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Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad Barred From Election

- Iranian state TV says the body charged with vetting candidates has disqualified former hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad from running in next month's presidential election. Although Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously urged him not to run, Ahmadinejad shocked the country by registering last week. - 4/21/17

Trump Accuses Iran Of 'Not Living Up To Spirit' Of 2015 Nuclear Deal

- U.S. President Donald Trump has accused Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of its nuclear agreement with world powers and said the United States would soon have a response. At a White House news conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on April 20, Trump repeated his criticism that "it was a terrible agreement...as bad as I've ever seen negotiated." - 4/21/17

Low Female Participation Rate in Iranian Elections Symptom of Gender Inequality

- The low number of female participants in Iranian elections is an indicator of inequality in the political, social and cultural fabric of the country, women's rights advocate Nahid Tavasoli told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Speaking from Tehran, the editor-in-chief of Nafe, an academic women's periodical, said Iranian women are denied many rights as citizens that affect their participation rate in politics. - 4/21/17

Trump Adviser Seeks Political Deal To Settle Iran Sanctions Case

- A close ally of U.S. President Donald Trump is lobbying U.S. prosecutors to go easy on a man charged with helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions because he could be a potential bargaining chip in a political deal with Turkey. Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and Trump adviser, was hired recently to represent Reza Zarrab, a wealthy Turkish-Iranian businessman accused of arranging hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of financial transactions for Iran's government and businesses in violation of U.S. sanctions from 2010 to 2015. - 4/21/17

Championing Nuclear Non-Proliferation Rules: The EU and Iran

- In a newly published book, Tarja Cronberg contrasts EU and US conceptions of multilateralism in the nuclear field. Her work is titled Nuclear Multilateralism and Iran. A former member of the European Parliament (EP) and chair of the EP delegation for EU relations with Iran, Cronberg writes: "For the US multilateralism is a means to an end, but for Europeans it is an end in itself." -Peter Jenkins - 4/20/17

Lawmakers Say Iran's Larijani Rejects Call To Bar Religious Minorities From Elections

- Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani has dismissed a call by the head of the powerful Guardians Council to prevent members of religious minorities from running in city council elections in May, according to two lawmakers. - 4/20/17

No Woman Has Ever Run For Iranian President. Will Azam Taleghani Be The First?

- On April 14, a tiny, frail-looking woman wearing a chador and using a walker made her way slowly up the stairs of Iran's Interior Ministry in Tehran. Seventy-three-year-old Azam Taleghani was there to register as a candidate in the May 19 vote for Iran's presidency. She's hoping the third time is the charm -Golnaz Esfandiari - 4/20/17

Iranian Media Banned From Covering Ahmadinejad's May 2017 Presidential Campaign

- Iranian media outlets have been ordered to stop reporting on former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's third presidential campaign for the country's May 19, 2017 election. The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned that the order was issued by the Supreme National Security Council and Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi. - 4/20/17

Iranian Foreign Minister slams 'worn-out' US accusations

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed fresh accusations leveled by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson against the Islamic Republic, urging Washington to honor its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. - 4/20/17

Has Donald Trump Learned To Love The Iran Deal?

- All this Republican party fighting over the Iran nuclear deal, it's almost enough to forget that it's America's greatest foreign policy achievement in years. At least that's what the Trump administration has seemingly acknowledged. In a statement released late Tuesday evening, they certified that Tehran continues to comply with its end of the bargain. -Tyler Cullis and Reza Marashi, LobeLog - 4/20/17

Iran's Judiciary Blocks Voice Calls On Telegram Messaging App

- Iran's judiciary has blocked newly introduced call features on a highly popular messaging app called Telegram. It was not immediately clear whether the reason for the blocking of voice calls, introduced last week, was a political move ahead of the country's May presidential election or an attempt to protect the commercial interests of Iranian telecom companies. - 4/20/17

Prominent Political Activist Continues Fight for Gender Equality in Iran's 2017 Presidential Election

- Despite being repeatedly disqualified in the past, one of Iran's top political activists, Azam Taleghani, has registered to run in the country's May 19, 2017 presidential election. The daughter of a moderate leader of Iran's 1979 revolution, Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani (1911-1979), Azam Taleghani told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that she registered to "clear the confusion" over male interpretations of the Constitution that have blocked women from running for the presidency. - 4/19/17

IRAN: Poll Highlights Rouhani's Reelection Challenge

- With all 1600-plus candidates now registered for next month's Iranian presidential election, the results of a new public opinion survey by IranPoll suggest that incumbent President Hassan Rouhani may have a challenge on his hands if he hopes to win a second term. -Derek Davison - 4/19/17

Trump Orders Review of Iran Nuclear Deal

- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed the review in a letter Tuesday to House Speaker Paul Ryan. Tillerson said that as of Tuesday, Iran is complying with its responsibilities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which it agreed to in 2015 after negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. - 4/19/17

Nasrin Sotoudeh: Investigate Iranian Presidential Hopeful Ebrahim Raisi for 1988 Mass Executions

- Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and former political prisoner Nasrin Sotoudeh has strongly criticized the candidacy of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran's May 19, 2017 presidential election. "The competency of this candidate should not be approved for any reason until the events of 1988 are investigated and it is proven that he was not an accomplice," she told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "In the meantime, we do have an audio file... that shows he did have a hand in those events." - 4/19/17

EU, Iran sign nuclear safety deal with another deal expected in coming weeks

- Iran and the European Commission have signed a 2.5-million Euro project for nuclear safety cooperation, the first ever under the framework of a 2015 international nuclear deal, saying that a second one will be finalized in the coming weeks, the EU official website said on April 18. -Ali Kushki, Tehran Times - 4/19/17

Conflict and Famine in Yemen

- Yemenis are starving because of war. No natural disaster is responsible. No amount of humanitarian aid can solve the underlying problem. Without an immediate, significant course change, portions of the country, in the 21st century and under the watch of the Security Council, will likely tip into famine. -International Crisis Group, LobeLog - 4/19/17

Iranian Couple Reunited In Colorado After Travel Ban Scares

- An experience that both called "a nightmare" turned into a dream come true for an Iranian family reunited at Denver International Airport Tuesday night. "I saw her on May 5, one year ago," Zoheir Khademian said. -CBS, Denver - 4/19/17

Iran's Presidential Carnival Kicks off

- In the past two decades, Iran's presidential election kickoffs have increasingly become occasions for comedy. It did not disappoint this time. During the five-day registration period, beginning on April 11, over 1,600 people signed up (1,636 to be exact), ranging in age from 6 to 89 years old. Unlike for other offices, there are no clear minimum requirements to run for presidency in Iran-not age, not education, and not even gender even if no woman has ever been qualified. So the registration period has become an occasion for people of varying degrees of charisma to make their voices heard and faces seen. -Farideh Farhi - 4/18/17

Iran denounces Washington for supporting terrorist groups

- Tehran on Monday denounced the United States for supporting terrorist groups, such as the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK), which carry out acts of terror against the Islamic Republic and other regional countries. Qassemi's remarks came days after the head of the MKO, Maryam Rajavi, met with John McCain, a senior U.S. senator who was the Republican nominee for the 2008 U.S. presidential election. - 4/18/17

International Law Expert Denounces Iranian Presidential Bid of Rights Violator Ebrahim Raisi

- The candidacy of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran's May 19 presidential election "shows great contempt for human rights, the rights of the Iranian people, and the families of those killed in the 1980s," international law expert Shadi Sadr told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 4/18/17

IRAN: Reformists Barred From Isfahan's May 19 By-Election for Parliament

- After disqualifying the initial reformist winner, Iran's conservative Guardian Council has now barred most reformist candidates from running in the second-round election for Isfahan's vacant parliamentary seat. The vote will occur when Iranians head to the polls on May 19, 2017 to elect their new president and city and village councils. - 4/18/17

Russia says trade with Iran to grow further in 2017

- Russia says it expects trade relations with Iran to grow further this year after increasing almost twofold in 2016. Alexander Maksimov, the honorary representative of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Iran, was quoted by the media as saying that trade with the Islamic Republic had increased by a whopping 70 percent after the removal of sanctions against the country early last year. - 4/18/17

UK cautiously eyes $600bn opportunity in Iran investment drive

- UK firms are cautiously eying opportunities in Iran ahead of an expected $600bn boom in trade and infrastructure investment over the next ten years. The Islamic Republic is embarking on an ambitious investment drive as it emerges from decades of isolation imposed by international sanctions. -Jillian Ambrose, UK's Telegraph - 4/18/17

The Syrian War: Two Lessons for Trump

- The roots of US involvement in the Syrian war run deep and wide. On our side we can start with the Korean conflict, which ended in a tie and a lesson taught: never fight a land war in Asia. Unfortunately, the lesson wasn't learned because about a decade later we were subbing for the French in Vietnam. From that losing fight we should have learned, but didn't, not to take the corrupt, unpopular side in an internal conflict. -Henry Precht, LobeLog - 4/18/17

Iranian Americans, livid over Trump visa ban, to get their day in court

- President Donald Trump's attempts to impose a visa ban on a set of majority-Muslim countries has sparked unusual anger and activism among a wealthy, highly educated group that generally avoids U.S. politics: Iranian Americans. Now, they're about to get their day in court, winning the first chance to present in-person testimony against the travel ban. -Politico - 4/17/17

Iran forges deal with China to redesign Arak reactor

- Iran has hashed out price differences with China to receive counselling on redesigning its only heavy water nuclear reactor, signing a deal on the project with the Chinese side, Iranian Foreign Ministry has said in a written briefing to parliament. "The contract to receive counselling on the redesign was negotiated and signed in Beijing on April 13," read part of the report, the fifth parliamentary briefing on the 2015 international nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers. - 4/17/17

Foreign Minister Zarif in Central Asia as Iran seeks to fire up economy

- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has started touring Central Asia and the Caucasus to boost Iran's ties with three major countries in the region, especially in the field of economy. The three-day tour spans Turkmenistan, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. A 20-member delegation of businessmen and company representatives is accompanying Zarif who cited transit cooperation among the objectives of the visit. - 4/17/17

At US competition, Iranian law students 'surprised' by reception

- For seven young Iranians participating in an international moot court competition April 9-15 in Washington, success consisted of simply getting here... The Iranian law students told Al-Monitor they are gratified by the warm reception they have received. -Barbara Slavin, Al Monitor - 4/17/17

Trump Administration Sees Bahraini Crisis Through Saudi Lens

- As tensions between Bahrain's marginalized Shi'ites and Sunni rulers escalate, the royal Al Khalifa family feels emboldened by Donald Trump's administration and its prioritization of security issues above human rights. Trump's ascendancy to the White House comes as a major relief to Bahrain's rulers whom Barack Obama's administration repeatedly irked. -Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog - 4/17/17

Iran's President Rouhani inaugurates mega gas projects in Persian Gulf

- Iran has officially inaugurated several mega projects in its natural gas hub of South Pars - projects that can put the country in the lead over production from a giant field that it shares with Qatar. The projects included South Pars Phases 17 and 18, Phase 19, as well as Phases 21 and 22. They were inaugurated by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. - 4/16/17

More Than 1,600 Iranians File To Run For President As Registration Deadline Passes

- More than 1,600 candidates have filed to run in the Iranian presidential election as the official registration period ended. Among the last-minute entrants for the May 19 election was 55-year-old Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who arrived at the Interior Ministry just before the deadline on April 15. - 4/16/17

Photos: Iran Defense Ministry showcases achievements, including some making first appearances

- The Iranian Defense Ministry has showcased its recent technological achievements, including a jet designed indigenously for training purposes and other items that were being made public for the first time. The achievements were displayed during an exhibition at the Iranian Helicopter Support and Renewal Company (IHSRC) in Tehran on Saturday. - 4/16/17

Sanctions impaired Iran's economic transparency: Iranian FM Zarif

- Sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program dealt a major blow to the country's economic transparency, an issue much neglected in assessing the outcomes of the 2015 international nuclear deal, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday. - 4/16/17

PHOTOS: Iranians Make A Run For It, But They're Already Out Of The Presidential Race

- Virtually anyone can register to run in Iran's presidential election. The formal restrictions as laid out in the constitution are clear: potential candidates must be 18 or older; they must also be among the country's "religious and political personalities," hold Iranian citizenship, and believe in the principles of the Islamic republic and the official religion of the country. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 4/15/17

History Made: Men attend women's basketball game in Tehran

- A historical moment took place in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Thursday as the country's men attended a women's basketball game. This marked the first time that men were allowed to witness a women's sporting event in person. - 4/15/17

Iranian Azeri Rights Activist on Trial for Advocating Mother Language

- Abbas Lesani, an Azeri ethnic rights activist, is being tried for advocating for state recognition of his mother tongue and making a speech at his friend's wedding calling for an end to the discrimination of Azeris in Iran. - 4/15/17

Hard-Line Cleric, Seen As Main Rohani Rival, Files To Run For President

- Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on April 14 filed to run in the May presidential election. Raisi, 56, a professor of Islamic law, is viewed as incumbent President Hassan Rohani's main rival for the presidency. Rohani, a politically moderate cleric, also filed for reelection earlier on April 14. - 4/15/17

Russia, Iran, Syria Issue Warning Against Another Syria Strike

- Russia, Syria and Iran have warned the United States against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international investigation into the chemical weapons attack in Syria. - 4/15/17

Russia Hosts Afghanistan Meeting Boycotted By Washington

- Russia opened meetings with top diplomats from Afghanistan, China, and several Central Asian countries in talks that are aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan but are being boycotted by the United States. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement April 14 that India, Iran, and Pakistan were also attending the Moscow talks. - 4/15/17

Iran's Presidential Elections: Has Hassan Rouhani Met His Match?

- Until only a few weeks ago, Iran's hardliners lacked a candidate of any stature in Iran's forthcoming presidential elections in May 2017...This still may be the case, and President Hassan Rouhani may yet serve another term. But that scenario is now complicated by the entry into the race of Hojatoleslam Ibrahim Raeisi, the head of the vast complex centered around the shrine of the eighth Shia Imam Ali ibn Musa al Riza and a candidate to succeed Ayatollah Khamenei as the supreme leader. -Shirin T. Hunter - 4/14/17

Iran's Incumbent President Registers To Run In May Elections

- Iran's incumbent president has registered to run in next month's national election, a vote that is shaping up to be a referendum on the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers. News reports said Hassan Rohani, 68, submitted the necessary paperwork at the Interior Ministry in Tehran on April 14, the fourth day of the registration period. - 4/14/17

U.S. Sanctions Tehran Prison Organization, Official For Abuses

- The United States says it has sanctioned the Tehran Prisons Organization and a top official in connection with "serious human rights abuses" in Iran. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on April 13 said it was sanctioning Sohrab Soleimani and the prison organization, an action it said reflects "deep concern" regarding the human rights situation in the country. - 4/14/17

Social Media Emerges as Major Battlefront in Iran's May 2017 Elections

- A month before Iranians head to the polls for the presidential and council elections, a heated exchange between the judiciary and the Intelligence Ministry has highlighted the growing tension over social media between different political factions in the Islamic Republic. - 4/14/17

Rebekah Mercer Joins Board of Anti-Muslim Think Tank

- Earlier this month, Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of billionaire Trump backer Robert Mercer, was listed as a member of the "Board of Governors," of the Gatestone Institute, a New York City-based anti-Muslim organization that has long opposed the immigration of Muslims to the West. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 4/14/17

Iran's Revolutionary Guard: How Revolutionary?

- Ayatollah Khomeini once declared that if it weren't for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), there would be no revolutionary Iran. In many ways, he was right. From its humble roots among disorganized militias fighting the Shah, the IRGC has been at the heart of almost every major historical turn in Iran's modern era. It defended the homeland against Iraqi invaders and then reconstructed the country's bombed-out infrastructure and economy. -Henry Johnson - 4/13/17

Meet Kia Hamadanchy: Candidate for U.S. Congress (CA-45th)

- The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) recently had the opportunity to interview Kia Hamadanchy to discuss his historic campaign for California's 45th Congressional District. If successful, he will become the first American of Iranian descent to be elected to the U.S. Congress. - 4/13/17

Iranian Political Prisoner Narges Mohammadi Offered Furlough in Exchange for Silence

- Imprisoned human rights defender Narges Mohammadi has been offered temporary release if she promises to be silent about her unjust sentence, her husband told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "The authorities have told Narges that they would grant her furlough on the condition that she not talk to or meet anyone," said Taghi Rahmani, who lives with the couple's two children in Paris. "No interviews, no phone calls, no visits." - 4/13/17

Assad vs Regime of Warring Jihadis

- The Syrian agony poses a straightforward strategic question: which is worse, Assad or the opposition? Choosing between these two brutal sides is unpalatable. But there is a powerful case to be made that the motley grouping that makes up the armed opposition affects nearly all players far more negatively than the continuation of Assad's ugly regime. -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 4/13/17

Congress Debates Syria, Iran

- LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman, previously of Americans for Peace Now and now the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. These weekly round-ups cover what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran -Lara Friedman, LobeLog - 4/13/17

Former Iran President Ahmadinejad Registers For May Presidential Election

- Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad submitted his name for registration for the May 19 presidential election on Wednesday in an apparent reversal of earlier promises not to run. Back in September during a lecture to seminary students in Tehran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said he would not find it advisable for Ahmadinejad to seek a comeback to politics "both for his own and the country's good." - 4/12/17

G-7 countries seek Iran's help to stabilize Middle East

- The Group of Seven foreign ministers who met in the Italian city of Lucca on Tuesday urged Iran to help end the conflicts in the Middle politically, IRNA reported. In their final statement, the foreign minister also requested Iran's help to fight terrorism in the region. - 4/12/17

EU extends sanctions on Iran over human rights claims

- The European Union has extended by another year sanctions against Iran over alleged claims of "human rights violations" despite the fledgling rapprochement between Tehran and the bloc since the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement. - 4/12/17

Restraining Trump: The Prometheus Strategy

- When Zeus was displeased with Prometheus, he chained him to a rock where an eagle feasted each day on his liver. Prometheus was immortal, so his liver regenerated each day. But even mortals, however immune they may be to criticism and scandal, can be bound so tightly that the harm they can do is minimized-perhaps not forever, but at least for the duration of a presidential term. -Gary Sick, LobeLog - 4/12/17

Iran's President Rohani Coy As He Kicks Off Election Season, Concedes He's 'Not Fully Satisfied'

- President Hassan Rohani has defended his policies on the eve of the registration period for candidates in Iran's presidential election in May, saying his administration has helped boost prosperity and chip away at obstacles to openness in Iranian society. But the 68-year-old cleric and ally of reformers stopped short of announcing a reelection bid at his televised April 10 press conference, although aides have said in recent months that he will seek another four-year-term. "We have a prosperous Iran and we will definitely have a better Iran in the next years," Rohani said. - 4/11/17

IRAN: Son of Grand Ayatollah Blasts Presidential Bid of Human Rights Violator Ebrahim Raisi

- The son of late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who publicly condemned the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988, has criticized the newly announced presidential candidacy of Ebrahim Raisi. In an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Montazeri noted that Raisi, who was part of the four-man special tribunal that ordered the mass executions, "does not have a day of experience in government." - 4/11/17

General: Game Changer in Iran-Pakistan Relations?

- Iran and Pakistan have experienced many ups and downs in their relationship dating back to the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Despite Iran's persistent conflict with Pakistan's closest ally Saudi Arabia and broad economic relationship with Pakistan's rivals India and Afghanistan, they have managed to maintain a relatively healthy relationship. Will this relationship be now influenced by the appointment of former army chief (retd) General Raheel Sharif as the leader of the Saudi military alliance? -Fatemeh Aman - 4/11/17

Photos: Candidates Begin Registering For Iran's Presidential Election

- Registration for Iranians hoping to run in Iran's May 19 presidential election opened in Tehran on April 11. The registration process will remain open for five days. Prospective candidates will be vetted by the Guardians Council, a group of powerful conservative clerics that has a record of disqualifying liberal and pro-reform candidates as well as women. - 4/11/17

Iranians Express Solidarity With Victims Of Alleged Chemical Attack In Syria

- Iranians have demonstrated at the location of a decades-old chemical attack to condemn a suspected gas attack on a Syrian town last week that killed dozens of civilians, and to call for an end to the use of such weapons. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 4/11/17

Boeing, Iran, and American Jobs

- The IranAir and Iran Aseman deals are among Boeing's largest open orders and come at a time of softening demand for commercial aircraft among the world's airlines. Boeing's engagement with Iran pits the Trump administration's skepticism of the value of the Iran nuclear deal directly against an avowed commitment to support American jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog - 4/11/17

Why empty suit shops and barber's chairs could spell trouble for Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

- Usually in the weeks before Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, downtown Tehran is jammed with traffic as shoppers pick up gifts in the brightly lighted shops surrounding the British and German embassies. But this year, the streets were noticeably quieter, the popular clothing and home appliance stores reporting much less business around the holiday in March. -Los Angeles Times - 4/11/17

Lies, Damned Lies, And The "Breaking News"

- The dust hasn't settled quite as yet over the recent events in Syria, the allegations against Bashar Assad for gassing innocent babies and the United States' "measured and proportional" surgical strike to punish him for that heinous crime. But there is enough light passing through the dust to give us reasons to question the whole scenario. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 4/10/17

Iran's Rohani Defends Policies Ahead Of Presidential Vote

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has defended his policies ahead of the May 19 presidential election, in which the 68-year-old cleric is expected to run for a second term. But at an April 10 press conference in Tehran that was shown on state television, Rohani stopped short of announcing his candidacy. - 4/10/17

President Rouhani unveils Iran's new nuclear achievements

- President Hassan Rouhani has unveiled two major nuclear achievements on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day. The Iranian chief executive lifted the curtain off the accomplishments made by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, namely a stone centrifuge, and high-temperature condensate pump. - 4/9/17

How Will Iran Respond to US Missile Attack in Syria?

- Iran has been a major supporter of Bashar al-Assad, Syria's beleaguered president, throughout its civil war, which has entered its sixth year. In fact, until Russia decided to conduct airstrikes in Syria in September 2015, Iran was the only country that actively and meaningfully supported the Syrian regime. -Shireen T. Hunter - 4/9/17

Iran's Judiciary Chief Forbids Election Protests Ahead of May Vote

- A little over a month before Iranians head to the polls on May 19, 2017, Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani has warned that a repeat of the protests against the disputed result of the 2009 presidential election would not be tolerated. - 4/9/17

Iranian Music Producers Returned to Evin Prison After Request for Extended Medical Furlough Denied

- Music producers Mehdi and Hossein Rajabian returned to Evin Prison in Tehran on April 4, 2017 after their request for an extension of their seven-day temporary leave was denied by the judiciary, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 4/9/17

Iran, Russia Presidents and top generals Condemn U.S. 'Aggression' In Syria

- The Russian and Iranian presidents have condemned in a phone call "aggressive" U.S. actions against Syria, the Kremlin says. Both Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rohani "noted the inadmissibility of U.S. aggressive actions against a sovereign state in violation of international law," the Kremlin said on April 9. - 4/9/17

Trump's Syria Strikes Don't Bode Well for Iran Policy

- Twenty-four hours after launching missiles at Syria, Donald Trump's decision to increase America's bombing campaign in the Middle East has received much fanfare and little public debate. Regardless of whether these strikes are a one-off, the beginning of a more robust regime change effort, or something in between, over 25 years of uninterrupted U.S. bombing in the region highlights an inconvenient truth: For every action, there is a reaction. -Tyler Cullis and Reza Marashi, LobeLog - 4/9/17

In Iran, Emerging Hard-Liner Stakes Future On Unseating Rohani

- After weeks of speculation, Ebrahim Raisi, the head of Iran's wealthiest state charity, has officially announced his intention to run in the country's presidential vote next month. His candidacy could galvanize conservatives and pose a serious challenge to President Hassan Rohani, who campaigned in 2013 on reform pledges and has helped relative moderates make gains after years in the political wilderness. - 4/7/17

Iranian Political Prisoner Serving Seven Years Gets Additional 91 Days for IRGC Charges

- An additional 91 days were added to civil rights activist Atena Daemi's seven-year prison sentence for her peaceful activism. The sentence was issued to Daemi and her two sisters after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) responded to her complaint about their use of excessive force with a complaint of their own. - 4/7/17

BP says got US license to operate Rhum gas field jointly owned with Iran

- UK's energy giant BP says it has received an authorization from the United States to go ahead with operating a gas field that it jointly owns in the North Sea with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). BP announced in a statement that it had obtained the authorization for the operation of Rhum gas field from the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department last September. - 4/7/17

Hungary, Iran to jointly build nuclear plant

- Hungary says it is preparing to cooperate with Iran over the joint construction of a small nuclear plant. The announcement was made by Janos Lazar, the chief of staff of Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban. He emphasized that Hungary and Iran had already agreed over plans for the construction of the plant which he said would be designed for "scientific and educational purposes". - 4/7/17

Joint Statement of Iranian-American Organizations on Detentions of Iranians

- As organizations that represent the Iranian-American community, we are deeply concerned by recent arrests of Iranians visiting and studying in the United States. At least two Iranians are currently being held in custody by U.S. immigration authorities: Alia Ghandi and Mohammad Salar Fard-Hajian. We implore authorities to ensure these individuals have ready access to legal counsel and insist they be promptly released from custody. - 4/6/17

Hard-Line Cleric Raisi Announces Candidacy For Iranian President

- Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric who heads one of Iran's wealthiest state charities, has announced his candidacy for the country's May 19 presidential election, Iranian news agencies report. Raisi, the custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, which oversees Iran's holiest shrine, announced his decision through his representative at a meeting of conservatives in the Iranian capital on April 6. - 4/6/17



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