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July 21 2018
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Iranian Girls Burned in 2012 School Fire Protest for Aid in Tehran

- A group of Iranian girls who suffered severe burns in a 2012 school fire have staged a protest in Tehran to draw attention to what they say are broken promises of government aid. An Iranian lawyer representing the 11 girls sent VOA Persian several images showing them and their supporters gathered outside the compound of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday. -Shahram Bahraminejad & Michael Lipin, VOA 7/20/18

Japan To Suspend Imports Of Iranian Oil In Light Of Reimposed Sanctions

- Japan is preparing to suspend its crude oil imports from Iran to comply with U.S. demands that are reinforced with threats of sanctions against companies that don't adhere to them. As a result, Japan's Iranian oil imports are expected to plunge to zero as soon as October. 7/20/18

Why Trump's Hawks Back the MEK Terrorist Cult

- On July 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to address an Iranian-American audience at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. The speech is part of a deliberate policy of escalating tensions with Iran, targeting its economy and supporting Iranian opposition groups--all for the purpose of pressuring and destabilizing Iran. -Trita Parsi, NYR Daily 7/20/18

Iranian Officials Revisit 'Oil For Goods' Scheme As Way Around U.S. Sanctions

- Following Russia's lead, EU leaders are exploring the possibility of circumventing U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil sales by trading oil for goods instead of purchasing it, according to Iranian officials. The deputy chairman of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture, Pedram Soltani, said on July 17 that exchanging oil for goods could be one way of getting around the U.S. sanctions re-imposed after the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal in May. 7/20/18

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'Desperate to find a way out': Iran edges towards precipice

- Economic grievances, lack of freedoms, global sanctions and climate change putting country under unprecedented pressure -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian 7/20/18

Meet Amir Fakhravar, the 'snake oil salesman' pushing regime change in Iran

- Fakhravar has become the darling of the Fox News crowd, while opposition activists denounce him for peddling misinformation -Belen Fernandez, Middle East Eye 7/20/18

Sons of Iranian Canadian Who Died in Evin Prison Sue State Broadcaster For Slander

- Ramin and Mehran Seyed-Emami have sued Iran's state-run TV, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), for slandering their father Kavous Seyed-Emami, who died under suspicious circumstances in Tehran's Evin Prison in February 2018. 7/20/18

How Tehran Is Working With Washington's Allies To Undermine US Sanctions Against Iran

- With little more than two weeks to go until the first set of fresh US sanctions is imposed on Iran, officials in Tehran and the capitals of its major trading partners are struggling to find ways to protect the commercial ties that have built up over the past few years. -Dominic Dudley, Forbes 7/20/18

European Bank Throws Doubt On EU Plan To Salvage Iran Nuclear Deal

- The head of the European Investment Bank has thrown into doubt whether the European Union can deliver on its pledge to save the Iranian nuclear deal, saying the bank cannot invest in Iran as the EU has envisioned. 7/19/18

A Case Of Corruption And Embezzlement Angering Iranians

- A court in Tehran has been silently investigating a major financial corruption case during recent weeks, reformist daily Sharq revealed on Wednesday July 18. The case is about Samen al-Hojaj Finance and Credit Institution, one of many similar institutions that offered unusually high interest rates to investors, but failed to honor their commitments due to mishandling of funds. -Radio Farda 7/19/18

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Abbas Amir-Entezam funeral in Tehran

Iran's Environment: The Grass Beneath Two Fighting Elephants - U.S. sanctions aimed at making Iran act like a "normal country" have had a disastrous effect on Iran's environment and that of the entire region for generations to come. A famous proverb of Kenya's Kikuyu people warns: "When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." As the Islamic Republic's hardliners and the U.S. Treasury Department fence with their tusks, Iran's biodiversity and delicate ecosystems are being trampled underneath. -Fatemeh Aman, LobeLog 7/19/18

Teachers In Iran Launch A Campaign To Protest Low Wages - Protests by Iranian teachers against their low salaries has gained momentum in recent days, social media reports say. The campaign, under the banner of "No! to Payslips and Salaries" was launched by several teachers' rights activists almost immediately after the Ministry of Education declared it will increase teachers' salaries six to ten percent for the next school-year, a local news website, Khabar Online reported. -Radio Farda 7/19/18

Trump Sought Repeatedly To Meet With Iran's Rohani Last Year, Aide Says - Iranian President Hassan Rohani's chief of staff is claiming that U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly asked to meet with Rohani during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly last year. "Trump asked the Iranian delegation eight times to have a meeting with the president," Iranian news agencies quoted Mahmud Vaezi as saying on July 18. -RFE/RL 7/19/18

Trump has tough sell recruiting Iranian-Americans in campaign against Tehran - Divisions in the community and opposition to the administration's travel ban face Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he addresses leaders this weekend. -Nahal Toosi, Politico 7/19/18

Pride and Prejudice in Tehran - Miscommunication between the United States and Iran is nothing new. But now that U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran, guaranteeing that tensions will worsen in the months ahead, those hoping to avoid a crisis should start studying a little Farsi, beginning with one word: nafs. -Hooman Majd, Foreign Policy 7/19/18

Is Iran's youngest minister biting off more than he can chew? - Iran's minister of communications and information technology is advancing the agenda of his transparency initiative, but Iranian officials are pushing back. -Al Monitor 7/19/18

IRAN: President Rouhani Facing Widespread Outrage as Student Protesters Remain Behind Bars and Receive Harsh Sentences - In a stark display of societal outrage in Iran over President Hassan Rouhani's complicity in rights violations, 120 academics from universities across Iran, some of whom are also current or former lawmakers and cabinet members, have called on the president to order the immediate suspension of the judicial cases against more than 150 students who are still in detention for their participation in the December 2017 - January 2018 protests. 7/18/18

Europe Plans Bank Accounts For Iran To Ease Repatriation Of Oil Revenues - The Wall Street Journal quoted "several European officials" on July 16 as having said that three European states are about to open new accounts or activate old accounts for the Iranian Central Bank in spite of US sanctions in what it described as "the first concrete sign that Europe could deliver on its promise" to sustain the Iranian nuclear deal. 7/18/18

Trump Tells Lawmakers U.S. Tough Policy On Iran Is Working - Trump took the occasion of his meeting with the members of Congress to once again reiterate that his tough policy had had an impact on the Islamic Republic. "As most of you know, we ended the Iran deal, which was one of the worst deals anyone could imagine. And that's had a major impact on Iran. And it's substantially weakened Iran. And we hope that, at some point, Iran will call us and we'll maybe make a new deal, or we maybe won't." 7/18/18

Iranian Artists Exhibition in Los Angeles: Only the morning bird treasures the flower garden - The group exhibition Only the morning bird treasures the flower garden, which takes its title from a poem by 14th century Persian poet Hafiz, includes photographs, videos, and other works by more than twenty Iranian artists on the theme of flowers. Co-curated by artist Mehraneh Atashi and Sohrab Mohebbi, the exhibition was originally conceived by Atashi while working in Tehran in 2009, after she was instructed to photograph flowers, rather than take self portraits that address social matters. 7/18/18

Momentum builds for Iran to meet global financial watchdog requirements - Iran's political elite finally appear to have enough momentum to pass key measures to satisfy FATF's demands for greater transparency and compliance with international standards, which will improve the changes of Iran and the European Union to build on their economic relations. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al Monitor 7/18/18

Calls For 'Secure' Universities In Iran, Not 'Securitized' - A recent crackdown on students in Iran has come under criticism by university professors and others who hold President Hassan Rohani responsible for the pressure and are calling on him to take action. More than 100 students were reportedly detained during protests over the economy in late December and early January that evolved into demonstrations against the establishment that included chants targeting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some of the detainees reportedly never took part in the protests, which spread to some 80 cities. 7/18/18

Meet the Organization Pushing Regime Change in Iran--and Its Willing American Accomplices - It is customary for pundits to lament how partisanship is destroying U.S. policymaking, but one area remains curiously bipartisan: Democrats and Republicans alike are quick to show their support for an organization publicly dedicated to regime change in Iran. -Christopher A. Preble, National Interest 7/18/18

EU activates law on protecting Iran trade: Mogherini - European countries have activated a blocking statute that prohibits companies from complying with US sanctions on Iran, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says. "Today, the European Council has endorsed the update of the blocking statute annex on the nuclear deal with Iran," Mogherini told reporters in Brussels at a meeting with EU foreign ministers. 7/17/18

Three years later: Europe's last push on the Iran nuclear deal - This July marks the third anniversary of the JCPOA, but it may also be its last. Europe must now redouble its efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal. -Ellie Geranmayeh, ECFR 7/17/18

Iran's President Rouhani Renews Calls For Women's Access To Stadium - Responding to a report filed by his cabinet's sports minister, President Hassan Rouhani has suggested that women's access to Tehran's main stadium, Azadi, should continue. Meanwhile, the general manager of Azadi (Freedom) stadium, Nasser Mahmoudifar, who let Iranian women enter the arena after almost four decades of being banned, says he has been fired for doing so. 7/17/18

Iran Arrests 46 Fashion Workers Including Eight Models in Hormozgan Province - Forty-six members of what security officials have described as an online "modeling ring," including 8 female models, were arrested at an unspecified date in the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan according to an announcement by local police chief Gen. Azizollah Maleki on July 16, 2018. 7/17/18

The danger of Donald Trump's course in Iran - The Trump administration has taken a hard line against Iran. On May 8, the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. In June, the United States demanded an end to all purchases of Iranian oil, effectively placing an embargo on Iran's oil exports. Now, it is pressuring allies to comply. While the administration has denied it, the embargo is a gamble designed to precipitate regime change in Iran... -Gregory Brew, Washington Post 7/17/18

After Recent Protests, Iran Officials Highlight Corruption - Iran's judicial spokesman has revealed that certain individuals have been arrested and several companies closed down over the alleged abuse of subsidized dollars and price violations on the cellphone market. "Documents have been found that show a number of serious violations have been made on the cellphone market," mid-ranking cleric Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei said during his weekly press briefing on July 15. 7/17/18

Trade tariff war with US pushing Chinese oil buyers to Iran - Indications are growing that Chinese companies are scrapping plans to purchase oil from the United States and are instead turning to Iran for imports in what appears to be a result of escalating trade tariff war between Beijing and Washington. 7/17/18

Attacks In Azerbaijan: Manipulation Of A "Shiite Threat" And Iran - The idea of luring Azerbaijan into a regional anti-Iranian alignment, alongside the Persian Gulf monarchies, has always had enthusiastic supporters in Washington. Azerbaijan's geographical proximity to Iran and the possibility of using the large Azeri minority in Iran to undermine the Islamic Republic represent useful assets in pro-regime-change circles. Eldar Mamedov 7/17/18

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

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

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 rt.com. 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

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

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

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

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 Fri Jul 20 12:34:27 EDT 2018