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April 22 2019
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The Wine of Wisdom : The Life, Work, and Legacy of Omar Khayyam


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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

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

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

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

Featured Video

Iran floods - The largest disaster to hit Iran in more than 15 years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iran's oil exports hit new 2019 low so far in April: sources - Iran's crude oil exports have dropped in April to their lowest daily level this year, tanker data showed and industry sources said, suggesting buyers are curbing purchases before Washington clamps down further on Iranian shipments as expected next month. -Reuters 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

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

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

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

Trump wants to drive Iran's crude exports to zero. The oil market is not cooperating - President Donald Trump faces a deadline in a few weeks to extend waivers allowing several countries to continue importing Iranian oil. The Trump administration's goal is to drive Iran's oil shipments to zero through tough sanctions. Oil market supply is getting tighter, making it harder for Trump to choke off Iran's shipments without sending crude prices higher. -Tom DiChristopher, CNBC 4/11/19

Rand Paul to Pompeo: You do not have 'permission' for war with Iran - Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday warned the Trump administration not to go to war with Iran, at least not without getting permission from Congress. The libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican spoke directly to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. -Politico 4/11/19

Iranian oil exports recover close to pre-sanction levels: S&P Global Platts - Iranian exports of crude oil and condensate have surged to levels near before sanctions, surprising market observers and affording the country an important victory in a US "economic war" on Tehran. Iran exported 1.70 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in March, the highest since October when shipments fell to 1.08 million bpd, data from shipping sources compiled by S&P Global Platts showed. -Press TV 4/10/19

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

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

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

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

Iran: US, Israel irked by IRGC victories, capability - Iran says Washington's designation of its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a "foreign terrorist organization" runs counter to international norms, and stems from the US and the Israeli regime's anger over the elite military force's power and success in foiling their plots in the region. -Press TV 4/9/19

Why Iran is a hub for sex-reassignment surgery - Attitudes towards sexuality can be rigid in Iran. A conservative former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, once declared that the country didn't have any gay people. So it seems an unlikely hub for sex-reassignment surgery. But the procedure has been permitted since the mid-1980s, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini met a trans woman called Maryam Khatoon Molkar... -Economist 4/9/19

Trump Had No Problem with Iran's Revolutionary Guard When He Was Doing Business with Its Associates - According to an exhaustive report, the group the president just labeled a terrorist organization reportedly had financial ties to the Trump family business. -Bess Levin, Vanity Fair 4/9/19

Iran, Iraq forge ahead with collaboration amid US pressure - Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi visited Tehran April 6-7, his first official visit to the neighboring country since assuming office in October 2018. Accompanied by a large delegation of high-ranking Iraqi officials and representatives of the private sector, Abdul Mahdi came to Tehran at the formal invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. -Hamidreza Azizi, Al-Monitor 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

Female Activist in "Very Poor" Health after Nine Months and Counting of Solitary Confinement in Iran - Political activist Hengameh Shahidi is in poor health after a nine-month stint in solitary confinement, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has been informed. Arrested on June 26, 2018, Shahidi has since been held in isolation in Ward 241 under the control of the judiciary's Security and Intelligence Center in Tehran's Evin Prison. -CHRI 4/8/19

Silicon Valley Preaches Diversity and Inclusion While Excluding Iranians - In Silicon Valley, companies like Apple promote their idealistic visions of diversity and inclusion through slogans such as, "The best way the world works is everybody in. Nobody out." They hold on to these slogans while consciously keeping an entire population of a country outside of their platforms, despite regulatory assurances that can allow them to fulfilltheir visions of "inclusion." -Mahsa Alimardani & Roya Pakzad, Atlantic Council 4/8/19

Iranian press review: Beauty boom busts US sanctions - Iran's cosmetic products market was valued $2.7 billion in 2018, with over half of the products being smuggled into the country, according to ISNA news agency. With a population of 81 million, Iran has the second highest consumption rate of cosmetic products in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia - a ranking unaffected by the US sanctions and a severe economic crisis. -Middle East Eye 4/5/19

The Story Of Esther And Netanyahu's Attack On Iranian History - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently declared that he believes it is "possible" that President Trump was sent by God to protect the Jewish people from Iranians. Aside from the preposterous notion that President Trump enjoys divine support, Pompeo's remarks distort the story of Esther and demonize the Iranian people and their history. Nor is Pompeo's framing of this Biblical story new. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long twisted the Old Testament's book of Esther to advance a hawkish agenda on Iran. -Sina Toossi, LobeLog 4/5/19

"Iran is under water": IFRC announces support as flood crisis worsens - As the flooding emergency in Iran worsens, the world's largest humanitarian network has released just under 500,000 Swiss francs to bolster local Red Crescent relief efforts. The funds released from IFRC's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) will be used to provide 3,000 families that have lost homes and livelihoods with unconditional cash grants. 4/4/19

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

The immorality of America's silence towards Iran - On March 21, Iran faced its most devastating natural disaster since an earthquake that killed more than 500 people in November 2017. Flash floods caused by torrential downpours and overflowing rivers throughout the country have killed at least 24 people and left hundreds injured... Yet, reminiscent of the United States' response to the 2017 earthquake, in America we hear nothing of this humanitarian and natural catastrophe falling upon the Iranian people. -Kaveh Badrei, Daily Princetonian 4/4/19

US, Iran and EU Must All Take Steps to Ensure International Aid Reaches Iran Floods Victims - The US and EU should immediately take steps to ensure that Iran receives humanitarian aid to assist disaster relief efforts in the wake of devastating floods that have killed dozens and caused millions of dollars of damage to homes and infrastructure, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. 4/4/19

Tell Congress: Support the NO BAN Act! - Donald Trump's hateful Muslim, asylum and refugee bans have been blocking Muslim people from refuge and opportunity, separating families across borders, and denying life-saving healthcare treatment for over two years. 4/4/19

Film producer Elhum Shakerifar discusses Poetry in Motion: Contemporary Iranian Cinema - Poetry in Motion is the stimulating new season at the Barbican, showcasing visually compelling features from up-and-coming Iranian directors. It has been commissioned by the Bagri Foundation, a UK charity that promotes the work of artists from across Asia and supports a variety of projects spanning a range of art forms, including dance, literature and music as well as film, to better represent Asian art and culture across the world. -The Up Coming 4/4/19

Renowned Iranian actor Jamshid Mashayekhi, star of "Kamalolmolk", dies at 85 - Jamshid Mashayekhi, one of the "top five actors of Iranian cinema" who starred in such acclaimed movies as "Kamalolmolk" and "Chrysanthemum", died at Tehran's Erfan Hospital on Tuesday. He was 85. "Our father rests in perfect peace," his children Nader, Naghmeh and Sam wrote in a post published on Mashayekhi's Instagram. 4/3/19

IAEA chief Amano reaffirms Iran's compliance with nuclear deal - The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reaffirmed Iran's compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). "In my regular reports to the board I have stated that Iran is implementing those commitments," IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano stressed on Tuesday. "Since January 2016, the agency [IAEA] has been verifying and monitoring Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA," he added. -Press TV 4/3/19

Double Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi on the perils of Academy Awards and filming outside Iran - Farhadi, 46, who won his first best foreign language Oscar in 2012 for his humanistic masterpiece "A Separation," was in Hong Kong recently to attend the Hong Kong International Film Festival and introduce "Everybody Knows", his eighth feature film.-Edmund Lee, South China Morning Post 4/3/19

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

Jafar Panahi's "3 Faces" opens in U.S. theaters - "3 Faces," a film by renowned Iranian director Jafar Panahi, opens today at select theaters in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Encino and Hartford with screenings in other cities to come. Panahi's fourth completed feature since he was officially banned from filmmaking is one of his very best. Panahi begins with a smartphone video shot by a young woman (Marziyeh Rezaei) who announces to the camera that her parents have forbidden her from realizing her dream of acting and then, by all appearances, takes her own life. 03/29/19

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

Gender Equality Researcher Tried in Iran Under National Security Charge - Gender equality advocate Rezvaneh Mohammadi was tried in absentia in Tehran under the unusual charge of "assembly and collusion against national security by seeking to normalize homosexual relations." "Rezvaneh's attendance at two conferences abroad on the subject of gender equality, as well as her studies for her thesis, which was also about gender equality, were included as evidence against her," the source said. -CHRI 03/26/19

Taq Kasra, A Sasanian-Era Persian Monument, Partially Collapses - On 7 March 2019, parts of Taq Kasra collapsed only two years after the completion of a conservation operation by Avers. The Czech firm had been commissioned by the Iraqi Ministry of Culture. Taq Kasra, also known as the Arch of Ctesiphon, is the world's largest brick vault and the symbol of the Persian Empire in the Sasanian era (224-651 AD). The monument is located about 35 km south of Baghdad, in modern-day Iraq, which was, at the time, part of Persia. 03/25/19

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

We Are Here, We Have Always Been Here - An international conference hosted by San Francisco State University brings together the Iranian American diaspora -- one that has flourished, noticed or not, in the Bay Area. -Ida Mojadad, SF Weekly 03/21/19

Sotoudeh's Case Is Iran's Own Goal - Last week, the European Parliament joined the international outcry over the sentencing of Iranian human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh to a long prison term by voting overwhelmingly for a resolution calling for her release... There are some flaws in the text too. No conversation on the topic is complete without acknowledging the devastating effects of U.S. economic sanctions, imposed in violation of the UN Security Council-endorsed resolution on the nuclear pact with Iran, on Iranian human rights. -Eldar Mamedov 03/19/19

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 Sat Apr 20 12:18:59 EDT 2019