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Obama Assures American Jewish Leaders on Iran Deal

- President Barack Obama told American Jewish leaders the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran is the best option for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, saying that "true friendship," like that between the United States and Israel, allows room for debate. Speaking in a live webcast Friday, the president delivered remarks about the disputed deal and how it will impact the relationship between the United States and Israel. -Katherine Gypson, VOA - 8/29/15

Some Dubious Characters, Connections Among Ex-Military Foes of Iran Deal

- When something big happens in the foreign policy world-especially a political issue that requires a vote in Congress-advocates try to shore up their positions with what are called, in public relations terms, "validators." On issues of national security, of course, the military validator is of particular importance. -Ali Gharib and Grace Cason, LobeLog - 8/29/15

MP seeks solutions to house arrests, media ban of Iranian opposition leaders

- Iranian MP Ali Motahari has written a letter to the chairman of the Assembly of Experts, urging him to review the matter of the house arrest of MirHosein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard and Mehdi Karroubi and also the media ban on former president Mohammad Khatami. - 8/29/15

Iranian security officers block memorial for executed political prisoners

- Iranian intelligence and security officers prevented a gathering of families and activists from taking place at Khavaran Cemetery on August 28. Khavaran is the burial ground of some of the thousands of political prisoners who were executed in the late eighties following an edict by the late leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini. - 8/29/15

Hundreds of thousand migrants have fled Middle East, Africa for Europe

- A UN report reveals that more than 300,000 migrants have taken the hazardous route across the Mediterranean Sea to escape to Europe this year, and 2,500 of them are estimated to have lost their lives en route. - 8/29/15

The Molten Three: Israel's Aborted Strike on Iran

- I must admit that Moshe ""Bogie" Ya'alon did not top the list of my favorite politicians. The former army Chief of Staff and present Minister of Defense looked to me like a mere lackey of Netanyahu and a one-dimensional militarist. Many people call him a "bock", a non-complimentary German-Yiddish term for billy goat... -Uri Avnery, Counterpunch - 8/29/15

Sophisticated Phishing Campaign Targets Iranian Diaspora

- Civil society activists in the Iranian diaspora community are being targeted with an elaborate and sophisticated phishing campaign designed to steal their email communications and contacts, a group of Canada-based researchers contends in a new report. -Doug Bernard, VOA - 8/28/15

Iran and the Third Rail of American Politics

- A distinctive feature of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the P-5+1 and Iran to limit Iran's nuclear program is that the fate of the plan in Congress rests not on the details of actual arms control agreement but on the dreaded third rail of America's dysfunctional domestic politics. America's "third rail" of domestic politics once consisted of a relatively small number of hot button issues (Social Security, for example) that politicians simply could not touch for fear of retribution by the voters. -James A. Russell - 8/28/15

EU working on new deal in rush to Iran

- The European Union is said to be working on a political agreement to fast-track plans for future energy deals in Iran. Financial data and news provider Bloomberg on Thursday cited "two people with direct knowledge of the talks" as saying that the deal could be signed as early as November. - 8/28/15

Committee for the Liberation of Iraq Members on Iran Deal

- "Many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal," President Obama observed August 5 at American University in perhaps his most forceful and aggressive speech in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). There really is no question regarding the fundamental truth of that assertion. -Grace Cason and Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 8/28/15

Senator Tom Carper to support Iran nuclear deal

- NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) announced that he will support the Iran nuclear deal: "Senator Carper has distinguished himself as a champion of diplomacy with Iran, and his statement today welcoming the deal will help ensure that the last two years of tough negotiations result in a verifiable deal instead of a disastrous missed opportunity. - 8/28/15

German Support For Barenboim Concert In Iran Draws Israeli Ire

- Star conductor Daniel Barenboim is hoping to take one of Germany's top orchestras to Iran to perform a concert there, the Berlin State Opera said August 27, drawing angry protests from Israel. Barenboim, 72, who is general music director of the German capital's flagship opera house, "is in talks with Iran about a possible concert in Tehran," the house said. - 8/28/15

Swiss conference: Iran 'pole of stability' for business

- Switzerland, which became the first nation to lift sanctions on Iran last month, has arranged a major conference for its business owners, urging them to make the most of business opportunities in the energy-rich country. Some 500 business people gathered in Zurich to have Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Giulio Haas call Iran "the pole of stability in a very, very unsafe region", media reports from the event said. - 8/28/15

Prominent Iranian Activists, Intellectuals Call On Congress To Back Nuclear Deal

- Activists who have taken to YouTube and social media in support of the agreement are hoping that it will ultimately strengthen the hands of the moderates and result in an opening up of the political situation inside the country. Many of them are based in Iran -- including student activist Zia Nabavi, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence, and top human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was released from prison in 2013. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/27/15

Iran Cultivates Closer Ties with Azerbaijan

- After six years of turbulent relations between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, several recent trips by high-ranking Iranian officials to Baku and Azeri ministers to Tehran are the latest signs that the two countries want to forget bad memories and establish closer relations. This rapprochement is in part a response to the mutual security challenges that Iran and Azerbaijan currently face. -LobeLog's Tehran correspondent - 8/27/15

The Biggest Myths About Doing Business with Iran

- I've led three delegations of top international CEOs to Iran over the past three years. The first, in 2013, was during Ahmadinejad's presidency and later, in 2014 and 2015, under Rouhani. We met with Iranian business leaders, young entrepreneurs, religious leaders, students, artists and people we would encounter in markets or on the street. -Dick Simon, Huffington Post - 8/27/15

Reactivated suspended sentence keeps Iranian activist in jail two more years

- Iranian student activist Bahareh Hedayat has to serve another two years in jail, even though her family expected her to be released having served five and a half years in jail. Bahareh Hedayat, born in 1981, was an executive member of the student group Tahkim-e Vahdat and also its spokesperson before going to jail. - 8/27/15

Neoconservatives Play the Long Game on Iran

- David Addington, the legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, made that declaration to Jack Goldsmith of the Office of Legal Counsel in the months after September 11, 2001. Goldsmith would later recall that Cheney and Addington were the first people he had ever met of a certain kind... -David Bromwich, LobeLog - 8/27/15

European companies ignore US, keen on returning to Iran market: Report

- London-based The Guardian, in a new report published on Tuesday, noted that the nuclear agreement has actually widened the gap between the two sides of the Atlantic, saying, "The ink was barely dry on the agreement with Iran ... before a German government plane packed with the nation's economic elite touched down in Tehran." - 8/27/15

Booker Torn Between GOP Donors and His Party

- Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is feeling the heat. Progressive advocacy groups are pushing Democrats from one side to back the Obama administration's plan to constrain Iran's nuclear program. From the other side, meanwhile, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie vows to lobby Booker to join the senior senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez, in opposing the Iran deal. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 8/27/15

Berlin orchestra's planned Tehran concert angers Israel

- The Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim has been in talks to take one of Germany's top orchestras to Iran to perform a concert, drawing angry protests from Israel. -Guardian - 8/27/15

U.S. Senate Democrats Increasingly Confident Will Uphold Iran Deal

- Senator Patty Murray on August 25 became the 29th Senate Democrat to declare her support for the deal -- bringing the party within five votes of the 34 needed to uphold President Barack Obama's expected veto of a resolution rejecting the deal that Republican leaders are preparing to send him. - 8/26/15

Russian Anxieties about the Iranian Nuclear Accord

- A great debate is currently taking place in the U.S. about whether the nuclear accord between Iran and the P5+1 is a "good deal" or a "bad deal" for America and thus whether or not Congress should reject it. Although not nearly as vociferous, a similar debate is taking place in Moscow over what the implications of the Iranian nuclear accord are for Russia. -Mark N. Katz - 8/26/15

The Iran Issue and the Exploitation of Ignorance

- Polls of American public opinion on the agreement to restrict Iran's nuclear program have produced widely varying results. One can find polls to support whatever position one would like to portray as the prevailing public view on this issue. Poll results on this subject are especially sensitive to the wording of the question that is asked. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/26/15

Iranian Human Rights Defenders Coming Out Massively in Support of the Iran Deal

- The list includes Iran's most respected human rights defender, Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer that has spent several years unjustly in jail. Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi has also posted a video, as has Mehrangiz Kar. Perhaps the most moving one comes from Zia Nabavi, a renowned Iranian political prisoner sentenced to ten years of prison, who taped his voice recording in support of the deal from inside his prison cell. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post - 8/26/15

Group of Christian leaders backs Iran deal

- More than 50 Christian leaders have signed on to a letter urging members of Congress to "remember the wisdom of Jesus" and approve the nuclear deal with Iran, the latest in a growing lobbying push by religious groups favoring the agreement. -Nahal Toosi, Politico - 8/26/15

Imprisoned Iranian Cartoonist Grateful for International Courage Award

- Jailed artist Atena Farghadani has expressed gratitude upon hearing she was awarded the 2015 Courage in Cartooning Award by the Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), her father said after visiting her at Evin Prison on August 16, 2015. - 8/26/15

Britain Will 'Tread Carefully' as Embassy Reopens in Iran

- After reaching a deal with world powers over its nuclear program in July, Iran's apparent diplomatic rehabilitation continues. Britain has reopened its embassy in Tehran, four years after it was ransacked by protesters. Iran has also reopened its embassy in London. After visiting the newly re-opened British Embassy in Tehran, London's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it was vital to open a dialogue with Iran's leaders. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 8/25/15

Wanted For Terrorism, Commander Of Iran's Quds Force Is Actually Kind And Emotional, Brother Says

- Qassem Soleimani, a top military commander in Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), is a wanted man. For years, he's been linked to support for terrorism, covert operations, arms smuggling, and other efforts aimed at expanding Iran's influence abroad and undermining that of its enemies. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/25/15

Inspection Priorities at Parchin

- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed a desire to visit a building at the Parchin Ammunition Plant near Tehran. The IAEA believes that experiments related to nuclear weapons may have taken place there early in the 2000s. The building is an unremarkable rectangular industrial building that would attract no interest whatsoever except that there are rumors about its past uses. -Robert Kelley - 8/25/15

The Danger of Rogue Israeli Military Action against Iran

- The New York Times reported on August 21 that, according to leaks by Ehud Barak's biographers, the former Israeli defense minister and his boss, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, were ready to attack Iran's nuclear infrastructure in 2010, 2011, and 2012. -Wayne White, LobeLog - 8/25/15

Commentary: Right-wing American bloggers have a problem with facts about Iran's Jews

- Two prominent right-wing websites took aim at my GlobalPost article showing that Iranian Jews support the nuclear agreement with Iran and disagree with the views of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. -Reese Erlich, GlobalPost - 8/25/15

German FM to visit Iran early October for talks on nuclear accord

- German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to travel to Iran in October for talks on the nuclear accord, which was struck between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries, including Berlin, earlier in the year. - 8/25/15

How to Persuade Undecided Democrats to Oppose the Iran Deal

- With virtually all Republicans already committed to rejecting the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action between the P5+1 and Iran, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the "brains" behind the Iraq debacle, has hit on just the person to persuade Democrats to defy their president. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 8/25/15

Top Senate Democrat Backs Iran Nuclear Deal

- Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid has expressed his support for the agreement the United States and five other nations reached with Iran to limit the country's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The Senate Minority Leader called the deal "the best path to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon" in a statement Sunday. - 8/24/15

Sanction, military threats against Iran harm JCPOA: President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says threats of military action and re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran will harm efforts for the restoration of trust between Iran and six world powers. "These sardonic remarks are indiscreet slogans and jokes that would harm the process of confidence-building," Rouhani told British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Tehran on Monday. - 8/24/15

Multifaceted Obstacles Facing Iran-US Rapprochement

- Dr. Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour, Iran's former ambassador to the United Nations Office at Geneva has taken part in an interview with Khabaronline news website to answer various questions on the effects of the recent nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers on Iran's regional relations in the Middle East, and the outlook of Tehran's ties with Washington. - 8/24/15

Noam Chomsky on the Iran Deal

- Throughout the world there is great relief and optimism about the nuclear deal reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the five veto-holding members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. Most of the world apparently shares the assessment of the U.S. Arms Control Association that "the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons... -Noam Chomsky - 8/24/15

Iranian Nurses' Groups Oppose Firing Of Protesters

- The Nursing Associations in Yazd and Khorasan Razavi have issued a statement denouncing the termination of four hospital nurses at Tehran's Amir Alam Hospital for taking part in labour protests. - 8/24/15

Iran-UK ties important to both countries: Diplomat

- A top Iranian diplomat says diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic and the United Kingdom are a necessity. "Having relations and diplomatic missions is of significance to both Britain and Iran," said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi on the sidelines of a ceremony in the British capital, London, to reopen the Iranian Embassy. - 8/24/15

Iran, Britain Reopen Embassies

- Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has reopened the British embassy in Tehran, four years after Iranian protesters stormed the building and forced its closure. In a historic step in the thawing of relations between Tehran and Western powers, Hammond on August 23 declared the British embassy open and raised the Union Jack flag within the garden of the 19th century residence in the heart of Tehran. - 8/23/15

Iran's President Questions Role Of Hard-Line Vetters, Meets With Pushback

- Iran's Guardians Council, long accused of being a tool for hard-liners in factional power struggles, is at the center of a new war of words among top state officials. The exchange comes ahead of elections early next year for parliament, which is currently controlled by conservatives and hard-liners, and for the Assembly of Experts, which oversees and appoints the country's supreme leader. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/23/15

Congressman Nadler on Why He Supports the Iran Deal

- This September, we will face one of the most serious global security decisions in our history. It is a decision that I have taken my time to consider, knowing the stakes are too high to allow for anything but clear-headed and thoughtful analysis, with an acute awareness that there are sharply divided opinions and passionate feelings on both sides. -Jerrold Nadler, LobeLog - 8/23/15

Just Desserts: Ben and Jerry Join Pro-Iran Deal "Donor Strike"

- "Lobbyists and billionaires plan to spend over $40 million to stop the diplomatic deal with Iran-the one the Obama Administration negotiated to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons," the ice cream moguls wrote in a letter to MoveOn supporters and posted online. "That's dangerous, because if too many Democrats listen to the flood of hawkish, misinformation-ridden TV ads-and if they vote with Republicans-they could override the president's agreement in just about a month." -Marsha B. Cohen - 8/22/15

Banning of Films Continues under Rouhani Administration, 14 Movies Now Forbidden

- Despite repeated statements made by President Rouhani regarding the need to allow more cultural freedoms in Iran, the banning of films in the Islamic Republic has continued unabated during his two-year administration. - 8/22/15

Photos: Iran unveils solid-fuel precision-guided missile with a range of 500 km

- Iran unveils a new solid-fuel precision-guided missile, named Fateh 313, which has been designed and manufactured by experts at the Defense Ministry's Aerospace Industries Organization. - 8/22/15

Iran Nuclear Debate Fracturing American Jewish Community

- The debate over the nuclear deal with Iran is dividing American Jews, who have traditionally aligned with the Democratic Party and supported Barack Obama in two elections - but not always when it comes down to Iran. Four notable polls conducted since the deal was announced demonstrate that the American Jewish community is divided. -Cecily Hilleary, VOA - 8/22/15

Planned Israeli Attacks On Iranian Nuclear Sites Said Blocked

- Israel's Channel 2 TV reported August 21 that a plan for Israel to strike Iranian nuclear facilities was blocked on three separate occasions in recent years. The report comes as Israel has been strenuously lobbying against a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that aims to curb Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions' relief. - 8/22/15

AIPAC's Military "Expert" Loves the MEK And GOP's Islamophobic Fringe

- The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has committed over $20 million to defeating the Obama administration's nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran. But that doesn't mean its campaign has gone smoothly. One of the top challenges facing AIPAC is finding reputable ex-military validators to denounce the agreement. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 8/22/15

Senator Corker and the Nuclear Agreement

- Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has long given us hope for reasonableness even when he and we have been surrounded by partisan rabidity and a lack of reason. Corker was one of the few Republican senators to refrain from signing the Tom Cotton letter that lectured the Iranians on how they cannot count on the United States sticking to any agreement that Iran may reach with it. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/22/15

After Nuclear Deal With West, Iran Gears Up to Cash In

- When Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps took over the nation's telecommunications monopoly in 2009, the move was denounced as another dark step in the hard-line military group's seizure of the levers of power. Last month, however, the company, the Telecommunication Company of Iran, was put up for sale, as the Revolutionary Guards now seem more interested in cashing in on what Iranian leaders are hoping will be a flood of foreign investment... -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 8/22/15

AP Mangles Parchin Story, Hopes Nobody Notices

- On Wednesday the Associated Press published an exclusive that was guaranteed to provide ammunition to those in the United States who are working to defeat the Iran nuclear deal in Congress next month. The story, "UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site," describes a draft of a so-called "side agreement" reached between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the nuclear watchdog agency's planned inspections at Iran's Parchin military base... -Derek Davison - 8/21/15

Britain, Iran To Reopen Embassies After Four-Year Closure

- Britain and Iran will reopen their respective embassies, four years after their closure when protesters angry over Western sanctions stormed the U.K. mission in Tehran. Officials said Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who helped negotiate a historic nuclear deal between Iran and the West, will travel to Iran August 23 for the reopening of the British embassy. Tehran will reopen its embassy in London at the same time, officials said. - 8/21/15

IAEA Director 'Disturbed' By Report On Iranian Nuclear Inspections

- The head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says he is "disturbed" by a report suggesting his organization has given responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said in a statement on August 20 that such statements "misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work. - 8/21/15

Turkey-Iran Tensions on Rise

- The cancellation of a visit to Turkey last week by Iran's foreign minister has brought increasingly tense relations between Ankara and Tehran into sharper focus. The two countries back opposite sides in the Syrian civil war and accuse each other of heightening sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 8/21/15

What's Really behind Khamenei's Recent Anti-US Statements?

- Last week Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iran will not allow the United States to try reestablishing its influence in Iran. Taken together with the statement of the hardline managing editor of Keyhan Hussein Shariatmadari insinuating that the religious leader was against the nuclear agreement, this statement raised the question of whether Khamenei was having second thoughts about backing the moderate and reconciliatory policies of his president, Hassan Rouhani. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog - 8/21/15

Post-sanctions Iran must focus on building a knowledge economy

- In 1979, the Islamic Revolution rid Iran of over two and a half millennia of monarchy. It also led to a three-decade exodus of highly educated Iranians from the country. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for over twenty-five years, Iran has consistently had one of the highest rates of brain drain in the world. -Kayvan Vakili, Quartz - 8/21/15

In Letter, Obama Tells Congress U.S. Will Still Press Iran

- In his most comprehensive effort to assure wavering Democrats, President Obama wrote in a letter to Congress that the United States would unilaterally maintain economic pressure and deploy military options if needed to deter Iranian aggression, both during and beyond the proposed nuclear accord. -NY Times - 8/21/15

Will Iran nuclear deal affect Persian businesses in L.A.?

- The nuclear deal struck between Iran and the U.N. Security Council is being hotly debated in Congress. In Los Angeles, business people in the largest community of Iranians outside Iran are talking about what an end to sanctions might mean for their businesses. -Andy Uhler, Marketplace - 8/21/15

Iran widens media charm offensive with access for BBC following nuclear deal

- Iran's media charm offensive following last month's landmark nuclear deal has crossed a new frontier with a visa for a reporting trip and and high-level interview granted to a BBC correspondent for the first time in six years. -Guardian - 8/21/15

Phased End of Iranian Arms Embargo Is US Victory

- The benefits that Iran will accrue by complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have set off alarm bells in Washington. Opponents have misrepresented the deal's lifting of an international arms embargo as a major and unnecessary concession to Iran. The arms embargo, however, was designed to end if and when Iran concluded a nuclear deal with world powers. The delayed end of the embargo is the result of the Obama administration's tough negotiating tactics, which bordered on brinksmanship. -Henry Johnson - 8/20/15

Senators Joe Donnelly and Ed Markey announce support for Iran nuclear deal

- NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after Senator Joe Donnelly announced his support for the Iran nuclear agreement: "Senator Donnelly's announcement is a very big deal. This was clearly not a political decision or a partisan decision, but a decision based on the premise that rejecting this deal would violate the principle that war must only be a last resort. - 8/20/15

Wall Street Journal Denies Iranian Charges That Reporter Spied

- The Wall Street Journal denied Iranian state media accusations that one of the newspaper's senior reporters spied and conspired against Iran's government. The stories in the Iranian daily newspaper Kayhan and other outlets called Farnaz Fassihi a secret go-between for the Obama administration when it sought to make contact with the Iranian opposition Green Movement in 2009. The movement rose to prominence and sparked mass demonstrations following Iran's disputed presidential election that year. - 8/20/15

Iranian Ex-Prosecutor Acquitted Of Murder In Protesters' Deaths

- A former Iranian prosecutor has been acquitted of murder charges related to the killing of three antigovernment protesters in 2009, Iranian news agencies report. Reports said Said Mortazavi will spend time in jail and pay a fine for receiving "illegal money" during his time as the head of Iran's Social Security Fund. - 8/20/15

Optimism on the Iran Deal, Whichever Way Congress Decides

- Most pundits predict that Obama will have enough votes to push through the Iran nuclear deal. An AIPAC-driven Congress will oppose it, but Obama will use his veto power to overcome the opposition. At the end of the day, optimists forecast, the president will receive the requisite support in Congress to prevent a veto override. -Gary Leupp, Counterpunch - 8/20/15

Democratic Leader Says U.S. House Will Uphold Obama On Iran Deal

- Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, says U.S. President Barack Obama has enough votes from lawmakers to stop a Republican-led effort to block the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. - 8/20/15

Menendez Rejects Iran Deal, Sides With Donors To His Legal Defense Fund

- Tuesday's announcement by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) that he would vote against the Iran deal, making him the second Senate Democrat to oppose the White House's signature foreign policy initiative, was a surprise to no one. Menendez had been an outspoken critic of the White House's Iran diplomacy, even aligning himself with the controversial Mojahedin-e-Khalq, a fringe Iranian exile group that advocates regime change in Tehran. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 8/20/15

26 Top Jewish Leaders Back Iran Deal in New York Times Ad

- Jewish supporters of the Iran nuclear deal have published a full-page New York Times ad backing the agreement signed by 25 current and former prominent communal leaders. The signers include heads of national Jewish organizations, leaders from major federations and former lawmakers, all calling on Congress to approve the deal. -Forward - 8/20/15

Iran: Report says interference waves now less intense

- Iran's minister of transportation has announced that the report on the effects of interference waves has been forwarded to the Supreme Council of National Security. Many critics have challenged the state's use of interference waves to block or censor satellite programming, calling it a serious threat to people's health. - 8/20/15

In Iran, 'death to America' doesn't mean what you think

- Hardline Iranians continue to shout "death to America" at Friday prayers and political rallies as they have for decades. That chant is cited by conservative U.S. politicians as proof that Iran remains hostile and can't be trusted to implement nuclear accords. -Reese Erlich, GlobalPost - 8/20/15

Seventy-Plus Nuclear Non-Proliferation Experts Endorse Deal

- The Arms Control Association (ACA) released a joint statement on Tuesday endorsed by 75 of the world's leading nuclear non-proliferation specialists, including a former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and former top U.S., UN, and foreign government non-proliferation officials. The statement concludes that the July 14 agreement "is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear non-proliferation efforts." -Jim Lobe - 8/19/15

Iran remembers 1953 US-led coup against then Iran PM

- Iran is remembering the anniversary of the 1953 coup against the government of then democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq. Six decades after the notorious coup, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the first time published a document in August 2013 which confirmed Washington's role in the coup d'etat. - 8/19/15

Senator Menendez's Efforts to Derail the Iran Deal

- "Menendez has long opposed any diplomatic solution to the U.S.-Iran standoff. He proved this when he and Senator Chuck Schumer teamed up with Republicans to kill the Iran negotiations in 2014 and earlier this year with sanctions. The pair were unable to convince their Democratic colleagues to sabotage U.S. diplomatic efforts then, and so far they are the only Democratic Senators signed onto this latest attempt to kill a deal." -NIAC Action - 8/19/15

Obama Gains More Support For Nuclear Deal With Iran

- Three more Democrats in the U.S. Senate announced their support for the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers on August 18, raising to 23 the number who back the deal and increasing the likelihood that President Barack Obama can veto Republican attempts to block the accord. - 8/19/15

The Backfiring of Israeli Strategy on Iran

- Those paying attention both to the Israeli government's implacable opposition against the agreement restricting Iran's nuclear program and to the issue of Iran's other activity in the Middle East might take note of some background that several analysts, including Shibley Telhami and Aaron David Miller, have noted: that Israeli agitation about the Iranian nuclear program was a principal impetus for negotiating the agreement on that subject that was finalized in Vienna last month. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 8/19/15
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