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January 19 2017
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PHOTOS: 30 Firefighters Die, Over 100 People Missing As Tehran High-Rise Collapses After Fire

- A massive fire erupted on Thursday in a mega mall in downtown Tehran, the city's most populous area, bringing the whole the 17-story building down. Thirty firefighters have lost their lives, according to IRIB. Death toll is expected to rise. More than 100 people are estimated to have been trapped under rubble. - 1/19/17

PHOTOS: Iran's president test-drives electric car on National Clean Air Day

- On the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday, Rouhani took a tour by some of his ministers to check the products of three knowledge-based companies manufacturing electric cars and motorcycles. The Iranian president was briefed on the capabilities and quality of the products, including the two-seat electric car Yooz, produced by the Islamic Azad University of Qazvin, as well as two electric motorcycles manufactured by two other research centers. - 1/19/17

UN: Iran Nuclear Deal Working; Continued Commitment Required

- A U.N. report says Iran has not received any unauthorized transfers of nuclear-related items since an international nuclear agreement was implemented a year ago, but Tehran may have violated some provisions on conventional arms transfers and travel restrictions. -Margaret Besheer, VOA - 1/19/17

Iran-Saudi cooperation possible if Riyadh sees realities on ground: Foreign Minister Zarif

- Iran and Saudi Arabia can work together to help end regional conflicts, but Riyadh needs to see the realities on the ground before relations between the two countries could go back to normal, the Iranian foreign minister says. Meanwhile, Zarif warned US President-elect Donald Trump against trying to renegotiate Iran's nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - 1/19/17

Amnesty International Condemns Iran's 'Prolific' Use Of Corporal Punishment

- Amnesty International has sharply criticized Iran over what it called the prolific use of "cruel and inhuman" corporal punishment including flogging, amputations, and forced blinding. In a recent case, a journalist was lashed 40 times after being convicted of inaccurate reporting, the London-based human rights group said. - 1/19/17

President Rouhani: JCPOA belied allegations against Iran

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the historic deal over Iran's nuclear program and its implementation belied claims about the country seeking weapons of mass destruction and demonstrated the honesty and sincerity of the Islamic Republic. Rouhani made the remarks in a press conference attended by some 200 Iranian and foreign reporters in Tehran on Tuesday on the first anniversary of the implementation of the country's nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). - 1/18/17

Why Coercion Is a Recipe for Failure with Iran

- Opponents of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord have criticized the deal because it did not end uranium enrichment or limit missile development by Iran. With the Trump administration, some see an opportunity to undermine the agreement by imposing more non-nuclear sanctions on Iran. The assumption is that this could provoke Tehran to withdraw from the deal, snapping back the 'crippling' sanctions, which-according to common wisdom-brought the country to the negotiating table in 2013. -Tytti Erasto - 1/18/17

Khatami, Former Political Prisoners and Ailing Mother Convince Ali Shariati to End 75-Day Hunger Strike

- Requests by prominent reformist leader Mohammad Khatami, political prisoners, and his ailing mother ultimately convinced imprisoned civil rights activist Ali Shariati to halt his hunger strike, after 75 days, on January 14, 2017. - 1/18/17

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Arrest Former Reformist MP's Sister on Unspecified "Security Charges"

- Fatemeh Haghighatjou, a former reformist member of Iran's Parliament currently living in the United States, is desperately seeking information about her sister, Leila Haghighatjou, who was arrested on December 19, 2016 in Tehran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and is being held without access to a lawyer. - 1/18/17

Iran Against U.S. Presence At Syria Peace Talks In Astana

- Iran says it opposes the United States joining peace talks on Syria to be held in Kazakhstan next week. That goes against the position of the other two organizers of the talks, Russia and Turkey, which have said the new U.S. administration of Donald Trump should be represented at the Astana talks, which begin on January 23. - 1/18/17

Implementing the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Status Report

- One year since its "implementation day", 16 January 2016, the July 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (the P5+1) -- The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- is both a success and in jeopardy. -International Crisis Group - 1/18/17

Detained British Iranian's Husband Appeals to Rouhani at London Vigil

- British human rights activists have held a vigil outside the Iranian embassy in London to appeal to Iran's president to free a British Iranian woman detained for nine months on unspecified security charges. Richard Ratcliffe, husband of detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, spoke to VOA's Persian service from the scene of Monday's vigil, saying he wrote a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appealing for the release. -Michael Lipin & Hooman Bakhtiar - 1/17/17

The Death of Rafsanjani in Iran

- Based on my own observations over the years here are a few comments that seem worth adding to the flood of commentary. First, Rafsanjani was truly a pragmatist. He seemed to believe genuinely that Iran's revolutionary system would survive only if it engaged with the outside world. There was never any doubt about his devotion to the system that he had done so much to shape. But he was willing to go beyond stale dogma in pursuit of rescuing a system that he recognized was performing very badly. -Gary Sick - 1/17/17

EU Diplomat Says Bloc Will Stand By Iran Nuclear Deal

- The European Union head of foreign affairs says the EU will stand by the nuclear agreement with Iran, setting up a potential conflict with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has condemned the deal. Federica Mogherini on January 16 insisted that the accord serves Europe's security needs and is "proof that diplomacy works and delivers." - 1/17/17

President Rohani Dismisses Trump's Criticism Of Nuclear Deal, Says Iran Won't Renegotiate

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has dismissed criticism from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump about Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, vowing that Iran will not renegotiate the agreement that came into effect a year ago. - 1/17/17

Bahrain and "Iranian-Backed Terrorism"

- In its just-published 2017 World Report, Human Rights Watch warned against the Bahrain regime's "accelerated repression" of peaceful activists and the continued detention and prosecution of human rights protesters. The report called on the government of Bahrain to "reinvigorate a stalled process of political reform by reversing the dissolution of al-Wifaq, releasing high-profile political detainees, and ending its harassment of activists." -Emile Nakhleh - 1/17/17

Will Trump Shred the Iran Nuclear Deal?

- Stack up the op-eds and essays on the disasters that await the world once Donald Trump moves into the White House and you'll have a long list of dismaying scenarios. One that makes the lineups of most pundits involves a crisis with Iran. -Rajan Menon, LobeLog - 1/17/17

Grad student hopes to break misconceptions of Iran with travel memoir

- Shawndeez Jadalizadeh embarked on a four-month solo journey through her home country, which she had never visted before, in the spring of 2015. "I was slightly terrified, but I put aside my fears and fantasies to enjoy the present, to enjoy Iran," wrote Shawndeez, a graduate student in gender studies, in a memoir about her travels. -Lauret Scott, Daily Bruin - 1/17/17

Iranian Air Defense Forces fire at drone in central Tehran

- "This afternoon, a quadcopter that was approaching the no-fly zone in Tehran from the Valiasr Square district was identified," an official with Iran's Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base told Tasnim news agency on Monday. He added that it was as of yet unclear who owned the drone. "But, because the drone had approached the no-fly zone region, it was shot at with the timely vigilance of the Army's Air Defense Base," the official said. - 1/16/17

Iranian President Scrambles To Sell Nuclear Deal As A Win For Tehran

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani was riding a wave of optimism one year ago. The long-negotiated nuclear deal with world powers he had sold to Iranians as an end to their economic woes was finally being implemented. But as the first anniversary of implementation day approaches on January 16, Rohani has been saddled by the high expectations he set, as Iran's economy continues to struggle and the great boost in foreign investment and other benefits he envisioned has so far failed to materialize. -Frud Bezhan - 1/16/17

Local Bay Area Attorney Wins District Delegate Seat By Two Votes

- The recent Presidential election was a wake-up call for Nima Rahimi, a deputy district attorney and San Francisco resident. He saw plainly the consequences of political disengagement. So he decided to take matters into his own hands. -Pouya Parsian, NIAC Action - 1/16/17

IAEA confirms Iran's removal of excess centrifuges from Fordo nuclear facility

- The UN nuclear agency confirms that Iran has removed "excess centrifuges and infrastructure" from the Fordo enrichment facility in line with its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement. "Iran has carried out these steps within the timeframe stipulated under the JCPOA," the IAEA chief said. - 1/16/17

Iran Says Nuclear Deal Will Not Be Renegotiated

- The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers "will not be renegotiated," Iran's deputy foreign minister said on January 15, ahead of the first anniversary of the agreement's implementation. Abbas Araghchi told reporters in Tehran that "the new U.S. administration cannot abandon the deal," saying international laws required Washington to implement the agreement. - 1/16/17

Iranian Women Arrested for Riding Motorcycle; Video Fuels Backlash

- Iranian police have arrested two women for riding a motorcycle in a western city - an incident that went viral when images appeared online and sparked a social-media backlash against the country's political and religious authorities. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 1/14/17

Tehran Prosecutor Goes on the Defensive Over Hunger-Striking Political Prisoners

- In an apparent response to growing pressure to resolve the issue, Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi has criticized media coverage of a wave of hunger strikes in Iran by political prisoners, as well as the request by a conservative member of Parliament for the Judiciary to review the case of Ali Shariati. - 1/14/17

President Obama Renews Non-Nuclear Sanctions Against Iran For One Year

- In an executive order late January 13, Obama renewed the non-nuclear sanctions but affirmed the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions that occurred a year ago, saying Iran's 2015 nuclear accord with world powers has been successful. - 1/14/17

Iran to receive 130 tons of uranium: Atomic Energy Organization Official

- The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the country is soon to receive as much as 130 tons of uranium from abroad. The Joint Commission monitoring the implementation of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries approved the purchase on the part of the Islamic Republic during a meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Wednesday. - 1/14/17

Supporter of Persecuted Spiritual Leader Arrested at Tehran International Airport

- Masoumeh (Pegah) Zia, a follower of imprisoned spiritual leader Mohammad Ali Taheri, was arrested on January 6, 2017 at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport by an unknown security agency after returning to Iran from a trip to Turkey. She is currently being held in Evin Prison, but her family has been struggling to confirm who abducted her and what she has been charged with. - 1/14/17

Iran sees Pompeo, Mattis wiser than most American politicians: Expediency Council Secretary

- The secretary of Iran's Expediency Council has said Iran is not concerned about Donald Trump's picks to lead the Pentagon and CIA, as they are "wiser than most American politicians." "Mike Pompeo and James Mattis, the famous American generals who are going to lead the CIA and Defense Department respectively, are two of the most important and sensitive faces among Trump's cabinet picks," said Mohsen Rezaei in an Instagram post on Friday. - 1/14/17

PHOTOS: 'Historic Day' as Iran's first Airbus jet lands in Tehran

- The first of 100 planes that Iran is expected to receive through a landmark deal with the European aviation giant Airbus has landed in the country's capital Tehran. The arrival of the plane - Iran's first new aircraft in about four decades - was marked by a special ceremony to celebrate what is seen as a historic day in the country's aviation industry. - 1/13/17

Iranian-Swedish Disaster Medicine Expert Held in Iran Jail for Nine Months, on Hunger Strike Since December 25

- In yet another case of a foreign resident or dual national from a western country grabbed and imprisoned in Iran without access to a lawyer or any other aspect of due process, Iranian-born Swedish resident and expert in emergency disaster medicine Ahmadreza Jalali has been held in Evin Prison for almost nine months. He is now approaching three weeks on hunger strike in protest against his detainment. - 1/13/17

Iranian Activist Saeed Shirzad on Hunger Strike Against Poor Prison Conditions Hospitalized

- Imprisoned civil rights activist Saeed Shirzad, who was on hunger strike for more than a month at Rajaee Shahr Prison, was rushed to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran on January 12, 2017 after his blood pressure dropped to dangerously low levels, an informed source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 1/13/17

The outspoken women behind late Iranian President Rafsanjani

- The recent death of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani leaves the outspoken women in the reformer's family in a sort of political limbo. -PRI - 1/13/17

Trump Appointee Crowley Espoused Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theories

- President-elect Donald Trump's decision to name Monica Crowley to lead communications for the National Security Council (NSC) has resulted in a plagiarism scandal for the Fox News personality and Washington Times columnist. A CNN review of her columns for the Times revealed at least seven instances of plagiarism. Politico found that she also plagiarized sections of her PhD dissertation for Columbia University. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 1/13/17

As Trump guns for Iran Deal, can its Reformists survive death of Hashemi-Rafsanjani?

- Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani's death on Sunday January 8 in Tehran at the age of 82 marks the end of an era in Iran's post-revolutionary history. After the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, in 1989, Hashemi-Rafsanjani's death will have the most significant impact on Iranian politics. -Farhang Jahanpour - 1/12/17

IRAN: Wife of Imprisoned Activist Arash Sadeghi Resists Order to Return to Prison

- Political prisoner Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, who was released on January 3, 2017 after her imprisoned husband Arash Sadeghi's 71-day hunger strike resulted in a promised case review for his wife, is refusing to obey an order to return to Evin Prison. - 1/12/17

Iran Officials Vow To Look Into Public's 'Jamming' Fears

- Officials in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz have pledged to look into suggestions of a link between public health risks and the jamming of communications in the area, after residents took to the streets to complain of ailments that could stem from technology used to block foreign broadcasts. - 1/12/17

Tillerson Backs 'Full Review' Of Iran Nuclear Deal

- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state says he supports a "full review" of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which the incoming president has previously pledged to renegotiate or scrap altogether. Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson said during a January 11 confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he would recommend such a review if he is confirmed as Trump's secretary of state. - 1/12/17

Will Iran's Alliance With Russia Last?

- At Tuesday's funeral in Tehran of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key figure in the 1979 Islamic Revolution who later pushed for reconciliation with the West, reformist mourners not only chanted for the release of hunger-striking rights activists held in Iranian jails but also called for an end to their country's burgeoning alliance with Moscow. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA - 1/12/17

The Legacy Of Iran's Rafsanjani

- Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the man known as the "order's pillar" (sotun-e nezam), died from a sudden heart attack on Sunday. He leaves behind a legacy as complicated and multifaceted as the order (and associated institutions) that he more than anyone else was responsible in erecting. Rafsanjani shaped most of the new institutions established by the Islamic Republic in 1979, from the office of the Leader to the Islamic Revolution's Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Expediency Council (which he chaired almost from its inception until he died). -Farideh Farhi - 1/11/17

Rafsanjani's Death Reshuffles the Political Deck in Iran

- The public funeral of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on January 10, 2017, led to the outpouring in Tehran of public calls for the release of opposition leaders held under house arrest and political prisoners in a resurgence of support for reformist issues that have been harshly suppressed in Iran for the last decade. - 1/11/17

Iran's Telegram Registration Requirement Widens Governmental Snooping Powers

- In the latest attempt by Iran's security and intelligence establishments to censor and control internet usage in Iran, administrators of popular Iranian-owned channels on the widely used Telegram application are now being required to register with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance or face prosecution. - 1/11/17

What Rafsanjani Takes To His Grave

- Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died of heart failure on January 8 at the age of 82, was an architect of the Islamic establishment in Iran whose image transformed from shark to voice of reason. Rafsanjani, who served as president from 1989 to 1997, may have taken the answers to some of the Islamic republic's biggest mysteries to his grave. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 1/11/17

Iran Decides Against Upsetting Nuclear Deal Over US Sanctions Extension

- Iran decided not to escalate a stand-off over the extension of U.S. sanctions at a meeting of diplomats overseeing the nuclear deal it reached with world powers in 2015, senior Russian and Iranian diplomats said after the session Tuesday. -Reuters - 1/11/17

PHOTOS: Iran's Rafsanjani Laid To Rest In Tehran

- The funeral of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is being held in Tehran. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians jammed streets around Tehran University, where Rafsanjani was laying in state on January 10. A national holiday has been declared. - 1/10/17

Rafsanjani: The Death of the Ayatollah Machiavelli

- In October 2013, I was part of a delegation of the Social-Democratic Group of the European Parliament (EP) to Iran. Among the Iranian officials that the delegation, led by the then-Social-Democratic-Group President Hannes Swoboda, met with in Tehran was the Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani... On a personal level, in a marked contrast to some decidedly dour characters representing the Islamic Republic, he came across as a gregarious man clearly at ease with a European delegation that comprised several female MPs. -Eldar Mamedov - 1/10/17

VIDEO: Iranians Protest Transmitter Jamming In Shiraz

- A large crowd gathered in the Iranian city of Shiraz to protest against the government's use of broadcast jamming equipment. On January 9, demonstrators stood outside the provincial governor's headquarters complaining about the health effects of using electromagnetic pulses for disrupting broadcasts. Some chants called the jamming a "betrayal" of the nation. - 1/10/17

UN To Discuss Iranian Complaints About U.S. Non-Nuclear Sanctions

- Five global powers that are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council will meet on January to review Iranian complaints that the United States has reneged on the sanctions relief promised under the Iran nuclear deal. - 1/10/17

Reformist Iranian Journalist Convicted of "Propaganda Against the State" Completes One-Year Prison Sentence

- Reformist journalist Reyhaneh Tabatabaie was released from Evin Prison in Tehran on January 5, 2017 after serving a one-year sentence for interviewing Iranian Sunni leaders, posting critical commentary about conservative politicians on Facebook, and publicly supporting reformists. - 1/10/17

Congress Takes Up Iran, Israel, UN in 2017

- Welcome to the 115th Congress! Based on this first week, it seems safe to say: fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a very very very bumpy ride. (As we have over the past two years, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran.) -Lara Friedman, LobeLog - 1/10/17

Iranians Pay Last Respects To Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani

- Iran has begun three days of mourning for former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died on January 8 of a heart attack at the age of 82. President Hassan Rohani and his administration on January 9 paid respects to Rafsanjani at northern Tehran's Jamaran prayer hall, where Rafsanjani's body was laid out. - 1/9/17

30 Iranian Fools Outside Trump Tower Begging For A Regime Change Handout

- 30 Iranians "liberals and activist" have sought refuge at the Trump Tower begging the President-elect to tear up the Iran nuclear agreement, institute even tougher sanctions on their homeland, and to bring about regime change there. -Ali Moayedian - 1/9/17

Death Of Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Causes Anxiety For The Reformists

- A pivotal politician in Iran's internal struggles for reform and the former president of the country, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani dies in Tajrish hospital after a heart attack. Hashemi was 82 years old. - 1/9/17

Conservative Tehran MP to Judiciary: Review Case of Political Prisoner on Hunger Strike

- Conservative member of Parliament Ali Motahari has publicly asked the Judiciary to review the case of ailing political prisoner Ali Shariati, who has been on hunger strike for more than two months in Evin Prison. The Tehran MP made the call after a 71-day hunger strike by imprisoned rights activist Arash Sadeghi resulted in the Judiciary agreeing to Sadeghi's request for a review of his imprisoned wife's case. - 1/9/17

US Navy Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Boats Near Persian Gulf

- A U.S. Navy ship fired three warnings shots at Iranian boats near the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday, a U.S. defense official told VOA. Four Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels were "traveling right at" the USS Mahan in the Strait of Hormuz at a "very high rate of speed," the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. - 1/9/17

Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, Former Iranian President, Dies at 82

- Iranian state media report that former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has died in a Tehran hospital, after suffering a heart attack. He was 82. - 1/8/17

Iranian Political Prisoners Suffer through Hunger Strikes for Minimum Rights

- Iranian political prisoner Arash Sadeghi ended his 72-days hunger strike after his wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was given furlough from prison on $150,000 bail. Ali Shariati, Saeed Shirzad and several other prisoners still remain on hunger strike. - 1/8/17

Top US Senator: Trump Administration Won't Toss Iran Deal

- The chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that abrupt rejection of the Iran nuclear deal by the incoming Trump administration could create "a crisis" and that he did not expect such an approach. "To tear it up on the front end, in my opinion, is not going to happen. Instead, we will begin to radically enforce it," Senator Bob Corker told reporters on Friday at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. -Reuters - 1/7/17

Rohani Corruption Spat Could Herald Rough-And-Tumble Iranian Presidential Campaign

- President Hassan Rohani has traded barbs with hard-line officials from Iran's judiciary in a highly public spat in which each side appears determined to tar the other with accusations of corruption in an election year. The feud appears to have been smoldering since the president's rise to power in 2013 on calls for reform and the arrest of one of Iran's wealthiest men, Babak Zanjani, months after Rohani took office. Golnaz Esfandiari - 1/6/17

Secretary Kerry Warns Trump Against Scrapping Iran Nuclear Deal

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned the incoming Trump administration against scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, saying it has made the world safer by leaving Tehran technically unable to build a nuclear weapon. - 1/6/17

Poll: Nearly 2/3 of U.S. Public Opposes Withdrawing from Iran Nuclear Deal

- Amid growing speculation about a Trump administration's intentions regarding the Iran nuclear deal, a new poll has found that nearly two-thirds of the U.S. public opposes withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated 18 months ago between Iran and the P5+1. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 1/6/17

Iran's First Female Judge and Nobel Laureate Calls for Resignation of Judiciary Chief

- Amid the ongoing wave of life-threatening hunger strikes by political prisoners in Iran, Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi has called on the chief of the country's Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, to resign. - 1/6/17

Modernizing Islam: Iran's Reformists and Reconstructionists Square off

- About a year ago, a group of diaspora Muslim intellectuals were sitting around a blazing fire by a muddy river in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, debating strategies of modernizing traditional Islam. The worldwide Islamic reform movement, undaunted by the lurid cruelty of Islamic extremism, forges ahead. Its anxious debates may sound Byzantine to Western ears, but since they may very well presage the arrival of Islam's own brand of reformation, they deserve a hearing. -Mahmoud Sadri - 1/5/17

Persecution of Dual Nationals: Businessman Serving 10-Year Prison Sentence In Iran After Coerced Confession

- Iranian-Austrian dual citizen Kamran Ghaderi is entering the second year of his 10-year prison sentence in solitary confinement in Tehran after being coerced into confessing to espionage in 2016, an informed source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 1/5/17

Iranian political prisoner ends his hunger strike after his wife is granted temporary furlough

- Arash Sadeghi, a political prisoner who was on hunger strike for 72 days, has ended his strike after his demands were met and his wife, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee was granted a temporary leave of absence from prison. - 1/4/17

Iranians are trending the demands of political prisoners on Twitter

- After the #SaveArash successful twitter campaign in support of Arash Sadeghi, Iranians are now showing solidarity with Ali Shariati, a reformist political prisoner who is serving a five-year sentence for taking part in a protest apposing serial acid attacks against women in Isfahan, Iran. - 1/4/17

Imprisoned Iranian Civil Rights Activist Released After 65-Day Hunger Strike, With a Catch

- Azeri rights advocate Morteza Moradpour has been hospitalized in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, while he recovers from the 65-day hunger strike that led to his conditional release from prison. However, his legal battle is far from over because his release order requires him to report back to prison every night. - 1/4/17

The Woman Building Iran's Civic Tech Sector

- Firuzeh Mahmoudi founded the first civic tech startup focused on Iran. She and her team are building apps like a Yelp for rating public officials and women's health trackers-in heritage languages that are currently banned from official use. She is using entrepreneurship and technology to help create a more free society. -Leah Hunter, Forbes - 1/4/17

37 Top U.S. Scientists Urge Trump To Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal

- Dozens of top U.S. scientists have called on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to uphold the nuclear deal reached with Iran, calling it "a strong bulwark against an Iranian nuclear-weapons program." The letter was organized by physicist Richard L. Garwin, known for helping design the world's first hydrogen bomb. The 37 signatories of the letter include a Nobel laureate, former White House science advisers, and prominent academics. - 1/3/17

Iranian MPs vote to end "Mehr" housing project

- Iran's media on Tuesday cheered as the Parliament voted to end a hefty housing project that President Hassan Rouhani had previously blamed for shooting up inflation to above 40 percent over the past years. The Parliamentarians in their debates over Iran's Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (2020-2025) voted to have Maskan Bank allocate the required funds for completing the remaining phases of 'Mehr' (kindness in Persian) housing project which was a main brainchild of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013). - 1/3/17

World Bank reports major drop in Iran's debts

- A report by the World Bank titled "International Debt Statistics 2017" showed that Iran's debts for 2015 stood at $6.32 billion. The figure was slightly higher than 2014 but was nonetheless around 64 percent lower than the debts in 2011 ($17.34 billion). - 1/3/17

Protest Outside Tehran Prison In Support Of Hunger Striking Activist Arash Sadeghi

- Dozens of Iranians have taken part in a rare demonstration outside Tehran's Evin prison to express their support for a jailed activist on hunger strike, Arash Sadeghi. Sadeghi, a philosophy student who is serving a 15-year prison sentence on security charges, has reportedly been refusing to eat for more than two months to protest the October 24 arrest of his wife, Golrokh Ebrahimi. - 1/2/17

Rohani Reassures Iranians Amid Currency's Drop

- President Hassan Rohani says that the exchange rates of the rial against foreign currencies "will not remain at current levels." President Hassan Rohani has told Iranians the government will work to protect the country's market stability amid a downfall in the Iranian currency to record lows. - 1/2/17

Iranian Lawmaker Warns About Hunger Striker's Condition

- An Iranian lawmaker has warned the government that a prominent jailed dissident is in serious condition on a hunger strike and should be released. Reformist parliamentarian Elias Hazrati wrote to Judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani that Arash Sadeghi is in critical condition after going 70 days without food and that his death could result in "serious" political consequences for Ira - 12/31/16

Hardline Tehran Prosecutor Advocates Harsher Penalty for Mixed-Gender Parties

- Tehran's hardline prosecutor general has announced that people caught at mixed-gender parties, especially celebrity artists and athletes, along with those caught consuming alcohol, or participating in other "indecent" activities should face stiffer penalties. - 12/31/16



Sunset of Empire: Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, Vol. 3

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