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July 16 2018
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US Rejects European Requests For Relief On Iranian Sanctions

- The United States has reportedly rejected requests from European allies that are seeking exemptions from U.S. sanctions imposed on countries doing business in Iran. According to diplomats and other officials, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote a letter to Britain, France and Germany saying the U.S. would not provide widespread protection from sanctions to countries doing business in Iran. 7/16/18

Iran is Imprisoning University Students Accused of Attending Protests

- The number of students being prosecuted for allegedly joining Iran's December 2017/January 2018 protests is much higher than earlier estimates according to a well-known reformist lawmaker. "A list has been put together of the students detained in the December 2017 incidents and they number more than 150," said Member of Parliament Parvaneh Salahshouri in an interview with the state-funded Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on July 10, 2018. 7/16/18

Iran's Longest-Held Political Prisoner Gets Low-Key Funeral

- Iran has held a low-key funeral for a former deputy prime minister who became one of the country's most prominent jailed dissidents. Abbas Amir-Entezam was buried Friday at Tehran's biggest cemetery, Behesht-e Zahra, on the southern outskirts of the capital. His widow, family members and several political activists were among a small group of mourners in attendance. -Michael Lipin, VOA 7/16/18

Iran files complaint with International Court of Justice over re-imposition of US sanctions

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic has lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the United States' "unlawful" move to re-impose "unilateral" sanctions against Tehran. "Today Iran filed a complaint [with] @CIJ_ICJ to hold US accountable for its unlawful re-imposition of unilateral sanctions," Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday. 7/16/18

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Pompeo and Trump Plan to Exploit and Silence Iranian Americans

- Jamal Abdi, the Vice President for Policy of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement in response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement that he will address Iranian Americans in Simi Valley later this month 7/16/18

Iranian Pilot Arrested After Revealing Safety Lapses On A TV Show

- An Iranian pilot who recently made revelations about gross safety violations by Iranian airlines was arrested on Sunday, July 15 in Tehran for a few hours. Amin Amir Sadeghi published a video on his Instagram page showing himself handcuffed by the police saying with a smirk that it was shameful that he had been arrested because he made revelations to save people's lives. 7/16/18

Dystrumpia: Donald Trump's Dark Future Now

- There is a growing concern that Donald Trump is wrecking the core instruments of domestic tranquility and global security. "I don't think we are fully grappling with the possibility that we could be on the cusp of a completely new era, a fundamental reshaping of the international order," former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro wrote in a Twitter thread July 9, "And I don't mean over the course of the Trump Administration. I mean by next week." -Joe Cirincione, LobeLog 7/16/18

Detained Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Writes Defiant Letter to Tehran Prosecutor

- Prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has written a stinging letter to the Tehran prosecutor condemning the sentence issued against one of her clients who was arrested for peacefully protesting Iran's compulsory hijab law. "Tell your judges to issue heavier triple-digit sentences and use foul language if they want, but it won't make a difference because women have decided to rule over their own bodies and men are distancing themselves from your actions, which are an insult to their character," Sotoudeh said in an open letter from Evin Prison addressing Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi. 7/13/18

Bust of Bibi Maryam Bakhtiari unveiled at NLAI: A woman commander in Iran's Constitutional Revolution

- A bust of Bibi Maryam Bakhtiari, a Lorish revolutionary and activist of the Constitutional Revolution, was set at the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI) on Tuesday evening. As a military commander, Bibi Maryam played a distinguished role when Bakhtiari tribal forces, with the help of modern arms from the German Empire, successfully captured Tehran in 1909 as part of the revolutionary campaign to force the central government to establish democratic reforms. 7/13/18

Iranian powerlifter Mohammad Reiesi establishes new world record

- Iranian powerlifter Mohammad Reiesi has set a new aggregate record in the 84-kilogram weight class of the World University Powerlifting Cup in the Czech Republic, improving the previous record by nearly 20 kilograms. 7/13/18

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Abbas Amir-Entezam funeral in Tehran

This Think Tank is Pushing Regime Change in Iran, and the White House is Listening - The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies helped kill the nuke deal, but it's not satisfied-it wants harsh new sanctions against any country doing business with Iran. -James Carden, Nation 7/13/18

Paris request for US waivers on Iran trade rejected: French Finance Minister - France says the US has rejected its request to exempt French companies from sanctions that Washington plans to impose against Iran. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was quoted by media as saying that the US Treasury Department had officially informed Paris that no exemptions would be given to French enterprises for dealing with Iran once the sanctions return. 7/13/18

Re-imposed U.S. Sanctions on Iran Gives Superjet a Chance - In a wake of the decision by the White House on May 8 to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran, European vendors may still keep a presence in the Persian market through Russian OEMs. However, with the re-imposition of the "toughest sanctions" on the Islamic Republic, the European aerospace sector faces a difficult dilemma: how to do business with the Persians without facing punishment through exposure to U.S. domestic law. -AIN 7/13/18

The Death of Iran's Longest-Serving Prisoner - Abbas Amir-Entezam, a former ambassador, the interim government spokesperson following the 1979 revolution, and Iran's longest-serving political prisoner, died on July 12. He was 85. Earlier this year, Amir-Entezam described his experiences in jail and his life over the last four decades. -Aida Ghajar, Iran Wire 7/13/18

As Heatwave Hits Iran, Electrical Grid Stretched To Limit - July temperatures in Iran have reached a whopping 52-53 degrees Celsius (125-127 F) in some spots, as residents struggle with a lack of water and now a looming danger to the electricity network. The high temperatures were recorded in south and southwest of the country, close to the Persian Gulf, while in Ardabil Province in the north, near the border with Azerbaijan, a chilly 13 Celsius or 55 F was recorded. 7/12/18

Self-proclaimed human rights advocates silent on U.S. sanctions: Iran's Health Minister - Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh-Hashemi on Tuesday criticized the self-proclaimed human rights advocates for their silence toward U.S. sanctions moves against Iran which can impede access of Iranian patients to necessary drugs. "Undoubtedly, the anti-Iran sanctions would harm the elderly and infants while the so-called advocates of human rights are observing and approving them by their silence," Qazizadeh-Hashemi told reporters, ISNA reported. 7/12/18

Relative calm seen in Iran's currency market - Serious signs have appeared in Iran that show the country's volatile foreign currency market is already heading toward stability. According to media reports, the US dollar was today traded at Rials 78,300 in Tehran indicating a decline of around 4 percent compared to last Wednesday's figure of Rials 81,000. The greenback was nonetheless higher by 8 percent than what it was traded in the capital four weeks ago at Rials 72,500. 7/12/18

Iranian Teens' Televised "Confessions" For Social Media Postings Prompt Strong Outcry - An Iranian charity for children has condemned Iran's state-run broadcasting organization for airing the "confessions" of teenage girls and boys who had been arrested by the police and accused of public indecency. The police have meanwhile claimed that the teenagers were not crying while they were being interviewed, while the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (the IRIB) has defended its decision to air the confessions, claiming it had been urged to by Iran's judiciary and by viewers. 7/12/18

Iranian MP from Tehran Accuses His Peers Of Receiving Bribes - Tehran's outspoken representative to parliament, Mahmoud Sadeghi has accused his colleagues of receiving bribes to shelve a parliamentary motion aimed at investigating law violations at the capital city's municipality. In one of the most explicit comments on corruption in the Islamic Republic, so far, Mahmoud Sadeghi lambasted an "unknown number of MPs" for bribery to cover up mismanagement at Tehran's City Hall. 7/12/18

Israeli Leader Tells Putin That He Should Urge Iran To Leave Syria - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he should encourage Iranian forces to leave Syria. Netanyahu said on Facebook late on July 11 that he conveyed this message during a meeting with Putin at the Kremlin during which they discussed the long-running civil war in Syria and the role Iran has played supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 7/12/18

Iran Foreign Ministry dismisses US implicating of Iranian embassies in terror acts - Qassemi on Wednesday rejected the allegation by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as baseless, preposterous and part of a targeted propaganda campaign and psychological warfare against the activities of the Iranian embassies, which he said were in line with international conventions and aimed at promoting bilateral friendly relations with other countries. 7/12/18

Iranian boy meets his favorite soccer player Alireza Jahanbakhsh - A young Iranian boy, who had been photographed wearing a white shirt with a paper tag bearing the name of professional Iranian footballer Alireza Jahanbakhsh Jirandeh on, has finally come face-to-face with his idol. 7/11/18

Dozens killed as tanker collides with passenger bus in western Iran - At least 11 were killed after a naphtha tanker collided with a passenger bus in the city of Sanandaj, western province of Kordestan, IRNA news agency reported. The tanker's brakes reportedly stopped working and it crashed into the passenger bus which had stopped right outside the bus terminal at midnight and resulted in a massive explosion, the report stated. 7/11/18

Looming Sanctions Jeopardize Expansion Of Iran's Rail Network - The decision of U.S. President Donald Trump in May to scrap the landmark 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) has jeopardized Iran's railway projects with international companies. The nuclear agreement encouraged several European and Asian companies to sign contracts worth billions of dollars with Iran for expanding the country's rail network. But fearing sanctions from the U.S., companies such as Germany's Siemens now say they'll cancel their projects in Iran, despite the fact that their own governments still support the JCPOA. 7/11/18

Corruption Cases Multiply At Tehran Municipality - The Tehran City Council chairman has disclosed a mind-blowing 26,000 complaints against the city over the past two years for legal violations, mostly related to illegal construction activity and financial corruption. Hashemi has said previously that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) Cooperatives Fund owes trillions of rials (tens of millions of dollars) to the municipality. Many allege corruption at City Hall has allowed the IRGC to evade punishment and fines for its illegal construction activity. 7/11/18

USA unlikely to permit airframers to support Iran-owned aircraft - A top US official has made clear that the US government is unlikely to issue any licenses that would allow companies like Airbus and ATR to continue supporting aircraft in service with Iranian airlines. -Flight Global 7/11/18

Iran's Destabilization Is Not In U.S. Interest - Unfortunately, indifference to the facts continues to be a trend, and not an exception, in U.S. foreign policy towards Iran and the greater Middle East. Clear-cut examples include the false claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which led to a disastrous war. -Shahed Ghoreishi, LobeLog 7/11/18

Rights Attorney Summoned to Court in Iran After Signing Letter Criticizing Judiciary's Restriction of Right to Counsel - Attorney Hossein Ahmadiniaz, the defense counsel in several cases involving human and political rights in Iran, has been summoned by Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan Province. 7/11/18

Iran moves closer to reinstating Zoroastrian city councilor - Iran's Expediency Council is inching closer to reinstating an elected Zoroastrian member of a city council after a controversial suspension over his faith. -Al Monitor 7/11/18

IRAN: Khamenei Orders Investigation Of IRGC-Linked Suspects In Corruption Scandal - Tehran's Prosecutor-General, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi says the legal cases against several suspects charged with financial corruption in the capital's municipality have been delivered to the Military Prosecutor's office. Jafari Dolatabadi has not named the suspects, but, apparently, all of them have a military background. Tehran's municipality was dominated by an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and former Police Chief Commander, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf for more than a decade. 7/10/18

Iran's Forcing of Teenage Girl to Confess on State TV for Posting Dance Video Prompts Strong Outcry - Forcing a teenage girl to confess on state TV for the "crime" of posting a video of herself dancing on Instagram represents a blatant violation of freedom of expression and demonstrates the extent to which the authorities are brutally imposing their cultural dictates on the people of Iran. The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) condemns the Iranian authorities' arrest and inhumane treatment of 18-year-old Maedeh Hojabri. 7/10/18

Trump's Energy Offensive Against Iran: An Expert Analysis - The Trump administration has "gone nuclear" in reportedly demanding that all of Iran's current oil consumers completely eliminate imports of Iranian imports by November 4. This comes in the wake of the OPEC meeting in which, apparently under pressure from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, in particular, its members agreed to a modest increase in oil production beginning next month. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/10/18

How the Trump Administration Is Exploiting Iran's Burgeoning Feminist Movement - From the moment that the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, has put Iranian women at the center of the Administration's new strategy. In a major policy speech at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, Pompeo said that Iranian women's protests were evidence of a growing divide between Iranians and their government. -Azadeh Moaveni, New Yorker 7/10/18

Facing 20-Year Prison Sentence for Taking Headscarf Off in Public, Woman Flees Iran - Shaparak Shajarizadeh, one of the women who took her headscarf off in public during the ongoing protests against forced hijab that have roiled Iran over the last six months, has been sentenced to two years in prison and an 18-year suspended sentence. Shajarizadeh relayed the sentence, issued for "not observing Islamic hijab" and "encouraging corruption" by Branch 1089 of Tehran's Criminal Court under Judge Abolghasem Salavati, on her Instagram page on July 8. 7/10/18

US targets Iran's tourism: Airlines halt service - The US government says it has sanctioned a Malaysia-based tourism agent for Iranian private airline Mahan Air which is already under American sanctions. The blockade comes as the US prepares to unleash "the strongest sanctions in history" on Iran after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw Washington from a landmark nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic. 7/10/18

IRAN: Disillusioned Regime Insider Calls on Khamenei To Step Down - Former supporter and now opposition figure Abolfazl Qadiani says Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali "Khamenei should step down as a final solution to the Islamic republic's problems." In an article published on opposition website Kalameh on Saturday July 7, former reformist Qadiani, who lives in Iran, called the Islamic Republic "a religious dictatorship." 7/10/18

How Trump is uniting Rouhani and Iran's Revolutionary Guards - In a dramatic move, Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani has publicly praised Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over his toughened rhetoric against the United States and Israel. -Rohollah Faghihi, Al Monitor 7/10/18

IRAN: Khamenei Orders Rouhani To Explain Lack of Transparency In Gold And Forex - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has "ordered" President Hassan Rouhani to present "an accurate report" to shed light on ambiguities about the way the government has allocated foreign currency and sold gold coins to companies and individuals during recent months, Iranian media reported on Friday, July 6. -Radio Farda 7/9/18

Second Day Of Protests In Borazjan, Southern Iran For Lack Of Water - People in the southern Iranian city of Borazjan held protests Sunday evening for a second day in row over lack of drinking water. The official government news agency IRNA reported that 350 protesters gathered in the city center, but this number seems too low compared with thousands of protesters who had come out the previous day. 7/9/18

E3 agree to establish dollarless trade with Iran: Russia's Foreign Minister - Major European countries party to nuclear negotiations with Iran - France, Germany and the UK - have agreed to maintain trade with Tehran independent from the US dollar, said Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to Russian news outlet European companies are under increasing pressure from the US to cut business ties with Iran. Since the majority of transactions are currently conducted using the US dollar, firms working in Iran face potential US penalties. 7/9/18

Iran women dance in support of arrested Instagram teen - Women in Iran have posted videos of themselves dancing online, in support of a teenager who was arrested. Maedeh Hojabri had gathered thousands of followers on Instagram with videos of herself dancing to Iranian and Western pop music. On Friday, state TV broadcast Ms Hojabri's apparent confession. -BBC 7/9/18

Interview with award-winning Iranian film director Sadaf Foroughi - Sadaf Foroughiʹs debut feature film, AVA, examines the complexities of the relationship between a mother and a teenage daughter living in present day Tehran. The movie is both a fascinating character study and an examination of the damage caused by the rules governing women's behaviour in Iranian society. -Richard Marcus, Qantara 7/9/18

Dutch airline KLM suspends directs flights to Tehran - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in a statement on Sat. announced that it will stop direct flights to Iranian capital Tehran for "commercial reasons". KLM announced in a statement on its website that the airline will suspend direct flights from Amsterdam to Tehran from 24 September, saying the decision was motivated by negative results and the financial perspective. 7/9/18

New Protests In Southern Iran Over Water Shortages - Thousands of residents of Borazjan, the center of Dashtestan County in Bushehr province, southern Iran, poured into the streets on Saturday, July 7, to protest "shortage" and "chaotic" distribution of water. Chanting slogans against local authorities, the protesters assembled in the city's main square. -Radio Farda 7/8/18

President Rouhani's Government Struggling With A New Scandal: Illegal Car Imports - Iran's State Sharia Penal Authority (SSPA) says organized crime has taken place in government subsidized vehicle imports. "A legal case has been filed against the offenders and delivered to the Public Prosecutor's office," the SSPA announced on July 5. -Radio Farda 7/8/18

The Politics Behind The Sabotage Of The Iran Deal In Europe - As the EU scrambles to offer a viable package of economic incentives to convince Iran to stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the US withdrawal, some forces are attempting to undermine this effort and fully align the bloc's policies with the Trump administration's strategy of isolating Iran. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 7/8/18

Kickstarter Campaign: The Candy Store: A Documentary - Making this film has been a labor of love. It has received support from patrons of the Candy Store who cannot wait to see their local hero on the big screen. With a travel ban in effect, and rising tensions between Iran and the West, I feel it's imperative to show the potential of Iranian (and other) immigrants as resilient purveyors of beauty, poetry, and the American Dream. 7/8/18

Ankara Pushes Back Over US Iran Sanctions - Ankara has criticized Washington's hardline policy toward Tehran, and with Turkey's cooperation seen as vital to enforcing U.S. sanctions against Iran, analysts say a new confrontation could be looming. "The implementation of sanctions against Iran will have a negative impact on the entire region and is extremely dangerous," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview Friday with Turkey's state news agency Anadolu. -Dorian Jones, VOA 7/8/18

Iran slams Netherlands 'unconstructive' expulsion of embassy staffers - Iran has slammed an "unconstructive" move by the Netherlands to deport two Iranian embassy staffers, saying the Islamic Republic reserves the right to take a reciprocal measure. "The Islamic Republic of Iran regards this decision as an unconstructive measure in relations between the two countries," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday. 7/8/18

French Shipping Company Drops Iran Due To U.S. Sanctions Threat - French shipping group CMA CGM has decided to pull out of Iran following the U.S. administration's decision to renew sanctions on companies operating in the country, its chief executive says. "Because of the Trump administration, we have decided to end our service to Iran," Rodolphe Saade told an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence in southern France on July 7. "Our Chinese competitors are hesitating a bit, so they may have different relationships with the Trump administration, but we apply the rules," he added. 7/8/18

South Korea denies halt in oil imports from Iran - South Korea on Sunday rejected reports that it had stopped importing oil and condensate from Iran. Iran's media quoted an announcement by South Korea's Embassy in Tehran as saying that imports from the Islamic Republic still continued. 7/8/18

Stabilization Of Afghanistan: The Little Engine That Couldn't - "Between 2001 and 2017, U.S. government efforts to stabilize insecure and contested areas in Afghanistan mostly failed." Those are not my words. They're not from some partisan pundit or ideological crusader. It's the conclusion reached by the Special Inspector General who's been investigating U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan for the past six years (SIGAR). -Diana Ohlbaum, LobeLog 7/8/18

53 And Counting! Heat Wave Breaks Records In Iran, Across The Caucasus - An intense heat wave is shattering temperature records in Iran and the Caucasus nations of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, causing power shortages that are adding to discomfort in the region. Weather experts on July 6 said the heat wave is the result of a high-pressure dome or heat dome that formed over the Eurasian region and reaches as far north as southern Russia, where temperatures hit a record high for June on June 28. 7/6/18

It's Raining Iranian Men, Hallelujah - The World Cup ended for the Iranian national team last week but not before the rest of the world took note of its physical prowess off the field. Images of the team went viral after a suggestive tweet, followed by a breathless report in a British tabloid. Major media outlets picked up the pictures of the well-groomed men and their tailored suits, and Buzzfeed ran a roll call of the squad's most prepossessing members. -Shervin Malekzadeh 7/6/18

No breakthrough in nuclear talks as Iran demands more after U.S. exit - World powers and Iran appeared to make no concrete breakthrough on Friday in talks to provide Tehran with an economic package to compensate for U.S. sanctions that begin taking effect in August. -Reuters 7/6/18

Japan's PM Abe Reportedly Cancels Planned Visit To Iran - Japanese media reported on July 3 that the country's prime minister Shinzo Abe has cancelled his plan to visit Iran during this summer. The visit would have been the first by a Japanese leader since the Islamic revolution in 1979. Abe planned to meet Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. -Radio Farda 7/6/18

What You Need to Know about Trump's Muslim Ban After SCOTUS - This Question & Answers page is designed to answer your questions in regard to Trump's Muslim Ban 3.0 after the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it on June 26th. -NIAC 7/6/18

The Battle For Iran: Policy Or Regime Change? - US and Israeli officials insist that their anti-Iranian moves aim to increase domestic pressure on Iran to change its policies at a time that the country is witnessing multiple protests related to economic policies and water shortages rather than at regime change. US and Israeli officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, have resorted to social media to support the protests. -James M. Dorsey, LobeLog 7/6/18

A bridge between past and present: The contemporary art of Iran - "The visual identification between the sovereign, often himself not a Persian, and earlier Iranian kings was deliberate and significant, used to validate the ruling elite," writes Linda Komaroff in In the Fields of Empty Days, the catalogue she edited to accompany an exhibition of the same name that opened in May at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. -Michael Abatemarco, Santa Fe New Mexican 7/6/18

US pushes back on Iranian officials as spat over oil exports continues - The US and Iran continue to trade barbs over Iranian oil exports, with the US military announcing it will continue to keep the Persian Gulf open to international shipping. -CNN 7/6/18

IRAN: 63 University Groups Slam President Rouhani and Reformists For Crackdown on Students - Sixty-three student organizations from universities across Iran have issued a statement sharply criticizing President Hassan Rouhani for a crackdown led by his Intelligence Ministry on students who were arrested during nationwide protests in December 2017 and January 2018. 7/5/18

Aircraft Manufacturer ATR Distances Itself From Iran - Iran's aviation industry has received another severe blow. Following the footsteps of Boeing and Airbus, ATR also announced last week that it has decided to distance itself from Tehran. The decision was announced at a time that ATR had prepared several planes for delivery to Tehran, and even painted them exclusively for the Islamic Republic's national airline, Iran Air. -Radio Farda 7/5/18

EU parliament supports EIB's work with Iran in defiance of US threats - The European Parliament has granted permission to the European Investment Bank (EIB) to do business in Iran as Europeans scramble to devise mechanisms aimed at saving the 2015 nuclear deal without the US and protecting their commercial ties with Tehran in the face of returning American sanctions. 7/5/18

Iranians Say Water Still Dirty in South Despite Quick-Fix Pledge - Residents of southwestern Iran say their water supplies have been dangerously polluted for days despite pledges by Iranian authorities to quickly resolve the problem. Residents of the Khuzestan provincial cities of Khorramshahr, Abadan and Ahvaz contacted by VOA Persian on Wednesday said they continued to experience shortages of clean running water. -Ali Javanmardi & Michael Lipin, VOA 7/5/18

Iran launches secondary currency market - Iran's top banker says a secondary currency market meant to ease tensions around the prices of the US dollar has started to work. Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), said the second currency market would enable "minor importers" to buy their required dollars from exporters of certain non-oil products. 7/5/18

US and Israel join forces to exploit Iran's WEAKNESS and 'encourage' protests- report says - THE United States and Israel have created a "joint working group" to support Iran's dissidents and "encourage" protests against Tehran, a bombshell report claimed. -Alice Scarsi, UK's Express 7/5/18

Four Iranian Female Sufis Sentenced to Five Years Imprisonment Each Under National Security Charge - Four followers of Iran's persecuted Sufi Gonabadi Order have been sentenced to five years in prison each after being arrested at a protest in Tehran in February 2018. Dr. Nazila Nouri, Avisha Jalaleddin, Shima Entesari and Sima Entesari were found guilty of "assembly and collusion against national security" by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran in early July 2018. The news was reported via a tweet by Sufi former lawyer Mostafa Daneshjou‏ on July 3. 7/5/18

Iran vows to retaliate against US oil threats in rare EU visit - Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, has delivered a retaliatory message to the Trump administration's looming sanctions against Iranian oil exports by signalling that Tehran could disrupt regional crude shipments and cut its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog. Rouhani returned to Tehran on Thursday from a rare visit to Europe, where he lobbied the continent to demonstrate a robust rebuttal to the US's unilateral exit from the 2015 nuclear agreement. -Guardian 7/5/18

Iran, Switzerland Presidents Explore Ways To Deepen Ties - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Swiss counterpart, Alain Berset, have held talks on issues of common interest and explored ways to strengthen bilateral Tehran-Bern relations in various fields. During a meeting in Bern late on Monday, the two presidents stressed that there is no obstacle to the enhancement of ties between Iran and Switzerland, and that the two countries are determined to employ all means to that end. 7/3/18

Snow Job: Iran Accuses Its Enemies Of 'Stealing Clouds' To Create Drought - A senior Iranian official has accused Iran's foreign enemies, including Israel, of modifying the weather in the country in order to create drought. "Foreigners are suspected of intervening in the country's climate," Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran's Passive Defense Organization, a subdivision of the armed forces, said on July 2 in the Iranian capital, Tehran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 7/3/18

Shots Fired at Protest as Officials Unable to Ease Water Shortage Crisis in Iran's Khuzestan Province - Shots were reportedly fired during protests over water shortages in the southwestern city of Khorramshahr in Iran's Khuzestan Province but the Interior Ministry has denied any fatalities. Khuzestan, home to mostly ethnic Arabs, is Iran's main oil producer and contains the country's largest oil refinery but remains economically disadvantaged compared to northern provinces. 7/3/18

Central Banking in Iran - Herein, we discuss the evolution of macroeconomic policies in Iran and provide an overview of the country's monetary policy landscape. The latter part discusses the structural aspects of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and evaluates its performance based on key monetary and banking variables. At the end, we set forth institutional and policy reforms to improve monetary policy outcomes in the future. -Razieh Zahedi and Pooya Azadi, STANFORD IRAN 2040 PROJECT 7/3/18

Arrest of Iranian diplomat on suspicion of plotting attack on MKO is a 'false flag ploy': Iran Foreign Minister - Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reacted angrily to the arrest of an Iranian diplomat on suspicion of plotting a bomb attack on a meeting of Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) in Paris, calling the move "a sinister false flag ploy". 7/3/18

Russian Railways Launches 1.2 Billion Euro Project In Iran - Russian Railways has begun the 1.2 billion-euro electrification of the Garmsar-Ince Burun railway line in Iran, which stretches to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, linking Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and beyond. 7/3/18

Supreme Court's Decision Affirms Trump's Animus Toward Muslims - The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision this past Tuesday to uphold President Trump's proclamation banning citizens of seven countries from entering the United States yet again affirms Trump's animus toward Muslims. But for millions of Muslims, who have already seen and heard Donald Trump as a candidate and as president vilify their faith and their countries, the Court's decision does not plough new ground. It only adds insult to injury. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 7/3/18

Systematic Misuse Of Subsidized Foreign Currency By Iranian Importers - President Hassan Rouhani has given a 15-day deadline to his trade minister to publish the full list of car importers, who have received cheap foreign currency from the state. According to published official records, Iranian entities and individuals seem to have systematically misused subsidized foreign currency provided by the government for importing essential goods. -Radio Farda 7/2/18

Iran plans private-sector oil sales to thwart US sanction: First VP - Iran's first vice president says the country is considering oil exports by the private sector in a bid to thwart forthcoming US sanctions, which mostly aim to curtail the Islamic Republic's revenues by blocking its crude oil exports. 7/2/18

Iran's President Rohani Due In Switzerland, Austria Amid Nuclear-Deal Dispute - Iranian President Hassan Rohani is traveling to Western Europe this week, amid continued uncertainty over the future of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers. Rohani's trip to Switzerland and Austria, which took over the rotating European Union presidency on July 1, comes after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal and moved to reinstate economic sanctions against Tehran. 7/2/18

Rudy Giuliani calls for Iran regime change at rally linked to extreme group - Giuliani spoke to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella coalition largely controlled by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), which was once listed as a terrorist organisation in the US and Europe and is still widely viewed as a Marxist-Islamist cult built around the personality of its leader, Maryam Rajavi. -Guardian 7/2/18

Resolution Of Caspian Sea Status Closer Than Ever - A new draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, allowing for the laying of pipelines on the seabed and banning foreign military forces, has reportedly been agreed by the five bordering states. Officials also have said that a summit between the five heads of state will take place in early August to sign the agreement. -David O'Byrne, LobeLog 7/2/18

IRAN: Prosecutor Says 'A Large Number' Of Protesters Arrested, Threatens Others - A large number of people who took part in protests in Tehran have been put behind bars, the city's Prosecutor General has told local media. Meanwhile, a "well informed source" told Radio Farda that merchants of the bazaar in city of Arak, central Iran, closed down the market on Thursday, June 28. Radio Farda has not received any information whether protests still continue in other cities. -Radio Farda 6/29/18

Injuries Reported After Iran's Detained Environmentalists Subjected to Renewed Interrogations - Environmentalists detained without charge for the past five months in Tehran's Evin Prison are once again being subjected to interrogations in the prison's Ward 2-A under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 6/29/18

Iran: Progress on Ban for Women at Stadiums - Iranian authorities and the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) should ensure that women and girls can freely attend all future men's sports matches in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 20 and 25, 2018, the authorities opened Azadi stadium's doors to women and men to watch a live screening of the last two games of Iran's national football team at the 2018 World Cup. 6/29/18

Iranian Journalist and Political Activist Detained For Criticizing Iran's Judiciary - Well-known journalist and political activist Hengameh Shahidi was arrested upon leaving a hospital in Iran's Kish Island after strongly criticizing state policies on social media and in interviews with foreign media. 6/29/18

Climbers for Peace trio bound for volcanic peak in Iran - Three Santa Rosa men are embarking today on a mission to climb a world-famous mountain and promote peace in a land many Americans would consider off limits. Their goal is to stand at the summit of Mount Damavand on July 7. At 18,605 feet, it's the highest volcano in Asia and rated the 12th most prominent peak in the world. -The Press Democrat 6/29/18

Giuliani, Gingrich to address controversial Iranian group - Two close confidants of President Donald Trump are scheduled to speak Saturday before a controversial Iranian opposition group previously designated as a terrorist outfit, raising fresh questions about the group's Washington influence as Trump pursues a pressure campaign against Tehran. -Nahal Toosi, Politico 6/29/18

Iran's parliament urges President Rouhani to change economic team - A number of Iranian MPs wrote a letter to President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday urging him to change his economic team. The letter was signed by 187 legislators in the 290-seat parliament. "Current economic situation in the country makes it essential for the three branches to make more efforts in line with strengthening the Islamic Republic's system and alleviating economic pressure on the people," the parliamentarians said. 6/29/18

Tehran, Washington Trade Blame For Iran's Deepening Economic Woes - Iranian President Hassan Rohani in a fiery speech has blamed Washington for the country's deepening economic problem, while nearly two-thirds of Iran's legislators issued a letter demanding that he change his own economic management team. 6/28/18

Iran's Chabahar Port: Where Asian and Middle Eastern Rivalries Collide - Iran's Indian-backed port of Chabahar, inaugurated months before the United States re-imposed sanctions on the Islamic republic, is where Asia and the Middle East's multiple political conflicts and commercial rivalries collide. Chabahar was destined to become a player in geopolitical and economic manoeuvring between China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Central Asian states even without the re-imposition of sanctions. -James M. Dorsey 6/28/18

The Bazaar, A Force To Be Reckoned With in Iranian Political Landscape - The wave of protest and unrest in Tehran's retail commercial centers this week highlighted the role of the bazaar in social and political change in Iran. Although the Grand Bazaar was a key player in in the events of this week, which quickly turned from unhappiness about worsening economic conditions to audacious calls for political change, it is good to note that protests started from Tehran's cell phone market on Sunday. 6/28/18

Trump's Muslim Ban: Thanks To Supreme Court Decision, Bogus Polling, And AIPAC Funding - In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court today upheld the White House's controversial decision to impose limits on travel from several Muslim majority countries. Coverage of the decision will, no doubt, frame the court's ruling as a major win for the White House and Donald Trump's ability to deliver on his hardline campaign promises to strengthen border security. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 6/27/18

Beyond stereotypes: how Iranian art is challenging preconceptions - In two new US shows, artists are using their work to dispel myths and present a modern vision of Iran to others -Nadja Sayej, Guardian 6/27/18

Will Iran's economy collapse? - Turbulent developments in the past few months on the foreign exchange and gold markets in Iran and the government's failure to manage runaway prices has compelled some economists to start using the term "bubble economy." -Bijan Khajehpour, Al Monitor 6/27/18

2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League: Iran beats Germany, gains 3rd consecutive win - The Iran men's national volleyball team has overpowered Germany for the third straight victory at the fifth week of the 2018 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Volleyball Men's Nations League. The Iranian outfit managed to beat the German side 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25 and 15-11) at the end of a Pool 19 match played at the Azadi Indoor Stadium in western Tehran on Sunday evening. 6/25/18

Open Letter: Distinguished Iranian Women Call on FIFA to Demand Iran End Its Ban on Women in Stadiums - In an open letter, prominent women of Iranian origin including Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, Oscar-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo and legendary singer Googoosh have urged the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to demand that Iran end its discriminatory ban on women in stadiums. 6/24/18

PHOTOS: Skillful women engaged in embroidery in Kerman, Iran - The skill of crafting embroideries with geometric patterns and vivid colors has passed down from generation to generation in Kerman, southwestern Iran. Many women are engaged in this craft which helps supplement their household's income. -Sare Tajalli 6/19/18

51 Organizations Demand Congressional Oversight of Trump's Muslim Ban and Extreme Vetting - On the eve of a potential decision by the Supreme Court on Trump's Muslim ban, fifty-one organizations representing millions of Americans have signed a letter calling on Congress to take necessary steps to obtain full information about the Trump Administration implementation of it's Muslim Ban and "extreme vetting" policies. -NIAC Action 6/15/18

New US Sanctions Will Make Iranians Sicker - Sanctions against Iran are almost as old as I am. I was born in early 1980, and international sanctions against Iran began during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s as most global and regional powers supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in his invasion of the country. My father was injured and exposed to chemical weapons during that war, and as a result suffered from Parkinson's disease later in life. -Fariba Pajooh 5/16/18

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last updated on Mon Jul 16 12:58:36 EDT 2018