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August 21 2018
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Iran: Total has officially withdrawn from South Pars gas project

- Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh says French energy giant Total has officially left the country, ending speculations over whether it would stay to finish a gas project following the return of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. - 8/20/18

IRAN: Conservative MP Insinuates President Rouhani Has British Citizenship

- The issue of top Iranian officials and their children who have dual citizenship has once again flared up after a conservative MP indirectly accused the Islamic Republic's President Hassan Rouhani of being a British citizen. - 8/20/18

Iran Appoints Nasirzadeh As Air Force Chief

- Iran's supreme leader has appointed a former F-14 Tomcat pilot and veteran of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war as the new commander of the country's air force, Iranian media are reporting. Nasirzadeh has been the air force's acting commander since 2017. He succeeds General Hassan Shahsafi, who assumed the post in 2008. - 8/20/18

In Iran, Official Spin Challenges Perceived Caspian Setback

- Senior Iranian officials found themselves in hot water after the recent signing of an eagerly anticipated, five-party deal on the Caspian Sea. While the so-called Convention On The Legal Status Of The Caspian Sea that was signed on August 12 appeared to postpone some of the most intense disputes between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Iran, it also appeared to ditch one of Tehran's strongest cards in any negotiations: the Soviet-era characterization, in multiple treaties, of the Caspian as a sea shared between two parties -- the Soviet Union and Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 8/18/18

Prolonged Detention of Environmentalists "None of Your Business," Iran's Judiciary Tells Vice President

- The chief of Iran's Department of Environment, Vice President Isa Kalantari, has told state media that the judiciary has warned him to stop enquiring about environmentalists who have been detained for the past six months. - 8/18/18

IRAN: Qom Seminarians Attack Rouhani For Economy, Nuclear Deal

- A protest rally against "financial corruption" held Thursday, August 16, at Iran's major Shi'ite seminary in city of Qom, turned into a demonstration against President Hassan Rouhani. Shi'ite seminarians who receive stipends from the office of the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other conservative top clergy chanted threatening slogans aimed directly at Rouhani. - 8/18/18

Iran Blames Iraq For Continuing Wildfires On Border

- Efforts to prevent wildfires in Iraq from reaching Iran, has been halted, says President Hassan Rouhani's deputy and the head of Department of Environment (DoE). Iraqi part of Hour al-Azim wetland has been burning for weeks now and the wildfire smoke clouds have caused health problems for the inhabitants of cities on the Iranian side of the border, especially in Iranian Khuzestan province and its capital Ahvaz, local news outlets reported. -Radio Farda - 8/18/18

The harsh effects of Trump's Iran sanctions, and why Iranians worry the worst is still to come

- President Trump has said his goal is to place "maximum economic pressure" on a country he accuses of fomenting instability and backing U.S. adversaries across the Middle East. But many Iranians believe the Trump administration wants to topple the theocracy in place since the 1979 Islamic Revolution - a risky policy that Iran's deeply entrenched clerical establishment has many ways to survive. Meanwhile, the sanctions are falling hardest on ordinary Iranians, with the toughest restrictions yet to come. -Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times - 8/18/18

Iran Action Group: New US Iran Policy Chief Lays Out Agenda

- The Trump administration's new special representative for Iran says his team will focus most of its work on changing Tehran's behavior on issues of nuclear weapons, terrorism and detention of Americans. Brian Hook was speaking Thursday at the State Department, where U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Hook's appointment to the role that heads a new U.S. team known as the Iran Action Group. - - 8/17/18

19 University Students in Iran Issued Long Prison Sentences as One More is Tried in Tehran

- At least 17 students from universities in Tehran and two others from Tabriz have been issued harsh prison sentences ranging from one to 12 years in preliminary rulings by the Revolutionary Court system for attending protests earlier this year. - 8/17/18

German firms ignore EU appeal, end Iran projects

- Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Bahn, two state-owned German companies, are following car manufacturer Daimler and mechanical engineering company Herrenknecht to withdraw from Iran because of US sanctions. The exodus flies in the face of the EU implementing a "blocking statute" which is purported to protect firms against possible fallout from breaching US sanctions on Iran. - 8/17/18

Iranian Judicial Official Refuses to Lift Ban on Twitter Despite Growing Use by State Officials

- After several state officials called on President Hassan Rouhani to make Twitter accessible in Iran, a hardline judicial official has said doing so would be a "crime." In May 2018, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Education Minister Mohammad Bathaei, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, Justice Minister Alireza Avaie, Science Minister Mansour Gholami, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Abbas Salehi, as well as two Members of Parliament (MPs), Ramezanali Sobhanifar and Mohammad Kazemi, signed a letter urging Rouhani to lift the state's ban. - 8/17/18

US says ready to sanction China for buying Iran's oil

- The United States says it is prepared to impose sanctions on all countries that continue to buy Iran's oil -- including China -- after Washington starts restoring bans on the Islamic Republic's energy sector. The announcement was made on Thursday by Brian Hook, the head of US State Department's newly-established Iran Action Group, after he was asked by reporters about the group's plan for dealing with China - 8/17/18

Iran's President Rouhani Defends Caspian Sea Convention, Saying No Sell-Out

- President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet members lined up on Wednesday to defend a Convention signed by the littoral states of the Caspian Sea. Responding to reports and speculations that question the possible benefits and advantages of the convention for Iran, Rouhani and his ministers tried to draw a rosy picture out of the treaty, presenting it as a "great national achievement" for the Islamic Republic. - 8/16/18

Nasrin Sotoudeh's Lawyer: "They Came After Her From Three Directions"

- Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh once defended political prisoners but she is now trying to avoid becoming one herself as she wades through the complicated case Iran's judiciary has built against her. Sotoudeh was caught off guard when she was suddenly transported from her home to Evin Prison in Tehran on June 13, 2018. Later she was informed that she was detained due to a five-year prison sentence that was issued against her in absentia in 2015 by Revolutionary Court Judge Mohammad Moghiseh. - 8/16/18

Iranian Minister Shocked By $250 Billion Of Import Requests

- Iran's Minister of Industry, Mines and Business says, fluctuations in the local forex market in the past four months have tripled the number of applications for import licenses worth $250 billion dollar. Describing the figure as "unbelievable", Mohammad Shariatmadari has insisted that a "number of" profiteering individuals are trying to "fish in troubled waters", referring to the current currency and economic crisis. - 8/16/18

Where Is Your Kid? Iranians On Social Media Target Nepotism

- A newly launched social media campaign is pressuring Iranian officials to come clean about potential privileges their children enjoy due to their influence and connections. The campaign, under the hashtag #Where_is_your_kid?, follows reports of the children of Iranian politicians being promoted to top state jobs despite a lack of experience and living "luxury" lifestyles at a time when many Iranians are struggling to make ends meet due to a plunging national currency and concerns over newly reimposed U.S. sanctions that are likely to make their lives even more difficult. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/16/18

Tehran's Armenian archbishop denounces Trump's JCPOA exit

- Sebouh Sarkissian, the Armenian archbishop of Tehran, has condemned Donald Trump's behavior toward Iran including his exit from the 2015 nuclear agreement that Tehran signed with the 5+1 nations, ISNA reported on Wednesday. - 8/16/18

As Currency Drops Iran Faces Shortages Of Medications

- Iran's health ministry spokesman has admitted that the country is currently suffering from shortages of foreign-made medications, but, insisted that "it can be overcome". Blaming chaotic fluctuations in Iranian forex market and nosediving national currency, Iraj Harirchi says, "Since forty-fifty types of foreign medications have recently become scarce in Iran, the government has allocated $3.5 billion to purchase drugs." - 8/15/18

US to blame for burning bridges with Iran: President Rouhani

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has once again dismissed Washington's offer of talks, which followed its unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, saying the US, itself, burned its bridges for negotiations with Tehran. Currently, the Islamic Republic is holding talks with the entire world, the Iranian chief executive told a government meeting on Wednesday. Rouhani, however, said, "The US itself has acted in such a way that has destroyed the circumstances required for negotiations. It has burned its bridges." - 8/15/18

Economic Crisis In Iran Leading To Job Cuts And Inflation

- Iranian Auto parts manufacturers says 450 thousand workers in this industry are likely to lose their jobs as a result of Iran's foreign currency crisis. At the same time, Iranian media report that rising prices of foodstuff and cost of housing on a daily basis make life harder for most Iranians. - 8/15/18

UK's Quercus halts Iran solar project after US threat

- UK renewables investor Quercus has halted a deal worth over half a billion euros to build and operate a 600-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Iran, the company said on Tuesday. "Following the US sanctions on Iran, we have decided to cease all activities in the country, including our 600 MW project. We will continue to monitor the situation closely," Quercus chief executive Diego Biasi was quoted as saying. - 8/15/18

Judiciary's Intensifying Crackdown on Defense Attorneys in Iran Must End

- An intensifying state crackdown on human rights defenders in Iran, in which the authorities have denied attorneys the ability to represent their clients and jailed them for attempting to do so, violates Iran's domestic laws and international obligations and must end, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. - 8/14/18

Will Iran Benefit from Lack of Coordination in Trump Administration's Multiple Sanctions?

- If assuring the success of the economic sanctions against Iran is one of Trump administration's top foreign policy priorities then there must be a good explanation for why it is simultaneously engaging in trade wars and imposing sanctions on some of Iran's major trade partners. Does U.S. expect Turkey, Russia and China to cooperate with U.S. sanctions and cut back their economic ties with Iran while they are themselves being punished by tariffs and economic sanctions for various reasons? -Nader Habibi - 8/14/18

IRAN: Khamenei Blames President Rouhani For Economic Crisis, Forbids Negotiating With U.S.

- At the same time he ruled out a military confrontation with the U.S. "Recently, American officials have been talking blatantly about Iran ... they are talking about war and negotiations ... They are exaggerating about possibility of a war with Iran. There will be no war ... We have never started a war and they will not confront Iran militarily," Khamenei retorted. - 8/14/18

Iran Offers Oil Discounts To Keep Asian Customers

- An official at the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has told state-run news agency, IRNA, that the company was reducing its prices for September sales to Asia to their lowest level in 14 years, compared with Saudi crude. The discount has been offered at a time that the second batch of renewed US sanctions, targeting Iran's oil exports, is scheduled to be implemented on November 4. - 8/14/18

Iran unveils new generation of precision-guided 'Mobin' missiles

- Iran has unveiled a new generation of precision-guided missiles capable of striking ground and seaborne targets in surgical operations. The Fateh-e Mobin missile was showcased and entered the production line on Monday in the presence of Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami. - 8/14/18

Iraq will not abide by US sanctions against Iran: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says his government will only refrain from using the dollar in transactions with Iran without complying with the full scope of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. "Our commitment in the Iran issue is to not use the dollar currency in transaction, not abiding by the US sanctions," state television quoted the premier as telling a news conference in Baghdad on Monday. - 8/14/18

Caspian Sea Countries Summit Delivers Less Than Expected

- The leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan met in Aqtau, Kazakhstan, on August 12 for what was supposed to be the long-awaited signing of a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The leaders met, and signed the convention, but after more than 20 years it was clear that some of the same issues that have prevented an agreement that suited all five countries remained. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 8/13/18

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei: No negotiations with cheating, bullying U.S.

- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Islamic Republic will not enter into new negotiations with the United States due to cheating and bullying nature of its government. Speaking in a meeting with a large group of Iranian people in Tehran on Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei dismissed talks with the US after President Trump called for direct negotiations with Tehran, saying Washington is only after concessions. - 8/13/18

Iran Arrests 67 People In Drive Against Financial Crime

- Iran's judiciary says the authorities have arrested 67 people in a drive against financial crime as the country faces renewed U.S. sanctions and public outcry against widespread corruption. "Sixty seven suspects have been arrested, some of whom were released on bail, and more than 100 people including government employees and officials, as well as private employees and others have been given travel bans," judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said in remarks carried by state television on August 12. - 8/13/18

German Economy Minister: US cannot tell us with whom we can do business

- Germany's Economy Minister Peter Altmaier says the United States is in no position to tell Berlin with which countries it can do business, vowing support for companies doing business with Iran. The German minister made the remarks in an interview with Bild am Sonntagnewspaper on Sunday, emphasizing that Berlin would not let the Washington dictate its trade rules on it. - 8/13/18

Iran's Guardians Council Approves Anti-Money-Laundering Measures

- A top Iranian constitutional body has approved measures passed by parliament to bring the country more into line with international anti-money-laundering norms. The Guardians Council, which vets legislation passed by parliament, gave its approval to the legal amendments on combating the funding of terrorism, the body's spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted as saying by Iranian state media. - 8/13/18

Trump's Sanctions Will Hurt The Wrong People In Iran

- In August 2013, a group of 466 Iranian dissidents, including dozens of political prisoners, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama chastising him for his Iran policy. The unprecedented sanctions Obama had mustered against Iran, they argued, were not only debilitating the Iranian economy but suffocating Iranian civil society and prospects for peaceful democratic change within the country. - Jamal Abdi and Sina Toossi, NIAC - 8/11/18

Iran's Currency Starts The Week With Another Decline Against Dollar

- The Iranian currency started the new Iranian week on Saturday with another decline, trading above 10,500 rials to the dollar. This is another indication that the new foreign currency market policy of the government has failed to stop the rapid decline of the rial. - 8/11/18

Iranian FM Says No Meeting With U.S. Officials Planned

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says no meetings are planned with U.S. officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Asked about the likelihood of such a such meeting, possibly on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Zarif told the semiofficial Tasnim news agency that "no such meeting is planned." - 8/11/18

Iranian Football Fans Clash With Police In Tehran, Crowds Chant Opposition Slogans

- Reports from Iran indicate an "intense clash" between security forces and angry fans attending a football match in Tehran on Friday. Reports from Tehran also say thousands of football fans at Tehran's Azadi Stadium chanted anti-government slogans in the course of the clash which appeared to be not politically motivated in the first place. - 8/11/18

How US Sanctions Impede the Women's Movement in Iran

- While the world's attention was on US President Donald Trump's Twitter war with Tehran the other week, some good news in Iran escaped notice. A group of women's rights activists arrested in front of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs on International Women's Day were acquitted, after initially being charged for planning and participating in a protest on the economic situation of women. -Sussan Tahmasebi, Atlantic Council - 8/11/18

Turkish Currency Lira Plunges As Trump Piles On The Pressure

- The embattled Turkish lira tumbled almost 20 percent to new record lows against the dollar on Friday as strains with the United States intensified, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defiantly proclaimed Turkey would emerge victorious in an "economic war". - 8/11/18

A Landmark Caspian Agreement (To Be Signed On August 12) -- And What It Resolves

- It has taken more than 20 years. But on August 12, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan will meet in the Kazakh port city of Aqtau, reportedly to sign a new convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Iran is arguably the loser under such an arrangement, as it would get only about 13 percent of the Caspian -- and the deepest and saltiest part at that. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 8/10/18

Iran's State TV Must End Its Use of Families to Discredit Journalists, Dissenters

- Iranian authorities should immediately stop harassing and threatening the families of activists and journalists as a means to silence dissent and criticism, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) and Justice for Iran (JFI) said in a joint statement today. - 8/10/18

Iran's Water Can Run Out Sooner Than Its Oil

- The looming water crisis in Iran is "much more severe" than what has already been predicted, the head of Islamic Republic's Department of Environment (DoE) and deputy President, Isa Kalantari has said, warning, "There will be no water in Iran within less than fifty years". - 8/10/18

IRAN: Local Authorities Say They Will Investigate Shooting Death of Protester in Karaj

- A judicial investigation is underway in Iran to determine how 26-year-old shopkeeper Reza Otadi died from a bullet wound during a protest rally near Tehran on August 3, 2018, according to local officials. Iranian authorities typically blame the deaths of protesters on alleged bad actors among the protesters or suicide while pressuring the victim's family to avoid speaking publicly about the case. - 8/10/18

Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad Calls On Rouhani And Others To Step Down

- Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has once again called upon the heads of the Islamic Republic's three branches of government to step down. In a video message posted on his Telegram Channel, hardliner former President tells his "moderate" successor, Hassan Rouhani, that people do not "accept" him anymore and the continuation of his presidency will be detrimental to the country, as well as to himself. - 8/10/18

Iranian Currency Nosedives As New Forex Policy Seems Ineffective

- Only days after the announcement of President Hassan Rouhani's new forex policy, the value of Iranian national currency rial nosedived once again on the country's open market. While the dollar surpassed 10,000 rials, the private forex market is struggling with unexpected fluctuations, specifically over the value of the dollar, reports say. - 8/9/18

Iran hints trade guarantees from Europe are coming

- Iran says it will in all likelihood receive the necessary trade and banking guarantees from Europe to sustain a 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States has withdrawn from and which Washington has been attempting to break up.Iran says it will in all likelihood receive the necessary trade and banking guarantees from Europe to sustain a 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States has withdrawn from and which Washington has been attempting to break up. - 8/9/18

Iran's Child Protection Bill Includes Kids With Disabilities But Fails to Close Legal Loopholes

- A bill in the final stages of Iran's legislative process addresses the country's legal vacuum regarding the abuse of children with disabilities but includes loopholes that put those children at risk, according to experts. - 8/9/18

With 450,000 foreign nationals, Iran among top host countries for refugee students: Official

- Over the past 4 decades Iran has been faced with crowds of refugees due to the wars and conflicts in the region and currently Iran is among the countries with the highest refugee population and refugee students, deputy for international affairs department of the Ministry of Education said. There are some 450,000 foreign national students studying at schools in Iran of which 420,000 are Afghan nationals, Gholamreza Karimi told in an interview with the Tehran Times and Mehr news agency. - 8/9/18

Iranian Minister, MPs Trade Charges of Corruption, Blackmail During Impeachment

- Debates at the Iranian parliament (Majles) on Wednesday August 8 shed light on a web of alleged corruption, blackmailing, embezzlement, bribery and mishandling of public funds, Iranian press and social media activists say. - 8/9/18

Can EU's Efforts Protect European Companies Dealing With Iran?

- Following the re-imposition of United States' sanctions against Iran on August 7, the US has been adamant to exert its utmost pressures on Tehran to enter comprehensive negotiations with Washington, while the EU has been following measures to salvage the Iran nuclear deal US pulled out of in May. - 8/9/18

French cows herded out of Iran by U.S. sanctions, Senator says

- A project to export cattle to Iran from Normandy in northern France has been halted due to the United States' renewed sanctions against Tehran, a French Senator said, as Washington's policy takes its toll on its European allies. -Reuters - 8/9/18

China, Russia defend trade ties with Iran after US sanctions

- China and Russia have repudiated new US sanctions on Iran, pledging to maintain trade ties with Tehran after President Donald Trump warned countries against doing business with the Islamic Republic. "China has consistently opposed unilateral sanctions and long-armed jurisdiction," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, addressing Trump's decision Monday to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. - 8/8/18

Sanctions Buster? Iran Eyes Cryptocurrency To Blunt U.S. Deterrents

- With real-world problems sparking a "death spiral" for the rial currency, Iran's government is turning toward the cyberworld to help skirt U.S. sanctions that will further tighten the economic screws on Tehran. The underlying blockchain technology used in digital currencies eliminates the need for a third party, thus allowing for transactions to be made quickly, irrevocably, and in a secure environment. - 8/8/18

German Auto Giant Daimler Quits Iran, Citing U.S. Sanctions Threat

- German auto giant Daimler halted its business activities in Iran hours after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to block any company operating in Iran from selling in the vast U.S. marketplace. "We have suspended our already limited activities in Iran in accordance with the applicable sanctions," a Daimler spokeswoman said on August 7. - 8/8/18

Outspoken Iranian MP Demands Explanation On Judiciary's Funds

- Outspoken Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi has said that a number of employees of Iran's General Inspection Organization (GIO) have been arrested for "accidentally" auditing bank accounts of the Justice Department. "The lack of transparency in the state-run departments' interaction with the people has created a rift between the nation and the ruling establishment and led to decreasing the public trust in the regime to its lowest level," Sadeghi said. - 8/8/18

Iran's labor minister removed from office after impeachment

- Iranian Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei has been removed from office after he failed to secure a vote of confidence during an impeachment process at the parliament. At a parliamentary session in Tehran on Wednesday, 129 lawmakers voted for Rabiei to leave the cabinet, 111 for him to remain in office and 3 abstained. - 8/8/18

Trump Reimposes Iranian Economic Sanctions

- The United States has reimposed economic sanctions on Iran that were originally put in place to pressure the country to limit its nuclear program and later lifted under a 2015 international agreement. President Donald Trump has been a frequent critic of that deal and withdrew the United States from the agreement three months ago, setting in motion the reimposition of the sanctions effective at midnight Monday. -VOA - 8/7/18

Lawyer Calls on Iran's President Rouhani to Work For Human Rights Attorney Abdolfattah Soltani's Release

- One of Iran's most prominent human rights lawyers, Abdolfattah Soltani, was granted furlough from Evin Prison to mourn his daughter's death on August 4, 2018. Soltani's 30-year-old daughter, Homa, had passed away on August 3 from a heart attack. Video clips posted on social media showed the moment Soltani was reunited with his remaining family at a mourning ceremony for his daughter. One clip shows Soltani breaking down into tears as he embraces his wife, Masoumeh Dehghan, who is wailing. - 8/7/18

Labor Minister Says Unemployment Will Skyrocket In Iran

- As the first round of reimposed U.S. sanctions against Iran takes effect, the Iranian economy is taking a beating, and Iran's leaders are expressing concern about maintaining social cohesion in the face of increasing economic pressures. Iran's Minister of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare, Ali Rabiei, has predicted the country will lose one million jobs by the end of the current Persian year on March 20, 2019. - 8/7/18

IRAN: Hardliner Body Calls For Extensive Changes in Rouhani's Cabinet

- Iran's hardline-dominated Assembly of Experts has called on President Hassan Rouhani to be accountable for Iran's "chaotic economic situation," and demanded extensive overhaul of his cabinet. In Iran's worsening economic situation, hardliners have been increasingly putting the blame on Rouhani, demanding action. -Radio Farda - 8/7/18

Iran unveils new currency policies to strengthen rial

- As the United States is preparing for the snapback of economic sanctions against Iran, the country has unveiled a much-awaited package of policies that it expects to help strengthen its national currency - the rial - which has lost nearly half of its value against the US dollar since the start of the year. - 8/6/18

Iran receives 5 ATR planes from France shortly before US sanctions return

- Iran has received five more ATR turboprop airplanes only a day before the return of US sanctions that have already torpedoed the country's plane purchases with other major providers. The planes that had left France's Toulouse earlier in the day landed in Tehran's International Mehrabad Airport on Sunday morning after a short stop for refueling in the northwestern city of Urmia. - 8/6/18

Iranian-American woman Shabnam Lotfi running for Wisconsin's 77th District State Assembly

- The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the connected PAC of PAAIA, has announced its endorsement of Shabnam Lofti for Wisconsin's 77th District State Assembly. If elected, she would be the first Iranian American to serve in the Wisconsin Legislature. - 8/6/18

Prominent Imprisoned Iranian Lawyer Furloughed After Young Daughter Dies

- One of the founders of "Defenders of Human Rights Center" in Iran, Abdolfattah Soltani has been granted furlough to attend her young daughter's funeral, Saturday, August 4. Soltani's 27-year old daughter, Homa, died of heart failure on Friday evening. - 8/6/18

The Islamic Republic 'Not Going To Collapse', Says Former Iranian President Khatami

- Former reformist President Mohammad Khatami has apologized to Iranians for "the country's current situation," however, he stressed that the Islamic Republic "is not on the verge of collapse." In a statement released on his website on Sunday August 5, Khatami said that the suggestion of the regime being on the verge of collapse is part of a psychological offensive, alluding to what the regime calls "foreign enemies". - 8/6/18

Germany Upholds Guarantees For Iran Business Despite U.S. Sanctions

- As the United States is gearing up to make an important announcement on the reimposition of sanctions against Iran on August 6, Germany has signalled it will support companies who do business with the country. - 8/6/18

Iran Central Bank Deputy Chief Detained Ahead Of Reimposed U.S. Sanctions

- Iranian authorities have detained a deputy Central Bank governor amid street protests over the country's economic difficulties, state-run media report, as Iran prepares to face a return of U.S. sanctions that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. A spokesman for the judiciary was quoted as saying on August 5 that Ahmad Araqchi was dismissed from the post the previous day before being detained for alleged economic crimes. - 8/6/18

Iran's New foreign currencies policy aimed at providing essential goods at official rate: Official

- Iran's First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri says the government will announce on Monday its new Forex policy in the face of the looming US sanctions. "Given the new economic situation in the country and due to the looming US sanctions on Iran, our economy is in dire need of new decisions and amendment of earlier policies," he said. Iran's first vice president then said the new policies are mainly aimed at providing the essential goods at the official rate - 8/4/18

"IRGC Should Obey The Establishment's Decision" Says Iranian MP Motahari On Negotiations with U.S.

- Tehran's outspoken MP, Ali Motahari, has lambasted the chief commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for recent comments on the possibility of Tehran-Washington rapprochement. "On issues like negotiating with the United States, the IRGC should obey the establishment's decision," Motahari said on August 2. - 8/4/18

Desperate Families Call on Iranian State Heads to Release Detained Environmentalists

- The families of environmentalists who have been detained in Iran for the past six months-many in solitary confinement and without counsel-have sent a letter to the three heads of state advocating for the detainees' release. "It has been six months since the arrests of our loved ones who are known as some of the best and most respected environmentalists in Iran. These six months have been full of hardship, apprehension and anxiety for them and us. Six months without the liberty to make phone calls or have visitations...." - 8/4/18

Navy Chief to VOA: US Closely Watching Iran's Exercises in Persian Gulf

- The United States is closely watching Iranian naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and will maintain freedom of navigation through a strategic waterway that Iran has threatened to block, the head of the Navy told VOA on Thursday. -Carla Babb, VOA - 8/4/18

Iran Imams Shun Negotiations With U.S.; Diplomats Disagree

- Friday Prayer leaders in Tehran and other cities have expressed their opposition to negotiating with the United States, a topic that has stirred controversy in Iran since U.S.President Donald Trump said last week that he was prepared to talk with his Iranian counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani, "without any preconditions" to solve problems in their relations. - 8/4/18

Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Facing Prison Time For Criticizing Judiciary

- Iranian attorney Mostafa Tork Hamadani has been charged for criticizing the judiciary for barring him and other defense lawyers from defending environmentalists who were arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Hamadani, who has taken on several human rights cases throughout his career, tweeted a copy of his summons document on July 26, 2018 - 8/3/18

Iran's Foreign Minister: US 'doesn't know what it's doing in our backyard'

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticized the presence of American military forces in the Persian Gulf and has questioned why US forces are "in Iran's backyard" some 7,000 miles away from home. Zarif took to Twitter on Thursday to slam the US navy for using the fictitious name of "the Arabian Gulf" to refer to the Persian Gulf. - 8/3/18

In blow to Trump, China rejects US request to cut Iran oil imports

- China has rejected a US demand to cut Iranian oil imports despite Washington's attempts to bring down the Islamic Republic's oil sales to zero, Bloomberg reports. The financial news provider quoted informed officials on Friday as saying that the US had been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports and that Beijing's purchases from Tehran last month remained unchanged. - 8/3/18

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