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January 21 2018
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Time To Rethink Iran's Strategy

- Let's get real for a moment: How would a peaceful Middle East and a less confrontational Iran serve Israel's purpose and, by extension, these days that of the Saud clan and, by default, the presumed interest of the Unites States; who are we kidding? America's default position in Middle East affairs, now even more so than before under the leadership of a clueless leader, has been to follow the Zionist's moneys and political influence rather than what might truly be America's own legitimate and realistic interests. -Kambiz Zarrabi 01/20/18

Female Musician Prohibited From Performing on Stage in Isfahan, Iran

- Iranian singer Salar Aghili performed in the central Iranian city of Isfahan on January 12 and 13, 2018, without the female members of his band due to interference by local officials at the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. 01/20/18

Iran To Top Tillerson's Agenda On European Trip

- Iran will top the agenda for U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as he heads to Europe next week for meetings with allies, a U.S. official said on January 19. Tillerson's trip comes amid behind-the-scenes negotiations over the fate of the landmark agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing crippling international sanctions targeting Tehran. 01/20/18

Mercedes to resume Iran production soon: ISNA

- Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG, will resume production of cars in Iran from the beginning of the new Persian year in March, ISNA news agency has reported. The company is about to produce 2,500 middle of the pack E-class cars in the year, with 20% of the production to be done inside Iran and the rest supplied to the country in the form of CKD (completely knocked down) kits. 01/20/18

Rare Glimpse Into Inner Workings Of American Empire In Middle East

- In recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, four former U.S. diplomats provided remarkably candid commentary on recent U.S. involvement in the Middle East, revealing a number of the most closely guarded secrets of U.S. diplomacy. -Edward Hunt 01/20/18

Second Name Revealed in Shooting Deaths Amid Protests in Sanandaj, Iran

- Kianoosh Zandi, 24, has been named the second victim in a shooting case involving conflicting accounts over how and why two young men were killed by security forces amid protests in the city of Sanandaj, the capital of Iran's Kurdistan Province, in early January 2018. 01/20/18

Majority of Iranian MPs Call For Ban on Foreign Social Media Apps

- A majority of Iranian lawmakers have signed a letter calling for a ban on foreign social media apps to support state-led efforts to drive Iranians toward using state-approved domestic alternatives. The letter was published the same week President Hassan Rouhani lifted the ban on the widely used Telegram messaging app. 01/19/18

Iran's Protests Suppressed, But Not Forgotten

- The biggest challenge to Iran's establishment in years fizzled out after a couple of weeks of violent demonstrations, but while widespread discontent has been quieted for now, the calm won't last forever. The roots of the protests -- frustration among the youth over their lack of freedoms and opportunities -- remain just below the surface. And with the younger generation clearly exhibiting its willingness to take to the streets to express its anger over the status quo, the onus is on the Islamic republic's aging leadership to bridge a growing generational divide. -Frud Bezhan, RFE/RL 01/19/18

Detained Iranian Protesters Told to Admit Being Drug Addicts to Speed Up Release

- Detainees arrested during the protests that began in Iran in December 2017 have been told to tell officials that they're drug addicts, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. In mid-January 2018, a lawmaker in Tehran publicly stated that detained protesters were being forced to take "pills." Soon after, a prominent human rights lawyer told CHRI that detainees in Evin Prison in Tehran had been told to request methadone-a drug used to treat opioid dependence-to speed up their release. 01/19/18

Iran wins Energy Globe World Award 2017 in water category

- Iran secured the first place in Energy Globe World Awards 2017 in the category of water here on Tuesday. Beating the other two finalists, the Philippines and Singapore, Iran jointly with Sri Lanka won the event's top prize in the mentioned category. The Energy Globe Award was founded in 1999 by the Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and is one of today's most prestigious environmental awards. 01/19/18

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See the 1,000-Year-Old Windmills Still in Use Today

The Right Way To Support Human Rights In Iran - When the protests erupted in Iran during the West's holiday season, not a few folks hoped that the US and the EU would bridge their recent differences over the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and unite in support of the Iranian people fighting the "brutal theocracy." These hopes, however, were comprehensively dashed. If anything, the way both sides read the protests may have deepened the transatlantic divide over Iran. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 01/19/18

US lawmakers table bill meant to 'tighten' terms of Iran nuclear deal - US lawmakers have put forward a bill at the House of Representatives, seeking to "tighten" the term of a 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran, despite international warnings for Washington to stop attempts to undermine the accord. The so-called "Iran Freedom Policy and Sanctions Act" was introduced by Republican representative Peter Roskam and backed by his fellow GOP member Liz Cheney, the daughter of scandal-hit former US Vice President Dick Cheney, on Thursday. 01/19/18

Iranians Pray For Rain Amid Water Crisis - Iranians in some of the regions hardest hit by years of drought have taken to public prayer sessions in desperate bids to end the dry spell and ease the strain on Iran's dwindling water supplies. Religious services have been routinely held outdoors in Iran since the cleric-led revolution in 1979, but the recent rain prayers were unique in their focus, and in at least one case worshipers gathered in a remote, arid location. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 01/18/18

UN Chief Warns Against Endangering Iran Nuclear Deal - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging nations not to damage Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers because of concerns they may have with Iran's nonnuclear military activities in the Middle East. "Issues not directly related to the [nuclear deal] should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments," Guterres said in a statement on January 17. 01/18/18

Remember Those Protests In Iran? - Anyway, the most recent protests have died down, and it is not too soon to ask of Pence: "Well, Mr. Vice President, your side was in control of U.S. messaging and policy this time. The administration could say or do whatever it wanted in response to the protests. So what did the administration accomplish?" -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 01/18/18

Human Rights Watch Calls on Leaders to Fight Back Against 'Authoritarian Populists' - Human Rights Watch accuses U.S. President Donald Trump of pursuing 'anti-immigrant, racially divisive, and pro-drug-war policies' - but says that civic groups, journalists, lawyers, judges, and elected members of Trump's own party have fought back. The White House repeatedly has pointed out that President Trump was elected on a pledge to reduce migration. He has denied holding racist views. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA 01/18/18

Tillerson Pledges Long-term US Military Engagement in Syria - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has outlined plans for the U.S. to remain engaged in Syria, both diplomatically and militarily, long after the defeat of the so-called Islamic State. Tillerson gave a major policy speech Wednesday on the way forward for the U.S. in Syria at an event at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in California. He listed a number of reasons why it is crucial for the U.S. to remain in the troubled country, including preventing a resurgence of the Islamic State and al-Qaida terrorist groups. -Cindy Saine, VOA 01/18/18

Iran exports over $8.5B petrochemicals in 9 months - Iran exported over 16.4 million tons of petrochemical products worth $8.581 billion during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-December 21, 2017), Shana reported on Wednesday citing the data announced by the National Petrochemical Company (NPC). 01/18/18

The Iran Nuclear Deal At Two: A Status Report - It could have been worse. President Trump's 12 January decision to waive sanctions while threatening to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- the July 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (the P5+1) -- unless Congress and Europe agree to unilaterally alter its terms, leaves the deal in the state of limbo it acquired shortly after his election. -International Crisis Group 01/18/18

The Iran Protests, Regime Change, And MEK - When protests broke out in Iran at the end of 2017, most countries maintained a hands-off approach. After all, these countries maintain diplomatic and trade relations with the Iranian government. Even some influential U.S. observers recommended caution. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, for instance, tweeted: "With humility about how little we know about what's happening inside Iran, this much is clear: it's an Iranian moment and not anyone else's. But the rights of people to protest peacefully and voice their aspirations are universal and governments everywhere should respect that." -Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh 01/17/18

Keeping Iran's Ballistic Missiles In Perspective - The Trump administration's 120-day "stay of execution" for the Iran nuclear deal has temporarily sidelined arguments over the absence of constraints on ballistic missiles as one of the agreement's principal flaws. But if this "flaw" is not quickly put in proper perspective, the issue could help undermine one of the most important non-proliferation achievements of our era. -Greg Thielmann, LobeLog 01/17/18

Iran Joins Russia, Turkey In Opposing U.S. Plan To Guard Syrian Border - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has joined Russia, Syria, and Turkey in opposing a new 30,000-strong border guard force inside Syria that the United States says is needed to keep Islamic State extremists out of the country. "The new plan that the Americans have in mind for Syria is a violation of international laws and a plot against the sovereignty and security of Syria and the region," Rohani was quoted by Iranian state media as saying on January 16 during a meeting with the visiting Syrian parliament speaker in Tehran. 01/17/18

Iran's missiles program is not covered by JCPOA: Shireen Hunter - Shireen Tahmaasb Hunter, a professor of political science at Georgetown University, tells the Tehran Times that that "It is generally understood that Iran's missiles program is not covered by the JCPOA. She adds But America, and key European countries such as the UK and France, believe that separate negotiations should begin regarding Iran's missile program aimed at answering the concerns of Iran's regional neighbors and other states." 01/17/18

Trump Uses Uncertainty Against Iran - Last week, President Trump announced that he would renew sanctions waivers for Iran. But he also imposed non-nuclear sanctions and renewed his call to Congress to "fix" the deal or else. By doing so, Trump fosters uncertainty. This has the same impact on Iran as the US walking away from the deal. -Dina Esfandiary, LobeLog 01/17/18

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Forces Father of Slain Protester to Repeat Authorities' Version of Events on State TV - Iran's Intelligence Ministry coerced the father of a dead protester into claiming in front of a camera that his son was killed during an armed confrontation with security forces, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. The footage was then aired on state TV. "What you saw in that video is a father's forced confession against his son," a relative of Saro Ghahremani told CHRI. 01/17/18

Two Leading Figures of the Arts in Iran. Two Very Different Reactions to the Protests. - Iranians like to boast that they come from a land of poetry and art. It isn't surprising, then, that socio-political movements in Iranian history are often accompanied by efflorescence in arts. The recent protests that first broke out on 28 December and spread throughout the country are no exception. -Arash Azizi, Global Voices 01/17/18

Renault's production in Iran hits a record high in 2017 - Through manufacturing of over 160,000 vehicles in Iran, Renault hit a record high in 2017, according to a report by the Communications Department of Renault Pars (a joint venture established in 2004 between France's Renault and Iranian car makers Iran Khodro and Saipa). The report said that production of Renault in Iran witnessed a 48-percent growth in 2017 and gaining 11 percent of the Iranian market, the company experienced its most successful year of performance in the Middle East country. 01/17/18

Ex-President: Iran Authorities Should Listen to Popular Demands - Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday called on authorities to listen to popular demands after a wave of deadly unrest over economic woes. Authorities "should try to identify people's problems and hardships" instead of "humiliating" them, the reformist said in a statement published online. -AFP 01/17/18

Why Iran is facing reduced rainfall? - It is all over the news in Iranian media. Iran is unprecedentedly suffering from low precipitation and experiencing a prolonged drought. Deciding whether the use of the word "unprecedentedly" is scientifically accurate or not is not a job that can be done by the press. It certainly needs extensive, reliable geological and meteorological data to confirm the claims. However, what Iranians are experiencing over the current winter, most significantly in provinces located in arid and semi-arid areas such as Isfahan, Tehran, Qom or South Khorasan is way different than winters of few years ago. 01/16/18

"IRANOME" project inaugurated in presence of Iran's Health Minister - A scientific and technological project dubbed "IRANOME" was opened today in the Rehabilitative and Welfare Sciences University in the presence of Minister of Health Dr. Seyed Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi and vice president for Scientific and Technological Affairs. With the implementation of this scientific project, researchers succeeded in transferring the highly-advanced sequencing technology of new generation of NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing) genomes to the country, the report added. 01/16/18

Persian Beach Soccer Cup will be a high-level event: Coach Marco Octavio - Iran national beach soccer team head coach Marco Octavio says the Persian Cup will be a high-level tournament with a spectacular atmosphere. The Persian Beach Soccer Cup will take place in Bushehr, south Iran, from January 27 to 29 where the hosts will go up against three of Europe's premier sides, namely Spain, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. 01/16/18

Airbus announces delay in delivery of planes to Iran - The sales chief of European planemaker Airbus predicted delivery of the remaining jets to Iran could take longer to complete than what was planned under a deal worth $10 billion signed in 2016. "I think those deals will get fulfilled, maybe not on the original schedule," Airbus sales chief John Leahy told Reuters in an interview, referring to the company's agreement to sell 100 planes to Iran Air under a deal signed in Dec. 2016. 01/16/18

German quartet pays tribute to Iranian sailors at Fajr Music Festival in Tehran - The fifth night of the 33rd Fajr International Music Festival was host to brilliant performances by the Klenke quartet from Germany. The program paid tribute to Iranian sailors and crew who lost their lives in a shipping incident off the Sea of China earlier this week. The program was held at Niavaran Cultural Center in Tehran. 01/16/18

Huge Oil Spill After Iranian Tanker Sinks In East China Sea - Chinese ships are racing to clean up a massive oil spill after an Iranian tanker sank in the East China Sea. The Sanchi's crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis are all believed to have perished in the incident. 01/16/18

Acclaimed Iranian singer Iraj to perform in Shiraz - Acclaimed traditional singer Hossein Khajeh-Amiri, better known as Iraj, will hold his first ever concert in Shiraz, Fars Province, on January 21. Iraj will be accompanied by Nima Nour Mohamadi as conductor of musicians, in the performance at the amphitheater of the cultural complex of Shiraz University. 01/16/18

All You Need to Know About Establishing a Company in Iran by Non-Iranians - Due to some unfair restrictions in the recent years, Iran has been put aside from many transnational business opportunities. The JCPOA agreement and the elimination of some of the restrictions have revealed the significant potential of Iran to become a leading part of regional and international developments in areas such as information and communications technology, the energy market (both fossil fuels and clean energy), mining and transportation. -Omran Mohammadi, TechRasa 01/16/18

Iran's Reformists rack up political points while smog smothers Tehran - Iran's air pollution crisis, which claimed more than 4,800 lives in 2016, has become yet another area for scoring political points for both the Reformists and the Principlists, much like almost everything else in Iran. Ever since the Reformists took over the presidency and the capital city, they no longer criticize the administration or the municipality for not resolving the air pollution crisis. The matter has been forgotten and replaced by partisan attacks aimed at various Iranian political groups. -Saeid Jafari, Al-Monitor 01/16/18

International sports film festival opens in Tehran - Dozens of sports films are competing in the 11th Tehran International FICTS Festival that opened at Felestin Cinema on Monday. A lineup of feature-length, short and documentary films from around the world will go on screen during the 4-day event. 01/15/18

Moscow will not back US attempt to change Iran nuclear deal: FM Lavrov - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stressed that Moscow will not back US attempts to change the 2015 nuclear deal struck between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries. "We will not support what the United States is trying to do, changing the wording of the agreement, incorporating things that will be absolutely unacceptable for Iran," Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow on Monday. 01/15/18

Agents of Iran's Intelligence Ministry Intimidate Family of Slain Farmer Killed at Protest - Nematollah Shafiei was a bystander who was shot and killed during protests in Qahderijan, Isfahan Province, on January 2, 2018, his brother Hossein, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "Intelligence Ministry agents came to our house and told my mother not to scream and make a fuss," Hossein Shafiei told CHRI on January 10, 2018. "They took my brother's ID and told us to come and pick it up after a few days and to have 'a little conversation.'" 01/15/18

Trump's racial slur prelude to era of modern savagery: Iran's Parliament Speaker - Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani says recent derogatory remarks made by United States President Donald Trump to refer to Haiti and African countries may be ushering in an era of "modern savagery." "I was deeply sorrowed to hear that America's president the other day used humiliating language to speak about certain countries," Larijani said on Monday. 01/15/18

The Moral Economy of the Iranian Protests - The recent demonstrations in Iran have been noteworthy for their geographic scope and range of grievances. Triggered by discontent over persistent unemployment and inflation, long overdue wages and pensions, the reduction of cash subsidies, environmental degradation, and the collapse of murky financial institutions that turned out to be Ponzi schemes, the protests have been taking place primarily in provincial towns -Kaveh Ehsani and Arang Keshavarzian, Jacobin 01/15/18

How the Other Half Lives in Iran - The village of Zaras lies in a valley circled by the Zagros Mountains in southwestern Bakhtiari Province of Iran. An hour's ride from Izeh, the nearest town, Zaras is home to about 60 families, who make a living from farming, pastoral nomadism and working as migrant laborers in Iranian cities. On a September afternoon in 2014, I sat by the mud wall of a hazelnut garden with Darab, a 50-year-old farmer in Zaras. Darab, a man with a charming face and rough, calloused hands, cultivated potatoes, beans and onions on a plot of land slightly larger than an acre. -Shahram Khosravi, New York Times 01/15/18

Salafi Mission Calls Into Question Saudi Concept Of Moderation - Plans to open a Salafi missionary centre in the Yemeni province of Al Mahrah on the border with Oman and Saudi Arabia raise questions about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's concept of a moderate form of Islam. The questions are prompted by the fact that Prince Mohammed has so far put little, if any, flesh on his skeletal vow last October to return his ultra-conservative kingdom to "moderate Islam." -James M. Dorsey, LobeLog 01/15/18

Killing The Iran Nuclear Agreement With A Thousand Cuts - Don't be either fooled or relieved by President Trump's waiving, for now, of nuclear sanctions on Iran, and thus his forgoing of an explicit withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Trump still is determined to destroy the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), though not necessarily in the way he threatens, or in a way some have feared. He is set on destroying the JCPOA partly because of the same guiding principle, if it can be called that, steering so much of his presidency, which is to tear down any significant accomplishment of his predecessor... -Paul Pillar 01/14/18

President Rouhani Changes Course and Acknowledges Protesters' Varied Reasons For Discontent - "Some people think that the people are just asking for more money and a better economy. But do you know anyone who would be satisfied with a monthly salary while social media networks are completely cut off and the comings and goings from home are restricted and you don't even have the right to speak? You cannot buy people's freedom and lives with money. Why are some diverting from the truth? That is an insult to the people," said Rouhani during a meeting with senior officials at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance on January 8, 2018. 01/14/18

Iran Says Over 400 Protesters Still Detained, 25 People Killed - Iran's judiciary says that about 465 people are still being detained across the country for taking part in a wave of antigovernment protests that began nearly three weeks earlier. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni-Ejei also acknowledged that 25 people were killed in violence surrounding the protests that began on December 28. 01/14/18

Iran Lifts Restrictions on Messaging App Telegram - Iran has lifted restrictions on the messaging app Telegram, the state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday. The popular service had been blocked during recent public protests, the most serious nationwide unrest in the Islamic republic since 2009. "An informed source announced that the filtering of the Telegram messenger has been ended and it is being used by users," IRNA reported. 01/14/18

Stricken Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks, 'No Hope' Of Finding Survivors - A stricken Iranian oil tanker that was burning for more than a week following a collision with a Chinese cargo ship in the East China Sea has sunk after drifting into the waters of Japan's economic exclusion zone. Chinese state television reports that the ship sank shortly after another portion of its cargo "suddenly ignited" at about noon local time on January 14. 01/14/18

Tehran Art Auction 2018 sells out 120 mind-melting lots, signals flourishing market - The 8th edition of Tehran Auction contemporary art sale broke a new record on Friday, January 12, signalling a flourishing market for contemporary Iranian art. The winter sale built on the success of its spring - 14.952 billion tomans to be exact, or over $3 million. Parsian Hotel was host to the 8th edition of Tehran Auction where the best of Iranian art ranging from established and emerging artists were introduced to art collectors and global audience. All the 120 modern and classical artworks sold out! 01/14/18

Trump failed to destroy Iran nuclear deal: President Rouhani - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the administration of US President Donald Trump has failed in its attempts to kill the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, describing this as a "victory" for the Iranian nation and the rule of law. Trump has left no stone unturned over the past year to destroy the agreement, but to no avail, said Rouhani on Sunday, adding, "This means a victory for international commitments and law against dictatorship." 01/14/18

Top-ranking Iranian-American Official 'Heartened' by Iran Protests - The Trump administration's highest-ranking Iranian-American, who serves as its top antitrust regulator, has welcomed recent anti-government protests in Iran as a "heartening" development. In an interview with VOA Persian this month, Makan Delrahim described the weeklong anti-government protest movement as a "natural progression" for Iranian people, whom he said desire freedoms that have been denied to them by "oppressive" Islamist clerics who have ruled Iran for almost 40 years. -Setareh Derakhshes & Michael Lipin, VOA 01/14/18

Congress Addresses Iran And Israel/Palestine - As we have over the past two years, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman, previously of Americans for Peace Now and now the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. -LobeLog 01/14/18

Iran Says U.S. Is 'Maliciously Violating' Nuclear Deal By Demanding Changes - Iran's top diplomat accused U.S. President Donald Trump of "maliciously violating" Iran's 2015 nuclear deal after Trump threatened to pull out of the deal within months unless changes are made. Trump's announcement is a "desperate attempt to undermine a solid multilateral agreement," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter late on January 12, citing sections of the agreement that he said the United States is violating by demanding changes on matters already agreed to by Iran and the five other world powers that negotiated the deal. 01/13/18

Trump's Iran Statement: A View From Europe - It is with some reluctance that I write about President Donald Trump's latest statement on Iran, because the statement is so full of half-truths, untruths, and logical fallacies that it is bad for one's blood pressure to have to dwell on it for any length of time. I will try to limit damage to my constitution by focussing on just a few of the statement's most disturbing features. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog 01/13/18

Iranian Teachers Union Blames Protests On State 'Mismanagement' - An Iranian teachers' organization has blamed the country's recent outbreak of protests on inflation, poverty, unemployment, and "mismanagement by state officials." In a statement posted on the social-media app Telegram on January 12, the Teachers Trade Unions Coordination Council (TTUC) said Iranians were protesting "poor economic conditions, systematic discrimination and corruption, as well as poverty and social injustice." 01/13/18

Trump Waives Iran Nuclear Sanctions For "Last Time" - The White House announced on Friday afternoon that Donald Trump will extend waivers on sanctions against Iran for another 120 days, under the terms of the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA). However, in its announcement the administration made it clear that this is the "last time" Trump will issue these waivers unless the deal is substantially renegotiated, something that neither Iran nor the other parties to the deal (Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia) have shown any inclination of doing. -Derek Davison, LobeLog 01/13/18

A London Television Station Has Convinced Iran the Shah Was Great - "We made a mistake by having a revolution!" "Reza Pahlavi!" During the week of protests that started on Dec. 28, 2017, ahead of the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which ousted the last Pahlavi monarch, small crowds across Iran could be heard shouting the name of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's son, the country's deposed crown prince. -Narges Bajoghli, Foreign Policy 01/13/18

Coverage of Iran Protests Illustrated With Protests Not in Iran--Organized by Fringe Cultists - When it comes to covering protests in other countries, it seems any vague picture of brown people protesting can stand in for those actually on the streets expressing their grievances. Since the outbreak of protests across Iran three weeks ago, several major outlets have used pictures of demonstrations in the United States, France, or United Kingdom--organized by a fringe, cult-like group, Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)--in place of images of the entirely unaffiliated protesters, 6,000 miles away, who are the topic of discussion. -Adam Johnson, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting 01/13/18

European Diplomats Urge Sticking With Iran Nuclear Deal - European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the international agreement on Iran's nuclear program is working, and that while there are concerns about Iran's development of ballistic missiles and other activities in the Middle East, those should be dealt with as a separate issue. 01/12/18

Local Officials in Iranian City Dezful Attempt to Deflect Responsibility for Protesters' Death - Mohsen Adeli, an Iranian protester, died from a bullet wound during a protest in the city of Dezful despite a local official's claim that "this man's death had nothing to do with recent events," the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. 01/12/18

Tehran metro ranks 25th among world's busiest subways - With an annual ridership of 459 million, Tehran metro has attained the rank of 25 among busiest subway systems in the world. As per a report by published in March 2017 Tokyo metro with 3.6 billion annual passenger rides, Moscow metro with 2.4 billion annual passenger rides and Seoul metro with 2.04 billion annual passenger rides top the list of world's busiest subways among 30 cities. 01/12/18

Italy signs EU's biggest ever credit deal with Iran - Iran and Italy have signed a major framework credit agreement worth 5 billion Euros which Tehran says is the biggest ever such agreement signed with a European country. The credit agreement will be used to provide funds for development and industrial projects in the Islamic Republic. 01/12/18

Iran Should Launch Independent Investigation of Deaths of Two Protesters in Prison - Iran should launch an independent investigation of the cases of two detainees who died in custody, allegedly by suicide, after being arrested during the recent protests in Iran. The results of the investigations should be shared with the public at every stage of the process with full transparency. "There are serious questions surrounding these protesters' deaths," said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 01/12/18

Last surviving Asiatic cheetahs to undergo artificial insemination - Head of the Asiatic Cheetah Conservation Project said a team of experts from France will come to Iran in a few weeks to perform artificial insemination on the last surviving Asiatic cheetahs, Koushki and Delbar. 01/12/18

Iran--On The Brink? - With the emergence of demonstrations and rioting in various Iranian cities earlier this month, Washington's neoconservatives and interventionist/ imperial-minded "liberals" have been given a new lease on life in promoting their aspirations for "regime change" in Tehran. Indeed, of the three current potential global flashpoints--North Korea, Russian borderlands, and Iran in the Gulf--Iran arguably presents the most likely situation to actually turn into war. The other two regions, Russia and Korea, pose such potentially appalling nuclear dangers that, rhetoric aside, one would hope will seriously deter national leadership from contemplating. -Graham Fuller, LobeLog 01/12/18

Iran-Iraq Border Hit By Series Of Moderate Earthquakes - A series of moderate earthquakes struck near the Iran-Iraq border and other areas of Iran on January 11, most of them occurring in the same region hit by a major quake in November that killed over 530 people. Four people suffered minor injuries from the latest quakes and little damage was reported, Iranian state television said. 01/12/18

How Trump Could Use the Iran Protests to Kill the Nuke Deal - onald Trump does not like the Iran nuclear deal. That much is obvious to anyone with a pulse. Less discernible, however, is what he plans to do about his fact-free disdain for this historic diplomatic achievement. To date, much attention has understandably focused on whether or not Trump will renew sanctions waivers. -Reza Marashi, Nation 01/12/18

Iran After Protests: Change Does Come - In Iran today, over 20 people have been killed in the streets and two young men are dead from unknown causes after being detained in prison. An estimated 3,700 others have been arrested across the country, most of them under the age of 25. In Tehran the families of detainees are camping outside Evin prison awaiting news of their children. With such news in the headlines, it is hard not to be pessimistic about the protests that for a week rocked the country and riveted the world. But perspective matters. -Sanam Naraghi Anderlini 01/11/18

European Allies Urge U.S. To Continue Backing Iran Nuclear Deal - BRUSSELS -- European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has urged "all parties" to continue complying with a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, saying that "the deal is working." Mogherini made the plea on January 11, a day before a deadline for U.S. President Donald Trump to announce a key decision on whether Washington would continue to waive sanctions against Iran in accordance with the nuclear deal. 01/11/18

Iran Suspends Thousands of Drug-Related Death Sentences After Years of Domestic and International Campaigning - An estimated 4,000 prisoners currently on death row in Iran for drug-related crimes could have their death sentences revoked according to a just-issued judicial order based on the country's newly amended drug trafficking law. "Iran has taken a positive first step toward reducing the country's high execution rate," said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 01/11/18

Grievance Against Governance In Iran - Now that the wave of recent protests that swept across Iran is over, let us be humble. There was much disagreement about the causes of the protests, but let us admit we were united in amazement: participants, state and polity elites, activists, pundits and observers inside and outside the country, and the people of Iran, everyone. Humility requires avoiding constructing grand schemes or narratives and cherry-picking to attribute single causes and forces to a phenomenon that consist of many elusive elements and many unknown facts. -Ali Reza Eshraghi, LobeLog 01/11/18

Iran's Protests: All About The Economy? - In 2007, when the Iranian government introduced gasoline rationing, increasing the price to 11 cents a liter, some angry motorists torched gasoline stations. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that it showed "economic sanctions are working increasingly well." Recent protests-cum-riots in many Iranian cities have renewed hopes of an uprising among those in the United States who have wanted "regime change" in Iran since the US-backed Shah was overthrown in 1979. -Gareth Smyth, LobeLog 01/11/18

Iran says Boeing still needs OFAC nod for jet sales - Iran says US aviation giant Boeing will have to obtain an authorization from the administration of President Donald Trump within the next month for sales of 30 planes to its Aseman Airlines. Mohammad Gorji, the deputy for aviation affairs of Aseman Airlines, was quoted by Iran's domestic media as saying that Boeing was trying to obtain the authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department. 01/11/18

Trump's Disingenuous Support for Iranian Protestors Has Backfired - The protests that roiled Iran over the past two weeks had little to do with the United States or its foreign policy. Despite concerted efforts on the part of the Trump administration to portray the movement as a repudiation of President Barack Obama's approach to the regime in Tehran, the unrest in Iranian cities and towns appears to be an organic uprising, the leaders of which would doubtlessly take umbrage at the idea that they were galvanized by the United States. -Ned Price, Foreign Policy 01/11/18

Iran's Vulnerable Energy Supply And The Protests - Unlike early 2017, when Iran's energy industry started a year full of hope and prospects of potential growth, 2018 has started with different potential risks targeting its energy industry and production growth. Risks abound, particularly the prospect of additional sanctions and domestic instability. -Sara Vakhshouri, LobeLog 01/10/18

Courage overcomes tragedy: Sara Abdolmaleki redefines physical boundaries - Sara Abdolmaleki is a strong and determined young woman whose life story will empower anyone who is weighed down by life's trials and tribulations. The twenty-three year old resident of Karaj has proven that one can persevere and overcome even the most earth shattering obstacles in life only to emerge with resilience. 01/10/18

Reformist MP Pledges to "Seek Answers" on Students Arrested in Iran's Protests - A top reformist lawmaker has pledged to investigate the arrests by Iran's Intelligence Ministry of dozens of university students during the country's recent nationwide protests. "According to a list that was given to me, about 90 students have been arrested throughout the country in the past few days," Parvaneh Salahshouri, the leader of the women's faction in Iran's Parliament, told the Iran-based Jame'e No news website on January 5, 2018. 01/9/18

52 U.S. Security Experts Issue Statement Backing Iran Nuclear Deal - Today (Jauray 8, 2018) a bipartisan group of 52 American national security leaders issued a statement urging U.S. policymakers not to undermine the Iran nuclear agreement. They also expressed support for the rights of the Iranian people to free speech and condemned the use of force against protestors. 01/9/18

The Iranian Entrepreneur Tackling Silicon Valley's Diversity Problem With 'Persian Women In Tech' - Silicon Valley has a well-documented diversity problem. Sepideh Nasiri, who often goes by Sepi, is an entrepreneur originally from Iran. She founded Persian Women In Tech (PWIT) just over two years ago, which aims to alter tech's dreary statistics of women founders and engineers, with a focus on those of Iranian descent. -Nina Roberts, Forbes 01/9/18

Iran Hosts West Asia Security Forum in Tehran - Iran on Monday hosted the second version of the Tehran security conference on "Regional Security in West Asia: Emerging Challenges and Trends". Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, addressing the international event, said the U.S. policies and interferences are the "most fundamental challenges" to the West Asia region. "The U.S. ignores realities in the region and insists on adopting destructive policies by continuing to have illegitimate military presence in Syria," Zarif told the security conference. 01/9/18

Iran Protests: What Lies Beneath - Since May 1997 and the coming to power of reformists in Iran, Western countries and their mainstream media have refused to see anything else in Iran other than the symbiosis of the reformers and hardliners within the regime of the Islamic Republic. For the neoconservatives within the United States Republican Party, those Iranian dissidents who dream of establishing a pro-Western government in exchange for the violent Western support for a "regime change" in Iran have been favored. -Sohrab Mobasheri 01/8/18

Iran and the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline - Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCP) is a project to transport natural gas through a submerged pipeline in the Caspian seabed from Turkmenistan and partly from Kazakhstan to Baku in Azerbaijan and eventually to Europe, circumventing Russia and Iran. Turkmenistan has one of the biggest gas resources in the world, the third biggest after Russia and Iran. -Bahman Aghai Diba 01/8/18

Iranian Security Forces Have Arrested More Than 40 University Students - More than 40 Iranian university students, mostly activists, were arrested between December 30, 2017, and January 4, 2018, according to credible information received by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Some of the detainees are being held in Evin Prison's Ward 209, which is controlled by the Intelligence Ministry and which has threatened some of the detainees' relatives with arrests. 01/7/18

Crowdfunding for publications of Samin Baghcheban's compositions - March 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Samin Baghcheban's demise in exile. On the occasion of the anniversary, the Baghcheban family is willing to publish a collection of Samin's vocal pieces which were composed in the 1950s and currently are not available to the public. 01/7/18

Iran's Aseman Airlines to purchase another 30 Boeing jets - Iran says it plans to purchase another 30 planes from US aviation giant Boeing if the administration of US President Donald Trump creates no obstacles for the existing order by one of its key airlines. The announcement was made by Vali Azarvash, the managing director of Atieh Saba Investment Company which is one of the main shareholders of Aseman Airlines. 01/7/18

Six Prominent Lawyers Call for Prosecution of Iranian Officials Who Incited Violence Against Protesters - Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and five other prominent Iranian human rights lawyers have called for the prosecution of state officials who have encouraged violence against protesters in the anti-government demonstrations in Iran. "We demand the immediate termination and independent prosecution of some officials whose statements have had a critical impact in inciting emotions and violence during the people's lawful and peaceful demonstrations," said the lawyers in a joint statement sent to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on January 3, 2017. 01/4/18

Iran Hawks Embrace Protest Movement But Show Little Concern For Iranian Lives - As the protests across Iran reach the one-week point, Iran hawks are using their echo chamber to claim concern for the wellbeing of Iranian protesters and pushing the Trump administration and policymakers to publicly state their support of the burgeoning protest movement. But these same hawks have a long history of opposing diplomatic efforts to curtail Iran's nuclear program and instead threatening military strikes on Iran. This record belies their stated concern for Iran's civilian population and raises serious questions about their motivations in embracing the protesters. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 01/4/18

Rhetoric, Epistemology, And The Iranian Protests - With any country that, like Iran, has been the subject of acrimonious debate in Washington, pronouncements by American observers about events in that country have more to do with politics here than with what is going on over there. So it has been with much of the spinning and interpreting of protests in Iranian streets during the past few days. Some guidelines for intelligent, responsible, and useful commentary on those protests are in order, and applicable no matter the policy preferences of the commenter. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 01/4/18

Clean Break II: Iran Hawks Decide To Burn It All Down - But who cares about all of that? It doesn't seem to be an issue for at least some of America's anti-Iran hawks. In response to Iran's rising profile in the Middle East, fueled mostly by a war those neocons ardently championed and the striking ineptitude of the hawks' new favorite Persian Gulf monarchy, the intellectual heirs to the men who drew those ill-fated borders are proposing, long after it might have done any good, to re-draw them. -Derek Davison and Jim Lobe 12/28/17

PAAIA Emerging Leader, Yassamin Ansari, Discusses the Importance of Supporting Iranian American Candidates for Public Office - Yassamin Ansari, a member of PAAIA's Emerging Leaders program, an initiative designed to engage the next generation of Iranian Americans in policy and public service, recently spoke with PAAIA about the importance of supporting Iranian American candidates for public office. Ansari recently hosted a fundraiser for Kia Hamadanchy, an Iranian American candidate running for Congress (CA-45). If successful, Hamadanchy could become the first Iranian American ever elected to Congress. 12/26/17

Shaygan Kheradpir: Keep Walking Though There is no Place to get to - Shaygan Kheradpir has been a global transformational leader in business for 30 years. He is a great believer in people's capacity to achieve the seemingly unachievable, and in the great power of diversity that brings together the varied experiences of people critical for breakthrough innovation. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of Coriant, a packet-optical focused company, where with his colleagues they are revamping how telecommunications & data center networks are built around the world -Jahandad Memarian, Contributor, Huffington Post 12/24/17

"Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran"; an Exhibition at Harvard Art Museums - The Harvard Art Museums in Massachusetts hosts an exhibition entitled "Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran". The exhibition presents various aspects of Persian art in Qajar era. The Harvard Art Museum in a press release states: "This exhibition brings together four principal art forms-lacquer, lithography, photography, and painting and drawing on paper-to explore their separate and intertwined histories, contexts of production, and means of dissemination across sectors of society ranging from the courtly elite to the citizenry at large. 12/22/17

First-Time New York State Senate Candidate Sarmad Khojasteh Launches Website to Raise Awareness, Introduce Himself to Voters - New York State Senate candidate Sarmad Khojasteh (R) today officially launched his website and social media accounts, further raising awareness about his candidacy, and to introduce himself to voters, outline policy positions, and raise money in preparation for the upcoming Special Election for the 37th District Senate Seat. 12/22/17

2017 Freestyle World Wrestling Clubs Cup in Tehran: Iran's Easy Pipe Kashan defeats USA's Titan Mercury to win title - Easy Pipe Kashan of Iran claimed the title of the 2017 Freestyle World Wrestling Clubs Cup held in Tehran on Dec. 7-8. The Iranian team defeated defending champion Titan Mercury from the U.S. 6-4 in the final match. 12/9/17

Iran's national weightlifting team wins world championship title in Anaheim, California - Iran's men weightlifting national team has clinched its first ever world champion title, after collecting a total of 509 points at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships in the United States. The competitions were held in Anaheim, California, from November 28 to December 5. 12/7/17

Iranian Weightlifter Wins World Title, Breaks Records in Anaheim, California - Iranian weightlifter Sohrab Moradi broke two world records to win the 94-kilogram class at the World Championships in Anaheim, California, on December 3. Moradi, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, scored an easy victory over Lithuania's Aurimas Didzbalis by 29 kilograms. 12/4/17

Misusing Intelligence To Sell Conflict With Iran - Although nobody knows exactly where Donald Trump intends to go with his campaign of seeking confrontation with Iran, his administration already has provided disconcerting parallels with the techniques an earlier U.S. administration used in selling its launching of a war against Iraq. Among these techniques is the cherry-picking of intelligence not to inform policy-making or to enlighten the public but instead to inculcate false perceptions among the public and thereby to muster support for a policy already chosen. -Paul Pillar 12/1/17

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last updated on Sat Jan 20 12:31:20 -05 2018