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Death to the Dictator!: Witnessing Iran's Election and the Crippling of the Islamic Republic


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Iranian Director Mohammad Rasoulof Takes Prestigious Cannes Prize

- Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof has won a prestigious prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Rasoulof, 45, was awarded the main prize in the Un Certain Regard competition on May 27 for his film A Man Of Integrity (Lerd), which tells the story of man working at a goldfish farm who becomes ensnared in corruption. 5/29/17

Photos: Duck undergoes cataract surgery in Tabriz

- Iranian ophthalmologist Behnam Ghaffarzadeh examines a duck that has just undergone cataract extraction at the surgeon's office in the northwestern city of Tabriz, May 25, 2017. -Amir Sadeghi 5/29/17

Iranian Supreme Leader Calls Saudi Leaders 'Idiots' For U.S. Deals, Relations

- Iran's supreme leader has called Saudi Arabia's leaders "idiots" and "worthless" for allying themselves with the United States and said their policies will ultimately lead to their "certain downfall." 5/29/17

Rouhani's Beautiful Victory: What Comes Next?

- Hassan Rouhani has undoubtedly won a brilliant victory in the presidential election, with a tally exceeding 60% of the valid votes cast in its first and only round (the 57% figure usually cited by the media included blank and invalid ballots). The result has exceeded the predictions of most experts -Francois Nicoullaud, LobeLog 5/29/17

We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won't Admit It

- The ultimate inspiration for such people is Wahhabism, the puritanical, fanatical and regressive type of Islam dominant in Saudi Arabia, whose ideology is close to that of al-Qaeda and Isis. This is an exclusive creed, intolerant of all who disagree with it such as secular liberals, members of other Muslim communities such as the Shia or women resisting their chattel-like status. -Patrick Cockburn, CounterPunch 5/29/17

Iraq's Iran-backed paramilitary advances toward Syria border

- Iraq's Iran-backed Shi'ite paramilitary force said on Sunday it had dislodged Islamic State from a number of villages west of Mosul, scoring further progress toward the border with Syria. -Reuters 5/29/17

Nine Iranian American Receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor

- On May 13th, 2017 nine highly accomplished Iranian Americans, including IA-100 member Mohammed Farzaneh, were awarded the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for outstanding achievement in their personal and professional lives, as well as their commitment to the preservation of their Iranian culture and heritage and noteworthy citizenship to the United States. 5/27/17

FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP: Iran eliminated after Portugal scores at the 86th minute

- Group C came down to the wire as a late deflected goal helped Portugal edge Iran 2-1 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 and send them to the knockout stages. Iran opened the scoring just four minutes into the match when Reza Shekari found space at the near post to head in Ali Shojaei's corner kick for his third of the tournament... 5/27/17

Iran's President Rouhani urges peace, moderation as fasting month of Ramadan starts

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has written to the leaders of Muslim countries on the occasion of the start of the holy month of Ramadan, calling on them to follow the path of peace and moderation to counter Islamophobia. 5/27/17

Rethinking Iran's Terrorism Designation

- Some ideas take on a character akin to sacred texts whose validity is rarely questioned. One such belief is that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the biggest threat to the Middle East and the United States. The threat narrative has become required foreign policy catechism in Washington, D.C. -M. Reza Behnam, CounterPunch 5/27/17

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Match 30: Portugal v. Iran - FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017

Iran, Russia seal oil-for-goods barter deal: Report - Iran has reportedly signed an agreement with Russia under which it will sell crude oil to Russia in exchange for products. The announcement was made by Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, as reported by Russia's RIA and TASS news agencies. 5/27/17

Visas for Muslim-Majority Countries down 20 percent under Trump - Even though President Donald Trump's executive order banning travelers from six Muslim-majority countries was blocked by a federal appeals court on Thursday, new State Department data show that his administration has issued fewer visas to people from Arab and Muslim countries. -Newsweek 5/27/17

In Remote Iranian Province, Women Make Gains At Ballot Box - Iran's sprawling southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan Province is notorious for insecurity, poverty, drug trafficking, and deadly clashes between security forces and militants. More recently, however, it made headlines this month for sweeping a record number of women onto city and village councils. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 5/26/17

Senate Panel Backs New Sanctions on Iran - CAPITOL HILL - A Senate panel has overwhelmingly approved new U.S. sanctions targeting Iran's support for international terrorism and its ballistic missile program, the first move to punish Tehran since a landmark nuclear accord went into effect. -Michael Bowman, VOA 5/26/17

Saudi Rulers To Take War Dreams In Iran To Grave: Iranian Official - Iran's Foreign Ministry says Saudi leaders will take their wish to provoke a military attack against the Islamic Republic to their graves. The strong-worded reaction by Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi came after Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a recent interview that his country "will work to have the battle in Iran." 5/26/17

Response to Passing of Deeply Flawed Iran Sanctions Bill (S.722) - "With a vote for this flawed sanctions bill the Senate Foreign Relations Committee decided to give Donald Trump new tools to kill the Iran deal and stumble into war with Iran. After Iranians overwhelmingly voted for openness and engagement, Senators have effectively endorsed Trump's calls for a provocative and dangerous approach to the Middle East. NIAC Action condemns this vote and urges the full Senate to abstain from moving the bill forward." -NIAC Action 5/26/17

Iran Experts Assembly warns Bahrain Saudi Rulers To Take War Dreams In Iran To Grave: Iranian Officialof gathering 'storm' - Iran's Assembly of Experts has strongly condemned the Bahraini regime's recent raid on the residence of the spiritual leader of the country's Shia majority. The Assembly said in a statement on Friday that the inhumane treatment of Sheikh Isa Qassim by the Bahraini Al Khalifa regime, which has been aided by the Saudi regime, would "create a tide and a storm that will not subside except with the toppling of the oppressive Al Khalifah system." 5/26/17

More Than 15,000 Petition Iran's Judiciary to Free Prominent Teachers' Rights Activist - An online petition signed by more than 15,000 people calling for the release of imprisoned teachers' rights leader Esmail Abdi has been delivered to the judiciary and the office of the president. "Mr. Abdi is not a thief, murderer, drug dealer, embezzler, foreign spy or traitor to his country," said the petition addressed to Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani. "He is a trade union activist elected by the teachers of Tehran according to the laws and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran." 5/26/17

Costs of the Clenched Fist - In his first inaugural address, one of President Barack Obama's messages to America's adversaries was that "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." A few years later, the unclenching of Iran's fist was marked by the election of reformist Hassan Rouhani and the entry of Iran into negotiations with the United States and five other powers, leading to a detailed agreement in which Iran accepted severe limitations on, and intrusive scrutiny of, its nuclear program and closed all possible pathways to possible acquisition of a nuclear weapon. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 5/26/17

Iran: Newly Elected Reformist Council Member Arrested For Calling Prophet Mohammad "Secular" - Javad Giahshenas, a newly elected reformist member of the city council in Hamadan, northwestern Iran, was arrested for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammad. "The merciful prophet was secular and Islam is the same as liberalism," Giahshenas was quoted saying during a presidential campaign event at the Islamic Azad University of Hamadan, where he works as an academic staffer at the political science department. 5/26/17

'Beautiful Military Equipment' Can't Buy Middle East Peace - As President Trump was being feted in the palaces of the Saudi royal family after concluding a historic arms deal, Iranians were celebrating the outcome of a hard-fought election. The vote manifested the determination of Iran's electorate to continue on the path of moderation and constructive engagement based on mutual respect that brought the world the nuclear deal in 2015. -Mohammad Javad Zarif, New York Times 5/26/17

Trump's Alignment with Sunni Autocrats Masks Shallow Understanding of Region - President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia has engendered endless press reporting and analysis. Two key points stand out in the media coverage. First, the trip was mostly show than action. Second, the Saudis played up to Trump's craving for adulation and narcissism. They knew he was a fickle showman and acted accordingly. He of course loved it, and they proved that rich princely Bedouins could capture the world stage, at least for a fleeting moment. -Emile Nakhleh 5/25/17

IRAN: Newly Reelected Rouhani Abandons Promise to End Six-Year House Arrest of Opposition Leaders - In his first press conference after being declared the winner of Iran's May 19, 2017 election, President Hassan Rouhani refused to commit to ending the more than six-year extrajudicial house arrests of three opposition leaders, a pledge he made during his first presidential campaign. 5/25/17

U.S. Treasury Eyes More Sanctions On Iran, Reviews Aircraft Sales - The U.S. Treasury chief told Congress on May 24 that he is looking for ways to increase sanctions on Iran, including by reviewing licenses the Treasury previously granted to Boeing and Airbus to sell aircraft to Iran. 5/25/17

Arms Deal Stories Omit War Crimes Arms Will Be Used For - The Trump administration wrapped up a weapons deal with the Saudi Arabian government this week that will be worth up to $350 billion over the next ten years. News of the deal came as Trump visited Riyadh and paid fealty to one of the United States' most enduring allies in the Middle East. -Adam Johnson, LobeLog 5/25/17

Iranian Women Face Bias in the Workplace: Human Rights Watch - Laws and policies that discriminate against women interfere with Iranian women's right to work, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Women confront an array of restrictions, such as on their ability to travel, prohibitions on entering certain jobs, and an absence of basic legal protections. 5/25/17

'The Servant' travels to San Francisco to combat negative stereotypes - Short animated piece 'The Servant' directed by Iranian filmmaker Farnoush Abedi will take part at Black Film Festival in San Fransisco. Abedi says that her piece tells the familiar story of the master and subordinate; a giant cockroach serves to man and after a while, it gets tired of his servitude and disrupts the rules of the game. 5/25/17

Iranian Activists Acquitted of National Security Charges for Peaceful Defense of Labor Rights - Trade union activists Jafar Azimzadeh and Shapour Ehsani-Rad have been acquitted of the charge of 'acting against national security' for peacefully advocating for labor rights. Azimzadeh, chairman of the Free Workers Union of Iran (FWUI) and his colleague Ehsani-Rad, were taken to court by the Safa Rolling and Pipe Mills Company and accused of provoking its workers to go on strike in April 2015 to demand several months of unpaid wages and benefits. 5/25/17

What's on Rouhani's second-term economic agenda? - Hassan Rouhani's re-election on May 19 is welcome wind in the sail of the moderate political forces in Iran. The sharp rise in the index of the Tehran Stock Exchange can also be seen as an indication that economic players view the election results as a positive development. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor 5/25/17

Climbing Iran's Mount Damavand: The last corner of the Earth - It was a little after 4am when Peter Burke stepped out of his tent and onto the ice in the foothills of the Elburz mountain chain in Iran. Even in the pre-dawn gloom, he was acutely aware of standing in the shadow of mighty Mount Damavand, which at 5671 metres is the highest peak in Western Asia. 5/25/17

Iran's Islamic Evolution: Both conservatives and reformists consider the ballot box an essential instrument - The May 19 presidential vote--and the jubilant street celebrations that followed the reelection of President Hassan Rouhani, the nearest thing to a liberal allowed onto the ballot--showed an Iranian society much changed since the days of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution and unwilling to turn back. -Bloomberg 5/25/17

Targeting Iran or England, terror has one origin (Saudi Arabia): Iranian Foreign Ministry - Speaking on Tuesday, Bahram Qassemi condemned in the strongest terms a terrorist attack at a concert hall in the English city of Manchester, which killed at least 22 people, and said the ideological origin of that attack was the same as the source of a raid that killed 11 Iranian border guards in the city of Mirjaveh on April 26. "We believe that the taproot and the ideological origin of terrorist incidents in Iran's Mirjaveh and the UK's Manchester is one and the same," Qassemi said. Though he did not name any party by name, he was most likely referring to Saudi Arabia. 5/24/17

The Elders welcome Iran election result as spur for peace and tolerance - The Elders welcomed the re-election of President Hassan Rouhani in Iran as a sign that the Iranian people clearly desire peaceful relations with the outside world and a more tolerant society at home. The Elders are an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights. 5/24/17

Five Killed, Hundreds Arrested In Bahrain At Shi'ite Protest; Iran Blames Trump - At least five people were killed and hundreds arrested in Bahrain on May 23 after police stormed a sit-in by protesters supporting the Sunni-ruled kingdom's top Shi'ite cleric, Bahrain's Interior Ministry said. Human Rights Watch called the Diraz raid a crackdown on free expression and said there was no coincidence it occurred two days after a "convivial" meeting between Trump and King Hamad. 5/24/17

Learning to Lose in Iran - Win or lose, it has become obvious that the fortunes of Hassan Rouhani and his administration remain bound to the memory of 2009 and the Green Movement. Calls for the release of the movement's imprisoned leaders by the cheering crowds were a constant reminder on the campaign trail that the indignity of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection continues to be a source of grievance for millions of Iranians, a legacy to be redeemed at the ballot box. -Shervin Malekzadeh 5/24/17

Siamak Namazi's Sentence: No One Wins - I know very few people who are more passionate about Iran, or who have tried to help Iran and Iranians as much as my Iranian-American friend Siamak Namazi. Yet, on Sunday, October 16, 2016, Iranian authorities sentenced Siamak and his father to 10 years in prison. -Maziar Bahari, Iran Wire 5/24/17

President Rouhani's Battle With Hardliners Over UN 2030 Educational Guidelines Follows Him Into Second Term - A major challenge for newly reelected President Hassan Rouhani's second term is integrating guidelines from a UN agenda into the country's educational system-a project he began in the summer of 2016 that was stalled by fierce opposition from hardliners. 5/24/17

Trump's Riyadh Speech: Bowing to the Saudi Regime - The bar for Donald Trump's speech in Riyadh had been set so low that it was scraping the sand. How much could be expected from a notorious exploiter of Islamophobia speaking to a gathering of leaders of majority Muslim countries? Getting through the experience without causing major new damage should perhaps be considered a success. Perhaps Trump and his speechwriters were wise not to attempt anything more. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 5/24/17

Trump in the Middle East: From 'America First' to Saudi and Israel first - President Donald Trump's visit to the Middle East has turned out as expected: no single act of outreach to the Muslim world could undo his fueling of Islamophobia and no amount of Iranophobia could cover up the irony of Trump and Saudi Arabia uniting against intolerance. -Trita Parsi, Middle East Eye 5/24/17

Iran discovers new gas field in Persian Gulf - Iran says it has discovered a new gas field close to the giant South Pars natural gas field which it jointly shares with Qatar. Local media have quoted an unnamed official at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) as saying that the field - named Sepand - holds 1.5 trillion cubic feet of sweet gas of which about 792 billion cubic feet is recoverable. 5/24/17

Are Iran and Saudi Arabia Heading Toward War? - Relations across the Persian Gulf are deteriorating fast. Iran and Saudi Arabia are once again at daggers drawn and sounding highly menacing to each other. The latest round of war of words, sparked by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, points to worsening hostility between the two countries - a situation fraught with the dangers of war. -Mohammed Nuruzzaman, Informed Comment 5/24/17

Iran's Conservatives Lose a Presidential Election and More - In the past two decades, Iranian presidential elections have been accompanied with surprising results and even tumult. Newcomers have won against better known and financed politicians while presumed establishment candidates and assumed winners have done poorly. This time around, the surprise was not in the results but the blunt conversation generated by the campaign and the skeptical way the voters assessed the promises of the candidates. -Farideh Farhi 5/23/17

JUST WHISTLING A TUNE IN A HURRICANE Mr. Trump's Historic First Foreign Trip - I watched with great disgust President Trump's long delivery at the gathering of Moslem heads of state in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His half-hour-long speech was eloquently worded, obviously not his words, as he lacks the degree of literacy or the command of the language required for that. The content of his speech was rhetorical, hypocritical and transparently shallow and, I might add, disgracefully dishonest. -Kambiz Zarrabi 5/23/17

Women win highest ever seats in Tehran City Council election - Six women have been elected to Tehran's 5th city council election, registering a record high out of the total 21 members. The number of female councilors has been doubled in the 5th council elections compared with the previous rounds, in which women's number was not more than three 5/23/17

Rouhani's Victory: The View from Brussels - The first Western leader to congratulate Hassan Rouhani on his re-election as Iran's president on May 19 was the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. It is clearly an indicator of the importance the EU attaches to relations with Iran. Also remarkable is Mogherini's message lauding Iranians for "passionately taking part in the political life of their country." -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 5/23/17

As Iranian Voters Reject Hardliner, Trump Embraces Saudi Monarch & Vows to Isolate Iran - President Trump vowed to isolate Iran during his major address to Gulf leaders in Saudi Arabia. He accused Iran of funding, arming and training militias and other extremist groups in region, while ignoring Saudi Arabia's role in destabilizing the region. Trump's remarks came just two days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected in a landslide vote Friday. -Democracy Now 5/23/17

Iran's President Rohani Criticizes Trump's Saudi Summit, Says Vote Shows Iranians Want Engagement - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has criticized a summit of Muslim countries that was attended by U.S. President Donald Trump, calling the meeting in Saudi Arabia a "a show with no meaning." Trump addressed dozens of leaders of Muslim states in Riyadh on May 21, urging leaders to fight against Islamic extremism and calling for the isolation of Iran, which he accused of fueling "the fires of sectarian conflict and terror." 5/23/17

Iran finishes third in 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games - Iran came third in the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, winning 39 gold, 26 silver and 33 bronze medals and 98 in total in the 11-day long battle. 5/23/17

Iran-EU trade up 165% in first quarter of 2017 - The European Union's trade with Iran amounted to 5.3 billion Euros in the first quarter of 2017, a 165 percent rise from 2 billion Euros in the first quarter of 2016, based on the latest figures released by the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat. 5/23/17

Word on the Street after Moderate's Landslide Win in Iran - Iranian people came to streets to celebrate the victory of Hassan Rouhani, the moderate candidate in Iran's twelfth presidential election. Rouhani secured 57% of the 40 million votes Iranian cast. He defeated the hardliner candidate Ebrahim Raisi, a former notorious prosecutor and jurist, who received 38.5% or 15.7 million of the votes. -Sara Rustampour 5/22/17

Landslide Win for Iran's Reformists Doesn't Fit Trump's Script, So He Ignores It - The hypocrisy of America's support for unelected despots in the oil-rich Gulf states is not new, but Donald Trump's lavish praise for them on Sunday, as allies against "Islamist extremism" and "the oppression of women," was particularly striking, coming one day after Iranian voters danced in the streets to celebrate their reformist president's landslide re-election. -Robert Mackey, The Intercept 5/22/17

Pro-Rohani Reformists Sweep Tehran Council Elections - Iran's moderates and reformists have swept to power in Tehran's City Council, winning all 21 seats and driving the conservatives from power. It was another boost to the moderate and reformist camp after President Hassan Rohani won a resounding victory in the May 19 presidential election. 5/22/17

Interview: Tony Award Nominee Arian Moayed, Star of the Provocative Dual-Language Adaptation of Hamlet - Waterwell Theatre Company is undertaking a professional stage production of Shakespeare's Hamlet set in 1917 Tehran, during the dawn of World War I. Performing Shakespeare's words in both English and Farsi, Waterwell's adaptation of Hamlet explores the shifting cultural identities that Persians were battling as the rest of the world was modernizing. With passages spoken in Farsi, this version of Shakespeare's celebrated tragedy explores parallels between Hamlet's central existential dilemma and the compromises of a nation faced with the encroachment of Western influences, then and now. 5/22/17

Mr. Trump, When you were Dancing in Riyadh... - Dear Mr. Trump, when you were dancing in Riyadh and calling for a "regime change" in Iran, the Iranians were changing their regime, just a little more. This is what they have been doing over the past decade, step by step, one election at a time, and without American boots on the ground. -Fatemeh Keshavarz, Huffington Post 5/22/17

10 ways Iran is more democratic and modern than Saudi Arabia - Though both Iran and Saudi Arabia define themselves Islamic states, in almost every respect Iran is a far more modern and democratic country and society than Saudi Arabia is or can ever be. -Alexander Mercouris, The Duran 5/22/17

Iran's Zarif Scorns Saudi Deals With U.S., Alleged Ties To September 11 Terror Attacks - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia for their weapons and investment deals and suggested that the Arab country's policies were to blame for the September 11 attacks in the United States. 5/22/17

Trump Calls For Coalition To 'Stamp Out Extremism,' Slams Iran During Landmark Speech - U.S. President Donald Trump has called for a "coalition of nations" in the Middle East to come together with the aim of "stamping out extremism" during a landmark speech on May 21, the second day of his visit to Saudi Arabia. 5/22/17

Iranian president calls US relations 'a curvy road' - Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani on Monday called relations with the United States "a curvy road," saying he hoped the Trump administration will "settle down" enough for his nation to better understand it. -AP 5/22/17

Tillerson Says It Is Likely He Will Eventually Speak With His Iranian Counterpart - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says it is likely he will eventually speak to his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, "at the right time," although he has no plans to talk to him at this point. 5/22/17

Hassan Rohani Declared Winner Of Iran's Presidential Vote - President Hassan Rohani has been declared the outright winner with nearly all the ballots counted from Iran's May 19 presidential election, a seemingly emphatic endorsement of the incumbent's efforts to reengage internationally and seek modest reforms within Iran's clerically dominated society. 5/20/17

Scapegoating Iran Will Not Resolve Middle East Challenge - During his Middle East trip, President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to pursue an ambitious list of objectives. Paramount among these is to strengthen regional cooperation in defeating the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) and Islamist terrorism in general... A key difficulty, however, is that President Trump and leaders of his administration clearly seek to achieve these ambitious goals by (mis)representing Iran as the world's leading exporter of terrorism and a threat to Israel and Arab states, especially those in the Persian Gulf. -Shirin T. Hunter 5/20/17

NIAC Responds to President Rouhani's Reelection, Calls on Trump to Choose Diplomacy - "The Iranian people have spoken by coming out in record numbers to vote in Friday's presidential elections. By continuing to engage at the ballot box, and once more demonstrating their preference for the most moderate option available, they have chosen a path of gradual transformation through peaceful participation. Once again, the Iranian people have shown their persistence to choose their own destiny and to reject all attempts to stymie that right." 5/20/17

Azim Gheychisaz: The first Iranian to climb the world's 14 highest summits - Azim Gheychisaz made history, becoming the first Iranian who has climbed the all 14 of the world's highest peaks. Gheychisaz climbed the peak of Mount Lhotse on Friday. Only 36 other climbers in the world have documented their climbs to all 14 of the world's highest peaks. The first mountaineer to make such an achievement was Reinhold Messner, in 1986. 5/20/17

Iran Presidential Vote Pits 'Engagement' Against 'Self-Reliance' - Iranians are voting in a four-man presidential race that could reinvigorate efforts for an economic and diplomatic thaw with the West or draw the curtain on a four-year interlude in hard-line domination at all levels of government. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 5/19/17

PHOTOS: Iranians go to polls to elect president - Iranians are voting at a presidential election in which four candidates, including incumbent Hassan Rouhani, are competing for the presidential post. The polls opened at 8:00 local time (03:30 GMT) on Friday. More than 54 million people are eligible to vote the election. Exit polls are expected on Saturday. 5/19/17

Sherman: "We Are Safer" Because of JCPOA - In a May 16 event held by the Cato Institute, Ambassador Wendy Sherman spoke at length about the Iran nuclear deal and its status under the Trump administration. Sherman, who served as Barack Obama's under secretary of state for political affairs from 2011-2015 and was one of the key figures in negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, also discussed the administration's policy toward Iran more generally. -Derek Davison, LobeLog 5/19/17

Raeesi 2017, Or Ahmadinejad Redux? - In the run up to the 2017 election, the emergence of Ebrahim Raeesi as the most likely candidate to defeat President Hassan Rouhani has drawn comparisons with the surge of support for Ahmadinejad in 2005. But how much do the two elections really have in common, and how likely is Raeesi to become the next president of Iran? -Reza HaghighatNejad, LobeLog 5/19/17

Analysis: Iran's Younger Generation Positioned To Restore Political Roar - When Mahmud Ahmadinejad was elected to a second term as president in 2009 as a result of what is widely regarded as vote-rigging, Iran's younger generation played a leading role in the massive street protests that ensued and gave birth to the opposition Green Movement. Iran's rulers were shaken. For the first time since the days of the shah, Iranians screamed "death to the dictator!" from Tehran's rooftops. Iran's youth were energized -- and angry. -David Patrikarakos, RFE 5/18/17

US Extends Obama-era Nuclear Sanctions Relief for Iran, Adds Other Sanctions - The Trump administration has announced that it will continue nuclear sanctions relief for Iran, keeping in place an Obama-era deal. Under the 2015 deal, sanctions punishing Iran for its nuclear program were waived in exchange for Iran's commitment to roll back the program. But continuing the sanctions relief requires the renewal of a six-month waiver. The most recent waiver, issued by former Secretary of State John Kerry in December, was set to expire this week. 5/18/17

John Kerry, security experts team up to defend Iran deal from Trump - Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry along with other top security experts have come to defend the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, from the country's hardline President Donald Trump. Through a newly formed organization called Diplomacy Works, Kerry and several national security experts who served under former U.S. President Barack Obama are fighting to protect the nuclear agreement, The Independent reported. 5/18/17

Flag of Iranian football team Persepolis to be raised in North Pole - The flag of Persepolis Football Club, Iran Professional League champion, will be raised in the North Pole for the first time in the world. At the lunch ceremony which was held on May 9 with the participation of Persepolis officials, coaching staff and players, the flag of the club was delivered to Hossein Naseri, the innovator of the adventurer manager idea, to be taken to the North Pole in September 2017. 5/18/17

Iranian Women's Rights Activists Use Elections as "Opportunities" to Put Forth Demands - A member of the Women's Citizenship Center, a non-governmental organization in Tehran, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that women's rights activists are increasingly using their leverage as an important voting block to put forth their demands during elections. 5/17/17

Rouhani's Attempt to Adopt UNESCO Educational Guidelines Emerges as 2017 Election Issue in Iran - In the run-up to Iran's presidential election on May 19, 2017, the country's hardline supreme leader has strongly denounced the Rouhani government's attempt to integrate guidelines from a UN agenda into the country's educational system. Conservative voters have meanwhile been pointing to the document as alleged evidence of centrist President Hassan Rouhani's so-called pro-Western beliefs. Rouhani is currently seeking a second term. 5/17/17

U.S. Signs Defense Deal With United Arab Emirates With Eye On Iran - The United States has signed a new defense cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates, which like Saudi Arabia regards Iran as a strategic adversary that is fomenting conflicts throughout the Middle East. 5/17/17

Photos: Magnitude 5.7 Quake In Northeastern Iran Kills Two, Injures Hundreds - A 5.7-magnitude earthquake that shook the northeastern province of North Khorasan on Saturday night claimed two lives and left more than 400 injured. The earthquake hit 3 cities and 97 villages of the province at 22:30 local time which was followed by 26 aftershocks. 5/15/17

Persian Empire in Sasanian Era: Subject of Symposium at Library of Congress - The African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress (AMED), in cooperation with the Iranian-American Alumni of the Alborz High School will present a symposium on the legacy of the ancient Persian Sasanian empire (224-651 AD). The event is part of an annual series of symposia on the ancient civilizations of the Near East organized by AMED at the Library of Congress. 5/15/17

14th-century Persian poet Hafez a guide for today's Iranian-Canadians - Hafez, the 14th-century Persian poet, still draws a crowd, if the hundreds of Iranians gathering this weekend for several presentations are any evidence. Nasser Kanani, an expert in electrochemistry, is the guest speaker, better known in engineering circles for his textbook on electroplating, rather than his recently-published two-volume study of the poet called Hafez and His Divan As Viewed By the West. Mohandez, the Canadian society of Iranian engineers and architects, sponsored Kanani's lectures at Toronto's Aga Khan Museum and an Iranian community centre -CBC 5/13/17

U.S. District Court Judge "Inclined to Agree" That Muslim Ban Unconstitutional - On Thursday, Judge Tanya Sue Chutkan a judge at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order staying the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) motion for a nationwide freeze on President Trump's Muslim travel ban, indicating that she is "inclined to agree with Plaintiffs that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims with respect to Sections 2 and 6 of the Second Executive Order." 5/12/17

Women and the Iranian Elections - A group of women's rights activists issued a statement on May 6 outlining their demands for the next president of Iran. The statement, which calls for improved economic opportunities for women, reform of discriminatory laws, access to public spaces such as sports stadiums, and more appointments for women to managerial and cabinet positions in government, has received some press and attention. But it seems unlikely to bring about significant change in the focus or discourse of the presidential hopefuls. -Sussan Tahmasebi 5/11/17

Iran upsets Japan to win Asian Men's U23 Volleyball Championship title - The national Iranian volleyball team has lifted the trophy at the conclusion of the 2017 Asian Men's U23 Volleyball Championship following a resounding victory over Japan in the final showdown of the tournament in the northwestern Iranian city of Ardabil. 5/10/17

FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP: Iran finishes third to make Asian history - Iran ended their Bahamas 2017 campaign on a high with a 5-3 win against Italy in the play-off for third place to become Asia's highest ever finishers at the Beach Soccer World Cup. These two teams met during the group stage at Bahamas 2017 with Italy edging Iran 5-4 in a thrilling match. The Europeans scored first that day, but it was Iran's turn this time. 5/8/17

Beyond the Ban: Contemporary Iranian Art Exhibition in New York - Beyond the Ban: Contemporary Iranian Art is a group exhibition showcasing the work of leading Iranian artists based in the United States, and featuring painting, photography, video and prints. Artists include Shirin Neshat, Nicky Nodjoumi, Nahid Hagigat, Shoja Azari, Hossein Fatemi, Sara Issakharian, Nazanin Noroozi and Raha Raissnia 5/6/17

New Trump's "Extreme Vetting" Proposal Raises Alarm Bells - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is profoundly concerned by the Trump administration's newly released proposal for "extreme vetting" interview questions. "Donald Trump's Muslim ban has been blocked by multiple courts so now he is attempting to circumvent the judiciary and impose a Muslim ban through new measures," said Shayan Modarres, Legal Counsel for NIAC. "This proposal makes America less safe and would do further damage to the values and protections that are fundamental to this country." 5/5/17

PHOTOS: Magnificent tile-work at Mo'aven al-Molk shrine in Kermanshah, Iran - The Takieh Mo'aven ol-Molk is Iran's finest Hosseinieh, a distinctively Shiite shrine where plays are acted out during the Islamic month of Moharram to commemorate the martyrdom in 680 of Imam Hossein at Karbala. Enter downstairs, through a courtyard and a domed central chamber decorated with grisly scenes from the Karbala battle. -Vahid Hoseini 5/1/17

NEDLOOK: Classical Persian Artwork Meets Contemporary Jewelry - Just inside the walls of every historic structure in Iran, the unique dazzling tile works sit like a supersize jewel box that you won't forget. Tile works have been one of the most important decorative feature of the Persian architecture since ancient times. Vibrant mosaic tiles lavishly decorate the interior and exterior walls of religious buildings, royal palaces, and residence of dignitaries. While different aspects of architecture are often related to discussions surrounding buildings, the rich details and patterns of Persian tilework served as the inspiration for the jewelry designer, Neda Khalafi. 4/28/17

U.S. Visas Issued To Iranians Plummet By Nearly Half From Last Year - The United States has cut by nearly half the number of visas it has issued to citizens of Iran and other countries targeted by President Donald Trump's travel ban even though courts have prevented that ban from taking effect. 4/28/17

Trump Unites Iranian Americans - Generations of Iranians like my parents have admired the United States for almost everything. They wanted their children to attend American universities, promoted America as the land of great opportunities, and proudly sent invitations to friends for their U.S. citizenship ceremonies. But many Iranian Americans today are confused and frightened by the wave of unjust immigration policies targeting Iranians. -Leila Mansouri 4/27/17

"In order to Create, One must First New Trump's "Extreme Vetting" Proposal Raises Alarm BellsDestroy": An Interview with Parvaneh Etemadi - According to Parvaneh Etemadi, she has acquired Bahman Mohassess' taste and Jalal Al-Ahmad's courage. She is Frank. Yet, frankness is just one of her personality. She challenges the current form of knowledge and cognition and expresses far-fetched concepts with new modules, which provokes positive and negative reactions to her approach. Last year, her name appeared on the 11th list of 500 artists of the world together with four other Iranian artists, Farhad Moshiri, Reza Derakhshani, Ali Banisadr and Shirin Neshat 4/25/17

PHOTOS: The Ancient Samen Underground City In Western Iran - A two-millennia-old subterranean city has been unearthed in Samen, Hamedan Province, after more than a decade of excavations. The city, located 400 km west of Tehran, provisionally dubbed the Underground City of Samen, is "under the modern city of Samen," said Ali Khaksar, the head of the provincial office of Iran's Culturally Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization. 4/12/17

Joint Statement of Iranian-American Organizations on Detentions of Iranians - As organizations that represent the Iranian-American community, we are deeply concerned by recent arrests of Iranians visiting and studying in the United States. At least two Iranians are currently being held in custody by U.S. immigration authorities: Alia Ghandi and Mohammad Salar Fard-Hajian. We implore authorities to ensure these individuals have ready access to legal counsel and insist they be promptly released from custody. 4/6/17

Featured Web Site

The American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS)



Nylon Road: A Graphic Memoir of Coming of Age in Iran


Featured Articles

Philanthropy

Sarava (Iranian Venture Capital firm)

Rights

Letter From Political Prisoners: Prison conditions in Iran cause slow death of prisoners

General

World Bank forecasts 5.8% GDP growth for Iran in 2016

Iranian-American

Iran Nuclear Deal Opponents to Trump: Don't 'Rip it Up'

Politics

Europe Capitalizes on the Iran Deal

Economy

Iran's 8-month non-oil exports up 5.7% from last year

Culture

Going their own way

Sports

Weightlifter Sohrab Moradi wins second gold medal for Iran at Rio 2016

Art

--Maktab Shiraz- Art Exhibition by Shamseddin Ghazi

Literature

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

Travel

Caravan of the Arts: IRAN 2017

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

Group Photo Exhibition in Berkeley, California: Iran Unveiled

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last updated on Mon May 29 11:17:57 -04 2017