says media outlets that "exaggerate" corruption charges will be investigated for illegal activities. ISNA reports that Ayatollah Amoli Larijani announced on Sunday October 12: "It is not fair for newspapers to start publishing names and condemnatory allegations before the file even reaches court." - 10/13/14

NIAC Members Take Action at 2014 Leadership Conference

- Washington, DC - "Do not doubt your power, you can make a difference" said Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), speaking at the National Iranian American Council's 4th Annual Leadership Conference on a panel considering the role of Congress and grassroots organizations in sealing a nuclear deal with Iran. -Ryan Costello - 10/13/14

Iran needs to create 8 million jobs in near future: Finance Minister

- Iran's minister of finance and economic affairs says that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has made the task of creating jobs one of the core pillars of its new economic policy package. In recent remarks, Ali Tayyebnia said that one of the main policies of the government of prudence and hope is to create jobs. He also added that 8 million jobs need to be created in the near future. - 10/12/14

Iran says extending nuclear talks with G5+1 likely

- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said Iran and the G5+1 may extend talks. "It is possible to extend anything and even the time of negotiations between Iran and G5+1," he said. - 10/12/14

Iranian opposition leader Zahra Rahnavard undergoes eye surgery

- Zahra Rahnavard, Iranian opposition leader who has been under house arrest with her husband, MirHosein Mousavi, since February 2011, was transferred to hospital to undergo eye surgery. Mousavi was allowed to accompany his wife to the hospital but no other members of the family were permitted. - 10/12/14

Plane Crash Kills Police In Southeastern Iran

- Reports from Iran say seven people -- including three high-ranking Iranian police officials -- have been killed in a plane crash while traveling to the country's southeast to investigate militant attacks on security forces. - 10/12/14

Iran's Jailing of Activist Offers Hint of Liberty Under Rouhani

- Iran can also be deceptive, activists here say, especially for people like Ms. Ghavami who spend most of their lives abroad. The return to the motherland can feel warm and surprisingly safe, but dangers lurk, especially for those who return with the idea of promoting change. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 10/12/14

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

US: 'Severe Penalties' if Europe-Iran Forum Violates Sanctions

- WASHINGTON- A State Department official said an upcoming Europe-Iran business conference, the first gathering of its kind, underscores to Iran the great benefits of reaching an agreement with world powers on its nuclear program, as well as the cost of failing to do so. - 10/11/14

Coalition Contacts President Obama in Support of Judge Tabaddor's Suit Against the Department of Justice

- This week, the Public Affairs Alliance (PAAIA), along with 30 Years After, the Arab American Institute, the Armenian National Committee of America, and the PARS Equality Center sent a letter to President Obama in support of Judge Afsaneh Ashley Tabaddor and her recently filed suit against the United States Department of Justice (Case No.14-cv-06390, Tabaddor v. Holder et al.). - 10/11/14

Investors: Absent sanctions, "no emerging market has as much potential as Iran"

- Washington, DC - "Iran is going from an emerging [economy] to a developing economy. What's missing from Iran making that leap is connectivity with the West," said Bijan Khajehpour, a strategic analyst and entrepreneur, while speaking on a panel regarding the business implications of a nuclear deal at NIAC's 2014 Leadership Conference. - 10/11/14

Iranian journalist arrested after critique of Saqez Police

- The Iranian-Kurdish journalist Hiwa Fouladi was arrested after the Saqez Police Force filed a complaint against him. The Shar News Website reports that Fouladi has been transferred to the city's Central Prison. The website reports that the complaint involves a critical report published by the website regarding the actions of the police. - 10/11/14

More Power for Iran's Vigilantes

- In an overwhelming vote Wednesday, conservative lawmakers granted greater powers to volunteer groups to "promote virtue and prevent vice" on the street. Derided by critics as fundamentalist vigilantes, the groups chastise and in some cases, physically assault and arrest Iranians they consider improperly dressed. -Arash Sigarchi, VOA - 10/10/14

The Role of Women in the Future of Iran

- Washington, DC - "In some societies, laws protecting women are beyond the culture of the people. In Iran, it is the opposite," said Sanam Anderlini, Senior Fellow at MIT's Center for International Studies and co-founder of the International Civil Action Network, speaking on a panel regarding the role of women in Iran at NIAC's 2014 Leadership Conference. -Tyler Cullis - 10/10/14

Nuclear watchdog delegation concludes talks in Iran

- Talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ended on Wednesday October 8. Iran's ambassador to the agency, Reza Najafi, told the Fars News Agency that the two-day talks were "constructive, serious, substantive and frank." - 10/10/14

Several Policemen Killed In Attacks In Southeastern Iran

- Several police officers have been repotedly killed in attacks in the country's southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan Province. Iranian media reported the latest attack during the morning of October 9 at least one policeman was killed and several others were injured when a car bomb exploded in the Saravan area. - 10/10/14

Accused Iranian tycoon's location unclear to investigating team

- The committee established to follow up on the charges against Iranian tycoon Babak Zanjani, who's accused of failing to pay back trillions of toumans he owes to Iran's oil ministry, says it is not certain whether Zanjani is in prison. - 10/10/14

It will take more than a quiet word in Iran's ear to put human rights on the table

- Ghoncheh Ghavami's imprisonment shows how Tehran's hardliners deal with dissent. If the west cares, it must be consistent in complaining -Azadeh Moaveni, Guardian - 10/10/14

Fighting for Democracy While Supporting Autocracy

- For the second time in recent history, the United States is trading away support for democracy and fundamental human rights protections in Bahrain as part of an effort to establish democracy and human rights protections in another Muslim country. -Matar E. Matar, LobeLog - 10/10/14

American-Iranian convict to get new trial

- Amir Hekmati's lawyer has announced that his client's file has been referred for a retrial. Hekmati, who holds dual U.S.- Iranian citizenship, is a former U.S. marine who was arrested during a visit to Iran. - 10/9/14

Iranian daily 'Bahar' acquitted

- The Press Supervisory Board cleared banned newspaper 'Bahar' of charges leveled by prosecutor-general. Following the vote of the Press Supervisory Board, the branch 76 of Tehran province's Penal Court headed by Judge Siamak Modir-Khorasani acquitted the daily's managing-editor Saeed Pour-Azizi. - 10/9/14

German Police Find Huge Heroin Shipment In Iranian Pickle Truck

- German police announced on October 9 that they found 330 kilograms of heroin hidden in a truck that was transporting pickled cucumbers and garlic from Iran. Authorities say the shipment of highly refined heroin had an estimated street value of more than 50 million euros and was the biggest single drug seizure in Germany in decades. - 10/9/14

Kobani: Questionable Turkish, US Behavior

- Defenders of the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani (or Ayn al-Arab) have fought valiantly against heavily armed Islamic State (IS) forces for three weeks with only light arms. Until late on Oct. 7, Washington did relatively little but watch a major contingent of the only effective "boots on the ground" against IS being driven slowly back into their city. Turkey has done less than nothing, triggering domestic protests. -Wayne White, LobeLog - 10/9/14

Iran: President Rouhani says committed to academic pledges

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration is committed to the promises it made to the academic community during his 2013 presidential election campaign. Rouhani made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the new academic year of Iranian universities. - 10/8/14

Iran Talks: A Painful Choice Looms

- The absence of any late September breakthrough on the central issue in the nuclear negotiation with Iran-Iran's mastery of uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used for both civil and military purposes-has triggered speculation that the November 24 deadline for a comprehensive agreement will be missed. It has also sparked renewed debate on whether no deal would be better than the best deal likely to be on offer. -Peter Jenkins - 10/8/14

Iranian MP threatens confrontation in Parliament over opposition leaders

- Iranian MP Ali Motahari has reportedly warned Hassan Rohani that if he fails to address the issue of the house arrest of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the issue will be presented to him in the form of a formal session of questioning in Parliament. - 10/8/14

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

Iran nuclear talks: why Tehran must be brought in from the cold

- A deal that offers Iran a nuclear power industry not exceeding its needs and ambitions, and the rest of the world reassurance through intrusive inspections, would do more than bring Iran in from the cold. It would inaugurate a new relationship between the Islamic Republic and the west that could keep together a region that is, in every other particular, coming apart. - Christopher de Bellaigue, Guardian - 10/8/14
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