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July 30 2016
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Iranian Daily Under Fire For Airbrushing Cigarette From Cleric's Hand

- A major reformist Iranian daily has created controversy by altering an iconic image of a prominent deceased cleric to remove a cigarette he was holding. The cleric, Ayatollah Mahmud Taleghani, a key figure of the 1979 Islamic Revolution who became Tehran's first Friday Prayers leader after the revolution, was a known chain smoker who wasn't shy about his habit. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/29/16

Afghanistan: On the Eve of a Religious War?

- The Islamic State (ISIS or IS) recently threatened the Shia Hazara minority in Afghanistan with more attacks in retaliation for fighting in Syria in defense of President Bashar Al-Assad's regime. "Unless they stop going to Syria and stop being slaves of Iran, we will definitely continue such attacks," the message said. -Fatemeh Aman, LobeLog - 7/29/16

Iran's Water Policies Triggering Regional Resistance

- The Iranian constitution has concrete language prohibiting any form of development detrimental to the country's environment. However, the large scale water transfer projects considered by the government as remedies to the ongoing water shortage vows in various regions of the country have fallen short of showing concrete consideration of sustainable development. - 7/29/16

Riyadh failed to rally anti-Iran support in Arab League summit: Iran

- Tehran has slammed the Saudi regime for pushing ahead with its "divisive policies" in a recent Arab League summit, saying the outcome of the meeting showed Riyadh has failed to muster support against Iran. - 7/29/16

Iran's global banking problems deepen with rise of Trump, Brexit

- Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the rise of U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump have paralyzed efforts by Western governments to encourage already highly reluctant international banks to do business with Iran. - 7/29/16

Real Target of Tehran's Demand for Apple to Open Office in Iran is US Sanctions

- Tehran's recent ultimatum to Apple, the US tech giant, to open up an office in Iran or face a ban on Apple products in the country, was presented as a bid to end the loss of tax revenue from millions of iPhones smuggled into Iran, but its real goal is to break through the wall of US sanctions still blocking investment in Iran. - 7/28/16

Yemen: An Opportunity for Iran-Saudi Dialogue?

- The news out of Yemen continues to be grim. Week after week the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that committed troops to the Saudi-led Operation Restore Hope-previously dubbed Operation Decisive Storm-see body bags return home. And they aren't getting any closer to their goal of a "decisive victory" against Iran and what they see as Tehran's proxy, the Houthis. -Dina Esfandiary and Ariane Tabatabai - 7/28/16

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Interferes in Case of Imprisoned Christian

- Iran's Intelligence Ministry has directly interfered in the case of imprisoned Christian convert Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran-who has been on hunger strike to persuade the authorities to consider her for early release-in another example of the Judiciary's lack of independence. - 7/28/16

Militant Clergy--the Future of Shia Islam?

- Mohammad Aqamiri might be the first-ever Shia cleric from Iran who martyred himself in Syria after the Syrian uprising. While studying and teaching at Qom Seminary in 2013, Aqamiri enlisted in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and died defending the holy shrine in Syria. He is not alone. -Saeid Golkar, LobeLog - 7/28/16

Iranian posters exhibit offers a glimpse into the visual language developed to bypass censorship

- The works integrate the clean minimalism that characterizes contemporary art with the complexity that informs Persian typography. -Naama Riba, Haaretz - 7/28/16

Iran's payslip scandal spells trouble for Rouhani

- "Payslip-gate", as it has come to be known, has been dominating the news headlines in Iran for months. The scandal began in May when the payslips of top managers at the state insurance company were leaked to the media, showing they were receiving very generous salaries. -Amir Azimi, BBC - 7/28/16

US Administration Failed to Enable Iran to Access Its Oil Revenues

- One year has passed since Iran and the P5+1 group reached an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA); an agreement, which put an end to more than one decade of tension between the two sides over Iran's nuclear program and turned into an important model for peaceful resolution of a difference. -Interview with Peter Jenkins by Sara Massoumi - 7/27/16

Iranian officials allowed to receive maximum $2800 per month

- Iran has set ceilings for monthly salaries of political and non-political figures following widespread criticism of inflated salaries. The same figure for non-political figures, managers of economic institutions and factories will be 180 million rials (about $5,000) - 7/27/16

White House Names Russia, China, Iran, North Korea In Cyberattack Guidelines

- The White House on July 26 issued new guidelines on how government agencies should respond to major cyberattacks. hite House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco named Russia and China as cyber adversaries that have become more assertive. She said Iran and North Korea also are capable and willing to carry out destructive attacks. - 7/27/16

What the Turkish Coup Means for Iran

- Iran was among the very first governments to express its support for the democratically elected government of Turkey during the recent failed coup d'etat. High Iranian officials such as the president, foreign minister, and the speaker of the parliament also spoke to their counterparts in Turkey. Considering that Iran's relations with Turkey, especially its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have been rather frosty in the last several years, why was Iran so eager to register its opposition to the coup attempt? -Shireen T. Hunter - 7/26/16

Arrested Iranian-American from San Diego Held Incommunicado and without Access to Lawyer

- Iranian-American Robin (Reza) Shahini, the latest victim of a string of arrests and prolonged detainments of dual nationals who have travelled to Iran, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards' Intelligence Organization in the city of Gorgan, 255 miles east of Tehran, and has been held without access to a lawyer, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. - 7/26/16

Harder vs. Softer, the Republican and Democratic Foreign Policy Platforms

- With its emphasis on the use of diplomacy and economic development, the Democratic platform embraces what is known as idealism, a school of foreign policy that holds that America is a force for good in the world and that, with a combination of military strength and soft power, can shape global affairs. More than twice as long on foreign policy as the Democratic version, the Republican platform presents a harder-edged, Reaganesque manifesto with some, but by no means all, of Trump's controversial ideas. -Masood Farivar, VOA - 7/26/16

US Media Find European Terror Deaths 19 Times More Interesting Than Mideast Terror Deaths

- A survey conducted by FAIR of US media coverage of ISIS or ISIS-inspired attacks in Europe and the Middle East reveals a disparity of coverage, showing that European deaths are roughly 1,800 percent more newsworthy than deaths in the Middle East. -Adam Johnson, LobeLog - 7/26/16

Tehran Confirms Arrest Of Iranian-American

- Iran has confirmed the arrest of an Iranian-American who was visiting family in the country, the latest in a series of arrests of dual nationals by the Islamic republic over the past year. - 7/25/16

Israel/Palestine: Bad Policy, Bad Politics

- To understand why the United States fails so miserably in efforts to achieve an Israeli/Palestinian peace, all you need to do is take a look at the mix of bad policy and bad politics found in the Israel/Palestine sections of platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties. -James J. Zogby, LobeLog - 7/25/16

Trump Got Pretty Much Everything Wrong About The Iran Deal

- Last night, Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination. Then he delivered a rambling 75-minute speech promising law and order and painting a picture of a United States in chaos, besieged by crime and both foreign and domestic enemies. Much of it wasn't factually true, and fact checkers are having a field day pouring through the 27-page speech. -Eli Clifton - 7/23/16

More than 50 Iranian youth arrested in mixed gender party

- The head of the judiciary for Damavand municipality has announced that more than 50 young Iranian women and men have been arrested in raiding of a mixed-gender party in Ab-e Sard region. Damavand is a rural mountainous area northeast of the Iranian capital, Tehran, where Tehranians go to relax, hike or rent a cottage and party. - 7/23/16

The Republicans' 'Principled' Case For Killing The Iran Deal

- As the nation takes stock of the bizarre fever dream that took place in Cleveland this past week, it's easy to forget that the GOP actually unveiled its platform that translates the rhetoric - from "lock her up" to "kill the deal" - into actual policy proposals. -Jamal Abdi, Huffington Post - 7/23/16

Islamists at War in Turkey

- Last week witnessed what may be the last act of an unfolding struggle between two major Islamic movements in Turkey. Turkish president and leader of the AKP party Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused exiled Islamic leader Fethullah Gulen of plotting the failed coup against the government. Immediately thereafter Erdogan has unleashed massive Stalin-style purges and arrests across the country of anyone suspected of any connection with Gulen, or indeed of anyone of any ideology who opposes Erdogan. -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 7/23/16

Another Iranian-American Detained In Iran, Family Says

- The U.S. State Department said on July 21 that it is looking into reports that another Iranian-American has been detained in Iran. Family members said Iranian authorities took Robin Shahini, 46, of San Diego, California, into custody on July 11 while he was visiting his sick mother in Iran and he has not been heard from since. - 7/22/16

Iran's Conservatives Lash Out at New Female Fashion Trends

- Iran's anti-vice squads, also referred to as the morality police, are particularly busy in the hot summer months when Iranian women wear lighter clothes and are less observant of the mandatory hijab. But this year the squads are focusing on a new "threat:" women wearing clothes with large English words on them. - 7/22/16

Iran busts terror cell near Pakistan border, detains 40: Interior Minister

- Iranian security forces have arrested 40 members of a terror cell that planned to carry out attacks in the eastern parts of the country, the interior minister says. Rahmani Fazli said the Iranian forces discovered and destroyed a 40-meter-long tunnel dug at a depth of 20 meters, which the terrorists had planned to use for their attacks. - 7/22/16

Congress Should Let the Boeing Deal Proceed

- Before adjourning for the summer, lawmakers in Congress found time to pass several bills that could imperil one of the most significant global security achievements in many years: the year-old nuclear deal that President Obama struck with Iran. This is not the first time that hard-line Republicans and their well-funded lobby group allies have tried to sabotage the deal... -New York Times Editorial - 7/22/16

From Iran to Nice, We Must Confront All Terrorism to End Terrorism

- France has unfortunately been the epicenter for two terrorism-related events in recent weeks. The tragic truck attack in Nice, which received international attention, and a rally recently held in Paris by a notorious Iranian opposition group -- the "Mujahedin-e Khalq," or MEK, which for years has committed acts of terrorism against Iran. While it might not be immediately evident, there is a connection between the events -- the groups behind them have been accused of atrocities and have historical ties to Saudi Arabia. -Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Huffington Post - 7/22/16

Iranian American Candidate Campaigns for Minority Rights

- First-generation Iranian American, Ahsha Safai is no stranger to fighting against discriminatory policies targeting marginalized minority communities. The candidate for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors District 11 boasts a long track record of passionately advocating for underrepresented populations - not just the Iranian American community, but families from a wide range of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds, particularly in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. - 7/21/16

UN chief calls on world powers to make JCPOA beneficial for Iranians

- "I urge JCPOA participants to uphold their respective commitments and Member States to support the full and effective implementation of this agreement," said Ban in a statement released on Wednesday, which coincides with the first anniversary of a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the nuclear deal. - 7/21/16

Atena Farghadani: Iranian cartoonist opens up about her captivity

- In her first interview to Western media since winning her release, Atena Farghadani talks about the horrific conditions behind bars in Iran and how she plans to continue producing political art, even if that means going to prison again -Independent - 7/21/16

U.S. appeals court voids forfeiture of Iran-linked New York office tower

- A federal appeals court said on Wednesday the U.S. government cannot seize a Midtown Manhattan office tower originally built by the Shah of Iran, whose owners it claimed were fronts for the Iranian government. -Reuters - 7/21/16

US urged to facilitate Iran banking transactions

- The US has been urged by fellow members of the P5+1 group of countries to facilitate banking ties with Tehran through the clarification of transaction channels with the Islamic Republic, a senior Iranian official says. - 7/20/16

Republican Platform: Build Border Wall, Outlaw Gay Marriage

- The Republican Party has crafted a new platform that both shows the direct influence of its 2016 presidential candidate, Donald Trump, as well as the traditionally conservative values upon which the party is built. -Chris Hannas, VOA - 7/20/16

Iran threatens to re-open shuttered uranium enrichment facilities after UN report

- Iran's parliament speaker urged the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) on Wednesday to prepare a plan for the re-opening of shuttered uranium enrichment facilities, reacting to the recent UN report on the implementation of the JCPOA. - 7/20/16

Tots Caught: Tehran Kindergarten Shut Down Over Mixed-Gender Swimming Pool

- An Iranian official says a kindergarten has been shut down in the capital over a mixed-gender swimming pool. Tasnim had reported disapprovingly that the pool belonged to a kindergarten on Africa Street in an affluent neighborhood of the capital that had allowed mixed swimming and "proudly" posted the pictures on its official website. - 7/20/16

Former Iranian Banker Arrested On Corruption Charges

- Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has arrested the former manager of one of Iran's major banks and his deputy over alleged corruption, IRGC affiliated news agencies Fars and Tasnim reported on July 20. - 7/20/16

The Saudis and 9/11: Is It Finally Over?

- From the perspective of the Saudi Arabian government, no news was really good news. The long-withheld 28 pages of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, released on Friday, provided scant evidence, and no incontrovertible proof, of government responsibility or involvement. Saudi officials celebrated as if their country had just been acquitted of a crime, as in a sense it had. -Thomas Lippman - 7/20/16

The Islamic State and Arab Muslim Regimes: Time for Another Look

- The Islamic State (ISIS or IS) has claimed that the French-Tunisian truck driver who plowed into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice killing nearly 100 people and injuring over 200 as one of their "soldiers." The West and the Arab Muslim states must now take a hard look at IS and the radical violent ideology that drives it. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 7/20/16

Ban report based on incomplete info: Iranian FM

- Iran says a report by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the implementation of a nuclear deal with the country is "based on incomplete information." "We have said before that the UN has had no role in writing the JCPOA, thus, as we have seen, what he (the UN chief) has done does not benefit the agreement," Zarif said. - 7/19/16

Iran is 'toying with lives' of political prisoners by denying them medical care: Amnesty International

- The Iranian authorities are callously toying with the lives of political prisoners by denying them adequate medical care - putting them at risk of irreversible damage to their health or even death - according to a new report by Amnesty International today. - 7/19/16

JCPOA commission to convene in Vienna for fourth meeting

- The commission monitoring the implementation of a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers is to convene for a fourth meeting in Vienna. The Iranian delegation, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, arrived in the Austrian capital on Tuesday to attend the Joint Commission meeting, which is to convene later in the day. - 7/19/16

Causes and Consequences of the Coup in Turkey

- One of the major reasons for the coup was the unhappiness of elements of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) who were opposed to the directions that the war against the PKK/KCK has taken during recent years. There was also considerable dissatisfaction around the decision by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to support the Islamic State (IS) after the March 2011 outbreak of civil war in Syria. -Robert Olson, LobeLog - 7/19/16

Iran court begins trials over Saudi embassy raids

- A court in Iran has begun the trial of the individuals involved in raids earlier this year against vacant Saudi diplomatic perimeters in the country. The raids occurred on January 2, when demonstrations were held in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad - both of which were vacant at the time - over Saudi Arabia's move earlier to execute a prominent Saudi cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. - 7/18/16

Turkey's Lose-Lose Coup Situation

- The dismaying coup events in Turkey may take some time to be resolved. But one thing is already clear-this attempt at military intervention, however the final scenario plays itself out, is a disastrous lose-lose event for everyone in Turkey. -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog - 7/18/16

Democracy, only solution to regional woes: Iran President

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the solution to regional problems does not lie in the use of force but rather in respecting democracy, adding that the era of military coups has come to a close. - 7/17/16

Serious signs indicating Iran opening

- Iran says it has started talks with global engineering giants Siemens and Rolls-Royce over power projects - a development that experts say show the country is gradually opening up to investors after the removal of the sanctions. - 7/17/16

Regional Implications of the JCPOA

- What are the regional implications of the Iranian nuclear deal (the JCPOA)? A good place to start may be to ask what has not happened since the JCPOA was signed: (1) The regional states have not rushed to acquire independent nuclear capability. You may recall that this was widely predicted at the time... -Gary Sick - 7/16/16

NIAC Capitol Hill Briefing Assesses JCPOA Implementation and Complications

- "We should be pursuing another diplomatic win with the Iranians before the end of this administration," said New America's Suzanne DiMaggio, speaking at a National Iranian American Council (NIAC) briefing on Capitol Hill on July 14, marking the one year anniversary of the Iran nuclear agreement. - 7/16/16

Iran and Chinese claims in the South China Sea

- The international Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague (which has nothing to do with the ICJ or International Court of Justice), on 12 July 2016 voted unanimously (by five Judges) in a 497 page decision, that the Chinese claims for owning 85% of the South China Sea (one of the biggest and busiest maritime territories of the world and close to the size of entire India) was contrary to the international law of the sea. This was the response of court to a case filed by Philippines against China in 2013. - 7/16/16

Firms say US Congress blocking Iran plans

- In the wake of the recent anti-Iran bills adopted by the US Congress, global corporate leaders are already complaining that American lawmakers are undermining their plans to approach the vast Iranian market. - 7/16/16

Effort to Kill the Iran Nuclear Agreement Continues

- The one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is naturally an occasion for stock-taking, as such anniversaries commonly are. Much spinning is mixed in with the stock-taking, and it is worthwhile to take stock of the spinning as well as of the reality that is relevant to the agreement. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 7/16/16

Iran ratifies Paris climate deal, bringing it closer to enter into force

- The Iranian cabinet of ministers, headed by President Hassan Rouhani, ratified the Paris climate deal on Wednesday and brought the deal closer to enter into force. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degree Centigrade by cutting back on the greenhouse gas emission. The agreement is due to enter into force in 2020. - 7/16/16

Why America Needs an Interests Section in Iran

- The one-year anniversary of the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) provides us with an opportunity to debate what the final six months of the Obama Administration should bring to Iran policy. This next period is of deep import, as it will create a new baseline for the incoming President. -Morad Ghorban, National Interest - 7/16/16

US Is Delaying Iran's Return to Global Economic Community

- It is a year on Thursday since Iran and the West struck their historic nuclear deal. It is in deep trouble - and the fault lies with the United States. Iran promised to cut back its peaceful nuclear program. In return Washington undertook to relax its sanctions against Iran and open the way for its return to the global economic community. This agreement, reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015, appeared to bring an end to nearly 40 years of cold war between Iran and the West stretching back to the 1979 Islamic revolution. -Peter Jenkins and Peter Oborne - 7/15/16

One Year On: Why Iran Has Yet To Cash In On Nuclear Deal

- A year ago, the inking of a historic nuclear deal with world powers led some euphoric Iranians to dream of an economic boom and the end of international isolation. Despite the lifting of crippling sanctions that freed billions in assets and removed many obstacles to trade, there are few signs that Iranians have reaped the economic benefits that they had expected from the July 2015 agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. -Frud Bezhan and Hannah Kaviani, RFE - 7/15/16

New Law Reduces Employment Prospects for Women in Iran

- Iran's Parliament has ratified an amended law that reduces the working hours of female employees with certain family obligations by eight hours per week. Although the law requires employers to pay these women full-time wages, rights advocates say the law will harm the employment prospects of women entering the job market and reduce the job security of those already employed, as employers balk at the costs the legislation will incur upon them. - 7/15/16

"Assholism" goes on stage in Tehran to awaken people's conscience on social issues

- Director Ali Hosseini has said that he intends to awaken the conscience of people in Tehran on some social issues by staging a play based on Xavier Crement's "Assholism" at Tehran's 3-Noqteh Amphitheater. Hosseini has written the play by a Persian translation of the book by Mahmud Farjami. - 7/15/16

NIAC Action Welcomes EU Decision Not to Reciprocate on American Travelers

- NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi released the following statement after the European Commission indicated it would intensify efforts to achieve visa waiver reciprocity, foregoing a potential suspension of the Visa Waiver Program in reaction to restrictions on European travelers: - 7/15/16

U.S. House Approves New Sanctions On Iran Over Missiles, Terrorism

- The U.S. House passed two bills imposing new sanctions on Iran for continuing to develop ballistic missiles and denying the Iranian government and banks access to the U.S. financial system and dollars. But Democrats called the GOP bills cynical attempts to score points with grass roots conservative constituents in an election year. - 7/15/16

Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Quits after Years of State Harassment and Threats

- Constant pressure and harassment by Iran's Judiciary and security establishment have forced a human rights lawyer to leave her profession. Giti Pourfazel-who spent nearly 10 years representing political prisoners and their families, usually for free-has submitted her resignation to Iran's Bar Association. - 7/15/16

Hill Update on Iran Legislation

- As we have over the last year, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. -LobeLog - 7/15/16

Saudi Supports Anti-Iran Fanatics

- If Saudi Arabia is on a quest to paint itself as a responsible actor in the region, the kingdom took a big step backward over the weekend. That's when a former top official-who remains an influential figure-declared support not only for regime change in Iran but for one of the strangest would-be agents of overthrowing the Islamic Republic. -Ali Gharib - 7/14/16

One Year After Iran Nuclear Deal, Sides Remain Compliant but Wary

- One year ago, exhausted diplomats from Iran and a group of six world powers emerged from a meeting at a luxury hotel in Vienna, Austria with what they had been seeking for nearly two years: a comprehensive agreement limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting harsh economic sanctions. -Chris Hannas, VOA - 7/14/16

Caspian Sea legal regime must guarantee littoral states' interests: Iran FM

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Caspian Sea's legal regime should guarantee that the interests of the littoral states are met in view of the geopolitical developments. Zarif made the remark in a ministerial meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states in the Kazakh capital of Astana on Wednesday. - 7/14/16

Kurdish Rebels, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Renew Decades-old Conflict

- Kurdish rebels have been clashing with Iran's Revolutionary Guard since mid-June in an area along the Iran-Iraq border, according to Iran's state TV. Videos on social media also allegedly show Iran shelling positions held by Kurdish rebels. -Sirwan Kajjo, Mehdi Jedinia, VOA - 7/14/16

70-Year-Old Man Sentenced to Flogging for Demanding Information on Missing Son

- The wife of Hashem Zeinali, a 70-year-old man who was given a lashing and prison sentence after peacefully demanding information about his missing son while standing outside Evin Prison, is hoping that the Appeals Court will overturn the ruling. - 7/14/16

Legal Expert Expresses Outrage over Charges against Renowned Iranian Artist Parviz Tanavoli

- Charging the prominent Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli, who also holds Canadian citizenship, with "disturbing public opinion and spreading falsehoods" is "shocking," an expert on the Iranian legal system told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. - 7/14/16

U.S. House Passes Bill To Block Purchases Of Heavy Water From Iran

- The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on July 13 to undercut the Iran nuclear deal by blocking the purchase of "heavy water" from Iran as authorized under the agreement. The House is due to vote on two other measures aimed at derailing the nuclear deal later this week. - 7/14/16

Senate Bill Beefs Up U.S. Sanctions On Iran Over Missiles, Terrorism

- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation to sanction persons involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and require the president to enforce an arms embargo against Tehran. - 7/14/16

Saudi Arabia's Perspective on the U.S. Presidential Race

- The Saudi leadership is coming to terms with the possibility of Donald Trump becoming America's 45th president. From Riyadh's perspective, a Trump presidency represents many risks stemming from countless unknown variables surrounding the Republican Party's presumptive nominee. It appears that this is exactly what Trump wants. In the real estate mogul's words, "We must, as a nation, be more unpredictable." -Giorgio Cafiero and Joshua Hodge, LobeLog - 7/14/16

Poll: Iranian Public Souring on Nuclear Deal, Rouhani

- A brand-new public opinion poll conducted by on behalf of the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland finds that Iranians have not experienced the economic benefits they expected following the successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Consequently, opinion is beginning to turn on the nuclear deal and on its chief Iranian architect, President Hassan Rouhani, who is expected to stand for reelection next year. -Derek Davison - 7/13/16

U.S. House To Vote On Legislation To Derail Iran Nuclear Deal

- The U.S. House on July 13 will vote on Republican legislation to undercut President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran nearly a year after the deal was announced. The White House issued a threat to veto the legislation on July 10, saying it would kill the nuclear agreement, which it said remains "critical to ensuring that Iran's nuclear program is and will remain exclusively peaceful." - 7/13/16

Commentary: Iran's Hard-Liners Crack Down as Their Base of Support Narrows

- There is a crackdown underway in Iran. But it is no longer just a crackdown on dissent. Rather it is an attempt to crush views or expressions that depart from the insular and rigid worldview of an increasingly small band of hard-liners. - 7/13/16
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Crossing the Red Line: The Struggle for Human Rights in Iran

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