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April 24 2019
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Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey: The Paradox of Moderation


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Total Negligence of the role of the Iranians in Moslem (Islamic) Civilization in Cat Stevens - Yusuf Islam's book, Why I still Carry a Guitar

- As an old 'fan' of Cat Stevens, I do find myself indebted to his songs and music, and as a Moslem emotionally think the same with Yusuf Islam's book Why I still carry a Guitar. From one perspective he is telling Hadith Nafs (my story or my Ego's story) in this book; relieving an ignoramus' suppressed anger, resentment... piled up all these long years, in relation of how Moslems are depicted largely in the West, as some barbarous peoples, Pagans, terrorists and... and... and... Thanking the author again and again, for his hard endeavor to show the other face of Islam. Yet,... -Roya Monajem, Tehran 4/24/19

Iran will not talk with US as long as it keeps lying: President Rouhani

- President Hassan Rouhani says Washington's claims of seeking negotiations with Iran are "mere lies" and that the United States, in fact, intends to force the Iranian nation to its knees. Contrary to what some are trying to promote, "the US does not possess the willingness for negotiations at all," the president told a cabinet session in Tehran on Wednesday. -Press TV 4/24/19

The Path To War With Iran Is Paved With Sanctions

- The Trump administration is laying siege to Iran. Taking pages from the Iraq War playbook, senior officials paint a picture of a rogue, outlaw, terrorist regime bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and whose "malign activities" are the cause of all the chaos in the Middle East. They know what they are doing. They have done it before. They are building a case for war. 4/24/19

The Nuclear Deal Saboteurs Aren't Finished Yet

- CNN reports that Trump may decide to cancel more sanctions waivers, and this time they affect ongoing work to implement provisions of the nuclear deal. The most hard-line opponents of the nuclear deal have been agitating for Trump to do this for months, and they have a natural ally in Bolton, who has never seen an arms control or nonproliferation deal that he didn't want to destroy. The Trump administration had previously been willing to grant these sanctions waivers that allow some nonproliferation work to go ahead at Fordow and Arak -Daniel Larison, American Conservative 4/24/19

Turkey Slams US as Tensions Escalate Over Iranian Sanctions

- U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to end waivers from sanctions for countries importing Iranian oil threatens to further escalate tensions with Turkey. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed Washington's latest move. "We support an international system and multilateralism established through legal rules. The fact that a country alone disrupts this and puts pressure on everyone to comply with its decisions is damaging and jeopardizing the international legal system," Cavusoglu said at a press conference Tuesday. -Dorian Jones, VOA 4/24/19

Prosecutor General's Cyber Division Launches New Online Censorship Center in Iran

- In 2019, Iranian media outlets began reporting on the sudden appearance of branch offices of a "Prosecutor General's Cyber Division Rapid Reaction Center," a new state agency that appears to be tasked with monitoring and censoring online content and activities. The center reportedly has offices in Iranian cities including Mashhad, Ardabil, and Khorramabad, but no state official has publicly explained its existence. -CHRI 4/24/19

25 People Arrested at Mixed-Gender Party in Iran

- Twenty-five women and men were arrested at a private party near the Iranian city of Gorgan, Golestan Province, on April 19, 2019, judicial authorities announced. "They were arrested at a mixed [gender)] party," said Reza Seyed-Hosseini, Gorgan's city prosecutor. "They did not have appropriate [Islamic] clothing and were consuming alcohol." 4/24/19

Here's why China and India will remain defiant amid threat of US sanctions for Iranian oil imports

- China and India are both unlikely to completely cut off Iranian crude imports, energy analysts have said, despite the imminent threat of U.S. sanctions. China is Iran's largest crude oil customer, with total imports last year of approximately 29.3 million tons or about 585,400 bpd, according to customs data sourced by Reuters. That's roughly 6% of China's total oil imports. -Sam Meredith, CNBC 4/24/19

Iran accuses US of 'Nazism' and 'economic terrorism' as sanctions tighten

- Decrying what they described as "Nazism" and "economic terrorism," Iranian authorities on Tuesday vowed to persevere in the face of Washington's surprise decision Monday to harden punishments against countries purchasing the country's oil. But with its economy already in tatters as a result of sanctions, mismanagement, and natural disasters, Iran's ability to rally international supporters and weather the fresh pressure remains in doubt. -Borzou Daragahi, Independent 4/24/19

Tehran Municipality negotiating to restore Taq Kasra in Iraq

- Tehran Municipality is in talks with Baghdad's urban planners and authorities to restore a number of aging monuments in Iraq including Taq Kasra, which is an architecturally-important Sasanian-era Persian monument. Taq Kasra, also called Ivan Madaen or the Archway of Ctesiphon, are names given to the remains of a circa 3rd-6th-century Sasanian-era Persian monument, which is located near the modern town of Salman Pak, a city located approximately 15 miles south of Baghdad. 4/23/19

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Detained Iranian Defense Attorney to Be Tried on Four Charges for Peaceful Activities - Detained defense attorney Amirsalar Davoudi is facing four charges for running a Telegram app channel for lawyers in Iran and giving interviews to foreign news organizations, attorney Vahid Farahani told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on April 16, 2019. Two of the charges brought by Branch 1 of the court of Evin Prison are "propaganda against the state" and "insulting officials." -CHRI 4/23/19

Tributes to Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, giant of contemporary Iranian art - Curators and artists, including Shirin Neshat, remember the artist who called her geometric mirror works "signs of light and life" 4/23/19

U.S. Ends Oil Sanctions Waivers For Iran - According to Iran watcher Adnan Tabatabai, Washington's Iran policy is "feel-good rather than strategy-driven." It's all about messaging, he added, and no one in the Trump administration is asking "and then what?" Sanctions are the only tool this administration seems to be capable of working with, based on the erroneous assumption that this approach alone will incentivize Iran to enter talks. -Aveek Sen, LobeLog 4/23/19

What Venezuela's Destruction Teaches Iran - Analysts, including commentators sympathetic to Chavismo, are understandably offering a mix of explanations for Venezuela's tragic and worsening predicament this year. With a debate as urgent as this, it is tempting to contrast the US success in crushing the Latin American nation with the resilience of a more irritating oil-rich adversary, Iran. -Rostam Pourzal, 4/23/19

Georgia Denies Thousands of Iranians Entry Visas - The Interior Ministry of Georgia says it has denied 6,400 foreigners, half of them Iranians, entry visa in the first quarter of 2019. Based on the ministry's report, 3000 Iranians were denied entry visa from January to April. Georgian Statistics Center report says that more than 290,000 Iranians visited the country last year as tourists, which accounts for 4% of foreigners traveling to the country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. -Radio Farda 4/23/19

China buys a lot of Iranian oil, and it's not happy at all with US sanctions - Beijing on Monday slammed the Trump administration's announcement that it would stop exempting several countries from its sanctions on buying oil from Iran. China is one of the world's biggest importers of Iranian oil, along with India. "China opposes the unilateral sanctions and so-called 'long-arm jurisdictions' imposed by the US," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said during a press briefing Monday. "Our cooperation with Iran is open, transparent, lawful and legitimate, thus it should be respected," he added. -CNN 4/23/19

'A whole new phase of confrontation': New Revolutionary Guards head shows Iran readying for conflict - Tehran's appointment of a hardline new commander of its Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) could signal that Iran is preparing for conflict with the US, former Pentagon analyst Michael Maloof has told RT. -RT 4/23/19

Distinguished Iranian Artist Monir Farmanfarmaian Passes Away - Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian has passed away at the age of 97, according to ISNA news agency. A versatile artist Monir participated in the Iran Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1958, 1964, and 1966. She also had solo exhibitions in New York and Paris during her distinguished​ career. -Radio Farda 4/22/19

Iran Celebrates National Day Of Poet Sadi - Persian literature aficionados and literati from across Iran came together at the mausoleum of Persian poet Sadi in Shiraz on Sunday to celebrate Sadi National Day. Sheikh Muslih od-Din Sadi Shirazi (Born 1184 CE, Died 1283/1291 CE) was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but he has also been quoted in western sources. 4/22/19

Locusts Hit Iran's Southern Provinces - Iranian Plant Protection Organization (IPPO) warned on Thursday, April 18, that if the necessary budget for fighting desert locusts is not provided within two weeks, nothing could be done, and a locust breakout turns into a new crisis, alongside the flash floods. -Radio Farda 4/22/19

Iranian Actress Maryam Moghaddam Asks Minister Why She Was Pulled from Film Set Based on "Order from Above" - "Mr. Minister! This is the state of the film industry you are in charge of: I was pulled from a film project on the first night of shooting based on 'an order from above' and warned that if I complained, I would face bigger problems; I would be reprimanded and arrested," she wrote in the letter published by the Persian-language "Cinema Cinema" magazine on April 14, 2019. -CHRI 4/22/19

Iran, Pakistan to form joint anti-terror force: Rouhani - Iran and Pakistan have agreed to form a joint force to eliminate terrorist groups as Prime Minister Imran Khan began his first visit to Tehran with a pledge not to join any coalition against the Islamic Republic. -Press TV 4/22/19

Iran oil: US to end sanctions exemptions for major importers - US President Donald Trump has decided to end exemptions from sanctions for countries still buying oil from Iran. The White House said waivers for China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey would expire in May, after which they could face US sanctions themselves. -BBC 4/22/19

Britney Spears & Sam Asghari Still Going Strong, Talking During Treatment in Mental Health Facility - Fans have questioned whether Spears and Asghari were still together ever since Brit took a 3-month break from social media this year. She also pulled back on sharing her relationship with the actor, and fans began to think they had split. We're told that despite the social media absence, the two are still very much dating. -Blast 4/22/19

A Mystery Agent Is Doxing Iran's Hackers and Dumping Their Code - NEARLY THREE YEARS after the mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers began disemboweling the NSA's hackers and leaking their hacking tools onto the open web, Iran's hackers are getting their own taste of that unnerving experience. -Andy Greenberg, Wired 4/22/19

Benefit Concert In Sunnyvale, California for Iran's Flood Victims - A unique and entertaining benefit concert featuring local artists. Proceeds from this concert will support the victims of the recent floods in Iran. The program will include performances by Naser Sheikhzadehgan, Amir Nojan, Amir Abbas Etemadi, Narges Jajarmi, Safi Rouhi and other local musicians. We are also excited to present to you vocal music by Shiraz Arts Academy Choir conducted by Amin Assadi. 4/20/19

Iranian sculptor Masoud Akhavanjam presents two new sculptures in the Giardini Marinaressa alongside 2019 Venice Biennale - Iranian sculptor Masoud Akhavanjam will exhibit two large scale, stainless steel sculptures, as part of the GAA Foundation's PERSONAL STRUCTURES - open borders exhibition, in the context of the 2019 Venice Biennale. The sculptures, Dilemma of Man and Metamorphosis will be exhibited publicly in Venice's waterfront park, Giardini Marinaressa from 5 May to 29 November 2019. Akhavanjam's industrial yet delicate forms draw on philosophy, contemporary socio-political issues and Persian mythology, so that within each work a didactic tale is contained. Both works contain three visible figures, melded seemingly effortlessly into each other. 4/20/19

Iranians Push Back as Officials Threaten to Block Instagram in Retaliation for Banned IRGC Accounts - Some Iranian officials have responded to Instagram's decision to remove accounts it has associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by pushing for a nationwide ban on the popular social media app. Many Iranians have responded by calling not only for Instagram to remain unblocked but also for the government to rescind bans on other widely used apps. -CHRI 4/19/19

NIAC Update on Flash Flooding in Iran - We also are supporting key organizations--which have proof of OFAC licensing--to encourage donations to relief efforts, including Moms Against Poverty, Children of Persia, and Child Foundation. Currently, these fundraisers are the best way for members of the Iranian diaspora to make a contribution to help those who need humanitarian aid in Iran. -NIAC 4/19/19

12 Conservationists Detained Without Counsel in Iran's Kurdistan Province - Twelve of the 20 environmental conservationists arrested in Iran's Kurdistan Province in January and February 2019 remain in detention centers run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence in the city of Sanandaj, the provincial capital, without access to legal counsel. 4/19/19

MPs Protest Iraqi Militia Commander's Presence in Iranian Crisis Management Meeting - Two members of the Majlis (Iranian parliament) have bitterly protested the deployment of Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraq's Popular Mobilization Force or PMF) in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, southwest of the country. Foreign military forces may enter Iran only if the government or parliament issue an entry visa for them, the MPs have argued. 4/19/19

No Visa Charge for Iranian Visitors To Iraqi Kurdistan, Says Official - Iranian official news agency IRNA on Friday April 19 quoted the Iranian Consulate General in Sulaymaniyah as having announced that the "Iraqi Kurdistan Region has underlined its commitment to Baghdad decision to lift charges on visa for Iranian nationals." 4/19/19

Intel minister: Iran identified 290 CIA spies, made arrests - Iran has identified 290 CIA agents across different countries, forcing the US to form a special committee to reassess its cloak-and-dagger operations, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi says. "CIA operatives in those countries were identified and arrested and the contacts of the US intelligence agency with its sources were disrupted in such a way that a committee to assess the failure was set up in America," Alavi said during Friday prayers in Tehran. -Press TV 4/19/19

Iran sets up trade vehicle with Turkey as Saudi, UAE send flood aid - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said relations with Turkey are the best they've been in decades, while Rouhani struck a conciliatory tone amid Saudi and Emirati flood aid. -Al Monitor 4/19/19

President Rouhani: Floods in Iran proved 'worst historic test' for U.S. - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the recent devastating floods in Iran have proven the "worst historic test" for the Trump administration. "The U.S. regime's rulers have revealed their nature. If they were wise, they would announce suspension of sanctions because of the flood incident. In that case, the Iranian people may have believed that they [the U.S. officials] are not against them (people) when 25 provinces of the country were hit by flood," Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting. 4/18/19

University Of Tehran Conference To Discuss Role Of Technology In Natural Disasters Relief - The University of Tehran's science and technology park will host a conference on the role of technology in natural disasters relief on May 1, ISNA reported. The establishment of relief startup network, the role of science and technology parks and universities in natural disaster will be discussed during the conference and some new emerging technologies will be introduced during the event. 4/18/19

The Iran Floods and US Sanctions: 10 Million at Risk, But Who Cares? - You have certainly not heard much about this in the West. And it didn't get a fraction of the media attention (and none of the hundreds of millions of Euro pledges by the perversely rich) that the Notre Dame fire did. However, if disastrous floods had hit 28 out of 31 provinces and affected 10 million people in some European country or in the US, I believe you would have heard about it from Day One. -Jan Oberg, CounterPunch 4/18/19

Tehran's Amirkabir University to host 11th aerospace competition - The 11th national aerospace competition will be held on May 2 and 3 at the Amirkabir University of Technology. The competition will be held in five leagues including avionics simulators, drone speeding, hovercraft, glider and water rocket. 4/18/19

Instant Ban For Iran's IRGC On Instagram: Social-Media Giant Blocks Commanders' Sites - With some 800,000 followers, the Instagram page of the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force was among the most popular pages of Iranian officials on the photo-sharing website. The Instagram comments, public appearances, travels, and promotional posters of Qassem Soleimani -- who as head of Quds commands the vaunted Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) outside of Iran -- were shared on the Instagram page, which is one of the only major social-media sites that has not been blocked by Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 4/18/19

Exclusive: Dispute flares among U.S. officials over Trump administration Iran arms control report - sources - A new Trump administration report on international compliance with arms control accords provoked a dispute with U.S. intelligence agencies and some State Department officials concerned that the document politicizes and slants assessments about Iran, five sources with knowledge of the matter said. -Reuters 4/18/19

Pompeo is "Setting the Stage for a War with Iran" - "Iran is not a sponsor of terrorism," Colonel Larry Wilkerson told The Real News Network's Greg Wilpert. "So to say that Iran sponsors terrorism of any sort, let alone Al Qaeda, is just preposterous. The greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the region and indeed in the world is Saudi Arabia--our ally." -Real News Network 4/18/19

Shiite Mystic Released from Prison in Iran After Serving Nine Years, Case Status Unclear - An appeals court in Iran ordered the official release of Shiite mystic Mohammad Ali Taheri from Tehran's Evin Prison on April 17, 2019, nine years after he was imprisoned, his lawyer told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). -CHRI 4/18/19

Iran to host World Health Summit regional meeting in Kish Island - Iran will host The World Health Summit (WHS), one of the world's most prominent forums for addressing global health issues, announced the Iranian deputy health minister for research and technology. The World Health Summit Regional Meeting 2019 is organized by Tehran University of Medical Sciences and will be held in Persian Gulf's Kish Island on April 29-30, IRIB quoted Reza Malekzadeh as saying. 4/17/19

Iranian Hijab Protester Vida Movahedi Remains Detained Despite Eligibility for Release - Vida Movahedi, the woman whose public display of peaceful protest against Iran's compulsory hijab law was captured in a viral photo, remains detained in Gharchak Prison for women south of Tehran despite being eligible for release. On April 14, 2019, her attorney, Payam Derafshan, told the state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that Branch 1091 of the Guidance Court in Tehran on March 2, 2019, had sentenced Movahedi to a year in prison for that action under the charge of "encouraging people to corruption and prostitution." -CHRI 4/17/19

Iran's Parliament Votes to Allow Blind Candidates to Run for Seats - After years of advocacy efforts by defenders of the rights of people with disabilities in Iran, the country's Parliament has voted to pass an amendment that, if approved by the Guardian Council, would allow blind people to run for Parliament. Mohammad Javad Kolivand, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Councils and Domestic Affairs, announced the news in an interview with the Iran Sepid daily on April 10, 2019. -CHRI 4/17/19

Trump's Embrace Of Netanyahu Will Haunt Middle East For Years - U.S.-controlled "peace processes" have failed in Israel-Palestine for more than a quarter of a century, but Trump's actions will prevent the U.S. from playing any potentially benign diplomatic role in the near future. And they'll significantly raise the threat of a U.S. war with Iran for a long time to come. -Phyllis Bennis, LobeLog 4/17/19

Sadaf Khadem: Iranian female boxer halts return over arrest fears - An Iranian who became the first woman from her country to contest an official boxing match says she has cancelled her return home from France after hearing a warrant had been issued for her arrest. Sadaf Khadem beat the French boxer Anne Chauvin in an amateur bout on Saturday. She had planned to fly to Tehran with her French-Iranian trainer this week. -BBC 4/17/19

Iraqis To The Rescue? Iranians Wary Of Paramilitary Forces Sent For 'Flood Relief' Efforts - Many Iranians are upset by the presence of Iraqi paramilitary forces sent to help with flood relief efforts as they try to cope with a natural disaster called the worst to hit Iran in more than 15 years. - Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 4/17/19

Iran parliament brands US troops in Middle East as terrorist - Iran's parliament has overwhelmingly approved a bill labelling US forces in the Middle East as terrorist, a day after Washington's terrorism label for Iran's Revolutionary Guard formally took effect. The defence minister, Gen Amir Hatami, introduced the bill on Tuesday authorising the government to act firmly in response to "terrorist actions" by US forces. -AP 4/17/19

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, A World Heritage Site, Unaffected By Flooding - Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a UNESCO-registered ensemble in southwest Iran which is known as a 'masterpiece of creative genius', has not been affected by flash floods and heavy rainfall that stroke almost all of the country in the past weeks. The ensemble comprises bridges, weirs, tunnels, canals and a series of ancient watermills powered by human-made waterfalls. It is named after an ancient city of the same name with its history dating back to the time of Darius the Great, the Achaemenid king. 4/16/19

Star Streets: Tehran to name places after contemporary artists - Tehran City Council wants to name the Iranian capital's streets after the contemporary artists who have won the hearts and minds of their nation. The city councilors approved a proposal on Tuesday to name a street in the western Shahark-e Gharb neighbourhood, home to well-off residents, after Iran's critically-acclaimed classical singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian in a bid to pay tribute to this living internationally-famous singer. 4/16/19

Second Iranian Councilman Persecuted for Speaking up for Baha'i Rights - A member of the Isfahan City Council, Mehdi Moghaddari, has been suspended from his seat for six months in part for supporting a fellow councilman who had sought the release of detained followers of the Baha'i faith and was consequently detained himself. -CHRI 4/16/19

The Corruption Of The Terrorist Group List - The Trump administration is running out of ways to demonstrate its hostility toward Iran. As it strives to contrive new ways, it compromises and undermines other U.S. interests and objectives. The latest move (designation of IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization) undermines the objective of counterterrorism by placing, for the first time ever, a governmental entity on a list that never was designed for that purpose. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 4/16/19

Why Iranian authorities failed to minimize flood damage - While the extent of the recent floods in Iran would have been difficult to manage for most countries in the world, the impact of mismanagement on the part of the Iranian authorities has been so extreme that the disaster has been referred to as "man-made." -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor 4/16/19

The Trump Administration's Terrorist Label Is Strengthening the IRGC - The recent White House designation of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist group is the latest extension of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" policy toward Iran. Yet this policy, aimed at containing Iran's regional role and limiting its advanced missile program, has backfired, strengthening the status of the IRGC in Iranian domestic politics and further legitimizing its regional and missile activities in the view of many Iranians. -Kayhan Barzegar, Atlantic Council 4/16/19

37th Fajr Film Festival unveils lineup for international competition - The 2019 Fajr International Film Festival has announced the lineup for International Competition (Cinema Salvation) section. The event, known as Iran's most anticipated international cinematic event, includes 109 titles from 75 countries in its screening program. Of which, 30 foreign and Iranian feature and short films are vying for the top prize. The program includes 24 foreign and 6 Iranian titles. -MNA 4/15/19

Iran floods: Two million people in need of humanitarian aid - An estimated 2 million people - one in every 40 people in Iran - need humanitarian assistance as a result of the massive floods that have swept across the country. Heavy rains and flash floods have affected more than 2,000 cities and towns across almost all of Iran's 31 provinces, according to the Iranian Red Crescent. -IFRC 4/15/19

University of Tehran's 6th Startup Weekend: Sustainable Tourism - The 6th Startup Weekend, which has adopted "Sustainable Tourism" as its focal theme, is to be hosted by the Faculty of Entrepreneurship of the University of Tehran. Organizers of the event aim to put into practice and develop ideas evolved by participants while [they are set to] teach basic concepts of entrepreneurship together with running practical workshops and promoting the spirit of team working, IRNA reported. -Tehran Times 4/15/19

Iranian FM's reminder to E3: No prohibition on enrichment under JCPOA - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reminded the Europeans that a 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, does not prohibit the country from enriching uranium. Zarif's reprimand in a Monday tweet came after French Ambassador to the US Gerard Araud said Tehran should not need to be "massively enriching uranium after the JCPOA." -Press TV 4/15/19

Undercover: female football fans in Iran - For nearly 40 years, Iranian women have been banned from watching stadium football matches. The photographer Forough Alaei, a World Press Photo winner in the sports category for her Crying for Freedom series, describes following the story of Zeinab, one of the first women to disguise herself as a man to watch matches -Forough Alaei, Guardian 4/15/19

Iran leader approves tapping sovereign fund for flood relief - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved drawing up to $2 billion from the country's sovereign wealth fund for relief and reconstruction after devastating floods, state media reported on Monday. -Reuters 4/15/19

5 provinces in Iran remain under flood warning as death toll reaches 76 - Iranian officials are warning that even though floodwaters have been receding in most parts of the country, several provinces remain under a flood warning due to renewed heavy precipitation. Also on Sunday, the country's Forensic Medicine Organization increased the death toll from the ongoing floods to 76. Most recently, the organization said, flooding claimed the lives of five people in Khuzestan Province and left a sixth person dead in the western Province of Ilam. 4/14/19

Iranians Donate 31 Million Dollars To The Flood Victims - Iranians have so far donated some 1.3 trillion rials (nearly $31 million) in both cash and kind to the flood victims, Iranian Red Crescent Society Chief Ali Asghar Peyvandi said on Saturday. Floods hitting Iran since March 19 have been highly devastating especially in provinces of Golestan, Mazandaran, Lorestan and Khuzestan, Peyvandi said, Fars news agency reported. He went on to say that the only region not struck with flood was Kish Island and all other 31 provinces were hit by flood to some extent. 4/14/19

Repeal Trump's Anti-Immigrant Bans - Two years of the Trump presidency have wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people and their loved ones, both inside and outside the country. Now is our chance to put an end to President Trump's Muslim, refugee, and asylum bans. Congress has just introduced the NO BAN Act, which would not only repeal these bans, but would help prevent the government from enacting discriminatory bans in the future. -ACLU 4/14/19

The IAEA doesn't have inspection superpowers in Iran - The International Atomic Energy Agency must retain its neutrality and credibility when investigating Iran's nuclear-related activities, writes Mark Fitzpatrick. It can do this by honouring safeguards rules and corroborating information provided by third parties. -Mark Fitzpatrick, IISS 4/14/19

350 volunteer groups offering services in flood-affected areas of Iran - More than 350 volunteer groups of people are providing services to the provinces haunted by flood across the country, deputy director for social affairs organization affiliated to the Ministry of Interior has said. Many NGOs and volunteer organizations made great efforts to help flood victims in Mazandaran, Golestan and Lorestan provinces, IRNA quoted Kamal Akbari as saying on Wednesday. -Tehran Times 4/12/19

Team Trump's Iran War Rationales Are Nonsense - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed the Trump administration's campaign for regime change and possible war with Iran during a Senate hearing on Wednesday by continuing to promote a dubious link between Iran and al-Qaeda. In turn, he refused to rule out whether the 2001 congressional authorization for war in Afghanistan could be used to justify war with Iran. -Ben Armbruster, LobeLog 4/12/19

Iran to retaliate any US move against IRGC in Persian Gulf: Envoy - Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's envoy to the United Kingdom, has warned the United States that Tehran will "forcefully retaliate" any moves by the US military against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which was designated as a terrorist organization by US President Donald Trump earlier this week. 4/12/19

The Iran Hawks' Creepy Embrace of the MEK - It is rather incredible that so many former government officials and retired officers have embraced a totalitarian cult as the "alternative" to another country's government, but it has been going on for the better part of a decade now. All of the MEK's American boosters have proven that they have such extraordinary bad judgment that they should have no business talking about Iran policy, and their continued advocacy on behalf of this awful organization is proof of how easily corrupted our foreign policy debates are. -Daniel Larison, American Conservative 4/12/19

Iranian University Student to be Flogged, Imprisoned for Insulting Supreme Leader - Iranian university student Mojtaba Dadashi, 23, has been sentenced to three years in prison and 74 lashes for sharing a video on social media criticizing the Islamic Republic as "un-Islamic," the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI 4/12/19

Trump's Iran terrorist designation is designed to lock in endless enmity - Branding the Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists serves Israel and Saudi Arabia's interests but makes an Obama-style rapprochement by a future president more difficult -Trita Parsi, Guardian 4/12/19

Iran Orders Evacuations In Flood-Hit City Of Ahvaz - Iranian authorities have ordered residents of five districts of the southwestern city of Ahvaz to evacuate, as floodwaters entered Khuzestan Province's capital, local media report. Provincial Governor Gholamreza Shariati said on April 10 that the evacuation order was a "precautionary and preventive move to avert any danger," according to the semiofficial Tasnim news agency. 4/11/19

110,000 housing units destroyed in 3 flood-affected provinces of Iran - Recent severe flooding damaged 110,000 houses in provinces of Lorestan, Golestan and Mazandaran, ISNA reported on Wednesday. Following heavy rainfalls in the country particularly in provinces of Golestan, Mazandaran, Lorestan, and Khuzestan as well as other provinces in western, southwestern, and northeastern Iran severe flood struck many cities and villages. 4/11/19

Four Iranian Labor Affairs Reporters Remain Detained Three Months After Arrests - Four staff members of Gam news, an independent Persian-language news channel on the Telegram messaging app, remain in detention three months after being arrested in connection with the channel's coverage of workers' rights protests in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan. 4/11/19

Leonardo DiCaprio Again Appeals For Release Of Iranian Ecologists - Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has once again defended eight Iranian environmentalists who have been in detention for more than a year, charged with vague accusations. Last February, DiCaprio called for international support and circulated a petition for the release of the Iranian environmentalists who were arrested by the intelligence organization of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC. -Radio Farda 4/11/19

WHO airlifts medical supplies for flood response in Iran - The World Health Organization (WHO) today airlifted essential medical supplies to the Islamic Republic of Iran to respond to the growing health needs of thousands of people who have been displaced as a result of heavy flooding in many provinces in the country. The supplies include trauma, health, cholera and non-communicable disease kits and other commodities requested by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. 4/11/19

Mud left behind after flooding increases risks of SDSs in Iran's Khuzestan province - Ali Moridi, head of soil and water office at the Department of Environment (DOE), warned that the recent flood hitting the southwestern province of Khuzestan carried huge sediment loads which could turn into new sand and dust storm (SDS) hotspots after being dried. 4/10/19

The Growing Obsession With Linking Iran to Terrorism - Iran has not posed a serious terror threat to the United States since the 1980s. Sunni terrorism, on the other hand, has. -Jefferson Morley, New Republic 4/10/19

Iranians Travel Less As U.S. Dollar Rose Fourfold In One Year - The representative of a travel trade association in Iran says that because of the fall in the value of the Iranian currency, travel abroad declined 45 percent during Norooz holidays last month. The official government IRNA news agency quoted Hormatollah Rafiei as saying that both ground and air travel declined as the U.S. dollar rose against the Iranian currency. 4/10/19

Just Released From Prison, Iranian Civil Rights Activist Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi Faces More Time Behind Bars - Newly released from prison, civil rights activist Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi may have to serve more time behind bars depending on the outcome of another case against her, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI 4/10/19

Demonizing And Dehumanizing Iran - Iran's mistakes, however, do not excuse the heartlessness of the Trump administration's policy of doing all it can to prevent aid to Iran's flood victims. The American sanctions policy regarding Iran is like a medieval siege aimed at starving the enemy by exhausting its food resources until it surrenders. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog 4/10/19

Tell Your Member of Congress to Repeal the Muslim Ban! - It's been more than two years since Trump announced his unjust and discriminatory Muslim Ban as one of his first acts as President of the United States. Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Judy Chu have introduced legislation to end that ban once and for all by defunding it in Congress. -NIC 4/10/19

Trump Is Begging for a Fight With Iran - President Donald Trump's designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps as a "foreign terrorist organization" is likely to spark more violence in the region--and may be intended to do so. -Fred Kaplan, Slate 4/10/19

Half dozen countries help Iran flood survivors as UN sets up channel for cash donation - Three intense weeks have past since Iran has been hard hit by flash floods that have taken the lives of dozens of people and left a huge trail of destruction behind. International aid supplies have been sent from several countries but no cash donation has been received due to the US sanctions. 4/9/19

Flood destroys 77 schools in Iran - At least a total number of 77 schools were destroyed due to devastating floods in various provinces across Iran, a non-governmental organization said on Monday. Out of the 77 destroyed schools, 55 were in Lorestan Province in central west of Iran and 22 were in Golestan north of the country, according to Mehr Giti that has conducted an assessment in affected regions in Iran. 4/9/19

IRGC Designation: More From The War-With-Iran Playbook - The decision by the Trump administration to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization marks another dangerous step in the relentless campaign Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton are waging to provoke a U.S.-Iranian military conflict and topple the regime in Tehran. -Daniel R. DePetris and Richard Sokolsky, LobeLog 4/9/19

'Inhuman' Trump sanctions preventing aid money getting to victims of deadly floods in Iran, campaigners say - US sanctions are preventing aid from reaching Iran after flash flooding claimed at least 70 lives and left 86,000 people homeless, according to the Red Crescent Society. The humanitarian organisation said it was unable to obtain foreign financial assistance for the victims of the disaster as a result of the "inhuman" measures reintroduced by Donald Trump last year. -Peter Stubley, Independent 4/8/19

1,000 Years of Literary Tradition in Rare Persian-Language Manuscripts Now Online at Library of Congress - In celebration of the Persian New Year, also known as Norooz, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online for the first time the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection, which sheds light on scientific, religious, philosophical and literary topics that are highly valued in the Persian speaking lands. 4/4/19

Maximum Pressure On Iran Still Isn't Working - Almost a year after President Trump reneged on U.S. commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, there is not the slightest sign that this move is achieving the declared objective of Iran crawling back to the negotiating table to negotiate a "better deal." -Paul R. Pillar 4/2/19

Hawks Clamoring To Attack Iran - As Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman clamor for a war against Iran, they seem to have conveniently forgotten the destruction and mayhem wrought by the American invasion of Iraq 16 years ago. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 03/29/19

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema: April 27 - May 11 - The Archive continues its long tradition of celebrating the best cinema from Iran and the Iranian diaspora with the latest edition of its annual survey of works by Iranian filmmakers, past and present. This year, the program illuminates the latest cinematic trends with several comedies and outright satires appearing in the lineup alongside gripping dramas and documentaries that explore the complex realities of Iran's contemporary moment and the difficult history that shaped it. 03/29/19

PHOTOS: Colorful and Festive Norooz Celebration in Kurdish Village of Niar - The arrival of spring coincides with the beginning of the Persian New Year Norooz. This is a festive occasion for Iranians and many other countries in the region. People in different parts of Iran celebrate Norooz with their local customs and traditions. Some of the most joyful and colorful celebrations are held in villages of Kurdestan province in western Iran. These photos show Norooz celebration in the village of Niar. -Seyed Mosleh Pirkhezranian 03/24/19

PHOTOS: Authentic Iranian Architecture And Culture In Kashan - Only three hours from the capital Tehran, the central city of Kashan in Isfahan province can definitely be deemed as a marvelous get-away for many urbanites who yearn for the authenticity of traditional Iranian culture and architecture. Travelers to Kashan can visit numerous historical houses from the 18th and 19th centuries that illustrate the finest examples of architecture from the Qajar era. -Behnam Yousefi, MNA 03/24/19

Iran: Harsh Sentence for Rights Lawyer Threatens Activism - The prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh's draconian sentence for her peaceful activism shows the threat posed by Iran's revolutionary courts to human rights work, the Center for Human Rights in Iran and Human Rights Watch said today. Iran should immediately and unconditionally release Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders who are unjustly spending Nowruz, the Persian New Year, behind bars. -CHRI 03/21/19

Russia dethrones Iran, takes the crown at Men's Freestyle World Cup - Iran fell short in the final match of the 2019 United World Wrestling (UWW) Freestyle World Cup, losing to hosts Russia 9-1 at the Yakutsk's Triumph Sports Training Center. The Russian Federation claimed their seventh overall Freestyle World Cup title and first gold since their title-winning performance at the 2011 Makhachkala World Cup. 03/17/19

PHOTOS: Norooz Khani Persian New Year Ritual In Kordkouy, Northern Iran - Persian New Year Norooz is around the corner. This is a festive occasion for Iranians and many other countries in the region. There are many local cheerful customs associated with Norooz. One such custom is called "Norooz Khani" which is performed in some of the villages and towns. -Marjohn Sheikhi 03/15/19

Iranian Lawyers Join Global Backlash to Iran's Sentencing of Rights Defender - A group of Iranian lawyers has added its voice to international criticism of Tehran for sentencing a female colleague to additional years in prison in relation to her work in defending Iranian rights activists. In an open letter to the Iranian people dated Tuesday and sent by one of the authors to VOA Persian, the group of 16 lawyers said the multiyear sentencing of lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, announced by Iranian state media Monday, violates the Iranian constitution's commitments to human rights and fair trials. -Michael Lipin, VOA 03/13/19

50+ Retired Generals and Diplomats Urge the United States to Reenter Iran Deal - The United States should rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. The 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), put limitations on Iran's nuclear program that provided assurances that it would not be used to develop weapons, improved American intelligence about potential future development and significantly improved the security of the United States and our allies. -National Interest 03/12/19

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last updated on Wed Apr 24 12:29:30 EDT 2019