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October 17 2017
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EU 'Determined To Preserve' Iran Nuclear Deal, Urges U.S. Congress To Protect It

- European Union foreign ministers have closed ranks in support of the Iran nuclear agreement, warning that U.S. President Donald Trump's threats to abandon the multinational accord jeopardize efforts to find a peaceful solution to the nuclear standoff with North Korea. 10/17/18

New US Strategy on Iran Poses Dilemma for Allies

- The government of President Hassan Rouhani will be open to engaging in "constructive dialogue" with the European Union and individual European states, while continuing to respect JCPOA commitments. However, European measures taken "in close cooperation with the United States" will, almost certainly, kill the JCPOA. -Peter Jenkins 10/17/18

Trump: 'Total Termination' of Iran Nuclear Deal Possible

- President Donald Trump says his decision not to recertify Iran's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal could lead to its "total termination." "That's a very real possibility," Trump said Monday as he began a meeting with his Cabinet at the White House. "Some people say that's a greater possibility." -Peter Heinlein, VOA 10/17/18

City of Yazd, manifestation of ancient civilization

- Yazd is the first adobe city in the world and is the second historical city after Venice, Italy. Yazd in central Iran has been a manifestation of the brightest cultural heritage and ancient civilization throughout history with human settlement in Yazd dating back to the third millennium BCE. 10/17/18

Iran, Canada diplomats hold talks in Tehran on re-establishing diplomatic relations

- A delegation from Global Affairs Canada has traveled to Tehran and held talks with Iranian officials in the continuation of efforts to re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries. The administration of former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper severed diplomatic ties with Iran in September 2012, citing, among other pretexts, what it described as continued threats from Iran to Israel. 10/17/18

IMF Chief Lagarde declines Trump's call against Iran

- Barely 24 hours after President Donald Trump called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to stop lending to Iran, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde firmly said no, writes John Gizzi of She said that there was no change in its policy with regard to funds to Iran based on cues from the US. 10/17/18

An Exit from the Top in the Iranian Nuclear Crisis?

- Despite President Trump's demands that it do so, Iran has no intention of renegotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Unless, of course, it will receive in exchange concessions that no one is likely to offer. In Tehran's internal politics, the JCPOA is a highly fragile product that has been imposed on fiercely competing factions. Why would Iran's leadership be disposed to reopen this Pandora's box? -Francois Nicoullaud, LobeLog 10/17/18

Trump prevents US companies from coming to Iran: Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh

- Iran's oil minister stated that Iran does not prevent American companies from doing business in the country; rather it is Trump who creates the obstacles. Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh questioned Trump asking why he is concerned that Europeans take money from Iran and why he does not allow American companies to benefit from Iran. 10/17/18

America's Imperial Unraveling

- By giving ethno-nationalists a seat at the foreign policy table, Trump has sanctioned a racialized fixation with Iran as paramount national threat, more dangerous even than Russia. -Boston Review 10/17/18

Trump's Iran Policy Is a Headache for EU Business

- America does have the power to take unilateral action that affects companies everywhere -- and has used it in the past. Trump gave Congress 60 days to consider re-imposing curbs on Iran. Some of them could apply to businesses outside the U.S., potentially forcing them to choose between the American and Iranian markets. -Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg 10/17/18

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EU's Mogherini warns against U.S. pulling out of Iran nuclear deal

Why Trump's stance on Iran could backfire - U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to slap sanctions on Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards is the "exact opposite" of what Washington should be doing if it wants to effect peaceful change in the Middle Eastern country, one analyst has told CNBC. -Justina Crabtree, CNBC 10/17/18

Tajikistan: Saudi Revenge in Iran's Backyard? - According to those who seek to contain Iran, it is supposedly building a new Persian empire in the regions where it has influence--the Persian Gulf, the wider Middle East, and Central Asia. Such accusations, besides mistakenly assuming Iran to be the chief, if not the only, cause of trouble in all these regions, also grossly exaggerate Iranīs real power. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 10/17/18

IRAN: The Historical Cradle of Civilization, the Origin of Human Diversity, and the Bastion of Humanistic Tolerance - Ever since as early as a hundred thousand years ago when our Homo sapiens ancestors preceded by Homo helderbergenis along with our cousins the Neanderthals and Denisovans who had crossed the horn of Africa, the southwestern Asian's temperate Iranian plateau sandwiched between the Caspian Sea including the Caucuses, Alborz and the Himalayan Mountain ranges to the north, and the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman/Bushehr shores to the south-has remained the optimal cradle of human civilization. -Davood Rahni 10/16/17

The Real Causes of America's Troubled Relations with Iran - In his speech describing America's new approach towards Iran, Donald Trump accused it of responsibility for just about all of the ills of the Middle East and South West Asia. He went as far as accusing Iran of having supported the Taliban and al-Qaeda, sworn enemies of the Shias and Iran. More seriously, the president refused to certify that Iran had complied with its responsibilities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), thus opening the way for new sanctions and other pressures on Iran. -Shireen T. Hunter 10/16/17

Tillerson: Iran Compliant With Nuclear Deal, But Trump Wants to Fix Flaws - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded Sunday that Iran is in "technical compliance" with the international agreement to curb its nuclear weapons development, but said that President Donald Trump wants Congress to adopt "a more complete strategy" to fix what the U.S. leader sees as flaws in the pact. -Ken Bredemeier, VOA 10/16/17

Trump Ignores Advisers on Iran Deal, Follows Money - Although much of the Washington commentariat has depicted Trump's extraordinarily bellicose speech Friday against Iran and the nuclear deal as the latest example of his determination to undo the legacy of his predecessor, meeting the demands of his most important campaign donors may well have served as a major motivation as well. Indeed, his biggest campaign donor, casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, may have influenced the specific language Trump used in his remarks. -Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, LobeLog 10/16/17

Family of Late Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani Banned From Traveling Abroad - Four family members of the late Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani have been banned from traveling abroad by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), while one member is facing a "fabricated case" against her, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 10/16/17

Tehran Prosecutor: Streaming TinyMoviez Website Shut Down For "Indecent" Content - The popular Iranian streaming movies website, TinyMoviez, which featured pirated material, was shut down for distributing "indecent" foreign films, announced Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi on October 10, 2017. The prosecutor was responding to media reports that the TinyMoviez website was shut down by a judicial order in response to complaints from the owners of a rival website seeking to take down its competition. 10/16/17

Iran Denies Shutting Border Crossings With Northern Iraq - Iran denies reports that it has closed border crossings with northern Iraq in response to an independence referendum in the autonomous Kurdish region last month. Meanwhile, Shakhwan Abu Bakr, a customs official on the Kurdish side of the border, said that the Islamic republic had closed its three border crossings with the region. 10/16/17

Saving the Iran Nuclear Deal, Despite Trump's Decertification - U.S. President Donald J. Trump's October 13 decision not to certify Iran's compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JC POA) based on his assessment that the agreement's costs outweigh its benefits will not, in and of itself, abrogate the deal. But it seriously, unnecessarily and recklessly undermines it. -International Crisis Group 10/16/17

The Iranian Artists Picturing Their Cities - Dashti is the curator of an exhibition that provides a platform for this inspiration. Dubbed "Urban Mapping: Public Space Through the Lens of Contemporary Iranian Artists," the show, hosted by the Washington, D.C., gallery Hillyer Art Space, features the photographs and videos of 10 artists whose work focuses on the urban. -CityLab 10/16/17

Iran's hardliners say Trump has done them 'great favors' - US President Donald Trump's recent remarks on Iran have infuriated Iranians across the political spectrum -- regime officials say they have forced the heavily politicized society to close ranks. The country's conservatives are saying "I told you so," while moderates express disappointment at the hard line taken by Trump. -CNN 10/16/17

Tehran hosting Iran-Iraq business forum - The two day Iran-Iraq business forum kicked off at the Tehran's Summit Conference Hall on Sunday. "Iran-Iraq trade is predicted to reach $20 billion," the Iranian Head of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce Yahya Ale-Es'haq was quoted as addressing the held business forum. 10/16/17

Trump's Speech on Iran: Warmed-Over Rejectionism - Donald Trump's speech on Iran is the latest chapter in his struggle to reconcile his overriding impulse to destroy any significant achievements of his predecessor with the fact that the most salient of those achievements in foreign policy-the Iran nuclear agreement or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)-is working. The agreement is fulfilling its objective of keeping closed all paths to an Iranian nuclear weapon. As international inspectors have repeatedly determined, Iran is fulfilling its obligations under the agreement. -Paul Pillar 10/14/17

U.S. Allies Back Iran Deal Despite Trump's Tough Talk - U.S. allies and other countries have weighed in on U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to abandon a nuclear deal between global powers and Iran, saying they will continue to back the agreement. "We encourage the U.S. administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the [accord], such as reimposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement," the leaders of France, Britain, and Germany warned in a joint statement. 10/14/17

Iranian-American Organizations Deplore Trump's Attack On Iran Nuclear Agreement - Several Iranian-American organizations have issued statements deploring President Donald Trump's decertification of Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA) and criticizing his aggressive Iran policy. "Trump's speech was a national disgrace. This isn't an effort to stiff a contractor over a real estate project, it's a matter of war and peace. Donald Trump is in way over his head," said Dr. Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council. 10/14/17

Iranians Criticize U.S. President's Iran Speech - Many Iranians have taken to social media to criticize U.S. President Donald Trump for taking a harder line on the Islamic republic and refusing to certify the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, which is believed to enjoy significant support in the country. 10/14/17

John Kerry on Trump Iran Nuclear Deal: 'Reckless Abandonment of Facts' - John Kerry, the former U.S. Secretary of State, had harsh criticism for President Donald Trump's decision not to certify that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal signed by six world powers in 2015. Kerry said the decision is a "reckless abandonment of facts in favor of ego and ideology." Kerry, who negotiated the deal, added that Trump "weakens our hand, alienates us from our allies, empowers Iranian hardliners, makes it harder to resolve North Korea and risks moving us closer to military conflict." 10/14/17

How Should Europe React to the New US Strategy on Iran? - According to today's White House statement, President Donald Trump has decided not to denounce the July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) or encourage Congress to kill it, but to ask "the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction." -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog 10/14/17

U-17 World Cup: Iran rout Costa Rica, finished on top of Group C - Iran defeated Costa Rica 3-0 in Group C of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa, on Friday to finish on top of Group C with 9 points with 3 wins. The Persians will face Group F third place team in quarterfinals in Margao on Oct. 17. 10/14/17

Four Underappreciated Dangers from Trump's Iran Deal Decision - Trump's Iran speech sets the Iran nuclear deal, which is working and supported by his own national security team, firmly in the crosshairs. If Congress does not pass deal-killing legislation, Trump has vowed to terminate the accord himself. Such a reckless, foolhardy position openly risks creating a new nuclear crisis and another disastrous war in the Middle East. Yet it is unclear whether legislators will see through Trump's lies and distortions in order to muster the will to stop him. -Ryan Costello, LobeLog 10/14/17

Trump's Strategy For Toughening Iran Deal Faces Uncertain Future In Congress - U.S. President Donald Trump's call for legislation aimed at toughening the Iran nuclear deal faces an uncertain future in Congress even as leading Republican senators stepped forward to champion the cause. 10/14/17

EU, Russia, China rally behind Iran nuclear deal ahead of Trump speech - The EU, Russia and China have called on the US to maintain its commitment to the Iranian nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump is expected to declare no longer in America's interest. "We believe this deal is important to ensuring the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and regional peace and stability. We hope all parties can continue to preserve and implement this deal," China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday. EU foreign policy director Federica Mogherini and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel held phone talks with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying Europe will respect its side of the deal as long as Tehran honors its obligations. 10/13/17

Trump Expected To Slam Tehran But Stay In Nuclear Deal As New Iran Strategy Announced - U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to call for measures cracking down on what he sees as Iran's aggression in the Middle East in a widely anticipated speech on October 13, but stop short of pulling out of a nuclear deal between global powers and Tehran, U.S. officials say. 10/13/17

Rights Organizations Urge US to Aid Access to Information in Iran by Expanding General License D-1 - In a joint statement, nine rights organizations including the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) have urged the US government to expand General License D-1, which allows the sale and distribution of personal communications tools such as mobile phones, personal computing tools, and other related software and hardware to Iran without violating US sanctions. 10/13/17

Trump, the American Ahmadinejad: Worse Than Expected - Twelve years ago, what now seems like a lifetime ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New York City to deliver his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. Three weeks ago, Donald Trump climbed the same marbled dais at the UN to make his first speech to the General Assembly. Trump had in his short time in office made it clear that he considered Iran to be a malign actor and that his administration intended to reverse Obama-era agreements between the two countries, in particular the nuclear deal signed in 2015. -Shervin Malekzadeh 10/13/17

Renault planning for long-term presence in Iran: CEO - Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault, announced that his company has a long-term serious plan for presence in the Iranian market. Making the remarks during a press conference in Paris last week on revealing the company's mid-term plan, the CEO underlined the significance of Iranian market and stressed that Renault will not leave the country, public relations department of Renault's office in Tehran reported on Wednesday. 10/13/17

Putin Plans To Visit Iran In November For Talks With Iranian, Azerbaijani Counterparts - The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Iran on November 1 to take part in a meeting with his Iranian and Azerbaijani counterparts. "Preparations for the visit are under way," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on October 12, according to Russian news agencies. 10/13/17

The Semtex President - Consider the Trump administration's decision to make a U-turn on Iran policy. This week, Trump has pledged to go against the previous administration, many of his own top advisors, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and an overwhelming majority of the world's nations in decertifying that Iran has abided by the terms of the nuclear deal negotiated back in 2015. - John Feffer, LobeLog 10/13/17

Does Trump Have a Post-Decertification Iran Strategy? - Within the next three days, President Donald Trump is likely to announce his refusal to re-certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), often referred to as the Iran nuclear deal. The Wilson Center brought together an opponent and two supporters of the deal to discuss the situation. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog 10/13/17

Majority of Business Leaders Blame Trump for Slow Iran Investments - As President Donald Trump threatens to de-certify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, the political environment around post-sanctions trade and investment has grown more contentious. Yet, at the same time, after extensive negotiations with leading multinational companies, Iran has witnessed landmark agreements signed across industries, with billions of dollars of investment committed and financing agreements inked. For those business leaders continuing to push ahead in Iran, and for the Iranian public to whom they are accountable, the question is what to make of such contradictions. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj 10/12/17

Lawsuit Argues Trump's Latest Travel Ban Continues to Target Iranian Americans, Exacerbates Harm of Previous Travel Ban Orders - A new court filing in federal court in Washington D.C. challenging President Trump's latest iteration of the travel ban seeks to protect Iranian Americans in the United States and abroad. The lawsuit, filed by three prominent Iranian-American organizations as well as 13 individual plaintiffs, outlines the ways the policy is hurting families, professional and business opportunities, as well as the expansive Iranian-American community. 10/12/17

US to lose trust of nations if walks away from Iran deal: Top EU diplomat - The EU foreign policy chief says Washington's possible withdrawal from the Iran deal will send a message to the international community that the US is not trustworthy when it comes to deal making. In a Wednesday interview with PBS channel, Federica Mogherini highlighted Iran's full compliance with the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and said, "We have the international community strongly behind the full implementation of the deal." 10/12/17

Iran's Economy Recovers in Time for New Sanctions - As Washington gets ready for President Trump to throw the first stone in the killing of the Iran nuclear deal next week, Iranians are trying to preserve their hard-won gains from the agreement. After three years of recession, mainly caused by international sanctions, in the 18 months since the agreement went into effect in January 2016, Iran's economy has come roaring back. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog 10/12/17

Iran's President Rouhani: U.S. angry because IRGC humiliated ISIS - Rouhani said on Wednesday any party that walks away from the multilateral 2015 nuclear agreement would be damaging its own reputation, adding the U.S. is angry with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) because it has "humiliated" Daesh (ISIS). The remarks by Rouhani comes as President Donald Trump is expected to declare this week the withdrawal of the U.S. from the nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He also expressed full support for IRGC amid a possible plan by Trump to designate the IRGC as a terrorist group as part of his "new Iran strategy". 10/12/17

5 Reasons Why Trump Is Moving Towards War With Iran - Make no mistake: We do not have a crisis over the Iran nuclear deal. It is working and everyone from Secretary Mattis and Tillerson to the US and Israeli intelligence services to the International Atomic Energy Agency agree: Iran is adhering to the deal. But Trump is about to take a working deal and turn it into a crisis -- an international crisis that very likely can lead to war. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post 10/12/17

Meet The Author: CYRUS KADIVAR - Born in Minnesota to Iranian-French parents, Cyrus Kadivar grew up during the Shah's reign in the Persian city of Shiraz. At sixteen he and his family were uprooted by the 1979 revolution. He has since worked as a banker, freelance journalist, and political risk consultant and lives in London. The AUC Press just published his book Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile. -American University in Cairo Press 10/12/17

Iranian Leftist Poet Missing in Tabriz Two Days After Intelligence Ministry Raided His Home - Children's rights advocate and leftist poet Omid Aghdami has been missing since October 5, 2017, two days after he tweeted that Intelligence Ministry agents had searched his home in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province, and confiscated his personal belongings, including a laptop and notebooks. 10/12/17

Iran's Gas Exports: Potentials and Challenges - Although Iran ranks first in the world in terms of natural gas reserves - according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the country holds around 18 percent of total proven natural gas reserves globally-, when it comes to exports, it has a long way to the top of the list of gas exporting countries. 10/12/17

Iran's GDP Growth at 3.8 Percent in 2018: IMF - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook titled "Seeking Sustainable Growth: Short-Term Recovery, Long-Term Challenges" predicted a 3.8 percent real GDP growth for Iran in 2018, rising from 3.5 percent in 2017. 10/12/17

The Operational Code of President Trump - Press reports indicate that later this week President Trump will "decertify" the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), relying on a clause in the relevant review legislation that permits the president to make such a declaration even if Iran is fully complying with the accord. That Trump has decided on this course has nothing to do with the terms of the JCPOA, with Iran, or with Iranian actions. -Paul Pillar 10/11/17

IAEA, World Leaders Reject Trump's Claims on Iran Nuclear Deal - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and many world leaders have unanimously thrown their weight behind the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, rejecting US President Donald Trump's claims that Tehran has violated the "spirit" of the deal. 10/11/17

Iranian Baha'i Poet Named PEN International Writer Of Courage - Baha'i poet Mahvash Sabet, who was jailed for nearly a decade in Iran, has been selected as the 2017 International Writer of Courage. Northern Ireland poet Michael Longley named Sabet at the PEN Pinter Prize ceremony at the British Library in London on October 10. 10/11/17

World Cup hosts Russia held by Iran in friendly - World Cup hosts Russia needed a second-half equaliser from Zenit St Petersburg striker Dmitry Poloz to secure a 1-1 draw against Iran in a friendly in Kazan on Tuesday. Russia came into the game on the back of a confidence-boosting 4-2 win against South Korea at the weekend, when they were aided by two own goals from South Korean defender Kim Ju-young. As World Cup hosts, Russia have not had the opportunity to measure themselves against Europe's best in qualifying. 10/11/17

Iranian Officials Increase Pressure on Telegram App to Comply With Censorship Policies - Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi has vowed to block "anti-revolutionary channels" on the Telegram messaging application after the popular Amad News channel reported that a state official's daughter was arrested for spying. "We are seriously seeking to derail channels that oppose the state," said Jahromi, a former intelligence official, on October 8, 2017. 10/11/17

Iranian female weightlifters allowed to participate in the sport - Head of Iran Weightlifting Federation Ali Moradi said that the Iranian women weightlifters can compete in the sport. Gender equality in sports has always been a controversial topic. In July 2011, International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) modified its competing rules to allow tight-fitting, body-length unitards for the first time. 10/11/17

How Congress Should Avoid Taking the Bait if Trump Fails to Certify Iran Nuclear Deal - Back in July, Trump reportedly asked his staff to create an "option" not to make a certification that he is required to consider every 90 days under the statute Congress passed to govern its oversight of the JCPOA, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA). The certification includes three provisions related to Iran's compliance with the JCPOA and a fourth that the deal remains in our vital national security interest. It has been satisfied every 90 days since the deal went into effect. -Tess Bridgeman, Just Security 10/11/17

The Gathering JCPOA Storm and the Way Forward - The North Korean crisis has pushed the future of the 2015 nuclear deal among Iran and the 5+1 (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China), commonly referred to as the Joint Compressive Plan of Action (JCPOA) into the background. Yet, this temporary situation will soon reverse itself as a powerful storm is gathering around the subject. The JCPOA, which was intended to reduce tension between the US and Iran, has been criticized repeatedly by President Donald Trump as a highly deficient agreement, and this change in the White House's attitude under a new president is the primary cause of this developing storm. -Hooshang Amirahmadi 10/10/17

Nobel Laureate group urges Trump to stick to Iran nuclear deal - A Nobel prize-winning nuclear weapons disarmament campaign group has called on US President Donald Trump to honor his commitment to Iran's nuclear deal. "We really call on the US government to continue to certify and stay in this deal," said the director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Beatrice Fihn, on Monday. ICAN won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. 10/10/17

Imprisoned Iranian-British Citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Threatened With 16 More Years Behind Bars - Iranian-British dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, imprisoned in Iran since April 2016 on trumped up and unspecified national security charges, is now facing up to 16 more years in prison based on new charges brought by the arresting authority, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), according to her family. "Threatening Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with more years behind bars after she was imprisoned without full due process is unjust and inhumane," said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 10/10/17

Europe warns Trump on ditching Iran nuclear deal - High-ranking European officials have cautioned against President Donald Trump's vows to decertify Iran's compliance with the nuclear agreement this week. The strongest warning was made by the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel who on Monday said "the world will change" in Trump kills the international agreement. 10/10/17

Iranian Court Suspends Yazd's Zoroastrian City Councilor - A Zoroastrian city councilor in Iran has been suspended from his position, highlighting an emerging battle over the rights of the country's religious minorities to run for office. Sepanta Niknam, a member of the city council in the central city of Yazd, was suspended temporarily by a branch of Iran's Administrative Court of Justice, council chief Gholamali Sefid said on October 9. Niknam was the only non-Muslim elected to the council in May. 10/10/17

The real Iran: Most Iranians are reformists who seek good relations with the U.S. - At the U.N. General Assembly last month President Donald Trump singled out two countries for possible destruction: North Korea and Iran. I do not know much about North Korea, but I know a lot about Iran. I was born in Iran and later worked there as imperial chief of medicine under the former Shah Reza Pahlavi. -Siamak A. Adibi, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/10/17

Iran's Ex-Reformist President Banned From Public Appearances Week After Six MPs Sentenced to Prison - Iran's former reformist President Mohammad Khatami has been banned from making public appearances and receiving political guests for three months. The ban, first reported on October 5, 2017, was issued by the Special Court for the Clergy one week after six prominent reformist politicians, including Khatami's younger brother, were sentenced to a year in prison for the charge of "propaganda against the state." They were also banned from political and media activities for two years. 10/9/17

Sprayed render covers walls of rural Iranian house by Bam Architects - Bam Architects designed the residence for a retired man who wanted to escape the busy life in Isfahan - the capital city of Iran's central Isfahan Province. He chose to settle in Parvaneh, a nearby rural village reported to have just 202 residents in the 2006 census. -Dezeen 10/9/17

Run-Up to Another Potential US Middle East Disaster - If media reporting is to be relied upon, President Trump will refuse to recertify by October 15 that Iran is complying with the JCPOA, as is attested to by the International Atomic Energy Agency, all the other non-Iranian signatories (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia, and China), a host of Western national security experts and retired military leaders, and even several former heads of Israel's key security agencies. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog 10/9/17

Afghanistan: Another Victory for Tehran? - When the United States initiated what is now its longest war in the fall of 2001, most Americans wouldn't have fathomed that they'd still be committing blood and treasure to Afghanistan 16 years later, and that Iran would reap the fruits. Yet, as the Trump administration assesses America's next steps in the faraway country for the next four years, Iranian forces are quietly asserting themselves there, funding groups that shape the contours of country's politics and security. -Ariane Tabatabai, Lawfare 10/9/17

NMDB and the JCPOA - A major theme of those seeking to kill the Iran nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is that Iran is doing lots of other things, especially in the Middle East, deemed undesirable. Such rhetoric flows freely even though these other things are not covered by the JCPOA and are unrelated to the agreement. Arguments based on this rhetoric are just as dishonest as many other arguments of opponents, whose motivations involve not the terms of the JCPOA but instead other reasons they want to kill this accord and to oppose any agreement with Iran, on any subject and regardless of the terms. -Paul Pillar 10/7/17

Trump's Choice: Iran Deal Model or North Korean Bomb? - After a White House meeting with U.S. military leaders on Thursday where he discussed the Iranian and North Korean nuclear issues, President Trump cryptically told the press that it was the "calm before the storm." Trump also reportedly told his military officials to provide him with "a broad range of military options ... at a much faster pace." -Seyed Hossein Mousavian, LobeLog 10/7/17

U.S. Approves $15 Billion Sale Of THAAD Missile System To Saudi Arabia - The Pentagon says the U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of the advanced THAAD missile-defense system to Saudi Arabia for $15 billion, citing Iran among threats in the Middle East. The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in an October 6 statement that it had notified the U.S. Congress about the possible sale, saying the deal would "support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States." 10/7/17

Keeping the competition out: Iran startups thrive despite sanctions - Low on cash but high on hope, Iran's technology entrepreneurs are learning to live with revived hostility in the United States and growing suspicion - or worse - from hardliners at home. -Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters 10/7/17

About Half A Million Road Accident Deaths In Iran In Two Decades - Taghi Mehri, Iran's police chief announced that 459,000 lost their lives in traffic accidents in Iran within less than two decades since 1998. According to Mehri, more than 4.5 million people were injured in accidents during the same time. Considering that in the last 19 years Iran's population has been between 70 and 80 million, this number constitutes a high rate of accident casualties. 10/7/17

Iranian Authorities Arrest Brother of Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri - An Iranian news website has reported the arrest of the brother of the country's vice president over various finance-related matters. The Tabnak website, affiliated with Iran's hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), reported on October 6 that Eshaq Jahangiri's brother, Mehdi Jahangiri, was taken into custody. 10/7/17

Is Riyadh Finally Buying Russian Air Defense Missiles? - Among the many other Saudi-Russian agreements that have been announced during King Salman's visit to Moscow, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV declared that Riyadh is buying Russian S-400 air defense missiles. This is a highly significant move because, though a major Saudi-Russian arms deal has reportedly been in the works for many years, it has not yet materialized. -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog 10/7/17

Saudi women drivers spark Iranian social media buzz - Ordinary Iranians have taken to social media in response to Saudi Arabia's reforms allowing women to drive. Many compared the emergence of women's rights in Saudi Arabia to the sluggish growth of Iran's women's movement. -Deutsche Welle 10/7/17

Russia, EU signal parting ways with US on Iran deal - Russia and the European Union rally behind a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran after reports that US President Donald Trump is set to decertify the international accord soon. The European Commission said on Friday that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is called, is working and all sides should stick to their commitments. 10/6/17

Tombs of Achaemenid Kings and Queens: the Persian funerary cult and its Elamite background - Lecture in London by Dr Wouter Henkelman: The complex relationship between the Elamites and the Persians has long been a subject for discussion. New light on this intriguing question is cast by information contained in cuneiform tablets in the Persepolis Fortification Archive, some of them still unpublished. 10/6/17

Academy's American Sport Art Museum & Archives Unveils Sculpture of Legendary Iranian Wrestler - DAPHNE, Alabama - The North American Iranian Friendship Society (NAIFS) presented the United States Sports Academy's American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) a bronze sculpture of the late legendary Iranian wrestler and national hero Jahan Pahlavan Takhti at a recent special ceremony on the Academy campus. 10/5/17

Iran's President Rouhani Pushes Back against Security Media - As in other authoritarian states, the Iranian media landscape is greatly shaped by outlets with close links to the security and intelligence establishment. Media outlets with links to security organizations are usually launched with a defined approach and clear goal in mind. They work not only to advance the agendas of their patrons but also to weaken critics of such organizations. While receiving financial, security, and judicial support, these media outlets publish biased and targeted content. A further characteristic of this "security media" is that they employ military and security personnel as their managers, with little regard for journalistic standards. -Saeed Aganji 10/5/17

Meeting In Tehran, Iranian And Turkish Presidents Stress Opposition To Kurdish State - The presidents of Iran and Turkey say their countries will take steps to ensure that borders in the region remain unchanged following last week's independence referendum in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. "We will not accept changing borders in the region," Iranian President Hassan Rohani said in Tehran on October 4 at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 10/5/17

Europe-Iran Forum's message to Donald Trump - The 4th Europe-Iran Forum (EIF) was held amid U.S. President Donald Trump claiming that he may decertify in October the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers under the pretext that the Islamic Republic has not been abiding by its commitments. Focusing on post-sanction investment and trade with Iran the forum was held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland. 10/5/17

Iranian Singer Offered Bribes in Exchange for Cooperating with Rouhani Government - Aramnejad, 34, was briefly detained on February 15, 2010 for his song "Ali Barkhiz" (Ali Rise Up!) in support of the pro-reform Green Movement that arose out of the protests against Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election. He was arrested again on November 8, 2011, for continuing to sing political songs, notably Deltangi (Homesick) in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who ran for president in 2009 and has been under extrajudicial house arrest since 2011 for leading the 2009 protests. 10/5/17

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis Suggests Sticking With Iran Nuclear Deal - Pentagon chief Jim Mattis has said the United States should remain a party to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran unless it's proven that Tehran is not abiding by the deal or that it's not in the U.S. national interest to do so. The U.S. defense secretary made the comments on October 3 during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as President Donald Trump faces a mid-October deadline for deciding whether to certify that Iran is in compliance with the accord. 10/4/17

NIAC and Partners File First Lawsuit Against Muslim Ban 3.0 - Washington, DC - Today, Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Covington & Burling LLP, in collaboration with the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, announced two lawsuits against the Trump administration's latest efforts to unlawfully block the entry of Muslims into the United States and carry out President Trump's long-promised Muslim ban. 10/3/17

Iran Worried As Unemployment Reaches 60% In Some Cities - The Islamic Republic's Interior Minister has expressed concern about unemployment; especially in those cities where he says about 60% of the workforce is unemployed. In an interview with Iran Students News Agency, ISNA, the minister noted, "Social harms are more acute in areas where the unemployment rate is high". 10/3/17

Iran's blooming art scene: A bubble of hope - A gallery opening in northern Tehran and a typical scene: silk scarves barely clinging to the backs of women's heads, young hipsters, gentlemen in that most unrevolutionary of items, the tie. Trendy, wealthy and in their element, the packed crowd edges around abstract sculptures, somewhat grotesque portraits and looped cartoons by US-based Iranian artist Pouya Afshar 10/3/17

Winners of 2017 'Sepanta Awards' at 10th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco announced - Director Parviz Shahbazi's "Malaria" has been crowned best at the 10th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco. The film also brought Shahbazi the awards for best director and best screenwriter. Ali Mosaffa was picked as best actor for his role in "Duet" by Navid Danesh, while Mitra Hajjar was named best actress for her role in Ali Atshani's "Wishbone". 10/2/17

The Muddled Trump's Travel Ban - The Trump administration's travel ban is in its third version, and it still does not respond convincingly to the ostensible need it was supposed to address. The supposed purpose itself is unclear. The latest version introduces additional confusion about the purported objective, even without getting into the real motivations behind it. -Paul Pillar 10/1/17

Trump's New Travel Ban: Collective Punishment of the Iranian People - The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) strongly condemns the new travel ban announced by the Trump administration on September 24, 2017 targeting citizens of Iran and seven other countries. The new travel ban's indiscriminate and arbitrary impact on Iranian citizens is unjustified and a gift to Iranian hardliners who want to isolate their population and prevent engagement with the outside world, CHRI said today. 9/27/17

U.S. Military Chief Warns Against Pulling Out Of Iran Nuclear Deal - The top U.S. military commander has warned against pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, saying doing so would complicate U.S. efforts to reach agreements with other nations. General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments September 26 in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. 9/27/17

Iranian-Americans Condemn Trump's Travel Ban - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) have issued press releases condemning Trump administration's new travel ban targeting Iranians. 9/25/17

Poll: Iranians Want Economic Reform, More Engagement With Europe - A new IranPoll survey conducted in August finds that Iranians generally support globalization, want to see economic reform inside Iran, and want to improve their economic ties with Europe in particular. They are concerned, however, that U.S. pressure will cause European companies to think twice about doing business in Iran. The results show an Iranian public that seems increasingly optimistic about their economic future under the sanctions relief provided by the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA)-at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is seriously threatening the deal. -Derek Davison 9/19/17

Sustaining the Iran Nuclear Deal - 76 senior political, diplomatic and military figures from across Europe: The extension of the sanctions relief to Iran announced by the US administration on 14 September was welcome. But, we remain greatly concerned by reports that the US Administration might unilaterally declare Tehran non-compliant with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action") in mid-October at the next US decision point on maintaining sanctions relief. -European Leadership Network 9/19/17

Nuclear Weapons Experts Warn Trump Against Abandoning Iran Deal - WASHINGTON - More than 80 experts on nuclear non-proliferation issues urged the Trump administration Wednesday to not abandon the global agreement reached with Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear weapons development program. 9/14/17

Anti-War Organizations Urge Congress to Protect Iran Nuclear Deal, Prevent Backslide to War Under Trump - In a new letter sent to members of the House of Representatives and Senate this morning, anti-war organizations representing tens of millions of Americans are urging Congress to do everything within their power as a co-equal branch of government to prevent Donald Trump from dismantling the Iran nuclear deal and putting the U.S. on a path to war with Iran. 9/13/17

PHOTOS: Mariwan International Street Theater Festival in northwestern Iran - The 12th Mariwan International Street Theater Festival has come to an end, with carnivals of Iranian and international artists marking the closing ceremony of the artistic event in the downtown of the Iranian Kurdish city. The four-day festival wrapped up on Tuesday in the northwestern city of Mariwan which is considered as Iran's capital of street theater. 9/13/17

PHOTOS: Iranian nomads' wedding ceremony, symphony of colors - Various ethnic groups or people of different regions of Iran have their own traditional weddings ceremonies. The Iranian nomads of Bakhtiari tribe celebrate their wedding ceremonies with clothes of diverse and vibrant colors. Photographer Farhad Safari has captured one such wedding for all to enjoy! 9/12/17

PHOTOS: Ruin, village of warps and wefts - Ruin, a village located in North Khorasan province, is home to women who still pursue the traditional arts and crafts of their ancestors, weaving, which began about 400 years ago and is one of the sources of income for the village. About 120 women weavers are currently actively engaged in this industry in Ruin. -Fatemeh Abedi 8/23/17

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Iran's Influence: A Religious-Political State in the Region and the World

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last updated on Tue Oct 17 12:13:20 -04 2017