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September 15 2019
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The World of Achaemenid Persia: The Diversity of Ancient Iran


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Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker Harley Wallen's Eternal Code Starring Noted Iranian-American Actress Vida Ghaffari Had a Star Studded West Coast Premiere

- "I was truly honored to be cast in the role of Nikita. Harley is an amazingly talented filmmaker and I had fabulous cast and crew mates to collaborate with. It was my first role as a scientist and has opened the door for me to play other scientists and academics. While I never did become an academic like my dad wanted, it's a nod to the family business if you will, which is education and I did play a super smart woman," said Ghaffari. 9/14/19

Taekwondo Grand Prix: Iran wins 2 medals on day 2

- Armin Hadipour and Sajjad Mardani have won two gold medals for Iran on the second day of the 2019 World Taekwondo Grand Prix Series 2 in Japan. Hadipour, who had defeated Adrian Vicente of Spain in the semifinal of the minus 58 kg category, settled for silver after surrendering the decider 22-14 to his South Korean opponent Jang Jun. 9/14/19

NIAC Deeply Concerned by Flight Ban on Iranian Students

- The National Iranian American Council is deeply concerned by reports that a large number of Iranian students with visas were barred from boarding their flights at the last minute by the Trump administration. The students were fully vetted and set to study in the United States during the fall semester, and now have had their futures thrown into disarray with no explanation from either the State Department or Department of Homeland Security. -NIAC 9/14/19

Trump Provoked A Crisis With Iran, And Now May Try To Solve It

- Trump's firing of John Bolton has single-handedly dealt a two-pronged blow to those in Washington who sought to maneuver him into a devastating war with Iran. Not only has the likelihood of conflict gone down with Bolton dismissed from the White House, but the odds of negotiations that take war off the table have significantly increased. -Ryan Costello, LobeLog 9/14/19

Kylie Moore-Gilbert named as British-Australian academic held in Iran

- A British-Australian woman detained in Iran has been identified as Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Middle East politics specialist at Melbourne University. She has been held for a "number of months" already, on charges that remain unclear, the Australian government says. Dr Moore-Gilbert is the third foreign national revealed this week to have been arrested in the country. -BBC 9/14/19

Trump Says 'Iranian Leadership Wants To Meet'

- President Donald Trump has once again signaled that a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in September is a possibility. He told reporters on September 12 that Iran's leadership wants to meet. "I can tell you that Iran wants to meet," he told reporters at the White House. -Radio Farda 9/13/19

Iran says 'masters of sanction' killing innocent people

- Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva has lashed out at the US for imposing cruel sanctions against Iran, warning that the negative consequences of such measures turn it into a "crime against humanity." -Press TV 9/13/19

Retired military leaders sign letter urging Congress to bar 'unauthorized' war with Iran

- A group of retired military officers, including a chief of staff for Colin Powell, urged Congress to pass legislation to block a declaration of war with Iran without congressional approval. -Defense News 9/13/19

Iran Resorts To 'Maximum Repression' In Fighting Perceived Domestic Threats

- Political satirist Kiumars Marzban could spend more than a decade in an Iranian prison just for doing his job. Marzban is among the recent victims of an intensified state crackdown in Iran that has resulted in unusually harsh prison sentences for journalists, human rights lawyers, women protesting the compulsory hijab rule, labor rights activists, and others. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 9/13/19

Iran non-oil exports hit $44.3B in March 2019: Plan and Budget Organization

- A report by the Iranian government shows non-oil exports, including petrochemicals and condensates, exceeded $44 billion in the year ending March 2019. The report by Plan and Budget Organization of Iran (PBO) published on Thursday showed that exports had topped $44.310 billion in the 12-month period, an increase of 5.9 percent compared to the figures recorded in March 2013. -Press TV 9/13/19

Featured Video

Vida Ghaffari Eternal Code Star praises cast and crew

A unique experience in life: Traveling to Iran during Muharram - A unique time for visiting Iran is during the first ten days of the lunar month of Muharram, which falls from Sept. 1 to 10 this year. That's because Iranians, who are mostly Shia Muslims, hold special ceremonies during this time. For Shia Muslims, Muharram is a turning point in the history of Islam. -By Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 9/13/19

A Conversation with Rose Issa, Champion of Artists From the Middle East - On the eve of her exhibition at the new Middle East Institute Gallery, Issa talks about her decades-long curatorial career, the shifting infrastructure for artists in the region, and the need for memory and archives. -Lizzy Vartanian Collier, Hyperallergic 9/13/19

Trump Tries to Extinguish the Fire He Started With Iran - When the news broke that Trump had fired his national security advisor, John Bolton, it was assumed that the break was a result of their disagreement over a potential meeting with the Taliban at Camp David, which the president subsequently cancelled. But now we learn that the final straw was actually about Trump's desire to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. -Nancy LeTourneau, Washington Monthly 9/13/19

Trump Says He Could Ease Sanctions if Iran Wants to Talk - U.S. President Donald Trump again dangled the possibility of easing U.S. sanctions on Iran if it can bring President Hassan Rouhani to the bargaining table. "We will see what happens," Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday. He said Iran wants a deal because "they have tremendous financial difficulty and the sanctions are getting tougher and tougher." 9/12/19

Is Iran At Risk Of Becoming A Chinese Colony? - According to an article in the Petroleum Economist, during Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's visit to China in late August, Tehran and Beijing updated an agreement they had reached in 2016 called the China-Iran Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and added new items to it. Most of these new points have not been publicly released. -Shireen T. Hunter 9/12/19

Iran talks with US meaningless while sanctions still in place, Rouhani tells Macron - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has informed his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that there is no point in talks with the United States as long as it keeps sanctions against the Islamic Republic in place. Speaking to Macron over phone on Wednesday, Rouhani said the US violated its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal once it decided to quit it in May 2018. 9/12/19

FIFA Officials To Visit Iran After Death Of Stadium-Ban Protester - FIFA will visit Iran to review preparations for allowing women to attend men's soccer games, a spokesman for the world soccer governing body told Reuters and AFP on September 11. The announcement of FIFA's visit, expected in the next two weeks, follows the death of a 29-year-old woman who set herself on fire after being charged for attempting to attend a men's soccer match disguised as a male. 9/12/19

Bolton's Firing Undermines Netanyahu In Several Ways - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a very disappointing day on Tuesday. Struggling in the polls a week before the rerun of April's Israeli national elections, the embattled prime minister was desperate for something to swing a chunk of voters in his direction, or at least in the direction of some of the right wing parties supporting him. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog 9/12/19

Trump Flirts With $15 Billion Bailout for Iran, Sources Say - President Donald Trump has left the impression with foreign officials, members of his administration, and others involved in Iranian negotiations that he is actively considering a French plan to extend a $15 billion credit line to the Iranians if Tehran comes back into compliance with the Obama-era nuclear deal. -Daily Beast 9/12/19

Trump Makes The Right Call: Bolton Out - The single biggest factor in getting Bolton the job was Sheldon Adelson, whose weighty political checkbook has won him much influence over Trump's policies. The policies that by far have mattered most to Adelson are any that deal with Israel or are important to the right-wing government of Israel. Adelson and Bolton both have openly advocated bombing Iran, which is music to the ears of the ultra-hardline policy toward Iran favored by Benjamin Netanyahu's government. -Paul Pillar 9/11/19

2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Iran 2-0 Hong Kong - Iran have kick-started their Asian qualifying campaign for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China, with a 2-nil away victory over group C rivals in Hong Kong. Iran's next match will be against Cambodia on October the 10th. 9/11/19

U.S. 'Warmongers' Should Go, Iran Says After Bolton Firing - Iran has urged the United States to "put warmongers aside" following the departure of hard-line U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton, amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran in the wake of the unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. Speaking at a cabinet meeting on September 11, President Hassan Rohani said the United States "must understand that bellicosity and warmongering don't work in their favor. Both...must be abandoned." -RFE/RL 9/11/19

Top Iran cultural body slams US protracted detention of stem-cell scientist - A leading Iranian cultural organization has slammed the United States for its protracted detainment of an Iranian stem-cell scientist on "hollow" grounds, calling on advocates of human rights worldwide to help end the "arbitrary detention." 9/11/19

Death of Iran's "Blue Girl" Spotlights Senseless Ban on Women in Stadiums - The death of Sahar Khodayari, a woman who set herself on fire in Tehran because she thought she would have to serve jail time for trying to watch a soccer match, has put the spotlight on the costs of a discriminatory state policy that Iranian women have been protesting for decades. -CHRI 9/11/19

Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again - The largest exhibition to date of internationally acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat's approximately 30-year career. Taking its title from a poem by Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, the exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the evolution of Neshat's artistic journey as she explores topics of exile, displacement, and identity with beauty, dynamic formal invention, and poetic grace. -Broad, Los Angeles 9/11/19

Iraq's Al-Sadr In Iran Meets Khamenei - Iraqi Shiite politician Muqtada al-Sadr was in Iran and met Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during the religious Ashura mourning gathering on September 10. It is not clear if he is still in the country. Official photos released show the maverick cleric sitting next to Khamenei, flanked by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Qods force commander Qassem Soleimani. -Radio Farda 9/11/19

Britain-Iran relationship caught up in mutual blame game - The summoning of the Iranian ambassador to the British Foreign Office on Wednesday over broken assurances about the destination of an Iranian oil tanker, and now the arrest of two British-Australian nationals, marks yet another stage in the mutual blame game between Britain and Iran that leaves the relationship stuck deeper in a frustrating rut. -Patrick Wintour, Guardian 9/11/19

The Catastrophic Tenure Of John Bolton - John Bolton's tenure was a complete disaster. The national security architecture after Bolton looks like the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. Seventeen months ago, before Bolton became Donald Trump's third national security advisor, the United States still had a deal that had stopped Iran's nuclear program in its tracks... -Joseph Cirincione, LobeLog 9/11/19

IRAN: Mass Sentencing of Labor Activists, Journalists Prelude to Reign of Repression Under New Judiciary Chief - Less than a year after workers' rights activists in southwestern Iran publicized evidence that Intelligence Ministry agents had tortured detainees, those same activists and four independent journalists who covered their cases have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms. "The sentences are an indicator that newly appointed Judiciary Chief Ehrabim Raisi intends to prolong his predecessor's reign of repression by punishing peaceful activism through arbitrary arrests and kangaroo courts," said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 9/10/19

Iran Sanctions Curbing Global Scientific Progress: Top British Journal - The British medical journal BMJ Global Health says US sanctions on Iran, a leading country in the world for science, are curtailing global scientific progress. As a result of the draconian sanctions, Iranian scientists have been denied opportunities to publish their findings, attend meetings, and access essential supplies and information, the publication said. -Press TV 9/10/19

Iran's Zarif rejects Netanyahu's nuclear claim, says he 'cries wolf' - Iran on Monday rejected a claim by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Tehran had been developing nuclear weapons at a secret site and said he was seeking a pretext for war. "The possessor of real nukes cries wolf," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet, a reference to Israel's own presumed nuclear arsenal. -Reuters 9/10/19

IAEA acting chief praises 'substantive' talks with Tehran - The International Atomic Energy Agency's Acting Director General Cornel Feruta presents the Agency's Board of Governors with his latest reports on Iran a day after meeting top Iranian diplomats in Tehran. -Press TV 9/10/19

Is Iran Abnormal? - It is fashionable among Trump administration officials to call Iran "abnormal." Unless Iran behaves like "a normal nation," says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Washington's "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign against it will continue. -Mohammad Ataie, LobeLog 9/10/19

What Do Iranian Human Rights Activists Want from the West? - What do Iranian human rights activists want from the international community, the West in particular? What guidelines should be followed that can better support their heroic efforts? As someone who has written on the topic and spent considerable time studying the topic, reading their statements, and interviewing some prominent voices, I would like to address this subject. -Nader Hashemi, Siyasa 9/10/19

Is an American-Iranian Dialogue Coming? - When it comes to the clash between the Trump Administration and the Iranian government, three days can seem like a lifetime. This point was displayed by the sequence of events that began with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's August 25 visit to the G-7 meeting in Biarritz, France at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron. -Daniel Brumberg, Arab Center 9/10/19

Iran Basketball return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 - Iran national basketball team advanced to the 2020 Olympic Games after beating the Philippines in the 2019 FIBA World Cup classification round on Sunday. Iran had suffered three defeats against Puerto Rico, Tunisia and Spain in Group C. The Persians beat Angola and the Philippines in Group N. 9/9/19

IAEA confirms Iran's installation of advanced centrifuges - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran is installing advanced centrifuges after warning signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal that the clock is ticking for them to salvage the accord. In a statement issued on Monday, the United Nations nuclear agency said it has "verified that the following centrifuges were either installed or being installed...: 22 IR-4, one IR-5, 30 IR-6 and three IR-6s". -Press TV 9/9/19

Former Minister's Daughter Arrested In Iran For Alleged Corruption - Authorities in Iran have arrested the daughter of a former minister of industry, mines, and trade for cornering a part of the medicine market and accumulating assets through illegal channels, the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Sunday, September 8. 9/9/19

IRAN: Female Political Prisoners To Serve Additional Two Years For "Insulting" Supreme Leader - Imprisoned civil rights activist Atena Daemi and recently released political prisoner Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi were informed that they must serve an additional 2.1 years in prison now that the Tehran Appeals Court upheld a joint sentence against them under the charges of "insulting the supreme leader" and "propaganda against the state." -CHRI 9/9/19

Celebrating Iranian-American Writers: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi - Author of the critically acclaimed book, Call Me Zebra, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is a gifted young writer whose journey has taken her around the world -- from the U.S., to Iran, to Italy and Catalonia, and all the way to the UAE. It is no wonder that for Azareen, language plays a key role in her creativity. -NIAC Action 9/9/19

The Russian-Iranian Axis: An Eternal Marriage (Of Convenience) - While the European Union's plan to establish a "special purpose vehicle" to protect Iranian commerce from U.S. sanctions continues to underwhelm Iranian leaders, the Russian government has taken a decisive step to help Iran circumnavigate sanctions by allowing Tehran to transport crude oil through ports in Crimea. -Ghoncheh Tazmini, LobeLog 9/9/19

Iran puts pressure on Europe to save nuclear deal within 60-day deadline - Iran has announced it has started using more advanced centrifuges that could accelerate the development of an atomic weapon in its latest attempt to pressure European powers to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal. -Guardian 9/9/19

15 Iran MPs Urge New Judiciary Chief to Stop Renewed Crackdown on Freedom of Speech - During a speech addressing Iran's legislature, member of Parliament (MP) Parvaneh Salahshouri strongly criticized the recent crackdown on journalists and workers' rights advocates and called on recently appointed Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi to uphold the rule of law. -CHRI 9/6/19

'Coup 53': Film Review - Taghi Amirani's deeply researched documentary focuses on the crucial 1953 Anglo-American-engineered regime change in Iran. -Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter 9/6/19

Europe's trade mechanism with Iran goes forward: EU - The European Union says there is "an advancement" in a long-anticipated trade mechanism, called the INSTEX, with Iran, after Tehran's announcement of further cuts in its commitments under a 2015 nuclear accord it signed with major world powers. 9/6/19

Narges Bajoghli, Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic - I had just left Iran after a few years of living, studying, and working there. Until that point, I had focused on women's and student movements for some time and I thought I would continue down that path, until I read some pieces by Laura Nader, Lila Abu-Lughod, and others about the need to study power; it really shifted my focus. -Narges Bajoghli, Jadaliyya 9/6/19

Trad/roots: Nava wonderfully illustrate musical links between Ireland and Iran - You hear Iran these days, you think tankers and Trump, the country's rich cultural and musical heritage going largely under the radar in the West. The group Nava, made up of Irish and Iranian musicians, are, in their own inimitable way, changing that. -Irish News 9/6/19

US economic terrorism deliberately targeting civilians: Zarif - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the US "economic terrorism" against independent countries "deliberately" target civilians in order to realize Washington's illegitimate goals. -Press TV 9/6/19

The Systemic Problem of "Iran Expertise" in Washington - In this piece, I want to draw attention to the systemic problem of "Iran expertise" in Washington, which is neither new nor limited to the hawkish political factions now running this country's foreign policy. I assert that the US foreign policy establishment has collectively created a culture of expert impunity when it comes to Iran, which has contributed in no small part to the unstable and dangerous policy conditions we see under Trump today. -Negar Razavi, Jadaliyya 9/5/19

Bill on protection of animals brought before Iran's Parliament - A long-awaited bill on protection of animals which had been proposed over 3 years ago was finally brought to the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday. Since 2016, some animal cruelty cases have been spotted in the country which mounted public criticism and pushed the Majlis to pass a law against cruelty to animals. 9/5/19

Iran's Disappearing Forests Pose Environmental Challenge - While Western think tanks have drawn attention to droughts and floods in Iran, the news media has ignored another critical environmental issue there: deforestation. Between 1900 and 2012, Iran's forest acreage decreased from 19 million acres to 14.4 million, shrinking to 10.7 million by 2015. -Austin Bodetti, LobeLog 9/5/19

The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran - Hawks in Israel and America have spent more than a decade agitating for war against the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. Will Trump finally deliver? -Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti, New York Times 9/5/19

Minister calls on Trump to stop imitating fictional character as U.S. sanctions Iran's space program - Iranian Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi has mocked U.S. President Donald Trump over "imitating" the space supervillain from the Marvel universe, Thanos. -Tehran Times 9/5/19

Why Iran's Strategy Of Reversible Escalation Is Working - A year after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement with Iran (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and instituted its "maximum pressure" campaign against the country in May 2018, Iran countered with its own escalations. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 9/5/19

Iran Is Building a Stockpile -- of Potatoes - Amid growing worries over food shortages, the Iranian government is doubling down on production of potatoes to ensure that the carb-rich vegetable is available to the masses, as it seeks to beat back the threat of social unrest because of the economic crisis. Iran has increased its potato production by more than 20 percent since 2009, when it grew 4.1 million tons. -Austin Bodetti, OZY 9/5/19

The Stubborn Persistence Of Failed Maximum Pressure Against Iran - It is a sure sign that the Trump administration's campaign to squeeze Iran into submission is a failure when those who customarily favor pressuring Iran acknowledge that failure. Take what has become the administration's go-to rationale for the campaign in the face of other evidence that it is not working: the claim that U.S. sanctions have undercut Iran's "malign" activity in the Middle East by reducing the funds available for such activity. -Paul Pillar 9/4/19

Public Outcry Leads Officials To Void The Marriage Of Underage Girl In Iran - A videotape widely circulated on social media showing the wedding party of an under-thirteen year old girl and a 22-year-old man has forced a local judicial official in Iran to declare the marriage null and void until further notice. -Radio Farda 9/4/19

Foreign Minister Zarif: US sanctions on Iran's space program 'ineffective' - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has downplayed as "ineffective" the US's recent sanctions on the country's space program, saying Washington's extreme use of economic leverage will gradually threaten its economic might. Zarif made the remarks after a meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in Dhaka on Wednesday. 9/4/19

The 11th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Announces Its Top Six Finalists - The Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival is pleased to announce the six talented finalists competing for three cash prizes at the eleventh annual film festival. The only short film festival in the world celebrating Iranian cinema and culture returns for the eleventh year with a red carpet awards ceremony on September 28 at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall in Los Angeles. 9/4/19

Iran Lawmakers Protest Arrest And Harsh Sentences Against Labor Activists - In a letter to the head of the Islamic Republic's judiciary, sixteen Iranian legislators have protested the imprisonment of a young photographer, Nooshin Ja'fari, and harsh verdicts issued against labor rights activists. Four female members of Majles (parliament) are among the signatories of the letter. -Radio Farda 9/4/19

Meditative Mixed-Media Paintings by Arghavan Khosravi Subtly Address Human Rights Issues - Artist Arghavan Khosravi creates multi-part worlds in her carefully composed paintings. Contemporary human figures commingle with ghostly limbs and classical Greco-Roman sculptures. Bright red lines of string, Persian decorative motifs, and found textiles connect the disparate figures. -Colossal 9/4/19

China and Iran flesh out strategic partnership - Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Zarif paid a visit to his Chinese counterpart Wang Li at the end of August to present a road map for the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership, signed in 2016. The central pillar of the new deal is that China will invest $280bn developing Iran's oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors. -Petroleum Economist 9/4/19

Partners In Chaos - In the past 20 years-certainly in the last ten-the Middle East has moved away from multilateral arrangements, formal or informal, towards an unruly pursuit of unilateral short-term gain. President Donald Trump's 'America First' politics and contempt for international frameworks--he has left the Paris climate accords as well as the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal--has fueled a politics of gesture and foreign policy by tweet. -Gareth Smyth, LobeLog 9/4/19

Iran's President Rohani Rules Out Bilateral Talks With U.S. - Iran's President Hassan Rohani has ruled out bilateral talks with the United States, though the removal of sanctions against it would allow for multilateral talks including those who signed a nuclear accord in 2015. Speaking at an open session of parliament on September 3, Rohani also said Iran was ready to further reduce its commitments to the 2015 deal "in the coming days" if current negotiations fail to yield any results. -RFE/RL 9/3/19

Will the world's fastest Asiatic cheetah outrun extinction? - Although Iran is the only country which can save the precious species from disappearance, conservation projects fall into a single solution of captive-breeding. Cheetah's captive-breeding is not necessarily an inefficient plan, nonetheless concerns come up from recent unsuccessful projects. Will the endangered beauty surpass its unknown fate and escape extinction? -Faranak Bakhtiari, Tehran Times 9/3/19

Thousands Of Children Forced To Work, Beg In The Streets In Iran - Beggars in the Iranian capital city Tehran earn more than $350,000 a month, says the deputy of the Islamic Republic's Welfare Organization, Mohammad Reza Fazelinejad. Speaking to the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA), Fazelinejad said on Sunday, September 1, "By direct handouts to street urchins, child workers, and beggars, citizens of Tehran increase the number of vagrants, while their payments ultimately are taken away from the paupers." -Radio Farda 9/3/19

Bear cubs shot dead in southwestern Iran - Two bear cubs were found dead at a landfill site in Dena county, southwestern province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, the provincial department of environment (DOE) chief has announced. Lack of wildlife protection culture among people as well as awareness, and a lack of conservation forces are among the issues led to such tragic events, he lamented. 9/3/19

She Fled the Iranian Revolution, but Her Troubles Didn't End There - "The Ungrateful Refugee" finds Nayeri decades later, after she's grown up in the United States, moved to Europe and gotten both American and French citizenships. But these pages are filled with flashbacks of the traumas she endured as a refugee, related in a voice that is both injured and at times angry. -Nazila Fathi, New York Times 9/3/19

Iran, France hold intensive expert-level talks on ways to save nuclear deal - Iranian and French experts have held intensive talks aimed at salvaging an international nuclear deal, which has been at risk of unraveling since the US withdrew from it last year. 9/3/19

Iran taekwondo wins title at World Martial Arts Masterships - Iranian taekwondo team won the team kyorugi event competition of 2019 Martial Arts Masterships in South Korea. In the final bout, the Iranian team overpowered Russia 26-14 to obtain the title and also to secure 2020 Tokyo Olympics quota where team kyorugi will be held as a test event. 9/2/19

The Genius of Author Bahram Sadeqi, Iran's Answer to Kafka - As the old saying goes, French is the language of love; German is the language of war; and Russian is both. However, as most international linguists will tell you, it is Farsi (Persian) that is the most poetic. -Tara Taghizadeh, Highbrow Magazine 8/29/19

Israel Uses Its Firepower, Far And Wide - Israel recently has been expanding its military attacks across much of the Middle East, hitting multiple countries. The aggressive campaign far outpaces anything any adversaries of Israel have been doing to it, or even trying unsuccessfully to do to it. -Paul R. Pillar 8/28/19

Iran is the world's biggest jailer of women journalists - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed by a new wave of arrests and interrogations of women journalists since the start of August in Iran. The Islamic Republic is now the world's biggest jailer of women journalists, with a total of ten currently held. -RSF 8/28/19

Iran's middle class feels the brunt of U.S. sanctions - Here's what President Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign of economic sanctions against Iran looks like for Shaghayegh Safari, a 38-year-old single mother who works as a typist at a magazine in Tehran. Her water and gas bills rose 30% over the last two years. The monthly rent for her one-bedroom apartment jumped from $75 to $240. -Los Angeles Times 8/28/19

Iran Sentences Satirist Keyomars Marzban to 23 Years Imprisonment - Satirist Keyomars Marzban has been sentenced to 23.3 years in prison in Iran for working for foreign media outlets, his lawyer Mohammad Hossein Aghasi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on August 25, 2019. "My client is a satirist and author who wrote for some media outlets outside the country and the charges were based on the content of those writings," Aghasi told CHRI. 8/27/19

Caspian seals population shrinking alarmingly - Caspian seals, the sole marine mammals inhabiting the Caspian Sea, have faced a sharp decline in population over the past three decades, pushing the species towards extinction, Davood Mirshekar, deputy chief of the Department of Environment for marine ecosystems, has stated. 8/27/19

Around 8 million tourists arrived in Iran in early 2019: Tourism Chief - Head of Iran's government department on tourism says around eight million foreigners visited the country in the last Iranian calendar year ending in March 2019. "Some 7.8 million foreign tourists arrived in the country last year," said Ali Asghar Mounessan, adding that the figure shows a 40-percent year-on-year increase. -Press TV 8/27/19

Iranian students in US scramble as sanctions ratchet up tuition costs - There were more than 12,000 Iranians studying in the US during the 2017-2018 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education. For many, economic sanctions and currency fluctuations have resulted in higher tuition and living expenses than originally planned. -Marnette Federis, PRI 8/27/19

Iran To Let Women Attend Men's World Cup Qualifier In October - Women in Iran will be allowed into a Tehran stadium to attend a men's football World Cup qualifier later this year, a Sports Ministry official has said. "The women can go in the Asadi Stadium for the qualification match against Cambodia on October 10," Deputy Sports Minister Jamshid Taghizadeh said on August 25, according to state news agency IRNA. 8/26/19

Trump Says US Not Interested in Iran Regime Change - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's visit to the French city hosting the G-7 summit of world leaders was not a surprise to President Donald Trump, the U.S. leader said Monday. Trump told reporters in Biarritz as he began a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi that he respected that Zarif came to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and others. -VOA 8/26/19

Iran Is Building an AI Supercomputer With or Without U.S. Processors - Iran is making a big play at present to compete in the ever-deepening trenches of global information technology. Iran's minister of information and computer technology tweeted last weekend an announcement of a current supercomputer project, already in late development, to be launched next year and which he promised would be "100 times more powerful than previous ones." -Dana Miller, Interesting Engineering 8/26/19

26 million Iranians do not use internet: Statistical Center of Iran - Some 26 million Iranians of six years old and above do not use internet, the Statistical Center of Iran and Information Technology Organization of Iran announced in a joint report, Mehr reported on Tuesday. Of the figure, 11.864 million are men and the rest are women, according to the report. 8/23/19

The Trump Administration Has Criminalized The Iranian Economy - The Trump administration's "maximum pressure" strategy with respect to Iran is predicated on placing Iran's economy in perpetual isolation. A not-insignificant part of that effort has involved designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)--Iran's premier military outfit--as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), while simultaneously claiming that the IRGC exercises control over Iran's entire economy. -Tyler Cullis, LobeLog 8/23/19

Annual Nowruz Banner Contest - Farhang Foundation invites artists worldwide to participate in its Annual Official Nowruz Banner Contest for the 2020 Nowruz Celebrations at UCLA! 8/22/19

Parau: "Everest of all caves" in western Iran - Photos show rock climbers rappelling through Iran's Parau Cave, locally renowned as "Everest of all caves". Looking for adventure? This vertical limestone cave, which is one of natural attractions of Kermanshah province in the Zagros Mountains, offers a wild and challenging expedition for experienced rock climbers! 8/21/19

Iran sanctions threaten the lives of young cancer patients - But there's another battlefield in the sanctions war: a children's hospital. Since 1991, Mahek, a charity hospital in Tehran that offers free health care, has cared for nearly 30,000 children. But in the last year, vital drugs have been running out. -CBS 8/21/19

US and Iran, short memories - Western media have demonised Iran for 40 years, especially in the US. A selective memory of recent history greatly helps the tone and content of that demonisation. -Serge Halimi & Pierre Rimbert, Le Monde diplomatique 8/21/19

Sanctions hindering pharma raw materials import: Iranian Red Crescent - Problems in transferring money from foreign banks and using foreign exchange has been hindering the import of pharmaceutical raw materials into the country for a long time, announced the director of medical supply department at the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS). 8/20/19

Iranian Charity Organization Hamiyar launches ensemble with childhood cancer survivors - Iranian charity organization Hamiyar, based in the city of Arak, provides support to children suffering from cancer as well as their families. Hamiyar held a concert in their headquarters in Arak on August 16, 2019 where Avaye Hamiyar Ensemble, composed of 23 childhood cancer survivors and their relatives, performed. This ensemble has been established by the medical center for children with cancer to keep their spirits up during treatment. 8/20/19

U.S. Sanctions Are Killing Cancer Patients in Iran - Washington claims that maximum pressure won't stop the supply of medicine and other humanitarian necessities, but banking sanctions are driving up import prices, blocking supply chains, and creating deadly drug shortages. -Abbas Kebriaeezadeh, Foreign Policy 8/16/19

Here Are Five Lies About Iran That We Need to Refute to Stop Another Illegal War - The Trump administration's lies on the topic of Iran are now beyond parody. There is, however, nothing funny about them. U.S. government lies can have deadly consequences: Never forget that hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children, not to mention more than 4,400 U.S. military personnel, are dead today because of the sheer volume of falsehoods told by the George W. Bush administration. -Mehdi Hasan, Intercept 8/15/19

Iranians hit hard by U.S. sanctions, and worried about war - In the local market in Bandar Abbas, a town right on Iran's coast in the Strait of Hormuz, people are really feeling the pinch. So have millions of other Iranians in the year since President Trump began re-imposing what his administration calls "the toughest ever" sanctions on Iran. -CBS News 8/15/19

Crowdfunding Campaign: First Documentary on Persian Fortress DARBAND in Russia - The Sasanian Fortress in Darband was built in the 6th century AD to protect the Persian Empire from invasion by nomadic peoples to the north. The defensive structures remained in continuous use by the succeeding Persian, Arab and Turkish forces until the Russian invasion in the 19th century. 8/12/19

The ancient art of making ships in southern Iran - Maritime trade, shipping and shipbuilding have long been practiced in Iran. There have been many small or big shipyards across the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf. If you are planning to travel to the southernmost parts of the country, we suggest to visit the Persian Gulf in trace of seeing the process of crafting and sailing traditional Lenj boats, which has passed down from father to son. The hand-built vessels are used for sea journeys, trading, fishing and pearl diving. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 8/6/19

Coalition of Foreign Policy Experts Outline 8 Recommendations to Deescalate Tensions with Iran - Today, an expert group of foreign policy practitioners published a letter underscoring the dangerous new phase that has put the U.S and Iran on the path toward war. The signatories include prominent academics, such as John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, and Andrew Bacevich; foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal; former Member of Congress John F. Tierney; former ambassadors and diplomats, such as Thomas Pickering, Francois Nicoullaud, and Peter Jenkins; national security expert Edward Price; and Iran experts such as Jamal Abdi, Dina Esfandiary, and Farideh Farhi. 7/31/19

Joint Statement: House Reins In Trump on Iran - CREDO, Foreign Policy for America, J Street, NIAC Action, and Win Without War issued the following joint statement regarding the House vote passing the Khanna-Gaetz amendment to block any funds for an unauthorized war with Iran -Win Without War 7/12/19

Open Letter by academics and civil society activists to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on significance of return to JCPOA - Hon. Secretary General, You are well aware that in 2015 with the support of all permanent members of the UNSC (China, France, Russia, UK, and US) plus Germany and Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was drafted, upon which UNSC issued Resolution 2231, replacing all previous UNSC resolutions targeting Iran's nuclear program. 7/3/19

170+ Iranian Women Activists Condemn Sanctions and Threats of War - We a group of Iranian women's movement activists and women's rights defenders strongly condemn US efforts to stoke yet another war in the Middle East, this time against Iran. The Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign, its bellicose posturing and sanctions, hurt the Iranian people most, especially women, children, minorities, refugees, the chronically ill and those with disabilities. 5/30/19

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last updated on Sat Sep 14 11:44:33 EDT 2019