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February 18 2019
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Iran warns Saudi Arabia, UAE of retaliatory measures, scolds Pakistan after deadly terror attack

- The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE that they could face retaliatory measures for supporting terrorists on behalf of the US and Israel. General Mohammad Ali Jafari on Saturday stressed that Iran would give a "decisive" response to a Wednesday terrorist attack which killed 27 IRGC border guards in the southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province. - 2/17/19

Police In Tehran Fire In The Air To Disperse Protests Against Hijab Enforcement

- The Iranian government's official news agency (IRNA) has confirmed reports that police in a working-class neighborhood of Tehran fired shots in the air Friday February 15 evening after residents had a clash with morality enforcement agents. -Radio Farda - 2/17/19

PHOTOS: Iran unveils Fateh submarine equipped with cruise missiles

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has inaugurated a new domestically-built submarine armed with cruise missiles in line with the Islamic Republic's move to boost its defense power. The inaugural ceremony for Fateh (Conqueror) submarine was held in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan Province on Sunday. - 2/17/19

Russia, Turkey, Iran Poised to Map Syria's Future

- The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey are meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi Thursday to discuss the conflict in Syria for the first time since the United States announced its troop withdrawal. Although the Kremlin hasn't divulged details, a number of observers say questions about the strategic implications of a U.S. pullout and differences between Moscow and Ankara on a political settlement in northern Syria are likely to predominate. -Pete Cobus, VOA - 2/15/19

Ten Detained Political Activists and Environmentalists Denied Counsel in Iran's Kurdistan Province

- Ten political activists and environmentalists arrested in Iran's Kurdistan Province between December 31, 2018, and January 6, 2019, are being held at the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in the city of Sanandaj while being denied access to legal counsel and contact with family members. -CHRI - 2/15/19

IRAN: Sugar Mill Workers Call for International Action to Free Detained Colleagues Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Qoliyan

- A union representing workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar mill in the Iranian city of Shush, Khuzestan Province, has called on individuals and international organizations to demand the release of union representative Esmail Bakshi and freelance reporter Sepideh Qoliyan from the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in Ahvaz. -CHRI - 2/15/19

Suicide attack in Iran frames visit to Pakistan by Saudi crown prince

- While Baluchistan is set to figure prominently in Prince Mohammed's talks with Mr. Khan, the attack also coincided with a US-sponsored conference in Warsaw, widely seen as an effort by the Trump administration to further isolate Iran economically and diplomatically...Mr. Giuliani told the protesters who waved Iranian flags and giant yellow balloons emblazoned with the words, "Regime Change" that "we want to see a regime change in Iran." -James M. Dorsey - 2/14/19

Unable to Move His Arm, Iranian Political Prisoner Arash Sadeghi Denied Hospitalization for Infected Biopsy Wound

- Arash Sadeghi, a political prisoner in Iran, has lost the ability to move his right arm due to an infection on his shoulder that has been left untreated in Rajaee Shahr Prison, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. "After the biopsy, the assigned doctor prescribed monthly hospital visits to check his tumor and stop its growth," said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons. "But the head of Rajaee Shahr Prison always comes up with some excuse to prevent Sadeghi's transfer to the hospital. -CHRI - 2/14/19

Iran: Female Defendant Not in Court as Others Tried for Spying

- Iran says Niloufar Bayani, a female member of a group of eight conservationists on trial for spying, has been absent from the courtroom this week as a prosecutor continued reading charges that rights activists say are bogus. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 2/14/19

US Charges Former Air Force Intel Officer With Spying for Iran

- A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence officer who defected to Iran nearly six years ago has been charged with revealing classified military information to the Iranian government and helping Iran target her former co-workers, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. -Masood Farivar, VOA - 2/14/19

Poll: Majority Of Iranians Still Support JCPOA

- In spite of the Trump administration's decision to violate the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and reimpose sanctions in an effort to exert "maximum pressure" on the Iranian government, new polling finds that a majority of Iranians still stand by the agreement. -Derek Davison - 2/13/19

Why Has Iran Remained In The Crosshairs

- The value of a US Dollar is now around 12,000 Tomans in Iran. The inflation rate seems out of control. There is a shortage of meat, even chicken, as well as other staple commodities and medicines in the market. The prices of locally manufactured automobiles fluctuate from one day to the next. Housing prices have skyrocketed since last year, to where the price of a typical flat in Tehran is over 1,000 US Dollars per square meter! There is also the horrible prospect that what is happening in Venezuela is a model of what the United States has in mind for Iran. -Kambiz Zarrabi - 2/12/19

Iranian Agents Tried to Frame Detained Conservationists by Staging Scenes to Falsely Implicate Them

- Amid eight conservationists' closed-door trial in Iran's revolutionary court system, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has been informed that agents staged scenes around at least two of the detainees with the intent of implicating them in a false narrative. In one instance, plainclothes agents transported conservation scientist Niloufar Bayani out of Evin Prison in Tehran to several locations in an affluent town for a day and directed her to engage in specific acts while filming her without her consent. -CHRI - 2/12/19

IRAN: Grand Ayatollah Speaks Out Against Child Marriage

- The story of an 11-year-old girl, Raha, has once again set off another round of muscle flexing by ayatollahs and Shi'ite sources of emulation over the legal age for marriage. Raha, from the province of Ilam, western Iran, was recently forced to marry a 50-year-old man who already has a wife and seven children, Imam Ali Community reported on February 8, adding, "Raha was practically sold for 150 million rials (roughly $1,500)." -Radio Farda - 2/11/19

Family of Late Conservationist Kavous Seyed-Emami Petitions Iran to Respond to State TV Smears

- One year after his father's suspicious death in Tehran's Evin Prison, Ramin Seyed-Emami has filed a petition to respond to the unsubstantiated reports about his father broadcast by Iran's main state-run broadcasting organization. He is also calling on the judiciary to release his mother, who remains barred from leaving the Islamic Republic despite the expiration of the travel ban that was imposed on her in December 2018. -CHRI - 2/11/19

"Ten Years is Enough:" Mother of Canadian Resident Imprisoned in Iran Seeks Pardon

- The mother of Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian resident imprisoned in Iran since 2008, sent a letter to Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi on February 1, 2019, requesting that Malekpour be included in a mass pardon of prisoners that may happen in March. -CHRI - 2/11/19

Iranian FM Zarif Says U.S. Sponsored Warsaw Gathering Already 'Doomed'

- Days ahead of a summit focused on Iran, the Islamic Republic's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, has dismissed it as already doomed to fail. Zarif's mentor and former Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharrazi, also cautioned participant countries at the Warsaw summit that they cannot "hide" from Tehran. -Radio Farda - 2/11/19

PHOTOS: Iran unveils underground ballistic missile plant for first time

- Iran has unveiled an underground plant manufacturing precision ballistic missiles for the Aerospace Division of its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). "Unveiling this missile production city deep underground is an answer to the idle talk made by the Westerners, who assume they can restrict us and dissuade us from [pursuing] our long-term goals by means of threats and sanctions," Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC's chief commander, said during the unveiling ceremony on Thursday. - 2/8/19

IRAN: On the virtues of evolution rather than revolution

- In response to a couple of recent articles that I have written about the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and the current situation in Iran, I have received some angry and occasionally rude comments. The writers who comment on social media often lack the honesty or the courage to give their real names and hide their identities behind some pseudonyms. They have even accused me of being guilty of facilitating the fall of the Shah's government, of treason, of being a fanatical supporter of the Islamic Republic, being dishonest and trying to deceive the people. -Farhang Jahanpour - 2/7/19

Jason Rezaian's Prisoner Book Reviewed

- Beginning July 2014, the Iranians had a problem. For reasons known only to themselves, Revolutionary Guards Security Officers arrested Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi, his wife of 15 months, in the garage of their apartment building in Tehran. Now what were the Iranians going to do? They spent the next year-and-a-half climbing out of the hole they'd dug for themselves. -John Limbert - 2/7/19

Hollywood's Leonardo DiCaprio Comes To The Defense Of Detained Environmentalists In Iran

- Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has voiced his support for eight environmentalists jailed Iran for more than a year on ambiguous charges of "spying". In a tweet on February 6, DiCaprio calls for support for the detainees who went on trial last month, some facing serious charges, which could lead to death penalty. One of the conservationists died in suspicious circumstances in prison days after his arrest last in January 2018. -Radio Farda - 2/7/19

Iran Claims Iraq Will Pay Its Debts, But U.S. Sanctions Make It Hard

- One day after Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh complained that Iraq has not paid billions of dollars for its imports from Iran after the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, Iran's Central Bank Governor told reporters that he has reached an agreement with his Iraqi counterpart about the payments. -Radio Farda - 2/7/19

U.S. Will Not Renew Iran Sanctions Waivers In May: Brian Hook

- U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, says Washington has no plan to extend waivers when the exemptions expire in May. "Iran's oil customers should not expect new waivers to U.S. sanctions in May", the top State Department official reiterated. -Radio Farda - 2/7/19

Pompeo, Bolton, And Iran's "Fake Opposition"

- As Iranian people struggle for democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law, as well as preserving the national security and territorial integrity of their country, two main groups have emerged among the opposition to Iran's hardliners, both within Iran and in the diaspora. One group, the true opposition that includes the reformists, religious-nationalists, secular leftists, various labor groups, human rights activists, and others, believes that it is up to the Iranian people living in Iran how to change the political system in their country. -Muhammad Sahimi - 2/6/19

Iranian Lawyers Condemn Tehran's Jailing of Colleague, Demand Release

- A group of Iranian lawyers has condemned Iran's government for imprisoning a fellow lawyer convicted of slandering a former official and demanded that their colleague be released. In an open letter to the Iranian people dated Monday and shared with VOA Persian by lawyer Hossein Ahmadiniaz, he and 18 other lawyers said Sunday's jailing of their counterpart, Mostafa Tork Hamedani, at Tehran's Evin Prison violates Iran's international commitments to the principles of a fair trial. -Michael Lipin and Shahram Bahraminejad, VOA - 2/6/19

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Supporting 'Dictators, Butchers, Extremists' In Middle East

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has responded to criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump by declaring that the United States supports "dictators, butchers, and extremists" in the Middle East. Zarif issued the statement in a Twitter post on February 6 in response to remarks made by Trump in his State of the Union speech. -RFE/RL - 2/6/19

Iran At Crossroads On 40th Anniversary Of Islamic Revolution

- On February 11, 2019, the Islamic Republic of Iran marks the fortieth anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. In his latest speech at a conference of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), for which he received huge fees, National Security Advisor John Bolton said: "The outcome of the president's policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini's 1979 revolution will not last until its fortieth birthday...." -Farhang Jahanpour - 2/5/19

"The Night When the Moon Was Full": A film about true love story of a terrorist

- The 37th Fajr Film Festival has premiered director Narges Abyar's latest drama "The Night When the Moon Was Full" about a true love story of Abdul-Hamid Rigi, a member of the Jundallah terrorist group. The film tells the story of Abdul-Hamid Rigi, the younger brother of Abdul-Malik Rigi, the founder and leader of the Jundallah terrorist group in southeastern Iran, who marries Faezeh Mansuri, a woman from Tehran. - 2/5/19

Iranian MPs Ask Rouhani To Pay Attention To Ecologists Facing Harsh Punishment

- Several members of the Iranian Parliament (Majles) have called on President Hassan Rouhani to pay attention to the situation of eight detained ecologists, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported on Monday. The environmentalists have been under "temporary arrest" by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for longer than a year now. - 2/5/19

Oil Minister says Europe not buying Iran oil despite U.S. sanctions waivers

- Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Tuesday Italy and Greece had stopped buying oil from Iran despite being granted waivers from US sanctions. "Among the Europeans, except for Turkey, no other nation has purchased oil from Iran. Greece and Italy refuse to buy Iran's oil despite winning waivers. And they don't respond to our correspondence," said the oil minister at a press conference on Tuesday. - 2/5/19

Lawmaker Says Minimum Wage In Iran Should Increase Fourfold

- A member of parliament's labor faction in Iran says minimum monthly wage should be increased to 40 million rials, or about $400. Currently the minimum wage is about $100. Zahra Sae'I told the parliament's news service on February 3 that the poverty line in Tehran is about $300 monthly income and workers should earn at least $400. - 2/5/19

IRAN: President Rouhani's Former Deputy Says His Government Has Failed Women

- President Hassan Rouhani's former Deputy for Women and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, has admitted that the president who campaigned as a moderate and his team failed to address major problems confronting Iranian women. -Radio Farda - 2/4/19

Iraqi President Responds To Trump's Comments: U.S. Did Not Ask Permission To 'Watch Iran'

- Iraqi President Barham Salih said on Monday that the United States has not asked permission from Iraq for U.S. troops to "watch Iran". On Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump told CBS "Face the Nation" in an interview that it is important to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq to keep a close eye on neighboring Iran. - 2/4/19

Ex-Iranian Official Blasts World's Silence As Eight Conservationists Go On Trial In Iran

- A former Iranian deputy environment chief is criticizing the global environmental community's lack of public advocacy on behalf of eight jailed Iranian conservationists whose trial began in Tehran this week. Kaveh Madani, an American-educated water management expert, served as deputy head of Iran's Department of Environment from September 2017 until April 2018, when he fled the country under verbal attack from conservatives who accused him of spying under cover of environmental activism. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 2/3/19

Up to seven thousand German firms eye trade with Iran: Official

- Up to 7,000 German business enterprises are estimated to seek continued trade with Iran, says the managing director of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, following the launch of a payment vehicle that enables continued European trade with the Islamic Republic irrespective of unilateral sanctions by the United States. -Press TV - 2/3/19

INSTEX: A Real Solution Or A Symbolic Move To Keep Iran In Nuclear Deal

- One day after Germany France and the UK launched INSTEX (Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges) to help reduce the impact of sanctions on Iran there are still speculations about the measures' effectiveness, with some saying INTEX simply has symbolic significance. -Radio Farda - 2/1/19

Iranian Labor Activist Ali Nejati Denied Medical Treatment Against Doctor's Orders

- Detained labor rights activist Ali Nejati is being denied medical treatment for heart disease and kidney and prostate problems in Shush Prison in the city of Andimeshk, Khuzestan Province, against the prison clinic doctor's orders, according to a report posted on the Telegram app channel of the Haft Tappeh sugar mill worker's union on January 27, 2019. -CHRI - 2/1/19

Dollar, Major Currencies Again Rising In Iran

- The U.S. dollar and other major currencies have witnessed a notable rise on the Tehran currency exchange market this week. The dollar's gain has been about 10 percent. As a reaction the chief of Iran's central bank sounded a warning, that this trend will not necessarily stay, and people should not take risks with their money. -Radio Farda - 2/1/19

Eight Conservationists Tried in Iran on Basis of Retracted False "Confessions"

- In their first trial session since being detained in Iran one year ago, eight conservationists learned today that the first half of their indictment is based on one detainee's retracted forced "confessions." Part of the 300-page indictment was read today to defendants Houman Jowkar, Taher Ghadirian, Morad Tahbaz, Sepideh Kashani, Niloufar Bayani, Amir Hossein Khaleghi, Sam Rajabi and Abdolreza Kouhpayeh in their closed-door trial on January 30, 2019, at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati. -CHRI - 1/31/19

Renewed Pressure in Iran to Block Instagram After Activist's Post About Torture Makes Headlines

- A labor activist's widely read Instagram post alleging he was tortured while in the custody of Iran's Intelligence Ministry was never fully investigated but one judicial official did respond by suggesting that the app should be blocked to prevent a "spotlight" from being put on the government. -CHRI - 1/31/19

US-Born Iranian Newscaster Marzieh Hashemi Arrives Back in Iran

- A journalist who works for Iran's state-run television station has returned to Tehran after being detained in the United States. Marzieh Hashemi, is a news anchor for Press TV, was arrested Jan. 13 when she arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, to visit family. She was held for 10 days. -VOA - 1/31/19

Outspoken Iranian Lawmaker Blasts Colleagues For Corruption

- Outspoken member of parliament from Tehran Mahmoud Sadeghi is once again taking aim at what he says is vast corruption in Iran's government. Sadeghi lambasted his fellow legislators in a recent tweet storm for their endorsement of "obscure" budget auditing practices, as well as the Guardians Council (GC), which he accuses of hand-picking candidates loyal to the Supreme Leader. -Radio Farda - 1/31/19

Three Members of Iran's Writers Association Charged With National Security Crimes for Opposing Censorship

- Three senior members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) have been charged with national security crimes for peacefully protesting state censorship policies, according to a statement posted by the trade union on Facebook on January 22, 2019. -CHRI - 1/30/19

Autistic Individuals In Iran Deprived of Services and Medications Due to Costs, Lack of Insurance

- The high cost of services and medicines needed by autistic individuals and their families, combined with the lack of insurance coverage and government support, has caused many families in Iran to stop therapy for their autistic children and to be unable to afford needed medications and services. -CHRI - 1/30/19

U.S. Intelligence Chiefs Contradict Trump On North Korea and Iran

- The latest global threat assessment by U.S. intelligence chiefs indicate that Iran is not currently developing nuclear weapons. The assessment also concludes that North Korea is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear stockpile. -Radio Farda - 1/30/19

Human Rights Lawyer Mohammad Najafi Facing 19 Years Behind Bars in Iran

- Imprisoned human rights attorney Mohammad Najafi was sentenced to two more years in prison in Iran on January 22, 2019-bringing the total number of years he has been condemned to serve to 19. The sentences have been issued over the course of several trials held over the last few months. -CHRI - 1/29/19

EU Delays Payment System For Iran Amid U.S. Warnings

- The EU has reportedly delayed registering an alternative financial channel to help Iran, say reports coming from Brussels on Monday January 28. Reports from Brussels Monday morning said that the release of the conclusion on Iran has been "postponed" due to differences over one of its ten articles. -Radio Farda - 1/28/19

Lawyer Says Australian-Based Population Expert Released From Iranian Detention

- The lawyer for Meimanat Hosseini-Chavoshi says the Australian-based academic has been released by Tehran, which held her for more than a month on charges of trying to "infiltrate" Iranian institutions. Hosseini-Chavoshi, a dual Iranian-Australian citizen who works at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, was released by the court "a few days ago," her lawyer Mahmoud Behzadi said on January 27, according to the state news agency IRNA. - 1/28/19

No Standard Heating For 136,000 Classrooms: Iran's Deputy Education Minister

- The heating systems in 136,000 classrooms across Iran do not have the required standards, the Islamic Republic's Deputy Minister of Education has said. "As most of these classrooms are located in the province of Sistan & Baluchestan and other regions with no gas pipelines, it is impossible to upgrade their heating system for the moment," Mehrollah Rakhshani Mehr asserted on Saturday, January 26. -Radio Farda - 1/27/19

Iranian Journalist to Serve Five Years in Prison for Uncovering Corruption in Tehran Municipality

- Journalist Yashar Soltani has been sentenced to five years in prison for exposing extensive corruption within the Tehran municipality, his lawyer announced January 23, 2019. "Let's turn this unjust verdict into an opportunity to fight corruption," Soltani tweeted the day of the announcement. "We will not hand over Iran to the corrupt." -CHRI - 1/27/19

U.S. Veteran Held In Iran Has Cancer, His Mother Says

- The mother of a U.S. Navy veteran held in Iran believes he has a recurrence of life-threatening cancer and she is calling for his immediate release to seek treatment, a spokesman says. Michael White, 46, has been held since July, and is the first known American to have been detained in Iran since Donald Trump became president two years ago. -RFE/RL - 1/27/19

Iranian Lawyers Demand Release Of Jailed Colleagues

- In an open letter addressed to the head of Islamic Republic's judiciary, dozens of prominent Iranian attorneys have called for the immediate release of their colleagues, jailed on trumped up charges related to their defense of civil rights. -Radio Farda - 1/25/19

IRAN: President Rouhani's Comments On Hijab, Censorship Draw Ire Of Ayatollahs

- President Hassan Rouhani is under fire from two Grand Ayatollahs angered by his recent comments on Iran's policies of compulsory hijab and Internet filtering. Speaking at a meeting with the Minster of Communications and Information Technology January 21, Rouhani reportedly remarked, "Regarding hijab, the Koran addresses men first, forbidding them to look at women in lecherous ways; but, sadly, we go after women and girls, and arrest them for their [improper] hijab." -Radio Farda - 1/25/19

Iran Says U.S. Navy Veteran Being Held Over 'Private Complaint'

- A U.S. Navy veteran being held in Iran has been detained in connection to a "private complaint," an Iranian prosecutor says. Michael White, 46, has been held since July, and is the first known American to have been detained in Iran since Donald Trump became president two years ago. -RFE/RL - 1/25/19

U.S.-Born Iranian TV Anchorwoman Released From U.S. Detention, Officials Say

- Iranian television anchorwoman Marzieh Hashemi has been released from U.S. detention after being held as a material witness in an unidentified case, officials concerned with her case say. -RFE/RL - 1/24/19

Iran Sentences Men Who Supported Women's Protests Against Compulsory Hijab to Six Years Prison

- Reza Khandan and Farhad Meysami have both been sentenced to six years imprisonment in Iran and banned from leaving the country or engaging in online activities for two years for peacefully protesting the country's compulsory hijab law. "Iran wants to silence these men by jailing them for standing by women who want the hijab to be a choice, not a requirement," said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 1/23/19

Iran: Release Labor Activists Re-Arrested For Revealing They'd Been Tortured

- The arrests of labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and freelance reporter Sepideh Qoliyan (also spelled Sepideh Gholian) on January 20, in Shush, Khuzestan Province, by agents of Iran's Intelligence Ministry after they spoke out about being tortured during their recent detentions, is an outrageous and unlawful abuse of power, and both activists should be released immediately, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. - 1/23/19

IRAN: President Rouhani Adviser Indicted For Remarks On House Arrests

- An indictment has been issued for President Rouhani's top aide, Hessamoddin Ashena and a lawsuit against him delivered to the court, Tehran's prosecutor said on Tuesday, January 22. Ashena, the head of Center for Strategic Studies, and Rouhani's Cultural Advisor, is prosecuted for comments he made about forty days ago on the fate of Iran Green Movement's leaders who have been under house arrest since February 2011. -Radio Farda - 1/23/19

Iran's Sunni Leader Calls For End To Discrimination

- Almost four decades after the Islamic Revolution heralded an era of equality for all Iranians, Sunnis are still suffering from discrimination, says the Friday Prayer Leader of the city of Zahedan, Molavi Abdol-Hamid. - 1/22/19

IRAN: Ahmadinejad Calls Government A 'Gang' In New Letter To Khamenei

- In his latest letter to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls the heads of all three branches of government a "gang," and accuses them of abusing their power to imprison his allies. -Radio Farda - 1/22/19

Iran's President Rouhani Attacks Censorship, State Media Monopoly

- In a surprising move, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has warned his country's hardliners that "Standing against public demands is against the law and religion." He also suggested that political parties should be allowed to have their own media outlets, independent of the government-controlled state TV and admitted that the popularity of social media in Iran is an outcome of government control on media, and questioned Iranian state TV's monopoly on broadcasting. -Radio Farda - 1/21/19

Four Independent News Journalists Arrested in Iran in Less Than a Month

- Former political prisoner Ali (Amir) Amirgholi has become the fourth journalist working for the Gamindependent online news outlet to be arrested in Iran in recent weeks. Three other journalists working for the media outlet have been arrested since December 2018. -CHRI - 1/21/19

Defense Lawyer Mostafa Tork Hamedani Sentenced to Six Months Imprisonment in Iran

- Human rights attorney Mostafa Tork Hamedani has been sentenced to six months imprisonment in Iran for allegedly slandering a former prosecutor, his lawyer Peyman Haj Mahmoud Attar announced on January 15, 2019. -CHRI - 1/21/19

Satirist Keyomars Marzban to Be Tried in Iran Under Hardline Judge Salavati

- Iranian satirist Keyomars Marzban, who has been detained in Iran since August 2018, is due to face trial for the charges of "propaganda against the state" and "insulting the sacred" at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran presided by Judge Abolqasem Salavati. - 1/19/19

Iran Concerned About Oil Revenues, U.S. Pressure

- Iran's Vice-President Mohammad Baqer Nobakht says Tehran is facing "serious problems in exporting oil" as a result of "brutal sanctions." Speaking in the south-eastern province of Kerman on Friday January 18, Nobakht said Iran is "too far away from the target of exporting 2,410,000 barrels per day planned in the country's budget," which should have brought $47 billion in revenues. -Radio Farda - 1/19/19

Iran Postpones Approval Of UN Convention Against Transnational Crime

- Ahmad Tavakoli, an Expediency Discernment Council member in Tehran told reporters on Saturday that the EDC meeting on the bill for joining the UN Convention on Transnational Crime has remained inconclusive and the Council will meet once again next Saturday for the final review of the bill. -Radio Farda - 1/19/19

US Court Holds Iranian-American Journalist Marzieh Hashemi as Material Witness

- A U.S. court has confirmed that an Iranian-American anchorwoman who works for Iran's state television has been jailed in the United States as a material witness but has not been charged with any crime. Court officials say they expect Marzieh Hashemi to be released immediately after her testimony to a grand jury in Washington. - 1/19/19

Iran's Top Exporter Says Impossible To Do Business

- The Chairman of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi, who is one of the country's top businessmen has stopped exporting from Iran in the past two months due to payment problems."After 64 years of export activities, for first time I had to suspend exports," Tasnim quoted Asgaroladi as saying during a meeting with Tehran Chamber of Commerce members on January 15. -Radio Farda - 1/18/19

Zarif Says Pompeo Has No Right To Interfere In Iran-Iraq Ties

- Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who is on an extended tour of Iraq responded to his American counterpart, saying the United States has no right to interfere in bilateral relations between Tehran and Baghdad. -Radio Farda - 1/18/19

Trump On Iran: A Lie That May Lead To War

- On the first work day of the new year, President Trump held a cabinet meeting that was open to the press and consisted mostly of a rambling monologue by the president about border walls and assorted other topics. Toward the end of the proceedings, Trump castigated anew the "horrible Iran nuclear deal" and asserted that the agreement "in eight years, gives Iran the legal right to have nuclear weapons." -Paul Pillar - 1/17/19

Iran's satellite launch not against international law: Russian diplomat

- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday that Iran's action in launching satellite is not against international law. Iran attempted on Tuesday to launch Payam satellite into orbit but the rocket's third stage failed to provide enough speed to reach the orbit. -Tehran Times - 1/17/19

UK Foreign Secretary: Iran's Treatment of Zaghari-Ratcliffe "Breach of Human Rights"

- UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt summoned Iran's ambassador to Tehran on January 14, 2018, the day Iranian British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and fellow prisoner, human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi, began a planned hunger strike in Tehran's Evin Prison. -CHRI - 1/16/19

Journalist Working For Iran's Press TV Reportedly Detained In U.S. By FBI

- U.S. authorities have detained a journalist and television presenter working for Iran's English-language Press TV on unspecified charges, the state-run broadcaster reported on January 16. Press TV said Marzieh Hashemi was detained on January 13 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in the state of Missouri. -RFE/RL - 1/16/19

Don't Rule Out The Possibility Of War With Iran

- According to press reports, Iran has all but despaired of the European Union's ability-or, perhaps more accurately, willingness-to work out a system of financial transactions that could facilitate Tehran's trade with Europe. Not only that, largely under pressure from Denmark and Holland, the EU imposed sanctions on Iran's ministry of intelligence and two individuals on charges of plotting to kill leaders of the Ahwaz separatist movement in Europe. This group was involved in the bombings that took place in Ahwaz in September 2018. -Shireen T. Hunter - 1/15/19

Musician Ali Ghamsari Banned From Performing in Iran After Refusing to Remove Female Singer

- After the Iranian authorities banned musician Ali Ghamsari from performing "until further notice" for refusing to remove a female singer from his most recent concert in Tehran, he announced on his Instagram page that he "wasn't sorry at all." -CHRI - 1/15/19



Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia

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