Mehr 2 1400 - September 24 2021
'Iran was our Hogwarts': my childhood between Tehran and Essex

When I was 12, a bespectacled boy with a shock of thick hair and his forearm in plaster gave me the first Harry Potter book. We were at that age when gifts need little occasion, and this marked the last day of our first year of secondary school. It was 1999, and the book was unknown to me. I was mildly embarrassed by its childish watercolour cover, but I dutifully packed it in my satchel when, two days later, my family flew to Iran for our six-week summer holiday. -Arianne Shahvisi, Guardian 9/23/21

WeHo Mayor Pro Tempore Breaks Ceilings and Blazes Trails for a New Generation of Progressive, Women, People of Color, and LGBTQ+ Leaders

Councilmember Sepi Shyne made history in November 2020 when she was elected to the West Hollywood City Council. She became the first out LGBTQ Iranian elected anywhere globally and locally became the first woman of color elected to West Hollywood's City Council. Her election also ushered in West Hollywood's first female-majority City Council. -Blunt Post 9/23/21

Iran eyes normalisation as COVID vaccination drive accelerates

The rollouts of Iran's vaccination campaign against COVID-19 has gathered significant pace, after months of public anger about slow imports, raising hopes of a relative return to normal life in the Middle East's worst-hit country. More than 30 million jabs alone were imported during the sixth month of the Iranian calendar which ends on Wednesday - higher than all doses imported since the start of February combined... -Al Jazeera 9/23/21

Art of Iran: Exhibit brings a taste of Persian culture to Lewiston

The head of a bald eagle emerges from a paisley pattern and forms the background in a self-portrait of Tirazheh Eslami. The digital work is among those by more than 50 artists in an exhibit that starts Friday at the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History titled "The Land of Persepolis: Introducing Persian Culture to the West." 9/23/21

Women's handball's success can motivate Iranian girls: coach

Nashmin Shafeian, coach of Iran women's handball team, hopes that their qualification to the world championship will motivate the young girls interested in handball to follow their dreams with eagerness. Iranian women made history in the 2021 Asian Women's Handball Championship by advancing to the semifinals of the 2021 Asian Women's Handball Championship underway in Jordan. -Farrokh Hesabi, Tehran Times 9/23/21


continuing its contemporary visions of traditional iranian architecture, team design group envisions its gilak house. while a previous design showed a sweeping revival of irans 'sunken courtyards' or bagh chal, this latest house presents a reinterpretation of the elevated tribal dwellings commonly built to maximize cross ventilation. in response to the hot climate and the high humidity and rainfall typical of the country's coastal or mountainous regions including the zagros mountain range, the structures were designed with strategic openings along both the exteriors and interiors. -designboom 9/23/21

Dr. Mossadegh's grandson and founder of Iranology Library Passes Away in Switzerland

Abol Majid Bayat was also the founder of Mossadegh Foundation in Geneva. The institution holds over 8000 items and has been a hub for researchers of Persian culture and history. -- VOA, Pejman Akbarzadeh 9/23/21

Report: US, Israel Held Secret Talks on Possible 'Plan B' for Iran

US and Israel officials held secret talks last week on a "plan b" for Iran if negotiations to revive the nuclear deal do not resume, Axios reported on Wednesday. The talks were led by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata. Earlier this year, the US and Israel revived a strategic dialogue on Iran between the two nations' security councils. Last week's talks were the first time the group was convened since Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet replaced Benjamin Netanyahu. 9/23/21

Saudi king expresses hope for the direct talks with Iran

Saudi Arabia's monarch expressed hope Wednesday that the kingdom's direct talks with Iran will lead to confidence building as the two bitter regional rivals take small steps toward dialogue following several years of heightened tensions. King Salman made the remarks in a pre-recorded speech delivered to leaders gathered for the U.N. General Assembly. -AP 9/23/21

Elnaz Rekabi: First Iranian woman to win a medal at IFSC World Championships

Elnaz Rekabi from Iran became the first woman in the country to win a medal at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Championships. Rekabi won the bronze medal at the Women's Combined. Austrian climber Jessica Pilz won the gold medal and the silver medal went to Slovenian Mia Krampl. 9/22/21

AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022 Qualifiers - Group G: IR Iran defeat Bangladesh to set up decider with Jordan

Iran are one victory away from qualifying for their first ever AFC Women's Asian Cup, after defeating Bangladesh 5-0 at Bunyodkor Stadium on Wednesday. The win brought Maryam Irandoost's side level with Jordan at the top of Group G, with the winners of Saturday's clash between the two sides to decide who advances to January's Finals in India. -AFC 9/22/21

LOOKING OVER MY SHOULDER: Teaching activism in the shadow of 9/11 is a unique challenge.

Sept. 12, 2001 was the first day of my politicization. You see, before that I had no reason to be afraid. I was born in Iran and came to the United States when I was about 4 years old. I had been diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in the early 90s after waking up one morning and simply not being able to walk or barely even move at all. My mama brought me here with $11, and it was by the grace of God, and the help of our family and friends that we had made it so far with so little. -Shadi Seyedyousef, Inkstick 9/22/21

Iran's president denounces US sanctions as 'crimes against humanity'

Iran's new ultra-conservative president has used his debut on the international stage to deliver a sustained assault on US, denouncing sanctions as "crimes against humanity" and hailing what he called the end of Washington's hegemony. "Sanctions are the US new way of war with the nations of the world," President Ebrahim Raisi told the UN general assembly in a pre-recorded address from Tehran. -Guardian 9/22/21

Empowering women in Iraq and Afghanistan: Is this the actual question?

At a time when the voices of American and British officials, and the official media in the West in general, are loudly denouncing the lack of support for Afghan women in the recently formed Taliban government, and the failure to allocate a percentage of political representation to them, in any other position, the absent Iraqi women live like their Afghan counterparts, in the shadow of the silence of the same parties. -Haifa Zangana, MEMO 9/22/21

Lack of Accountability Perpetuates Deaths of Prisoners in Iran

The torture and inhuman mistreatment of detainees and prisoners in Iran are among the most serious violations of human rights in the country's prisons. In many cases, prisoners or detainees have died from injuries inflicted upon them in custody and yet the government has never acknowledged responsibility on a systemic level, allowing the perpetrators to go unpunished. -CHRI 9/22/21

Sunshine Catering Is Bringing a Taste of Iran to Phoenix

When Shirin Keykhosrovi was growing up In Tehran, Iran, her parents would often take the family to visit different cities in the country. Her favorite part of those trips was seeing up close the cuisine and hospitality in Iran's different regions. After emigrating to the U.S. and becoming an Arizonan 20 years ago, Keykhosrovi began paying forward the early education she received to her own children by cooking traditional foods from various regions of Iran for them. -Bahar Anooshahr, New Times 9/22/21

Iran to lift visa restrictions to revive pandemic-hit tourism sector

Iran's new tourism chief said the government will soon scrap visa restrictions, a plan that the struggling tourism sector has been desperately waiting for to get back on its feet amid the coronavirus pandemic. -Al Monitor 9/22/21

Biden's Middle East policy is just sugar-coated business as usual

U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has proved to be business as usual for the Biden administration, though superficially presented as a break from the Trump administration's embrace of the region's authoritarian leaders. Biden has also stressed democracy and the rule of law as the linchpin of the United States' contest with China, Russia, and the global rise of authoritarianism. -John Hursh and Sarah Leah Whitson, Responsible Statecraft 9/22/21

Iran push Argentina to the edge in FIFA Futsal World Cup showdown

Iran finished second in Group F of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 after a narrow 2-1 defeat to defending champions Argentina on Monday. The 12-time Asian champions, who finished third in the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, will face regional rivals Uzbekistan in the Round of 16. -AFC 9/21/21

Finding the heartbeat of Iran

Journalist, author and humanitarian Tara Kangarlou spent four years reporting and writing her new book about the people of Iran. Leaving politics out of the equation, she focused on the reality of life for millions of Iranians inside the country. Here, she shares what she learned -Geographical 9/21/21

The Quietly Rebellious Art of Iranian Women and What We Can Learn From Them

A few weeks ago, I visited the Brooklyn studio of Iranian-born artist, Afruz Amighi. She works with a type of construction site netting which, in her hands, becomes a kind of diaphanous chainmail that casts the shadows of ancient Persian warriors, or illuminated carpet patterns that cast a modern story on the walls. Amighi and her family are part of the Iranian diaspora who left Iran after the Islamic revolution in 1979. And she is one of several extraordinary Persian women whose work is included in an exhibition opening this month at the Asia Society in New York. -Susanna Schrobsdorff, TIME 9/21/21

Iranian women fear setbacks in hard-earned rights under Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi's pick for Iran's vice president for women and family affairs has raised eyebrows across the country, with many fearing the appointment of Ensiyeh Khazali is a harbinger of potential setbacks for women's rights under the hardline president. Khazali, the only female member of Raisi's cabinet and former dean of Iran's first women-only public university, has previously made controversial remarks in support of early marriage of girls and her objection to UNESCO's 2030 sustainable development agenda. -MEE 9/21/21

Why Iran is hesitant to help the Afghan refugees?

Since the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in August 2021, the number of Afghans seeking asylum in Iran in search of safety and economic opportunity has increased dramatically. In this regard, Fatemah Awan, a non-resident senior fellow at the Middle East Institute argues as the Taliban secured control of the border, many of those who entered Iran have been detained and returned so why Iran is not willing to help the Afghan refugees? -Global Village Space 9/21/21

German election: Iranian refugee wants a seat in the Bundestag

As a former professional wrestler who made it on the Iranian national team, Vaisi brought enough perseverance and discipline to overcome all obstacles. Today, 10 years later, Vaisi has focused on his next goal: he wants to enter the Bundestag for the North Rhine-Westphalia branch of the socialist Left Party. If he succeeds, he would be the first former politically persecuted person to win a seat in Germany's federal parliament. -DW 9/21/21

No Ministers' Meeting on Iran Nuclear Deal at U.N., Says EU's Borrell

Ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia will not meet with Iran at the United Nations this week to discuss a return to nuclear deal talks, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters on Monday. Diplomats were tentatively planning for a ministerial meeting of the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday on the sidelines of the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders. -Reuters 9/21/21

Iran defeats Japan to win Asian Volleyball Championship

Iran defeated Japan 3-0 (27-25, 25-22, 31-29) on Sunday to win the 21st Asian Senior Men's Volleyball Championship. After the poor performance in the 2020 Olympic Games, Iran participated in the Asian championship with the young players. 9/20/21

Iran's Raisi focuses on vaccines not nuclear talks

A vaccination centre, a hospital, a pharmacy and finally a morgue. The first public visits by Iran's new hardline president Ebrahim Raisi have made clear his top priority - accelerating imports of Covid-19 vaccines into a country hard hit by the pandemic. Since the 60-year-old cleric was inaugurated last month, replacing centrist president Hassan Rouhani, there has been a huge rise in imports of vaccines. A regime that in January this year banned western jabs now welcomes them, and Raisi has led the push. -Najmeh Bozorgmehr, FT 9/20/21

What Iran's membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation means

Iran's bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was approved after almost 15 years by the bloc's seven permanent members on Friday. After the technical and legal process concludes - which could take up to two years - Iran will formally join a group that accounts for about one-third of the world's land and exports trillions of dollars annually - as it counts China, Russia and India, in addition to several Central Asian states, among its members. -Al Jazeera 9/20/21

The U.S. once had a friendship with Iran born in Philadelphia

The long and tumultuous history between the United States and Iran has an unexpected birthplace: Philadelphia. It was here, in the early 1720s, that the American Weekly Mercury - the first newspaper ever published in this city, and one of the first in the American colonies - introduced American readers to the concept of the "Persian Empire" (as Iran was known then). -John Ghazvinian, Philadelphia Inquirer 9/20/21

About the only job women can do for the Kabul government is clean female bathrooms, acting mayor says

Female employees in the Kabul city government have been told to stay home, and only women whose jobs cannot be done by men are allowed to come to work -- the latest restrictions imposed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The order, announced by Kabul's acting Mayor Hamdullah Nohmani on Sunday, effectively means women are now barred from government work in the Afghan capital. -CNN 9/20/21

Middle East cooperation appears to be breaking out - the untold story

To many in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, the images of chaos at Kabul airport last month appeared to vindicate an article of faith in Washington - when the U.S. leaves, chaos ensues. But while all eyes were on Afghanistan, an arguably more consequential event occurred in Baghdad as a direct result of Washington's military shift away from the Middle East: Saudi, Iranian and Emirati foreign ministers were coming together at a regional security summit hosted by the Iraqi government. -Trita Parsi, Responsible Statecraft 9/20/21

Iran museums reopen after year-long Covid break

Iran reopened museums in Tehran and other cities Sunday after a more than year-long closure because of the Covid-19 pandemic. "Museums in Tehran and other large cities that are no longer red-coded, meaning the risk of contracting the virus was very high, reopened on Sunday," the director of Iran's museums, Mohammad-Reza Kargar, told AFP. -AFP 9/20/21

Report: Iran appoints new air force commander

Iran's top leader has appointed a pilot of Russian fighter jets to command the nation's air force, state television reported Sunday. It said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's choice is Air Force Brig. Gen. Hamid Vahedi. 9/20/21

Iran Joins Expanding Asian Security Body Led by Moscow, Beijing

Iran joined a rapidly expanding central Asian security body led by Russia and China on Friday, calling on the countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to help it form a mechanism to avert sanctions imposed by the West. The body, formed in the 2001 as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia, expanded four years ago to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a bigger role as counterweight to Western influence in the region. -Reuters 9/17/21

PEN America To Honor Three Imprisoned Iranian Writers And Free Expression Advocates At Gala

This year, PEN America is honoring imprisoned Iranian writers Baktash Abtin, Keyvan Bajan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi with the 2021 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. These celebrated writers who have been imprisoned by the Iranian authorities for their writing, their defense of free expression, and their peaceful opposition to state censorship. -PEN America 9/17/21

Photos: Pantea Bahrami Art Show at Tehran's Etemad Gallery

An exhibition of artworks by Pantea Bahrami is currently underway at Etemad Gallery. PanteA Bahrami is an internationally recognized documentary filmmaker with a doctoral degree in Journalism from the University of Dortmund and the Institute of Theater, Film and Television, Cologne University, Germany. -Honar Online 9/17/21

Iran: A decade of deaths in custody unpunished amid systemic impunity for torture

Iranian authorities have failed to provide accountability for at least 72 deaths in custody since January 2010, despite credible reports that they resulted from torture or other ill-treatment or the lethal use of firearms and tear gas by officials, said Amnesty International following yesterday's reports of yet another suspicious death in custody. -Amnesty International 9/17/21

Iran Approves Use Of U.S-Made Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus Vaccine

Authorities in Tehran have approved use of the coronavirus vaccine produced by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson as Iran faces a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections. "The Johnson & Johnson single-dose corona vaccine has been approved," Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, head of Iran's Food and Drug Administration, said on September 16. -RFE 9/17/21

Iran fuel, petrochemical exports booming in spite of US sanctions

Iranian fuel and petrochemical exports have boomed in recent years despite stringent US sanctions, leaving Iran well placed to expand sales swiftly in Asia and Europe if Washington lifts its curbs, Reuters reported trading sources and officials saying. The United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran's oil and gas industry in 2018 to choke off the Islamic Republic's main source of revenues after then American President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. -MEMO 9/17/21

Iranian press review: Media war breaks out over Taliban takeover

Tension is growing in Tehran between authorities and journalists over the Iranian media's coverage of Afghanistan, with politicians and analysts divided over what Iran's policy toward the Taliban should be. In recent weeks, Iranian authorities have even begun trying to direct the media narrative. -MEE 9/17/21

THE FOLLY OF EMPIRES: In the Wake of Afghanistan's Ruination

The Bible tells us that Cyrus the Great of Persia went to Babylon to rescue the Jewish people from captivity some 2,500 years ago; doubtless a very noble cause. No; he didn't! Cyrus was not motivated or "anointed" by Yahweh for that noble mission; he was a warrior, a conqueror, out to expand the domain of the empire he was ruling over. He was in his seventies when he was slain in another battle of expansion, this time against the Massagetae tribes, in the marshlands of eastern Caspian Sea area, a thousand kilometers away from Persia's capital. -Kambiz Zarrabi 9/16/21

Iran Futsal Team Should Think Of Podium: Expert

Iran started the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup with a hard-fought win against Serbia in Group F on Tuesday. Reza Naseri, Iranian former futsal player and current coach, commented on the performance of the Iran national futsal team in their first game in Lithuania. Iran defeated Serbia in Group F 3-2 Tuesday night. 9/16/21

Iran Set for Entry Into Expanding Club Led by China and Russia

Iran's new president is flying to Tajikistan for his first foreign trip where he's expecting to gain membership of a growing Eurasian club led by China and Russia, whose economic muscle has helped Tehran blunt American sanctions. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, or SCO, was founded two decades ago in St. Petersburg and currently has eight members representing half the world's population and a quarter of its economic output. -Bloomberg 9/16/21

Photos: The historical Titi Caravansary in Gilan, Iran

Titi Caravansary is a stone structure located in Gilan Province of Iran. The caravansary, which is 398 square meters in extent, lies on a green hill near Siahkal City, which boasts pleasant weather. 'Titi', who ordered the construction of the caravansary, was the aunt of one of Iran's kings during the reign of the Safavid Dynasty in the country. Titi means blossom, so the structure is also called 'The Blossom Caravansary' by Iranians. -Pouria Pakizeh, ISNA 9/16/21

Gantz Says Israel Could Accept a US Return to Iran Nuclear Deal

In an interview with Foreign Policy, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel could accept a revival of a US-negotiated Iran nuclear deal if there are backup plans that involve more sanctions and possible military actions. "The current US approach of putting the Iran nuclear program back in a box, I'd accept that," Gantz said when asked about the Biden administration's Iran strategy. The comment signals a possible shift in Israel's stance on the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA 9/16/21

Iran's environmental woes could be Raisi's Achilles heel

Among the challenges encountered by the Islamic Republic of Iran, climate change looms as one of the most serious, disrupting, and even life-threatening issues facing both rural and urban populations. This threat has worsened at a time when Iran is politically polarized, ideologically fractured, and economically embattled. -Javad Heiran-Nia and Mahmood Monshipouri, Atlantic Council 9/16/21

Persepolis' Golmohammadi delighted to pass AFC Champions League test against Istiklol

Dushanbe: Persepolis FC head coach Yahya Golmohammadi praised his players after they defied a near-full Central Republican Stadium to defeat Tajik champions Istiklol in the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday. With more than 17,000 fans desperate to see the hosts continue their fairy tale run in their debut campaign, Persepolis held their nerve to navigate a tricky period before half-time, before Mahdi Torabi's last-minute winner sent them to the last eight. -AFC 9/15/21

Women at the height of their artistic powers present a powerful reckoning in SOUL Fury

From love, bitter becomes sweet ... From love, fire becomes light ... From love, fury becomes mercy. So wrote the Sufi poet Rumi 700 years ago. Curator Nur Shkembi has used Rumi's evocative words to frame her selection of art by 16 women artists who have cultural backgrounds in Islam as SOUL Fury, an exhibition running at Bendigo Art Gallery until October. -Alison Carroll, The Conversation 9/15/21

Iranian musician risks prison for new album

Iranian musician Mehdi Rajabian faces prison for making music. In fact, he has already spent two years locked up - including a spell in solitary confinement and a hunger strike - for releasing songs the Iranian authorities did not agree with. But he is undeterred. "I will not step back and I will not censor myself," he tells BBC News. -BBC 9/15/21

The 2022 Nasher Prize Laureate: Nairy Baghramian

Nairy Baghramian takes the creation and presentation of sculpture as her de facto subject yet makes works highlighting the poignant, contradictory, and sometimes humorous circumstances that can suffuse both the artistic process as well as everyday life. Over the past three decades, she has explored elements of sculptural practice and installation to create works that challenge their settings and upend expected modes of presentation as well as the architectural, sociological, political, and historical contexts that inform them. -Nasher 9/14/21

12th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Announces Its Top 6 Official Selections

The Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival is pleased to announce the six official selection short films competing for this year's top three cash prizes. All six films will be screened at the virtual awards ceremony on September 25 -Farhang 9/14/21

Al Hilal defeat Esteghlal to book 2021 AFC Champions League quarter-final ticket

Al Hilal SFC became the first team to advance to the last eight of the 2021 AFC Champions League, scoring either side of half-time to defeat Esteghlal FC 2-0 in Monday's Round of 16 clash. -AFC 9/14/21

Iranian photojournalist Majid Saeedi arrested while covering Afghan refugee camps

Iranian authorities should immediately release photojournalist Majid Saeedi, drop any charges against him, and let him work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On August 25, security forces in the city of Khoy, in West Azerbaijan province near the border with Turkey, arrested Saeedi, a photographer for the state-run newspaper Shargh Daily, while he was photographing camps housing Afghan refugees... -CPJ 9/14/21

IRAN: 'No red lines in importing COVID vaccines, even Pfizer and Moderna'

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that the country is facing no red lines in importing coronavirus vaccines, even Pfizer and Moderna. "Of course, the health ministry has always been the sole authorized and eligible source for approving the vaccines which are allowed to be imported, and the foreign affairs ministry has used all its facilities towards this goal," Khatibzadeh said speaking at his weekly press briefing on Monday. -Tehran Times 9/14/21

Why talks with Iran have faltered and what Biden can do to revive them

Deep into the Biden administration's first year, the United States and Iran have failed to restore the Iran nuclear deal and negotiations have yet to resume after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was inaugurated in early August. Far from desperate for a deal, as many Washington commentators portrayed, Iran is content to bide its time and believes it is in a strong position to either restore the agreement on its terms, pursue a new bargain, or escalate tensions with the United States further. -Ryan Costello, Responsible Statecraft 9/14/21

Iran's new government beset by infighting as big beasts jockey for position

Despite his comfortable victory in June's presidential elections, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is struggling to fill key positions in his new administration, as a number of influential conservative figures continue to jockey for power and influence. This infighting among leading politicians has prompted the nascent administration to be described as a "government with four or five presidents", while behind the scenes the hardline Endurance Front party looks to place its preferred candidates in important roles. -MEE 9/14/21

Iranian commander vows 'response' to Kurdish armed groups in Iraq

An Iranian commander threatened Iranian Kurdish dissident groups that operate in Iraq on Monday as the conflict between the two heats up. Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) alleged that the unspecified groups are in cahoots with foreign intelligence and seek to destabilize Iran from neighboring Iraq. -Al Monitor 9/14/21

Iran agrees deal with UN on monitoring of nuclear programme

Iran has agreed to allow UN nuclear inspectors to install new memory cards into its cameras monitoring the country's controversial nuclear programme in a move that could keep the inspection process on life support, and even ease a path towards a lifting of US sanctions. Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog, struck the deal in Tehran on Sunday after two hours of talks and will report to the IAEA's board meeting on Monday. -Guardian 9/13/21

Window to the past: gigantic underground city is chock-full of untold stories

A massive underground city, which was once a defensive refuge in ancient times, is getting ready for public visits in central Iran. Up to now, two seasons of excavation have been conducted on the underground city believed to be the largest in Iran and even in West Asia. So far, subterranean spaces and passageways covering 400 square meters have been excavated by archaeologists and cultural heritage experts. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 9/13/21

2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16: 5 Things To Look Out For

The 16 remaining sides in the 2021 AFC Champions League will battle it out for a place in quarter-finals in the coming days with eight matches scheduled between Monday and Wednesday as the competition enters its one-legged knockout round format. -AFC 9/13/21

Introducing the New Leaders of Iranian Economic Policy

President Ebrahim Raisi has prioritized improving Iran's faltering economy. He took office in August amid a fifth wave of COVID-19 cases, recurring blackouts, and a currency depreciation. The economy subsequently contracted after five months of growth. Iran also remains under U.S. sanctions. To address these economic challenges, Raisi will need to surround himself with competent managers. -Bourse & Bazaar 9/13/21

Iraqi PM Kadhimi becomes first foreign leader to meet Iran's Raisi

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Sunday became the first foreign leader to visit and meet with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi since the hardliner took office in August. The visit is the latest step in Iraq's efforts to mediate between Tehran and its Gulf Arab foes, including Saudi Arabia, in the hope of stopping its neighbours settling scores on its territory. -MEE 9/13/21

#SanctionsStory: The Human Impact of Sanctions on Iran

We asked Iranian Americans to share their #SanctionsStory about the impacts on their loved ones abroad. Listen to what they have to say below then take action to urge Congress to provide Iran with humanitarian relief. -NIAC Action 9/10/21

Now in its Second Year, the Khor Art Initiative Is Aiming to Revitalize Iran's Beleaguered Arts Community

Last year, Iran was among the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, and the nation's isolated political status only served to exacerbate an already tragic situation. For artists, revenue sources dried up exhibitions were abruptly canceled. Amid the tumult, Saradipour Art Gallery, an online gallery that focuses on Middle Eastern artists, decided to launch the Khor Art Initiative, an independent art prize defined to discover and support emerging, and mainly Iranian, talents and introduce them to a wider audience. -Artnet 9/10/21

Review: Sound and shadow evoke Nasim Moghadam's Iranian roots, womxn's solidarity

Nasim Moghadam's exhibition I Sprout on my Wound at Oakland's Aggregate Space Gallery (through October 23) is a haunting, immersive experience that brings together the interdisciplinary artist's sculptural, photographic, sound, and video practices in a single installation of new work. -Tamara Suarez Porras, 48hills 9/10/21

Selasal Castle, Iran's 10th cultural heritage site registered on UN list

Selasal Castle is a huge fortified building in Iran's Khuzestan province dating back to the Sassanid era. The castle, located in the city of Shushtar, includes multiple big yards, barracks, stables, bathrooms, shabestans [underground spaces], towers, gardens, qourkhanehs (places of weapons], naqarehkhanehs [places of musical instruments], harems, kitchens, big ponds, a fence and a moat. -Iran Front Page 9/10/21

Iran's controversial spy thriller series "Gando" returns

The Iranian controversial spy thriller is back to the television screens after being pulled-off by the state for a couple of months as its plotline depicted corruption and ineptness in former Iranian president Rouhani government. Sources elucidate that the third season of the series would feature talks on nuclear deal. -AFP 9/10/21

Paniz Shafaei Awarded Aspire2STEAM Scholarship Sponsored by Trade Press Services, Inc.

Aspiring professional clarinetist promotes peace and understanding through performing music from Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Just recently, Paniz began working toward a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in clarinet performance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she also works as a graduate assistant. -EIN News 9/9/21

"The hardliners return.": Iran under Raeisi.

Iran has a new president, and new leadership altogether. The Islamic Republic's presidential elections on 18 June brought Sayyed Ebrahim Raeisi, the hardline cleric and judiciary chief, to power. Raeisi had lost the previous presidential contest, in 2017, which returned Hassan Rouhani for a second term in a landslide result. How will Raeisi govern? In which direction will he take the Islamic Republic? What will be Tehran's policies, domestically and on the foreign side?... -Muhammad Sahimi, The Scrum 9/9/21

Five Takeaways from the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar Matchday Two

The AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar continued on Tuesday with six matches across the two groups to conclude the first window of games and there was plenty of action to dissect. Iran go into the next window in October as Group A leaders, two points ahead of Korea Republic, while it is neck and neck in Group B with both Australia and Saudi Arabia getting off to a perfect start to lead with six points each. -AFC 9/9/21

UCI scholar Touraj Daryaee elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts

Touraj Daryaee, director of UCI's Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies & Culture and Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies & Culture, has been elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. "It is a great honor to be part of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, which is due to the kindness of friends and colleagues in that continent," Daryaee said. -UCI 9/9/21

US, Germany press for Iran to return soon to nuclear talks

The U.S. and Germany on Wednesday stepped up pressure on Iran to return soon to talks on its nuclear program, with Germany's foreign minister saying that a delay of two or three months floated by Tehran is too long. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that that isn't good enough. He said he told Amirabdollahian last week that "two or three months is a time frame that is much too long for us" and called for a quicker return. -AP 9/9/21

Iran warns West of IAEA move as U.S says time running out to save nuclear deal

Iran's president on Wednesday warned Western states against rebuking Tehran at the U.N. atomic watchdog after its latest reports criticised his country.. "In the event of a counterproductive approach at the IAEA, it would not make sense to expect Iran to react constructively. Counterproductive measures are naturally disruptive to the negotiation path also," President Ebrahim Raisi said in a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel, according to Iranian state media. -Reuters 9/9/21

Iran Reaches Out To Neighbors As U.S. Warns Over Nuclear Talks

The new government in Tehran is reaching out to its Gulf neighbors, as talks over the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S. looks increasingly shaky. In the past 24 hours, recently-appointed foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has held talks with at least two of his counterparts in the region, with speculation that other meetings will follow. -Forbes 9/9/21

AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: IR Iran impress in victory over Iraq

Islamic Republic of Iran recorded a comfortable 3-0 win against Iraq on Matchday Two of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar Group A to keep up their 100 percent record on Tuesday. Having won their opening fixture, IR Iran looked to consolidate their position at the top of Group A going into the next international break at Iraq's expense, something they fully achieved in both the result and performance. -AFC 9/8/21

Iran signals defiance after chiding IAEA report

Iranian envoy to IAEA says no one can tell Iran to halt its nuclear activities after UN nuclear agency criticises Tehran for past nuclear activities. "The agency must maintain its independence and professionalism and agency members must seriously refrain from trying to use it to achieve their political goals," Gharibabadi said, pointing out that Iran accounts for more than one-fifth of all IAEA monitoring while the agency conducts no inspections in Israel. -Al Jazeera 9/8/21

PAAIA Announces Fall 2021 Capitol Hill Internship Program Recipients

PAAIA congratulates our newest Akbar Ghahary Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) interns, Hanna Ahmaripour and Daniel Khoshkepazi! The Capitol Hill Internship Program offers Iranian American students and recent graduates an opportunity to learn about the legislative process by interning with a Member of Congress. -PAAIA 9/8/21

Hoda Kashiha Paintings Exhibition at Tehran's Parallel Circuit Gallery

Hoda Kashiha is hanging her latest paintings in an exhibition at Parallel Circuit Gallery.The exhibit named "In appreciation of blinking" will be running until September 10 -Honar Online 9/8/21

Iran Air's Interesting Airbus A330 Diversion

Yesterday morning, an Iran Air A330 on its way to Hamburg entered a holding pattern waiting for the heavy fog parked over the airport to lift. However, a little over one hour later, the plane lifted back up to 30,000 feet and took off for... Milan. How come? -Linnea Ahlgren, Simple Flying 9/8/21

Iran has had weeks post-election to get back into nuke talks

With talks on restoring the Iran nuclear deal now grounded for over ten weeks, Tehran says it could be another ten weeks before it is ready to resume talking. That would be a mistake. Further stalling intended to increase Iran's leverage could have the opposite effect of decreasing the perceived value of restoring the deal. -Mark Fitzpatrick, Responsible Statecraft 9/8/21

Telluride 2021: With 'A Hero,' Asghar Farhadi Tells a Fable for the Cancel Culture Age

The Iranian director discusses his decision to skip the Oscars in 2017 in protest of Trump's travel ban, the toll of COVID-19 in Iran and the limits on his expression there: "I can't tell exactly what my movies would look like if I had the freedom, but I know that it would be different." -Rebecca Keegan, Hollywood Reporter 9/7/21

Israel's military chief says 'accelerating' Iran strike plans

Military plans dealing with Iran's nuclear programme have been "greatly accelerated", Israel's military chief warned, as questions on the ability to revive a landmark accord limiting Tehran's weapons development continue to grow. Preparations for possible action against Iran are being intensified, Chief of General Staff Aviv Kohavi said in an interview published on Monday -Al Jazeera 9/7/21

Iran finish 2020 Paralympics in 13th place

Iran delegation came 13th in the 2020 Paralympic Games with a total of 12 gold medals. The Iranian para athletes won historic 12 gold medals as well as 11 silvers and one bronze. Iran sent 62 athletes to Tokyo in 10 sports. -Tehran Times 9/7/21

Nazemosharia: We're a force to be reckoned with

Having taken Iranian futsal to new heights at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016, Mohammad Nazemosharia is determined to kick on. The architect of Team Melli's third-place finish five years ago - the best ever by an Asian side - he is planning another stellar showing at Lithuania 2021. -FIFA 9/6/21

The 2022 Nowruz Street Banner Contest

Farhang Foundation is calling on graphic artists worldwide to submit original designs that conceptualize Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) commemorating Farhang's annual celebration of Nowruz in Los Angeles. Eligible designs will be considered as the central artwork featured on street banners and other marketing material that will proudly promote Farhang's 13th Annual Nowruz Celebration at UCLA throughout prominent boulevards of Los Angeles in February and March of 2022. 9/3/21

Filmmaker Shirin Neshat on the Parallels Between 'Land of Dreams' and Current Events in Afghanistan

The visual artist and director has long used her work to focus on her Iranian roots, but with her futuristic new drama, she takes a penetrating look at her adopted country - and is troubled by what she sees. -Hollywood Reporter 9/3/21

300-year-old historical iranian residence is transformed into an architectural firm

iran-based polsheer architects restored and preserved a cultural heritage that existed 300 years ago in djolfa neighborhood, iran. this tercentenary house had basically been a dwelling part of an edifice. in 1996 (1375 ap), the present board of directors of polsheer architects planners engineers co. purchased this house from zavalian's heirs. after the principal restoration and rehabilitation of the building, the main function of this precious structure was changed transformed from a residence to an architectural firm. -designboom 9/3/21

Sixty Percent Of Buildings In Iran's Capital 'Don't Comply' With Earthquake Standards

An Iranian newspaper has quoted a Tehran risk management official as saying that 6-in-10 of the city's buildings don't meet seismic standards and would be heavily damaged if a major earthquake hit. The report in the Hamshahri newspaper quotes city risk management department head Reza Karami-Mohammadi as saying 1-in-5 of Tehran's buildings would be "completely destroyed" in a big earthquake. 9/2/21

A Local's Guide to Iran

Creative director Mehrdad Mzadeh on why you need more than a day to explore Tehran. Mehrdad Mzadeh is creative director and cofounder of Studio Shizaru, the Tehran- and L.A.-based design practice behind some of Tehran's hippest spaces-incorporating Iran's ancient aesthetics in fresh, contemporary ways. -Sarah Khan, Conde Nast Traveler 9/1/21

These women fled Afghanistan. What's at stake for those left behind?

In the past month, Naheed Esar has spent her days settling into a new life as a doctoral student in the leafy college town of Fayetteville, Arkansas. At night, when her family in Afghanistan is just waking up, she calls them. "We try to calm one another," she says. "But it starts with: Are you alive? Where is this person, where is that person?" She doesn't get much sleep. -Nina Strochlic, National Geographic 8/31/21

curved angles, extruded window frames + square dots characterize futuristic building in iran

'sepid' designed by the shar group is an organic-shaped concrete-clad commercial and residential building in qazvin, iran. the concept of the project started with three rectangular volumes stitched together, that were later clad in a secondary curved envelope with multi-sized extruded window frames. the architects avoided using 90-degree angles both inside and outside the structure, giving a futuristic view. -designboom 8/31/21

Amir H. Fallah Created Stained Glass "Portals" for the LA County Department of Mental Health

Iranian-American artist Amir H. Fallah has created his largest public installation to date. "Portals" is a series of three stained glass panels created for The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's new headquarters in Koreatown. Each work subtly divides the terrace of the site, by allowing visitors an intimate space to contemplate each work with the surrounding environment. -HypeArt 8/31/21

Vahid Nouri claims historic judo victory for Iran

Iran's World Championships bronze medallist Vahid Nouri won Iran's first Paralympic judo gold in the men's up to 90kg. Nouri just caught Great Britain's Elliot Stewart with a neat sweep of his foot for ippon in the final. -Judo Inside 8/30/21

A daring journey inside one of deepest caves on Earth

With a staggering depth of 750 meters Ghar-e Parau, which is situated in western Iran, is one of the deepest known caves in the world. To put that in perspective, imagine almost two Eiffel Tower(s) stacked on top of each other underground! Situated high in the Zagros Mountain range in Kermanshah province, Ghar-e Parau is possibly the best-known Iranian cave outside the country. It was first discovered and explored by the British Speleological Expedition led by John Middleton in 1971. -Tehran Times 8/27/21

Exhibition by Collective for Black Iranians -- Hasteem: We Are Here

Hasteem is an exhibition produced by the Collective for Black Iranians to raise awareness on the intersection of being Black, African/of African descent and Iranian. The Collective invites the global community to embark on a journey of understanding the different segments that make up who we are. The Collective affirms the interconnectedness between Blackness and the Iranian identity. 8/23/21

Summer Group Exhibition by Iranian-American Artists: Once Upon a Time

Myth, fantasy, and memory collide in Once Upon a Time, a group exhibition exploring the dialogue between contemporary artists of Iranian origin whose work is inspired by or acts as a reimagined form of memory or fairytale. The Persian equivalent of "Once upon a time" is "Yeki bood, yeki nabood," literally translating to "There was one and there was not one. 8/23/21

Epic Iran: Ancient objects that reveal writing's roots

An exhibition about Iran traces how some of the world's earliest scripts developed. They were as much about images as text, writes Kelly Grovier. -BBC 8/19/21

High stakes: How sanctions relief could impact EU-Iran trade

The new Iranian administration may agree on a revised JCPOA with the U.S. But if the economic benefits are paltry, political support will drain away. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, Responsible Statecraft 7/26/21

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last updated on Thu Sep 23 11:22:12 EDT 2021