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June 22 2018
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World Cup: Lucky Diego Costa goal sees Spain past tenacious Iran

- A lucky Diego Costa goal handed World Cup hopefuls Spain their first win of the World Cup although tenacious Iran came close to causing a major upset on Wednesday. -The victory in Kazan puts the 2010 winners on course for the last 16. 6/21/18

Iranian Lawyer Arrested For Asserting Executed Sufi Man's Innocence

- Iranian authorities have arrested a lawyer for spreading "lies" after claiming that a Sufi man executed this week was wrongfully convicted of killing three police officers, local media report. The semiofficial Fars news agency said on June 20 that an arrest warrant was issued against Zeinab Taheri for making "false statements" and because of "her lies propagated online claiming [Mohammad Salas] was not guilty." 6/21/18

Alireza Beiranvand: from sleeping rough to the World Cup with Iran

- Goalkeeper ran away from his nomad family and worked in a dress factory, a car wash and as a street cleaner before making it -Behnam Jafarzadeh, Guardian 6/21/18

Iran Confirms 1 Victim in Alleged Gang Rapes in Southeast

- An Iranian official said authorities investigating accusations of recent mass abductions and rapes of women in southeastern Iran have confirmed that at least one complainant was raped. -Michael Lipin, VOA 6/21/18

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Retired IRGC General 'Returns' Villa After Disclosure By Hardline Students

- Former chief of the joint staff of Iranian armed forces, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi says he has returned a 10 thousand square meter villa he had occupied for 25 years. Earlier, in what appeared to be a new round of infighting among Iranian conservatives, an ultraconservative student group had called on Firouzabadi on June 17 to return the expropriated villa, but Firouzabadi claimed on June 19 that the villa was given to him by the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to be used by him "for top secret business of the armed forces' joint staff." 6/21/18

The War In Afghanistan Is Killing More People Than Ever

- Seventeen years into the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in U.S. history, violence has never been worse. In 2017, more than 20,000 Afghans died, a new record. -Edward Hunt, LobeLog 6/21/18

China has an Iran oil lever over Trump and it's all playing out at OPEC meeting

- The U.S. trade dispute with China, in a round about way, could determine how successful the U.S. will be in sanctioning Iran's oil this time around -- and that uncertainty is also playing out at OPEC. -Patti Domm, CNBC 6/21/18

Tehran University Students Skip Tests In Protest Of Arrests

- Dozens of students at Tehran University have abstained from attending semester tests, protesting the detention of their peers during the widespread anti-establishment uprising late last December and in early January. Scores of students were arrested in the unprecedented protests that broke out in the Shi'ite holy city of Mashhad and soon spread to more than 100 other cities across Iran. -Radio Farda 6/20/18

Preserving JCPOA key to global security: UN Chief Antonio Guterres

- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has underlined the need for keeping the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in place despite the US's withdrawal, saying the multinational accord is key to ensuring global security. In a meeting with Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), in Oslo on Tuesday, Guterres voiced his full support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying he is in talks with the remaining parties on the future of the deal. 6/20/18

Iran Defends Its Record on Supporting Persons With Disabilities But Serious Discrimination Persists

- At the 11th annual session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held at the United Nations headquarters in New York (June 11-14, 2018), the head of the Welfare Organization of Iran (WOI), Anoushirvan Mohseni-Bandpey, gave a speech on Iran's actions and achievements in defending the rights of persons with disabilities. 6/20/18

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Iran vs. Spain | 2018 FIFA World Cup Highlights

IRAN: Supreme Leader Khamenei Opposes Joining UN Convention On Anti-Corruption - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has publicly opposed joining a global anti-money laundering convention on Wednesday, June 20. Referring to recent debates in country's parliament on joining the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crimes (UNTOC) and accepting mandated reforms, Khamenei told lawmakers Wednesday: "It is not necessary to join conventions whose depths we are unaware of." 6/20/18

'The fact we exist is huge': Iran's women plotting course to world stage - To say things have changed for women's football in Iran since Katayoun Khosrowyar first arrived in the country more than 12 years ago would be as understated as the coach of the newly established under-19 side herself. Back then the 30-year-old from Oklahoma known as "Kat" arrived in Tehran on a family holiday, was scouted for Iran's newly formed futsal team and ended up captaining the national side after moving there permanently. -Ed Aarons, Guardian 6/20/18

On Green Movement Anniversary, Iranian Democracy Under Greater Threat - Today, Iran struggles with economic recession, a recent currency devaluation, and demands for greater social freedom from inside as well as a debilitated nuclear deal, sanctions, and the push for regime change from outside. What has become ever more dangerously fragile is not the government of Hassan Rouhani but the country's narrowly functioning democracy. -Shima Vezvaei, LobeLog 6/20/18

Iran Rejects Russian, Saudi Plan To Raise Oil Output, Rein In Prices - Iran has rejected a plan by Russia and Saudi Arabia to increase oil production at a meeting of the OPEC oil cartel this week in response to consumer disgruntlement with rising prices. "I don't believe at this meeting we can reach agreement," Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters after arriving in Vienna, where OPEC is headquartered, on June 19. 6/20/18

Iran's ancient engineering marvel - What on Earth are those? I thought to myself shortly before landing in the Iranian city of Esfahan one summer. From the aeroplane window, I could see what looked like a cross between freakishly large anthills and obscure symbols left by an extraterrestrial race. Little could I - then only a teenager - have guessed what lay beneath their mysterious surfaces. -Joobin Bekhrad, BBC 6/20/18

Swiss rail company Matisa defies US with Iran deal - Iran's state rail company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Switzerland's rail tracks maintenance machines manufacturer Matisa for obsolescence management, Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday. Under the MoU, Matisa will cooperate on overhaul and retrofitting of ballast cleaners, tampers and regulators as well as sourcing of 21 track machines with Iran's RAI railway company, the report said. 6/20/18

PHOTOS: Skillful women engaged in embroidery in Kerman, Iran - The skill of crafting embroideries with geometric patterns and vivid colors has passed down from generation to generation in Kerman, southwestern Iran. Many women are engaged in this craft which helps supplement their household's income. -Sare Tajalli 6/19/18

Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Charged With National Security Crimes For Representing Hijab Protesters - Detained Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing two national security charges for representing women facing prison time in Iran for peacefully protesting against the Islamic Republic's compulsory hijab law. "During the interrogation, she was told that the charges against her are 'propaganda against the state' and 'assembly and collusion' because she colluded with Ms. Shaparak [Shajarizadeh] in the courthouse in Kashan," Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 6/19/18

Iran to sue U.S. over FBI's mistreatment of Iranian volleyball players - President of Iran Volleyball Federation said that they will sue US over FBI's mistreating Iranian volleyball players. Last week, Iran went to USA's Chicago to hold three matches in FIVB Volleyball Nation's League (VNL). Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated Iranian players upon their arrival to US and kept the team in a small room for three hours before allowing them to pass. Also, US had refused to issue visas for some of team members, including team supervisor Amir Sarkhosh. 6/19/18

Iran Telegram Ban Strangles Country Amid Struggling Economy, Protests - The disruption to millions of people's daily lives in Iran caused by the Iranian Judiciary's blocking of the popular Telegram messaging app on May 1, 2018, is costing jobs and income and fueling discontent in Iran at a time when unrest and grievances against the state are already at a high point. 6/19/18

Rape Cases Stir Controversy In Iran's Sunni-Populated Baluchestan - Iran's Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri has threatened June 18 to prosecute a local Sunni Imam in the city of Iranshahr in the southeastern province of Sistan va Baluchestan for disclosing that 41 girls have been raped in that city. 6/19/18

French firms 'won't be able to stay' in Iran: France's Finance Minister - Most French companies interested in maintaining business in Iran "won't be able to stay because they need to be paid for the products they deliver to or build in Iran," Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday. "And they cannot be paid because there is no sovereign and autonomous European financial institution" capable of shielding them, he told BFM television. 6/19/18

Former Israeli Energy Minister Charged With Spying For Iran - Israeli authorities have arrested a former cabinet minister once imprisoned for trying to smuggle drugs, this time on suspicion of spying for archfoe Iran, the country's internal security service says. The Shin Bet security service said in a June 18 statement that Gonen Segev was indicted on charges of "committing offenses of assisting the enemy in war and spying against the state of Israel." 6/19/18

Iran says no plans to increase missile range, rejects talks with Trump - Iran has no plans to extend the range of its missiles since their 2,000-km (1,240-mile) reach is enough to protect the country, the Revolutionary Guards commander said on Tuesday, amid mounting U.S. pressure over Tehran's missile program. Iran's government again ruled out negotiations with U.S. President Donald Trump over Tehran's military capabilities and regional influence, saying that such talks would be against the values of the Islamic Republic. -Reuters 6/19/18

The UAE In Yemen: With A Lot Of Help From Its Mercs - The UAE has participated in the ongoing, Saudi-led war in Yemen largely through its use of a disparate collection of mercenaries, or to use the accepted euphemism, "private military contractors" (PMC). In 2011, the UAE hired Erik Prince to set up an operation to train foreign personnel, mainly from Latin America, ostensibly for internal defense purposes. But events have shown that the UAE's dependence on foreign contractors, for military and intelligence purposes, is far greater than previously thought. -David Isenberg, LobeLog 6/19/18

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

2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League: US defeats Iran in 3 sets in Chicago - In a crowded stadium in Chicago where Iranians were loud and jubilant, team US hosts managed to defeat their guests from Iran in three consecutive sets. In a close first set the US defeated Iran 29-27 to take the early lead. In the second set, the US squad gained a 25-20 victory over Iran and the third set was once again tight, ending in a 26-24 victory for the US team. 6/18/18

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

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

Tehran Stock Exchange index hits a 50-year record high of 102,000 points - Players in Iran's capital market witnessed a historical record in growth of Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE)'s main index (TEDPIX) which gained 3,306 points to hit 102,452 points on Sunday, something unprecedented in the 50-year history of the country's stock market. 6/18/18

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

Iran resumes train service to Turkey's Van after 3 years - Iran says it has launched a train service to Turkey's Van after a hiatus of about three years with officials expressing hope that it would help increase the number of tourists travelling on either side of the border. 6/18/18

Iran Executes Sufi Man Convicted Of Killing 3 Police Officers In Clashes - Iranian authorities have executed a man convicted of killing three police officers during clashes involving members of a Sufi order, despite calls to stop his execution. The official website of Iran's judiciary said Mohammad Reza Salas was hanged early on June 18. 6/18/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE POMPOUS POMPEO: Trump's Barnyard Approach to Diplomacy - I watched, live, the newly appointed Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, deliver a half-hour-long prepared speech that highlighted his so-called "Plan B" approach to Iran at the neocon dominated Heritage Foundation last Monday. Hearing some of the key segments of his speech, it was quite clear that this "delivery man" was reading off a text prepared by a group-think that had to have included Netanyahu and Bolton (...no nuclear capability, not now, not ever!) -Kambiz Zarrabi 5/25/18

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

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

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

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Featured Articles

Philanthropy

Gift establishes UCI endowed chair in art history, archaeology of ancient Iran

Rights

800 Iranian Environmentalists Call on President Rouhani to Uphold the Rights of Detained Colleagues

General

300 Iranian Women's Rights Advocates Voice Support For Protests, Demand Equality

Iranian-American

52 U.S. Security Experts Issue Statement Backing Iran Nuclear Deal

Politics

Time To Rethink Iran's Strategy

Economy

Iran seeking to develop start-up jobs: Information Minister

Culture

Going their own way

Sports

Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup: Iran defeats France to win first world medal

Art

Louvre Museum Sponsors First Major Western Art Show In Tehran

Literature

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

Travel

Tabriz gears up for biggest tourism event of Muslim countries in 2018

Environment

December 4 marks International Cheetah Day: World's fastest land animal is racing against extinction

Entertainment

A New Film on Ancient Persia: "Taq Kasra: Wonder of Architecture"

Music

A New Life For Iran's Orchestras?

Book

A book by Meghan Nuttall Sayres: "Love and Pomegranates: Artists and Wayfarers on Iran"

Event

International Iranian Women's Leadership Conference in London

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last updated on Thu Jun 21 11:42:57 EDT 2018