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June 28 2017
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Iran Blasts US Top Court Ruling on Trump Travel Ban

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced the U.S. Supreme Court's partial reinstatement of a travel ban affecting six predominately Muslim countries and said the decision could energize terrorist groups. "It is regrettable that the citizens of the countries on the list have never participated in any act of terrorism against the U.S. and yet they are being punished for acts of terrorism," Zarif told reporters Tuesday during a visit to Berlin. Zarif added the reinstatement was the "greatest gift" for terrorist groups seeking new recruits. 6/28/17

Germany stands by Iran nuclear deal, praises it as 'historic window'

- German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday a nuclear deal with Iran has helped lower the risk of a major conflict in the Mideast and that Germany will do whatever is possible to hold all parties to it. "Our clear position is we stand by this agreement," Gabriel told reporters after talks in Berlin with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. 6/28/17

Iran Warns U.S. Against 'Dangerous Escalation' In Syria Over 'Fake Pretext'

- Iran has accused the United States of a "dangerous escalation" in Syria after Washington warned President Bashar al-Assad may be preparing another chemical attack for which he would pay a "heavy price." "Another dangerous U.S. escalation in Syria on fake pretext," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on June 27, adding it "will only serve [the Islamic State extremist group] precisely when it's being wiped out by Iraqi and Syrian people." 6/28/17

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case On Seizure Of Iranian Artifacts on loan to the University of Chicago

- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from several survivors of a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem who want to seize Persian artifacts in U.S. collections to help pay a $71.5 million judgment against Iran over its alleged role in the attack. 6/28/17

History proves a US-backed regime change in Iran won't work

- Sixty-four years on from the calamitous Operation Ajax backed by the US and Britain why are some US politicians hinting for another regime change in Persia? Why after plunging Iran into a state of complete despair are some Republicans so keen to further abridge Iran? And why is President Trump so eager to use the violent actions of some Iranians to justify a political and economic attack on the country, with potential military intervention? The current state of Iran bore provenance because of America and Britain. Surely the cause cannot be the solution? -Daniel Khalili-Tari, The London Economic 6/28/17

Reformist Politician: Iran's President Rouhani Must Stand Up to Supreme Leader Khamenei's Hardline Policies

- Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's ongoing public criticism of President Hassan Rouhani is "rooted in the fact that the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran does not recognize the people's vote," a reformist politician and former political prisoner told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 6/28/17

Prominent Imprisoned Activist Who Voted for Rouhani: My Vote Was For Iran's Civil Society

- Narges Mohammadi, a prominent human rights activist serving a 16-year prison sentence for her peaceful advocacy efforts, is publicly urging newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani to build the foundations for civil society in Iran. In an open letter from the Women's Ward of Evin Prison in Tehran published on June 21, 2017, Mohammadi explained why she and other prisoners of conscience voted for Rouhani in the presidential elections on May 19. 6/28/17

Brain drain to the West: Why Iran's brightest young graduates are leaving their country behind

- Sporting earbuds and sagging backpacks, students lounge on patches of grass, shaded by trees from the harsh sun. They sit in the library, hunched over laptops, massaging their temples, cramming for tests or bashing out lines of code. It could be a college campus anywhere in the world, but Sharif University of Technology sits in the shadow of the Azadi tower in Iran's capital, Tehran. -Mick Krever, CNN 6/28/17

Qatar Crisis Could Lead to War: Veteran US Diplomat

- Given the fast-moving events in the Persian Gulf region over the past two weeks, LobeLog decided to consult Chas W. Freeman, Jr. Washington's ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, Freeman has a wide range of contacts in the region. One of the most highly decorated foreign service officers of his generation, he also served as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs at the Pentagon, among many other posts. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 6/28/17

Trump administration welcomes financial watchdog's Iran sanctions reprieve

- The Donald Trump administration expressed support today for an intergovernmental watchdog's decision that rewards the Iranian financial system for its relative progress combating money laundering and terrorism financing. -Laura Rozen, Al Monitor 6/28/17

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Iranian-American Organizations issue statements on Trump's Muslim ban after Supreme Court decision - "Today's Supreme Court decision immediately places the status of many Americans' families into question again. The Iranian-American community, Muslims across America, and families directly impacted by the ban are now reliving the chaotic days following the Muslim ban in January. Fears of the Trump administration once again spreading chaos by triumphing in the courts and reinstituting parts of its ban that has separated families have been realized. 6/27/17

Islamic Feminist Scholar: No Better Time For Iran's President Rouhani to Nominate Women to His Cabinet - President Hassan Rouhani should honor his campaign pledges to women and nominate them to serve in his second-term cabinet, a scholar of the Quran and women's rights activist told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "Social conditions are ripe for female ministers," said Jila Movahed Shariat Panahi, the author of "A New Interpretation of Women's Rights from the Quran's Point of View," in a recent interview. 6/27/17

Mojdeh Tabatabaei: Iran Contemporary Art Scene Grows Bigger At International Fairs - Mojdeh Tabatabaei, the owner of Mojdeh Art Gallery, says it takes a lot of guts for Iranian galleries to take part in international art fairs as it makes no economic sense at all. Speaking to Honaronline, she says it takes a lot of energy and money to be part of the contemporary global art scene and keep the name of Iranian art alive. 6/27/17

Trump's Temporary Ban On Visitors From Six Nations To Take Effect June 29 - The U.S. State Department said on June 26 that it will start carrying out President Donald Trump's temporary ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries 72 hours after it was partly reinstated by the Supreme Court. That means the measure will go into effect the morning of June 29. 6/27/17

Six metropolises, 289 cities in Iran facing water stress - Six metropolises of Isfahan, Bushehr, Bandar Abbas, Shiraz, Kerman, and Mashhad and 289 other cities in Iran are currently troubled with water stress, deputy energy minister said on Friday. "The amount of water consumption is roughly equal to the amount of water stored in these cities," IRNA news agency quoted Rahim Meydani as saying. 6/27/17

U.S. Seeks To Seize New York Property From Iranian Charity In Iran Sanctions Case - U.S. attorneys offered closing arguments on June 26 in a case where the government is attempting to seize a Manhattan office tower from an Iranian charitable foundation because it allegedly violated U.S. sanctions. 6/27/17

Iran's "Versailles Palace" finally registered as National Heritage Site - Iran's top cultural heritage body finally gave the green light for registration of the Sabet Pasal Mansion, commonly known as the 'Versailles Palace of Iran', as a National Heritage Site following growing controversy over the imminent destruction of the architectural masterpiece. 6/27/17

President Rohani, Rejecting Saudi-Led Blockade, Says Iran Seeks To Bolster Ties With Qatar - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has rejected a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar and said he wants to bolster ties with the Persian Gulf emirate, his website said on June 26. "Tehran stands with the Qatari nation and government...Pressure, threats, or sanctions are not the right way to resolve differences," Rohani said. 6/27/17

Echoes in Syria of Afghanistan in the 1990s - The battle for Raqqa is now being waged, and the diverse forces that have been helping to extinguish the self-proclaimed caliphate of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS or IS) soon must face squarely what becomes of the portion of Syria that IS had controlled. It may be useful to recall an earlier and somewhat similar situation in which the defeat of a common enemy led not to peace and stability but instead to fighting among the victors. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 6/27/17

FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship 2017: Iran defeats Argentina, stands on top of their game in Pool D - With a top two placement by both Iran and Argentina, the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship match between the countries promised to be a hard-fought one. In a five-set thriller, Iran overpowered Argentina in five sets. 6/26/17

Book: A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran - For decades, political observers and pundits have characterized the Islamic Republic of Iran as an ideologically rigid state on the verge of collapse, exclusively connected to a narrow social base. In A Social Revolution, Kevan Harris convincingly demonstrates how they are wrong. Previous studies ignore the forceful consequences of three decades of social change following the 1979 revolution. 6/26/17

Golnaz Fathi's Solo Exhibition at AB43 CONTEMPORARY in Switzerland - AB43 CONTEMPORARY is pleased to present the solo exhibiton "Traces of Yesterday" of new works by GOLNAZ FATHI, opening on August 26, 2017. GOLNAZ FATHI (born 1972 in Tehran, Iran) trained at the renowned Iranian Society of Calligraphy and went on to receive various awards for her work as a calligrapher. She then chose to embark on a much freer career in the fine arts and, in doing so, has developed her own unmistakable style. She is an internationally celebrated artist, who has succeeded in bridging the gap between traditional and contemporary culture as well as between Eastern and Western ways of life. 6/26/17

Iranian Scientist Amirhosein Mosavi Receives 2017 Young Scientists Award - The International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme has named Amirhosein Mosavi as one recipient of the 2017 Young Scientists Awards. Dr. Mosavi wins the UNESCO Young Scientists Award on his research on sustainability in the field of 'monitoring and assessing sustainability in Biosphere Reserves utilizing sustainable business models'. 6/26/17

IAPAC Proudly Endorses Campaigns of Iranian American Candidates - Today, the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) proudly announced its support for the campaigns of Kia Hamadanchy and Amir Farokhi who are running for the U.S. Congress and the Atlanta City Council, respectively. For more information about how you can get involved in these races, please visit: Kia for Congress and Amir for Atlanta. 6/26/17

Trump allies push White House to consider regime change in Tehran - As the new administration conducts a routine review of its Iran policy, senior officials are hinting that they're open to toppling the country's clerical regime. -Michael Crowley, Politico 6/26/17

Iran to hold international conference on combating sand storms - Iran is organizing a three-day international conference on combating sand and dust storms in July, with participation of representatives from over 30 countries across the world. The International Conference on Combating Sand and Dust Storms is to be held in Tehran on 3-5 July 2017. 6/26/17

Supporters Of Iran's President Rohani Launch Huge Twitter Storm Backing Him After Hardline Mob Forces Him to Flee Rall - Tens of thousands of President Hassan Rouhani's supporters took to social media to express their outrage after he was surrounded by an angry mob loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and forced to flee a rally in Tehran on June 23. In a short time, their # I-Support-Rouhani Twitter storm in Farsi exploded to the top of the network's highest trending topics worldwide. 6/25/17

FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship 2017: Rasoul Aghchehli makes his team proud as Iran celebrate second win - First match of the second day in the Budvar Arena in Ceske Budějovice started off with a thrilling match, filled with drama. Iran celebrated their second win this tournament with a 3:2 win against Ukraine 25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13. 6/25/17

Angry Mob Force Iran's President Rouhani to Flee Rally in Tehran - A few weeks after being elected for a second term as president, Hassan Rouhani had to be whisked away from a rally in Tehran on June 23 by his security forces after being encircled by angry chanting protesters. The mob shouted slogans comparing Rouhani to Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran's first president who fled Iran in 1981 after falling out of favor with then Supreme Leader and Founder of the Islamic Republic, Rouhollah Khomeini, for his more moderate policies. The mob shouted "Death to Banisadr" and "Rouhani, Banisadr, Happy Union," among other anti-Rouhani slogans. 6/25/17

Saudi Arabia to Qatar: Do As We Say, Not As We Do - More than two weeks after they began boycotting Qatar, four Arab nations-Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates-have presented the Qataris with a list of demands that they say Doha must meet in order to end this ongoing Persian Gulf diplomatic crisis. With all due respect to the Associated Press, which has obtained a shortened list of these demands (quoted below), LobeLog can reveal that it has received a more comprehensive list from its sources, who wish to remain anonymous for reasons that should become clear shortly. -Derek Davison 6/25/17

Iran's Nuclear Chief Warns U.S. Against Tilting Power Balance In Middle East - Iran's atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi, who helped forge the 2015 nuclear agreement, warned the United States on June 23 against upsetting the balance of power in the Middle East by siding with arch-rival Saudi Arabia. 6/25/17

Iranian airlines expand intl. flights to spur tourism growth - Iran's Mahan Air and Zagros Airlines have recently launched new direct flights to Spain and Russia respectively in a bid to accelerate the pace of tourism growth in the country. Mahan Air started flying nonstop from Tehran to Barcelona early on Thursday. "The nonstop flights from Tehran to Barcelona and vice versa will lessen travel time from 12-15 hours to only 6 hours," Hossein Hosseini, the airline's marketing manager, was quoted as saying by IRNA. 6/25/17

Iran Arrests 50 Suspected Of Links To 'Terrorist' Groups - Iranian authorities have arrested at least 50 people suspected of links to "terrorist" groups in a Western province, a prosecutor said on June 25. The arrests come following the deadly twin attacks in the Iranian capital on June 7. 6/25/17

Qatar Shuns 'Unreasonable' Saudi-Led Demands To Cut Ties With Iran, Shut Al-Jazeera - Qatar on June 24 labelled as "unreasonable" demands made by four Arab states to shutter the Al-Jazeera network, cut most ties with Iran, and close Turkey's air base as the price of ending a regional boycott of the small Persian Gulf state. 6/25/17

Iran blames high US output for falling oil prices - Iran has blamed a recent rise in US oil production for the plunge in global prices of crude oil. Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters on Wednesday that the US had increased its oil production by 900,000 barrels per day. This, he said, was way beyond what the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had estimated. 6/25/17

Trump's Escalations of War in Syria - With its escalation of the undeclared war in Syria, the Trump Administration risks a direct military confrontation with Russia. On June 20, the United States shot down an Iranian drone flying near allied rebels in southeastern Syria. On June 17, a U.S. fighter jet downed a Syrian Air Force bomber, asserting that the Syrians threatened the ground positions of Syrian Kurdish allies. -Reese Ehrich, LobeLog 6/25/17

Secretary Tillerson Eschews Iran Diplomacy in Favor of Regime Change - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated he has no plans for negotiations with Iran and expressed favor for moving to support elements within Iran intent on regime change during testimony on the State Department budget in the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday. Tillerson's remarks are certain to ratchet up tensions with Iran, where elements remain deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions and have levied charges on ordinary citizens for alleged collaboration with hostile powers. -Darius Namazi, NIAC 6/23/17

Iran: The Road to War? - The Saudi war in Yemen is really directed at...Iran. Donald Trump's first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel was specifically targeted at...Iran. The Saudi-led isolation of Qatar is actually about...Iran. The escalation of U.S. military actions against the Syria government is... well, do I really need to spell this out any further? -John Feffer, LobeLog 6/23/17

The U.S. is Backsliding into War in Syria - Recent events have clarified that the U.S. is at tremendous risk of backsliding into war with Syria, Iran and Russia. Now is not the time for Congress to add fuel to the fire by escalating new Iran sanctions. What is urgently needed is for Congress to debate the war in Syria before the Trump administration stumbles into a regional conflagration that would be disastrous for the region and U.S. security. -NIAC Action 6/23/17

​Iran's Qeshm Air to buy 10 planes from Boeing - Only a day after two Iranian airlines announced deals to purchase planes from European aviation giant Airbus, another Iranian carrier says it has sealed a third deal to buy advanced aircraft from US plane-maker Boeing. Iran's media quoted the head of Qeshm Air as saying on Friday that the company had placed an order for 10 Boeing 737 MAX planes. 6/23/17

Prominent Civil Rights Activists Urge Iran's Parliament to Ban Use of Deadly Force Against Border Couriers - The killing, by border guards, of another kulbar-the Persian word for the border-crossing couriers who transport illegally imported goods into Iran-has prompted 250 Iranian civil rights activists to demand that Parliament implement measures to protect the downtrodden laborers. 6/23/17

IRAN: Denied Due Process, Detained Telegram Channel Admins Go on Hunger Strike - Six administrators of channels on the Telegram messaging application who were arrested in the run-up to Iran's May 2017 presidential election have gone on hunger strike in Evin Prison to protest their prolonged detention without access to legal counsel. 6/23/17

Arab States Boycotting Qatar Demand It Cut Ties With Iran, Shutter Al-Jazeera - Four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia have issued a list of demands for ending their boycott of Qatar, including requiring Doha to shut down the Al-Jazeera network and cut most ties with Iran. Doha did not have any immediate reaction to the list. Nor did the United States, where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had encouraged the Arab countries earlier this week to provide a list of demands that was "reasonable and actionable." 6/23/17

Iran Begins Pipeline Gas Exports To Iraq After Years Of Delay - Iran has begun exporting natural gas to neighboring Iraq after several years of delays, Iranian state media report. The semiofficial Fars news agency on June 22 said the exports began late the previous day through a pipeline to Baghdad. 6/23/17

Tehran to host 18th International Congress of Microbiology - The Iranian Congress of Microbiology brings infectious disease specialists together for presentation and discussion of research in the fields of clinical microbiology and infection from academia, the clinical setting and industry. The congress aims to contribute to improvement in prophylaxis and treatment of infectious diseases throughout the world. The 18th edition of the congress will take place at Tehran University of Medical Sciences on 29-31 August, 2017. 6/23/17

New Iran Deals for Airbus Jets Increase Pressure on Trump - Two Iranian airlines made prospective deals with Airbus on Thursday to buy 73 jetliners, a signal that the global aerospace industry is betting such sales to Iran will prevail despite increased hostility by the Trump administration. -New York Times 6/23/17

Saudi-Iran Tensions Seen Worsening With Rise Of New Saudi Crown Prince - Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran -- already running high -- could worsen with King Salman's designation of his aggressive and ambitious son, Muhammad bin Salman, as the next ruler, analysts say. Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was designated as the kingdom's next ruler on June 21. The crown prince said last month on Saudi TV that he was not open to trying to improve relations with Tehran, which he accused of trying "to control the Islamic world" to spread its Shi'ite doctrine. 6/22/17

Iran's Judiciary Chief Threatens Domestic Proponents of US-Instigated Regime Change With Death Penalty - The chief of Iran's judiciary has responded to recent comments by the US secretary of state describing the Trump administration's policy of regime change in Iran by threatening domestic proponents with the death penalty. 6/22/17

Is the Saudi Prince Up to His New Job? - The audacious young prince of Saudi Arabia known as MbS owns it all now, for better or worse. As a wisecracking American might say, "Good luck with that." With his elevation Wednesday to be crown prince, heir to the throne, and first deputy premier reporting only to his father the king, Prince Mohammed bin Salman will exercise nearly complete control over his country's future. He was already minister of defense and chairman of the committee that sets the kingdom's economic policy. -Thomas Lippman 6/22/17

Iran sets sights on arrival of 6.5 million foreign tourist this year - Iran aims to draw some 6.5 million foreign travelers by the end of the current calendar year 1396 (March 20, 2018), though the country's tourism infrastructure and public services are in need to be improved, a senior tourism official said on Monday. In 1395, some 5.5 million travelers visited Iran, fetching about $8 billion for the country 6/22/17

Blundering Into Yet Another Middle East War - The Washington elite is waking up to the increasingly real possibility that the Trump administration may be moving the country into yet another Middle East war (with Iran). And much more quickly than anyone had anticipated. And through sheer incompetence and incoherence rather than by design. -Jim Lobe and Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio 6/22/17

Airbus to sell 73 planes to Iranian airlines Zagros and Iran Airtour - European aviation giant Airbus says it has signed basic agreements with two Iranian airlines over the purchase of a total of 73 planes. Airbus said in a statement that Iran's Zagros Airlines would pick up 20 aircraft from the single-aisle Airbus A320neo family and eight A330neo planes. It added that another airline, Iran Airtour, would also buy 45 planes of the A320neo type. The agreements were signed on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show. 6/22/17

Iran demands that Saudis release three detained Iranian fishermen - Iran's interior minister called on Wednesday for the immediate release of three Iranian fishermen who were detained by the Saudi navy last week, saying their boasts were pushed off course by waves. The development is expected to further complicate relations between the two countries, which escalated last month when U.S. President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia and took a bellicose stance against Iran in an official speech. 6/22/17

Rift between Iran's ayatollah and re-elected president widens - Tensions are mounting between Iran's supreme leader and the country's president after the latter's landslide victory in last month's election. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 78, has sharpened his criticism of the reformist president, Hassan Rouhani, including humiliating him in a meeting of the country's most senior officials. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian 6/22/17

Trump's Love Affair With the Saudis - At this point, it's no great surprise when Donald Trump walks away from past statements in service to some impulse of the moment. Nowhere, however, has such a shift been more extreme or its potential consequences more dangerous than in his sudden love affair with the Saudi royal family. -William Hartung, LobeLog 6/22/17

India, Pakistan To Lead Rise In World Population To Nearly 10 Billion By 2050: UN - Countries with the world's youngest and fastest growing populations are concentrated in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Countries where fertility rates are below replacement level include China, the United States, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Vietnam, Iran, Thailand, and Britain. 6/22/17

Iran's Terrorism Challenge: How Should It Respond? - Terrorist incidents in Iran have been on the rise in the last few months. At the beginning, they occurred in the two most vulnerable provinces Sistan and Baluchistan in the southeast on the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan and in Western Azerbaijan bordering Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. This was not surprising since these provinces, especially Baluchistan, had long been vulnerable to attacks by Sunni extremist groups, such as Jaish ul-Adl and Jundallah, supported by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. -Shireen T. Hunter 6/21/17

Beyond the Ban: Exhibition Spotlights Major Iranian-American Artists - Works by prominent Iranian-American artists were showcased to a packed house on June 14, the opening night of the "Beyond the Ban" art exhibition, a collaboration between the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) and the Susan Eley Fine Art gallery in New York City. 6/21/17

Iran's Khamenei Warns Iraq Against Relying On U.S., Weakening Shi'ite Militia - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned Iraq's leader against weakening Shi'ite paramilitary groups and relying on the United States in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.. At a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in Tehran, Khamenei said the Shi'ite militias were the main forces pushing back against the Sunni extremist group in Iraq, and Baghdad should not trust the United States, Iranian state media reported. 6/21/17

U.S. Shoots Down Armed, Iranian-Made Drone Over Syria Amid Russian Protests - The U.S. military says it has shot down an armed, Iranian-made drone that was bearing down on its forces near a garrison in Syria's southeast. The Pentagon said a U.S. F-15 aircraft flying over Syrian territory fired on the Shaheed 129 drone after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces on June 20. 6/21/17

Italian runner Paolo Venturini to run in Iran's hot Lut Deseret to record name in Guinness - An Italian runner plans to travel 80 kilometers in Lut Desert in a 70-degree day to record his name in the Guinness Book of Records. Modin Afzali, coordinator of the program for the Italian runner and director of a tourism agency in Lut Desert, told Mehr News Agency that Paolo Venturini, the Italian nature adventurer will go to Gandom Baran, the hottest spot of the Lut Desert, on July 30th, when the temperature reaches 65 to 70 degrees centigrade, to run 80 kilometers in a day. 6/21/17

Iran's Pistachio Exports Up 3% Year/Year - Iran has exported $1.240 billion worth of pistachios to the world markets in the past Iranian calendar year 1395 (ended on March 20) to register a three percent rise compared to its previous year, IRIB news reported. 6/21/17

Iran's annual GDP growth at 12.5%: Central Bank - TEHRAN- Iran's growth of gross domestic product (GDP), including oil sector, hit 12.5 percent in the previous Iranian calendar year 1395 (ended on March 20, 2017), the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) reported. Iran's GDP stood at 6.691 quadrillion rials (about $178.5 billion) last year, based on the market prices in fiscal year 2011-12. 6/21/17

I want to stroll Tehran's streets at night, like men can: writer Fereshteh Ahmadi - Even the gentle references to sexuality in Fereshteh Ahmadi's short story Harry Is Always Lost meant it was hit by the censors. The female protagonist is late catching a flight. In a frantic taxi journey to the airport, she is with a man, but it is not clear if they are dating or are husband and wife. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian 6/21/17

Saudi Bullying of Qatar: A Spurious Game of Thrones Crumbling - The Saudi-Abu Dhabi aggressive siege of Qatar has gone beyond a mere tribal feud pitting the de facto Saudi ruler Muhammad bin Salman Al Saud and the UAE Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed Al Nuhayyan against Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the ruler of Qatar. The two-week manufactured "game of thrones," driven by faulty assumptions, has backfired and is already generating serious unintended consequences. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 6/21/17

First-Ever Film on Ancient Persian Monument TAQ KASRA: Fundraising Campaign - TAQ KASRA, a landmark in the history of architecture, is a 6th-century Persian monument. It was built in the capital of Persian Empire during the Sasanian dynasty. The palace was gradually declined after the Arab invasion in the 7th century and now it is located close to Iraqi capital Baghdad, less than 200 km far from the Persian territory. 6/20/17

Reacting to the Tehran Attacks in Europe and the US - The European Parliament started its plenary session last week with a minute of silence to honor the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in London and Tehran. In this way, the EP has joined a number of other institutions, as well as leaders of the EU and its member states, in offering sympathy to the Iranian people... Contrast this with the attitude in the United States. -Eldar Mamedov 6/20/17

Iran's UN envoy: Remarks by US secretary of State against UN Charter - Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations says US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's recent anti-Tehran remarks are in violation of international laws and norms and against the Charter of the United Nations. Gholam-Ali Khoshrou made the remarks on Sunday in a letter of condemnation to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. 6/20/17

Iran's oil industry paves way for capable women - Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has issued an order, paving the way for women with high capabilities to boost presence in the oil industry. As per the ministerial decree which released on Sunday, all gender discrimination between male and female employees should be removed for all occupational positions, except for working on oil and gas platforms. 6/20/17

Attacks in Iran: The Enemies of My Enemies - As Iran fires missiles into Syria as part of its "crushing response" to the perpetrators of the recent unprecedented terrorist attacks in Tehran, these attacks can also have an enormous impact on Iran's internal politics. They could further solidify the position of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its support within the population and lead to an intensified crackdown on prisoners from minority groups. -Fatemeh Aman, LobeLog 6/20/17

Iranian Sculptor Parviz Tanavoli To Realize His "Lions" Dream - Prominent sculptor Parviz Tanavoli, best known for his sculpture series "Heech", will display his collection "Lions" at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, making his dream of 50 years come true. 6/20/17

The Sordid History Of State Sponsored Terrorism Against Iran - For decades, Western empires have waged a silent war against Iran, using tactics ranging from supporting known terrorist groups to deposing the country's leaders and leveraging regional rivalries. The war continues today, even as the U.S. condemns Iran for sponsoring terrorism itself. -Eric Draitser, MintPress 6/20/17

Iran calls missile attack on Syria militants a wider warning - Iran's ballistic missile strike targeting the Islamic State group in Syria served both as revenge for attacks on Tehran earlier this month and a warning that Iran could strike Saudi Arabia and U.S. interests in the Mideast, an Iranian general said Monday. -AP 6/19/17

The CIA Coup Against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq: Iran 1953 Covert History Quietly Released - The Department of State yesterday released a long-suppressed volume of historical records documenting the role of the United States in the 1953 coup against the Iranian government of Mohammad Mosadeq. "This retrospective volume focuses on the evolution of U.S. thinking on Iran as well as the U.S. Government covert operation that resulted in Mosadeq's overthrow on August 19, 1953," the Preface says. -Steven Aftergoo 6/17/17

Iranian FM Zarif to Secretary Tillerson: U.S. Better Save Own Regime - TEHRAN - Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday hit back at the United States for rhetoric of regime change in Iran, calling on Washington's officials to worry about saving their own regime instead of talking about changing the Iranian political system which enjoys a strong backing by its people. 6/17/17

Iran still world's biggest natural gas player - A new report shows Iran still has the world's largest reserves of natural gas and is closely followed by market rivals Russia and then Qatar. The global energy giant British Petroleum (BP) in its annual report on world energy reserves put Iran's natural gas reserves at 33.5 trillion cubic meters (tcm). 6/17/17

Iran's Judiciary Prevents Top Labor Activists From Attending International Conference - A travel ban imposed by the Iranian judiciary has prevented prominent labor rights activists Reza Shahabi and Davoud Razavi from attending an international labor conference in Switzerland, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. 6/17/17

Senate's Iran Sanctions Bill Faces Differing Views in House - A newly passed Senate bill that would impose additional U.S. sanctions on Iran faces uncertain prospects for passage in the House, whose members are expressing differing views about its efficacy. Hours after the Senate approved the Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act in a near-unanimous 98-2 vote Thursday, the House's majority Republican leaders had not said when they will act on it. The bill also would sanction Russia for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election, a charge Moscow denies. -Michael Lipin, VOA 6/16/17

Iran's World Cup slogan revealed: "80 Million People, One Nation, One Heartbeat" - Iran football team, also known as Team Melli, will participate at the 2018 World Cup with "80 million people, one nation, one heartbeat," slogan. Unbeaten in eight qualifying games, Iran finished in dominant position in Group A not conceding a single goal on the Road to Russia. Iran national football team advanced to successive FIFA World Cups for the first time in their history Monday night. 6/16/17

Secretary of State Tillerson: U.S. Will Work To Bring Peaceful Transition In Iran - Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson told House Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, June 14, that the United States policy towards Iran is based on support of internal forces who can bring about peaceful change. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi called US foreign policy towards Iran "confused" which could "easily be manipulated by wrong information." Specifically, he called Tillerson's remark about U.S. supporting internal elements for a peaceful transition,"unacceptable" and "interventionist". 6/15/17

Iran calls on U.S. to fulfill commitments under nuclear deal - Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says the US needs to honor its commitments under the landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries. The envoy said Iran's nuclear program was going ahead as per the JCPOA and that the latest IAEA report showed Iran's commitment to all of its obligations. 6/15/17

What Will Trump, Gulf Instability Mean for the JCPOA? - The Iran nuclear deal-Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA-is facing multiple threats, and whatever hope there may once have been that it could serve as a basis for improving U.S.-Iran ties is probably gone. Between the Trump administration's emerging focus on Iranian regime change and recent instability in the Persian Gulf, simply maintaining the deal itself is proving to be a serious challenge. That was the consensus at a June 13 panel discussion hosted by the Atlantic Council as part of its day-long "Preserving and Building on the Iran Nuclear Deal" event. -Derek Davison 6/14/17

Gilehboom Eco Lodge: Live a green life far from the hustle and bustle - The couple Mahin Shamsikhani and Khosro Mahin-Roosta with their friend Shiva Shamshiri live a different kind of life. Although they are both engineering graduates from Tehran's Amirkabir University of Technology, they are now running an eco-lodge in a village in northern Iran. They established their eco-lodge 'Gilehboom' four years ago in Qasemabad Sofla in Gilan province and they are still happy with their decision. 6/14/17

Iran will never tolerate Saudi warmongering: Supreme Leader's adviser - Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, says the comments by "inexperienced" Saudi diplomats against the Islamic Republic show their ignorance about Iran and the region, stressing that Tehran will never tolerate Riyadh's warmongering policies. 6/14/17

An organic and hand-made observatory is surrounded by palm trees in the iranian desert - In the last days of winter, the contemporary architects association of iran spend days in the harsh winter weather creating an observatory in the desert of esfahak, iran. the observatory is comprised of three circles within eachother - the center-most circle is the highest one, 'reaching for the sky', and the two other circles encompass a single person passageway that leads to the center. the foundation of the structure is joined together using mortar, some of which was mixed with the members' bare feet, where once clean and ironed shirts are soon covered in dirt. -Designboom 6/14/17

Germany's Bundeskunsthalle hosting "Iran: Ancient Cultures between Water and Desert" exhibition - Rare Persian artifacts are on display at the Art and Exhibition Hall of Germany (Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn) in an exhibition entitled "Iran: Ancient Cultures between Water and Desert". The exhibition is organized in the city of Bonn with cooperation of Iran's National Museum and Cultural Heritage Organization in Tehran. 6/11/17

Immigrant-Americans With Support From Over A Million People Worldwide Create A Monument To Humanity In Los Angeles - The Farhang Foundation, a nonpolitical, nonreligious, not-for-profit Iranian-American cultural foundation, is proud to announce that The Freedom Sculpture: Freedom a Shared Dream, a monument honoring core American values of freedom, cultural diversity and unity, has raised more than $2.2 million, nearing the minimum goal of $2.5 million needed to complete the project. With over a million supporters from more than 50 countries following its progress on social media, the Freedom Sculpture has also become the most crowd-supported public monument gifted in U.S. history. 6/11/17

Donald Trump's Destabilization of the Persian Gulf - The Obama administration had to expend considerable political capital in fending off attempts, during the recent Congressional review period, to kill the agreement to restrict Iran's nuclear program. As a matter of policy toward that program, such expenditure should never have been necessary; the strict limitations and scrutiny of the program that are embodied in the agreement are clearly better for U.S. interests than the absence of such limitations and scrutiny if the agreement had been killed... -Paul R. Pillar 6/10/17

U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher Must Apologize for Suggesting ISIS Attacks on Iran "A Good Thing" - "Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) must immediately disavow and apologize for his outrageous suggestion that the ISIS attacks on Iran should be viewed as 'a good thing.' After Trump's heartless message to Iran blaming the country for being attacked by ISIS, it was hard to believe that any lawmaker could find a way to go lower. Yet that is exactly what Rep. Rohrabacher did with his outrageous and deplorable line of questioning yesterday." 6/10/17

TARGETING IRAN AGAIN - To repeat a Persian expression: A fool throws a pebble into a well; it takes a hundred wise men to retrieve it! So he goes around, as during his recent foreign trip, making bombastic comments reading from a prepared text he was given, not really knowing or even caring what he was uttering, and with no concern about the consequences of his utterances; after all, he does take pride in being an unscrupulous, predatory salesman, whose narrow perspective or focus does not require diplomatic finesse or a knowledge of international affairs. -Kambiz Zarrabi 6/7/17

Featured Web Site

The American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS)



Sultan Ibrahim Mirza's Haft Awrang: A Princely Manuscript from Sixteenth-Century Iran


Featured Articles

Philanthropy

Sarava (Iranian Venture Capital firm)

Rights

Joint Statement of Iranian-American Organizations on Detentions of Iranians

General

World Bank forecasts 5.8% GDP growth for Iran in 2016

Iranian-American

Nine Iranian American Receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Politics

Trump Unites Iranian Americans

Economy

Iranian Women Face Bias in the Workplace: Human Rights Watch

Culture

Going their own way

Sports

FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP: Iran finishes third to make Asian history

Art

"In order to Create, One must First Destroy": An Interview with Parvaneh Etemadi

Literature

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

Travel

New Trump's "Extreme Vetting" Proposal Raises Alarm Bells

Environment

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

Entertainment

"The Salesman" by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi wins Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film

Music

A New Life For Iran's Orchestras?

Book

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

Event

Beyond the Ban: Contemporary Iranian Art Exhibition in New York

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last updated on Wed Jun 28 11:26:05 -04 2017