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June 19 2018
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World Cup: Iran's Coach Queiroz hits out at critics after win over Morocco

- Iran national football team coach Carlos Queiroz has hit out at critics after win over Morocco in their World Cup opener. Team Melli edged past Morocco in Group B thanks to an injury time goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz. 6/18/18

2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League: US defeats Iran in 3 sets in Chicago

- In a crowded stadium in Chicago where Iranians were loud and jubilant, team US hosts managed to defeat their guests from Iran in three consecutive sets. In a close first set the US defeated Iran 29-27 to take the early lead. In the second set, the US squad gained a 25-20 victory over Iran and the third set was once again tight, ending in a 26-24 victory for the US team. 6/18/18

41 girls, young women reportedly kidnapped and raped in Iranshahr: One suspect arrested

- Security forces have arrested one of the men suspected of kidnapping dozens of girls and young women in the city of Iranshahr, southeast Iran, the local prosecutor has announced. Iranshahr, a city of 150,000 located in the mainly Baluchi Sunni province of Sistan and Baluchestan, has experienced a spate of kidnappings in recent weeks. Residents learned about the abductions from the city's Friday prayer leader, Sunni cleric Molawi Tayyib MullaZahei, who spoke about the unprecedented series of kidnappings in his June 15 sermon. 6/18/18

Iran's President Rouhani to visit Switzerland, Austria: Office

- President Hassan Rouhani will travel to Switzerland and Austria at the invitation of the European countries' presidents, IRNA news agency reported on Monday, citing the presidential office. Rouhani will travel first to Bern for a two-day visit in the first half of the Iranian month of Tir (June 22-July 6), the presidential office's director for communications and information Parviz Esmaeili said. 6/18/18

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Tehran Stock Exchange index hits a 50-year record high of 102,000 points

- Players in Iran's capital market witnessed a historical record in growth of Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE)'s main index (TEDPIX) which gained 3,306 points to hit 102,452 points on Sunday, something unprecedented in the 50-year history of the country's stock market. 6/18/18

Iranian MPs Accuse Firebrand Cleric Of Being Behind Threats

- Two members of the Iranian Parliament (Majles) have responded to Mashad's firebrand Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda's accusation of treason, with counter-accusations implying the ayatollah was involved with threat messages sent to MPs. 6/18/18

Iran resumes train service to Turkey's Van after 3 years

- Iran says it has launched a train service to Turkey's Van after a hiatus of about three years with officials expressing hope that it would help increase the number of tourists travelling on either side of the border. 6/18/18

Iran Executes Sufi Man Convicted Of Killing 3 Police Officers In Clashes

- Iranian authorities have executed a man convicted of killing three police officers during clashes involving members of a Sufi order, despite calls to stop his execution. The official website of Iran's judiciary said Mohammad Reza Salas was hanged early on June 18. 6/18/18

World Cup 2018: Iran earn late win over Morocco

- Iran national football team defeated Morocco 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz here in injury time in Group B of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday. Bouhaddouzm who came off the bench as Ayoub El Kaabi's replacement, headed the ball into his own goal from a free-kick. 6/16/18

Iranian Fans Celebrate Dramatic Late Victory Over Morocco In World Cup Opener

- Iran has scored a dramatic victory over Morocco at the World Cup in Russia, spurring thousands of fans back home to pour onto the streets to celebrate the second-ever victory for the country in soccer's centerpiece event. 6/16/18

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Morocco v IR Iran - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

The Cases That Made Iran Target Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh - By arresting Iran's top human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, powerful Iranian hard-liners are aiming to silence the most prominent voice for the voiceless in the Islamic republic. The London-based human rights group Amnesty International condemned her latest detention, calling it an "outrageous attack on a brave and prolific human rights defender." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 6/16/18

2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League:: Iran storms past Poland - The Iran men's national volleyball team has upset world powerhouse Poland to achieve its first victory at the fourth week of the 2018 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Volleyball Men's Nations League. On Friday evening, the Iranian squad defeated the Biało-Czerwoni Orzeł 3-0 (26-24, 26-24 and 25-22) at the end of a Pool 15 fixture played at the 11,000-seat Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, the United States. 6/16/18

Man Base To Fan Base: Tehran Adds Women To 'Unity' Billboard For World Cup - A huge billboard unveiled in the Iranian capital this week to boost national unity and fan support ahead of soccer's World Cup has been replaced following widespread anger at its exclusion of women. 6/16/18

IRAN: Supreme Leader Forbids 'Too Much Travelling Abroad' To Save Foreign Currency - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has criticized Iranians for "travelling abroad too frequently" and told them to "quit this bad habit," while "the enemies are plotting to exert economic pressure" on the Islamic Republic. 6/16/18

Germany sets up special Iran sanctions advisory office - Germany says it has established a special office to advise companies worried about their business dealings with Iran amid fears they will be targeted for US sanctions. Based on an announcement by Germany's Economy Ministry, companies would be able to obtain information about the potential risks of their business activities from the official named as "Iran Contact Point". 6/16/18

Boys Go To Baghdad, Real Men Go To Tehran - The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was as much a domestic initiative as it was a foreign policy endeavor, as analysts such as Reza Marashi and Ariane Tabatabai have been saying. It's a way for the Iranian leadership to come to terms with its own crimes and mistakes during the catastrophic presidency of Iran's tin-pot clown, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. -Shervin Malekzadeh, LobeLog 6/16/18

For L.A.'s Iranian American community, the World Cup means much more than soccer games - For many, the World Cup gives people a chance to sideline politics and unite under the feel-good umbrella of sports diplomacy. In the current geopolitical climate, fat chance of that. -Melissa Etehad, Los Angeles Times 6/16/18

Iran Government To Open Warehouses To Combat Rising Prices - In an attempt to harness soaring prices, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has ordered his cabinet ministers to open warehouses and "put stockpiled commodities at the people's disposal." Announcing this at the end of a cabinet meeting on June 13, Rouhani's chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi told reporters that the recent price hike in Iran has "psychological reasons." 6/15/18

51 Organizations Demand Congressional Oversight of Trump's Muslim Ban and Extreme Vetting - On the eve of a potential decision by the Supreme Court on Trump's Muslim ban, fifty-one organizations representing millions of Americans have signed a letter calling on Congress to take necessary steps to obtain full information about the Trump Administration implementation of it's Muslim Ban and "extreme vetting" policies. -NIAC Action 6/15/18

University Student Activists Sentenced to Prison After Being Arrested by President Rouhani's Intelligence Ministry - University of Tehran student activists Sina Darvish Omran and Ali Mozaffari were each sentenced to eight years in prison on June 11, 2018, by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran for allegedly joining protests in Tehran earlier in the year. 6/15/18

IRAN: MPs Propose An Amnesty For Diaspora Iranians - The Islamic Republic's parliament (Majles) has drafted a double emergency motion to declare general amnesty and judicial immunity for diaspora Iranians. Meanwhile, the motion has also called for restricting death penalty across the country. 6/15/18

Baha'i Student Expelled From Iranian University One Year Before Graduation - Soha Izadi was expelled from a university in the Iranian city of Zanjan, 207 miles west of Tehran, in March 2018 because of her Baha'i faith, a source close to the 21-year-old student's family informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on June 11, 2018. 6/15/18

Restrictions on Mailing Items to Iran Have Been Lifted! - Recent complications in shipping gifts to friends and family in Iran may finally have been resolved. Following NIAC's correspondence with several government agencies detailing our concerns and urging a solution, we are pleased to report that the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have taken steps to restore the ability to ship permissible items to Iran via the U.S. Postal Service. -NIAC 6/15/18

The Middle East In Trump's Wake - As President Donald Trump revels in his diplomatic foray into North Korea, he doesn't have any comparable diplomatic "success" in the Middle East. None of the optimistic promises he made upon assuming office in January 2017 regarding the region has come to pass. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 6/15/18

World Cup 2018: A billboard in support of Iran is criticised for excluding women - A huge billboard in Iran's capital Tehran in support of the national team at the World Cup has been criticised because it does not feature any women. The picture shows men of different ethnicities celebrating around a trophy. A line under the picture reads in Persian: "Together we are champions; one nation, one heartbeat." -BBC 6/15/18

Prominent Attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh Detained Amid Iranian Judiciary's Crackdown on Human Rights Lawyers - The Iranian Judiciary should immediately release Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights attorney who was arrested in her home by unidentified agents on June 13, 2018, and taken to Evin Prison in Tehran. Her husband Reza Khandan, who wrote about Sotoudeh's arrest on his Facebook page, informed CHRI that the agents told Sotoudeh that she must serve a five-year prison sentence without providing further details. He added that he and Sotoudeh were unaware of any sentence that had been issued against her. 6/14/18

Nuclear Diplomacy With North Korea And Iran: Let The Comparisons Begin - North Korea and Iran represent significantly different nuclear-related challenges. The biggest difference is that North Korea has nuclear weapons while Iran doesn't and never has. If North Korea really were to become no longer a nuclear threat, as Donald Trump prematurely declared upon returning to Washington this week, this would mean Pyongyang dismantling an existing nuclear arsenal. With Iran, the task instead has been to close all possible pathways to development of an Iranian nuclear weapon and to ensure through comprehensive monitoring and inspection that Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful. -Paul Pillar 6/14/18

60 Steelworkers Arrested in Iran For Demanding Three Months Back Wages - More than 60 workers at the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, have been arrested for demanding their salaries, which have not been paid to them for the last three months, according to an independent Iranian labor organization. 6/14/18

Iranian Officials Vehemently Reject Netanyahu's Offer Of Help - Officials of the Islamic Republic lambasted Israel on Monday, June 11, for launching a Persian website to "assist people and farmers of Iran to recycle water". Calling Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu a "deceitful showman", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, "I don't know to what extent one should respond to the remarks of a deceitful showman." 6/14/18

Bill on restricting Iran ties to hurt Canada's interests: Tehran - Iran has condemned the Canadian House of Commons' vote in favor of a draft law restricting ties with Tehran, rejecting the claims in the bill, which it says will be to Ottawa's detriment. In a hostile move on Tuesday, the Commons approved the bill, introduced by Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, which called on the Canadian government to "immediately cease any and all negotiations or discussions with the Islamic Republic of Iran to restore diplomatic relations." 6/14/18

OMV announces plan to pull out of Iran - Austria's energy giant OMV says it plans to cease its operations in Iran amid growing signs that the United States is preparing to re-impose sanctions against the country. OMV Chief Executive Rainer Seele told Reuters that his company planned to conclude a seismic studies project in Iran but would not pursue projects further. 6/14/18

Iranians Wonder: Why Won't Trump Talk to Us? - After the handshakes, the signature ceremony and the diplomatic pomp of the historic meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea, many Iranians could come to only one conclusion: We should talk, too. Yes, Mr. Trump in May unilaterally pulled the United States out of the nuclear agreement between Iran and a group of world powers... -Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times 6/14/18

North Korea's Negotiating Position Is Out Of Reach For Iran, Even If It Acquires A Bomb - The Singapore Summit was bittersweet for those working to save the Iran nuclear deal. Just a few weeks after Trump violated a robust, multilateral arms control agreement, he choreographed his own bid to strike a similar agreement with North Korea. The hypocrisy was grating. But there was something almost nostalgic about watching another "historic summit" that promised to bring a member of the "Axis of Evil" in from the cold. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog 6/14/18

Iranians React To Trump-Kim Summit - While the Iranian government has warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un not to trust U.S. President Donald Trump, many ordinary Iranians on social media had words of praise for the two leaders. -Radio Farda 6/14/18

It's time for Iranian players to express excitement: Football Coach Queiroz - Iran national football team Carlos Queiroz says they are completely ready to meet Morocco at the 2018 World Cup opener. Team Melli, who became the first team to arrive in Russia for the World Cup last week, are training in Bakovka camp, outside Moscow. -Masoud Hossein, Tehran Times 6/13/18

EU says no better alternative to Iran's nuclear deal - The European Union says the US departure from the Iran nuclear deal has had a negative effect on credibility of international agreements. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing a European parliament plenary session in Strasbourg. 6/13/18

President Rouhani: Action Needed to Save Iran Nuclear Deal - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says it will be difficult for Tehran to stay in the 2015 nuclear accord it signed with world powers if it cannot benefit from the agreement. Rouhani told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call Tuesday that the remaining co-signers to the treaty -- France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China -- will have to find a way to compensate Iran after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the pact and reimpose sanctions. 6/13/18

Mazda, Hyundai Leave Iranian Market, Affecting Cars and Shipping - A week after it was announced that French carmaker Peugeot-Citroen had left the Iranian market, Japan's Mazda and South Korean Hyundai have also suspended contracts with Iran, according to a member of the parliamentary Industries and Mines Commission. -Radio Farda 6/13/18

Innovating In Iran: Afghan Immigrant Wins Praise In Tehran, But 'Home' Still Beckons - Foruzan Faghiri was 3 years old when her family fled war in Afghanistan for neighboring Iran. The Faghiris found shelter and education while at the same time coping with the discrimination and restrictions that Afghan refugees routinely face in Iran. Yet Faghiri persevered, becoming a conspicuous success among Afghan immigrants to Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 6/13/18

Reviving tourism in Iran's village of little people - Months of ongoing restoration work in Makhounik is seen as a step forward to put Iran's village of little people on the map of sightseers. Restoration of walls and internal spaces, reinforcement of foundations and rooftops and modification of water channels are amongst the rehabilitation plans, which will continue until late July this year, IRNA reported on Monday. 6/13/18

Iran Deal As A Question Of European Sovereignty - As President Donald Trump was celebrating his four-point declaration of intentions on the "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini was addressing the European Parliament on the consequences of the US withdrawal from a real working nuclear agreement: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 6/13/18

Iran's Football Coach Demands Apology From Nike Over World Cup Boots - Head coach of the Iran men's national football team Carlos Queiroz has demanded a formal apology from American sportswear manufacturer Nike over its decision to withdraw supply of boots to Iranian footballers ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 6/13/18

Who Are the State-Vetted Lawyers Exclusively Allowed to Defend Detainees Facing Political Charges in Iran? - Iran's judiciary has not released the names of the 20 state-approved lawyers exclusively allowed to represent detainees held on politically motivated charges in Iran. But some potential lawyers have dark human rights records. In January 2018, shortly after the list was issued to judicial offices in Iran, 150 lawyers called on Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani to stop restricting detainees' access to legal counsel. Some lawyers are contemplating more protests. 6/13/18

Shi'ite Leaders In Iraq Form Unexpected, Pro-Iran Political Alliance - Powerful Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has announced an unexpected political alliance with pro-Iranian militia chief Hadi al-Amiri in a bid to lead Iraq over the next four years. The two blocs won first and second place in the country's May 12 parliamentary election. By forming a coalition with Amiri on June 12, Sadr moves a step closer to forming a coalition with enough seats to hold a majority in the 329-seat parliament. -RFE/RL 6/13/18

Iran's World Cup Carpet Diplomacy - Iran's national team will lock horns with the heavyweights of soccer at the World Cup in Russia this month. But before the clashes begin, Team Melli is in a gift-giving mood. The squad plans to present silk Persian carpets to FIFA, the world governing body of soccer; the Russian Football Union; and the national teams of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, Iran's opponents in the group stage of the tournament. -Freud Bezhan, RFE 6/12/18

Price Hike Gains New Momentum In Iran - The prices of gold and cars and the exchange rate for the U.S. dollar reached record highs on the Iranian market on June 11, while some social media users have complained about a new rise in the cost of housing in Tehran. -Radio Farda 6/12/18

Iran's Taftian Wins Men's 100 Meters Gold At Diamond League - Hassan Taftian from Iran claimed a gold medal in the Men's 100 Meters of the 2018 Diamond League meeting in Stockholm. The race was won by Taftian in a season's best 10.07 off his own Iranian national record. 6/12/18

Iranian Government Designates Protest Sites - The Iranian government has designated several spots in Tehran where citizens are permitted to hold rallies, including five sports complexes, six parks, and an area next to the parliament. On June 10, the government also issued criteria for the designation of locations in other cities. -Radio Farda 6/12/18

Iran turns to old friends amid European exodus - Verbal pledges by European governments to shield trade with the Islamic Republic have not stopped companies from pulling out of Iran projects as they face a "wind-down" period of up to six months before the US reimposes sanctions. On Monday, German container shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd was reported to have stopped one of its two feeder services to Iran. 6/12/18

Dollar-Clearing Battle: First Step To Killing Iran Nuclear Deal - Lawmakers and advocacy groups undertook many steps to weaken the Iran nuclear deal during the Obama era to set up President Trump's unilateral termination. Last week, Republicans on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a 50-page report delving into the Obama administration's efforts in early 2016 to ensure that Iran was able to repatriate its own frozen assets held at Bank Muscat in Oman. -Ryan Costello, LobeLog 6/12/18

Iran, China discuss JCPOA, all-out relations on SCO sidelines - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has conferred with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on a multilateral nuclear agreement Tehran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015 and mutual relations, particularly in economic and trade sectors. 6/11/18

Rouhani Calls Suspension of Zoroastrian City Council Member "Really Upsetting" - President Hassan Rouhani has expressed hope that the long-running state dispute over the suspension of a Zoroastrian member of the Yazd City Council in southeastern Iran will be resolved by the country's highest arbitration body. "It's really upsetting to see doubts cast on a non-Muslim after he wins the people's vote in an election and questions are raised regarding whether he could be a member of a council or not," the Shia Muslim president said in a speech to a group of Sunni Muslim scholars in Tehran on June 2, 2018. 6/11/18

How Iran's Telegram ban will kill jobs - The move by the Iranian authorities to ban Telegram impacts not just access to information but also top political priorities such as job creation. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al Monitor 6/11/18

2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League: Iran slumps to Russia - The Iran men's national volleyball team has suffered its second consecutive loss at the third week of the 2018 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Volleyball Men's Nations League, going down to the Russian squad. 6/11/18

Pompeo Digs A Deeper Hole For US Iran Policy - The drama surrounding plans for a summit between North Korean President Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump presages a crisis in US proliferation diplomacy. The Trump Administration has no coherent strategy that signals a feasible bottom line for negotiations. Instead, US diplomacy is hobbled by the president's impulse to show, in presumed contrast to former President Barack Obama, that he is a tough man. -Daniel Brumberg, LobeLog 6/11/18

Iranian Poet Sentenced and Fined For Posting Photo of Man Injured by Police - Posting a photo of a man injured by police to his Instagram account has cost Iranian poet and filmmaker Baktash Abtin three months of community service at the State Welfare Organization of Iran and five million tomans ($1,182 USD). 6/11/18

Iran's President Rohani Warns Europe That Time Is Running Out On Saving Nuclear Deal - Iran has warned Europe that time is running out on saving an international deal on its nuclear program and reiterated its criticism of the United States for "unilateralism" by withdrawing from the accord. Iranian President Hassan Rohani told a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional security grouping led by China and Russia where Iran has observer status, on June 10 that U.S. efforts "to impose its policies on others are expanding as a threat to all." 6/11/18

US Withdrawal from Iran Deal Hits Young Iranians Hard - When Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the international community in 2015, Iranian youth were especially happy. After struggling with sanctions and isolation for many years, young people hoped their country was entering a new chapter in which it would be seen as a constructive actor on the international stage. -Tahereh Hadian-Jazy, Atlantic Council 6/11/18

Tehran Urges World To Resist U.S. 'Bullying,' Compensate Iran's Losses - Iran's top diplomat is asking world powers that remain committed to its 2015 nuclear deal to resist what he called U.S. "bullying tactics" and ensure that Iran is compensated for economic losses that result from U.S. withdrawal from the agreement. 6/8/18

CONFERENCE: Tappeh Sialk and Ancient Kashan Revisited - Following on from last year's highly successful conference about Tappeh Sialk, IHF is organising another seminar which will feature talks by international experts, as well as looking at how this significant Iranian site can be more widely recognised and promoted in the future. July 2nd & 3rd in London -Iran Heritage Foundation 6/8/18

Third Woman Sentenced to Prison in Iran For Removing Hijab Slapped With More Charges - Civil rights activist Shima Babaei: "They said the hijab is the law and I must respect it. I told them it's a bad law and I'm protesting against it in the most peaceful way possible; I've been instigated by no one." 6/8/18

EU Cannot Protect Companies Against U.S. Sanctions, Says Economist - Despite assurances from the EU that European companies will be supported in continuing to do business with Iran and shielded from U.S. sanctions, several companies have already announced they are cutting ties with Iran. -Radio Farda 6/8/18

Iran says OPEC won't follow US instructions on oil output hike - Iran has lashed out at the United States for asking Saudi Arabia to pump more oil to cover a drop in Iranian exports, saying the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would dismiss the appeal. 6/8/18

How Iran and the West grew apart - Daniel Khalili-Tari details how his family have been affected by Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution and how Britain and America interfered in the country's once burgeoning democracy -Independent 6/8/18

Getting The Boot: Iran Manager Calls Out Nike On World Cup Cleat Snub - The coach of Iran's national team has urged world soccer's governing body, FIFA, to step in against U.S. sportswear giant Nike for refusing to provide his players with shoes at this month's World Cup in Russia. When it announced this week that it would exclude Iranian players, Nike linked its decision to the Trump administration's reimposition of Iran sanctions 6/7/18

Remaining signatories to Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) meet behind closed doors in Tehran - Experts from the six remaining signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement have gathered in Tehran for their second meeting since the United States chose to unilaterally leave the multilateral accord. 6/7/18

60 wetlands drained in Iran due to drought - Some 60 wetlands in Iran are completely dried up and some other are under pressure, the deputy environment chief for the wetlands has said. Masoud Baqerzadeh said there are some 105 wetlands in Iran, stretching 3 million hectares of lands. 6/7/18

5 Questions to Niloufar Nourbakhsh (Founder, Iranian Female Composers Association) - Niloufar Nourbakhsh is a versatile composer and pianist who has collaborated with Symphony Number One, Spark and Echo Project, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and many others. She has written for string quartet and orchestra, as well as for fixed media and voice, including her composition "An Aria for the Executive Order," which is a response to the Trump administration's Muslim ban. -I Care If You Listen 6/7/18

EU adopts updated law to protect Iran deal, European firms from US sanctions - The European Commission has adopted an update of a law that would order EU firms not to comply with US sanctions on Iran, a move aimed at countering the possible effects of the bans on European companies wanting to invest in Iran after Washington's exit from the Iran nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 6/7/18

France, Germany, Britain Request Exemptions From U.S. Iran Sanctions - In a letter to top U.S. administration officials, European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran have asked the United States to spare EU firms doing business with Iran from punitive measures. The foreign and finance ministers of Germany, France, and Britain, as well the European Union foreign-policy chief made the call in a letter, dated June 4, to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 6/6/18

Iranian Human Rights Attorneys Speak Out Against State-Approved List of 20 Lawyers For "National Security" Cases - Human rights lawyers in Iran are speaking out against a list released by the judiciary designating 20 state-approved lawyers to exclusively represent detainees held on politically motivated charges. "A number of lawyers have said they are ready to hold a protest sit-in if necessary," prominent defense attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on June 4, 2018. 6/6/18

Family Of Environmentalist Held Incommunicado Says Iranian Authorities Have Threatened Them - In an open letter addressed to President Hassan Rouhani, the sister of an imprisoned environmentalist says her family has been cautioned by authorities to keep quiet about their relative's detention, lest he be executed. In a letter published on June 06 by the Campaign for the Defense of Civil and Political Prisoners​ Katayoun Rajabi, sister of Sam Rajabi, wrote that "it is not yet clear who is behind" her brother's arrest. 6/6/18

France's PSA again reverses on Iran deal in deference to US - PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, has become the latest French company to suspend its joint venture activities in Iran, despite promising to stand its ground in the face of sanctions. A statement attributed to the carmaker said PSA "began the process of suspending the activities of its JVs, in order to comply with US law by August 6, 2018" when the sanctions are about to snap-back into place. 6/6/18

Talepasand takes on pleasure, religion and Iran at Jack Fischer Gallery - Serious art galleries don't seem to know just what to do with the work of Taravat Talepasand, and I can't say I blame them. Nudity is easy, but art that references pornography is harder to present in a polite venue. Drugs, ditto. -Charles Desmarais, SF Chronicle 6/6/18

Ardeshir Zahedi, Shah-Era Iranian Diplomat, Warns Against Creating 'Another Iraq' - The tough U.S. line on Iran and speculation that Washington is pursuing regime change in Tehran have prompted a shah-era foreign minister to warn from Swiss exile against "turning [Iran] into a mess," citing the example of neighboring Iraq. 6/5/18

Katayoun Khosrowyar leading a women's football revolution in Iran - ​​​​​​​Iran's national team are preparing for the World Cup in Russia to the backdrop of a football revolution back home. Here, Sky Sports speak to the Iranian-American who swapped Oklahoma for Tehran to help transform the women's game in the country. -Nick Wright, Sky Sports 6/5/18

Iranian Lawyers, Barred from Security Cases, Rebuke Tehran - Some of Iran's most prominent lawyers have accused their government of acting unfairly by blocking the vast majority of their profession from handling national security cases. In a Monday report, Iran's state-run Tasnim news agency published a list of 20 lawyers authorized to represent clients accused of national security offenses. It said judiciary chief Sadeq Amoli-Larijani approved the list in the last few days, based on Article 48 of Iran's penal code. 6/5/18

Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei Orders Resumption Of Enrichment 'Within JCPOA Frameworks' - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the country's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) to start enriching uranium at a 190,000 SWU level from Tuesday June 15, "within the frameworks of the JCPOA," Iran's nuclear deal with the West. 6/5/18

Israel intelligence minister proposes 'military coalition' against Iran - Israel has proposed that "a military coalition" be formed against Iran in case Tehran pursues "military-grade" uranium enrichment, suggesting that the military force would comprise of the Israeli regime, the US, the Western states and their Arab allies. 6/5/18

Iranian Travelers Struggle To Buy Foreign Currencies Over Holiday - Banks at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport are struggling to provide the foreign currencies paid for by passengers, who are forming long lines. The shortage of foreign currencies worsened ahead of a three-day holiday that started on June 4 to mark the death of the founder of Iran's Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini. Many government employees and bank staff have gone on extended holidays, making the situation harder for passengers traveling abroad this week. 6/5/18

10 Years Later, This Baha'i Manufacturer is Still Fighting to Claim His Business in Iran - Payam Vali's eyeglass lens manufacturing business in the Iranian city of Karaj was shuttered by the authorities in 2008 because of his religious beliefs. Ten years later, he's still fighting to get it back. "I have gone through all the legal channels," he told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on May 28, 2018. "If the judiciary does not respond to my complaints, there's not much more I can do other than to ask Parliament's Article 90 Commission to investigate violations of the law by the judicial authorities." 6/5/18

How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism - Past experience shows that economic pressure does change societies-but it mostly facilitates hardliners. Iran's regime may be next. -Peter Beinart, The Atlantic 6/5/18

Iran's Soccer Coach Carlos Queiroz laments 'cruel sanctions' against Iran - Iran national football team head coach Carlos Queiroz says the cruel sanctions against Iran have disrupted Team Melli's preparation for the 2018 World Cup. Iran were scheduled to play Greece and Kosovo football teams in Turkey's training camp but the matches were canceled and Queiros says Iran's World Cup preparations were hit by the cancellation of these friendly matches. 6/4/18

IAPAC Endorses Anna Eskamani for Florida House 47 - The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the connected PAC of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, proudly announces its support for Anna Eskamani for Florida House 47. A first generation Iranian American and an Orlando native, Anna Eskamani grew up in a working-class family who struggled to make ends meet. She has a twin sister, an older brother, and a caring father, but when she was 13 years old, Anna lost her mother to cancer. This loss in her family, coupled with the challenges her parents faced, inspires Anna to work hard for the most marginalized members of her community. 6/4/18

World must withstand law-breaking US behavior: Iran Foreign Minister - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says all members of the international community must stand up to US law-breaking behavior, bullying and disregard for the rule of law after Washington announced it was withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal Iran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015. 6/4/18

The Foreign Policy Implications of Kuwait's Vision 2035: Closer Economic Ties with Iran and Iraq - Kuwait's Vision 2035 economic development strategy will have important implications for its diplomatic relations with its Persian Gulf neighbors. It will compel Kuwait to give a high priority to economic diplomacy in its international relations and invest more diplomatic resources in containing the Iran-Saudi tensions and maintaining good relations with Iraq and Iran. The reason lies in a key component of Vision 2035, called the Northern Gulf Gateway. 6/4/18

Iranians Complain of Fake Accounts Created in Their Names on State-Approved Soroush App - Several Iranians posted screenshots on their social media accounts May 26-May 29, 2018, stating that accounts in their names had been created without their consent on the Iran-based, state-approved messaging app, Soroush. In response to the complaints, Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi told reporters on May 30, "The National Cyberspace Center is investigating uncertainties regarding non-voluntary memberships created on the Soroush messenger." 6/4/18

Iran, Iraq start strategic oil swap scheme - Iran says it has started exchanging crude oil with Iraq through a strategic project which is believed to open a new route for Baghdad to export its oil. Iran's Ministry of Petroleum announced that road tankers carrying oil from Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk had crossed Iran's border and were already delivering oil to reserves in the western Province of Ilam. 6/4/18

107 Iranian Film Personalities Urge Rouhani to Lift State Ban on Pre-Revolution Actor Behrouz Vossoughi - More than 100 Iranian artists and movie industry personalities have urged President Hassan Rouhani to lift the state ban on Behrouz Vossoughi, a well-known actor who has been living in exile for nearly four decades. The prominent Iranian celebrities who signed the letter include Jafar Panahi, actor Parviz Parastui, actress Leila Hatami, actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, director Mohammad Rasoulof, director Kianoush Ayari and director Tahmineh Milani. 6/3/18

Almost Half Of Iran's Wetlands 'Dried Up' - Sixty wetlands in Iran, including nearly 44 percent of the country's total marshlands, have dried up, according to the deputy head of the Department of Environment (DOE) for wetlands. "There are some 105 wetlands in Iran, stretching 3 million hectares of land. About 1.3 million hectares of these wetlands are affected by drought, which led to total dryness of some 60 wetlands," state-run Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA) quoted Masoud Bagherzadeh as saying on June 1. -Radio Farda 6/3/18

Sexual misconduct in school gives rise to #MeToo among Iranians: Good or Bad? - Following a schoolmaster's sexual misconduct at a private school in western Tehran some Iranians started using the #MeToo on twitter since Wednesday evening, sharing their experiences of harassment and assault. On May 27, some 40 parents filed a complaint against a schoolmaster who has allegedly displayed some sexually harassing behaviors at a private school in district two of Tehran. The schoolmaster was soon detained and the school is shut down, maybe for good. 6/3/18

Capital Flight: $59 Billion Has Left Iran In Past Two Years - More than $59 billion in hard currency has left Iran during last two years, Islamic Parliament Research Center (IPRC) has disclosed. According to IPRC, following the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's nuclear deal with world power, more billions are expected to leave Iran in the coming months. -Radio Farda 6/1/18

A Superstar's Funeral In Tehran Turns Into Angry Protests Against Iranian Authorities - Paying homage to a pre-revolution superstar in Tehran turned into a large and noisy protest against the ruling establishment on Sunday, May 27. Nasser Malek Motiee, 88, passed away on Friday evening of kidney failure in a hospital in the capital city. 5/28/18

THE POMPOUS POMPEO: Trump's Barnyard Approach to Diplomacy - I watched, live, the newly appointed Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, deliver a half-hour-long prepared speech that highlighted his so-called "Plan B" approach to Iran at the neocon dominated Heritage Foundation last Monday. Hearing some of the key segments of his speech, it was quite clear that this "delivery man" was reading off a text prepared by a group-think that had to have included Netanyahu and Bolton ( nuclear capability, not now, not ever!) -Kambiz Zarrabi 5/25/18

Vida Ghaffari is the First Iranian-American to be inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame - On Saturday, May 19th, actress Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project, Jimmy Kimmel Live) and many celebrities and luminaries in the martial arts world were inducted into the prestigious USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame at their gala at the Doubletree Hilton in Los Angeles. Ghaffari was bestowed with the Trailblazer Award. She is the first person of Iranian descent to be inducted. 5/23/18

With $1 million gift from Farhang Foundation, UCLA plans to create new minor in Iranian music - The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will begin the process of establishing an academic minor in Iranian music with a generous $1 million gift from Farhang Foundation. A signing ceremony on April 27 at UCLA commemorated the gift. 5/17/18

New US Sanctions Will Make Iranians Sicker - Sanctions against Iran are almost as old as I am. I was born in early 1980, and international sanctions against Iran began during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s as most global and regional powers supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in his invasion of the country. My father was injured and exposed to chemical weapons during that war, and as a result suffered from Parkinson's disease later in life. -Fariba Pajooh 5/16/18

AFC Women's Futsal Championship: Iran champions again! - The Iran women's national futsal team has vigorously ended its campaign at the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Futsal Championship, and defended its title as the champion of the continental tournament. The Iranian sportswomen defeated the Japanese outfit 5-2 in the final showdown of the event at Indoor Stadium Huamark in the Thai capital city of Bangkok. 5/13/18

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last updated on Mon Jun 18 12:42:04 EDT 2018