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March 28 2015
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Bihzad : Master of Persian Painting


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Photos: Norouz travelers flock to the ancient ruins of Persepolis

- One of the favorite destinations for Iranians traveling during the Persian New Year Norouz holidays is the the ancient ruins of Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid). Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550-330 BCE). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. - 3/28/15

Iranian MPs slam approval for planes despite safety concerns

- Iranian MPs are angry that a new flight licence has been issued for Antonov airplanes before the investigation into the crash of Iran Flight 140 has concluded. Iranian MP Alinemat Chahardovali said on Saturday March 14 that such a licence is a betrayal of the rights and lives of the Iranian people, adding that the licence is not a guarantee of the airplane's security standards. - 3/16/15

Inside Iran: The road to Esfahan

- It's not often that a CNN crew gets to take a road trip through Iran, so we decided to take the scenic route on our journey from Tehran to Esfahan in the center of the country. Esfahan is a beautiful city and we set out to film a story about the religious diversity there. -Frederik Pleitgen, CNN - 3/13/15

17 German tourists rescued in Iran's Mazandaran heights

- Director of the Red Crescent Society's Rescue and Relief Agency said German tourists who were lost while hiking in the northern region of Iran have been found safe and sound. 17 German tourists along with 3 local tour guides had gone missing in mountains in the Rineh heights in Amol, Mazandaran Province, since 15:00 o'clock Monday, according to Mehr news agency. - 3/11/15

Iran Launches 2.4 Billion Euro High-Speed Rail Project

- The construction of a high-speed railway, extending about 400 kilometers from Tehran to Isfahan, started on Wednesday. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani officially launched the project during a visit to the city of Qom, which is located between Tehran and Isfahan. - 2/27/15

Hyperloop Is Real: Meet The Startups Selling Supersonic Travel

- The majestic Senate majority leader suite in the U.S. Capitol was still Harry Reid's in September when he eagerly scooched his leather chair across the Oriental rug to gaze at something that, he was told, would change transportation forever. -Bruce Upbin, Forbes - 2/23/15

American saxophonist Bob Belden impressed by Iran visit

- American saxophonist Bob Belden, who gave performances with his band Animation in Tehran, says he will never forget Iran.James Robert Belden known as Bob Belden attended the 30th Fajr International Music Festival with 'Animation' band members, and gave performances on the last day of the gala on Thursday, Persian media reported on Friday. - 2/21/15

'You Are Invited': Isolated Iran Seeks Foreign Tourists

- Two events last week suggested the conflicting currents in Iran. The country marked the anniversary of its revolution last Wednesday with the usual slogan, "Death to America." The following day, Iran opened an international tourism exhibition with a different slogan: "You are invited." -Steve Inskeep, NPR - 2/20/15

Photos: Iranian village of Esfidan

- Esfidan is a village located in Bojnourd County, North Khorasan Province in southeastern Iran. Due to its interconnected architecture, Esfidan village is known as the Masouleh of Iran's Eastern part. Masouleh is another village in north of Iran worldly known for its beautiful urban architecture. -Maryam Davarnia - 2/11/15

Hills, hairpins, harmonies: On the road in Iranian Kurdistan

- "Yavash, yavash," the small, gray-haired doctor says, leaning across from the passenger seat to put a hand on his friend's shoulder, imploring him to slow down the black Toyota as we approach another hairpin bend in the dusty road. -CNN - 1/22/15

Photos: Parasailing in Kish Island

- Kish Island lies like a pearl across the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf and offers relaxation combined with adventure in a place unspoiled by commercialization. Jet-skiing, sailing, fishing, parasailing, reef walking, coral viewing, boating and water skiing are just a few popular ways to enjoy yourself during your visit to the Island. - 1/2/15

Couchsurfing In Tehran, How Foreign Crashers Help Iranians Escape

- Travel for Iranians is hard, which is why the young have found hosting foreigners is a way to explore the world vicariously. The latest twist to the private breaking of Iran's myriad restrictions. -Sandra Keil, World Crunch - 12/31/14

Photos: The Grief of Bam Citadel

- Bam Citadel (Arg-e Bam) is the largest adobe building in the world, located in Bam, a city in Iran's southeastern province, Kerman. Bam Citadel was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 2003. After 11 years and despite various restoration operations, ruin scars remain on the Citadel. -Hamid Sadeghi - 12/29/14

Photos: The Citadel of Furg in Birjand

- The Citadel of Furg, or Arg e Furg, is a citadel from the 12th century, located in Iran's South Khorasan province 90 km east of the city of Birjand. The citadel was founded by Meerza Muhammad Rafiee Darmiany I (Lama). Materials used in the building include stone, brick, clay, gypsum, lime and mortar (Sarouj). -Mohsen Nofresti - 12/28/14

Foreign tourists visiting Tehran rise by 270 percent

- The number of foreign visitors in Tehran during the current Iranian calendar year (stated on March 21) rose by 270 percent comparing to similar period last year, said Director General of Tehran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Rajabali Khosroabadi. - 12/28/14

Photos: Wildlife of Iran's Golestan National Park

- Golestan National Park is situated in Golestan Province between the eastern parts of the Alburs Mountains and the western fringes of the Khorasan-Kopet Dag. It comprises 91,890 ha. The Park reaches from 1000 to 1400 m above sea level and has a variety of habitats -Aboutaleb Nadri - 12/23/14

Photos: Rock castle of Sirjan

- The rock castle of Sirjan belonging to the Sassanian era, 224-651 CE, is located 7km southeast of Sirjan, Kerman Province in southern Iran. This castle has been registered as one of Iran's national monuments. -Vahid Dehyadgari - 12/22/14

Flights Resume between Iranian city of Shiraz and Bahrain's capital Manama

- Direct flights between Iran's southern city of Shiraz and the Bahraini capital, Manama, were resumed after three years of suspension, the managing director of the Bahraini airline Gulf Air announced. - 12/20/14

Mortar shelling hits Karbala suburbs as 17 million pilgrims gather for Arbaeen rituals

- No Iranian was among the victims of the multiple Karbala suburb explosions Thursday night, the cause of which is cited to be mortar or mini katyusha shelling. The attacks on the largest peaceful gathering of Shia Muslims occured at a time that according to Iraqi sources at least 17 million pilgrims had arrived in Karbala until Thursday to participate in Arbaeen rituals - to be held on Saturday -- and the number is still increasing. - 12/12/14

Photos: Over one million Iranian pilgrims flock to Iraq to mark Arba'een

- Iran's Traffic Police Chief Eskandar Mo'meni on Monday estimated that more than 1,200,000 Iranians would attend this year's Arba'een procession, which falls on December 13 this year. Iranian officials have announced that more than 900,000 Iranians have entered Iraq so far. - 12/9/14

Intriguing Iran

- For most Americans, visiting Iran doesn't make it onto their vacation radar. Yet for me and my wife Harriet, experiencing the wonders of ancient Persia has topped our bucket list for quite some time. -Michael J. Solender, Charlotte Observer - 12/6/14

Photos: Iran, Turkmen, Kazakh presidents attend landmark ceremony to open joint railway

- Iranian, Turkmen and Kazakh Presidents met and conferred in Incheborun railway station on Wednesday in a landmark ceremony to celebrate putting into operation of joint railway networks. President Rouhani said the project will pave the way for economic development of the three nations and the entire region. - 12/3/14


- In 2010, Irish surfer Easkey Britton took time off from finishing a PhD in Marine Science to surf this moonscape of a coastline (Chabahar, Iran). It was a lark, a chance to see and surf someplace new, a serious adventure. It ended up being the beginning of a brand new surf culture: the women surfers of Iran. -Surfer - 12/2/14

IAAB Announces Study Abroad in Iran: YAR Institute

- IAAB is extremely excited to announce the launch of a three-week full-immersion summer course in Iran, under its groundbreaking new initiative, the YAR Institute: Youth Advancing Research. IAAB's YAR Institute is designed to create the next generation of leaders informed and engaged on Iran. - 11/25/14

Aviation Official: 15 US Flights Using Iranian Airspace Everyday

- Managing-Director of Iran's Airport Company Mohammad Ilkhani said that Iran has the safest and most secure airspace in the region, adding that over a dozen US flights use the Iranian airspace everyday. "A sum of 15 flights from US cargo and passenger airlines use the Iranian airspace everyday," Ilkhani told reporters on the sidelines of the 7th International Air and Aviation Industries Exhibition on Kish Island on Tuesday. - 11/25/14

Photos: International Air Show kicks off in Kish, Iran

- The Kish Development and investment company fully supported by Kish Free Zone Organization is holding the 7th edition of the International Iran Kish Air Show with the cooperation of Civil Aviation Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran (CAO-IRI) from 18-21 Nov. 2014 on Kish Island in Persian Gulf. - 11/20/14


- Before I traveled to Iran, I didn't want to read anything about Iran. Certainly nothing written by mainstream American news media, which often draws an absurdist caricature of the country. I wanted to arrive with an open heart. -Monica Byrne - 11/17/14

Iran's Kish Air Show: Investment Opportunities

- The 7th Biennial Kish Air Show opens on November 18 on the Persian Gulf Island. The 4-day exhibition is aimed at helping participants understand changes in the Iranian aviation industry, discover attractive business opportunities and meet new partners as well as competitors. - 11/17/14

Tehran, Lisbon sign air transportation contract

- Iran and Portugal have signed an air transportation contract, announced the head of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran on Sunday. Alireza Jahangiri added that for the first time in the past 35 years, Iran has concluded an aviation deal with an EU member-state. - 11/10/14

Several Iranian provinces punished by heavy rain, snowstorms

- Heavy rain and snow has hit 11 provinces in Iran, and in some areas roads have been closed due to blizzards. Alborz, Khuzestan, Chahar Mahal Bakhriyari, Khorazan Razavi, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Gilan and eastern parts of Tehran are among the provinces dealing with heavy precipitation. - 11/6/14

12.000 European tourists register to visit Iran

- Head of Iran Tourism Operators' Association Ebrahim Pour-Faraj said 12.000 European tourists have registered for visiting Iran via Golden Eagle Danube Express. The luxurious train with 13 wagons can carry only 150 passengers, and it should arrive in Iran 80 times if it wants to bring all of the tourists to Iran. - 11/2/14

5 amazing places in Iran you've never heard of

- It might not be on everyone's travel radar, but Iran has a well-worn tourist circuit, encompassing attractions in the ancient cities of Shiraz and Isfahan. For those wanting to get off the beaten path, the country has a wealth of lesser-known destinations that rival the stunning beauty and historical significance of their more famous counterparts. -Roshanak Taghavi, CNN - 11/2/14

All Aboard! European Travelers Arrive in Mashhad, Iran

- A luxury special train carrying European tourists arrived in Holy City of Mashhad in northeastern of Iran on Wednesday October 26th. Mashhad, considered the second largest holy city in the world, attracts more than 20 million tourists and pilgrims every year, many of whom come to pay pilgrimage to Imam Reza, the 8th Muslim Shi'ite Imam, - 11/1/14

Photos: Luxury Train From Europe Arrives In Tehran

- The five-star tourist train Golden Eagle traveling from Hungary to Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday October 27, ending its first tour. The 70 tourists onboard the train are mostly British or Australian and have paid anywhere between 10,000 and 24,000 euros for their two-week trip. - 10/28/14

Next Stop: Iran

- The number of international travelers in Iran has been steadily increasing, up from 2.2 million people in 2009 to 3.6 million in 2011. During the first half of 2014 travel increased 215%, in what government officials have called a "tsunami of tourists." - 10/20/14

Luxury tourist train on two-week tour ending in Tehran

- On October 15, a luxury train left Budapest with 70 passengers onboard for a first-time trip through the Balkans, the Bosphorus and Kurdistan with a final destination of Tehran. Littler says: "There is a huge vacuum in the tourist industry for people who would like to go to Iran but want to do it in comfort and safety." - 10/19/14


- Journey 2,500 years back in time to discover the ancient secrets of Persia on this 13-day itinerary incorporating some of most well preserved archaeological sites in the world. Welcome to the once-forbidden land of Iran. -NY Times - 10/13/14

Photos: European tourists arrive in Isfahan by train for first time

- A group of European tourists arrived in the historical city of Isfahan in central Iran on a train for the first time, director-general of Isfahan's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said on Wednesday. Fereydoun Allahyari said the group was composed of 65 tourists from Australia, France, Germany, Britain and Austria. - 10/9/14

Majlis Development Committee Spokesperson: Iran-140 Will Not Return to Skies

- The Majlis Development Committee spokesperson says that the Iran-140 airplanes will no longer be permitted to fly over the Iranian airspace. Speaking to Rooz, Mehrdad Lahouti claimed that the Majlis Development Committee's report on the Iran-140 plane crash will be read on an open Majlis session next week in the presence of the Iranian transportation minister. -Fereshteh Ghazi - 10/7/14

Road accident deaths decline in Iran

- Iran's Coroner's Office has released a report indicating 7,489 people were killed in road accidents in the past five months. IRNA reports that this number indicates a 8.2-percent decline compared to the same period last year. - 10/3/14

World's largest wide-body jetliner lands in Iran for first time

- The world's largest wide-body passenger airplane, Airbus A380, has touched down at Iran's Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) for the first time. The airliner, belonging to Dubai's Emirates Airline, landed at the airport, located 40 kilometers south of Tehran, at 16:00 local time (1230 GMT) on Tuesday with more than 260 passengers on board - 10/1/14

Number of transit flights through Iranian space unprecedented

- Presently 900 foreign plane have transit flights trough the Iranian air space, which is unprecedented in the history of the Iranian aviation, said the Managing Director of Iranian Airports Company Mohammad Ali Ilkhani. - 9/28/14

John Simpson: Iran is the most charming country on Earth

- For John Simpson, Iran's incredible monuments, dazzling landscapes and hospitable people make it a holiday destination beyond compare -Telegraph, UK - 9/10/14

First-ever European luxury train to set off Iran journey

- The first European private train to enter Iran will make a two-week journey from Budapest to Tehran in October. The first "Golden Eagle-Danube Express" train, which comprises 13 lavishly-decorated wood-paneled 1950s carriages and berths for about 70 guests, will set off from Budapest on October 15. - 8/27/14

Report details century of fatal air accidents in Iran

- Iran's Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development reported on Wednesday August 20 that the average age of the Iranian air fleet exceeds 20 years, and in the past 100 years to date, two thousand Iranian have died in air accidents. - 8/21/14

Iran's air routes ready to receive more foreign flights

- Iranian air space is ready to receive more foreign flights, said Managing Director of Aviation Operation Control Department of Iranian Civil Aviation Organization Saeed Akbari said. "Flights passing across Iranian air space have doubled," Akbari said, adding the country is set for attracting more flights across its air space. - 8/18/14

Iranian researcher uses ear for identification in airport, border

- Iranian researchers at Amir Kabir University Of Technology have developed a method to identify people in airports and border areas through ear specifications. "Biometrics, such as fingerprint and iris are used for identification of people. We used ear as a biometric in this study," said Mina Shahriari, author of the study. - 8/18/14

Photos: Plane crashes near Tehran's Mehrabad Airport; 39 dead

- Thirty-nine people were killed and nine were injured in a plane crash near Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on Sunday, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani immediately ordered the transport minister to prepare a comprehensive report on the cause of the incident. - 8/11/14

Tourism Key To Job Creation, Economic Growth In Iran: Finance Minister

- Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia says the administration of President Hassan Rouhani believes that the promotion of tourism is the key to job creation and economic growth. Ecotourism and medical tourism are the top priorities, the IRNA news agency quoted Tayyebnia as saying on Thursday. - 8/2/14

Number of Passing Flights through Iranian Airspace to Increase

- The number of flights by the UAE's Emirates Airline through the Iranian airspace will increase after Ukraine closed its airspace following the crash of Malaysia's MH17 flight, Deputy CEO for Aeronautical Operations at Iran Airports Company (IAC) Ebrahim Shoushtari announced on Saturday. - 8/2/14

Mesmerizing Interiors Of Iran's Mosques Captured In Rare Photographs By Mohammad Domiri

- Mohammad Domiri, a talented architectural photographer from northern Iran, takes stunning photos of grandiose mosque architecture throughout the Middle East. -boredpanda - 7/29/14

Explorer 'dices with death' as he treks Iran's longest river for a MONTH

- A Northern Ireland adventurer who traced the longest river in Iran from source to sea, has described it as 'dicing with death'. Leon McCarron walked, kayaked and biked along the waterway - from the snowy mountainous headwaters of the south west to the Persian Gulf - in a country still largely shrouded in mystery. -Connie Allfrey, Daily Mail, UK - 7/29/14

Boeing to provide Iran Air with plane parts: Report

- Aerospace giant Boeing has reportedly signed a deal with Iran Air to provide the Iranian flag carrier airline with plane parts. A regulatory filing which was issued on Wednesday reads that Boeing will provide goods and services "related to the safety of flight" for Iran's flag carrier airline, AFP reported. - 7/25/14

'Tsunami of tourists' head for Iran

- Tehran may be a capital of some 12 million people, but remarkably it has only three large five-star hotels. A fourth is under construction yet most of Tehran's accommodations remain smaller apartment style hotels. Farman Ghafarian owns two of these enterprises -- Tehran Grand Hotels One and Two. The recent spike in visitors has him thinking expansion. -Reza Sayah, CNN - 7/21/14

TripAdvisor grants Certificate of Excellence to tomb of Persian Poet Hafez

- TripAdvisor, a U.S. travel website that provides directory information and reviews of travel-related content, has granted a Certificate of Excellence to the tomb of Hafez in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, Fars Province. - 7/12/14

Iran's Khar Turan 2nd largest biosphere reserve in world

- The national park of Khar Turan, located southeast of the Iranian city of Shahrud, is believed to be the second largest biosphere reserve in the world. Khar Turan national park, with an area of around 1.5 million hectares, is the world's second largest biosphere reserve after Africa's Serengeti, says the park's Chief Ranger Ali Akbar Ghorbanloo. - 7/8/14

Aircraft Manufacturers Vying for Iran Market

- Major aircraft makers and spare part producers have reached out to the Iranian companies to grab a share of the country's potentially lucrative market once the anti-Iran sanctions are eased, an Iranian official said. - 7/7/14

Foreign tourist visits to Iran up 215% in spring 2014

- Visits to Iran by foreign tourists rose 215 percent in spring 2014 compared to spring 2013, the deputy director of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization said on Monday. - 6/24/14

Iran's 5200-year-old Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City) joins UNESCO World Heritage List

- The 5200-year-old Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City) located in southeastern Iran was registered on UNESCO's World Heritage List on Sunday. The site was registered with no opposing vote during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee - 6/23/14

Photos: Train Crash Kills 1, Injures 30 in Northern Iran

- A passenger train collided with a freight train in Northeastern Iran, killing at least one people and injuring dozens. The incident happened at a railway station near the city of Damghan in Semnan province on Thursday night. - 6/6/14

Historical sites of Iran attract international networks

- Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (CHTHO) has issued licenses for 20 international networks to produce programs about the historical sites of Iran. - 6/5/14

Iran Reports Its First Death From MERS Virus

- Iran reportedly has suffered its first fatality from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Reports by state media on May 29 about the death come a day after the first cases in Iran were publicized. - 5/30/14

Iran Reports Its First Cases Of MERS Virus

- Iran has recorded its first two cases of the potentially fatal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Iranian media quote Health Ministry official Mohammad Mahdi Gouya as saying the virus that causes MERS was confirmed in two sisters in the southern province of Kerman. One is reported to be in critical condition. - 5/28/14

Tsunami of foreign tourists hitting Iran: Official

- When taking into account Shia pilgrims and visitors from neighboring countries, more than 4 million foreigners toured Iran from March 2013 to March 2014, each accounting for an estimated $1,200 of revenue, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (CHTHO) Director Masoud Soltanifar said. - 5/24/14

Photos: Mianeh suspension bridge, mountainous nature attract tourists

- Mianeh, northwestern Iran, has attracted many eyes from Iran and around the world with pastoral beauty. The suspension bridge over the mountains of the region remains a good place for bungee jumping and diving. -Salar Pouyan, MNA - 5/19/14

European tourist visits to Iran up 240%

- The entry of European tourists to Iran has risen 240 percent between April 9 and May 10 compared to the same period last year, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization Director Masoud Soltanifar said on Saturday. - 5/19/14

American Skateboarders in Iran

- The short film posted above is part of videographer Patrik Wallner's skateboarding documentary, the Visualtraveling series, which features countries that people wouldn't normally associate with skateboarding. In "The Persian Version," an international group of professional skateboarders offer a truly unique way to see Iran, where I was born. -Jasmin Ramsey - 5/4/14

You've got to watch this skateboard tour of Iran. It's beautiful

- If National Geographic made skate videos, they'd probably look like "The Persian Version" - a dazzling, 30-minute film that follows a crew of professional skaters as they zigzag across Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. -GlobalPost - 5/2/14

Iran Wants 400 New Passenger Planes By 2025 If Sanctions Lifted

- Iran's top civil aviation official says Iran wants to buy 400 new passenger airplanes by 2025 to replace the country's aging fleet if sanctions over its contested nuclear program are lifted. Ali Reza Jahangirian of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization told journalists in Tehran on April 30 that 40 percent of the country's commercial airliners have been grounded due to a lack of spare parts. - 4/30/14

21 Gorgeous Photos That Show Why Iran Is A New Tourist Hotspot

- Iran is becoming a tourist hotspot this year, with tour operators reporting significant increases in tourists booking trips to the Middle Eastern country. Perhaps that's because of a slight thaw in its relationships with the West, or simply because of the allure of exploring a little-known tourist destination with few other tourists around. -Jennifer Polland, Business Insider - 4/30/14

U.S. Government Allows Boeing To Sell Plane Parts To Iran

- Aircraft manufacturer Boeing says it has been granted a license from the U.S. Treasury Department to export spare parts for commercial airplanes to Iran. Also on April 4, General Electric (GE) said it received U.S. permission to overhaul 18 engines sold to Iran in the late 1970s. - 4/5/14

Photos: Nakhcheer cave

- Nakhcheer or Chal-Nakhjir is a cave situated in Markazi Province of Iran. It is a limestone cave approximately 70 million years old. Parts of the cave including its internal lake have been prepared for easy tourist access. It was discovered in 1989 and registered as a national monument in 2001. Its interior is made of crystals, dolomite sediments,stalactites and stalagmites. - 4/4/14

Iran is 2014's surprise tourism hit

- Tour operators have seen a significant rise in bookings for holidays to Iran, as improved relations with the West and an expectation that Foreign Office travel advice will be relaxed boost tourist interest -Lizzie Porter, Telegraph, UK - 4/4/14

Photos: Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (Pink Mosque) in Shiraz, Iran

- The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque or Pink Mosque is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. The mosque was built during the Qajar era, and is still in use under protection by Nasir al Mulk's Endowment Foundation. It was built by the order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al Molk, one of the lords of the Qajar Dynasty, in 1876 and was finished in 1888. - 4/2/14

Thousands of Iranian travellers caught in snowstorms

- A new wave of cold and snow in various regions of Iran has stranded thousands of Norooz travellers on the road, and in one instance two people were killed due to landslides. Nine provinces in the north and northeast of the country have seen a sudden drop in temperature along with heavy snowfalls. - 4/2/14
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