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August 30 2016
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Unjustly Imprisoned Young Iranian Physicist Granted Conditional Release After Five Years

- August 29, 2016-Imprisoned Iranian scientist Omid Kokabee, who spent more than five years in Evin Prison for refusing to work on Iran's military projects, was granted conditional release on August 29, 2016. Kokabee, currently on medical leave, was diagnosed with kidney cancer this past April after years of being denied proper medical treatment by prison authorities. - 8/30/16

Recording on 1988 Prison Massacre Exposes Early Fissure in the Islamic Republic of Iran

- The recently released audio recording of Grand Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri sharply denouncing the mass execution of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 has highlighted disagreements among prominent figures of the Islamic Republic that arose from the decision by Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 revolution, to put thousands of political dissidents to death. - 8/30/16

US 'terrorizing' Europe into avoiding Iran: Official

- A senior Iranian official says the US is terrorizing the Europeans into shunning business with Iran despite the lifting of sanctions under a landmark nuclear deal. Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia has said US officials are deliberately keeping the terms of engagement with Iran opaque. - 8/30/16

Iran Inaugurates Its Own Intranet

- Iran's official news agency reports the country has launched the first phase of its National Network of Data, an attempt by Tehran to create its own Intranet. The new network aims to promote online Islamic content and encourage less dependency on the worldwide Internet, IRNA reported on August 28. - 8/29/16

House of Khomeini and Mass Executions of 88

- Figures at various levels of the Islamic Republic continue to react to the release of audio files involving conversations between the late dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and top government figures regarding the "death committee" in charge of the mass execution of political prisoners in Iran in 1988. - 8/29/16

Iran and Venezuela sign economic agreements, announce new era of bilateral relations

- Venezuela and Iran agree to increase economic cooperation, signing agreements between the two countries' central banks and announcing a new dynamic era in bilateral relations. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who was in Caracas on the last leg of a Latin America tour also taking him to Cuba, Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua and Ecuador. - 8/29/16

Iran Deploys Russian Long-Range Missiles At Nuclear Site

- Iranian officials say they have deployed a new Russian-made long-range missile system to protect its Fordo nuclear facility. General Farzad Esmaili, the commander of Iran's air defenses, told the state IRIB channel on August 28 that protecting the country's nuclear facilities is paramount "in all circumstances." - 8/29/16

CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

- The U.S. knew Hussein was launching some of the worst chemical attacks in history -- and still gave him a hand. -Foreign Policy - 8/29/16

Iran Arrests a 'Spy' Who Helped Negotiate a Landmark Nuclear Deal

- Iran has arrested a member of a team that played a role in negotiating a milestone nuclear agreement with world powers. According to IRNA, Iran's state media, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said Sunday that a "spy who had infiltrated the nuclear team" was released on bail after being held in jail for a few days. - 8/28/16

French Environment Minister Visits Iran, Announces Plans For Joint Projects

- French Environment Minister Segolene Royal has announced plans for a series of joint projects with Tehran that are aimed at dealing with energy, water shortages, and pollution. Royal said on August 28 after talks with the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, Massoumeh Ebtekar, that they had discussed the creation of several key partnerships by February 2017. - 8/28/16

Burkas, Burkinis, Veils and Women's Rights

- Symbolism matters. Especially when it comes to other people's cultures. Most recently we see the old/new issue about Muslim women's dress, especially now grabbing headlines in France where "Islamic beachwear" or the "burkini" (burka-bikini), has been banned in several Riviera beach towns. France of course leads the world in its militantly secular posture on cultural and civic affairs. As well as the symbol of the bikini itself. (Topless--I won't even go there.) -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 8/28/16

For Hawks, Every American Captive Returned Home Diplomatically is a Failed Opportunity

- This month, opponents of the Iran deal have decided to run with the talking point that the delivery of $400 million to Iran in January was a "ransom payment" for the release of three American citizens. TheNew York Times editorial board concluded that their release was "pragmatic diplomacy not capitulation," not to mention the fact that the funds actually belonged to Iran... -Eli Clifton - 8/26/16

US: Navy Ships Fired Warning Shots After Encounters with Iranian Vessels

- U.S. Navy ships sailing in the Persian Gulf were forced to fire warning shots and flares after being harassed by Iranian vessels in recent close encounters, the Pentagon said. In one incident Wednesday, the patrol ship USS Squall fired three warning shots into the water in the direction of an Iranian boat that was approaching another American ship head-on. -VOA - 8/26/16

OVERCAUTIOUS OBJECTIVITY: Losing Perspective by Being Politically Correct

- I have often appreciated Mr. Gharib's articles and analyses of America's policies toward Iran in general, even though I do not always agree with all of his views. In his latest article appearing, he offers a careful and concise critique of the Wall Street Journal's chief foreign affairs reporter, Jay Solomon, addressing the historic P5+1/Iran nuclear agreement and its aftermath. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 8/26/16

Fans Take To Social Media To Demand Release Of Iranian Rapper Amir Tataloo

- Iranian fans have taken to Instagram and other social media to demand the release of Amir Tataloo, a popular and controversial rapper arrested on charges of spreading depravity among youth. "Free Tataloo!" and "He Is Not Guilty!" say dozens of comments posted on the Instagram account of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. -Farangis Najibullah and Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah - 8/26/16

The International Community's Failure in Yemen

- This week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Riyadh amid renewed criticism of the ongoing Saudi-led military operations against the Al Saud ruler's adversaries in Yemen and the international community's failure to resolve the Yemeni Civil War. This meeting will hopefully begin the process of finding a new solution to what has been a devastating political and humanitarian crisis. -Joseph Cozza, LobeLog - 8/26/16

4 Iranian Vessels Sped Close to a US Ship in Strait of Hormuz, Navy Says

- Four Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels sped close to a U.S. guided missile destroyer in international waters Tuesday in an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday. - 8/25/16

BOOK: The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

- An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration - 8/25/16

Iran names Daesh leader killed in Kermanshah, says nothing is off the country's radar

- Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi revealed in a live TV program on Wednesday that Abu Aeshe Kurdi, commander of a Daesh brigade in Mosul, was one of those killed in recent clashes with a terrorist cell in Kermanshah province, western Iran. - 8/25/16

Does Fighting in Hasakah Signal a Diplomatic Realignment on Syria?

- When I asked Landis about how the PYD might view a Turkey-Russia-Iran axis, if one were to emerge, he said, "I think they are worried about it. It could be one reason why they're grabbing territory now, to limit the amount of pressure that the Syrian government can put on them in the future." It is possible that such an axis is emerging, amid all the diplomacy that followed the failed coup in Turkey and ... -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 8/25/16

Iranian Journalists Alarmed As Media Legislation Resurfaces

- Critics say proposed new legislation in Iran would mean an end to any form of independent journalism in the Islamic republic while playing into the hands of the country's security organs and hard-line conservative judiciary, who would like to see even tighter state control of the media. - 8/24/16

What Hamadan Says About the Fragility of Russian-Iranian Ties

- Just one week after Russian bombers began flying missions over Syria out of an Iranian air base in Hamadan, Tehran has revoked its permission for Moscow to use the base. These missions never would have begun if Tehran had not agreed that they could take place. But Russia's public declaration that they were occurring had a negative impact on Iranian domestic politics. -Mark N. Katz - 8/24/16

Iran Warns, Detains 450 Social-Media Users, Citing 'Immoral' Posts

- Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said it has summoned, detained, and warned some 450 administrators of social-media groups in recent weeks. - 8/24/16

Of Course "the Ayatollah Thinks He Won"

- In the Wall Street Journal last weekend, the paper's chief foreign affairs reporter, Jay Solomon, unloaded a 2,500-word essay looking back at the Iran nuclear deal a little more than year after the accord was signed. Solomon, a measured and well-sourced reporter, examined how the deal had, after this short period of time, affected Iranian politics. The piece bore the online headline: "Why the Ayatollah Thinks He Won." -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 8/24/16

U.S. State Department warns Iranian-Americans about travel to Iran

- Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and Western countries including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran. U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel. U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country. - 8/23/16

Iranian FM Zarif meets Cuban President Castro

- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with Cuba's President Raul Castro while on the first leg of a six-nation tour of Latin American countries. Zarif leads a group of 120 businessmen and financial executives from government and private sectors. - 8/23/16

Russian jet fighters still flying from Iran: Parliament Speaker

- Speaker of the Iranian Parliament has emphasized that flights of Russian fighter aircraft are still being performed from Nojeh airbase in Hamedan. Ali Lasrijani made the remarks dring the Parliament open session on Tuesday morning, when answering the comments of MP Mahmoud Sadeghi. - 8/23/16

Elderly Pro-Democracy Iranian Activist Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

- The four-year prison sentence handed down to imprisoned author and peaceful political activist Kourosh Zaim has no legal basis and the 77-year-old should be immediately released because of his advanced age, his lawyer Giti Pourfazel told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 8/23/16

How Parasitic Finance Capital Has Turned Iran's Economy into a Case of Casino Capitalism

- Critics have often blamed President Rouhani of Iran for blindly following the neoclassical-neoliberal model of capitalism. The critical problem with Mr. Rouhani's economic policies, however, is more than just following the dominant economic model of neoliberalism; more gravely, it is following the worst aspects of that model. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 8/22/16

Iran: Russia Has Stopped Using Iran Base for Syria Strikes

- Russia has stopped using an Iranian air base for launching airstrikes on Syria for the time being, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday, just hours after the Iranian defense minister criticized Moscow for having "kind of show-off and ungentlemanly'' attitude by publicizing their actions. - 8/22/16

Iran Green Movement leaders under house arrest; more than 2000 days

- It has now been established that Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) Supreme Leader has absolute jurisdiction over the release of the three opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since February 2011. Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard are the leader of the 2009 Green Movement in Iran and they are still being kept under house arrest without due processes. -Ehsan Mehrabi - 8/22/16

Congress Needs to Press the Pentagon, Saudi Arabia on Abuses in Yemen War

- On August 9, one day after the Pentagon notified Congress of its intention to sell $1.2 billion in weapons systems to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi-led coalition resumed airstrikes on Yemen's capital, Sanaa, after peace talks that began in April shut down. One strike hit a potato chip factory, reportedly killing 14 civilians. -Belkis Wille, LobeLog - 8/22/16

Banks become Iran's economic nightmare

- In recent years, banks and financial institutions have mushroomed in Iran, engaging more in speculative activities than finance. A number of manufacturing corporations, pension funds, charity foundations as well as civil, military and state organizations have established their own banks to cash in on the lucrative speculative sector. - 8/21/16

Iran Unveils New Long-Range Missile-Defense System

- Iran has released images of its first domestically built long-range missile defense system, the Bavar-373. The photos carried by several Iranian news agencies on August 21 showed President Hassan Rohani and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan standing in front of the defense system. Rohani also unveiled the first Iranian-made fighter jet engine. - 8/21/16

Russian Realism in the Middle East

- We should reflect on the meaning of Russia's use of a base in Iran for staging airstrikes in Syria, and about what lessons we could learn from the Russians. The significance does not have to do with any grand realignment in the Middle East or the emergence of a military alliance between Russia and Iran. Russians and Iranians are not buddies. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/21/16

President Rouhani congratulates Iran's first female Olympic medalist

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani extends his congratulation to taekwondo practitioner Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin for becoming the first Iranian female Olympian after winning the bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games. Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin received huge coverage by the Iranian media. Many newspapers covered the story prominently on their front pages. - 8/20/16

Defining "Ransom" for the Anti-Iran Crowd

- Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration had "secretly" sent $400 million to Iran in January, at the same time that the Iranian government agreed to release three American citizens whom it had detained (a fourth prisoner was also released in a separate deal). The Journal's framing was a bit odd-it's a stretch to call a payment "secret" when the president of the United States publicly acknowledged it when it was made. -Derek Davison - 8/20/16

Disappointment with JCPOA Behind Iran's Closer Ties with Russia

- The Iranian public and international observers received with surprise the news that Iran had allowed Russian planes to use an airbase in its Hamedan province for bombing expeditions in Syria. The Islamic government's emphasis on independence, the Iranian constitution's ban on granting basing rights to any foreign country, and the Islamist opposition's use of the presence of American military personnel and advisers as weapon against the Shah during the monarchy all made the granting of permission to Russia highly unusual. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog - 8/20/16

Russia, Iran Appear to Double Down on Assad's Behalf in Syria

- Russia's use of an Iranian base to launch airstrikes in Syria jolted the U.S. and its allies in the region, but the timing may have more to do with concerns about the fate of the Syrian regime than the need of Moscow or Tehran to send a message. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 8/19/16

U.S. Says It Withheld Cash To Secure Release Of Prisoners In Iran

- The U.S. State Department said it released $400 million in cash to Iran under a court settlement in January only after it was assured that American prisoners had been freed by Tehran. - 8/19/16

Zamaneh Conference and Festival in Amsterdam - Iran: The Road Ahead

- Together with friends and partners, Zamaneh Media will celebrate its 10 yr. anniversary with a conference and festival. -October 21-22, 2016 at Pakhuis De Zwijger Amsterdam - 8/19/16

Reformist Iranian Journalist's Prison Sentence Reduced on Appeal

- The prison sentence of reformist journalist Ehsan (Saman) Safarzaei has been reduced from five to two years, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. Safarzaei's lawyer, Iman Mirzadeh, confirmed he received the ruling in writing from Branch 36 of Tehran's Appeals Court on August 15, 2016. - 8/19/16

Passing the Foreign Policy Baton

- President Barack Obama has 22 weeks left in office. But in practice, his useful mandate will expire on November 9, the day after the presidential election. That does not mean he will be unable to exercise his duties as commander-in-chief for the 72 days remaining in his term. However, given his inclination not to do "stupid stuff," he is unlikely to leave any poisoned chalices for his successor. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 8/19/16

Why Has Tehran Allowed Russian Bombers to Use an Iranian Base?

- In a highly dramatic development, Russian bombers have begun using an Iranian base for bombing missions over Syria. Why Moscow would want to do this is clear: flight time to Syria is much shorter from northwestern Iran than from southern Russia. This allows Russian bombers to carry less fuel and more bombs, which holds out the prospect for more effective Russian bombing missions against Syrian opposition targets. -Mark N. Katz - 8/18/16

Imprisoned Epileptic Iranian Journalist Denied Request for Early Release

- Imprisoned reformist journalist Ahmad Asgari, who suffers from severe epilepsy, has been denied early conditional release and medical furlough (temporary leave), an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, despite doctors' determination that he is medically unfit to continue serving his sentence. - 8/18/16

Iran's police to use sniffer dogs at train stations

- Commander of Iran's railroad police unveiled plans for the formation of a dog squad to help the forces in anti-drug operations. Speaking to Tasnim on Monday, General Alireza Akbarshahi said the railroad police is already using the canines trained by the Police Special Forces on a limited scale. - 8/18/16

Why Victory Over IS Won't Solve the Real Problem Facing Iraq and Syria

- A recent spate of high-casualty Islamic State-linked attacks in France, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and (arguably) Orlando, Florida, has raised fears about the group's ability to carry out international terrorist strikes while also obscuring its failures at creating a "state." The group has lost a considerable amount of the territory it controlled at the height of its military success. - 8/18/16

Russian Planes Conduct More Syria Airstrikes From Iran

- Russian warplanes flew from Iran to carry out airstrikes in Syria for a second day Wednesday. The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes originating from Hamedan airbase targeted Islamic State militants. The first round of airstrikes Tuesday were aimed at Islamic State as well as the jihadist group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front. - 8/17/16

Prominent Iranian Human Rights Activist Mehrangiz Kar to Teach at California State University, Northridge in the Fall

- The Iranian government has made it clear that it doesn't like what Mehrangiz Kar has to say about what is happening in Iran or how Islamic law impacts women. The prominent Iranian lawyer, writer and activist doesn't care. - 8/17/16

Iran Arrests Dual National on Security-related Charges

- Iran has detained an Iranian with citizenship in another country over allegations the person had links to British intelligence services, a prosecutor said Tuesday, the latest dual national arrested in the country. - 8/17/16

US has delivered another $1.3 billion of Iran's money: Report

- US payment of $400 million of Iranian money which sparked outcry among American politicians was followed by another transfer of $1.3 billion, it has been reported. - 8/17/16

Michael Weiss and the Iran-U.S. Hardline Nexus That Led Iranian-American to Evin Prison

- How Daily Beast Editor, Michael Weiss Helped Send Iranian-American to Torture Chambers of Evin Prison -Richard Silverstein, Unz Review - 8/17/16

President Rouhani Battles Religious Hardliners Over Concert Cancellations in Iran

- A simmering battle between the government of President Hassan Rouhani and hardline religious figures over music concerts is playing out in northeastern Iran. Most recently, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli questioned the the announced suspension of all music concerts in Khorasan Razavi Province in a letter to the Judiciary. - 8/16/16

Russia uses Iran as base to bomb Syrian militants for first time

- Russia used Iran as a base from which to launch air strikes against Syrian militants for the first time on Tuesday, widening its air campaign in Syria and deepening its involvement in the Middle East. In a move underscoring Moscow's increasingly close ties with Tehran, long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Iran's Hamadan air base to strike a range of targets in Syria. -Reuters - 8/16/16

Iran kills four Daesh affiliates, arrests six: Kermanshah Governor

- Iranian security and intelligence officers on Monday and Tuesday killed four members of a Daesh-affiliated network in the western province Kermanshah, Kermanshah governor said on Tuesday. They were planning suicide bombings in central parts of the country, IRNA quoted Assadollah Razani as saying. - 8/16/16

President Rouhani: Iran removed bases for sanctions with JCPOA

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration pulled off the task of removing the bases for sanctions against the Islamic Republic, not just the bans themselves, by achieving a nuclear deal with six world powers. - 8/15/16

New Report Details Massive Disparity in Middle East Arms Race

- An August 2016 report on Iran's military capabilities in comparison with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) offers a straightforward take away: "the Arab countries are decisively winning this arms race." -NIAC - 8/15/16

Overblown Claims about Hezbollah in Latin America

- But some in Washington, DC, far removed from the harsh realities of violent gangs uprooting entire neighborhoods and police death squads assassinating young men, are fond of stirring up fears of Islamist terrorist activities in Latin America with overblown claims about the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah. -Michael LaSusa, LobeLog - 8/15/16

Iran oil fires raise cyber sabotage fears

- Iran's cyberspace security authorities are looking into possible sabotage by the US or Israel following a recent string of fires in Iranian oil and gas facilities. - 8/14/16

Iran's Foreign Minister Boosts Ties During Ankara Visit

- The foreign ministers of Turkey and Iran agreed Friday to boost trade relations and pledged greater cooperation on resolving the Syria crisis despite their differences on the issue. -VOA - 8/13/16

Acceptable Losses: Aiding and abetting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen

- Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.'s Human Development Index. Such was the dire condition of the country before Saudi Arabia unleashed a bombing campaign in March 2015, which has destroyed warehouses, factories, power plants, ports, hospitals, water tanks, gas stations, and bridges, along with miscellaneous targets ranging from donkey carts to wedding parties to archaeological monuments. -Andrew Cockburn, Harper's Magazine - 8/13/16

Is Iran's President Rouhani in Trouble?

- Perhaps because of this unpleasant political landscape for the conservatives the attacks against Rouhani are intensifying and will likely worsen as the election nears. For example, the Friday Prayer Leader of the city of Mashhad, Ahmad Alamolhoda, chose this week to ignore Ayatollah Khamenei's stamp of approval on the nuclear agreement when he called Rouhani "gullible" for stating that the nuclear has brought Iran respect. -Farideh Farhi - 8/12/16

Iran's weak economic growth undermines supporters of engagement

- President Rouhani won the presidency of his country under a campaign which promised to improve Iran's economy and increase the standard of living of its people. This promise was grounded in another promise, to negotiate a deal with the United States which would end a decade's worth of economic sanctions -NIAC Insight - 8/12/16

Policy Memo: Understanding U.S. Sanctions-Related Obligations Under the JCPOA

- It is an elemental condition of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ("JCPOA") -- the nuclear accord between the United States, other major world powers, and Iran - that the U.S. ensure that Iran receives the full benefit of the lifting of sanctions under the nuclear agreement. -Tyler Cullis, NIAC - 8/12/16

Five Prisoners Hanged in Iran in Accelerating Rate of Executions

- All of the prisoners except for Mohammad Abdollahi were sentenced to death on drug-related charges. The UN has stated that drug-related crimes do not meet the standard of the most serious crimes for which capital punishment may be applied. - 8/12/16

Iran wins another legal battle against Israel

- Switzerland's highest court has rejected an appeal by an Israeli company against a verdict to pay Iran money owed over a joint venture set up before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. - 8/12/16

The War Candidates

- A common observation about the role of foreign policy in the current presidential race is that Donald Trump's candidacy is profiting from a lack of appetite among much of the electorate for continued heavy and costly U.S. involvement in overseas conflict. With Trump having made some remarks that sound critical of that involvement, support for Trump gets interpreted as a rejection of establishment thinking on foreign involvement and of Hillary Clinton's hawkishness -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/12/16

Some Thoughts on Donald Trump...

- The "folk hero", the visionary Donald Trump, during his speech on economic policy on Monday, attacked Obama and Hillary Clinton(!), for "giving 150 billion dollars, plus another 400 million in ransom, to the world's biggest sponsor of terrorism, Iran." -Kam Zarrabi - 8/11/16

What If Saudi Arabia Collapses?

- The geopolitical tsunami that would result from Saudi Arabia's collapse would have enormous consequences regarding Iranian influence across the region. From Iraq to Lebanon, and from Yemen to Syria, the struggle on the part of hardline Sunni Islamists to counter Shi'ism and Iran's reach would enter a new phase should Saudi Arabia cease to exist as a unified nation-state. -Theodore Karasik and Joseph Cozza, LobeLog - 8/11/16

In L.A.'s 'Little Persia,' Iranian-Americans split on Clinton v. Trump

- In spite of the heated rhetoric about immigration and banning Muslims which has defined the campaign, in the largest Persian community in the country, the 2016 vote for president is still divided. Traditionally a left-leaning community, Republican Donald Trump has found a surprising advantage among Iranian-American voters USA TODAY spoke to here. -USA Today - 8/11/16

The Strange Bedfellows of U. S.-Iranian Animosity

- A semi-irony of the 37-year-old animosity between Iran and the United States is the repeated convergence of short-term interests between hard-liners in the Iranian theocracy and right-wing political forces in America. The latest example is the dispute over the U. S. government's $400 million payment to Iran. -Mansour Farhang - 8/10/16

British Prime Minister Presses Rohani Over Detained British-Iranian Woman

- British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged the Iranian president to resolve the case of a British-Iranian aid worker who faces trial in Iran. May's office said on August 9 she had "raised concerns" about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals during a telephone call with President Hassan Rohani. - 8/10/16

Iran will never compromise on distance from US: Supreme Leader

- "Keeping a distance from the head of the arrogant movement, i.e. the US, is one of the most important definitive principles of the great founder of the Islamic Republic and there is no room for any compromise or negligence in this regard," Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi and other senior personnel of the ministry on Tuesday. - 8/10/16

Is Saudi Arabia Pivoting Toward Iranian Radicals?

- Turki al-Faisal appears to be Riyadh's point man once again. Last month, the former head of Saudi intelligence called for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic at a meeting of the Iranian opposition in Paris. His remarks coupled with recent diplomatic moves signal a new tougher policy toward Iran from Saudi Arabia. -Joseph Hammond, National Interest - 8/10/16

The Defector Who Returned to Iran

- The bizarre saga of Shahram Amiri, a broad-shouldered young nuclear scientist who was executed last week in Iran, is the stuff of literary thrillers and movie blockbusters. Depending on whom you listen to, Amiri was either a defecting spy for the United States or a double agent for Iran. The enmity between the two countries briefly played out over this one man. -Robin Wright, New Yorker - 8/10/16
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