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No outright denial from Iran on Omani mediation with United States

- Iran neither rejected nor confirmed on Monday that Oman had acted as a go-between to pass messages between Tehran and Washington while highlighting "ongoing consultation" with the Arab sultanate. "There is ongoing consultation (between the two countries) and the visit of Oman's foreign minister to Tehran was part of bilateral and regional affairs," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told a press conference in Tehran on Monday. - 7/25/17

Poisonings Put Spotlight On Iran's Alcohol Problem

- Mass alcohol poisoning and related deaths have exposed an alcohol problem in the Islamic republic, where a ban introduced following the 1979 revolution has failed to prevent Iranians from drinking. Ninety-two people were poisoned, four fatally, after drinking in Sirjan in the southern province of Kerman, Iranian media reported on July 23. - 7/25/17

Downgraded Sentence for Teachers' Rights Activist Issued Amid Ongoing Prosecution of Labor Leaders in Iran

- A senior member of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA) has taken no solace in the downgrading of the three-month prison sentence issued to ITTA member Taher Ghaderzadeh to a suspended sentence. "Some of my friends were happy about the light suspended sentence, but we must remember that these actions are aimed at silencing teachers," said the senior ITTA member, who spoke to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on condition of anonymity. - 7/25/17

Iranian Opposition Cleric Karrubi Hospitalized

- Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karrubi has been hospitalized due to a heart condition, his son said. Karrubi, a former parliament speaker who has been under house arrest since 2011 without being charged, was also briefly hospitalized in March. - 7/25/17

Russian, Kazakh, Iranian Warships In Baku For Caspian Competition

- BAKU -- Russian, Kazakh, and Iranian naval vessels are in Baku ahead of a four-nation "competition" that is to be held off Azerbaijan's coast in the Caspian Sea from August 1-11. - 7/25/17

Iranian media abuzz with speculation about President Rouhani's next cabinet line-up

- Speculation has been rife in Iranian media outlets about what Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's next cabinet line-up will look like. President Rouhani has himself been particularly reticent about individual choices, sending the speculation mill at newspapers, periodicals, news websites, and the social media into overdrive less than two weeks before his new administration officially takes office. - 7/24/17

Political Prisoners Including Swedish Resident Hidden from Ambassadors During Evin Prison Visit

- Shortly before Iranian officials took the Swedish and other foreign ambassadors on a staged tour of Evin Prison on July 5, 2017, Swedish resident Ahmadreza Djalali and other political prisoners were moved to a ward under the control of Iran's Intelligence Ministry. - 7/24/17

Iranian Deputies Push To Abolish Execution For Drug-Related Offenses

- Iranian lawmakers have proposed changes to the country's tough antidrugs laws, a move that could abolish the death penalty for some drug-related crimes. If approved by parliament, a proposed amendment could curb the number of executions in the Islamic republic, which has one of the highest rates of capital punishment in the world. -Frud Bezhan, RFE/RL - 7/24/17

Iran, Afghanistan to link railway networks

- Iran and Afghanistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sunday for implementing a project linking rail networks of the two neighboring countries. The MOU, between Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR), also known as RAI, and Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA), was signed by IRIR's Managing Director Saeed Mohammadzadeh and Afghanistan Railway Authority's Director General Mohammad Yamma Shams during a meeting at IRIR's building in Tehran. - 7/24/17

Iran Rejects Trump Warning About U.S. Prisoners

- Iran has rejected demands by the United States that Tehran release Americans detained in Iranian prisons. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a statement on July 22 that "any interventionist and threatening statement by American officials and institutions has no effect on the will and determination of the country's judicial system to try and punish criminals and violators of the country's laws and national security." - 7/23/17

Iran's Telecommunications Minister Pledges To "Get Rid of" Foreign Social Media Despite Past Failed Attempts

- President Hassan Rouhani's Telecommunications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi has refuted criticism that he has been unwilling to block online content deemed immoral by state authorities and has pledged to "get rid of" foreign-based social media networks despite previous failed attempts. At the same time, the minister admitted that some of the demands being made of him by state officials outside the Rouhani government are politically motivated. - 7/23/17

Photos: Iran launches mass-production line for Sayyad-3 missiles

- Designed and constructed by the scientists and experts of Aerospace Industry at the Ministry of Defense, Sayyad-3 Missile production line was launched on Saturday morning while a number of missiles were delivered to Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base. Dhghan said Sayyad-3 high-altitude air-defense missile has been designed with a range of 120 km and a 27-km flight altitude against airborne threats at medium and long range. - 7/23/17

Impoverished Children Without Identification Documents Deprived of Education in Iran

- Children without state-issued identification documents mostly from Iran's underdeveloped border provinces are being denied education in Iran, attorney Osman Mozayan told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Iran only provides education to citizens and establishes citizenship based on the father's nationality. - 7/23/17

Iran, Iraq sign MoU to boost defense and military cooperation

- Iran and Iraq have signed a memorandum of understanding to boost defense and military cooperation in a variety of fields. The agreement was inked by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and his Iraqi counterpart, Erfan al-Hiyali, in Tehran on Sunday. - 7/23/17

U.S. Lawmakers Reportedly Agree On Sanctions For Russia, Iran, North Korea

- U.S. lawmakers say they have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill that would bring new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The new sanctions package in the agreed-to legislation would impose mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic-missile program and any person or entity that does business with them. The measure would also apply "terrorism sanctions" to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and put in force an arms embargo. - 7/23/17

Iran needs new development vision

- Since the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, Iran's development policies and investment plans have been formulated in so-called five-year plans (5YPs), with the first one starting in 1989. Five 5YPs have been completed so far, and Iran started the implementation of the sixth 5YP on March 21. The approval and implementation of this latest plan had been delayed due to disagreements between the government and the parliament -- disagreements that point to key differences on what political stakeholders understand as a "development plan." -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor - 7/23/17

Iranians pushing boundaries in 'private sphere' debate

- Every now and then, Iranian media outlets are full of news and analysis about the boundaries between the "private" and "public" spheres. The most recent episode began July 7, when Mohammad Tarahomi, legal affairs traffic police deputy, announced that personal vehicles are not considered a "private sphere" and are thus subject to all public regulations, including mandatory veiling. -Mahmoud Pargoo, Al-Monitor - 7/23/17

Iran and the Collision between Trump and Reality

- Donald Trump's disdain for the truth does not prevent reality from repeatedly bumping up against his policies, the most consistent theme of which has been to try to destroy his predecessor's accomplishments. The degree to which reality inconveniences Trump-and more importantly, how much Trump's efforts to shove reality aside damage U.S. interests-varies from issue to issue. -Paul Pillar - 7/21/17

UNESCO 2030 Educational Guidelines Scrapped by Iran Include Essential Protective Measures Against Child Abuse

- Implementing educational guidelines from the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development could help prevent tragedies like the case of Atena Aslani, according to a sociologist and expert on Iran's educational system. Aslani's seven-year-old lifeless body was found with "signs of sexual abuse" on July 10, 2017 in the garage of a man with an alleged history of sex crimes convictions. She had gone missing on June 19, 2017 in Parsabad, Ardabil Province, 428 miles northwest of Tehran. - 7/21/17

11 Christian Converts Issued Long Prison Sentences in Iran in Less Than Two Months in Sham Trials

- The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the disturbing trend of arrests and imprisonment of Christians, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement on Thrusday July 20, 2017. In less than two months, since June 2017, Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran has issued long prison sentences to at least 11 Christian converts and the former leader of the Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Iran. - 7/21/17

Rights Groups Urge Iran's President Rohani To Drop Justice Minister In Second Term

- Eleven human rights and media freedom groups have called on Iranian President Hassan Rohani not to reappoint Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, whom rights advocates have accused of involvement in the killings of dissidents in 1988. - 7/21/17

Hacked Emails Reveal Close Ties Between UAE and Anti-Iran/Qatar Advocacy Groups

- Emails allegedly originating from the hacked email account of United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al-Otaiba and sent to LobeLog by "GlobalLeaks" appear to show a close relationship between UANI and CEP principals and the UAE government, raising questions about possible UAE funding of the U.S. based groups, both of which engaged in lobbying and public diplomacy campaigns. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog - 7/21/17

Iran nuclear deal outcome of collective global cooperation: EU Foreign Policy Chief

- The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, says the "strong" nuclear deal struck in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 states is the outcome of "collective cooperation," emphasizing that the landmark accord does not just belong to the signatories but the entire global community. - 7/20/17

Iranian Lawmakers Aim To Scrap Discriminatory Citizenship Law

- The status of the daughter of the late Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani has inspired an Iranian lawmaker to propose new legislation. A group of Iranian lawmakers are looking to scrap a longstanding law that denies citizenship and equal rights to Iranian children born to foreign fathers. -Frud Bezhan, RFE - 7/20/17

Iranian Guards Warn U.S. To Move Gulf Bases, Avoid 'Miscalculations'

- The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on July 19 warned Washington to move its bases in the Persian Gulf region and avoid "miscalculations" over new sanctions against Tehran, Iranian news agencies reported. - 7/20/17

Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile

- In October 1999 during a trip to Cairo, Cyrus Kadivar, an exiled Iranian living in London, visited the tomb of the last shah and opened a Pandora's box. Haunted by nostalgia for a bygone era, he recalled a protected and idyllic childhood in the fabled city of Shiraz and his coming of age during the 1979 Iranian revolution. Back in London, he reflected on what had happened to him and his family after their uprooting and decided to conduct his own investigation into why he lost his country. - 7/20/17

Iran: Halt Drug-Related Executions

- The Iranian government should immediately halt all executions for drug-related offenses while parliament debates amendments to reform the country's drug law, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament is expected to vote in two weeks on an amendment to the drug law that would drastically increase the bar for a mandatory death penalty sentence. - 7/20/17

Donald Trump's Road to Debacle in the Greater Middle East

- The superhighway to disaster is already being paved. From Donald Trump's first days in office, news of the damage to America's international stature has come hard and fast. As if guided by some malign design, the new president seemed to identify the key pillars that have supported U.S. global power for the past 70 years and set out to topple each of them in turn. -Alfred W. McCoy, LobeLog - 7/20/17

NIAC Action Statement on Congress Rejecting Amendments to Bar Muslim-ban Funding

- "We applaud Representatives Mark Pocan and Barbara Lee for leading the charge against the Trump administration's Muslim ban. By offering amendments to defund elements of the ban, Representatives Pocan and Senator Lee demonstrated real leadership in attempting to put an end to Congressional inaction and forego the need for further judicial intervention regarding the Muslim ban. The Pocan amendment, which came to a vote, was unfortunately defeated on a largely party line vote." - 7/19/17

Rohani Says Tehran Will Respond 'Appropriately' To New U.S. Sanctions

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani says that Tehran would "respond appropriately" to new U.S. sanctions while reiterating that his country remained committed to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. "The Islamic Republic of Iran will always stick to its international commitments," Rohani said at a July 19 cabinet meeting, according to a text posted on the government's website. - 7/19/17

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Trying To 'Poison Atmosphere' With 'Illegal' Sanctions

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused U.S. President Donald Trump's administration of trying to "poison the atmosphere" by imposing new sanctions on Tehran despite its adherence to the 2015 nuclear accord. "This unfortunately has become a bad habit for this administration," Zarif told reporters at the United Nations in New York. "The international community has read this very loud and clear and continues to deal with Iran without much attention to this theater." - 7/19/17

'Positive Signs' Seen by Supporters of British-Iranian Woman Jailed in Tehran

- A British opposition lawmaker campaigning for the release of a British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran for more than a year has welcomed signs that the British government is trying harder to free her. In an interview with VOA's Persian Service, lawmaker Tulip Siddiq said she was pleased that the government held a parliamentary debate Tuesday on the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Siddiq spoke to VOA via Skype video from outside Parliament shortly after the debate concluded. -VOA - 7/19/17

Married Women in Iran Still Need "Permission" to Travel Abroad Under Amendment to Passport Law

- An amendment proposed by the Iranian Parliament's Women's Block to the country's Passport Law does nothing to ease state restrictions on married women's ability to independently travel abroad, a legal expert told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 7/19/17

Pro-Rouhani Journalist Tortured by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Acquitted of Anti-State Charges

- More than two years after his arrest and torture by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reformist journalist Farzad Pourmoradi, a supporter of President Hassan Rouhani, has been acquitted of the charges laid against him. In a post on his Facebook page on July 12, 2017, Pourmoradi said he had been acquitted of "propaganda against the state," "assembly and collusion against national security" and "insulting state officials." - 7/19/17

Why is CIA Director Weighing in With Policy Advice on Iran?

- I found it passing strange that Trump used all but an hour to keep saying that he didn't want to approve the certification. After all, such a conversation would become mighty trying for all parties (except the principal), something similar to persuading a really stubborn four-year-old he had to go to the dentist because he would otherwise lose his teeth. And it was very difficult to imagine that Trump was, by himself, making substantive or even political arguments as to why he shouldn't certify that Iran was complying with the JCPOA in the absence of any real evidence that it wasn't. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 7/19/17

Brother of Iran's President Rohani Reportedly Released On Bail

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani's younger brother, Hossein Fereidoun, has been released on bail days after his arrest over unspecified allegations of financial impropriety, Iranian news agencies reported. Fereidoun's release on July 17 followed reports that he was taken to a hospital after seeming unwell at a court appearance. - 7/18/17

Details of US Student's 10-Year Sentence in Iran Reveal Yet Another Arbitrary Prosecution of a Western National

- The Iranian judiciary's sentencing of American academic researcher Xiyue Wang to 10 years in prison on unspecified espionage charges reflects the continued ability of security and intelligence agencies to dictate unlawful and arbitrary judicial prosecutions of Western nationals, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. - 7/18/17

Iran's Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal

- Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister in an interview in New York on Monday, July 17, 2017. The following is a lightly edited transcript. - 7/18/17

Maryam Mirzakhani was a 'milestone' for Iranian women's successes: President Rouhani

- "The unparalleled brilliance of this creative scientist and yet humble person which made the name of Iran resonate in the world's scientific community was a milestone in introducing the grand efforts and determination of Iranian women and youth for climbing the peaks of success in various international fields," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a message on Saturday. - 7/17/17

Contradictory Laws Exasperate Debate Over Iranian Women's Observance of Hijab in Cars

- The growing number of women refusing to cover their hair while driving in Iran, especially during the hot summer months, has resulted in renewed threats of arrests for violations of the country's mandatory hijab law. - 7/17/17

Iran Identifies Jailed American; U.S. Demands Release

- Iran has identified the U.S. national sentenced to 10 years for spying as Xiyue Wang, a 37-year-old researcher at Princeton University. Mizanonline, the official news agency of Iran's judiciary, said on July 16 that Wang, who was born in China, was arrested on August 8, 2016, while trying to leave Iran. - 7/17/17

Iran Navy rejects US claim of shining laser at US chopper over Strait of Hormuz

- Iran has dismissed a recent accusation by US Navy that an Iranian patrol boat had shined laser at an American helicopter flying over the Strait of Hormuz. Back in June, US Navy Commander Bill Urban claimed that the Iranian vessel recently turned its spotlight on two American ships, the USS Cole and USS Bataan, which were moving through the strait. - 7/17/17

We Shouldn't Defend the JCPOA at the Expense of the Iran Deal

- On the two-year anniversary of the agreement, U.S. supporters of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including many former Obama administration officials, are admirably working to defend the deal through media appearances and coordinated statements. Their message that "diplomacy works" is an important one at a time when America's global leadership seems in doubt. However, the rhetoric in Washington defending the JPCOA remains problematic, because it pursues the preservation of the deal in a way that undermines the unfolding detente between Iran and the international community. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 7/16/17

Brother Of Iran's President Rohani Arrested On Financial Crimes Charges

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani's younger brother, Hossein Fereidoun, has been arrested on financial crimes charges,the Iranian judiciary said on July 16. "Multiple investigations have been conducted regarding this person, also other people have been investigated, some of whom are in jail," spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said in a televised press conference. - 7/16/17

Iranian Activist and Mother of Slain Protester Summoned to Court Same Day Intelligence Minister Denounces Arrests of Activists

- Human rights activist Shahnaz Akmali was summoned to court for unspecified charges on the same day the head of Iran's Intelligence Ministry-the authority that initially arrested her-announced his opposition to the arrests of peaceful activists. - 7/16/17

Responding to the Cotton Letter

- Four GOP senators wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week urging him not to certify that Iran is in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has been one of the most vocal opponent of the agreement. The other signatories are Ted Cruz (R-TX), David Perdue (R-GA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). These talking points come from Diplomacy Works, an organization devoted to a diplomacy-first approach to foreign policy -LobeLog - 7/16/17

Iran Says U.S. Dual National Jailed For 10 Years On Spying Charges

- An Iranian court has sentenced a U.S. dual national for 10 years in prison on spying charges, a judiciary spokesman said without disclosing the person's name or giving details on when the sentence was passed. - 7/16/17

U.S. Federal Court Rules Against Trump Restrictions On Travelers With U.S. Relatives

- A U.S. judge has ruled against the Trump administration's restrictions on refugees and travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries who have American relatives. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu said late on July 13 that people with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and other American relatives currently barred by the administration should be allowed into the country. - 7/14/17

Staged Visit by Foreign Ambassadors to Iran's Evin Prison Condemned by Rights Activists

- A state-choreographed visit by dozens of foreign ambassadors based in Iran to Tehran's Evin Prison has been condemned by prominent human rights activists inside and outside the country for glossing over the prison's documented history of ongoing human rights violations. - 7/14/17

Trump Administration Expected To Certify Iran Still Complying With Nuclear Deal

- U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is expected to certify next week that Iran is still adhering to its nuclear agreement with world powers, despite Trump's criticism of the deal, U.S. media report. The State Department is required to notify Congress by July 17 whether Iran continues to comply with the 2015 deal, which requires Tehran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. - 7/14/17

US not fully compliant with spirit of nuclear deal: Iranian FM Zarif

- The Iranian foreign minister has lashed out at the US for its failure to completely observe its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal by occasionally preventing the Islamic Republic from enjoying the full benefits of the agreement. Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in New York, Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that all parties to the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), must remain committed to the terms of the agreement. - 7/14/17

A Delusional James Mattis: Iran commander slams US regime change 'dream'

- A senior Iranian commander has dismissed the Pentagon chief's call for regime change in the Islamic Republic as a "ridiculous dream", saying Iran would respond to US officials' nonsensical talks. James Mattis on Monday described Iran "the most destabilizing influence in the Middle East", saying a regime change would be necessary before the US and Iran could have substantially positive relations. - 7/14/17

Iranian researcher: Political past not related to US work

- An Iranian researcher denied entry to the United States without explanation told The Associated Press in an email Friday that he was given no indication his political activity or prior involvement in a volunteer paramilitary militia were reasons for the denial. -AP - 7/14/17

New Details on the 1953 Coup in Iran

- In June, the State Department's historical office finally released a new collection of documents on the US role in the August 1953 coup in Iran, after years of delay. These documents provide interesting new details about the circumstances surrounding the coup, in which a team of CIA officers worked with certain Iranians to overthrow Iran's popular prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, and install retired general Fazlollah Zahedi in his place, establishing a dictatorship that lasted for 25 years. -Mark Gasiorowski - 7/13/17

Rights Activists Urge Iran's President Rohani to Nominate Women to His Cabinet

- "If women were given the opportunity, they could show that they are equally capable and competent [as men] at serving in high levels of government," journalist and women's rights activist Asieh Amini told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "We have many well-qualified women in politics, business, social services and cultural affairs who could handle being ministers or even the president," she added. - 7/13/17

Retired Flag Officers Warn Against Regime Change and "Aggressive Posturing" Toward Iran

- An open letter to President Trump from 38 retired generals and admirals and warning against policies of "regime change" and "aggressive posturing" toward Iran has just been released amid growing concerns that Washington and Tehran could be sliding into a war. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 7/13/17

Iranian Doctor Denied U.S. Entry Accused Of Links To Basij Force

- An Iranian medical researcher who was prevented from entering the United States to work at a Boston hospital is believed to have been an active member of the Basij force used in Iran as a tool of state repression. Seyed Mohsen Dehnavi was the head of the Basiji at Tehran's Sharif University, former students at the university and activists claim. - 7/13/17

Why Iran Will Not Go the Way of the USSR

- Since the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, articles have appeared in the West arguing that, sooner or later, Iran's ethnic and linguistic diversity will lead it to go the way of the USSR and dissolve into several states. Moreover, subscribers to this theory believe that the United States should encourage such a disintegrative process by further isolating Iran economically and politically, while also supporting its separatist elements. -Shireen T. Hunter - 7/12/17

Iranian Cancer Researcher Detained At Boston Airport Despite Valid Visa

- An Iranian cancer researcher arriving in the United States to start work at a prominent Boston hospital was detained this week at Logan International Airport, the hospital has said. Boston Children's Hospital said that Mohsen Dehnavi was prevented from entering the country with his wife and three young children despite holding a J-1 visa for visiting scholars. They arrived at the airport on July 10. - 7/12/17

Political Debate Heats Up in Iran

- A popular joke was bouncing around in South Africa in the early 1990s. Given the country's overwhelming challenges, people have two options, a practical one and a miraculous one. The practical option is for everyone to get down on their knees and pray for a band of angels to come down from heaven and solve the problems. The miraculous option is that people and politicians talk with each other and work things out. Today, this joke applies to both Iran and America-despite their many differences. -Ali Reza Eshraghi - 7/12/17

Yikes, Mattis Still Has It in for Iran!

- Secretary of Defense James Mattis remains as hostile as ever towards the Islamic Republic of Iran, as he recently made clear in remarks to The Islander, the newspaper of Mercer Island High School. The Pentagon chief, often referred to as one of the few "adults in the room" that presumably makes up the national-security contingent of the Trump administration, gave an extended interview to senior Teddy Fischer, which the Seattle-area school paper published in full on its website. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog - 7/12/17

U.S. Hands Off Iran

- I just travelled to Iran where was I was invited to speak at the University of Tehran about human rights and "humanitarian intervention." I put this term in quotes because I've rarely ever seen any intervention that was truly humanitarian or that produced humane results, but more on that later. Before I traveled to Iran, a number of friends and family members expressed shock that I would go there, feared for my safety and well-being, with some urging me not to go at all... -Dan Kovalik, Huffington Post - 7/12/17

On Iran, Canada Should Pick Up Where Obama Left Off

- As the two-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal approaches, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has an opportunity to put his government's new approach to foreign policy into effect by expressing support for the historic agreement reached between world powers and Iran, particularly as uncertainty increases surrounding the Trump administration's support for the deal. -Navid Hassibi, LobeLog - 7/12/17

Rights Groups are Concerned as more Arrests are Allegedly Linked to ISIS in Iran

- Human Rights activists are concerned that the recent attacks claimed by ISIS is rippling into intensified crackdown on members of Iran's minority Sunnis. Especially during the whole of month of Ramadan, Iran security forces raided four Sunni mosques in cities of Bukan and Mahabad in the Kurdish regions arresting at least 25 individuals. - 7/12/17

Did Trump Just Violate the Iran Deal?

- One of those achievements (of Donald Trump), Sanders said was that "In his discussions with more than a dozen foreign leaders, he underscored the need for nations to join together to strip terrorists of their funding, territory and ideological support--and to stop doing business with nations that sponsor terrorism, especially Iran." -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog - 7/12/17

Iranian Soccer Stars Call For End To Ban On Women Spectators

- Ali Karimi, who is widely regarded as one of the best Iranian players of all time, expressed hope on July 10 that "the conditions are set with the help of" President Hassan Rohani and the Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) "for women to enter stadiums" as spectators. Weeks earlier, Iranian national team captain Masud Shojaei called on Rohani to lift the ban. - 7/11/17

White House Seeks Changes In Senate's Russian/Iranian Sanctions Bill

- The White House is seeking to change a Senate bill imposing tough new sanctions on Russia so it doesn't constrain the president's authority to impose or waive sanctions, a top White House official said on July 10. The bill to impose new sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the U.S. election and other matters passed the Senate overwhelmingly but has been stalled in the House of Representatives. The bill also imposes new sanctions on Iran. - 7/11/17

IRGC's General Soleimani: Daesh defeat in Mosul victory for whole world

- Iran's Major General Qassem Soleimani has hailed Iraq's defeating of Daesh in Mosul as a major victory in the battle against terrorism. The commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) made the remark during a ceremony on Monday. He went on to note that Daesh is one of the most dangerous entities which the world has ever faced. - 7/11/17

How Do You Measure Commitment To The Iran Nuclear Deal?

- As the two-year anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) approaches, uncertainty over the Trump administration's commitment to the Iran nuclear deal is growing, heightening the tensions in the Middle East. At a Senate hearing on June 13, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson remarked that although Iran was complying with the JCPOA, the bar for Iranian compliance was "pretty low." - Arvand Mirsafian, Huffington Post - 7/11/17

Iran launches Freedom of Information website

- Iran has launched a website that allows its citizens to freely seek and obtain information from all government organizations and institutions according to law. The website had been operating in beta version mode for 45 days before its public launch. The landmark step was taken roughly two years after the executive bylaw for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was prepared by the administration of President Hassan Rouhani and government institutions were notified of it. - 7/10/17

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My...? The Saudi-American-Iranian-Russian-Qatari-Syrian conundrum

- The Middle East. Could there be a more perilous place on Earth, including North Korea? Not likely. The planet's two leading nuclear-armed powers backing battling proxies amply supplied with conventional weapons; terror groups splitting and spreading; religious-sectarian wars threatening amid a plethora of ongoing armed hostilities stretching from Syria to Iraq to Yemen. And that was before Donald Trump and his team arrived on this chaotic scene. -Dilip Hiro, Bill Moyers - 7/10/17

Poll: Negative Campaign Against Arabs and Muslims Has Consequences

- While, as president, Donald Trump has worked to cultivate a relationship with Arab leaders, the antipathy towards Arabs and Muslims that he and his party have cultivated in recent years continues to have a worrisome impact on American public opinion and policy. Recent polling conducted three weeks after Trump's summits in Saudi Arabia, establishes the persistence of a deep and disturbing partisan divide in American attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims. - James J. Zogby, LobeLog - 7/10/17

It's Time for Washington and Riyadh to Defuse the War Hysteria

- The ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the devastating Saudi-led offensive in Yemen, the bellicose rhetoric towards Iran, the fracturing of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the regional involvement in the bloody Syrian civil war, are all increasing the probability of regional war. This conflict may pit Gulf Sunni states against each other, or Saudi Arabia and the United States against Iran. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 7/9/17

Country Managers Make Post-Sanctions Iran Work

- On July 3, Patrick Pouyanne, the imposing, former rugby-playing CEO of Total, arrived in Tehran to sign a landmark $5 billion contract to develop Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars gas field in cooperation with the China National Petroleum Corporation and Petropars, an Iranian firm. The deal was a sign of Pouyanne's ambition and resolve in the face of the Trump administration's rhetoric towards Iran. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 7/8/17

Conservative MPs Pressure Culture Ministry to Ban Films Portraying "Realistic Picture" of Modern Iranian Life

- Director Ali Ahmadzadeh's film "Atomic Heart," about the lives of young, modern Iranians, including Christians, could be removed from cinemas in Iran just weeks after a three-year ban on the movie was lifted. "Although it was made in 2014, the film only recently received a screening permit," Ahmadzadeh told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) in a recent interview. "Now there are threats to ban it again." - 7/8/17



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