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July 21 2017
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Iran and the Collision between Trump and Reality

- Donald Trump's disdain for the truth does not prevent reality from repeatedly bumping up against his policies, the most consistent theme of which has been to try to destroy his predecessor's accomplishments. The degree to which reality inconveniences Trump-and more importantly, how much Trump's efforts to shove reality aside damage U.S. interests-varies from issue to issue. -Paul Pillar 7/21/17

Jasmin Moghbeli, Badass Astronaut

- In the rarefied world of space travellers, nasa's new astronaut class--seven men and five women, picked from a record-breaking eighteen thousand applicants--includes one, nicknamed "Jaws," who played basketball at M.I.T., is a Marine Corps major, and was decorated for flying Cobra gunships on a hundred and fifty combat missions in Afghanistan. The astronaut candidate is also an immigrant-an Iranian-American, the only one with roots in the Middle East since the first class of astronauts was selected, in 1959. -Robin Wright, New Yorker 7/21/17

UNESCO 2030 Educational Guidelines Scrapped by Iran Include Essential Protective Measures Against Child Abuse

- Implementing educational guidelines from the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development could help prevent tragedies like the case of Atena Aslani, according to a sociologist and expert on Iran's educational system. Aslani's seven-year-old lifeless body was found with "signs of sexual abuse" on July 10, 2017 in the garage of a man with an alleged history of sex crimes convictions. She had gone missing on June 19, 2017 in Parsabad, Ardabil Province, 428 miles northwest of Tehran. 7/21/17

11 Christian Converts Issued Long Prison Sentences in Iran in Less Than Two Months in Sham Trials

- The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the disturbing trend of arrests and imprisonment of Christians, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement on Thrusday July 20, 2017. In less than two months, since June 2017, Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran has issued long prison sentences to at least 11 Christian converts and the former leader of the Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Iran. 7/21/17

PHOTOS: Iran starts extraction from world's second largest lead and zinc reserve

- Extraction from Iran's largest and the world's second largest lead and zinc reserve began today at a ceremony attended by Industry Minister Nematzadeh. "The mine is situated at Mehriz, 116 kilometers southeast of Yazd city, and contains over 160 million tons of lead and zinc with purities of 2.3 and 7.3 per cent, respectively," said Amin Safari, Managing Director of Mehdiabad Lead and Zinc Mining Complex. 7/21/17

Avoiding War With Iran

- The last thing the United States needs is another war in the Middle East. Yet a drumbeat of provocative words, outright threats and actions -- from President Trump and some of his top aides as well as Sunni Arab leaders and American activists -- is raising tensions that could lead to armed conflict with Iran. -New York Times Editorial Board 7/21/17

Rights Groups Urge Iran's President Rohani To Drop Justice Minister In Second Term

- Eleven human rights and media freedom groups have called on Iranian President Hassan Rohani not to reappoint Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, whom rights advocates have accused of involvement in the killings of dissidents in 1988. 7/21/17

Acclaimed Iranian artist refused visa to attend Edinburgh book festival

- Ehsan Abdollahi, described by the festival's director as a "highly respected, award-winning Iranian illustrator of kids' books", was due to arrive in the UK early August, but he has received a visa refusal letter, issued by the British embassy in Dubai and seen by the Guardian. It states that he has "no right of appeal or right to administrative review". -Guardian 7/21/17

Hacked Emails Reveal Close Ties Between UAE and Anti-Iran/Qatar Advocacy Groups

- Emails allegedly originating from the hacked email account of United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al-Otaiba and sent to LobeLog by "GlobalLeaks" appear to show a close relationship between UANI and CEP principals and the UAE government, raising questions about possible UAE funding of the U.S. based groups, both of which engaged in lobbying and public diplomacy campaigns. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 7/21/17

Iran nuclear deal outcome of collective global cooperation: EU Foreign Policy Chief

- The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, says the "strong" nuclear deal struck in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 states is the outcome of "collective cooperation," emphasizing that the landmark accord does not just belong to the signatories but the entire global community. 7/20/17

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Autumn Dance by Shabnam Tolouei

Iranian Lawmakers Aim To Scrap Discriminatory Citizenship Law - The status of the daughter of the late Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani has inspired an Iranian lawmaker to propose new legislation. A group of Iranian lawmakers are looking to scrap a longstanding law that denies citizenship and equal rights to Iranian children born to foreign fathers. -Frud Bezhan, RFE 7/20/17

Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile - In October 1999 during a trip to Cairo, Cyrus Kadivar, an exiled Iranian living in London, visited the tomb of the last shah and opened a Pandora's box. Haunted by nostalgia for a bygone era, he recalled a protected and idyllic childhood in the fabled city of Shiraz and his coming of age during the 1979 Iranian revolution. Back in London, he reflected on what had happened to him and his family after their uprooting and decided to conduct his own investigation into why he lost his country. 7/20/17

Iranian Guards Warn U.S. To Move Gulf Bases, Avoid 'Miscalculations' - The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on July 19 warned Washington to move its bases in the Persian Gulf region and avoid "miscalculations" over new sanctions against Tehran, Iranian news agencies reported. 7/20/17

Iranian, European universities ink MoU on higher education cooperation - Twenty Iranian and 22 European universities have signed an agreement to continue cooperation in the area of higher education, an Iranian deputy minister of science, research and technology says. Hossein Salar Amoli, deputy minister of science, research and technology for international affairs, added that a large science and technology delegation from the European Union recently traveled to Iran and discussed ways of boosting scientific and educational cooperation between Iran and EU member states. 7/20/17

Performance in Stanford: "Autumn Dance" follows three tormented Iranian women experiencing exile... - Autumn Dance, written and directed by Shabnam Tolouei, follows three tormented Iranian women experiencing exile, even while living in their own country. Bita, a journalist, and Mojdeh, a prostitute, are both imprisoned in Iran's infamous Evin prison. The third, Yekta, lives in exile in Paris. The simple elegance of the play allows the audience to be transported from Tehran to Paris, to uncover the connection between these three women. 7/20/17

Iran: Halt Drug-Related Executions - The Iranian government should immediately halt all executions for drug-related offenses while parliament debates amendments to reform the country's drug law, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament is expected to vote in two weeks on an amendment to the drug law that would drastically increase the bar for a mandatory death penalty sentence. 7/20/17

Donald Trump's Road to Debacle in the Greater Middle East - The superhighway to disaster is already being paved. From Donald Trump's first days in office, news of the damage to America's international stature has come hard and fast. As if guided by some malign design, the new president seemed to identify the key pillars that have supported U.S. global power for the past 70 years and set out to topple each of them in turn. -Alfred W. McCoy, LobeLog 7/20/17

Why Iran Broke Its Strict Hijab Rules for the 'Queen of Math' - Maryam Mirzakhani will be remembered as a woman who broke glass ceilings in life and in death. In 2014, the Iranian mathematician became the first and only woman ever to win the Fields Medal, popularly known as the Nobel Prize of the math world. And when she died last Friday at age 40, some Iranian media outlets, as well as President Rouhani himself, broke a national taboo by publishing photos in which she appeared with her hair uncovered. -Siga Samuel, The Atlantic 7/20/17

NIAC Action Statement on Congress Rejecting Amendments to Bar Muslim-ban Funding - "We applaud Representatives Mark Pocan and Barbara Lee for leading the charge against the Trump administration's Muslim ban. By offering amendments to defund elements of the ban, Representatives Pocan and Senator Lee demonstrated real leadership in attempting to put an end to Congressional inaction and forego the need for further judicial intervention regarding the Muslim ban. The Pocan amendment, which came to a vote, was unfortunately defeated on a largely party line vote." 7/19/17

Rohani Says Tehran Will Respond 'Appropriately' To New U.S. Sanctions - Iranian President Hassan Rohani says that Tehran would "respond appropriately" to new U.S. sanctions while reiterating that his country remained committed to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. "The Islamic Republic of Iran will always stick to its international commitments," Rohani said at a July 19 cabinet meeting, according to a text posted on the government's website. 7/19/17

'Positive Signs' Seen by Supporters of British-Iranian Woman Jailed in Tehran - A British opposition lawmaker campaigning for the release of a British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran for more than a year has welcomed signs that the British government is trying harder to free her. In an interview with VOA's Persian Service, lawmaker Tulip Siddiq said she was pleased that the government held a parliamentary debate Tuesday on the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Siddiq spoke to VOA via Skype video from outside Parliament shortly after the debate concluded. -VOA 7/19/17

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Trying To 'Poison Atmosphere' With 'Illegal' Sanctions - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused U.S. President Donald Trump's administration of trying to "poison the atmosphere" by imposing new sanctions on Tehran despite its adherence to the 2015 nuclear accord. "This unfortunately has become a bad habit for this administration," Zarif told reporters at the United Nations in New York. "The international community has read this very loud and clear and continues to deal with Iran without much attention to this theater." 7/19/17

Iranian women's presence in job market up 40 percent: Report - The number of women in the Iranian job market has experienced a 40 percent growth over the past three years, Irantalent.com reported. The report, which is related to the previous Iranian calendar year (March 2016-March 2017), puts women's share of employees in branches of international companies at 29 percent, in privately-owned companies at 32 percent, and in state-run organizations at 20 percent. 7/19/17

Married Women in Iran Still Need "Permission" to Travel Abroad Under Amendment to Passport Law - An amendment proposed by the Iranian Parliament's Women's Block to the country's Passport Law does nothing to ease state restrictions on married women's ability to independently travel abroad, a legal expert told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 7/19/17

The U.S. and Iran are heading toward crisis - "It is a devastating sign ... that an American president is being outflanked so easily by an Iranian foreign minister," Slate's Fred Kaplan wrote. "It's a sorrier sign still that the Iranian foreign minister is in the right." -Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post 7/19/17

Pro-Rouhani Journalist Tortured by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Acquitted of Anti-State Charges - More than two years after his arrest and torture by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reformist journalist Farzad Pourmoradi, a supporter of President Hassan Rouhani, has been acquitted of the charges laid against him. In a post on his Facebook page on July 12, 2017, Pourmoradi said he had been acquitted of "propaganda against the state," "assembly and collusion against national security" and "insulting state officials." 7/19/17

With U.S. scholar's conviction, power struggle escalates between Iran's president and hard-liners - A high-stakes power struggle between Iran's moderate president and his hard-line opponents in the judiciary appeared to escalate with the arrest of the president's brother and the conviction of an American student for espionage this weekend -- rulings that seemed timed to embarrass the Iranian leader at home and abroad. -Erin Cunningham, Washington Post 7/19/17

Why is CIA Director Weighing in With Policy Advice on Iran? - I found it passing strange that Trump used all but an hour to keep saying that he didn't want to approve the certification. After all, such a conversation would become mighty trying for all parties (except the principal), something similar to persuading a really stubborn four-year-old he had to go to the dentist because he would otherwise lose his teeth. And it was very difficult to imagine that Trump was, by himself, making substantive or even political arguments as to why he shouldn't certify that Iran was complying with the JCPOA in the absence of any real evidence that it wasn't. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/19/17

Trump Recertifies Iran Nuclear Deal, but Only Reluctantly - President Trump agreed on Monday to certify again that Iran is complying with an international nuclear agreement that he has strongly criticized, but only after hours of arguing with his top national security advisers, briefly upending a planned announcement as a legal deadline loomed. -New York Times 7/18/17

Details of US Student's 10-Year Sentence in Iran Reveal Yet Another Arbitrary Prosecution of a Western National - The Iranian judiciary's sentencing of American academic researcher Xiyue Wang to 10 years in prison on unspecified espionage charges reflects the continued ability of security and intelligence agencies to dictate unlawful and arbitrary judicial prosecutions of Western nationals, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. 7/18/17

Brother of Iran's President Rohani Reportedly Released On Bail - Iranian President Hassan Rohani's younger brother, Hossein Fereidoun, has been released on bail days after his arrest over unspecified allegations of financial impropriety, Iranian news agencies reported. Fereidoun's release on July 17 followed reports that he was taken to a hospital after seeming unwell at a court appearance. 7/18/17

Iran's Foreign Minister Warns Donald Trump That Tehran Can Abandon the Nuclear Deal - Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister in an interview in New York on Monday, July 17, 2017. The following is a lightly edited transcript. 7/18/17

Russians set record with Iran oil deals - The National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) and Russia's Zarubezhneft have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop two oil fields in southwest Iran. The agreement signed in Tehran Monday allows the state-run Russian company to conduct technical surveys on Shadegan and Rag Sefid fields in Khuzestan Province. 7/18/17

These Are The Trump White House's Talking Points For Why The Iran Deal Is Staying In Place - Even as it is on the verge of certifying Iran's compliance with the nuclear weapons agreement for the second time, the Trump administration issued talking points denouncing the Iranians' "malign activities" and promising to work with Congress on a tougher stance. -Buzzfeed 7/18/17

Iran to export 1 million tonnes of wheat: Official - Iran expects to export 1 million tonnes of surplus wheat and its products this year, up 60 percent from the year ago, the country's trade regulator the Government Trading Company (GTC) says. GTC Managing Director Yazdan Seif on Tuesday said the rise was "the result of the creation of necessary mechanisms and the increase in wheat production as well as guaranteed purchases of wheat, especially durum." 7/18/17

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Warn US Against Terrorist Designation, New Sanctions - A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned the United States on Monday that if it designated the group a terrorist organization and applied new sanctions its action could be perilous for U.S. forces in the region. -Reuters 7/18/17

Iranian Soldier Kills Three Comrades Before Killing Self - Iranian media reported on July 17 that a soldier opened fire on his comrades, killing three and injuring six others before killing himself. The reports from Mehr news agency and Iranian television said the incident took place when soldiers were resting at a military base in the town of Abyek, northwest of Tehran. 7/18/17

Maryam Mirzakhani was a 'milestone' for Iranian women's successes: President Rouhani - "The unparalleled brilliance of this creative scientist and yet humble person which made the name of Iran resonate in the world's scientific community was a milestone in introducing the grand efforts and determination of Iranian women and youth for climbing the peaks of success in various international fields," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a message on Saturday. 7/17/17

Contradictory Laws Exasperate Debate Over Iranian Women's Observance of Hijab in Cars - The growing number of women refusing to cover their hair while driving in Iran, especially during the hot summer months, has resulted in renewed threats of arrests for violations of the country's mandatory hijab law. 7/17/17

PHOTOS: Minimal landscapes of Iran - Photographer Mohammad Moheimany has captured some very beautiful pictures from natural landscapes and surrounding environments of Iran in Landscape and Minimal styles. 7/17/17

Shahnameh audiobook, with introduction by Francis Ford Coppola, released - An audio version of the Shahnameh, the epic masterpiece of Persian poet Ferdowsi, has been released in English with an introduction by U.S. filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in the United States. American voice actor Marc Thompson has narrated the stories based on the latest translation by Ahmad Sadri published by Quantuck Lane Press in 2013, Kingorama, the U.S.-based publisher of "Shahnameh, the Epic of the Persian Kings", has announced. 7/17/17

Iran Navy rejects US claim of shining laser at US chopper over Strait of Hormuz - Iran has dismissed a recent accusation by US Navy that an Iranian patrol boat had shined laser at an American helicopter flying over the Strait of Hormuz. Back in June, US Navy Commander Bill Urban claimed that the Iranian vessel recently turned its spotlight on two American ships, the USS Cole and USS Bataan, which were moving through the strait. 7/17/17

Secretary Tillerson, It's Time to Phone Iran - When ten American sailors found themselves captives of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps in the Persian Gulf last year, then-Secretary John Kerry secured their freedom in less than sixteen hours. He used a remarkable instrument to score this stunning victory: A telephone. Within hours of their capture, Kerry had his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, on the line. They spoke five times that evening, but they already had a deal by the second call. -Trita Parsi, American Conservative 7/17/17

Iranian Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, First Woman To Win Fields Medal In Math, Dies At 40 - Mirzakhani in 2014 won the Fields Medal, the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize that is awarded every four years by the International Congress of Mathematicians. The medal is given to people aged 40 or younger who make major contributions to math. She received hers for her "striking and highly original contributions to geometry and dynamical systems," the committee said at the time. Mirzakhani died in an undisclosed U.S. hospital after the cancer she had been fighting for four years spread to her bone marrow. 7/16/17

We Shouldn't Defend the JCPOA at the Expense of the Iran Deal - On the two-year anniversary of the agreement, U.S. supporters of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including many former Obama administration officials, are admirably working to defend the deal through media appearances and coordinated statements. Their message that "diplomacy works" is an important one at a time when America's global leadership seems in doubt. However, the rhetoric in Washington defending the JPCOA remains problematic, because it pursues the preservation of the deal in a way that undermines the unfolding detente between Iran and the international community. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj 7/16/17

Iranian Activist and Mother of Slain Protester Summoned to Court Same Day Intelligence Minister Denounces Arrests of Activists - Human rights activist Shahnaz Akmali was summoned to court for unspecified charges on the same day the head of Iran's Intelligence Ministry-the authority that initially arrested her-announced his opposition to the arrests of peaceful activists. 7/16/17

Responding to the Cotton Letter - Four GOP senators wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week urging him not to certify that Iran is in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has been one of the most vocal opponent of the agreement. The other signatories are Ted Cruz (R-TX), David Perdue (R-GA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). These talking points come from Diplomacy Works, an organization devoted to a diplomacy-first approach to foreign policy -LobeLog 7/16/17

Knife Attacker Shot Dead At Tehran Subway Station - Police in Tehran have shot dead a man who attacked a cleric and other people with a knife at a subway station, Iran's state media reported. A spokesman for the metro said traffic at the Shar-e Rey station had returned to normal after the incident. 7/16/17

U.S. Federal Court Rules Against Trump Restrictions On Travelers With U.S. Relatives - A U.S. judge has ruled against the Trump administration's restrictions on refugees and travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries who have American relatives. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu said late on July 13 that people with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and other American relatives currently barred by the administration should be allowed into the country. 7/14/17

Staged Visit by Foreign Ambassadors to Iran's Evin Prison Condemned by Rights Activists - A state-choreographed visit by dozens of foreign ambassadors based in Iran to Tehran's Evin Prison has been condemned by prominent human rights activists inside and outside the country for glossing over the prison's documented history of ongoing human rights violations. 7/14/17

A Delusional James Mattis: Iran commander slams US regime change 'dream' - A senior Iranian commander has dismissed the Pentagon chief's call for regime change in the Islamic Republic as a "ridiculous dream", saying Iran would respond to US officials' nonsensical talks. James Mattis on Monday described Iran "the most destabilizing influence in the Middle East", saying a regime change would be necessary before the US and Iran could have substantially positive relations. 7/14/17

US not fully compliant with spirit of nuclear deal: Iranian FM Zarif - The Iranian foreign minister has lashed out at the US for its failure to completely observe its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal by occasionally preventing the Islamic Republic from enjoying the full benefits of the agreement. Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in New York, Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that all parties to the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), must remain committed to the terms of the agreement. 7/14/17

Japanese, Korean firms to fund "Octopus of the Persian Gulf" - A consortium of South Korean and Japanese companies has signed agreements to fund and implement a chain of condensate refining projects in southern Iran - a project known as the Octopus of the Persian Gulf. The agreements were signed between South Korea's Daelim and Hyundai as well as Japan's Chioda - all partners in the project to construct Siraf refineries in Iran's southern province of Bushehr. 7/14/17

'Game of Thrones' fever grips Iran - Westeros fever has gripped Tehran and other cities as Iranians eagerly count down the days to season seven of HBO's series to begin on July 16. Some might credit the interest to the fact that its composer Ramin Djawadi is of Iranian descent. Others point to the fictional legend of Azor Ahai - a deity known as the Lord of Light - being inspired by Zoroastrianism... -Holly Dagres, Al-Monitor 7/14/17

This London-based investor says Iran holds huge promise -- and it's not just in energy - Iran has piqued financial interest throughout the world for its massive energy reserves, but the country actually has a host of other opportunities in less obvious areas, according to one global investor. For Clemente Cappello, CIO of London-based Sturgeon Capital, Iran holds promise in part for its cheap labor, abundance of natural resources, and well-educated youth. -CNBC 7/14/17

Iranian researcher: Political past not related to US work - An Iranian researcher denied entry to the United States without explanation told The Associated Press in an email Friday that he was given no indication his political activity or prior involvement in a volunteer paramilitary militia were reasons for the denial. -AP 7/14/17

New Details on the 1953 Coup in Iran - In June, the State Department's historical office finally released a new collection of documents on the US role in the August 1953 coup in Iran, after years of delay. These documents provide interesting new details about the circumstances surrounding the coup, in which a team of CIA officers worked with certain Iranians to overthrow Iran's popular prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, and install retired general Fazlollah Zahedi in his place, establishing a dictatorship that lasted for 25 years. -Mark Gasiorowski 7/13/17

Reza Sixo Safai on his Film "The Persian Connection" - Samuel Goldwyn Films is releasing its first Iranian film, The Persian Connection this week on July 14th. This stylish neon-noir thriller is set in the opium underworld of "Tehrangeles" and features a protagonist who was a child soldier during the Iran-Iraq War. The film premiered at TriBeCa 2106 to rave reviews. Reza Sixo Safai produced the film and plays the lead role; he spoke with us about it 7/13/17

Rights Activists Urge Iran's President Rohani to Nominate Women to His Cabinet - "If women were given the opportunity, they could show that they are equally capable and competent [as men] at serving in high levels of government," journalist and women's rights activist Asieh Amini told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "We have many well-qualified women in politics, business, social services and cultural affairs who could handle being ministers or even the president," she added. 7/13/17

Retired Flag Officers Warn Against Regime Change and "Aggressive Posturing" Toward Iran - An open letter to President Trump from 38 retired generals and admirals and warning against policies of "regime change" and "aggressive posturing" toward Iran has just been released amid growing concerns that Washington and Tehran could be sliding into a war. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/13/17

Iranian Doctor Denied U.S. Entry Accused Of Links To Basij Force - An Iranian medical researcher who was prevented from entering the United States to work at a Boston hospital is believed to have been an active member of the Basij force used in Iran as a tool of state repression. Seyed Mohsen Dehnavi was the head of the Basiji at Tehran's Sharif University, former students at the university and activists claim. 7/13/17

Iran, EU start first ever joint project on nuclear safety - Iran and the European Union have launched their first joint project aimed at strengthening bilateral nuclear safety cooperation on the eve of the second anniversary of Tehran's nuclear deal with six world powers. 7/13/17

Iran's Newest Robot Is an Adorable Dancing Humanoid - Over the last several years, a team of roboticists at the University of Tehran has been working on increasingly large and complex life-size humanoids. For their latest project, however, the Iranian researchers decided to build something smaller--and cuter. -Erico Guizzo, IEEE 7/13/17

Why Iran Will Not Go the Way of the USSR - Since the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, articles have appeared in the West arguing that, sooner or later, Iran's ethnic and linguistic diversity will lead it to go the way of the USSR and dissolve into several states. Moreover, subscribers to this theory believe that the United States should encourage such a disintegrative process by further isolating Iran economically and politically, while also supporting its separatist elements. -Shireen T. Hunter 7/12/17

Political Debate Heats Up in Iran - A popular joke was bouncing around in South Africa in the early 1990s. Given the country's overwhelming challenges, people have two options, a practical one and a miraculous one. The practical option is for everyone to get down on their knees and pray for a band of angels to come down from heaven and solve the problems. The miraculous option is that people and politicians talk with each other and work things out. Today, this joke applies to both Iran and America-despite their many differences. -Ali Reza Eshraghi 7/12/17

Yikes, Mattis Still Has It in for Iran! - Secretary of Defense James Mattis remains as hostile as ever towards the Islamic Republic of Iran, as he recently made clear in remarks to The Islander, the newspaper of Mercer Island High School. The Pentagon chief, often referred to as one of the few "adults in the room" that presumably makes up the national-security contingent of the Trump administration, gave an extended interview to senior Teddy Fischer, which the Seattle-area school paper published in full on its website. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/12/17

U.S. Hands Off Iran - I just travelled to Iran where was I was invited to speak at the University of Tehran about human rights and "humanitarian intervention." I put this term in quotes because I've rarely ever seen any intervention that was truly humanitarian or that produced humane results, but more on that later. Before I traveled to Iran, a number of friends and family members expressed shock that I would go there, feared for my safety and well-being, with some urging me not to go at all... -Dan Kovalik, Huffington Post 7/12/17

On Iran, Canada Should Pick Up Where Obama Left Off - As the two-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal approaches, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has an opportunity to put his government's new approach to foreign policy into effect by expressing support for the historic agreement reached between world powers and Iran, particularly as uncertainty increases surrounding the Trump administration's support for the deal. -Navid Hassibi, LobeLog 7/12/17

International firms negotiate $200B of oil deals in Iran - Asian and European companies are negotiating participation in Iran's oil and gas development projects which need $200 billion worth of investment, according to Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh. Iran looks to absorb 65% to 70% of this sum from abroad, the minister told Iran's Parliament where he was Tuesday to answer questions about a $5 billion gas deal signed with French giant Total earlier this month. 7/12/17

Iranian Soccer Stars Call For End To Ban On Women Spectators - Ali Karimi, who is widely regarded as one of the best Iranian players of all time, expressed hope on July 10 that "the conditions are set with the help of" President Hassan Rohani and the Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) "for women to enter stadiums" as spectators. Weeks earlier, Iranian national team captain Masud Shojaei called on Rohani to lift the ban. 7/11/17

Photos: Lake Maharloo simmers, turns red - The waters of rich salt lake Maharloo (map), situated on the outskirts of Shiraz in southern Iran, look reddish for a good reason. The growth of bacteria and particularly seaweeds come to change the color of the water body which is rich in potassium and salts. In mid-summer the lake loses its water due to high evaporation leaving behind a white bed and reddish color water. -Reza Ghaderi 7/10/17

Iran's historic city of Yazd inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added the historical texture of Yazd in central Iran to its list of world heritage sites. According to the UNESCO website, the historical structure of Yazd is a collection of public-religious architecture in a very large scope comprising of different Islamic architectural elements of different periods in a harmonious combination with climatic conditions. 7/9/17

Six Designs from Iran competing in 2017 World Architecture Festival in Berlin - Six designs by Iranian architects have been shortlisted for awards at the 2017 World Architecture Festival, which will be held in Berlin from November 15 to 17. Pars Hospital in Rasht and a house named Three Views in Tehran, both completed at the New Wave Architecture Company, have been nominated in the Completed Buildings' category. In the Future Projects, the Tehran Mixed Use Complex in Tehran designed at the EAA Emre Arolat Architecture will compete... 7/9/17

Here's Why Washington Hawks Love This Cultish Iranian Exile Group - What were a Saudi prince, a former Republican House Speaker and a former Democratic vice-presidential candidate doing together in a suburb of Paris last weekend? Would you be surprised to discover that Prince Turki Bin Faisal, Newt Gingrich and Joe Lieberman were speaking on behalf of a group of Iranian exiles that was officially designated a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" by the United States government between 1997 and 2012? -Mehdi Hasan, Intercept 7/9/17

Country Managers Make Post-Sanctions Iran Work - On July 3, Patrick Pouyanne, the imposing, former rugby-playing CEO of Total, arrived in Tehran to sign a landmark $5 billion contract to develop Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars gas field in cooperation with the China National Petroleum Corporation and Petropars, an Iranian firm. The deal was a sign of Pouyanne's ambition and resolve in the face of the Trump administration's rhetoric towards Iran. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj 7/8/17

The Foolishness of Regime-Change Fantasies - Stop me if you've heard this one before. There's an out-of-control regime run by a madman halfway around the world, and if the U.S. government doesn't topple it ASAP, a lot of people are going to die. The United States has tried its hand a lot at regime change. By one count, the US tried to overthrow 72 different governments during the Cold War alone-and that's before the most recent misadventures in Iraq and Libya. It's not exactly a track record of success: the United States failed most of the time to accomplish the fundamental goal of toppling the target. And a quick glance at Iraq is enough to remind you that even when America "succeeds," it often really fails. -Stephen Miles 7/7/17

New Neocon Mantra: Iran, like Soviet Union, on Verge of Collapse - Iran hawks suddenly have a new mantra: the Islamic Republic is the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, and the Trump administration should work to hasten the regime's impending collapse. It's not clear why this comparison has surfaced so abruptly. Its proponents don't cite any tangible or concrete evidence that the regime in Tehran is somehow on its last legs. But I'm guessing that months of internal policy debate on Iran has finally reached the top echelons in the policy-making chaos that is the White House these days. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/7/17

IRAN: Laft village's Historical mansions on path to glory - Iran's heritage body plans to lead several restoration projects at the village of Laft (map) on the southern Qeshm Island with the aim of bringing fifteen historical mansions and houses back to their heyday glory. Perched on a rocky slope in the Persian Gulf, the fishing village offers its visitors a patchwork of delightfully photogenic scenes of badgirs (wind towers) and minarets. 7/7/17

Book Review: Losing an Enemy - Trita Parsi has written a great book about what remains the most outstanding diplomatic feat of the 21st century. It is the first work to describe in detail the whole course of the extraordinarily complex international negotiation that led to the conclusion in Vienna on July 14, 2015 of the now famous Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA-the arrangement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK, US), plus Germany to cap Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic. -Francois Nicoulaud 7/6/17

New Revelations of the U.S. involvement in 1953 Coup in Iran - The State Department has finally released a much-awaited volume of internal documents from 1951 to 1954, the period during which Mohammad Mossadeq was president of Iran. The department is obliged to publish 30-year-old documents in its annual series entitled Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). -Ervand Abrahamian 7/4/17

Mehdi Fard-Qaderi's "Immortality" crowned best at Italy's Ischia Film Festival - "Immortality" by Mehdi Fard-Qaderi won the award for best feature movie at the 15th Ischia Film Festival on the Italian island on Saturday, the organizers announced. The film was competing in the official section of the festival, which began on June 24. "Immortality", which is a one-shot feature film, tells the story of some strangers who have to spend a rainy night together on a train. 7/4/17

Iranian maestro Maziar Heidari among Canada's Top 25 Immigrants of 2017 - Iranian composer and orchestra conductor Maziar Heidari is among Canada's Top 25 Immigrants of 2017. The Canadian Immigrant magazine has announced winners of its ninth annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards which chooses and celebrates the success stories of Canadian immigrants who have made an influential contribution to Canada. The award is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). 7/1/17

Iran finishes third in 2017 World Taekwondo Championships - Iran men's national taekwondo team has put in convincing performances at the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea, and ranked third at the end of the high-status international event. On Friday, the Iranian team stood on the third podium, having garnered 46 points. Also on Friday, 18-year-old Iranian taekwondo practitioner and bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Kimia Alizadeh Zenoozi, got the silver medal in the women's minus 62-kilogram class. 7/1/17

The Real Security Threats on Iran's Periphery - Pressure has once again become the name of the game in regards to U.S. policy on Iran. The Senate has passed sweeping new sanctions, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declared that the U.S. will "counter Iran's aspiration of hegemony" and work towards a "peaceful transition" of the Iranian government. As U.S.-Iran tensions increase in eastern Syria, murmurs are growing of a potential disastrous war on the horizon. -Seyed Hossein Mousavian 7/1/17

Iranian American Organizations Denounce State Department Travel Ban Guidelines - As organizations representing the Iranian American community, we denounce the new guidelines for the revised Travel Ban issued by the State Department on Wednesday night. Following the Supreme Court's June 26th, decision to move the Travel Ban forward while exempting those who can "credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," the State Department's guidelines ban extended family including grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and fiances from entering the country. 6/30/17

The Growing Danger of War With Iran - A combination of circumstances has increased the risk that armed conflict will break out between the United States and Iran. Such a war is no certainty, but the chance that one will occur is greater today than it has been in years. Some of the relevant circumstances, such as the first two mentioned below, have been around in some form for a substantial amount of time, while others are more recent. -Paul Pillar 6/29/17

Germany stands by Iran nuclear deal, praises it as 'historic window' - German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday a nuclear deal with Iran has helped lower the risk of a major conflict in the Mideast and that Germany will do whatever is possible to hold all parties to it. "Our clear position is we stand by this agreement," Gabriel told reporters after talks in Berlin with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. 6/28/17

Iranian-American Organizations issue statements on Trump's Muslim ban after Supreme Court decision - "Today's Supreme Court decision immediately places the status of many Americans' families into question again. The Iranian-American community, Muslims across America, and families directly impacted by the ban are now reliving the chaotic days following the Muslim ban in January. Fears of the Trump administration once again spreading chaos by triumphing in the courts and reinstituting parts of its ban that has separated families have been realized. 6/27/17

IAPAC Proudly Endorses Campaigns of Iranian American Candidates - Today, the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) proudly announced its support for the campaigns of Kia Hamadanchy and Amir Farokhi who are running for the U.S. Congress and the Atlanta City Council, respectively. For more information about how you can get involved in these races, please visit: Kia for Congress and Amir for Atlanta. 6/26/17

Secretary Tillerson Eschews Iran Diplomacy in Favor of Regime Change - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated he has no plans for negotiations with Iran and expressed favor for moving to support elements within Iran intent on regime change during testimony on the State Department budget in the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday. Tillerson's remarks are certain to ratchet up tensions with Iran, where elements remain deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions and have levied charges on ordinary citizens for alleged collaboration with hostile powers. -Darius Namazi, NIAC 6/23/17

Featured Web Site

The American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS)



An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Volume 3


Featured Articles

Philanthropy

Sarava (Iranian Venture Capital firm)

Rights

Joint Statement of Iranian-American Organizations on Detentions of Iranians

General

World Bank forecasts 5.8% GDP growth for Iran in 2016

Iranian-American

The CIA Coup Against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq: Iran 1953 Covert History Quietly Released

Politics

Reacting to the Tehran Attacks in Europe and the US

Economy

Iranian Women Face Bias in the Workplace: Human Rights Watch

Culture

Going their own way

Sports

FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP: Iran finishes third to make Asian history

Art

"In order to Create, One must First Destroy": An Interview with Parvaneh Etemadi

Literature

The Past, the Present, and the Bridge: Ali Dehbashi's Bukhara Magazine

Travel

New Trump's "Extreme Vetting" Proposal Raises Alarm Bells

Environment

December 4 marks International Cheetah Day: World's fastest land animal is racing against extinction

Entertainment

"The Salesman" by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi wins Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film

Music

A New Life For Iran's Orchestras?

Book

A book by Meghan Nuttall Sayres: "Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran"

Event

Beyond the Ban: Contemporary Iranian Art Exhibition in New York

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last updated on Fri Jul 21 11:10:53 -04 2017