Azar 13 1399 - December 03 2020
Ground-breaking step in Iran towards reducing statelessness

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said it welcomes Iran's move to give nationality to thousands of children born to Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers. The first children, out of some 10,000 children whose citizenship applications have so far been accepted, received their Iranian identity card, known as a 'Shenasnameh', last month. 12/3/20

Facing up to Israel's destabilizing behavior

Responsibility for the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is still officially a matter of speculation, but it is highly likely that Israel did it. Israel has the motive, the methods, and the moxie. It also has the record, including not only a string of murders of other Iranian nuclear scientists some eight years ago but also a more widely used killing machine that has made Israel the world's leader in targeted assassinations. -Paul R. Pillar, Responsible Statecraft 12/3/20

Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Being Returned to Gharchak Prison

The return of Nasrin Sotoudeh to Gharchak Prison, reported today, December 2, 2020, by her husband, is condemned in the strongest terms, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. "Nasrin Sotoudeh's return to prison is a travesty of justice that endangers her life and reflects the Iranian authorities' complete contempt for the rule of law," said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI executive director. -CHRI 12/3/20

Despite Trump Efforts to Foment War With Iran, Experts Say Biden Has Chance to Restore Needed Diplomacy

Progressive experts on US-Iranian relations on Wednesday urged caution-and expressed hope for renewed diplomatic efforts from the incoming Biden administration-following news that Iran's parliament voted to increase uranium enrichment just days after the nation's top nuclear scientist was gunned down in an assassination plot endorsed by President Donald Trump and which many believe was carried out by the Israeli government. -Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams 12/3/20

The New 'Face of Iran' Elnaz Golrokh STUNS In Sexy New Cover Of MAXIM

Supermodel and beauty blogger Elnaz Golrokh is taking the industry by storm after getting the cover of Maxim Magazine, and she looks drop-dead gorgeous. The new 'Face Of Iran' is well known by her huge devoted fan base in the Middle East, but the supermodel is hell-bent on letting the whole world learn to love the Iranian culture and beauty. -Blast 12/3/20

Iran ready to show goodwill if U.S., Europe abide by nuclear deal: Zarif

Iran will fully comply with a 2015 deal aimed at preventing it from developing nuclear weapons if both the United States and Europe honour their original commitments, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday. Addressing a Rome conference via video-link, Zarif said the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) could not be renegotiated but it could be resurrected. -Reuters 12/3/20

Iran to further limit nuclear commitments: What's next?

A bill aimed at further reducing Iran's nuclear commitments proposed by conservatives and hardliners in the country's parliament just cleared its last hurdle. The Strategic Act to Revoke Sanctions was approved by the powerful 12-member vetting body Guardian Council with extraordinary speed on Wednesday despite government opposition. -Maziar Motamedi, Al Jazeera 12/3/20

Open Letter to Supreme Leader of Iran on Nasrin Sotoudeh

We write to you regarding the case against Nasrin Sotoudeh to demonstrate the ways in which her sentence of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, as punishment for her work as a human rights lawyer, blatantly violate the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (hereafter 'Constitution') and international law. -Pen America, IBAHRI, ... 12/3/20

Special Report: Iran expands shrines and influence in Iraq

The vast, $600 million expansion at the Imam Hussein shrine, which is revered as the place of martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, will swell the capacity of what is already the world's largest annual pilgrimage, dwarfing the Hajj to Saudi Arabia's Mecca. It is the biggest development at the shrine in 300 years. -Reuters 12/3/20

Iran's nuclear advances went on, even as its scientists were picked off, one by one

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading figure in Iran's nuclear and missile program, was finally assassinated. Many believe his Nov. 27 killing was the handiwork of Israel, though so far that accusation has yet to be confirmed. If so, it is nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism. Israel and the United States had been looking for Fakhrizadeh for at least 15 years as part of a larger covert war against Tehran supposedly designed to slow its nuclear and missile programs - which Israel insists are aimed at producing weapons and the means to deliver them. -Muhammad Sahimi, Responsible Statecraft 12/2/20

Iranian National Commission for UNESCO honors actress Jaleh Olov

The Iranian National Commission for UNESCO honored actress Jaleh Olov, Iranian actor and voice actor with a lifetime achievement award on the margins of the Selfie 20 Short Film Festival in Tehran on Monday. The 93-year-old Olov expressed her thanks to the organizers in a video message screened during the closing ceremony of the festival, and said, "I am proud of working for the art of this land for 72 years in the different fields of theater, radio, dubbing and poetry." 12/2/20

Love for nature displayed in Iranian baby names

Many Iranian names are derived from nature and are inspired by flowers and other elements. Being widespread and common in Iranian culture, this issue shows the importance of nature among Iranians. Baby names with a compelling meaning are becoming ever so popular. Some of the most interesting ones can be nature-inspired baby names that have long been used among Iranians, which might be a sign of enthusiasm for nature. 12/2/20

How US media manipulates Iran's nuclear program into a sinister myth

Experts, media elites, and other Iran observers lit into New York Times national security reporter David Sanger this week for his sloppy - and perhaps "Judith Miller-level bad" - reporting on Iran's nuclear program following the assassination of one of the country's top nuclear scientists last week. The offense in question involved the opening line of Sanger's "News Analysis" which asserted that the scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, had "led Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon for the past two decades." -Ben Armbruster, Responsible Statecraft 12/2/20

75,000 children in Iran to gain nationality under new law

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran's move to give nationality to thousands of children born to Iranian mothers and non-Iranian fathers. The first children, out of some 10,000 children whose citizenship applications have so far been accepted, received their long-awaited Iranian identity document - known as a 'Shenasnameh' - last month. -UNHCR 12/2/20

India looks to resume Iran, Venezuela oil imports under Biden

India wants to diversify its oil imports, including the resumption of supplies from Iran and Venezuela, after US President-elect Joe Biden takes office, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday. India was the key buyer of Iranian and Venezuelan oil before slashing purchases after President Donald Trump imposed unilateral sanctions on the two OPEC members since taking office in 2017. -Reuters 12/2/20

The Geopolitical Roots of Iran's Economic Crisis

Iran's economic crisis remains heavily connected to its enmity with the United States. The best tool for economic diversification and sustainable development is an end to the four decades of animosity between Tehran and Washington. -Mahdi Ghodsi & Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 12/1/20

Europeans urged to quickly set out roadmap on Iran nuclear deal

France, Germany and the UK must move quickly to set out a roadmap for Iran and the incoming Biden administration in the US to come back into compliance with the nuclear deal, some of Europe's leading diplomats have said. They warn that unless the three countries, known as the E3, coordinate a joint public statement setting out what both sides must do to end the impasse, there is a real risk that Joe Biden will come to power facing only escalating tensions with Iran. -Guardian 12/1/20

'Radiograph of a Family': Film Review | IDFA 2020

An elegantly composed mosiac of real events and artfully restaged memories, Iranian director Firouzeh Khosrovani's stylized documentary Radiograph of a Family is a personal passion project with rich political and cultural resonance. Subtly chronicling Iran's last few turbulent decades using her own parents as emblematic protagonists, Khosrovani's fourth feature makes imaginative use of nostalgic found footage, immersive sound design, love letters and vintage family photos.... -Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter 12/1/20

Calls for Diplomacy-Not War-as Scientist's Assassination, Trump Impede Biden's Path to Iran Engagement

Rep. Ro Khanna on Monday called for strengthened diplomacy to "prevent catastrophic war" with Iran amid swirling fears the Trump administration is recklessly sabotaging the Biden White House's prospects for such diplomatic efforts. The post from Khanna (D-Calif.) tweet was shared by Win Without War, which earlier on Monday sounded a similar note as Sen. Chris Murphy. "A Monday morning reminder that the Trump administration's maximum pressure against Iran has been a maximum failure," the group tweeted. -Common Dreams 12/1/20

Art elites issue statements of grief over assassination of Fakhrizadeh

Iranian cineastes and stage artists have issued statements on Sunday evening expressing their grief and regret over the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The statement signed by 34 cineastes begins with the phrase, "To you whom I didn't know". "We heard the news of your cruel assassination and regretted why we didn't know you as well as the enemies of our country." -Tehran Times 12/1/20

Why the Assassination of a Scientist Will Have No Impact on Iran's Nuclear Program

The roadside assassination, last week, of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was an elaborate intelligence operation that played out like a blockbuster thriller, according to unusually candid accounts by the Iranian media. Fakhrizadeh, who was around sixty and had a graying beard, and also a bit of a paunch, has often been compared to J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of America's atomic bomb, and A. Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear program. -Robin Wright, New Yorker 12/1/20

Confronting the Islamic Republic of Iran: Give Peace a Chance

As President Donald Trump prepares to leave office, Iran is leading the news after the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear engineer, likely by Israel with U.S. knowledge if not assistance. The Obama administration criticized a similar Israeli hit in 2012, but Trump lauded the latest murder. He has been fixated on Iran since taking office. -Doug Bandow, 11/30/20

COVID-19 control in Iran better than expected: Health Minister

Health Minister Saeed Namaki has said that the situation of coronavirus containment in the country is better than expected contrary to forecasts, and fortunately, new cases and deaths are declining. The coronavirus control in the country, especially in the cities where restrictions were imposed, is improving, Namaki noted. 11/30/20

'Reckless, Provocative, and Illegal': Sanders Warns Assassination of Iranian Scientist Designed to Kill Diplomacy

Sen. Bernie Sanders warned over the weekend that the assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-widely believed to have been the work of Israel-was carried out with the intention of undermining any prospect of diplomacy between the United States and Iran just weeks before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office. -Common Dreams 11/30/20

Will the World Community Condemn the Murder of Iran's Nuclear Scientist?

Israel used all four years of Trump's presidency to entrench its systems of occupation and apartheid. Now that Joe Biden has won the U.S. election, the assassination of Iran's top nuclear scientist, likely by Israel with the go-ahead from the US administration, is a desperate attempt to use Trump's last days in office to sabotage Biden's chances of successful diplomacy with Iran. Biden, Congress, and the world community can't let that happen. -Medea Benjamin, Ariel Gold, Common Dreams 11/30/20

How the assassination of Iran's top nuclear scientist can sabotage diplomacy & start a war

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a key Iranian nuclear official, has been assassinated in Tehran. While it's unclear as of this writing who is responsible, Israel has assassinated numerous Iranian nuclear scientists in the past, but had, until now, been unable to get to the highly protected Fakhrizadeh. Some Iranian reports claim it was a suicide attack, which would reduce the likelihood of Israeli operatives carrying out the attack, but the bullet holes in Fakhrizadeh's car cast doubt on that. -Trita Parsi, Responsible Statecraft 11/30/20

Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh given martyr status

Iran has bestowed martyr status on the nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh at a full state funeral in Tehran, vowing to redouble his work after an assassination pinned on arch-foe Israel. In footage carried by state TV, Fakhrizadeh's casket was shown surrounded by flowers and pictures of him, alongside portraits of Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad in January. -Guardian 11/30/20

Iran on Four Wheels: Politics through the Paykan's Rear Window

Writing about Shahin Armin and Sohrab Daryabandari's film, "Iran's Arrow: the Rise and Fall of the Paykan" (2017), from my vantage point as an Iranian-American who has never been to Iran, elicits a similar experience of removal from the "original." It also provokes self-recognition elsewhere. Absorbed with Iran's iconic car, the Paykan, I am revisited by my mother's experiences of working as a child in the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a chapter of her life recounted in slivers so minute that I was never able to form a picture of the whole. Iranians' attachment to the Paykan feeds my own cultural yearning. -Alice Aziz, Counterpunch 11/30/20

Photos: Autumn snowfall in Tabriz, Iran

Most of the western and northern regions of the country have been experiencing snow and rain since yesterday. Snowfall in Tabriz has also refreshed environment of the city significantly. -Mina Noei, Mehr 11/30/20

UN experts call on Iran to halt execution of Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali

UN human rights experts* said they were alarmed by reports that Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali has reportedly been transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution despite widely held findings his trial was grossly unfair and he was tortured. "We are horrified by the reports that Mr. Djalali is soon to be executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. His torture, arbitrary detention, death sentence and now reported imminent execution are unconscionable acts that should be condemned by the international community in the strongest terms," the experts said. 11/27/20

Muqarnas: An Exquisite Ornamental Art in Iranian Architecture

Muqarnas is a form of ornamented vaulting applied to the underside of domes or semi-domes above porches, entrance gates, the underside of minarets, top of porches of mosques, top of altars inside mosques, and other structures. Muqarnas ornaments are made with bricks, plater, tiles, and wood or metal. -Honar Online 11/27/20

Iran economy could rebound to 4.4% growth if U.S. sanctions lifted - IIF

Iran's economy could grow 4.4% next year if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden lifts sanctions that have contributed to a deep three-year recession, although the COVID-19 crisis could limit foreign investment, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said. -Reuters 11/27/20

Concern Grows Over German-Iranian Women Held in Solitary at Evin Prison

Except for one short phone call, 66-year-old German-Iranian dual national Nahid Taghavi has not been heard from since her arrest by security agents in Tehran on October 19, 2020. The retired architect has been held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison without any reason being given for her plight, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI 11/27/20

Iran shuts gov't offices, tightening virus restrictions

Iran on Friday announced that all government offices will effectively close and operate with only essential staff, further tightening coronavirus measures as the country struggles to contain its most widespread wave of infection yet. The report did not specify how long the closures would last, but asked Iranians to postpone any planned visits to government offices. -AP 11/27/20

New study tells tale of Qoroq shipwreck found in northern Iran

A fresh scientific study has shed a new light on the fate of a centuries-old shipwreck, which was found in 2005 in northern Iran. A team of researchers from the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS) and the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (RICHT), in collaboration with researchers from France and Malta, has recently published the results of their research on the Qoroq historical shipwreck in a prestigious international journal. 11/27/20

Trump remains in a battle of wills with Iran

As the sun sets on Donald Trump's presidency, one piece of potentially dangerous unfinished business is Iran's nuclear program. Here's an area where cool heads must prevail over the next two months to avoid an 11th-hour catastrophe. Both the United States and Iran have been messaging their resolve in recent days, in signals that have mostly gone unnoticed. -David Ignatius, Washington Post 11/27/20

Team Trump determined to drop foreign policy bombs on the way out

When the Trump administration was good it was at best middling. When the administration was bad - when dropping the nuclear accord with Iran, attempting to force Tehran's surrender through brutal economic sanctions, threatening war with Iran, and allying with the malign Saudi dictatorship - it was truly awful. Failure only enraged administration officials, causing them to impose even greater hardship on the Iranian people -Doug Bandow, Responsible Statecraft 11/27/20

COVID-19 in Iran: 13,843 new cases, 469 deaths reported

According to the latest announced figures by the Iranian Health Ministry, 13,843 new COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in the past 24 hours, while 469 have lost lives. Speaking in her daily briefing, the Ministry's spokesperson Sima Lari said that the death toll of the official death toll of the disease stands at 46,207 with the daily deaths reaching 469 on Wednesday. 11/25/20

Iranian-Swedish Poya Asbaghi named Sweden U21 coach

Iranian-Swedish coach Poya Asbaghi has been named as new head coach of Sweden U21 football team. The Karaj-born coach, who has replaced Roland Nilsson, has penned a contract with U21 team until 2023. 11/25/20

What Archaeology Can Achieve in US-Iran Relations

In the 1920s, relations between the United States and Iran had reached a low point. According to historian James F. Goode, the American charge d'affairs at the time, Hugh Millard, wrote to the US State Department's Near East Bureau Chief, Wallace Murray, stating that there had been "one flub after another in American efforts in Persia" but that '"archaeology is about the only thing [the United States] are likely to be interested in which stands much chance of bringing results." -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 11/25/20

How a feminist framework can guide US, European Iran policy

The election of the nation's first female vice president marks a political watershed in Washington, DC. And while President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have promised a different kind of foreign policy, the real question about "building back better" is - how exactly, and for whom? Who benefits? Whose interests will be taken into account? Whose voices will not be heard? Such are the questions that a feminist approach would ask of every policy. -Cornelius Adebahr and Barbara Mittelhammer, Responsible Statecraft 11/25/20

Iranian president upbeat about relations with Biden-led US

Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, said on Wednesday it would be easy to solve the country's problems with the US so long as Joe Biden stuck to the commitments he made on the campaign trail. Rouhani's optimistic remarks to a weekly cabinet contrasted with a speech the day before by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which sketched out a more difficult path to normalisation and the lifting of sanctions. -Guardian 11/25/20

'Iran in the Crosshairs?' Reports of Secret Meeting Between Netanyahu, MbS, and Pompeo Spark Fears of War Plot

The alarming possibility of a military attack on Iran-a nation that has long been in the sights of war hawks in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel-was immediately invoked by foreign policy analysts Monday following reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in secret late Sunday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. -Jake Johnson, Common Dreams 11/24/20

Why Biden must ignore Sen. Coons' 'caveats' and stay on course to return to the Iran deal

Of the many miscarriages of Trump administration, its policy on Iran is most emblematic of its overall failure. An incoming Biden administration will need to address these failures. However, to do so, Biden must be careful to distinguish himself from his predecessor from day one. Recent comments by Senator Chris Coons, who stated he would support a return to the Iran deal with "caveats," is precisely the language that Biden should avoid, as it legitimates the disastrous policies of the Trump administration -Assal Rad, Responsible Statecraft 11/24/20

Iranian filmmaker Kambuzia Partovi dies at 65 due to COVID-19

Veteran Director and Scriptwriter Kambuzia Partovi died of COVID-19 on Tuesday. He was 65. Partovi, the prominent director of children's cinema and scriptwriter of many films, including Muhammad: The Messenger of God, died on Tuesday morning in Day Hospital in Tehran after a short illness due to the infection of coronavirus. 11/24/20

UK, France and Germany discuss working with Joe Biden on Iran nuclear deal

European foreign ministers from Germany, France and the UK have met to discuss a joint approach with the incoming Joe Biden administration on reviving the Iranian nuclear deal. The three nations, whose ministers met in Berlin, are hoping Tehran can reach an agreement under which the US would lift its crippling sanctions in return for Iran ending its non-compliance with the 2015 agreement constraining its nuclear activities. -Guardian 11/24/20

Why is Israel smiling after Azeri win in Nagorno-Karabakh?

At the outbreak of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a group of Washington hawks from neoconservative think tanks like Hudson Institute and Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) urged the United States to support Azerbaijan. They pushed the narrative that Armenia was an ally of Iran, while Azerbaijan an ally of Israel. Azerbaijani victory, thus, would be a gain for Israel. The fate of Nagorno-Karabakh, however, is not what interests these neoconservatives. Like in almost everything having to do with a greater Middle East, for them this is all about Iran. -Eldar Mamedov, Responsible Statecraft 11/24/20

Iranian Villager Nominated for Prestigious Children's Literature Award

Abdolhakim Bahar whose voluntary activities to promote book reading have won him a reputation, lives in a remote village in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan. It has been ten years now that the Ramin village is known for the library built by Mr Bahar, not for its fishermen and fabulous tourist attractions. -IFP 11/24/20

Five successful Iranian online start-ups

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the concept of Startups and low-investment high-profit businesses has spread rapidly throughout the world. As the Internet became more pervasive, a new platform was established for providing products and services that were not limited by location and time which made it easier than ever to reach a limitless global audience. 11/23/20

Photos: Karkouy fire temple in Iran

Fire temple (Atashkadeh in Persian) is a place where followers of Zoroastrianism make fire and perform their religious ceremonies. The photo album depicts the Karkouy fire temple which is located in Hirmand County in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran. -Hamed Gholami, IRNA 11/23/20

'The documentary is like a letter to my wife': Edmonton man produces film about Iran plane tragedy

Javad Soleimani still wears his wedding ring. His wife, Elnaz Nabiyi, was a passenger on Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 leaving Tehran on January 8, 2020. She was returning home to Edmonton. The plane was hit by two missiles minutes after take off, killing all 176 people on board. Thirteen had Edmonton connections. -Jessica Robb, Global News 11/23/20

Iranian teacher spends $290,000 inheritance on educating deprived students

Hossein Asadi, a teacher in Iran's Khuzestan province, has spent nearly $290,000 that he inherited from his father to educate students in deprived areas. Asadi has provided 153 tablets for financially struggling students to prevent them from being out of school, and he plans to provide another 200 tablets in the coming week. 11/20/20

Iran Archaeology is Awaiting a Sanctions Breakthrough

Cooperation in the field of archaeology between Iranian and foreign researchers has a long history. In my academic research, I am currently combing the archives associated with all the major American archaeological expeditions to Iran, beginning in 1930 and continuing until 1978, focusing on the activities of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, the Oriental Institute, the Field Museum, the Boston Fine Arts Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, among others. -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 11/20/20

U.S. Hostility With Iran Only Serves Hardliners on Both Sides

In the aftermath of President-elect Joe Biden's election victory, U.S. and European think tanks and pundits are flooding the internet with papers about how to fix this or that aspect of U.S. foreign policy after four years of President Donald Trump. -Barbara Slavin, Foreign Policy 11/20/20

Customs agents held more Iranian Americans and others at U.S.-Canada border than it admitted, records show

When Customs and Border Protection acting Commissioner Mark Morgan admitted in February that agents had improperly detained Iranian Americans at the U.S.-Canada border, he said in "one instance leadership got a little overzealous." But agency documents made public Tuesday by order of a federal judge indicate that Customs agents held far more people at the Blaine, Wash., border crossing in early January than previously revealed. -Los Angeles Times 11/19/20

Photos: Autumn in thatched alleys of Yazd

combination of green, orange and yellow leaves has created the best shows of autumn colors in the thatched alleys of Yazd, central Iran. -Majid Dehganizadeh, Mehr 11/19/20

A Dedicated Obsession: Washington's Continuing Iran Sanctions Regime

One dogma that is likely to persist in US foreign policy during a Biden presidency will be the sanctions regime adopted towards Iran. Every messianic state craves clearly scripted enemies, and the demonology about the Islamic Republic is not going to go begging. -Binoy Kampmark, Counterpunch 11/19/20

Poverty spikes in Iran as prices for essential goods rise

Recently released figures on the cost of essential items for lower-income segments in Iran show that the rise in the price of these items - predominantly food products - has indeed put a lot of pressure on vulnerable groups in the country. During the period from March 2019 to September 2020, Iranians have witnessed prices of goods skyrocket from 55% to more than 100%, according to a study published in October by the Institute for Trade Studies and Research, a think tank under the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. -Navid Kalhor, Al Monitor 11/19/20

Iran's Revolutionary Guard launches aircraft-carrying ship

Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said it launched a heavy warship Thursday capable of carrying helicopters, drones and missile launchers amid ongoing tensions with the U.S. Photographs of the ship, named after slain Guard naval commander Abdollah Roudaki, showed it carrying truck-launched surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft missiles. -AP 11/19/20

Iran admits breach of nuclear deal discovered by UN inspectorate

Iran has admitted a further breach of the 2015 nuclear deal by firing up advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges installed at its underground plant at Natanz. The finding was made by the UN nuclear weapons inspectorate, the International Atomic Energy Association, and confirmed by the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA. -Guardian 11/19/20

Iranian FM Says Tehran Willing To Fully Comply With Nuclear Deal If Biden Lifts Sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran would return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden lifts crippling sanctions against the country. Zarif said in a November 17 interview with the government daily Iran that Tehran remains committed to the nuclear accord, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and that Biden could make the changes quickly through "three executive orders." 11/18/20

US or Israeli attack on Iran unlikely - but not impossible

If there is one thing we know for certain about the Trump administration, it is that when we think it cannot possibly get worse, it does. In his waning days as president, Donald Trump is actively considering war with Iran. -Joe Cirincione, Responsible Statecraft 11/18/20

Fears of foreign policy chaos in Trump's final days fueled by Iran bombing report

Fears that Donald Trump might try to wreak havoc on the world stage in his final, desperate, weeks in office appear to have been well-founded, after he reportedly asked for options on bombing Iran. A report in the New York Times said Trump was advised against strikes on Iranian nuclear sites by senior officials warning of the risk of triggering a major conflict. But it added that the president may not have entirely given up on the idea of staging attacks on Iran or its allies and proxies in the region. -Julian Borger, Guardian 11/18/20

'We need to put Trump behind us' - what a Biden presidency will mean for Iranians

The next few months are a time of great trepidation for the people of Iran, as they wait to see whether Donald Trump will lash out one last time, carrying out military strikes on their country before he is forced out of the White House. -Kim Sengupta, Independent 11/18/20

Trump's Requested Strike on Iran Could Kill More People Than Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

First, it should be noted that Iran is not engaged in illegal activity. Its right to enrich uranium for civilian electricity production was acknowledged by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or nuclear deal signed with all the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. Iran has only departed from that agreement in very minor ways, and mainly as a way of putting pressure on Europe to defy the US severe economic sanctions, which contravene the treaty. It is Trump's Washington that has behaved illegally, not Iran. -Juan Cole, Common Dreams 11/17/20

Iran warns of 'crushing response' if Trump targets nuclear site

Iran has warned of a strong response if Donald Trump goes ahead with plans to use the twilight of his presidency to mount a strike on Iran or its allies in the region. It was reported that Trump last week looked at options for striking Iran's main nuclear site, but was dissuaded from taking action after his advisers warned it might lead to a larger conflict in the Middle East. The report was sourced to four US officials by the New York Times. -Guardian 11/17/20

A Defeated Trump 'Has No Authorization for a New War,' Say Campaigners After NYT Reports President Wanted Military Strike Options for Iran

"Trump's request for military options to strike Iran's nuclear program in his waning days in office encapsulates the bankruptcy of the pressure-only approach toward Iran favored by so many in Washington." -Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams 11/17/20

Gorgan Bay: a late solution to speed up valuable reserve's demise

The latest assessment of the National Cartographic Center shows that more than one hundred square kilometers of the Gorgan Bay has dried up, and delay in finding a solution will accelerate the destruction of the valuable reserve. Covering an area of about 400 square kilometers, the Gulf of Gorgan also known as Gorgan Bay is the largest gulf in the Caspian Sea. 11/17/20

Mike Pompeo's legacy of incompetence peaked with his failed Iran policy

The 2020 election is over and his days in power are waning, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is vowing to double down on his hardline approach to Iran. His plans have gone largely unnoticed - which might not be much of a surprise, given everything else that's happening in Washington right now. But his latest move - as mean-spirited as it is misguided - still deserves to be called out. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post 11/17/20

Unsilencing sanctions: Iranian musicians launch album in Germany

Even as international politics drive Iran further into isolation, a music record label in Germany is more determined to introduce Iranian artists and their music to international audiences. Hamburg-based 30M Records, founded earlier this year by Matthias Koch, will later this week release its first album by two Iranian artists, offering a mix of traditional Iranian music and modern sounds. -Maziar Motamedi, Al-Jazeera 11/16/20

Iranian Actor Babak Karimi on Trump's Defeat and Working With Sophia Loren

Iranian multi-hyphenate Babak Karimi is an actor, film editor, and academic who won the Berlin Silver Bear in 2011 for playing the judge in "A Separation," one of several films in which he stars directed by his friend Asghar Farhadi.... Karimi, who has close ties to Italy, is being honored with a lifetime achievement award by Rome's MedFilm Festival. -Nick Vivarelli, Variety 11/16/20

State's Online Schooling During COVID-19 Is a Privilege Only for the Well-Off in Iran

A new online schooling program created by the government to allow virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic will effectively remain a luxury for the well-off in Iran, as Education Ministry officials have shrugged off the inability of many students in Iran's poor regions to afford the technology necessary to access the program. -CHRI 11/16/20

The clock starts now: Biden must make the right signals to Iran on nuke deal

The election of Joe Biden provides a four-month window to restore the historic 2015 nuclear agreement. But the months before Biden enters the White House may be even more important. The wrong signals from Biden can close the window even before he takes the Presidential oath; the right signals can prepare the ground for the successful restoration of the nuclear accord - and more. -Trita Parsi, Responsible Statecraft 11/16/20

How Iran is destroying its once thriving environmental movement

Just a few decades ago, Iran boasted the greenest government in the Middle East. An expansive national park network protected species found almost nowhere else in the world. The nation's rivers delivered potable water; air pollution was minimal. But now, the parks are being subsumed by development. The country's waterways are withering away, in no small part because neither conservationists nor campaigners dare voice their concerns about the environment for fear of retribution. -Peter Schwartzstein, National Geographic 11/13/20

Museum Diplomacy Falters in the Face of Iran Sanctions

In 1926, Alexander Upham Pope, an art historian, collector, and dealer who specialized in Iranian art, was contracted by the Iranian government to design the Persian Pavilion at the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia. The centerpiece of the exhibition was a replica of the magnificent Safavid-era mosque Masjid-e Shah from Naqsh-e Jahan square in Isfahan, which sat in what is now the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park and the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia... -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 11/13/20

'Filmfarsi' unearths erased era of Iranian movie history

Filmfarsi is neither film nor Farsi. Discuss. The old Mike Myers bit as "Coffee Talk" host Linda Richman on SNL came to mind while watching "Filmfarsi," Ehsan Khoshbacht's fascinating cinematic essay about a forgotten - or, to be more precise, erased - era in world film history. "Filmfarsi" refers to a series of low-budget popular films made in Iran between the 1953 coup that put the Western-backed Shah of Iran in charge, and the 1979 revolution that swept the theocracy of Ayatollah Khomeini into power. -Rob Thomas, Capital Times 11/13/20

Photos: Attractions of Kish Island in southern Iran

Life on this island has existed for a long time as it was the center of pearl hunting of India and Mesopotamia during the reign of the Achaemenid Empire, and many merchants visited the island at the time. -Nasrin Faegh, ISNA 11/13/20

Iran passes grim milestone of 40,000 deaths from coronavirus

Iran on Thursday passed the grim milestone of 40,000 coronavirus deaths, with the latest 10,000 added in less than a month, as the country struggles to contain its most widespread wave of infection yet. The Iranian health ministry announced 457 new fatalities on Thursday, along with 117,517 new infections, pushing the total case count past 726,000, although officials have warned that's a significant undercount. -AP 11/12/20

Iranian Women Entrepreneurs Recognized for Innovative Activities

Top Iranian women entrepreneurs working in the domains of job creation and creating added value have been recognized in appreciation of their services. -IFP 11/12/20

From Texas to Iran to Nashville: Kimya Raietparvar's journey to Vanderbilt

Kimya Raietparvar has played on both United States and Iranian international teams, which eventually led her to Vanderbilt-where the sophomore is already making an impact. -Sam Curtis and Anita Mukherjee, Vanderbilt Hustler 11/12/20

Kashan: City of Culinary Delights

Kashan is a beautiful town in the central Iranian province of Isfahan with a very long history and numerous natural and ancient tourist attractions, including its culinary. -IFP 11/12/20

As Trump Ignores Election Results and Plans 'Flood' of Sanctions, Biden Signals Possible Shift in US Relations With Iran

While President Donald Trump and his allies in Washington continue to ignore and reject the results of last week's election, President-elect Joe Biden signaled on Tuesday that his administration may shift away from the Trump White House's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran in favor of easing tensions with the Middle Eastern nation's government. -Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams 11/11/20

To Save the Iran Nuclear Deal, Think Bigger

Soon after taking office, President-elect Joe Biden will face the daunting task of restoring the 2015 nuclear deal and getting the United States and Iran back on speaking terms. The outgoing administration of President Donald Trump intends to make that job nearly impossible by spending its last ten weeks in office engineering a "flood" of sanctions to further squeeze Iran. -Trita Parsi, Foreign Affair 11/11/20

Iran to send humanoid robot to space within a year

In order to gain the knowledge of sending living creatures to space, a humanoid robot will be sent to space in the early next [Iranian calendar] year (to start March 21, 2021), before the final stage of sending a human, the head of Iran's Aerospace Research Institute (ARI) said. 11/11/20

The Days Tehran had Opera...: A Tribute to Evlin Baghcheban

The year 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Evlin Baghcheban's death. She played a crucial role to promote opera and choral music in Persia/Iran. Born to an Assyrian-French family in Turkey, she studied singing and piano at the Ankara State Conservatory. In 1950 Evlin married the Persian composer and fellow student Samin Baghcheban and moved to Tehran. -BBC Persian TV 11/10/20

"Sun Children" to represent Iran at Oscars 2021

"Sun Children", directed by Majid Majidi, has been selected to represent Iran in the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards. Spokesman of Iranian Cinema Selection Committee Raed Faridzadeh said that after having reviewed 12 films shortlisted as the country's preliminary nominees for this year's Academy Awards, this committee finally decided to select 'Sun Children' as Iran's representative at the Foreign Language Film section of the 2021 Academy Awards. 11/10/20

Course correction in US-Iranian relations: A road map for the Biden administration

Joe Biden has vowed to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal. In a recent report for Friederich Ebert Stiftung, Ellie Geranmayeh looks at what concrete steps can be taken by the United States, Iran, and Europe to bring all parties to the nuclear deal back into full compliance, noting that time is of the essence. -European Council on Foreign Relations 11/9/20

Iran reports one of lowest fertility rates in 8 years at 1.8

Iran's statistics bureau says number of births in the country fell to nearly 1.2 million in the year ending March 2020. The number of births in Iran fell to one of its lowest in 8 years in year to March 2020 as data provided by the Statistical Center of Iran shows economic problems in the country have dented government efforts to encourage new births. 11/9/20

PAAIA Celebrates Historic Election for Iranian Americans

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization serving the interests of Iranian Americans, congratulates Oklahoma State Senator Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani (D-FL), New York State Senator Anna Kaplan (D-NY) and Phoenix's City Council candidate Yassamin Ansari for their successes in the 2020 election - a truly historic moment for the Iranian American community. 11/5/20

Iran and the US: The Long and Arduous Diplomatic Road

Although a potential Biden presidency has been explicit about how it wishes to engage with Iran, its choices are far from straightforward. -Vali Nasr, RUSI 11/2/20

American Policy Casts a Shadow Over Persepolis

Five years ago, I traveled to Iran to attend a conference in Tehran, The International Congress of Young Archaeologists (ICYA). It was my second time participating in this biannual event, which was and is the most important conference for students and early career researchers specializing in Iranian archaeology. On my first trip in 2013, I was one of only three Americans who made the journey... -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 10/30/20

Iran's National observatory to come on stream by mid-June 2021

The national observatory of Iran, which is being built near the city of Kashan, central Isfahan province, will be put into operation by mid-June next year. "All the components of the telescope and the control systems, except the mirror, are produced domestically," said Sourena Sattari, the vice president for science and technology, IRNA reported on Wednesday. 10/29/20

National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans Reveals Continued Concerns About Discrimination

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization serving the interests of the Iranian American community, today released the findings of its 2020 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans conducted from September 8th to September 20th of this year, which revealed that more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents expressed concerns about discrimination, citing national rhetoric and policies towards immigrants and Muslims and increased tension between the U.S. and Iran as sources for discrimination. 10/27/20

In a gallery far, far away, Florida Tech students' artwork displayed on satellite in space

A Florida Technical College student is showcasing her art among the stars. Nava Pishgar is studying aerospace engineering and is one of three winners of a national competition hosted by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and satellite company Planet. The companies asked for participants to produce a work of art for one of Planet's Dove satellites. The Brevard County native says the design is open for interpretation and features some of the elements of Persian art, a nod to her family's roots and to her beloved aunt who is an artist as well and lives in Iran. -Gabriella Nunez, Click Orlando 10/27/20

There's no limit to what Iranian women can do: Football Player Yasaman Farmani

RCSC Charleroi player Yasaman Farmani says that there is no limit to what the Iranian women football players can accomplish. Farmani joined the Belgian top-flight football club from Iran's Malavan in August. She is the wife of Iran international Ali Gholizadeh. They are the first Iranian couple to play at a European based football team. 10/26/20

Photos: Saffron harvest in Golestan province, Iran

Vamenan village in Golestan, the northeastern province of Iran is one of the hubs for producing the best saffron in Iran. Many farmers are busy with harvesting saffron flowers at this time of the year. -Mahsa Safari, Mehr News Agency 10/26/20

Iran's Civilian Population Would Bear Costs of New Trump Sanctions

In the midst of a global pandemic, the U.S. should be looking at how to ease the flow of medicine and food to civilian populations around the globe. However, elements within the Trump administration are instead reported to be considering a proposal championed by the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and pro-war Senators that would further escalate pain on Iran's civilian population. -Ryan Costello, Medium 10/1/20

Academics Against Sanctions

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) joins dozens of prominent academics in calling on the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to reform overly broad sanctions that hamper academic exchange. The letter comes amid disturbing reports of Iranian students being dropped or deferred by U.S. universities amid new COVID-19 restrictions. -Medium 9/24/20

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last updated on Thu Dec 3 11:38:39 EST 2020