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April 29 2017
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First Iran presidential debate receives mixed feedback

- The first of three planned debates ahead of the May 19 elections in Iran received mixed feedback, with most commentators describing either Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf or Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri as the winners of the 3-hour-long debate. 4/29/17

Iran's Judiciary Blocks Instagram's Live Video Service Weeks Before May 2017 Elections

- Instagram's live video feature has been blocked in Tehran by several internet and mobile phone providers since the early afternoon of April 27, 2017, according to investigations by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 4/29/17

Iranian Female Soccer Player Publicly Decries Ban For Playing Without Hijab

- A professional soccer player who once played for the Iranian women's national futsal team has publicly spoken out against a ban she says was imposed on her for not wearing the hijab while playing the sport during a private trip abroad. 4/29/17

Iran's people care about elections. The so-called democratic fringe doesn't

- In Donald Trump, opponents of the Iranian establishment bent on regime change have identified a new hope. The US administration, which often talks tough on Iran, has rejuvenated fringe exiled Iranian opposition groups who are irrelevant to modern Iran, yet appeal to gullible Americans. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian 4/29/17

Meet the Iranian tycoon smashing gender stereotypes

- Businesswoman, city councillor and social activist Fatemeh Daneshvar tells Al Jazeera that she fears 'nothing but God'. -Al Jazeera 4/29/17

NEDLOOK: Classical Persian Artwork Meets Contemporary Jewelry

- Just inside the walls of every historic structure in Iran, the unique dazzling tile works sit like a supersize jewel box that you won't forget. Tile works have been one of the most important decorative feature of the Persian architecture since ancient times. Vibrant mosaic tiles lavishly decorate the interior and exterior walls of religious buildings, royal palaces, and residence of dignitaries. While different aspects of architecture are often related to discussions surrounding buildings, the rich details and patterns of Persian tilework served as the inspiration for the jewelry designer, Neda Khalafi. 4/28/17

Iran's Industry Spotlight: Technology Sector

- There are many factors that have led to a thriving tech industry in Iran, including abundant resources, lifted sanctions, and a youthful, highly educated population. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the industry has also benefited in large part due to active support from the Iranian government. -Sarah Bryn Witmer 4/28/17

The Effects of the JCPOA on the Iranian Economy

- Over one year has passed since the formal implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by the US and P5+1 members, which lifted certain "nuclear-related secondary sanctions," on various Iranian business sectors. All parties to the JCPOA agreed to implementing it "in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere" and to "refrain from any policy specifically intended to ... affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran." -AIC 4/28/17

Three Young Iranian Men to Serve 12 Years in Prison For "Insulting" Social Media Posts

- Three 24-year-olds have been sentenced to 12 years in prison each in Iran for posting critical commentary about politics and religion on the Telegram messaging network and on Facebook. 4/28/17

Former Council Member Advocates For Women Candidates in Iran's Local Elections

- Political parties and factions in Iran should promote more women candidates in the country's local council elections to improve gender equality, Sedigheh Vasmaghi, a former Tehran city council member, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 4/28/17

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American in Iran Travel in Tehran and Shiraz

U.S. Visas Issued To Iranians Plummet By Nearly Half From Last Year - The United States has cut by nearly half the number of visas it has issued to citizens of Iran and other countries targeted by President Donald Trump's travel ban even though courts have prevented that ban from taking effect. 4/28/17

Take Action: Are Trump and Congress driving us to war with Iran? - Donald Trump's administration is laying the groundwork for a radical break in U.S. policy toward Iran. Following a speech before a Saudi business summit, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the Iran nuclear deal is a "failed approach" and warned ominously that the Trump administration will not be "passing the buck" but instead reviewing the deal and confronting Iran. -NIAC 4/28/17

Iran Presidential Elections: No Easy Victory for Rouhani - Iran's presidential elections have never been without drama. This year, the Guardian Council--a group tasked to approve candidates--set a new record for the number of disqualifications. Of the 1,636 individuals who registered, it approved only six. However, instead of being outraged over the Guardian Council's nebulous and undemocratic process, everyone, including the Reformists, is frustrated about the ease with which anyone in Iran can register to run for president. -Ali Reza Eshraghi, LobeLog 4/28/17

US Presses for Americans' Release in Direct Talks with Iran - U.S. diplomats used a meeting with their Iranian counterparts to press the release of Americans being detained in Iran, the Trump administration said Thursday. It is the first public acknowledgment of direct U.S.-Iranian discussions since President Donald Trump took office. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the talks occurred on the sidelines of a meeting in Vienna this week that focused on implementation of the Iran nuclear deal. -AP 4/28/17

Trump Unites Iranian Americans - Generations of Iranians like my parents have admired the United States for almost everything. They wanted their children to attend American universities, promoted America as the land of great opportunities, and proudly sent invitations to friends for their U.S. citizenship ceremonies. But many Iranian Americans today are confused and frightened by the wave of unjust immigration policies targeting Iranians. -Leila Mansouri 4/27/17

Foreign tourist spent $32B in Iran in last four years - Foreign tourists have spent some $32 billion in Iran over the past four years, said an official with the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization. A total of 19.9 million travelers visited the country during the mentioned period (March 2013 - March 2017), IRIB quoted CHTHO Deputy Director Morteza Rahmani-Movahhed as saying on April 23. 4/27/17

10 Iranian guards killed in clashes with outlaws at border with Pakistan - Ten border guards have been killed in clashes with outlaws in southeastern Iran. The clashes, which erupted near the town of Mirjaveh in the province of Sistan-and-Baluchestan while the Iranian forces were patrolling the area, also left three other border guards injured, IRIB News Agency reported. 4/27/17

Iran's Other Elections: Local Council Applicants Subjected to Arbitrary Vetting - In a surprising development, a few outspoken and prominent political activists have been approved to run in Iran's elections for city and village councils on May 19, 2017. However, many well-known activists and reformists have been arbitrarily disqualified. 4/27/17

Iran launches national fiber optic connectivity plan - Iran has launched an ambitious project to connect houses to a nationwide fiber optic network - what the administration of President Hassan Rouhani would provide citizens with an easy access to high-speed internet. The project, which had been developed by Iran Telecommunications Company (ICT), was launched by Iran's Minister of Communication and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi. 4/27/17

Pentagon Says U.S. Warship Fired Warning Flare At Iranian Vessel - The Pentagon has said that a U.S. warship fired a warning flare after an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel made a close approach to the ship in the Persian Gulf. The "unprofessional interaction" between the USS Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer, and an Iranian vessel occurred on April 25 in international waters, U.S. military officials said on April 26. 4/27/17

Iran says early delivery of Boeing plane cancelled - Iran says a plan for the early delivery of a plane from US aviation giant Boeing has been cancelled and the plane will not be delivered before next spring. Farhad Parvaresh, the head of the country's national flag carrier airline Iran Air, told the domestic media that Boeing had proposed to hand over a 777-300ER by summer after Turkish Airlines withdrew its order for it. 4/27/17

Council Of Europe Says Russia, Iran Abusing Interpol For Political Purposes - European lawmakers say Russia and Iran are among a group of countries that are increasingly abusing Interpol red notices to seek the arrest of political opponents, contributing to a five-fold increase of red notices during the past decade. 4/27/17

Zogby Denounces Panel on Religious Freedom - James Zogby, the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, is about to wrap up his tenure on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He is not leaving quietly. Zogby, who was appointed to two terms on the commission by former President Barack Obama, sent a stunning letter to the commission, expressing his dissent from the latest report as well as his dissatisfaction with the way the commission goes about its business. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog 4/27/17

Family Urges Trump To Work For Release Of Jailed Americans In Iran - A relative of two Iranian-Americans imprisoned in Iran has said their health is deteriorating in Tehran's Evin prison and urged U.S. President Donald Trump to take "personal responsibility" for freeing them. Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi, were sentenced to 10-year prison terms last year for "collusion with an enemy state" -- the United States. Babak Namazi has been seeking the release of his father and brother since then. 4/26/17

Dual National's Husband Urges UK to Secure Her Release From Iran - The husband of Nazanin-Zaghari Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British citizen imprisoned in Iran since April 2016, is urging the British government to secure her release now that Iran's Supreme Court has rejected the second appeal of her five-year prison sentence. 4/26/17

Iran and P5+1 Joint Commission hold meeting in Vienna - The seventh meeting of the Iran-P5+1 Joint Commission, which monitors the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, has been convened in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday slammed the United States for violating both the spirit and the letter of the nuclear deal. 4/26/17

Supreme Leader Khamenei Says Iran Should Not Look To West For Economic Growth - Iran's supreme leader has called on presidential candidates to focus on making the economy grow without help from the West, distancing himself from President Hassan Rohani's policy of promoting growth through foreign trade and investment. 4/26/17

Former Iranian MP: Guardian Council Has "No Legal Authority" to Exclude Religious Minorities From Elections - The Guardian Council's attempt to ban religious minorities from running in Iran's nationwide local council elections on May 19, 2017 is unlawful and infringes on their constitutional rights, a former reformist member of Parliament told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 4/26/17

Kamron Saniee's Music Is A Portal To Iran's Ambient Electronic History - Iranian electronic producers are having a moment. After decades of pushback by the Islamic Republic on Western influences, a new underground generation is using digital, lyricless sounds to challenge and bypass state restrictions. -Atoosa Moinzadeh, The Fader 4/26/17

Iranian Awarded 32K Pounds In Compensation For Account Closure By British Bank - A UK law firm has announced that one of its Iranian clients has managed to obtain nearly 32,000 pounds in compensation for mistaken closure of his bank account form the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) last year. 4/26/17

Trump and the Yemeni Quagmire - Building on Mohammed bin Salman's visit to the White House in March, which Saudi officials claimed marked a "historic turning point" in US-Saudi relations, Mattis' recent trip to Riyadh served to further strengthen Saudi confidence in the Trump administration's approach to countering "Iran's mischief." -Giorgio Cafiero and Shehab al-Makahleh, LobeLog 4/26/17

Tolerance historically practiced in Iran: Jewish lawmaker - Not like in the Western world where it was belatedly introduced, tolerance has been practiced in the historically multicultural context of Iran, where the Jewish community have been living in peaceful coexistence with other populations for centuries, Siamak Moreh Sedgh, the Jewish community representative in Majlis (Parliament), says. 4/26/17

"In order to Create, One must First Destroy": An Interview with Parvaneh Etemadi - According to Parvaneh Etemadi, she has acquired Bahman Mohassess' taste and Jalal Al-Ahmad's courage. She is Frank. Yet, frankness is just one of her personality. She challenges the current form of knowledge and cognition and expresses far-fetched concepts with new modules, which provokes positive and negative reactions to her approach. Last year, her name appeared on the 11th list of 500 artists of the world together with four other Iranian artists, Farhad Moshiri, Reza Derakhshani, Ali Banisadr and Shirin Neshat 4/25/17

IRAN: President Rohani's Campaign Suffers As Pro-Administration Journalists Are Detained - The recent arrest of a number of administrators of Telegram social networking Channels continues to fuel tensions between Iran's administration and the judiciary. Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging application popular in Iran in which Channels are used as a group platform where members can receive content from. 4/25/17

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema - For almost thirty years, the UCLA Film & Television Archive has annually showcased the power of films from Iran to connect people otherwise distanced by cultural, political and national divides. In partnership with Farhang Foundation, this year's UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema offers Los Angeles the chance to experience new voices, current masters, and a special tribute to Abbas Kiarostami, one of contemporary cinema's most iconic and influential artists. 4/25/17

Iran's Golab Adineh wins Best Actress Award at Beijing Film Festival - Iranian actress Golab Adineh won the Best Actress award for her inspiring performance in Marjan Ashrafizadeh's 'Abji' (The Sis). The film narrates the story of two women who have lived together for more than 50 years, but the situation doesn't remain the same and then the time comes to part ways. 4/25/17

University Student Groups In Iran Decry Security Climate On Campus, Rising Costs And Gender Segregation - Seventy-two student organizations from universities throughout Iran have issued a joint statement asking President Hassan Rouhani to end the security climate on campuses, halt the rising cost of education, and stop discriminatory practices against female students. 4/25/17

Germany's Volkswagen picks local partner in bid to cement foothold in Iran - Volkswagen in a statement named the Iranian company as Khodro Sazi Sina (KSS) which it said had been chosen after "thorough and intense studies". The company emphasized that the KSS' closest rival - Mammut Group - was only a few points behind. 4/25/17

Iran's Kharg Terminal dispatches 780 million crude barrels in one year - Head of Iran Oil Terminals Company's (IOTC) Export Department Gholamhossein Gerami said over 230 million barrels of light crude oil, 480 million barrels of heavy crude and about 70 million barrels of blazing oil were exported from the Iranian terminal in the previous year. 4/25/17

US Nearly Silent on Iran's Presidential Election as Policy Toughens - U.S. officials who have been toughening their stance toward Iran in recent weeks have said almost nothing about its presidential election, now less than one month away. And, some Iran observers say the silence regarding the May 19 vote could be a reflection of broad skepticism about its significance. -Michael Lipin, VOA 4/24/17

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, U.S. Official Who Helped Broker Iran Nuclear Deal, Demoted and Reassigned - A top U.S. State Department official who helped broker the Iran nuclear deal was demoted and reassigned after right-wing media outlets questioned her loyalty to U.S. President Donald Trump, media are reporting. 4/24/17

Iranian humanoid robot "Surena Mini" unveiled - Two major knowledge-based products including a humanoid robot dubbed 'Surena Mini' and a small animal imaging device have been unveiled today at the 5th laboratory equipment & chemicals exhibition (Iran Lab 2017). 4/24/17

Iran Tries To Abolish Death Penalty For Trafficking As It Wrestles With Rising Drug Charges - Iranian parliament's Judicial Commission spokesperson has announced that this commission has agreed with a proposal to reduce death penalty to 30 years in prison for a number of drug-related offences. Meanwhile the number of arrests for drug related charges are increasing in the country. 4/24/17

Eight Baha'is Arrested Without a Warrant by Iran's Intelligence Ministry and Denied Legal Council - Seven Baha'i citizens were arrested by the Intelligence Ministry in Bandar Abbas and Qeshm Island, southern Iran, on April 18, 2017, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Despite President Hassan Rouhani's expressed support for religious freedom, dozens of Baha'is have been arrested or their businesses shuttered under his watch for their faith. 4/24/17

IRGC Commander Publicly Criticizes Rouhani's Refusal to Block Telegram Call Service Before Election - One month before Iranians head to the polls, a senior commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has revealed that President Hassan Rouhani opposed pressure to ban the popular Telegram application's newly released "Voice Calls" service. 4/24/17

Straining to be Anti-Iran - The Trump administration is bending over backward to be, and to sound, hostile and confrontational toward Iran. This effort to flaunt a role for itself as a dedicated enemy of Iran has roots in the same factors that underlie the more widely established anti-Iranism in the United States, staying ahead of which is clearly an administration objective. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 4/24/17

Family: Iran Rejects Detained British-Iranian Woman's Appeal - A British-Iranian woman detained in Iran while on a trip with her toddler daughter has exhausted all chance of having her five-year prison sentence overturned in court, her family said on Monday. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is one of several dual nationals held in Iran by hard-liners in the country's judiciary and security services on espionage charges, likely to be used as bargaining chips in future negotiations with the West. -AP 4/24/17

Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad Barred From Election - Iranian state TV says the body charged with vetting candidates has disqualified former hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad from running in next month's presidential election. Although Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously urged him not to run, Ahmadinejad shocked the country by registering last week. 4/21/17

Trump Accuses Iran Of 'Not Living Up To Spirit' Of 2015 Nuclear Deal - U.S. President Donald Trump has accused Iran of "not living up to the spirit" of its nuclear agreement with world powers and said the United States would soon have a response. At a White House news conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on April 20, Trump repeated his criticism that "it was a terrible bad as I've ever seen negotiated." 4/21/17

Low Female Participation Rate in Iranian Elections Symptom of Gender Inequality - The low number of female participants in Iranian elections is an indicator of inequality in the political, social and cultural fabric of the country, women's rights advocate Nahid Tavasoli told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Speaking from Tehran, the editor-in-chief of Nafe, an academic women's periodical, said Iranian women are denied many rights as citizens that affect their participation rate in politics. 4/21/17

Trump Adviser Seeks Political Deal To Settle Iran Sanctions Case - A close ally of U.S. President Donald Trump is lobbying U.S. prosecutors to go easy on a man charged with helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions because he could be a potential bargaining chip in a political deal with Turkey. Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and Trump adviser, was hired recently to represent Reza Zarrab, a wealthy Turkish-Iranian businessman accused of arranging hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of financial transactions for Iran's government and businesses in violation of U.S. sanctions from 2010 to 2015. 4/21/17

Samsung & Amirkabir University Launch Their Tech Center in Tehran - Samsung, the Korean electronic giant has joined Amir Kabir University of Technology and launched Samsung-AUT Tech center in Tehran. Samsung Electronics the world's second largest information Technology Company by revenue, after Apple, invests at least 9% of its sales revenue in R&D activities according to their website. -Techrasa 4/21/17

The Coming Crisis With Iran - President Trump has flip-flopped many times during his first months in office. But none may be as consequential as his decision on April 18 to certify that Iran is abiding by the nuclear deal of 2015, paving the way for further waiving of sanctions. In just a few months, Mr. Trump has gone from promising to "tear up" the nuclear deal to allowing its extension. -Trita Parsi, NY Times 4/21/17

Championing Nuclear Non-Proliferation Rules: The EU and Iran - In a newly published book, Tarja Cronberg contrasts EU and US conceptions of multilateralism in the nuclear field. Her work is titled Nuclear Multilateralism and Iran. A former member of the European Parliament (EP) and chair of the EP delegation for EU relations with Iran, Cronberg writes: "For the US multilateralism is a means to an end, but for Europeans it is an end in itself." -Peter Jenkins 4/20/17

Lawmakers Say Iran's Larijani Rejects Call To Bar Religious Minorities From Elections - Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani has dismissed a call by the head of the powerful Guardians Council to prevent members of religious minorities from running in city council elections in May, according to two lawmakers. 4/20/17

No Woman Has Ever Run For Iranian President. Will Azam Taleghani Be The First? - On April 14, a tiny, frail-looking woman wearing a chador and using a walker made her way slowly up the stairs of Iran's Interior Ministry in Tehran. Seventy-three-year-old Azam Taleghani was there to register as a candidate in the May 19 vote for Iran's presidency. She's hoping the third time is the charm -Golnaz Esfandiari 4/20/17

Iranian Foreign Minister slams 'worn-out' US accusations - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed fresh accusations leveled by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson against the Islamic Republic, urging Washington to honor its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. 4/20/17

Has Donald Trump Learned To Love The Iran Deal? - All this Republican party fighting over the Iran nuclear deal, it's almost enough to forget that it's America's greatest foreign policy achievement in years. At least that's what the Trump administration has seemingly acknowledged. In a statement released late Tuesday evening, they certified that Tehran continues to comply with its end of the bargain. -Tyler Cullis and Reza Marashi, LobeLog 4/20/17

Iran's Judiciary Blocks Voice Calls On Telegram Messaging App - Iran's judiciary has blocked newly introduced call features on a highly popular messaging app called Telegram. It was not immediately clear whether the reason for the blocking of voice calls, introduced last week, was a political move ahead of the country's May presidential election or an attempt to protect the commercial interests of Iranian telecom companies. 4/20/17

Prominent Political Activist Continues Fight for Gender Equality in Iran's 2017 Presidential Election - Despite being repeatedly disqualified in the past, one of Iran's top political activists, Azam Taleghani, has registered to run in the country's May 19, 2017 presidential election. The daughter of a moderate leader of Iran's 1979 revolution, Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani (1911-1979), Azam Taleghani told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that she registered to "clear the confusion" over male interpretations of the Constitution that have blocked women from running for the presidency. 4/19/17

Iranian-American groups testify in Washington seeking new ban on Trump travel order - Leaders of Iranian-American organizations asked a U.S. district court in Washington Tuesday to become the latest to order a nationwide halt to President Trump's executive order banning new visas and immigration from six Muslim-majority countries. -Washington Post 4/19/17

IRAN: Poll Highlights Rouhani's Reelection Challenge - With all 1600-plus candidates now registered for next month's Iranian presidential election, the results of a new public opinion survey by IranPoll suggest that incumbent President Hassan Rouhani may have a challenge on his hands if he hopes to win a second term. -Derek Davison 4/19/17

Trump Orders Review of Iran Nuclear Deal - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed the review in a letter Tuesday to House Speaker Paul Ryan. Tillerson said that as of Tuesday, Iran is complying with its responsibilities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which it agreed to in 2015 after negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. 4/19/17

Nasrin Sotoudeh: Investigate Iranian Presidential Hopeful Ebrahim Raisi for 1988 Mass Executions - Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and former political prisoner Nasrin Sotoudeh has strongly criticized the candidacy of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran's May 19, 2017 presidential election. "The competency of this candidate should not be approved for any reason until the events of 1988 are investigated and it is proven that he was not an accomplice," she told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "In the meantime, we do have an audio file... that shows he did have a hand in those events." 4/19/17

EU, Iran sign nuclear safety deal with another deal expected in coming weeks - Iran and the European Commission have signed a 2.5-million Euro project for nuclear safety cooperation, the first ever under the framework of a 2015 international nuclear deal, saying that a second one will be finalized in the coming weeks, the EU official website said on April 18. -Ali Kushki, Tehran Times 4/19/17

"Everyone treated me like a saint"--In Iran, there's only one way to survive as a transgender person - In Iran, homosexuality is a crime, punishable with death for men and lashings for women. But Iran is also the only Muslim country in the Persian Gulf region that gives trans citizens the right to have their gender identity recognized by the law. In fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran not only allows sex reassignment, but also subsidizes it. -Neha Thirani Bagri, Quartz 4/19/17

Iran's Presidential Carnival Kicks off - In the past two decades, Iran's presidential election kickoffs have increasingly become occasions for comedy. It did not disappoint this time. During the five-day registration period, beginning on April 11, over 1,600 people signed up (1,636 to be exact), ranging in age from 6 to 89 years old. Unlike for other offices, there are no clear minimum requirements to run for presidency in Iran-not age, not education, and not even gender even if no woman has ever been qualified. So the registration period has become an occasion for people of varying degrees of charisma to make their voices heard and faces seen. -Farideh Farhi 4/18/17

Iran denounces Washington for supporting terrorist groups - Tehran on Monday denounced the United States for supporting terrorist groups, such as the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK), which carry out acts of terror against the Islamic Republic and other regional countries. Qassemi's remarks came days after the head of the MKO, Maryam Rajavi, met with John McCain, a senior U.S. senator who was the Republican nominee for the 2008 U.S. presidential election. 4/18/17

International Law Expert Denounces Iranian Presidential Bid of Rights Violator Ebrahim Raisi - The candidacy of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran's May 19 presidential election "shows great contempt for human rights, the rights of the Iranian people, and the families of those killed in the 1980s," international law expert Shadi Sadr told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 4/18/17

IRAN: Reformists Barred From Isfahan's May 19 By-Election for Parliament - After disqualifying the initial reformist winner, Iran's conservative Guardian Council has now barred most reformist candidates from running in the second-round election for Isfahan's vacant parliamentary seat. The vote will occur when Iranians head to the polls on May 19, 2017 to elect their new president and city and village councils. 4/18/17

Photos: Drone design & construction competition at Tehran's Sharif University - The 4th tournament of drone design and construction is underway at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. Sharif is a public research university in Tehran, Iran known traditionally to be the first choice of top ranked Iranian high school and university students in engineering and physical sciences, and it is known as the Iranian MIT. 4/17/17

Muslims in Abadan, Iran join city's only Christian to celebrate Easter - Abadan's only church, Surp Karap, is adjacent to Musa ibn Jafar Mosque. Surp Karap Church was built in 1940 and damaged during the Iraq-Iran war. The church was renovated in 1991 and registered as national heritage. On Sunday, Muslims joined the single Christian citizen in the city to mark Easter. 4/17/17

Iran moves into flourishing ecotourism market - The ecotourism market in Iran has witnessed a growth over the past couple of years, drawing more domestic and foreign backpackers to the pristine and relatively undisturbed natural areas of the country. Some 530 ecotourism projects have been implemented since the current administration took office in 2013, Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization Director Zahra Ahmadipour said on April 11. 4/17/17

From Isfahan to Irvine: Speech, Film Screening & Music Performance at Stanford University - Hossein Omoumi is a scholar and musician from Isfahan, Iran. He currently teaches at UC Irvine. A new documentary about his life, made by Hesam Abedimi, and innovative teaching style will also be screened (in Farsi with English subtitles). After, Hossein will discuss and demonstrate the structure of classical Persian music by singing and playing the Ney, with vocals from Jessika Kenney, santur accompaniment from Faraz Minooie, and Sina Dehghani playing the tombak. 4/17/17

VACATION IN IRAN - In the nineteen-eighties, when I was a child, my family rarely took vacations. There had been a revolution in Iran, and there was a war on. Most of our trips were to the gardens of family and friends; a couple of times we went to Shomal, as the green band of forests south of the Caspian Sea is known. In those days, travelling was all about us pleasing the group. -New Yorker 4/17/17

Photos: Easter celebration at Saint Sarkis Cathedral in Tehran - Iran's Armenian Christian community held a ceremony at Saint Sarkis Cathedral in Tehran on Sunday April 16, 2017 to celebrate Easter. During the event, special prayers were said and candles were lit. While Iran is officially designated the "Islamic Republic," among its more than 70 million people is a small but important Christian minority. Most of Iran's Christians are Armenians and Assyrians, who remain relatively free to follow their faith. 4/16/17

PHOTOS: Iranians Make A Run For It, But They're Already Out Of The Presidential Race - Virtually anyone can register to run in Iran's presidential election. The formal restrictions as laid out in the constitution are clear: potential candidates must be 18 or older; they must also be among the country's "religious and political personalities," hold Iranian citizenship, and believe in the principles of the Islamic republic and the official religion of the country. -Golnaz Esfandiari 4/15/17

Iran's Presidential Elections: Has Hassan Rouhani Met His Match? - Until only a few weeks ago, Iran's hardliners lacked a candidate of any stature in Iran's forthcoming presidential elections in May 2017...This still may be the case, and President Hassan Rouhani may yet serve another term. But that scenario is now complicated by the entry into the race of Hojatoleslam Ibrahim Raeisi, the head of the vast complex centered around the shrine of the eighth Shia Imam Ali ibn Musa al Riza and a candidate to succeed Ayatollah Khamenei as the supreme leader. -Shirin T. Hunter 4/14/17

Social Media Emerges as Major Battlefront in Iran's May 2017 Elections - A month before Iranians head to the polls for the presidential and council elections, a heated exchange between the judiciary and the Intelligence Ministry has highlighted the growing tension over social media between different political factions in the Islamic Republic. 4/14/17

Meet Kia Hamadanchy: Candidate for U.S. Congress (CA-45th) - The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) recently had the opportunity to interview Kia Hamadanchy to discuss his historic campaign for California's 45th Congressional District. If successful, he will become the first American of Iranian descent to be elected to the U.S. Congress. 4/13/17

PHOTOS: The Ancient Samen Underground City In Western Iran - A two-millennia-old subterranean city has been unearthed in Samen, Hamedan Province, after more than a decade of excavations. The city, located 400 km west of Tehran, provisionally dubbed the Underground City of Samen, is "under the modern city of Samen," said Ali Khaksar, the head of the provincial office of Iran's Culturally Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization. 4/12/17

Moghadam Award: Long-Term, Sustainable Economic Development in Iran - The Stanford Iran 2040 Project announces the first annual Moghadam Award in Iranian Economics to recognize the best original paper on Long-Term, Sustainable Economic Development in Iran. The awardee will be asked to present the paper at the next Stanford Iran Economic Forum to be held in Summer 2017. All travel expenses will be covered and the awardee will also receive a $10,000 prize. 4/12/17

Iranian Americans Use Tech to Count Their Impact in US - Pirooz Parvarandeh, a longtime Silicon Valley executive, saw a problem. Although he has lived in the United States for more than 40 years, he knew little about the contributions and accomplishments of Iranian Americans like himself. That lack of knowledge is widespread, he feared, and in his view makes Iranians in America more subject to stereotypes, discrimination and attacks. -Michelle Quinn, VOA 4/7/17

Joint Statement of Iranian-American Organizations on Detentions of Iranians - As organizations that represent the Iranian-American community, we are deeply concerned by recent arrests of Iranians visiting and studying in the United States. At least two Iranians are currently being held in custody by U.S. immigration authorities: Alia Ghandi and Mohammad Salar Fard-Hajian. We implore authorities to ensure these individuals have ready access to legal counsel and insist they be promptly released from custody. 4/6/17

Documenting the Contributions of Iranian Americans - Launched in 2016, the Iranian American's Contributions Project (IACP) applies software technologies to publicly available information to rigorously aggregate the many facets and contributions of the Iranian American community. Pirooz Parvarandeh is the founder and will describe this new approach and the results achieved to date. 4/6/17

PHOTOS: Ancient city uncovered in Kerman, Iran after sandstorm - Heavy sandstorm in the city of Fahraj in Iran's Kerman province led to the emergence of a large part of an ancient city in the Negin desert. Pieces of pottery, bones and brick walls can be seen in the area. -Laleh Khajooei 4/5/17

Iran's Aseman Airlines seals new $3B deal with Boeing for purchase of 60 planes - Iran has signed a new agreement with US aviation giant Boeing for buying dozens of the company's twinjet narrow-body passenger planes. The agreement involves the purchase of 30 Boeing 737 MAX planes as well as the purchase rights for an additional 30 planes of the same class. It was signed between Iran's Aseman Airlines and Boeing in Tehran, the country's IRNA news agency reported. 4/4/17

Photos: The Historic Golestan Palace in Tehran - The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace (Palace of Flowers) belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran's Historic Arg (citadel). The Arg was built during the reign of Tahmasb I (r. 1524-1576) of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736), and was later renovated by Karim Khan Zand (r. 1750-1779). Agha Mohamd Khan Qajar (1742-1797) chose Tehran as his capital. The Arg became the site of the Qajar (1794-1925) Court and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal family. 03/31/17

The unfathomable soul of Iran - The very first time I travelled to Iran, I was absolutely amazed at how open and inclusive its community was, how safe the country was and how astonishingly beautiful. Sadly, it is blatantly misrepresented in most Western media, a tendency I would gladly counter as a journalist in the making. -Katya Bohdan 03/31/17

NOWRUZANE: An Exchange & Celebration of the Persian New Year with Iranian, Italian and CPC Artists - This touring exhibition is a collaboration between Chav Printmaking Studio (Iran), Milano Printmakers Associazione Culturale (Milan) and Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. The exhibit features over 130 mini prints by 96 CPC, Italian and Iranian printmakers. Multiples of these works are currently traveling and being exhibited together at the Chav Printmaking Studio in Tehran, as well as in Mashhad, Kermanshah and Kerman in Iran, at IL Fogilo - 74b Gallery in Milan, Italy and at the Sagene Kunstsmie in Oslo, Norway. 03/30/17

Featured Web Site

The American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS)

Special Maps of Persia, 1477-1925

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last updated on Sat Apr 29 14:38:33 -04 2017