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September 21 2017
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Iranian FM Zarif meets Tillerson, P5+1 representatives over nuclear deal

- Representatives from Iran and the six world powers have come together to highlight the necessity of complying with Islamic Republic's nuclear agreement, despite threats by US President Donald Trump to scrap the deal. We raised the issue of Washington's non-compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) during the Wednesday meeting, said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. - 9/21/17

Tillerson Says He Remains Hopeful Iran Will Negotiate Changes In Nuclear Deal

- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he is still hopeful that Iran will agree to negotiate changes sought by the United States in the 2015 nuclear deal, despite the Iranian president's rejection of new talks. In a news conference late on September 20 after meeting with other parties to the agreement at the United Nations, Tillerson for a second time singled out the deal's "sunset" clauses, which end restrictions on Iranian nuclear activities, such as uranium enrichment, after 10 years in 2025. The restrictions were imposed in exchange for sanctions relief. - 9/21/17

The Minister is Wrong: Using Circumvention Tools to Access Censored Websites in Iran is Legal

- Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi was incorrect when he stated recently that using software to access censored online content in Iran is illegal. Indeed, no such law exists. "Using circumvention tools is illegal," he told the state broadcasting organization, abbreviated as IRIB, on September 14, 2017. "As minister of telecommunications, I have the authority to go online without them, so I don't use circumvention tools," - 9/21/17

Ayatollah Khamenei censures Trump's 'ugly' remarks against Iran at UN

- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has censured US President Donald Trump's latest hostile comments against the Iranian nation at the UN as "ugly", "foolish" and "sheer lies." The statements by the US president did not bring any pride to the American nation, said Ayatollah Khamenei. "The American elite should be ashamed of having such a president." - 9/21/17

Britain's PM meets Iran's President, urges all parties' commitment to Iran nuclear deal

- British Prime Minister Theresa May has strongly backed the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, calling on all parties to remain fully committed to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). "I explicitly announced at the United Nations that the JCPOA is a very important agreement, and we are determined to continue [implementing] it," May said during a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly session - 9/21/17

Turkey, Iran, Iraq Warn Of 'Countermeasures' If Kurdish Independence Vote Goes Ahead

- Turkey, Iran, and Iraq have threatened unspecified "countermeasures" if Iraq's Kurdish leaders go ahead with a planned referendum on independence. The three countries' foreign ministers met on September 20 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, ahead of the nonbinding referendum scheduled for September 25. - 9/21/17

Trump and Netanyahu Risk Repeating Mistakes of Iraq War with Iran

- "There was a remarkable tone deafness in Trump's outreach to the Iranian people. After having imposed on them a Muslim ban, despite the fact that no Iranian national has committed a lethal act of terror in the US, after declaring that Iranians only have themselves to blame when ISIS struck Tehran with terror, and after undermining and threatening to kill the nuclear deal that the Iranian people overwhelmingly support, Trump shockingly believes he can position himself as a friend of ordinary Iranians. But actions speak louder than words, and in all of his acts, he has shown deep animosity towards the people of Iran." -NIAC - 9/20/17

Trump's UN speech 'belongs in medieval times': Iran's FM Zarif

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that US President Donald Trump's UN address is not worth of a reply. "Trump's ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times - not the 21st century UN - unworthy of a reply," Zarif tweeted on Tuesday. "Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one," he stressed. - 9/20/17

President Trump Misguided in UNGA Speech: PAAIA Urges Trump Administration to Continue Implementing the JCPOA

- Today, President Trump told the United Nations General Assembly that the Iran Nuclear Agreement - otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - is "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into, and an embarrassment." -Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) - 9/20/17

Washington's Counterproductive 4H Fixation in the Middle East

- As the Trump administration projects uncertainty about its plans concerning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, it has redoubled pressure on its European allies to push back against Iran on unrelated issues, such as Iranīs "destabilizing regional activities." The thinking in Washington seems to be that the Europeans are so desperate to keep America committed to the JCPOA that they would go a long way toward acquiescing to US demands on those other issues. This, however, is wishful thinking. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog - 9/20/17

Iran Summons Award-Winning Filmmaker To Court

- Iranian authorities have asked award-winning filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof to report to the prosecutor's office after confiscating his passport upon arrival in Tehran. Rasoulof's passport was taken away at Tehran's airport on September 15 as he returned from the United States, where he had screened his latest film, A Man Of Integrity (Lerd), at the Telluride film festival. - 9/20/17

Iran: Kurdish Activists Detained for Protesting Killing of Border Couriers

- Six Kurdish artists and activists are being detained in Dizelabad Prison in Iran's Kermanshah Province for protesting the latest killing by Iranian border guards of "kulbars," the Persian word for border-crossing couriers, a source close to the detainees told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 9/20/17

These Are 40 of the Most Terrifying Words in Donald Trump's U.N. Address

- President Donald Trump is poised to make one of the most fateful decisions of his White House tenure. In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he lambasted the regime in Iran and, in a deeply misleading reference to the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, he said this of the United States -TIME - 9/20/17

Poll: Iranians Want Economic Reform, More Engagement With Europe

- A new IranPoll survey conducted in August finds that Iranians generally support globalization, want to see economic reform inside Iran, and want to improve their economic ties with Europe in particular. They are concerned, however, that U.S. pressure will cause European companies to think twice about doing business in Iran. The results show an Iranian public that seems increasingly optimistic about their economic future under the sanctions relief provided by the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA)-at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is seriously threatening the deal. -Derek Davison - 9/19/17

"Women, The Architects Of Peace" congress held in Tehran

- An international congress with the theme of "women, the architects of peace" was held here on Sunday on the occasion of the World Peace Day, which is annually marked on September 21. The congress was held with the cooperation of the Institute for Protection of Women's Rights (IPWR), The UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, Peace and Democracy (UNESCO CHRPD) of Shahid Beheshti University, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. - 9/19/17

UN Group Says Two Americans, Siamak and Baguer Namazi, Unjustly Held In Iran

- A United Nations human rights group has called on Iran to immediately release two Iranian-Americans, Siamak Namazi and his 81-year-old father Baguer Namazi, describing their imprisonment as a violation of international law. The two are serving 10-year prison sentences on spying charges. - 9/19/17

Sustaining the Iran Nuclear Deal

- 76 senior political, diplomatic and military figures from across Europe: The extension of the sanctions relief to Iran announced by the US administration on 14 September was welcome. But, we remain greatly concerned by reports that the US Administration might unilaterally declare Tehran non-compliant with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action") in mid-October at the next US decision point on maintaining sanctions relief. -European Leadership Network - 9/19/17

French Leader Raises Possibility Of Reopening Iran Nuclear Negotiations In 2025

- French President Emmanuel Macron in talks with his U.S. and Iranian counterparts has raised the possibility of renegotiating provisions of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal after their scheduled expiration in 2025, French officials said. The possibility was raised in separate one-on-one meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rohani on September 18 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the officials said. - 9/19/17

Baha'i Leader Released from Prison in Iran After 10 Years; Six Other Baha'i Leaders Remain Behind Bars

- The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) welcomes the release of the Baha'i leader, Mahvash Sabet, who was unjustly imprisoned in Iran for 10 years on the sole basis of her religion. CHRI calls for the immediate release of the six other Baha'i leaders, who have all been imprisoned in Iran since 2008, and an end to the state-led persecution of the Baha'i community. - 9/19/17

President Rouhani speaking in New York: Scrapping nuclear deal with Iran will be clear breach of agreement

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States' potential withdrawal from a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran would constitute a clear non-performance of contractual obligations by Washington. Speaking at a meeting of Iranian expatriates in New York, where he is to attend the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)President Rouhani said Iran would give "the due response" to any such violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). - 9/18/17

EU Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini Calls Iran Nuclear Deal 'Good', Robust'

- European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said that the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is a "good" and "robust" agreement. "The Iran deal is a good and robust agreement that serves the interests of all parties," she said in a statement to NBC News. "It is not an agreement between two countries - it is a commitment undertaken by the entire international community on one side and Iran on the other, supported by a resolution of the UN Security Council," she said. - 9/18/17

Iran and the Nuclear Sunset Clauses

- Opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), always has been filled with disingenuous arguments. This reflects the fundamental illogic of the opponents' position: if the agreement were to be junked, this would mean removing a panoply of restrictions on Iran and re-opening now-closed avenues to a nuclear weapon for the very country that the opponents constantly contend is a serious threat. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 9/18/17

Iran implementing nuclear-related commitments under JCPOA: IAEA Chief

- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again confirmed that Iran is implementing its commitments under the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement it signed with the P5+1 group of countries. "The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said on Monday. - 9/18/17

Netanyahu Is Meeting Trump To Push For War With Iran

- Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Donald Trump at the White House and push the U.S. to withdraw from the nuclear accord with Iran. Netanyahu will present an argument that Trump already has come to accept: America's adherence to the nuclear deal cannot solely depend on Iran's compliance with the agreement, but also whether Iran's other policies challenge U.S. national interests. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post - 9/18/17

Iran, UN Chief Voice Opposition To Plans For Referendum On Kurdish Independence

- Pressure increased against plans by Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq to hold an independence referendum, with the United Nations chief and Iranian leaders adding their voices to opponents of the vote. Iran on September 17 warned that should Iraq's Kurdistan region gain its independence, it would mean an end to all border and security arrangements agreed previously between Tehran and the regional government. - 9/18/17

Lack of transparency challenges foreign investment in Iran: Jens Ronnberg

- A member of European Central Bank's Executive Board and an auditor in PricewaterhouseCoopers firm says transparency is still the major obstacle to international companies' cooperation with Iran. "We must pay special attention to financial security. Iranian companies must be responsible for risk management and ensure the investors that they have thought out potential risks," he added. - 9/18/17

Abort the Iran Nuclear Deal and Increase the North Korean Nuclear Threat to the US

- US failure to implement fully the nuclear deal with Iran, perhaps even abrogating it while also continuing to isolate the country internationally, guarantees further erosion of Washington's already slim diplomatic opportunity to forestall North Korea's pursuit of a capacity to attack the United States with nuclear weapons. Even though Iran and North Korea are 4,000 miles apart and seem in Washington to be in different policy universes, they are in fact closely linked. -Robert E. Hunter - 9/17/17

Europe's Likely Response to Trump's Move Against Iran Nuclear Deal

- Opponents of the Iran nuclear accord (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA)-both within and outside the U.S. administration-are setting the ground for President Trump not to certify Iran's compliance with the deal in October. In doing so, they contend that European allies would ultimately follow the Trump administration's lead on the issue, force Iran to renegotiate new arrangements, and eventually accept new concessions. -Reza Nasri, LobeLog - 9/17/17

No agreement on the Caspian Sea

- Recently some of the high-ranking officials in the Caspian Sea littoral states (Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan) have indicated that the draft convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea is finalized and it may be ready for approval by the concerned states during their next summit conference. The reality is that the draft prepared after 50 meetings of the littoral states in the level of deputy foreign ministers contains nothing about the most important in the Caspian Sea: the criteria for division of the seabed and waters of the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 9/17/17

Imprisoned for Producing Music, Yousef Emadi Sentenced to Another Year Behind Bars

- An imprisoned Iranian music producer has been sentenced to an additional year in prison on new charges brought by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Yousef Emadi was supposed to be released on parole in 2017 after serving one year for producing underground music without a license. His co-defendants, Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian, were granted parole in June 2017. - 9/17/17

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Arrests Woman For Asking About Brother and Infant Niece's Disappearance

- Raheleh Rahemipour has been arrested by the Intelligence Ministry in Iran for refusing to give up her search for answers about her missing brother and infant niece, whom Rahemipour says disappeared after the baby was born in Evin Prison in 1984. Rahemipour was detained at her home in Tehran on September 10, 2017, and transferred to Evin Prison, a source close to the family told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 9/17/17

U.S. Extends Iran Nuclear Sanctions Relief, Adds Other Sanctions Over Missile Activity

- The United States says it is extending sanctions relief for Iran that was granted under the 2015 nuclear deal, while imposing new penalties on several individuals and entities over the country's ballistic-missile program. The State Department announced on September 14 that it will continue to waive sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers, but that no decision has yet been made on whether to preserve the deal itself. - 9/15/17

Trump Administration Seen Taking Harder Line on Iran

- President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened to take unspecified action against Iran next month, expressing continued dissatisfaction with the 2015 nuclear agreement signed by Iran and a group of world powers, including the United States. "We are not going to stand for what they're doing to this country," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. "They have violated so many different elements, but they've also violated the spirit of that deal. And you will see what we'll be doing in October. It will be very evident." -Steve Herman, VOA - 9/15/17

Trump seeking excuses to undermine the nuclear deal: Iran's Shamkhani

- Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump for fabricating excuses vis-a-vis Washington's implementation of its obligations under the nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Such an "unconstructive" attitude, which is meant to "actively undermine the international agreement," would further tarnish the US standing in the world, and would certainly be met with Iran's proportionate response, he added. - 9/15/17

Russia, Turkey, Iran Agree On Borders Of Syrian 'De-Escalation Zones'

- Negotiators from the three countries sponsoring Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, say they have reached an agreement to set up de-escalation zones in Syria for six months. The negotiators from Russia, Turkey, and Iran said in a joint statement on September 15 that the zones would include, either fully or partly, Eastern Ghouta in the northern Damascus countryside, and the provinces of Idlib, Homs, Latakia, Aleppo, and Hama. The statement said the six-month term could be extended in the future. - 9/15/17

Understanding the Iran Nuclear Agreement: Managing risks in an era of dangerous rhetoric and provocations

- In July 2015, the P5 + 1 and Iran finalized the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Today, it seems the JCPOA is under pressure from dangerous rhetoric and provocations...The risk that these confrontations escalate and lead to a collapse of the JCPOA cannot be ignored. Thus, I find myself once again assessing this watershed agreement and its implications for the security landscape. To better my understanding of the current state of affairs, I recently sat down with NTI's CEO and former Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, who was one of the JCPOA's principal architects. -NTI - 9/15/17

US House votes to block aircraft sales to Iran

- The US House of Representatives has voted in favor of new measures that block sales of commercial aircraft to Iran, ignoring some lawmakers' warnings that the hostile move would undermine the 2015 nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the six world powers. - 9/14/17

Nuclear Weapons Experts Warn Trump Against Abandoning Iran Deal

- WASHINGTON - More than 80 experts on nuclear non-proliferation issues urged the Trump administration Wednesday to not abandon the global agreement reached with Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear weapons development program. - 9/14/17

Rouhani's Intelligence Ministry is Keeping Prominent Rights Lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani in Prison, Says Daughter

- Abdolfattah Soltani, who spent most of his legal career defending political prisoners before becoming one himself, continues to be denied parole and adequate medical treatment as he enters his seventh year in prison, his daughter told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 9/14/17

US Military Readying a More Aggressive Approach Against Iran

- The United States is looking to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East with a more aggressive approach in cyberspace. "They operate almost entirely in what we refer to as the gray zone, that space between normal international competition and armed conflict," the commander of U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, said Wednesday in Washington, calling it "an area ripe for cyberspace operations." -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 9/14/17

Iranian Foreign Minister Meets Putin In Sochi Ahead Of Astana Talks

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Russia's Black Sea resort town of Sochi on September 13. The Kremlin press service confirmed the meeting but did not release details of the discussions. Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Zarif's talks with the Russian leadership would focus on the conflict in Syria as well as "the Middle East in general, issues related to Iran's nuclear program, and the situation in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region." - 9/14/17

Imprisoned Iranian Teacher's Rights Activist: I am Legally Entitled to a Public Trial

- An imprisoned teachers' rights activist has been refusing food and water, pledging to continue his hunger strike until his 14-year combined prison sentence is reviewed in a public trial. Mahmoud Beheshti-Langroudi, the former spokesman for the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA), was taken to Evin Prison in Tehran on September 12, 2017, to serve the sentences that were issued for his peaceful defense of labor rights. - 9/14/17

European Parliament Opposes Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia

- The European Parliament adopted today in Strasbourg a report on the implementation of the EU Common Position on Arms Export adopted in 2008. The motion, drafted by Bodil Valero, a Swedish member of the Green block, scrutinizes the level of compliance by EU member states with their own binding commitments governing the exports of military equipment and technology. - 9/14/17

Washington and Riyadh: Fading Memory of 9/11?

- The terror attacks of 9/11 have become a distant memory in US-Saudi relations. Washington's recent multi-billion American arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, its continued coddling of the Saudi regime, and the absence of American moral outrage over the immoral war in Yemen show that America hasn't learned much from the attacks and that Saudi Arabia and its Sunni neighboring allies remain untouched by the dastardly terrorist deed. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 9/14/17

Anti-War Organizations Urge Congress to Protect Iran Nuclear Deal, Prevent Backslide to War Under Trump

- In a new letter sent to members of the House of Representatives and Senate this morning, anti-war organizations representing tens of millions of Americans are urging Congress to do everything within their power as a co-equal branch of government to prevent Donald Trump from dismantling the Iran nuclear deal and putting the U.S. on a path to war with Iran. - 9/13/17

Iranian VP for Women's Affairs Calls Ban on Females in Sports Stadiums "Discrimination"

- Three days after Iranian women were barred from entering a stadium in Tehran to watch an international soccer match, President Hassan Rouhani's top female adviser described the ban as discriminatory. Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar was reacting to Syrian women being allowed inside Azadi Stadium during a World Cup qualifier match between Iran and Syria on September 5, while Iranian women, even those holding tickets, were banned from entry. - 9/13/17

Iran Signs Deals To Repair Syria's Power Grid, Infrastructure

- Iran has signed a series of deals and memorandums of understanding with Damascus to repair Syria's electrical-power infrastructure, state media report, giving the Islamic republic a potential foothold in war-torn Syria's eventual rebuilding process. - 9/13/17

Qatar and Oman's Shared Interests

- For decades, Oman has had neutral stances on regional issues, refusing to take sides in conflicts with strong ethnic and sectarian undertones. Since the Iran-Iraq War, Muscat's foreign policy strategy has positioned the sultanate as a diplomatic bridge between other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and their Western allies and the Islamic Republic. -Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog - 9/13/17

The Case Against the Iranian Nuclear Deal Is One Big Lie

- There's no reason to trust any of the Trump administration's criticisms of, or plans for replacing, the JCPOA. -Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy - 9/12/17

Pall hangs over U.S.-Iran science ties

- WASHINGTON, D.C.-Rising tensions between the U.S. and Iranian governments have frozen most scientific contacts between the two nations, experts reported at a forum here last week. Long at the vanguard of efforts to broker ties between Iranian and U.S. scientists, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) has mothballed its highly praised, 16-year-old engagement program -Richard Stone, Science Magazine - 9/12/17

Iranian women urge UN to stop violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

- A group of women-based Iranian organizations and formations in a letter sent to the United Nations asked the international body to act immediately to end the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. They seriously condemned the plight of Rohingya women and children and appealed to the Myanmar government, UN officials, human rights organizations, Muslim states, and human right activists to make efforts to solve the problem of Rohingya Muslims. Also, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday called Aung San Suu Kyi a "cruel woman" in which crimes against Rohingya Muslims are taking place under her eyes. - 9/12/17

Azerbaijan Threatens to Cut Off Military Cooperation With US, NATO

- Azerbaijan has threatened to cut off its military cooperation with the West in response to escalating pressure on Baku for its human rights violations. But that threat may ring hollow in light of Azerbaijan's declining importance for Western militaries. -Joshua Kucera, LobeLog - 9/12/17

Iran abiding by commitments under nuclear deal: IAEA's Amano

- Yukiya Amano, chief of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency, reconfirmed on Monday that Iran is honoring its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Speaking at the seasonal meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna, Amano also said the body under his leadership is continuing to "implement the Additional Protocol in Iran". Additional Protocol allows surprise inspection of nuclear sites. - 9/11/17

Is a Saudi-Iran Thaw Possible?

- Saudi Arabia and Iran are rethinking their rivalry and a highly tentative, as well as a deniable, courtship is underway, say analysts. But it is fraught pitfalls and last week in London Saudi Arabia's foreign minister dismissed talk of a possible thaw as "laughable," saying Iran would have to change its policies dramatically for that to happen. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA - 9/11/17

Iran's IRGC Brings "Revenge" Charges Against Man Imprisoned for Facebook Posts and His Wife

- An Iranian man imprisoned for his social media postings could face several more years behind bars if he is convicted of new charges brought against him by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His wife may also be imprisoned. - 9/11/17

Pakistan's Foreign Minister in Tehran amid standoff with US

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif in Tehran to discuss bilateral ties and the latest regional and international developments. Iran's Tasnim news agency said bilateral relations and the new US strategy in Afghanistan were at the heart of the negotiations. - 9/11/17

Iranian artist returns award over disrespect at Italy's visa section in Tehran

- Iranian graphic designer Turaj Saberivand has returned the A' Design Award that he won at an Italian contest in May after he failed to get a visa for Italy to attend the award ceremony of the event due to disrespect in the visa section of the Italian Embassy in Tehran. - 9/11/17

Following Apple's footsteps, Google Play drops Iranian apps

- Digital service distributor Google Play has followed Apple's lead in removing Iranian apps from its store, citing US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Companies such as Google and Apple were hosting Iranian apps reportedly under a license issued by former President Barack Obama's administration in 2014 but it is not clear why they have stopped those services now. - 9/10/17

Iranian Authorities Ignore Starving Political Prisoners at Rajaee Shahr Prison, Restrict Family Visitations

- Forty days after more than 15 political prisoners went on a mass hunger strike in Iran's Rajaee Shahr Prison, the authorities are preventing some of the strikers in the poorest physical condition from receiving outside medical treatment and punishing the protesters by restricting family visitations. - 9/10/17

Iran's Supreme Leader Forbids Discrimination Against Minorities in Rare Outreach to Sunnis

- Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has expressed opposition to "discrimination and inequality" against Iranian minorities in response to a plea from the country's most senior Sunni cleric. "In accordance with religious teachings and the Constitution, all the institutions of the Islamic Republic have a duty to refrain from any discrimination or inequality towards Iranians from any ethnicity, race or faith," said the ayatollah in response to a letter from Sunni cleric Molavi Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi. - 9/10/17

Yemen: Hiding Behind Coalition's Unlawful Attacks

- Members of the Saudi-led coalition have sought to avoid international legal liability by refusing to provide information on their role in alleged unlawful airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. In 2017, Human Rights Watch wrote to the coalition and its current and former members urging them to release information on their investigations and findings of laws-of-war violations as required by international law. None have replied. - 9/10/17

Trump Urges Persian Gulf's Arab States To Settle Disputes And Unite Against Iran

- U.S. President Donald Trump on September 8 urged Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to resolve their differences with Qatar and present a united front against Iran, the White House said. Trump spoke separately with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. - 9/10/17

U.S. Navy Denies Iran's Claim Says It Warned Off Warship In Gulf Of Oman

- Iran says it has warned off an American warship during the rescue of a boat in the Gulf of Oman, while the U.S. Navy denied any direct contact with Iranian forces. The hard-line Tasnim news agency reported on September 10 that the U.S. vessel turned away after the warning from a rocket-bearing Iranian military ship. - 9/10/17

Consequences of not Certifying Iran's Compliance with the JCPOA

- The Iran Project has issued a one page brief on the Consequences of not Certifying Iran's Compliance with the JCPOA - a decision that President Trump will face by October 15, 2017. If he decides to not certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal, Congress will then have 60 days to consider reimposing sanctions on an expedited timeline that could end the U.S. commitment to the agreement, or they could decide not to act indefinitely. - 9/8/17

Protest Against Killing of Couriers in Iran's Kurdistan Province Attacked by Security Forces

- A protest was met with tear gas in the city of Baneh in northwestern Iran on September 5, 2017, after people gathered in front of the local governor's office to demonstrate against the killing by Iranian border guards of two "kulbars," the Farsi word for border-crossing couriers. - 9/8/17

Iranian Family Launches Protest Over Concerts Canceled By Hard-Liners

- A family of four in Iran has launched a symbolic protest against the cancellation of concerts around the country on religious grounds. Ahmad Mehrchian and his wife, Zohreh Barati, decided to launch their protest after a concert by the veteran traditional musician Shahrem Nazeri (far left) and his son was canceled by authorities at short notice. - 9/8/17

Rouhani Government Remains on Sidelines Amid House Arrest Controversy

- The government of President Hassan Rouhani continues to avoid taking the initiative to resolve the six-and-a-half-year extrajudicial house arrests of ailing opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard. - 9/8/17

Iran's 'city of mullahs' has a surprising side

- Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this city was pious and sedate. The late Iranian American poet Nader Naderpour once listed as its main features "women with scarves over their heads, men clad in clerical robes, a single golden dome, old storks in the sky, one spiritless garden, a handful of lonely trees." Qom became the bedrock of Iran's theocracy and remains one of the country's holiest places -Shashank Bengali and Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times - 9/8/17

Iranian Sunni leader voices concerns to Khamenei

- AbdolHamid Ismail Zahi, better known as Molavi AbdolHamid, the Friday prayer leader in Zahedan and perhaps Iran's most prominent Sunni leader, thanked Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sept. 6 for publicly addressing Zahi's open letter regarding concerns about discrimination. -Al Monitor - 9/8/17

Iranian Women Angered As Syrian Female Fans Allowed Into Soccer Match

- A double standard by Iranian authorities -- who allow foreign women to attend male sporting events while banning Iranian women -- came under fire during a World Cup qualifying soccer match between Iran and Syria. Iranian women, even those who had managed to buy tickets (apparently due a technical glitch), were denied entry and kept behind locked gates at Tehran's Azadi Stadium, where the match was held on September 5. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 9/7/17

Haley's Dishonest Speech About the Iran Nuclear Agreement

- The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement that limits Iran's nuclear program, is for Donald Trump one more of the Obama administration's achievements to be trashed. It goes alongside the Affordable Care Act, the Paris climate change agreement, and other measures (most recently the "dreamers" program involving children of illegal immigrants) as targets for trashing because fulfilling campaign rhetoric is given higher priority in the current administration than whether a program is achieving its purpose, whether there are any realistic alternatives available, or what the effects of the trashing will be on the well-being of Americans and the interests and credibility of the United States. -Paul Pillar - 9/7/17

Iran under 'most robust' nuclear inspection: IAEA Director General

- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has defended the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, saying the Islamic Republic is under "the world's most robust" nuclear inspection regime. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano made the remarks at a panel discussion on global nuclear governance in the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia earlier this week amid Washington's pressure on the agency to request access to Iran's military sites. - 9/7/17

Iran's President Rouhani urges Myanmar to stop crimes against Rohingya

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday urged the Myanmar government to put an end to vicious crimes against Rohingya Muslims in the Buddhist-majority country, ISNA reported. At least 123,000 Rohingya have fled from western Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh since late last month when violence erupted in Myanmar's Rakhine state, the UN said on Tuesday. - 9/7/17

Only Political Imagination Can Save the Iran Deal

- On Monday, Ambassador Nikki Haley gave a speech on Iran and the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington D.C. think tank. Her speech was remarkable for many reasons, including her declaration that if President Trump "finds that he cannot in good faith certify Iranian compliance," an outcome long anticipated, "that does not mean the United States is withdrawing from the JCPOA." Rather, Trump's move would give Congress a period of "sixty days to consider whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran" under the Corker-Cardin legislation. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog - 9/7/17

Iranian Workers, Pensioners Protest Months of Delayed Wages

- Labour protests have become the order of the day in Tehran and other cities across the country with workers and pensioners demanding payment of their wages; however, employers have come to regard these delays as a matter of course and often express surprise at the workers demands. - 9/7/17



Censoring an Iranian Love Story

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