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November 13 2018
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The MEK And The Bankrupt U.S. Policy On Iran

- Among the many indicators of misdirection in the Trump administration's policy toward Iran, one of the clearest is the fondness for the cult-cum-terrorist group known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). National Security Advisor John Bolton and Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, are among the group's most prominent cheerleaders, having been featured speakers at its rallies. They and other shills for the MEK refer to the group as if it represented what it decidedly is not: a democratic alternative to the current Iranian political system. -Paul Pillar 11/13/18

US genuinely wants to 'starve' Iranians: Ron Paul

- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent threat to "starve" Iranian people through economic pressure was a rare instance of truthfulness in America's foreign policy, prominent American thinker Ron Paul says. Last week, the US secretary of state told BBC Persian that Iranian officials must listen to Washington "if they want their people to eat." -Press TV 11/13/18

IAEA: Iran Continues To Abide by Nuclear Deal

- The United Nations atomic watchdog says Iran continues to keep its side of the 2015 nuclear agreement, even as new U.S. sanctions raise concerns about whether the deal can survive. The assessment was published Monday in a quarterly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA. 11/13/18

40 Civil Society Organizations Urge UN to Support Resolution on Human Rights in Iran

- Forty civil society organizations including the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) have signed a letter urging UN member states to support Canada's resolution on human rights in Iran that will be presented to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly on November 14, 2018. 11/13/18

Iran Air, Lieutenant General Khademi, and a Murder That Was Forgotten

- In the 1970s, Iran Air had made a name for itself as "the fastest growing" of the world's airlines. This accomplishment is associated with the name Lt. General Ali-Mohammad Khademi (1913-1978), who managed Iran Air for sixteen years. His service ended few months before the Islamic Revolution with his sudden resignation. Gen. Khademi was killed forty years ago on November 7, 1978 in his home in Tehran. -Pejman Akbarzadeh 11/13/18

Iran's Top Diplomat Attacks Opponents Of Transparency Measures

- Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says those who profit from money laundering are spending millions of dollars to prevent the passage of legislation requiring more financial transparency. 11/13/18

Pompeo must own his words: Iran's Zarif

- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has scolded his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo, for his sharp attack on a US magazine that published his threat to starve the Iranian people through sanctions, saying Pompeo must assume responsibility for what he says. 11/13/18

Iran Sanctions: How Deep Will They Bite?

- In Iran, officials blame the sanctions for the economic crisis, while in the United States, officials blame the Iranian government. There is no denying that Iran's economy has serious problems that have nothing to do with sanctions, but there is no doubt that the current crisis is the result of the sanctions. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog 11/13/18

The Future Of Iran-Pakistan Energy Relations

- Energy relations form one of the main pillars of Iranian-Pakistani relations. In 1990, increased domestic demand for natural gas led Pakistan to begin negotiations to export gas from Iran. India's growing energy demand led to joint support for a 2,700-kilometer "Peace Pipeline" that would allow India and Pakistan to import Iranian resources. -Omid Shokri Kalehsar, LobeLog 11/13/18

Viewpoint: How US can reach new Iran deal - after Trump

- The American mid-term elections are over. The 2020 US presidential campaign begins now. Former US Assistant Secretary of State PJ Crowley has some advice for contenders on how to plan an Iran strategy. -PJ Crowley, BBC 11/13/18

Featured Video

Marketa Irglova & Aida Shahghasemi performing live at NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup: Iran overpowers Russia to grab the title - Iran beach soccer coach Marco Octavio is "very satisfied" for being able to win the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup with crop of young talents. Iran defeated Russia 4-2 to win the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup for the second time. 11/12/18

Women Allowed To Attend Asian Champions League Soccer Final In Tehran - Hundreds of Iranian women have been allowed to attend the Asia Champions League final in Tehran, local media report, in what was seen as a possible step toward ending their decades-old exclusion from top soccer matches. -RFE/RL 11/12/18

AFC Champions League: Japan's Kashima Antlers takes the crown after 0-0 tie with Iran's Persepolis - Persepolis football team were held to a goalless draw by Kashima Antlers of Japan in the second leg of the AFC Champions League here on Saturday. The result means Kashima Antlers won the title 2-0 aggregate. 11/12/18

Iranians Fear Medicine Shortages as U.S. Tightens Sanctions - The strain was evident in Alireza Karimi's voice as he described his struggle to obtain the diazoxide pills his father needs to lower insulin levels and fight pancreatic cancer. The medicine has to be imported, and until recently that was not a problem. -Nilo Tabrizy, New York Times 11/12/18

Iran's Central Bank Tries To Repatriate Hard Currencies From Exports - The governor of Iran's Central Bank (CBI) said November 10 that soon measures and terms will be announced to facilitate the return of hard currencies to the country earned by exporters. In recent months and following the establishment of a secondary forex market to meet Iran's demand for imported goods, the country has been struggling with the exporters who are reluctant to return the foreign currencies they earned to the local market. -Radio Farda 11/12/18

Iran Sanctions Herald Energy Trouble For Caucasus Nations - The resumption of wide-ranging American sanctions on Iran promises economic uncertainty for the Islamic Republic's neighbors in the Caucasus: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. -David O'Byrne, LobeLog 11/12/18

Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi's Death - Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions. -New York Times 11/12/18

Lawyer's Memoir Dissects Flaws In Investigation Of Argentina Terror Attack - Nearly a quarter-century after a bomb blast at a Buenos Aires Jewish community center killed dozens and injured hundreds more, the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history remains unsolved-and a new memoir recounts one lawyer's efforts to prove the government's investigation was a sham from the start. -Mike LaSusa, LobeLog 11/12/18

SWIFT kick: Iranian banks about to be cut off from global financial network - Banks in Iran have started sending letters to their branches, informing them that they will be cut off from the international financial messaging system SWIFT starting Monday. Being cut off from SWIFT makes it difficult for Iran to get paid for exports and to pay for imports. -RT 11/12/18

Iranian Celebrities Launch Petition, Condemn U.S. Sanctions Against Iran - A large number of Iranian celebrities has launched #SanctionsTargetMe, a movement that takes aim at the sanctions reimposed by the United States on Iran. The campaign also warns that Iranian people's access to life-saving medication and medical supplies has been seriously jeopardized, said the organizers among them are veteran actors Reza Kianian and Parviz Parastui. 11/10/18

Iran's Hashemi seizes gold at IWF World Weightlifting Championships - Iran's Ali Hashemi won a gold medal at the 2018 IWF World Weightlifting Championships on Thursday. Hashemi won the gold medal in the 102kg with a total of 396kg after lifting 179kg in the snatch and 217kg in the clean and jerk. 11/10/18

Why Iran Needs a War Economy - Faced with the relentless U.S. economic war, Iran needs a war economy. Indeed, the plan of a war economy should not be very difficult for Iran to implement since it has a relatively successful experience of carrying out such a plan: during the 8-year war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Iran embarked on an extensive state-guided economic management that effectively provided for both its military and civilian needs. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh 11/9/18

US sanctions hit Iranian patients once again - While US President Donald Trump on Nov. 2 amused his Twitter followers with a "Game of Thrones"-themed announcement of the reimposition of a second wave of penalties targeting Iran's economy, Ghazal and millions of other Iranians are suffering the real-life consequences of his politics. -Virginia Pietromarchi, Al Monitor 11/9/18

In An Open Letter, More Than 400 Iranian Activists Demand A New Path For Iran - More than 400 current and former student activist have published an open letter warning that the very existence of the Iranian people is at stake. In their letter addressed to "academicians, lecturers, intellectuals and social activists", 410 activists have called for a thorough review of the dominant political and intellectual attitudes in Iran in order to create a unified discourse for finding a way out of the country's critical situation, a website supporting the Iranian "Green Movement", Kalemeh, reported. -Radio Farda 11/9/18

Strange bedfellows: Ideology trumps defense of ethnic, religious and minority rights - A global rise of nationalist and populist tendencies has not only given anti-migrant, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and racist tendencies a new lease on life, but opened the door to alliances between groups that once would have had nothing to do with one another. -James M. Dorsey 11/9/18

Terrorists, cultists -- or champions of Iranian democracy? The wild wild story of the MEK - They fought for the Iranian revolution - and then for Saddam Hussein. The US and UK once condemned them. But now their opposition to Tehran has made them favourites of Trump White House hardliners. -Arron Merat, Guardian 11/9/18

Influential Conservative Says Iran Will Meet FATF Requirements - A conservative former MP and a member of the Islamic Republic's influential Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) says that he's optimistic over the ratification of four bills regarding the international conventions against money laundering and financing terrorism. -Radio Farda 11/9/18

Anna Eskamani's fame is rising -- in Iran - Democratic state Rep.-elect Anna Eskamani has been no stranger to national media coverage throughout her campaign, and now her election in House District 47 Tuesday also is drawing attention of Iranian media and international media broadcasting into Iran. -Scott Powers, Florida Politics 11/9/18

France vows to lead Europe in defying US on Iran sanctions - France has vowed to press ahead with plans to flout Washington's Iran sanctions and boost the international role of the euro as it moves to lead Europe in defying US efforts to act as the world's "trade policeman". -Financial Times 11/9/18

U.S., Iran Condemn Bahrain's Imprisonment Of Shi'ite Opposition Leader - The United States has voiced concern over Bahrain's sentencing of the head of the country's Shi'ite opposition movement to life in prison, a move which was also condemned by Iran. "The United States is concerned by the verdict sentencing Ali Salman to life in prison," State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said on November 8. -RFE/RL 11/9/18

Beirut Rules - Out this month from Penguin Random House, Beirut Rules is a breathless tale of good against evil. On one side is William Buckley, the CIA Beirut chief who died in captivity after his kidnapping in 1984. On the other is Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah operative who many believe organized the seizure of Buckley and other Americans. -Gareth Smyth, LobeLog 11/9/18

Iran's Sohrab Moradi wins gold at IWF World Weightlifting Championships - Sohrab Moradi of Iran claimed a gold medal at the 2018 IWF World Weightlifting Championships on Wednesday. Moradi won a gold in the men's 96kg in the competition underway in Ashgabat , Turkmenistan. He lifted 186kg in snatch and 230kg in clean and jerk, winning the gold with a total of 416kg. 11/8/18

Masoud Kazemi is the Second Iranian Journalist to Be Arrested in Tehran Within Two Weeks - Unidentified security agents detained journalist Masoud Kazemi in Tehran on November 5, 2018, making him the second known case of a journalist being arrested in the Iranian capital within the last two weeks. Kazemi is the editor-in-chief of the monthly political magazine, Sedaye Parsi (Persian Voice) and has worked for several reformist newspapers including Ghanoon and Shargh. 11/8/18

Post-Election Foreign Policy Trouble - On the day after the U.S. midterm elections, European politicians and analysts are bracing for disruption from Donald Trump that will be even greater than what he has perpetrated so far... Although the whole world is a stage on which such a drama can be produced, confrontation with Iran is the likeliest place where drama will appear. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 11/8/18

Europe's Iran dilemma - On Sunday, November 4, far-reaching sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran and its oil sector. The European Union is trying to preserve a version of the deal, but the recent incidents in Denmark and France have heightened the tensions. -Julien Barnes-Dacey & Ellie Geranmayeh, European Council on Foreign Relations 11/8/18

Iran's Corruption Courts Handing Out Death Sentences While Trampling on Rights to a Fair Trial - Special courts set up by Iran's judiciary and approved by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in August 2018 to try individuals accused of economic corruption-and which have already sentenced five individuals to death-are gravely violating the right to due process and the right to a fair trial in Iran. -CHRI 11/8/18

The Future Of Iran's Oil And Gas Sector - At first glance, it seems that rising oil prices (33 percent growth in 2018) and low production costs can still generate petrodollars for Iran, even though its exports have declined by 40 percent to around 1.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) since the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal and announced the reimposition of sanctions in May. -Radio Farda 11/8/18

Very High Inflation In Iran Affects Real Estate And Manufacturing - The latest figures released by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in early November, puts the rise in real estate prices between October 2018 and the same month last year at 83.5 percent. The CBI says house prices in Tehran are now based on the benchmark of 86,100,000 rials per square meter of built-in area. This amounts to around $575 per sqm or $52 per square foot at the open market exchange rate, which is more relevant in this case since sellers cannot get cheap dollars based on the government rate. -Radio Farda 11/8/18

Female Iranian Singer Bridges Generations, Imbues Nostalgia For Iran - Nostalgia fills many immigrants who have left their native country. That feeling is familiar for numerous Persians who fled Iran immediately after the 1979 revolution such as Iranian female singer Marjan Farsad. -Sarah Moosazadeh, Iranian 11/8/18

Saudi Arabia: Families of twelve men fear imminent execution - Responding to the news that the cases of twelve men from Saudi Arabia's Shi'a minority who were sentenced to death last year have been transferred to the 'Presidency of State Security', a body under the King's direct authority mandated to address all state security matters, Heba Morayef, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Director, said: -Amnesty International 11/8/18

U.S. 2018 Midterm Elections: Iranian American Women Make History - PAAIA congratulates Anna Eskamani, Anna Kaplan, Zahra Karinshak, and Sam Hamadani for making history in the 2018 midterm elections. Of the five Iranian American candidates endorsed by IAPAC, PAAIA's connected political action committee, four were successful in their campaigns. These women have become the first Iranian Americans to be elected to the New York, Georgia, and Florida state legislatures, and the first Iranian American judge to be elected in North Carolina. 11/7/18

What's So Tough About The 'Toughest Ever' U.S. Sanctions On Iran? - President Donald Trump labeled new U.S. sanctions on Iran as the "toughest ever," saying the punitive measures would force Tehran to end its "malign" behavior. Analysts say the new measures that came into effect on November 5 are indeed the strongest sanctions regime imposed by Washington against Iran. But they also note that the sanctions lack the broad international backing that gave previous measures strength. -Freud Bezhan, RFE/RL 11/7/18

Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup: Iran 8 USA 1 - Iran started the 8th edition of the 2018 Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup on a high note on Tuesday. Team Melli defeated the U.S. 8-1 in Group B. Russia edged past Tahiti 7-6 in another group match. Marco Octavio's men will face Tahiti on Wednesday. 11/7/18

Isfahan Farmers Stage 40+ Day Protest Against Local Authorities' "Mismanagement" of Scarce Water Supplies - Hundreds of farmers have been camped out on the eastern and western outskirts of the Iranian city of Isfahan for more than 40 days to protest the authorities' mismanagement of water resources in the drought-ridden province. -CHRI 11/7/18

U.S. Exempts Iran's Chabahar Port From Sanctions In Nod To Afghanistan - The U.S. State Department says it is exempting Iran's big port project in Chabahar from sanctions in recognition of its importance to landlocked Afghanistan. President Donald Trump's "South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan's economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India," a State Department spokesman said on November 6. -RFE/RL 11/7/18

Forced Psychiatric Hospitalization Cannot Become New Means of Silencing Dissent in Iran - The Iranian government should immediately release teachers' rights activist Hashem Khastar from the psychiatric facility where he has been forcibly and unlawfully held, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement on November 6, 2018. -CHRI 11/7/18

Turkish Leader Vows Not To Honor U.S. Sanctions On Iran After Waiver Expires; Russia Says Sanctions Not Legitimate - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Turkey will not honor renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries when waivers granted by Washington expire in six months. "These are steps aimed at unbalancing the world. We don't want to live in an imperialist world," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara on November 6. 11/7/18

Why Iranian women are among the most vulnerable to US sanctions - On November 5, further US sanctions on Iran went into effect and are expected to bring devastating consequences on the Islamic Republic and its people. It is feared that women along with children and impoverished Iranians are most at risk. -Samira Damavandi, Al Jazeera 11/7/18

European 'clearing house' to bypass US sanctions against Iran - A special clearing house designed to allow European companies that trade with Iran to bypass newly reimposed US sanctions will be set up in Europe within months, possibly in France or Germany. The clearing house, known as a special purpose vehicle (SPV), is seen as critical to reassuring Tehran that the EU genuinely wishes to reward Iran for signing the 2015 deal on its nuclear programme by expanding business with the country. -Guardian 11/7/18

Bahrain's Unending Shia Repression - Amid the Saudi-caused horrific human tragedy in Yemen and the ongoing investigation into the premeditated murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the Bahraini regime has imposed a life sentence on Shia cleric Sheikh Ali Salman on the flimsy charge that he colluded with Qatar. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 11/7/18

Iranian American Women Making Their Mark on the 2018 Midterm Elections - The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the registered bipartisan connected political action committee of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), proudly supports five Iranian American women who are leading impressive campaigns in their respective races and who will be on the ballot in the November 6th General Election. 11/6/18

The Iranian Canary In The Coalmine - The past two years have witnessed a shift in the way that the United States interacts with the world. Although Donald Trump's Iran policy has continuities with the regime-change mentality of the George W. Bush presidency, the current president has abandoned or threatened the integrity of a range of other international commitments... But the case of Iran demonstrates how, precisely, the Trump administration is unscrewing the hinges of the international system. -Matthew K. Shannon 11/6/18

People With Albinism Struggle to Access Crucial Treatment and Support in Iran - A recent speech by a UN official calling on countries with hot climates to implement measures that would enable people with albinism to access skin cancer treatments has highlighted the lack of such a policy and accessible support for people living with albinism in Iran. -CHRI 11/6/18

Saudis Launch Nuclear Research Reactor Amid Competition With Iran - Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has launched the kingdom's first nuclear research reactor as part of a plan to diversify the kingdom's energy mix and acquire nuclear capabilities, state media reported. The reactor launched on November 5 is among 16 that Saudi officials, citing archrival Iran's continued development of nuclear energy, have said they plan to build over the next two decades at a cost of $80 billion. -RFE/RL 11/6/18

Children of Iranian mothers, foreign fathers to get Iranian citizenship - The cabinet of ministers chaired by President Hassan Rouhani approved on Sunday a bill, according to which, children born to Iranian mothers and foreign fathers are permitted to receive Iranian citizenship. They are also allowed to get ID cards based on mother's request before the age of 18 and their own request after the age of 18, IRNA reported. 11/6/18

"Cookie Distribution," Other Peaceful Activities Get Elderly Tehran Bus Driver 5+ Years in Prison - Tehran bus union activist Ebrahim Madadi has lost his appeal against the five-year, three-month prison sentence he was issued for engaging in peaceful labor activism. Madadi, who is 60 and suffers from various health problems, was convicted of the charges of "assembly and collusion against national security" and lost his appeal against the preliminary sentence in October 2018. -CHRI 11/6/18

Helping Iranians To Lead Normal Lives - "The Iranians have to suffer." This is the message U.S. officials have relayed to their European counterparts as negotiations stall over Iran sanctions. Despite all the assurances that U.S. sanctions do not target the Iranian people, despite the promises that humanitarian trade would be protected, this message reveals the underlying truth. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog 11/6/18

Why Trump's Iran strategy will backfire - Last week, with a cinematic flourish, President Trump foreshadowed his administration's latest punitive measures against Iran with a tweet echoing HBO's "Game of Thrones." "Sanctions are coming," it declared - much to the cable network's chagrin. -Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post 11/6/18

US Reimposes Sanctions on Iran's Oil, Financial Sectors - The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran's oil industry and financial sector Monday, following through on President Donald Trump's pledge to roll back relief Iran received as part of the international agreement to limit its nuclear program. -VOA 11/5/18

Iran open to talks with US if Trump changes 'approach' to nuclear deal, top diplomat says - As Iranians braced for the full restoration of economic sanctions imposed Monday by the Trump administration, their government signaled it would be open to talking to the United States about a new arms nuclear accord if Washington changes its "approach" to discussing the agreement it abandoned earlier this year. -USA Today 11/5/18

Iranian architects receive nominations at 2018 MEA Awards - Twenty-one designs and architects from Iran are among the nominees for the 2018 Middle East Architect Awards, which were announced by the organizers last week. Golshahr Mosque and Plaza by Arash G. Tehrani, Floating Island by Kamran Heirati Architects, and Persian Tehran Garden by Hooman Balazadeh and Mohammad Khavarian have been nominated for the award in the Concept Design of the Year category. -Tehran Times 11/5/18

Can Europe Salvage A Future For The JCPOA? - Of all the issues that have widened the transatlantic rift since the beginning of the Trump administration, the fate of the Iran nuclear accord (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) has been the most divisive. Now, as the Islamic Republic of Iran (and the world) braces for the re-imposition of blanket U.S. sanctions one thing is absolutely clear. Time for quiet diplomacy has run its course. -Andrea Dessi and Vassilis Ntousas, LobeLog 11/5/18

Iran Indirectly Blames Israel For A Major Cyberattack - Senior Iranian officials dealing with communications and information have announced that a cyberattack was launched against Iran, indirectly blaming Israel. The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted, "A regime with a history of using cyber weapons, such as the Stuxnet, this time has tried to harm the infrastructure of communications but with the vigilance of [our] technical teams, they ended up empty handed". -Radio Farda 11/5/18

Najmieh Batmanglij is the grande dame of Iranian cooking. It's time you knew her name. - The morning after she landed in Tehran in 2015, cookbook author Najmieh Batmanglij visited the graves of her parents. She needed their help. She told them she was terrified about navigating this country where she was born. She'd forgotten how to use its currency. She couldn't make phone calls properly. And though Farsi was her mother tongue, she couldn't pick up on the subtle cues people conveyed in conversation. -Mayukh Sen, Washington Post 11/5/18

Balloons to bring internet access to Iran at crisis times - A network of giant balloons will soon bring internet access in 31 provinces across Iran in order to manage telecommunication at the times of crisis, Mehr reported. The project aims to take benefit from the space technology during crises, head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Morteza Barari announced. -Tehran Times 11/5/18

Europe struggles to protect Iran trade as US reimposes sanctions - European governments are locked in negotiations over a special purpose vehicle to safeguard trade with Iran, as a US crackdown on Tehran's oil and finance sectors came into force. Hours before Monday's launch of a US squeeze on Iran's energy industry and central bank, European diplomats said a planned special channel to safeguard non-US trade with Iran would not be ready in time. -Financial Times 11/5/18

A Marriage of Convenience Between Natural Gas Giants Iran and Russia - Iran's substantial natural gas reserves provide Russia with a significant strategic opportunity to solidify its role in the international arena. Although US secondary sanctions against Iran's petroleum sector resumed on November 5, Russia will most likely defy them by continuing to invest in Iran's natural gas sector. -Atlantic Council 11/5/18

ACL Final: Iran's Persepolis football team falls short against Japan's Kashima - Iran's Persepolis will be looking for a response next week against Kashima Antlers of Japan after they were beaten 2-0 on Saturday in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final. The Iranian team will have a difficult task ahead in Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Nov. 10 as their key midfielder Siamak Nemati will be absent in the second leg after being sent out due to injury. 11/4/18

Trump Highlights Renewed Iran Sanctions Ahead Of U.S. Elections - U.S. President Donald Trump has highlighted his reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran ahead of the November 6 elections in which the Republican Party is seeking to retain control of both houses of the U.S. Congress. -RFE/RL 11/4/18

Yemen: UN chief hails 'signs of hope' in world's worst man-made humanitarian disaster - Welcoming recent indications that peace talks could resume soon to end Yemen's brutal civil conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday there is "no room for complacency," and called on the warring parties and the international community to "halt the senseless cycle of violence" and "reach a political settlement". 11/4/18

Iran's Conservative Body Rejects Bill Against Financing Terrorism As Sanctions Take Effect - Iran's conservative-dominated Guardian Council, a body that oversees legislations made by the Iranian Parliament (Majles) has rejected a bill on joining the UN convention against financing terrorism (CFT), which was ratified by parliament in early October. 11/4/18

US to Grant Waivers to Some Countries Importing Iran Oil - The United States says it plans to issue temporary waivers to several countries, allowing them to continue purchasing Iranian oil without being subject to forthcoming U.S. sanctions. Sanctions on Iran are expected to be reinstated Monday, the result of U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal earlier this year from the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Any country importing Iranian oil that does not receive a waiver will be subject to U.S. financial penalties. -William Gallo, VOA 11/3/18

IRAN: Sufi Prisoners Illegally Being Held With Dangerous Inmates in Tehran Penitentiary, Say Families - Dozens of Sufi prisoners are being illegally held in a ward for drug-addicted prisoners in the Great Tehran Penitentiary (GTP), one of their relatives told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). The source, who requested anonymity for security purposes, said a complaint by a group of the detainees' families remains unanswered more than two months after it was filed. -CHRI 11/3/18

Regional Risks Of Rising U.S.-Iran Rivalry - The re-imposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran's banking and energy sectors on 5 November is a key element of Washington's "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May presaged a more ambitious strategic objective: to substantially recast not only Tehran's nuclear activities, but its domestic and regional policies as well. -Naysan Rafati, LobeLog 11/3/18

America turns the screws on Iran - Mr Trump will not drive Iran's oil exports down to zero, as he hopes. But he will inflict pain. The question is what he hopes to achieve; sanctions are a tool, not a strategy. -Economist 11/3/18

Iran Ranks First On Energy Subsidies Globally - With spending $45.1 billion on fossil energy consumption subsidies in 2017, Iran ranked first globally, International Energy Agency reported Oct.29. The value, which increased 55% year-on-year, equals to 10.4% of Iran's annual GDP and 15% of total global energy subsidies. -Radio Farda 11/2/18

Pashinian Says He Made 'Clear' To U.S. That Armenia Will Maintain Ties With Iran - Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian says he made clear to U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton last week that Armenia will pursue its national interests and maintain "special relations" with its neighbor Iran. -RFE/RL 11/2/18

Mehdi Hajati Banned From Shiraz City Council For Seeking Release of Detained Baha'is - Shiraz City Council member Mehdi Hajati made national news in Iran after he was arrested for seeking the release of two Baha'is who were arrested for their faith, which is severely persecuted against in Iran. Hajati, 39, has since been put on "surveillance" and banned from his seat on the council. 11/2/18

Iran Lawmaker Amir Khojasteh Raises Alarm On Widespread Corruption - An Iranian Parliamentary official says financial corruption is widespread "in all of the ministries of the Iranian government." Amir Khojasteh, MP and chairman of the parliamentary group for combating financial corruption has accused "some state officials" of "spreading corruption" and failing to curb it while it was still possible to do so, alluding that the situation is beyond rescue. -Radio Farda 11/2/18

The "Linguistic" Component of the Khashoggi-gate Narrative - Ultimately, "language" and "metaphor" are the building blocks of an established political paradigm. In that vein, we can examine the linguistic framework that international news is presented to the public. The "Regime"-- For some years now, in its official language the American media refers to the governing bodies in Iran, Syria, Russia and Venezuela as "regime". On the other hand, Egypt and Pakistan have (legitimate) "government". -Fareed Marjaee 11/2/18

After Bolton takes aim at Russia and Iran, is Armenia the collateral damage? - Befitting his bull-in-a-china-shop reputation, John Bolton's whirlwind tour of the Caucasus left a trail of geopolitical wreckage that his hosts are still trying to pick up even after Bolton himself is back in Washington. -Joshua Kucera, Eurasianet 11/2/18

Strangulation Of Persia: Why Trump's Iran Policy Will Backfire - Over the past four decades, U.S.-Iranian relations have experienced frequent periods of hostility. The Trump administration, however, has escalated tensions, going as far as threatening Iran with war. The administration is under the false impression that by strangling Iran's economy through sanctions and applying a "maximum pressure policy" it can force Iran to capitulate to its demands or face the possibility of its collapse. -Sina Azodi, LobeLog 11/2/18

Iranian Currency In Jitters As New Sanctions Approach - The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar and other major currencies once again skyrocketed in Iran and reached the highest level in past thirty days, reports from the local free market say. One U.S. dollar was exchanged for 152,000 rials at exchange bureaus on Wednesday, October 31 which was record breaking for the current Iranian calendar month (September 23-October 22). -Radio Farda 11/1/18

Iran Must Stop Imprisoning Lawyers for Defending Their Clients - Iran's sentencing of attorney Mohammad Najafi to three years in prison and 74 lashes for "disturbing the state" and "publishing falsehoods" after he advocated for a young client who died under suspicious circumstances in an Iranian detention center is a flagrant violation of the right to counsel and a continuation of the unlawful assault on the legal profession in Iran that has left a half dozen attorneys behind bars for doing their job. -CHRI 10/31/18

An ancient windcatcher becomes a hypnotic device in this new installation - Felix Kalmenson and Rouzbeh Akhbari's interpretation of an Iranian windcatcher makes a space for contemplation -CBC 10/31/18

Iran And America: Why All The Enmity? - At some time in the future, when officials in Washington and Tehran finally stop yelling at each other and start talking, they will ask themselves: "Why did we waste so much time hating each other?" They are not there yet. Until they are, denunciations, accusations, and threats are still the order of the day. -John Limbert 10/29/18

Iranians win 7 golds, crowned sanda world champions for first time - Iran's national wushu team has been crowned world's champions for the first time in the 9th Sanda World Cup. The Iranian team, comprising of 8 practitioners in both men's and women's divisions, succeeded in winning the title after collecting seven gold medals and one silver. -PRESS TV 10/29/18

Iran's Judiciary Should Release Ailing Prisoner Saeed Malekpour on Medical Grounds - Imprisoned in Iran's Evin Prison since 2008, Canadian permanent resident Saeed Malekpour was hospitalized for a "heart attack" at the age of 43, according to his sister. Peaceful Prisoner, Convicted Without Due Process, Has Been Denied Furlough for Past 10 Years -CHRI 10/29/18

'It's certainly out of the box': The Iranian project that gets experimental with eco-friendly design - It appears to be made from improbable shapes, architecture too sophisticated to be true. Yet this futuristic home in Iran is a feat of engineering as much as it is impressive design. -Kate Jones, Domain 10/26/18

Iranian Farmer Mahmud Mansuri wins Emerging Talent Award at Wildscreen Festival - Iranian farmer Mahmud Mansuri has won the Icon Films Emerging Talent Award at the Wildscreen Festival in Bristol in the southwest of England. He won the award for his collaboration in "In the Realm of the Spider-tailed Viper", a documentary film directed by Iranian Fathollah Amiri about the spider-tailed viper that lives in the western Iranian province of Ilam. 10/24/18

International Community Must Establish Mechanisms to Sell Humanitarian Goods to Iran, Iranian Government Must Ensure Affordability - With the full reinstatement of US sanctions on Iran on November 5, which will make financial transactions between Iranians and major economies in the world difficult and in many cases impossible, people's access to humanitarian goods such as essential food items, medicine and medical supplies in Iran could be imperiled. The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) calls on the international community to institute transparent financial mechanisms that will ensure trade in medicines and other essential humanitarian items will continue unimpeded with Iran. 10/23/18

Under Trump, US Sale of Medical Goods to Iran Down Nearly 40% - With just two weeks until Trump reimposes secondary sanctions on Iran, administration officials are under increasing pressure to prove that the returning sanctions will not adversely impact humanitarian trade. -Bourse and Bazaar 10/23/18

EXPOSING SOME UNPLEASANT REALITIES: Removing the Candy-Coating from the Bitter Pill - Dwight D. Eisenhower was serving his second term as President when I set foot on the American soil for the first time in June 1956. I was a twenty-year-old high school graduate holding a student visa looking forward to attending college and receiving a degree from a prestigious university in California; I was told the streets were paved with gold there. -Kambiz Zarrabi 10/22/18

Imprisoned Iranian Activist Farhad Meysami "Kept Alive" With Serum Injections - Farhad Meysami, an imprisoned civil rights activist, has lost "40 pounds" since beginning a wet hunger strike in Evin Prison on August 1, 2018, the day after he was arrested for peacefully advocating for women's rights in Iran. 10/19/18

In Rare Move, Iran Lets Some Women Attend Men's Soccer in Tehran - Iran has allowed an organized group of women to attend a men's soccer match at a Tehran stadium for the first time in decades, after years of campaigning by activists against a ban on female attendance. -Michael Lipin, VOA 10/17/18

Iranian swimmer Shahin Izadyar: A Persian version of Michael Phelps - Shahin Izadyar, who won six gold medals at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, resembles the most decorated Olympian of all time Michael Phelps. Surpassing Japan in the third place in medal table, Izadyar helped Iran record the best ever showing at the Games. 10/15/18

Iranian short 'Run, Rostam, Run' to vie at St. Louis Film Festival - Iran's short animated piece 'Run, Rostam, Run' by Hossein Molayemi has been accepted into St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF). 'Run, Rostam, Run' is a 2D animated piece depicting the Persian national hero Rostam who must travel to the future to Tehran in order to make up for what he has done to his son. Once he gets to Tehran, he doesn't know whether to choose the legal or illegal way to achieve his objective. 10/10/18

2018 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans: Survey Reveals Concern Over Discrimination and U.S. Policies - Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) released the findings of its 2018 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans, revealing concerns over increased discrimination and U.S. policy towards Iran. More than three-quarters of respondents are worried about increased discrimination against Iranian Americans, and nearly half (49%) report that they have personally experienced discrimination. 10/4/18

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last updated on Tue Nov 13 12:59:50 EST 2018