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Italian Navy Ship Docks In Iran

- An Italian navy ship has docked in the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the first official visit by a Western naval vessel to the country in 15 years. The Italian Navy said the visit comes as part of the resumption of "historic and excellent relations" between the two navies. - 9/25/16

Syria as Metaphor

- Syria is a nightmare for individuals, millions of them. But it's not just that. If states could dream, then Syria would be their nightmare as well. This scenario might seem unique. It isn't. Disharmonious pluralism has become the new global standard. Other countries - Turkey, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the EU, even the United States - gaze upon the Syrian example and tremble. -John Feffer, LobeLog - 9/25/16

US vows to change course on JCPOA: Iran's President Rouhani

- Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Tehran from New York on Friday, Rouhani added that the ministerial meeting of a commission established to monitor the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) confirmed that the US is not complying with the nuclear agreement. "The Joint Commission verified the Islamic Republic of Iran's stance and did not see the US conduct as consistent with the JCPOA," the Iranian president said. - 9/24/16

Director of "Kami's Party" asks Iranians to download his banned film and donate to charity

- Protesting against the banning Ali Ahmadzadeh put a copy of his film on the internet for free download and asked those who downloaded it and were eager to pay, to donate the money to the Children's Charity Refaah. According to the director, Kami's Party attempts to depict the relationships between young members of today's Iranian upper class which, for reasons unknown, have never been depicted in any other Iranian film. - 9/24/16

Iran not interested in any provocation with US: FM Javad Zarif

- The Iranian minister made the remarks in an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank, on Friday, in response to a quote, raised by the interviewer, from US Republican presidential nominee Donald trump, who had said he would shoot the Iranian ships out of the Persian Gulf. - 9/24/16

Saudis offer oil production cut deal if Iran freezes output

- Saudi Arabia has reportedly announced that it is ready to reduce its oil production provided that Iran agrees to cap its own output over the remaining months to the end of 2016. Reuters has quoted unnamed sources as saying that the Saudi offer, which is yet to be accepted or rejected, was presented to Tehran earlier this month. - 9/24/16

Iran's President Rouhani Urges Implementation of Nuclear Deal at UN

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani used his speech at the U.N. General Assembly to urge the United States to step up implementation of the landmark nuclear deal and to rebuke Saudi Arabia for its actions in the region. "The lack of compliance with the JCPOA on the part of the United States in the past several months represents a flawed approach that should be rectified forthwith," Rouhani told the annual gathering of leaders - 9/23/16

Iran Complying With JCPOA: EU Foreign Policy Chief

- Speaking at a press briefing following a meeting between the foreign ministers of Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany - at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, Federica Mogherini said the common assessment was that Iran was living up to its commitments under the deal, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). - 9/23/16

Kahrizak Torture Victim Rejects Former Tehran Prosecutor's Apology for Detainees' Deaths

- Reza Zoghi, who was tortured at the Kahrizak Detention Center in south Tehran where three young men died as a result of the torture, has rejected an apology from then-Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi. "His apology is an insult," Zoghi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 9/23/16

Ahmadinejad advised by the Supreme Leader not to run for president: Report

- On Monday Fars published a note by its former director Mehdi Faza'eli in which he said former president Mahmud Ahmadinejad has been advised not to run for the next year's presidential election. - 9/23/16

​Iran, Japan to devise economic roadmap

- Iran says it is ready to work with Japan on devising a 10-year roadmap to expand economic relations between the two countries. The announcement was made by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani during his meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York. - 9/23/16

With Boeing Deal, Americans Are Coming to Iran

- Long before the first newly purchased Boeing airliner lands at Imam Khomeini International Airport, Iran and the United States will have had to come to terms with a new reality: American citizens will once again be taking up residence in Tehran, the first to do so since the Islamic Revolution and subsequent hostage crisis in 1979 and 1980. -Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times - 9/23/16

Airbus, Boeing Get U.S. Approval To Sell Planes To Iran

- The U.S. Treasury Department has granted licenses to Airbus and Boeing to sell jet planes to Iran in multibillion-dollar deals. - 9/22/16

Iran's Nuclear Program and International Law

- Anyone who took an interest in the diplomatic twists and turns that finally resulted in last year's Iran nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) are likely to enjoy Iran's Nuclear Program and International Law by Daniel H. Joyner, professor of law at the University of Alabama. -Peter Jenkins - 9/22/16

UN aid covers less than 3% of Iran's spending on refugees: Interior Minister

- The Iranian interior minister says the UN has failed to provide Tehran with sufficient aid to help the country cover the expenses of the services it is offering to refugees on its soil, particularly Afghan nationals. Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli made the remarks in a Tuesday meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi in New York. - 9/22/16

Iran: Ailing Reformist Journalist's Prison Sentence Reduced

- Prominent reformist journalist Issa Saharkhiz's prison sentence has been reduced based on Article 134 of the New Islamic Penal Code, his lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaee, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 9/22/16

Iran's President Rouhani demands political settlement of Syria conflict

- "What is of utmost importance is to understand that Syria doesn't have a military solution. And the Syrians' problems must certainly be resolved politically. Only politically," Rouhani said in an interview with NBC television news network on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. - 9/22/16

Women in Iran defy fatwa by riding bikes in public

- Women in Iran have been posting photos on social media of themselves riding bicycles, defying a fatwa forbidding them from cycling in public. It had been understood women that could cycle as long as religious concerns were respected. But when asked recently, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, said women were not allowed to cycle in public or in the presence of strangers. -BBC - 9/22/16

Iran president arrives in New York for 71st UN General Assembly session

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has arrived in New York to participate in the 71st annual session of the United Nations General Assembly. Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Rouhani arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday - 9/21/16

Reformist Editor Arrested Ahead of President Rouhani's Trip to the United Nations

- Sadra Mohaghegh, the social affairs editor of the reformist Shargh newspaper, was arrested on September 19, 2016, but the circumstances surrounding his arrest and the charges against him are unclear, according to his lawyer. - 9/21/16

Iran Marks War Anniversary With Military Parades

- Various divisions of Iran's Armed Forces are holding annual military parades on the first day of the Sacred Defense Week, which marks the 36th anniversary of the eight-year Iraqi war on Iran. - 9/21/16

Mark Kirk's Surprising Disinterest In Boeing's Iran Sales

- Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) opposes pretty much anything that might take the pressure off Iran. He called Obama the "drug dealer in chief" for delivering $400 million in cash to the Islamic Republic as part of a settlement for money owed to Iran since 1979. He has gone so far as to say that "it's okay to take food out of the mouths" of the Iranian people to punish their government for its behavior. -Eli Clifton - 9/21/16

Our Hardliners Are Still Helping Iran's Hardliners

- The unrelenting urge among American politicians to keep punishing Iran--or more precisely, to be seen supporting steps with that objective--continues to work against sensible statecraft and U.S. interests in multiple respects. One of those respects concerns how measures taken by the United States affect political competition within Iran. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 9/21/16

Ending the Iran-Saudi Cold War

- In January, Saudi Arabia severed formal diplomatic ties with Iran after a row over its execution of a prominent Shia cleric ended with angry protestors attacking its Tehran embassy. Diplomacy has since been replaced by an ever-escalating war of words, and tensions have reached an all-time high. -Seyed Hossein Mousavian and Sina Toossi - 9/20/16

President Rouhani visits Havana, urges enhanced Iran-Cuba trade ties

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stressed the need for the promotion of all-out relations between the Islamic Republic and Cuba, particularly trade ties, following a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Rouhani arrived in Havana on Monday September 19, 2016 and was officially welcomed by President Raul Castro - 9/20/16

IRAN: On Hunger Strike, Imprisoned Music Distributors' Health Deteriorates

- Imprisoned music distributors Mehdi Rajabian and Hossein Rajabian are in poor health after starting a hunger strike on September 8, 2016 in Tehran's Evin Prison. The brothers are protesting being held in separate wards and the denial of access to medical care. - 9/20/16

Journalist With Reformist Daily Arrested In Iran

- A journalist with Iran's reformist Sharq daily has been arrested in Tehran. Sadra Mohaqeq was arrested on September 19 at his home in the Iranian capital, reports said. The reason for his arrest is not clear. - 9/20/16

Utah State Senator's Summer Visit to Iran Sparks Firestorm

- A Utah state senator who traveled to Iran last week has set off a firestorm there, where hard-liners accuse him of being "part of a major Western project to infiltrate'' the country as authorities imprison others with ties abroad. -AP - 9/20/16

Iran Sentences Lebanese IT Expert To 10 Years In Prison

- A Lebanese information-technology (IT) expert detained in Iran for more than a year has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $4.2 million, his supporters say. Nizar Zakka, a Washington resident, was detained in September 2015 in Tehran after attending a government-organized conference on entrepreneurship and employment, where he was a panelist. - 9/20/16

Persian Gulf incidents spike, sending message from Iran hardliners

- Iran and the US have been provoking each other militarily for more than 30 years, engaging in a volatile tug-of-war in the Persian Gulf, where one-third of the world's seaborne oil supply travels through the Strait of Hormuz. But threatening incidents have spiked recently, with at least 32 reported so far this year, compared with 23 in all of 2015. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 9/20/16

Contesting the U.S.-Saudi Bromance With 1,000 Cuts

- On September 8, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Al Franken (D-MN) introduced a bipartisan resolution, SJ Res 39, to disapprove the $1.15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia notified to Congress on August 8. New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich joined SJ Res 39 as a co-sponsor on September 13. -Robert Naiman, LobeLog - 9/20/16

Iran urges U.S. to unblock aircraft deals, seeks investors

- Iran urged the United States on Sunday to remove remaining obstacles to buying passenger planes following the lifting of international sanctions and it spread out the welcome mat to foreign investors as it seeks to boost its aviation sector. -Reuters - 9/19/16

Sen. Dabakis returns from Iran with hopes of healing divide

- Utah state senator Jim Dabakis just returned from a summer trip to Iran. "The people in Iran love Americans. We could not go down any city street without people following us, talking to us and inviting us to their home," said Dabakis. He believes the people of Iran are ready to mend relations even if their government is not. -Heidi Hatch, KUTV - 9/19/16

NAM indisputable part of solutions to world crises: Iran's President Rouhani

- "At the current juncture, NAM member states more than ever require solidarity, convergence and coordination. The truth is that as a bloc that comprises about two-thirds of the United Nations members, we are an undeniable part of the solutions to the challenges facing today's world," Rouhani said at the opening ceremony of the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit on Margarita Island, Venezuela, on Saturday. - 9/18/16

Absolute distrust in US important part of Iran's soft power: Supreme Leader

- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says absolute distrust in hegemonic powers topped by the United States is an important component of Iran's soft power and this distrust must increase on a daily basis. The Leader made the remarks in a meeting on Sunday with commanders and high-ranking officials of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran on on Monday - 9/18/16

Powell Acknowledges Israeli Nukes

- According to hacked emails reviewed by LobeLog, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged Israel's nuclear arsenal, an open secret that U.S. and Israeli politicians typically refuse to acknowledge as part of Israel's strategy of "nuclear ambiguity." Powell also rejected assessments that Iran, at the time, was "a year away" from a nuclear weapon. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 9/18/16

12 Organizations Write Congress on Potential Iran Sanctions Act Debate

- Washington, DC - A dozen national organizations that have supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) delivered a letter to Congress today outlining key considerations for any potential debate over legislation to extend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (ISA), which is set to expire at the end of the year. - 9/17/16

Iran parliament endorses new oil contract

- Iran's parliament has given the go-ahead to the government to put a new oil contract model into effect, the Ministry of Petroleum's Shana news agency reported on Saturday. The new formula, which has drawn criticism from some politicians and experts, was reviewed by a parliamentary panel but not voted by lawmakers. - 9/17/16

Israel Gives Up Little to Get Largest Ever U.S. Arms Deal

- Despite the tensions between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the United States and Israel have finally signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). After pushing off negotiations until the Iran deal concluded, Netanyahu has "settled" for the largest military aid package to any country in the history of U.S. security assistance. The deal will provide Israel $38 billion over ten years starting in 2019. -Seth Binder, LobeLog - 9/17/16

Remembering Akbar: Inside The Iranian Revolution

- Nearly 40 years ago, a major revolution took place in Iran to overthrow the Western backed-Shah. The Iranian revolution was a pivotal moment in world history that continues to have repercussions today. A legacy of the late 1970s that remains intact in today's Iran, is the imprisonment of dissidents. Iran's infamous practice of incarcerating people for political reasons forms the basis of a beautifully written story by Behrooz Ghamari called Remembering Akbar: Inside the Iranian Revolution. - 9/16/16

Trump: Americans Have 'Big Hearts' But Cannot Risk a Flow of Refugees

- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Tuesday that the American people have "big hearts" but cannot "take the risk of refugees." Trump answered questions before a primarily pro-military crowd in Virginia Beach, Virginia with retired General Michael Flynn, a strong Trump supporter, doing the asking. - 9/16/16

Iran rejects UN rights chief statements as 'untrue'

- Iran has dismissed as "untrue" a recent statement by the UN human rights chief, in which he has criticized what is said to be Tehran's lack of interactions with his office in recent years. - 9/16/16

Iran's Qassem Soleimani rejects remarks over presidential candidacy plan as deceitful

- Major General Qassem Soleimani, the Commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, in comments on Thursday lambasted "the enemies" for what he called "deceptive and divisive remarks," rejecting speculations over plan to run for the upcoming presidential election in Iran. - 9/16/16

Soft Power is Key to Iran's Success

- While much is made of Iran's hard power, the recent nuclear deal hints at the prospect of the country's untapped soft power being far more central to its long-term success in the 21st century. As the 13th-century Persian poet, Jalal ad- Din Muhammad Rumi, wrote: "Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." - Sam Sasan Shoamanesh, Huffington Post - 9/16/16

Flowers for Ahmadinejad

- The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") today fined a company a whopping $4,320,000 for selling things to Iran. Oh wow, you say, this must have been some really bad stuff like, say, high-powered computers or drones, right? Yep, really dangerous stuff -- flower seeds. As in, the things you bury in your backyard and hope sprout up as zinnias. -Export Law Blog - 9/16/16

AWAITING A HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENCY

- To repeat, my main interest in the Clinton/Trump rivalry in their campaign for the presidency of the United States is how each candidate might affect the prospects of a rapprochement between the world's greatest economic and military superpower, and the Middle East's most consequential counterweight, Iran. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 9/15/16

Calling Iranians "Descendants of the Magi" Is Actually a Compliment

- Recently, the chief mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, said that Iranians are Majus. This is the Arab name for Iran's Zoroastrians, who were the majority of the people at the time of the Arab invasion of Persia in the 7th century AD. The mufti was implying by this statement that Iranians are not Muslims. This belief is neither new nor limited to the Saudis or the Wahhabis. -Shireen T. Hunter - 9/15/16

Iranian Military Threatens To Shoot Down Two U.S. Planes Over Gulf

- Tehran's military threatened to shoot down two U.S. Navy planes over the Strait of Hormuz in the latest tense encounter in the Persian Gulf. Iranian air-defense stations warned the U.S. aircraft as they were flying in international airspace on September 10 that they were nearing Iranian airspace and "we will fire Iranian missiles" if they did not change course, U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Commander Bill Urban said on September 13. - 9/15/16

Is Wahhabism to Blame for al-Qaeda and ISIS?

- Late last month, Microsoft apologized after online users observed that Bing's translation of Daesh-what many Arabs call the Islamic State (ISIS or IS)-was "Saudi Arabia." According to Microsoft's official apology, Bing relies on a crowdsourcing translation method in which it promotes an alternative translation if at least 1,000 users suggest it. Despite Microsoft resolving the issue, which caused many Saudis to lash out against the multinational technology giant on social media, the episode highlighted an argument made by many pundits: Wahhabism (the kingdom's dominant sect of Sunni Islam) and IS/al-Qaeda's extremist ideology are one in the same. -Joseph Cozza and Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog - 9/15/16

Iranian MP backs FATF deal, calls it a banking must

- The opponents say if Iran becomes a member of the FATF, then it should consider restrictions for some organizations, including the IRGC-controlled Khatam al-Anbiya construction company, as long as they are backlisted by the U.S. There are others who also cite accession to the money laundering body a national security threat, fearing disclosure of the Iranians' banking information. - 9/15/16

UK blocks Iran's gas revenues over sanctions

- The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) says Britain has blocked the revenues it has been paid from selling the natural gas of a field it jointly owns with BP in the North Sea. - 9/15/16

There Is No Military Path to Victory in Afghanistan

- Few will say it, but the facts are indisputable: America's war in Afghanistan has failed. There comes a time when persisting in a lost cause amounts to foolishness, indeed irresponsibility. That time has arrived. -Rajan Menon, LobeLog - 9/15/16

Notorious former Tehran prosecutor issues public apology for prisoner killings

- Former Tehran Prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, accused of orchestrating the abuse and death of political detainees during the election protests of 2009 in Iran, has issued a public letter addressed to the judge apologizing to the survivors and families of the victims. - 9/14/16

On the Eve of Hajj, Saudi and Iranian Officials Try to Define "Muslim"

- Top Iranian and Saudi officials traded barbs earlier this week over who is and isn't a true Muslim, deepening the Middle East's most prominent, longest-running, and deadliest diplomatic crisis. On September 6, Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, pronounced that Iranians, no doubt to the great surprise of many of them, are not actually Muslim -Derek Davison - 9/14/16

Mohammad Javad Zarif: Let Us Rid the World of Wahhabism

- Saudi Arabia's effort to persuade its Western patrons to back its shortsighted tactics is based on the false premise that plunging the Arab world into further chaos will somehow damage Iran. The fanciful notions that regional instability will help to "contain" Iran, and that supposed rivalries between Sunni and Shiite Muslims are fueling conflicts, are contradicted by the reality that the worst bloodshed in the region is caused by Wahhabists fighting fellow Arabs and murdering fellow Sunnis. -New York Times - 9/14/16

Iranian Translator in Prison for One Year Without Knowing Charges; Her Lawyer Denied Access to Case File

- Translator Marjan Davari has been held in Evin Prison's Women's Ward for almost a year without knowing the formal charges against her and while being denied proper legal counsel and medical treatment, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. - 9/14/16

Ex-IRGC chief: Iran should not intensify tension with Saudis

- A senior advisor to the Supreme Leader on military affairs has urged elevated relations with the three Arab countries of Oman, Kuwait, and even Qatar amid reservations over already tense ties with Saudi Arabia. "We should increase our relations with Oman, Kuwait, and even Qatar while avoiding intensifying tension with Saudi Arabia," said Yahya Rahim Safavi - 9/14/16

Stealth Sectarianism

- Not a week goes by without Saudi Arabia and Iran ratcheting up their war of words. In the latest round of colorful insults, the Iranian leader called Saudi leaders "puny satans" incapable of managing Hajj while the Saudis retorted that Iranians are not real Muslims but, rather, Zoroastrians or "sons of Magi" (no mention was made of Iranian women). -Sanam Naraghi Anderlini - 9/13/16

Iran's President Rouhani to pay visits to Caracas, Havana and New York

- "At the final stage of the trip, Rouhani will travel to New York for a two-day visit and deliver a speech at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly," Esmaeili said. Rouhani plans to meet world political and religious leaders, political and economic elites and speak to media in New York. - 9/13/16

Five-Year Prison Sentence for Dual National Woman Casts Shadow Over Iran's Opening to World

- The five-year prison sentence for Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, a dual citizen of Iran and the UK who has been inside Iranian prisons for the past five months, lacks any legal justification, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said in a statement today. The Campaign asked the Iranian government to immediately release Ms. Zaghari, as well as the other dual citizens imprisoned in similarly politicized cases. - 9/13/16

IRGC Navy showcases long-range fast cruising vessel

- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has unveiled a domestically-designed and -manufactured long-range and fast cruising vessel with a helipad on its deck to accommodate a helicopter gunship. - 9/13/16

Mark Kirk Wanted Release of Americans Held in Iran Before He Was Against It

- Back in March 2015, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) placed the highest priority on seeking the release of Americans held in Iran. He, along with 18 of his Senate GOP colleagues, wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry to urge him "to bring up these cases during communications with Iran and demand the unconditional release of these Americans." In a radio interview on Thursday, Kirk completely abandoned his previous stance of prioritizing the release of Americans. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 9/13/16

US claims of warship harassment in Persian Gulf fictitious: Iran

- Iran's chief Armed Forces spokesman has dismissed as untrue US claims that an American warship patrolling the Persian Gulf was harassed by Iranian boats, saying the Islamic Republic's naval forces act according to international law. - 9/12/16

Congress Returns, Refocuses on Iran

- Congress returned this week from its summer recess -- coming back for a very brief session before it goes back into recess for the final period before November elections. Surprising no one, GOP leaders returned to Washington eager to score points against the Obama administration over its Iran policy - immediately introducing 6 pieces of Iran-focused legislation -Lara Friedman, LobeLog - 9/12/16

PHOTOS: In Memory of September 11 Victims

- The following photographs were captured by Mahshid Modares, an Iranian/American visual artist residing in California, in 2005 (at Ground Zero, New York). The artist states: "People's comments and photographs posted on the fences were equally impressive and vivid. I could feel the sorrow and indignation in every word and every object left in the site. I felt they each deserve to become an art piece to become immortal." - 9/11/16

Iran breaks ground on two nuclear power plants to be built with Russian help

- "According to the timetable envisaged, the first and second units will be constructed respectively over 108 and 126 months with the cooperation of Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom)," Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said while attending a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the launch of construction of the two new nuclear power plants. - 9/11/16

Iran welcomes truce agreement in Syria: Foreign Ministry Spokesman

- Iran has welcomed a Russia-US mediated ceasefire agreement in Syria aimed at putting an end to more than five years of deadly conflict gripping the Arab country. "The Islamic Republic of Iran always welcomes a ceasefire in Syria and the facilitation of the access of all the country's people to humanitarian aid," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi, said on Sunday. - 9/11/16

US lawmakers rush to bar returning Iran money

- US Republicans are pushing new bills through Congress to prevent further return of Iranian money held since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Those measures are in response to President Barack Obama's cash payments to Iran this year following a nuclear accord which requires Washington to lift its sanctions on Tehran. - 9/11/16

Iranian Journalist's Prison Sentence Reduced to Two Years, with Two-Year Ban on Reporting

- The 10-year prison sentence of newspaper columnist Afarin Chitsaz has been reduced to two years on appeal and she has been banned from practicing journalism for two years according to the ruling issued by Branch 36 of the Appeals Court on September 5, 2016, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. - 9/11/16

9/11 Anniversary: What could have been!

- Fifteen years ago on 9/11, Al Qaeda terrorists changed the course of history, and the consequences of what happened on that day are still very much with us, and are arguably even growing more complex and more dangerous. -Farhang Jahanpour - 9/11/16

IAEA: Iran Is Keeping Its End of the Nuclear Bargain

- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is reporting that Iran has so far complied with its obligations under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which went into effect in January and limits Iran's ability to produce nuclear weapons. The IAEA report, which is confidential but was apparently shown to the Reuters news agency, "did not point to any violations in Tehran's observance of the deal" -Derek Davison - 9/10/16

Trump Vows To Destroy Iranian Boats That Harass U.S. Navy Ships

- At a rally in Florida on September 9, Trump said he would make the U.S. military "so strong that nobody's going to mess with us," and cited recent incidents where the Pentagon said Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps boats acted aggressively toward U.S. ships. - 9/10/16

UK-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe 'jailed on secret charges'

- A British-Iranian mother has been jailed for five years in Iran on "secret charges", her husband says. Richard Ratcliffe said charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested in April, had called him from prison and said: "I can't bear to be in this place any longer." -BBC - 9/10/16

Iranian Judiciary Must Stop Punishing Media for Reporting Officials' Corruption

- Iran's Judiciary must halt the prosecution of media outlets which carried out their journalist duty in publishing reports on alleged corruption in the Tehran Municipality and City Council, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said in a statement today. Unless they are found guilty of a crime in court, the websites of these news organizations should be unblocked, the statement added. - 9/10/16

The Reconstruction of the Southeast and Turkey's War in Syria

- Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on September 4 that Turkey would make a massive investment of $3.4 billion to rehabilitate the heavily Kurdish-populated southeast. The inclusion of substantial economic incentives could push the total package to $140 billion over the coming years. The plan has the support of some of Turkey's largest companies. -Robert Olson, LobeLog - 9/10/16
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