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February 16 2019
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Iran needs youth league for talent identification: Coach Katayoun Khosrowyar

- Katayoun Khosrowyar, head coach of Iran's U19 women's football team, is worried for not having a youth league for talent identification and for development of young players. The Iranian team will participate at the Kuban Spring Women's U19 Football Tournament next month and she will test four new Iranian-American players in the event. 02/15/19

Russia, Turkey, Iran Poised to Map Syria's Future

- The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey are meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi Thursday to discuss the conflict in Syria for the first time since the United States announced its troop withdrawal. Although the Kremlin hasn't divulged details, a number of observers say questions about the strategic implications of a U.S. pullout and differences between Moscow and Ankara on a political settlement in northern Syria are likely to predominate. -Pete Cobus, VOA 02/15/19

Ten Detained Political Activists and Environmentalists Denied Counsel in Iran's Kurdistan Province

- Ten political activists and environmentalists arrested in Iran's Kurdistan Province between December 31, 2018, and January 6, 2019, are being held at the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in the city of Sanandaj while being denied access to legal counsel and contact with family members. -CHRI 02/15/19

IRAN: Sugar Mill Workers Call for International Action to Free Detained Colleagues Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Qoliyan

- A union representing workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar mill in the Iranian city of Shush, Khuzestan Province, has called on individuals and international organizations to demand the release of union representative Esmail Bakshi and freelance reporter Sepideh Qoliyan from the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in Ahvaz. -CHRI 02/15/19

Javad Zarif warns it would be 'suicidal' to go to war with Iran

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned the U.S. and its allies that it would be "suicidal" to start a war with Iran, accusing Washington of having a "pathological obsession" with his country.. In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with NBC News on Friday, Zarif said that the "same gang" behind the 2003 Iraq War are"at it again" in pushing for war with his country. -Richard Engel, NBC News 02/15/19

Trump's Iran summit shows just how far he is from the rest of the west

- Pompeo's Warsaw war rally marks another stage in the deliberate, Trumpian process of dividing and disrupting the postwar western alliance, to the point of disintegration. If it were not obvious already, this week's bellicose tub-thumping demonstrates that Britain, France and Germany can no longer rely on rational, informed, balanced US leadership. And Iran cannot rely on the European powers to stop Trump's next war of choice. -Simon Tisdall, Guardian 02/15/19

Netanyahu's 'War' Comment Wasn't an Accident

- On Wednesday, before the opening of the Warsaw Ministerial conference on the Middle East, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to an Israeli TV reporter. The gathering of more 60 nations -- including Arab countries -- is, he said, an important step in pursuing their "common interest in advancing war with Iran." -Zev Chafets, Bloomberg 02/15/19

Suicide attack in Iran frames visit to Pakistan by Saudi crown prince

- While Baluchistan is set to figure prominently in Prince Mohammed's talks with Mr. Khan, the attack also coincided with a US-sponsored conference in Warsaw, widely seen as an effort by the Trump administration to further isolate Iran economically and diplomatically...Mr. Giuliani told the protesters who waved Iranian flags and giant yellow balloons emblazoned with the words, "Regime Change" that "we want to see a regime change in Iran." -James M. Dorsey 02/14/19

Unable to Move His Arm, Iranian Political Prisoner Arash Sadeghi Denied Hospitalization for Infected Biopsy Wound

- Arash Sadeghi, a political prisoner in Iran, has lost the ability to move his right arm due to an infection on his shoulder that has been left untreated in Rajaee Shahr Prison, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. "After the biopsy, the assigned doctor prescribed monthly hospital visits to check his tumor and stop its growth," said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons. "But the head of Rajaee Shahr Prison always comes up with some excuse to prevent Sadeghi's transfer to the hospital. -CHRI 02/14/19

Terrorists attack IRGC bus; Iran vows revenge

- A number of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces have been killed in a terrorist attack in southeastern Iran. The attack killed 27 IRGC members and injured 13 others, initial reports suggested. -Press TV 02/14/19

Featured Video

Farhang Foundation Presents Nowruz 2019 at UCLA

Iran: Female Defendant Not in Court as Others Tried for Spying - Iran says Niloufar Bayani, a female member of a group of eight conservationists on trial for spying, has been absent from the courtroom this week as a prosecutor continued reading charges that rights activists say are bogus. -Michael Lipin, VOA 02/14/19

US Charges Former Air Force Intel Officer With Spying for Iran - A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence officer who defected to Iran nearly six years ago has been charged with revealing classified military information to the Iranian government and helping Iran target her former co-workers, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. -Masood Farivar, VOA 02/14/19

Transformation in Iran Will Come From Women - On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, a former political prisoner assesses the prospect of change in Iran. -Amy Mackinnon, Foreign Policy 02/14/19

U.S. Revives Secret Program to Sabotage Iranian Missiles and Rockets - The Trump White House has accelerated a secret American program to sabotage Iran's missiles and rockets, according to current and former administration officials, who described it as part of an expanding campaign by the United States to undercut Tehran's military and isolate its economy. -New York Times 02/14/19

UN court has jurisdiction to hear part of Iran-US dispute - The International Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that it has jurisdiction to hear part of a case brought by Iran against the United States that seeks to claw back around $2 billion worth of frozen Iranian assets. -AP 02/14/19

Intervention: Same Old, Same Old? - Not only is the Trump administration not normal, its foreign policy reveals an administration in turmoil with several foreign policies being pursued at the same time. No wonder the world is confused about what American policy is. Policy-making in this administration is clearly a jump ball. -Gordon Adams, LobeLog 02/14/19

Poll: Majority Of Iranians Still Support JCPOA - In spite of the Trump administration's decision to violate the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and reimpose sanctions in an effort to exert "maximum pressure" on the Iranian government, new polling finds that a majority of Iranians still stand by the agreement. -Derek Davison 02/13/19

Trump Tweeted a Photo of Iranian Protest. He Didn't Ask the Journalist Who Took It. - All her life Yalda Moayeri, a 37-year-old photojournalist from Iran, has struggled with men. She has dealt with mansplaining colleagues, Iranian censors and the country's security forces. Some created obstacles, others pressured her. She always fought back. Now she's tangling with President Trump, who used a photograph she shot without permission for his own political purposes. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times 02/13/19

11TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF NOWRUZ AT UCLA - Join Farhang Foundation for the 11th Annual Celebration of Nowruz at UCLA's Royce Hall and Dickson Courts on March 10, 2019. The event includes musical performances, children's activities, dancers, a Haft Sin display and our annual Persian Costume "Spring Walk" open to children and adults of all ages. 02/13/19

Iranian-Americans nurture new generations after revolution - Today, there are nearly a half-million people in the U.S. with Iranian ancestry. More than 40 percent live in California, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The biggest community is in Los Angeles, which has led some to adopt the nickname "Tehrangeles." Beyond Southern California, other significant populations live in the New York and Washington metropolitan areas, and in Florida and Texas. -Amy Taxin, AP 02/13/19

Warsaw summit: Why Iran is the elephant in the room - The US decision to host a Middle East conference in Warsaw looks set to be a curious diplomatic occasion. But why is this gathering of mainly Western and Arab governments being held in the Polish capital? Poland, which is co-hosting the conference, is not known for its deep involvement in the Middle East's myriad problems. -Jonathan Marcus, BBC 02/13/19

Investors Have Always Struggled in Iran - Given how Iran's economy has fared in the 40 years since the Islamic Revolution, it's reasonable for Iranians to wonder whether they might be more prosperous had the revolution never taken place. Iran's average annual growth in gross domestic product for the years 1961-78 was 8.86 percent, or more than three times higher than the 2.44-percent average for 1980-2017. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, Bloomberg 02/13/19

European powers to present cool front at Warsaw summit - Key European powers will offer only limited participation in a high-profile Trump administration summit on the Middle East starting on Wednesday, reflecting their growing anger over unilateral US policymaking on Iran and Syria. -Patrick Wintour, Guardian 02/13/19

Trump Pushes Iraq to Stop Buying Energy From Iran - The Trump administration is pressuring Iraq to stop buying energy from its neighbor and sole foreign supplier, Iran, in what has become a major point of conflict between Washington and Baghdad. Iraqi leaders, fearing that a further shortfall in power would lead to mass protests and political instability in their electricity-starved country, are pushing back on the demand, which is rooted in President Trump's sanctions against Iran. -Edward Wong, NY Times 02/13/19

Why Has Iran Remained In The Crosshairs - The value of a US Dollar is now around 12,000 Tomans in Iran. The inflation rate seems out of control. There is a shortage of meat, even chicken, as well as other staple commodities and medicines in the market. The prices of locally manufactured automobiles fluctuate from one day to the next. Housing prices have skyrocketed since last year, to where the price of a typical flat in Tehran is over 1,000 US Dollars per square meter! There is also the horrible prospect that what is happening in Venezuela is a model of what the United States has in mind for Iran. -Kambiz Zarrabi 02/12/19

Iranian Agents Tried to Frame Detained Conservationists by Staging Scenes to Falsely Implicate Them - Amid eight conservationists' closed-door trial in Iran's revolutionary court system, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has been informed that agents staged scenes around at least two of the detainees with the intent of implicating them in a false narrative. In one instance, plainclothes agents transported conservation scientist Niloufar Bayani out of Evin Prison in Tehran to several locations in an affluent town for a day and directed her to engage in specific acts while filming her without her consent. -CHRI 02/12/19

Iran's Other Generation Gap, 40 Years On - Among the Revolutionary Faithful, the Young Seek Confrontation While Their Elders Embrace Change -Narges Bajoghli, Foreign Affairs 02/12/19

America's Next Phony War: Will Iran Be Trump's Iraq? - The president was upset. Watching TV in his White House residence, his usual morning routine, Donald Trump saw his intelligence chiefs kick the legs out from under yet another of his pet campaigns: Iran. Trump and two of his top national security officials had been suggesting for two years that the Islamic republic was still in pursuit of a nuclear weapon and posed a mortal threat to its neighbors and the West. -Jeff Stein, Newsweek 02/12/19

Remembering Iran's Revolutionary Days - Blood gushes from the dead man's head, dripping down his face as he sits slouched in the backseat of the yellow Peykan car. Two men search the pockets of the green raincoat that he wears over his army uniform. A teenager, holding his head and crying helplessly, sits on the side of the road, next to a machine gun... -Scheherezade Faramarzi, LobeLog 02/12/19

The White House burns the intelligence community again with a threatening message to Iran - Monday marked the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution, which installed its theocratic government, and national security adviser John Bolton responded to the day in a video address. The White House ended its message to Iran with a veiled threat to Iran's government. Bolton has long advocated bombing Iran and was one of the architects of the US's 2003 invasion of Iraq, which was based on flawed intelligence that indicated the country was working to produce a nuclear weapon. -Alex Lockie, Insider 02/12/19

The Anatomy Of A Revolution - Iran is celebrating the anniversary of its 1979 Revolution this month. Just as with the previous 40 years, an army of experts will attempt to dissect the exact nature of the Islamic Republic, its achievements, and a proverbial laundry list of its shortcomings. -Reza H. Akbari, LobeLog 02/12/19

The Shah's Long Road - On January 16, 1979, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran, boarded a plane at Mehrabad Airport near Tehran. He would never return. Iran, where he had ruled as monarch and dictator for several decades, was in the throes of a revolution, and would soon be led by a new Islamic government led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Fifty-four years of Pahlavi rule, and 2,500 years of Iranian monarchy, were over. -Gregory Brew, LobeLog 02/12/19

IRAN: Grand Ayatollah Speaks Out Against Child Marriage - The story of an 11-year-old girl, Raha, has once again set off another round of muscle flexing by ayatollahs and Shi'ite sources of emulation over the legal age for marriage. Raha, from the province of Ilam, western Iran, was recently forced to marry a 50-year-old man who already has a wife and seven children, Imam Ali Community reported on February 8, adding, "Raha was practically sold for 150 million rials (roughly $1,500)." -Radio Farda 02/11/19

Family of Late Conservationist Kavous Seyed-Emami Petitions Iran to Respond to State TV Smears - One year after his father's suspicious death in Tehran's Evin Prison, Ramin Seyed-Emami has filed a petition to respond to the unsubstantiated reports about his father broadcast by Iran's main state-run broadcasting organization. He is also calling on the judiciary to release his mother, who remains barred from leaving the Islamic Republic despite the expiration of the travel ban that was imposed on her in December 2018. -CHRI 02/11/19

"Ten Years is Enough:" Mother of Canadian Resident Imprisoned in Iran Seeks Pardon - The mother of Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian resident imprisoned in Iran since 2008, sent a letter to Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi on February 1, 2019, requesting that Malekpour be included in a mass pardon of prisoners that may happen in March. -CHRI 02/11/19

The Lasting Lessons Of The Iranian Revolution - February 11 marks the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran, which toppled the country's monarchical system and ushered in the Islamic Republic. The outcomes of that fateful day continue to shape the discourse on Iran and are particularly pertinent in today's political climate. -Assal Rad, LobeLog 02/11/19

The Iran Revolution at 40: From Theocracy to 'Normality' - In February of 1979, Tehran was in chaos. A cancer-stricken Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Western-backed autocrat, had gone into exile in mid-January, leaving behind a rickety regency council. On Feb. 1, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the godfather of the revolution, returned from exile in Paris. And in the Iranian version of "Ten Days That Shook the World," street demonstrations raged until the government collapsed on Feb. 11. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times 02/11/19

Iran revolution: 'I wore a hijab and head-banged to Nirvana' - On my first day of school in Iran we walked down a poorly-lit corridor. I was holding my mother's hand and crying. She was crying too. On my head I had a black hood, known as a maghnaeh, covering my hair. I was six years old and terrified. This was nothing like my kindergarten in Los Angeles. I was born in the summer of 1979 in California, a few months after Iran's Islamic Revolution; my mother was in her early 20s and my grandmother was 50. -Faranak Amidi, BBC 02/11/19

The 1979 Revolution: Unfinished Business In Iran - Iran turns 40 on Monday, give or take a few thousand years. As part of the official commemorations for the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, or what is known in Iran as "Ten Days of Dawn" (Dahe-ye Fajr), state television broadcasts archival footage from that period. The scenes and images are unimaginable the rest of the year. There are men with Western ties and women without Islamic hijabs. Secular housewives march in the streets alongside hezbollahi students... -Shervin Malekzadeh, LobeLog 02/11/19

In pictures: Iran marks anniversary of Islamic Revolution with mass rallies - Various Iranian cities and towns were the scene of mass rallies celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Monday. The revolution toppled the US-backed Pahlavi monarchy and set the stage for the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Press TV 02/11/19

PHOTOS: A Persian Leopard Undergoes Artificial Insemination In Tehran - For the first time a Persian leopard was artificially inseminated at the Tehran Zoological Garden on Thursday morning. German experts lent a hand in implementing the artificial insemination techniques. 02/8/19

PHOTOS: Iran unveils underground ballistic missile plant for first time - Iran has unveiled an underground plant manufacturing precision ballistic missiles for the Aerospace Division of its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). "Unveiling this missile production city deep underground is an answer to the idle talk made by the Westerners, who assume they can restrict us and dissuade us from [pursuing] our long-term goals by means of threats and sanctions," Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC's chief commander, said during the unveiling ceremony on Thursday. 02/8/19

Avoiding War With Iran - In his State of Union, President Trump focused his comments about the Middle East on Iran, the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), and the U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. Despite his negative rhetoric about Iran, Trump did identify some potential common ground with the government in Tehran. -Seyed Hossein Mousavian, LobeLog 02/8/19

Forty years of state lies: RSF unveils leaked Iranian justice file - No fewer than 860 journalists and citizen-journalists were prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned and in some cases executed in Iran between 1979 and 2009, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) revealed today on the basis of information in a leaked Iranian justice department digital file. -RSF 02/8/19

How The CIA Overthrew Iran's Democracy in Four Days - On August 19, 2013, the CIA publicly admitted for the first time its involvement in the 1953 coup against Iran's elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. The documents provided details of the CIA's plan at the time, which was led by senior officer Kermit Roosevelt Jr., the grandson of U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt. -NPR 02/8/19

Mounting Evidence that Clears Eight Conservationists from Grave Charges, Judiciary Still Relies on Forced "Confessions" - In light of the upcoming court session on February 12 in which eight conservationists who have been detained for over a year will have to defend themselves against grave national security charges, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) calls upon the Iranian Judiciary to ensure all safeguards necessary for a free trial will be provided. -CHRI 02/8/19

Iran releases video of its submarine sinking a US aircraft carrier by exploiting a key weakness - Iran released a quirky animated video showing one of its new submarines sinking a US Navy aircraft-carrier strike group in a funny, cartoonish way. But the threat that Iran's submarines pose to US aircraft carriers is no joke. -Business Insider 02/8/19

Ayatollah Khamenei: US 'embodiment of evil, violence' - Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called the US "the embodiment of evil and violence" whose existence relies on encroachment on other countries' sovereignty. -Press TV 02/8/19

IRAN: On the virtues of evolution rather than revolution - In response to a couple of recent articles that I have written about the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and the current situation in Iran, I have received some angry and occasionally rude comments. The writers who comment on social media often lack the honesty or the courage to give their real names and hide their identities behind some pseudonyms. They have even accused me of being guilty of facilitating the fall of the Shah's government, of treason, of being a fanatical supporter of the Islamic Republic, being dishonest and trying to deceive the people. -Farhang Jahanpour 02/7/19

Jason Rezaian's Prisoner Book Reviewed - Beginning July 2014, the Iranians had a problem. For reasons known only to themselves, Revolutionary Guards Security Officers arrested Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi, his wife of 15 months, in the garage of their apartment building in Tehran. Now what were the Iranians going to do? They spent the next year-and-a-half climbing out of the hole they'd dug for themselves. -John Limbert 02/7/19

Hollywood's Leonardo DiCaprio Comes To The Defense Of Detained Environmentalists In Iran - Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has voiced his support for eight environmentalists jailed Iran for more than a year on ambiguous charges of "spying". In a tweet on February 6, DiCaprio calls for support for the detainees who went on trial last month, some facing serious charges, which could lead to death penalty. One of the conservationists died in suspicious circumstances in prison days after his arrest last in January 2018. -Radio Farda 02/7/19

Iran Claims Iraq Will Pay Its Debts, But U.S. Sanctions Make It Hard - One day after Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh complained that Iraq has not paid billions of dollars for its imports from Iran after the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, Iran's Central Bank Governor told reporters that he has reached an agreement with his Iraqi counterpart about the payments. -Radio Farda 02/7/19

Tehran tourism exhibit to host over 700 Iranian, international businesses - A total of 660 Iranian tourism marketers and businesses along with 57 foreign ones will participate in the 12th Tehran International Tourism Exhibition, which will be running from February 12 to 15. Iran hosted 6,074,580 foreign nationals during the first nine months of the currant Iranian calendar year, up by 56 percent year on year. -Tehran Times 02/7/19

The Islamic Revolution's Impact On Political Islam And The Middle East - Iran celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution during the first 10 "Days of Dawn" in February, beginning with February 1, the day Ayatollah Rouhallah Khomeini's plane landed in Tehran in 1979. Middle East observers generally agree that the establishment of the Islamic Republic has had a profound impact on the region--politically, socially, militarily, economically, and culturally. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 02/7/19

U.S. Will Not Renew Iran Sanctions Waivers In May: Brian Hook - U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, says Washington has no plan to extend waivers when the exemptions expire in May. "Iran's oil customers should not expect new waivers to U.S. sanctions in May", the top State Department official reiterated. -Radio Farda 02/7/19

City of Qom: Iranian blend of revolution and modernity - In the religious capital of Iran, the Islamic revolution still holds a powerful sway even as once-unthinkable signs of modernity creep into the city of Qom to challenge the faithful. -Kay Armin Serjoie, AFP 02/7/19

Pompeo, Bolton, And Iran's "Fake Opposition" - As Iranian people struggle for democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law, as well as preserving the national security and territorial integrity of their country, two main groups have emerged among the opposition to Iran's hardliners, both within Iran and in the diaspora. One group, the true opposition that includes the reformists, religious-nationalists, secular leftists, various labor groups, human rights activists, and others, believes that it is up to the Iranian people living in Iran how to change the political system in their country. -Muhammad Sahimi 02/6/19

Iranian-American Michael Rostampour Invited To Iran's National Basketball Team - Rising basketball player Mike Rostampour has been invited to Iran national basketball team. The 6ft 8in (2.03m) Minnesota-born forward has never seen action for the Iran national squad before, but has significant international basketball experience. 02/6/19

Iranian Lawyers Condemn Tehran's Jailing of Colleague, Demand Release - A group of Iranian lawyers has condemned Iran's government for imprisoning a fellow lawyer convicted of slandering a former official and demanded that their colleague be released. In an open letter to the Iranian people dated Monday and shared with VOA Persian by lawyer Hossein Ahmadiniaz, he and 18 other lawyers said Sunday's jailing of their counterpart, Mostafa Tork Hamedani, at Tehran's Evin Prison violates Iran's international commitments to the principles of a fair trial. -Michael Lipin and Shahram Bahraminejad, VOA 02/6/19

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Supporting 'Dictators, Butchers, Extremists' In Middle East - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has responded to criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump by declaring that the United States supports "dictators, butchers, and extremists" in the Middle East. Zarif issued the statement in a Twitter post on February 6 in response to remarks made by Trump in his State of the Union speech. -RFE/RL 02/6/19

Organ donation rate grows 60-fold in 18 years in Iran - Organ donation rate has increased by 60 times over the past 18 years, though the growth is not considerable compared to the global scale, head of the transplantation and treatment of diseases department at the Ministry of Health has announced. 02/6/19

Iran's recoverable crude at 160 billion barrels: NIOC - The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in an announcement put Iran's reserves of recoverable liquid hydrocarbons at an estimated amount of 160.12 billion barrels, while its natural gas reserves stand at 33.33 trillion cubic meters. This makes Iran one of the world's largest holders of crude oil, condensate and gas liquids reserves on the planet. 02/6/19

Iran's Millennials See Windows to the Outside World Closing - With some Trump officials backing regime change, and Iran's government tightening the reins to quell any opposition that might be fueled by outside influence, the tension inside the country is growing. Meanwhile, society continues its push toward greater openness.-Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg 02/6/19

Iran vows 'crushing' response to Israeli strikes in Syria - Tehran has warned of a "crushing and proportional response" unless Israel stops its bombing campaign in Syria, which, according to Tel Aviv, is aimed only at curbing Iranian influence in the region and its borders in particular. -RT 02/6/19

Norooz, Persian New Year, added to Vancouver calendar of events - Vancouver has added Norooz, the Persian new year festivity, to its official celebrations and observations calendar. Vancouver City Council has put the event on the calendar of the Canadian metropolis to recognize an intangible heritage of Iranians and other immigrants who celebrate the first day of the spring and the renewal of nature, IRNA reported on Saturday. 02/5/19

Iran At Crossroads On 40th Anniversary Of Islamic Revolution - On February 11, 2019, the Islamic Republic of Iran marks the fortieth anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. In his latest speech at a conference of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), for which he received huge fees, National Security Advisor John Bolton said: "The outcome of the president's policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini's 1979 revolution will not last until its fortieth birthday...." -Farhang Jahanpour 02/5/19

"The Night When the Moon Was Full": A film about true love story of a terrorist - The 37th Fajr Film Festival has premiered director Narges Abyar's latest drama "The Night When the Moon Was Full" about a true love story of Abdul-Hamid Rigi, a member of the Jundallah terrorist group. The film tells the story of Abdul-Hamid Rigi, the younger brother of Abdul-Malik Rigi, the founder and leader of the Jundallah terrorist group in southeastern Iran, who marries Faezeh Mansuri, a woman from Tehran. 02/5/19

Iran: Words Matter, Truth Heals, And History Shapes The Future - I have had the opportunity to travel to Iran on seven occasions since 2005. Most recently, in November 2016, I went there to participate in a conference with Christian and Muslim religious leaders from around the world. While there I received word that Donald Trump had just been elected president. -John Bryson Chane, LobeLog 02/5/19

Iranian MPs Ask Rouhani To Pay Attention To Ecologists Facing Harsh Punishment - Several members of the Iranian Parliament (Majles) have called on President Hassan Rouhani to pay attention to the situation of eight detained ecologists, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported on Monday. The environmentalists have been under "temporary arrest" by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for longer than a year now. 02/5/19

Oil Minister says Europe not buying Iran oil despite U.S. sanctions waivers - Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Tuesday Italy and Greece had stopped buying oil from Iran despite being granted waivers from US sanctions. "Among the Europeans, except for Turkey, no other nation has purchased oil from Iran. Greece and Italy refuse to buy Iran's oil despite winning waivers. And they don't respond to our correspondence," said the oil minister at a press conference on Tuesday. 02/5/19

Iran's Revolutionaries Fighting Same Battles After 40 Years - The Islamic Republic of Iran and its Islamist leaders are celebrating the fortieth anniversary of what has come to be known as the Islamic Revolution. They have indeed some cause to celebrate. After years of internal turmoil, a devastating eight-year war with Iraq, and harsh and unrelenting economic sanctions, the republic that they set up in 1979 is still standing. -Shireen T. Hunter, LobeLog 02/5/19

Tehran Art Exhibition Showcases Works by Acid Attack Survivors - Highlighting the plight of survivors of acid attacks, a new exhibit, "Identity," recently opened in Tehran which presents the work of acid attack survivors and other artists with disabilities. The exhibit, which presents the impasto paintings of Mohsen Mortazavi and other survivors, aims to raise awareness of the social stigma faced by the survivors of these attacks. 02/5/19

Lawmaker Says Minimum Wage In Iran Should Increase Fourfold - A member of parliament's labor faction in Iran says minimum monthly wage should be increased to 40 million rials, or about $400. Currently the minimum wage is about $100. Zahra Sae'I told the parliament's news service on February 3 that the poverty line in Tehran is about $300 monthly income and workers should earn at least $400. 02/5/19

Iran welcomes EU positive statement on nuclear deal, censures irrelevant points - Tehran has welcomed the European Union's "positive positions" on the 2015 nuclear deal outlined in a 12-point statement, but remains critical of certain other points raised in the document, including those regarding Iran's national defense program and regional role. -Press TV 02/5/19

IRAN: President Rouhani's Former Deputy Says His Government Has Failed Women - President Hassan Rouhani's former Deputy for Women and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, has admitted that the president who campaigned as a moderate and his team failed to address major problems confronting Iranian women. -Radio Farda 02/4/19

Two Years Overdue: Time to End the Travel Ban for Good - Sunday (January 27th) marks two-years since the initial Travel Ban was signed by President Trump. In that time, thousands of Iranians have been denied visas to the United States, most of whom have been denied visitations with family members or have needed life-saving operations. -Emily Porter, Medium 02/4/19

Iraqi President Responds To Trump's Comments: U.S. Did Not Ask Permission To 'Watch Iran' - Iraqi President Barham Salih said on Monday that the United States has not asked permission from Iraq for U.S. troops to "watch Iran". On Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump told CBS "Face the Nation" in an interview that it is important to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq to keep a close eye on neighboring Iran. 02/4/19

'A silent act of resistance': the hidden tattoo studios of Tehran - Tattoo artists are regularly arrested in Iran and sentenced to fines, lashes or imprisonment - yet they are in huge demand among young people -Renate van der Zee, Guardian 02/4/19

Iran marks space day, plans building advanced satellites - Iran has stressed the peaceful nature of its space program, denying there is any connection between its satellite launches and the national missile defense program. -Press TV 02/4/19

Ex-Iranian Official Blasts World's Silence As Eight Conservationists Go On Trial In Iran - A former Iranian deputy environment chief is criticizing the global environmental community's lack of public advocacy on behalf of eight jailed Iranian conservationists whose trial began in Tehran this week. Kaveh Madani, an American-educated water management expert, served as deputy head of Iran's Department of Environment from September 2017 until April 2018, when he fled the country under verbal attack from conservatives who accused him of spying under cover of environmental activism. -Michael Lipin, VOA 02/3/19

The strongest chess boom in Iran, ever - Prior to 2018, there were few world-class chess tournaments dominated by Iranian players - just the odd youth championship. Now Iran is climbing the list of the top countries in the world - currently at number 25, with the average rating of the top ten players rising by the month. -Shahrokh Mojtabaei, Chess News 02/3/19

INSTEX: A Real Solution Or A Symbolic Move To Keep Iran In Nuclear Deal - One day after Germany France and the UK launched INSTEX (Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges) to help reduce the impact of sanctions on Iran there are still speculations about the measures' effectiveness, with some saying INTEX simply has symbolic significance. -Radio Farda 02/1/19

PHOTOS: Euphoria in Isfahan as water flows into Zayanderud river - With water is released into Zayanderud river in central province of Isfahan, the citizens are exhilarated by seeing the river alive again. Water has filled the area once again bringing back the glory to the area, and people have gathered around it to take pictures as the river will be alive only for 20 days. 01/30/19

Three Members of Iran's Writers Association Charged With National Security Crimes for Opposing Censorship - Three senior members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) have been charged with national security crimes for peacefully protesting state censorship policies, according to a statement posted by the trade union on Facebook on January 22, 2019. -CHRI 01/30/19

Iranian saffron ice cream among world's top 50 desserts - Iran's saffron ice cream or bastani, scented with saffron, rosewater and pistachios, is among the world's 50 best desserts, according to CNN. From a lightly golden color to its distinctive aroma, the creamy treat is the essence of spring. By tradition, this Iranian ice cream is a favorite at Nowruz, the Persian New Year. -Tehran Times 01/30/19

Black Swans Haunt Eurasia's Great Game - For now, the Great Game pits China together with Russia, Turkey and Iran against the United States, India, Japan and Australia. The two camps compete for influence, if not dominance, in a swath of land that stretches from the China Sea to the Atlantic coast of Europe. -James M. Dorsey, LobeLog 01/30/19

Norooz Spring Festival in San Francisco: March 9, 2019 at Union Square - Norooz Outreach and Diaspora Arts Connection proudly present the inaugural all-day "Norooz Spring Festival," celebrating the arrival of Spring on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Share the Norooz spirit by bringing your non-Persian friends and join us for a day of celebrations and festivities, including food, live-music, dance, Persian calligraphy and miniatures, activities for children, and other demonstrations of the symbols of Norooz. 01/28/19

Iran's DOE builds underpass to avoid Asiatic cheetah road crash deaths - In an attempt to provide a safe place for the few surviving Asiatic cheetahs, Iran's Department of Environment (DOE) has constructed an underground passage stretching to 8 kilometers along Abbasabad road in central province of Semnan, Rajab Ali Karegar, the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah (CACP) project deputy director has said. 01/28/19

No Standard Heating For 136,000 Classrooms: Iran's Deputy Education Minister - The heating systems in 136,000 classrooms across Iran do not have the required standards, the Islamic Republic's Deputy Minister of Education has said. "As most of these classrooms are located in the province of Sistan & Baluchestan and other regions with no gas pipelines, it is impossible to upgrade their heating system for the moment," Mehrollah Rakhshani Mehr asserted on Saturday, January 26. -Radio Farda 01/27/19

Iranian Lawyers Demand Release Of Jailed Colleagues - In an open letter addressed to the head of Islamic Republic's judiciary, dozens of prominent Iranian attorneys have called for the immediate release of their colleagues, jailed on trumped up charges related to their defense of civil rights. -Radio Farda 01/25/19

IRAN: President Rouhani's Comments On Hijab, Censorship Draw Ire Of Ayatollahs - President Hassan Rouhani is under fire from two Grand Ayatollahs angered by his recent comments on Iran's policies of compulsory hijab and Internet filtering. Speaking at a meeting with the Minster of Communications and Information Technology January 21, Rouhani reportedly remarked, "Regarding hijab, the Koran addresses men first, forbidding them to look at women in lecherous ways; but, sadly, we go after women and girls, and arrest them for their [improper] hijab." -Radio Farda 01/25/19

Five Iranian named among 50 influential architects from Middle East in 2019 - Five Iranians have been named among the 50 most influential architects of the Middle East in 2019, according to a list published by the Middle East Architect (MEA) magazine. The magazine named Mohammad Khavarian, Kourosh Hajizadeh, Amir-Hossein Hajizadeh, Farshad Mehdizadeh and Arash G Tehrani as Iran's influential architects in the Middle East region. 01/23/19

Announcing The Winning Nowruz Banner Design for 2019 - Farhang Foundation announces the winner of the 2019 Nowruz Banner Design Competition and the musical artist selected for the headlining Royce Hall concert as part of Farhang's 11th Annual Celebration of Nowruz at UCLA! 01/23/19

Some Want Iran's Past To Poison Its Future - Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) is accusing Iran of having failed to declare to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a site charged with "producing components for nuclear weapons." The accusation is based, apparently, on satellite imagery and documents that the Israeli intelligence service claims to have stolen from a warehouse in a suburb of Tehran. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog 01/22/19

Iranian Startups Offer Opportunities In An Unstable Economy - The past decade in Iran has witnessed a surge in the number of startups, larger Internet companies, and digital-service providers. Owing to the impact of American sanctions, Iranians are often left to their own devices when it comes to Internet services. Amid the country's rapid digitization and the fact that more than 62 percent of all households were connected to the Internet as of March 2017 -- a staggering leap from 21 percent in 2013 -- there is clearly increasing demand. 01/16/19

Belqeys Citadel in North Khorasan, Iran sees 55% more visitors - The ruined citadel, which is sometimes referred to as Shahr-e Belqeys ("The city of Belqeys") is located in northeastern North Khorasan province. It lies at a short distance from the city of Esfarayen. Remnants of the citadel, family lodgings, irrigation channels, a cistern, and a hypostyle hall are amongst objects so far been unearthed in Belqeys during rounds of excavation. 01/6/19

PHOTOS: The 6th Biennale of Urban Sculptures Exhibition in Tehran - The sixth Biennale of Urban Sculptures Exhibition is underway at Saba Cultural and Art Institute in the Iranian capital Tehran until 26 December. -Mehran Riazi, Mehr 12/13/18

Iran's Punishment Has Far Exceeded Its Crimes - The U.S.-sponsored conference in Warsaw, which just concluded in Warsaw, was ostensibly about peace and stability in the Middle East. But it was really just an opportunity to gang up on Iran. Before attending the meeting, Israel's prime minister in a video on the sidelines of the summit called for action by Arabs and Israel against Iran, which his office translated as meaning war. The Hebrew word used indeed means war. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog 02/15/1960

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last updated on Fri Feb 15 12:28:14 EST 2019