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Photos: Iranian Mothers For Peace group protests attacks on Gaza

- Iran's Mothers for Peace gathered in protest in front of the United Nations offices in Tehran to condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Iran's Mothers for Peace expressed affinity with the Palestinian mothers who have lost family members in the Israeli attacks. - 7/24/14

Fuzzy Math From Iran Hawks

- Being a Washington analyst means never having to say you're sorry. And so it has been throughout the diplomatic process with Iran, where naysayers who stridently opposed talks have found themselves dealing with the reality of negotiations over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program by not dealing at all with their past records on the matter. -Ali Gharib - 7/24/14

Iranian Satellite Jamming Causes Storm Of Controversy

- The Iranian regime has long used signal jamming to disrupt the flow of information into the Islamic republic, but it couldn't have forecast the strategy's deadly consequences. Satellite-jamming technology is being blamed for disrupting Iran's ability to predict a major dust storm that hit Tehran in June, killing five people. - 7/24/14

Jailed Iranian journalist seems weak at court

- Jailed Iranian journalist Saba Azarpeyk attended the Revolutionary Court on Sunday and Monday, July 20 and 21. Eyewitnesses report that Azarpeyk appeared weak and showed serious weight loss. Azarpeyk has only been allowed to contact her family once since her arrest. - 7/24/14

Iranian actress Niki Karimi criticizes world's silence on Israeli crimes in Gaza

- Iranian actress-cum-director Niki Karimi has expressed her criticism over the world's silence on the ongoing Israeli crimes in Gaza. "It is very strange to me that in today's world of instant communication such a tragedy can be occurring, and yet everyone still does as he pleases, and nothing is done to stop it." A large group of Iranian cineastes also gathered at Tehran's Shafaq Cultural Center yesterday to protest against Israeli crimes in Gaza. - 7/24/14

Meet the Billionaire Funders of the Anti-Diplomacy Lobby

- My colleague Ali Gharib and I just published an article in The Nation in which we explore how hawkish, deep-pocketed organizations hold disproportionate influence in shaping the discussion about Iran-policy on Capitol Hill. -Eli Clifton - 7/24/14

Gaza Under Fire: A Humanitarian Disaster

- The current crisis in Gaza comes against a backdrop of a continued blockade imposed on the territory by Israel, widespread unemployment, severe poverty, electricity cuts, closure of borders and crossings since 2006, destroyed infrastructure and a stagnant Gazan economy, combined with a lack of political progress at the Israeli-Palestinian political level. -Khaled Alashqar, IPS - 7/23/14

Zarif specifies sticking points in Iran nuclear talks

- The Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Tehran's enrichment capacity, the Arak heavy-water reactor, and the sanctions against the country are the main sticking points in the talks between Iran and the major powers. - 7/23/14

Abdol-Hossein Harati Arrested After Return to Iran

- In an open letter to Mehdi Karoubi four years ago, Abdol-Hossein Harati called the 1980s in Iran "The Terror Hallway of Iran's History" that is associated with the founder of the Islamic republic ayatollah Khomeini. Through the letter he objected to Karoubi's and Mir-Hossein Mousavi's constant praise of Khomeini. -Fereshteh Ghazi - 7/23/14

Widespread Elimination of Women from Tehran City Administration "for Their Comfort"

- A Tehran Municipality manager announced on July 13, 2014 that henceforth all managers in the organization should use male employees in their offices, and the Municipality offices should be segregated by gender. - 7/23/14

Latest Statistics Reveal: Marriage of 31,000 Underage Iranian Girls in 9 Months

- Over five percent of women who got married in the first nine months of 1392 (i.e., between March and December of 2013) were less than 15 years of age, according to the most recent figures published by the government's National Organization for Civil Registration -Niusha Saremi - 7/23/14

"A Place of Indescribable Loss": As Ceasefire Talks Begin, Israel Bombs Hospital, Mosques and Homes

- The Israeli assault on Gaza has entered its third week as the Palestinian death toll has topped 600, mostly civilians. More than 100 of the dead are children. More than 3,700 Palestinians have been injured. -Democracy Now - 7/23/14

Iranian Science Minister Defends University Appointments

- Iran's minister of science has responded to critics and defended his choices for university presidents, saying all his appointees have top academic credentials and have also been approved by the ministry of intelligence. Farajidana has been accused of appointing individuals who supported the opposition in the election protests of 2009. - 7/23/14

5 Things to Know About the Extended Nuclear Talks with Iran

- The recently extended nuclear negotiations with Iran have had to compete for front-page attention with acute crises elsewhere. The agreement to extend both the negotiations and the interim commitments associated with them for another four months has nonetheless provoked comments from the usual quarters, including those who have never wanted any agreement with Iran and continue to try to sabotage the negotiations. -Paul Pillar - 7/22/14

The Lying Game: Failing in Gaza

- On or around August 6, 1945, US Air Force jets dropped copies of two leaflets on Japanese cities, including Nagasaki, according to the Harry S. Truman Library. Both included a similar message: You saw what we did to Hiroshima. If you don't want the same thing to happen to you, overthrow your emperor. Failing that, flee your cities. -Mitchell Plitnick - 7/22/14

Iran revising Internet-control bill

- The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced on Sunday that Iran's bill on controlling Internet websites is being amended by a team of experts and officials. The amendments are aimed to legalize Iranian users' access to some online social network services such as Facebook and twitter, and other internet services such as WhatsApp and Viber, which are currently illegal in Iran. - 7/22/14

Fear, Love and Iran's Favorite Internet Enemy (it's Facebook)

- Throughout its 35 years of existence, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not tolerated free expression or public gatherings beyond its control. Facebook offers some semblance of both of these things on an easy-to-use platform. -Mahsa Alimardani and Fred Petrossian, Global Voices - 7/22/14

"Indiscriminate" Bombing in Gaza Pushes Death Toll Beyond 500

- In the Gaza City suburb of Shuja'iyya on Sunday, more than 120 Palestinians-at least 40 of whom where women and children-were killed during intense and reportedly "indiscriminate" bombing by Israeli forces. The Ma'an News Agency reports that overall, 150 Palestinians were killed across the territory on Sunday. -Jon Queally, Common Dreams - 7/21/14

Three elections, three reactions: Ukraine, Egypt and Syria

- As it happens, there have been elections in all the three countries in June, and it is useful to study the circumstances surrounding those elections and the West's reactions to those elections. -Farhang Jahanpour - 7/21/14

Iran Plays a Waiting Game in Afghanistan

- It has been a worrisome few weeks for Iran. The negotiations with world powers over its nuclear program are seeing significant differences, there is chaos in Iraq to Iran's west, and more recently, the political transition in its eastern neighbor, Afghanistan, hit a serious bump with allegations of fraud threatening to derail the process. -Sumitha Narayanan Kutty - 7/21/14

Prosecutor agrees to jailed Iranian activist's demands

- Jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi has ended his 50-day hunger strike after the Tehran Prosecutor agreed to his demands. Reports indicate that one of prosecutor's deputies, Mehdi Khodabakhshi, visited Shahabi in hospital on Sunday July 20 and accepted his demands for ending his strike. - 7/21/14

Iran Eliminates Highly-Enriched Uranium Under Nuclear Deal

- A nuclear watchdog says Iran has eliminated its most-sensitive stockpile of enriched uranium gas as pledged under a temporary nuclear deal signed with six world powers last year. - 7/21/14

Planned Chaos in the Middle East-and Beyond

- Geopolitical observers of the Middle East turbulence tend to blame the raging chaos in the area on the presumed failure of the "incoherent," "illogical" or "contradictory" policies of the United States. Irrefutable evidence (some of which presented in this study) suggests, however, that in fact the chaos represents the success, not failure, of those policies-policies that are designed by the beneficiaries of war and military adventures in the region, and beyond. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 7/20/14

Fear of an Iranian Bomb Grips Capitol Hill

- With the rumored extension of the negotiations in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program hanging in the air, a group of legislators and right-wing thinkers gathered on Capitol Hill on Friday to talk about what they believe a comprehensive deal with Iran should entail. -Derek Davison - 7/20/14

Iran: Families, friends of Kahrizak victims call for justice

- A gathering was held to mark the fifth anniversary of the victims of the Kahrizak Detention Centre, with families and activists calling for a follow-up into the deaths of the detainees in custody. - 7/20/14

Tehran mayor stands firm on gender segregation plan

- The mayor of Tehran has defended his move to segregate male and female workers in city offices, saying: "We have religious honour and will not permit women to socialize and have contact with men other than their husbands." - 7/20/14

'Death and horror' in Gaza as thousands flee Israeli bombardment

- Palestinian government condemns attack on Gaza's Shejaiya neighbourhood as 'war crime' as Israel widens ground offensive -Guardian - 7/20/14

Iran, World Powers Agree to Extend Nuclear Talks

- World powers and Iran have agreed to extend a deadline for reaching an agreement aimed at limiting Iran's nuclear program until mid-November, citing progress made, but nowhere near enough to reach a deal. The announcement came early Saturday morning in Vienna after the latest set of marathon talks between Iran and world powers. -Lisa Bryant, VOA - 7/19/14

West Considers Early Sanctions Moves in Troubled Iran Nuclear Talks

- With talks between world powers and Iran over a broad nuclear accord at an impasse, Western governments are considering offering a significant easing of sanctions early on in the process to try to wring concessions from Tehran, diplomats say. -Reuters - 7/18/14

Iranian Human Rights Defenders Voice Support for Nuclear Talks

- The talks in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program will likely continue past the July 20 deadline for reaching a final deal. President Barack Obama noted "real progress" but hinted at an extension yesterday after being briefed by Secretary of State John Kerry, who held several meetings with the Iranians this week. -Jasmin Ramsey - 7/18/14

Bill Criminalizing Birth Control is "Against Citizens' Rights," Critics Say

- Two prominent Iranian lawyers have questioned the legitimacy of a bill approved by the Iranian Parliament on June 24, 2014, which calls for punishment against those who perform birth control procedures such as vasectomy and tubectomy. The bills are part of an official drive to boost the country's population. - 7/18/14

Gender segregation considered for Tehran parks, city staff

- Tehran's deputy mayor for Staff Maintenance announced that a plan to segregate park benches is being considered to make sure young men and women do not sit too close in public. Meysam Amroodi said provisions could be made to have a table in between seats to allow for appropriate distance between men and women. - 7/18/14

Covert war against Iran's nuclear scientists: a widow remembers

- The wife of the first scientist to be assassinated speaks about her husband's growing fear of a net closing around him - and of meeting his Israeli-trained assassin before his execution. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 7/18/14

Iranian Commanders on Front Line of Iraq's Fight

- A powerful Iranian general has emerged as the chief tactician in Iraq's fight against Sunni militants, working on the front lines alongside 120 advisers from his country's Revolutionary Guard to direct Shiite militiamen and government forces in the smallest details of battle, militia commanders and government officials say. -AP - 7/18/14

Obama Says Significant Gaps Remain On Iran Talks

- President Barack Obama on July 16 said there are "still significant gaps" and more work to do on Iran nuclear talks. Obama, speaking in Washington, said he will consult with Congress and allies to establish whether negotiations need to be extended after the July 20 deadline. - 7/17/14

Iran's Rouhani, Zarif Not Desperate for Nuclear Deal

- The negotiations in Vienna between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program are in the home stretch even if the July 20 deadline to reach a final deal set by last year's interim accord will not be met. Few expected a deal to be reached so quickly, less than one year after last year's historic agreement, the Joint Plan of Action. -Adnan Tabatabai - 7/17/14

Column: Extension Looks Likely for Iran Nuclear Talks

- That the sides cannot quite close all the gaps is as much a function of politics as are technical concerns over aspects of the Iranian nuclear program. So much is riding on these negotiations that for either side to give in too quickly would likely be viewed negatively by key constituencies around the world and back home. -Barbara Slavin - 7/17/14

Iranian journalist jailed for sending letters to her father in prison

- Sajedeh Arabsorkhi, an Iranian activist and journalist, has been transferred to Evin Prison to serve out a one-year prison sentence. According to the Kaleme website, she is accused of propaganda against the regime for writing letters to her father, Feizollah Arabsorkhi, a political prisoner at the time. - 7/17/14

Progress Cited, but No Accord in Iran Nuclear Talks

- VIENNA - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is heading back to Washington three days of talks with Iran in Vienna, as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for extended negotiations if a deal with world powers is not achieved by the July 20 deadline. - 7/16/14

Strong US Majority Prefers Iran Deal says "Citizen Cabinet" Survey

- Sixty-one percent of the American public prefers a deal permitting Iran to continue limited uranium enrichment and imposing intrusive inspections on its nuclear facilities in exchange for some sanctions relief, according to a unique new survey released here Tuesday. -Jim Lobe - 7/16/14

Breakout, Shmeakout: The Wrong Way to Assess a Nuclear Deal with Iran

- There is a preoccupation with "breakout" - a scenario in which an Iran supposedly determined to violate an agreement suddenly races to build a nuclear weapon - and with stripping away Iranian capabilities in order to lengthen the time required under such a scenario for Iran to produce enough fissile material for a weapon. The fixation with breakout, with the repeated references to it as a supposed reason to be wary of any agreement with Iran, is misplaced for several reasons. -Paul Pillar - 7/16/14

Iran: Rouhani administration unveils economic stimulus package

- The package, which was unveiled on Monday, highlights supporting the leading domestic economic enterprises, boosting industrial and service exports, and promoting tourism as the initial factors which can help the national economy come out of recession. - 7/16/14

New Study Shows Leading Iranian Figures Support Nuclear Negotiations

- In a study released by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran today,Voices from Iran: Strong Support for the Nuclear Negotiations, prominent members of Iranian civil society expressed their strong support for the P5+1 nuclear negotiations between Iran and the world powers. - 7/16/14

Kerry, Iran's Zarif In 'Very Tough' Nuclear Talks In Vienna

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he is engaged in "very tough" negotiations in Vienna with Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif over Iran's nuclear program. Kerry's comments on July 14 come six days before a deadline for a deal curbing Iran's controversial nuclear program is to expire. - 7/15/14

Report: Iran Sanctions Cost US Economy up to $175 Billion

- U.S. sanctions on Iran have carried a significant cost to the U.S. economy, a new report published by the National Iranian American Council today finds. Losing Billions - The Cost of Iran Sanctions to the U.S. Economy reveals that between 1995 and 2012, the U.S. sacrificed at least $135 billion and as much as $175 billion in potential export revenue to Iran. - 7/15/14

Kerry: 'Real Gaps' Remain in Iran's Nuclear Talks

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says diplomats from Iran and a group of six world powers have made progress in talks about Iran's nuclear program, but that "very real gaps remain" on key issues. Kerry spoke Tuesday in Vienna after the latest meeting in an effort to find a long-term agreement to ensure Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. - 7/15/14

Iraq's Disintegration Would be Contagious and Destabilizing

- When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, there was hope that a main barrier to implementing the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and creating a more law-based international system and order had been removed, offering the chance that states, both great and small, would endeavor to organize their relations on the basis of law and principle and not sheer power and ambition. -Shireen T. Hunter - 7/15/14

Reformist son of Iranian clergy member released after hunger strike

- Iranian political prisoner Mehdi Khazali was released after going on a hunger strike for 24 days. Khazali was arrested early last month and immediately began a hunger strike. Since then, he has reportedly suffered two heart attacks and is in grave health. - 7/15/14

Jailed Iranian reporter Siamak Ghaderi released

- Siamak Ghaderi, an Iranian reporter who used to work for IRNA, was released from prison on Monday July 14 after serving his sentence. Reports from Iran indicate that Ghaderi was released on a roadside in order to avoid any gathering of his supporters in front of the prison door. - 7/15/14

Two Iranians Flogged Publicly For Eating During Ramadan

- Two men were flogged in public in the south-central Iranian city of Shiraz for eating during fasting hours in the holy month of Ramadan. Fasting in Ramadan is considered a religious duty for Muslims. - 7/15/14

No Breakthrough In Iran Nuclear Talks

- There appeared to be no breakthrough in talks between world powers and Iran, a week before the deadline to strike a momentous nuclear deal. The European ministers left late on July 13 saying no breakthrough had been made, although Kerry remained for further discussions with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif that are expected to continue on July 14. - 7/14/14

Sanctions Experts Visualize Smart Sanctions Relief

- Washington, DC - With a potential Iran nuclear deal a little more than a week away, expertise on the issue of sanctions relief is in high demand on Capitol Hill. Last week, the National Iranian American Council held a briefing on the issue with three leading experts who helped Congressional staff members navigate the difficult legal terrain. - 7/14/14

Could More Iran Sanctions Roil Energy Markets?

- Could the collapse of Iran nuclear negotiations cause havoc at the gas pump this summer? While negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran are meeting this week for a final marathon session to see if a comprehensive solution can be reached as to Iran's nuclear program, a perfect storm could await world energy markets if the talks fail to produce a deal. -Wright Smith, NIAC - 7/14/14

Column: Religion, Sports Exchanges Bring Iranians and Americans Closer

- While U.S. and Iranian negotiators labor to reach a long-term nuclear agreement, other Americans and Iranians are stepping up contacts in a new wave of people-to-people diplomacy. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 7/14/14

Iranian Facebook Activities Draw Harsh Prison Sentences

- Eight people have been handed heavy prison sentences for their activities on Facebook. The charges against them range from "assembly and collusion against national security" and "anti-regime activity" to "insulting sanctities and government officials." - 7/14/14

Israeli Propaganda and the Politics of Revenge against Gaza

- Well, the Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip are 80 percent refugees--80 percent of them are descended directly from those who were forced off their land in what is now Israel in 1947 in 1948. And now they're being told to leave again. And they have nowhere to go. There are no bomb shelters in the Gaza Strip. There is nowhere for these refugees to flee. -The Real News Network - 7/14/14

Former Iranian President Denies Claim He's Under Gag Order

- Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has denied recent statements about an alleged court order against him prohibiting him from giving public appearances and talks. - 7/14/14

EU lifts sanctions on 14 Iranian entities in a year

- The European Union has annulled sanctions against 14 Iranian entities since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, the IRNA news agency reported on Sunday. - 7/14/14

Iran sees no benefit in developing nuclear weapons: Foreign Minister Zarif

- "I will commit to everything and anything that would provide credible assurances for the international community that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, because we are not. We don't see any benefit in Iran developing a nuclear weapon." - 7/13/14

U.S., Iran Warn Major Disputes Remain At Nuclear Talks

- The United States and Iran are both warning that major disputes remain in the Vienna talks over Iran's nuclear program. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Vienna on July 13 that "obviously we have some very significant gaps still, so we need to see if we can make some progress." - 7/13/14

Ed Levine Dissects Royce-Engel Letter on Iran Deal

- Ed Levine has now written a second memo, this one on the Royce-Engel letter to President Barack Obama, which I wrote about last night and which had been signed by 344 House members as of Thursday. Like its predecessor, it details the problematic and unrealistic nature of many of the key demands contained in the letter and thus deserves the widest possible circulation. -Jom Lobe - 7/13/14

Uranium Enrichment Is Most Difficult Part Of Talks: Iranian Negotiator

- A top Iranian nuclear negotiator has said that the uranium enrichment program by Iran is one of the most difficult parts of the talks with major powers and given the sensitivity and the capacity of the issue, no agreement has been achieved yet. Abbas Araqchi made the remarks in a televised interview aired on Sunday. - 7/13/14

Spoiler Alert: Iran Hawks Take Wing Against Nuclear Deal

- After a period of relative (and blissful) quiescence, the Iran hawks are springing back into action, preparing the groundwork for sabotaging any nuclear deal that may be reached by Iran and world powers by July 20 or shortly thereafter. -Jim Lobe - 7/12/14

The Hopes and Fears of an Agreement with Iran

- Over the last century, July 20 was more than once a consequential date, for good and ill. The ill was in 1944: the unsuccessful plot to kill Adolph Hitler. The good was in 1969: the first manned landing on the moon. Success on the former July 20 might have spared at least some of the terrible suffering that continued for another 10 months; the latter ushered in a new era of expectations. -Robert E. Hunter - 7/12/14

US Backing Israeli War of Choice In Gaza

- The moral high ground is always a tenuous piece of property. It is difficult to obtain and is easily lost. It is seen, however, as crucial because most people, all over the world, cannot accommodate the notion that life is composed of shades of grey; they desperately need to see black and white, good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains, in every situation. Nowhere is this truer than in the Israel-Palestine conflict. -Mitchell Plitnick - 7/12/14

Jailed tycoon's debts to Iran exceed his assets

- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namadar says the assets of jailed tycoon Babak Zanjani will only cover 40 percent of his debts to the ministry. Zanajani was arrested six months ago for his debts to the oil ministry and the Central Bank, for forging bank documents, and for bribing the Bank of Tajikstan. - 7/12/14

How a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal could help save Iraq

- A new strategic relationship between the United States and Iran may seem impossible and risky, yet it is also necessary and in the interests of both. While an alliance is out of the question, mutually informed parallel action is essential. -Ryan Crocker, William Luers and Thomas Pickering, Washington Post - 7/12/14

Noam Chomsky calls on Iran to release imprisoned journalist Marzieh Rasouli

- The US philosopher Noam Chomsky has called on Iran to release the female journalist Marzieh Rasouli who was jailed last week to endure a sentence of 50 lashes and two years in prison. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian - 7/12/14

Israel's Groundhog Day: Reverse Snowballs and the Horror of Lawn-Mowing

- As in the Bill Murray science fiction vehicle "Groundhog Day," the Israelis, the Palestinians and the world are doomed to relive these periodic slaughters over and over again, until slowly, inexorably, they further corrupt the Israeli soul and make the Zionist enterprise so unlovely in the eyes of the world that it loses crucial support, and the snowball rolls uphill, getting smaller and smaller. -Juan Cole - 7/12/14

Linking the US and Iran

- Should the (Iran nuclear) talks fail to reach agreement, what happens next? More sanctions, more enrichment, and more talk of military action are the most likely outcomes. What has been missing from the debate, and what could save the long-term relationship between Iran and the West, is more talk of enhancing "linkage" with Iran. -David Collier - 7/11/14

New Wave of Arrests and Prison Sentences Against Iranian Journalists

- The prominent journalist Marzieh Rasouli was summoned to Evin Prison on July 8, 2014, for the implementation of her sentence of 50 lashes and two years' imprisonment, she announced on Twitter, even though Rasouli has not yet received confirmation of the initial sentence from the appeals court. - 7/11/14

Kerry In, Lavrov Out Of Nuclear Talks With Iran

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Vienna this weekend to join ongoing world power nuclear talks with Iran. The State Department said on July 10 that Kerry "will see if progress can be made on the issues where significant gaps remain and assess Iran's willingness to make a set of critical choices at the negotiating table." - 7/11/14

NIAC Statement on Royce-Engel Iran Letter

- National Iranian American Council (NIAC) Policy Director Jamal Abdi released the following statement regarding the "Royce-Engel letter" that was sent to the President today concerning nuclear negotiations with Iran: - 7/11/14

Obituary: Iranian Revolution's Willing Executioner

- Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi Gilani is being hailed by Tehran as a hero of the Islamic Revolution. But many will remember him as an executioner willing to cleanse Iranian society of anyone -- possibly even his own sons -- who opposed the regime. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/11/14

American athletes get star treatment in Iran

- "People look at me like I have two heads," said James Ravannack, describing the reaction he gets when he explains to people what a fabulous time he had in Iran. -Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor - 7/11/14
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