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August 31 2016
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Golden Cells campaign in Iran aims to promote stem cell donation

- "Golden Cells" is another public-led campaign in Iran with the aim of promoting stem cell donation. The campaign was initiated by those who have one way or another dealt with cancer and diseases that can be cured by stem cells and started to let others know about the stem cell bank, the campaign spokesperson Sameen Razavi told Fars news agency. 8/31/16

U.S. Commander Denounces 'Provocative' Iranian Guard Maneuvers in Persian Gulf

- A top U.S. commander sharply criticized recent high-speed maneuvers by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps patrol boats in the Persian Gulf that last week prompted a U.S. Navy ship to fire warning shots. General Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, said on August 30 that these episodes are worrying because they risk triggering a dangerous escalation. 8/31/16

Hackers Exploit Android Phone Security Flaw to Target Iranian Activists

- Suspected state-sponsored hackers have intensified their attempts to break into the online accounts of Iranian rights activists in recent weeks by exploiting security vulnerabilities in Android smartphones, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned. 8/31/16

Jailed Canadian prof in Iran can 'hardly walk or talk,' say relatives

- After three months in solitary detention, the Canadian-Iranian university professor Homa Hoodfar's health has declined to the point that she can barely walk or talk, her relatives say. In a statement released Tuesday, the family of Prof. Hoodfar said the 65-year-old Concordia University anthropologist had to be hospitalized as her condition worsened since being held after June 6 at Tehran's Evin Prison. -Globe & Mail 8/31/16

Iranian Judiciary Blocking Compensation for False Arrests

- More than a year after Iran's new Code of Criminal Procedure went into effect, the Judiciary is resisting implementing Article 255, which grants individuals the right to sue the government and seek damages for false arrests. 8/31/16

Iranian General Killed During Battle In Aleppo, Syria

- Iranian state media reports say a retired Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) general has been killed while battling against Islamic militants in northern Syria. The Fars news agency, which is closely affiliated with the IRGC, reported on August 31 that General Ahmad Gholami was killed on August 30 while fighting against Sunni militants in Aleppo. 8/31/16

Only two female Asiatic cheetahs remain in wild in Iran

- Conservationists say only two female Asiatic cheetahs are known to be alive in the wild in Iran, which hosts the last surviving population. Asiatic cheetahs, also known as Iranian cheetahs, are a subspecies of the fastest animal on earth and classified as critically endangered, with fewer than 40 believed to remain in Iran. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian 8/31/16

India firm raises Iran oil imports, pays over $500M of debt

- Iran's crude sales to Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) has risen four folds, reflecting the country's success in raising exports in order to claw back its market share after the lifting of sanctions. 8/31/16

Turkish Troops in Syria Deepen America's Quandary

- The Turkish military incursion into Syria is yet another chapter in the continuing tragedy for that country, for Syrians of all confessions and ethnicities, and indeed for most of the Middle East. Ankara is acting, it says, because of a threat from Kurdish fighters (which has a long history) and forces of the so-called Islamic State (a relatively new phenomenon). -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog 8/31/16

Seedstars to gather startups in Tehran in September

- Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Tehran on September 15, 2016 to host a startup competition at the Incubator of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Up to 12 startups will compete to win the title of Iran's Best Startup and one will be chosen to represent the country at the Global Summit in Switzerland. 8/30/16

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PHOTOS: Iran opens doors to women motorcyclists - The Motorcycle and Automobile Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (MAFIRI) has allowed the Iranian women to take part at the motocross race. Mahmoud Seydanlou, the head of Iran's Motorcycle and Automobile Federation, paid tribute to the motorcyclists women at the Azadi complex motocross race in Tehran. 8/30/16

Iran draws closer to OPEC's number 2 position - Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran's oil exports have risen to 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd), bringing the country closer to its former position as the second biggest OPEC producer. "Our crude oil and condensate exports have now reached 2.5 million barrels per day and crude oil (exports) have solely hit 2.1 million barrels per day," Zangeneh told the state television on Monday night. 8/30/16

Unjustly Imprisoned Young Iranian Physicist Granted Conditional Release After Five Years - August 29, 2016-Imprisoned Iranian scientist Omid Kokabee, who spent more than five years in Evin Prison for refusing to work on Iran's military projects, was granted conditional release on August 29, 2016. Kokabee, currently on medical leave, was diagnosed with kidney cancer this past April after years of being denied proper medical treatment by prison authorities. 8/30/16

Recording on 1988 Prison Massacre Exposes Early Fissure in the Islamic Republic of Iran - The recently released audio recording of Grand Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri sharply denouncing the mass execution of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 has highlighted disagreements among prominent figures of the Islamic Republic that arose from the decision by Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran's 1979 revolution, to put thousands of political dissidents to death. 8/30/16

US 'terrorizing' Europe into avoiding Iran: Official - A senior Iranian official says the US is terrorizing the Europeans into shunning business with Iran despite the lifting of sanctions under a landmark nuclear deal. Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia has said US officials are deliberately keeping the terms of engagement with Iran opaque. 8/30/16

Iran World Cup qualifier slogan: "All Iranians for Team Melli" - Iran national football team revealed its slogan ahead of the Qatar match, scheduled for Thursday. Team Melli will host the Qatari football team in Group A of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Tehran's Azadi Stadium. 8/30/16

9th Annual Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco: September 24-25, 2016 - This year, the festival presents 37 films from Iran, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, India, Czech Republic, and Spain. We are happy and proud to continue our mission to discover and support the next generation of Iranian filmmakers living and working around the world, while we honor the veteran filmmakers for their distinguished careers. 8/29/16

Iran Inaugurates Its Own Intranet - Iran's official news agency reports the country has launched the first phase of its National Network of Data, an attempt by Tehran to create its own Intranet. The new network aims to promote online Islamic content and encourage less dependency on the worldwide Internet, IRNA reported on August 28. 8/29/16

House of Khomeini and Mass Executions of 88 - Figures at various levels of the Islamic Republic continue to react to the release of audio files involving conversations between the late dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and top government figures regarding the "death committee" in charge of the mass execution of political prisoners in Iran in 1988. 8/29/16

Iran and Venezuela sign economic agreements, announce new era of bilateral relations - Venezuela and Iran agree to increase economic cooperation, signing agreements between the two countries' central banks and announcing a new dynamic era in bilateral relations. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who was in Caracas on the last leg of a Latin America tour also taking him to Cuba, Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua and Ecuador. 8/29/16

Iran Deploys Russian Long-Range Missiles At Nuclear Site - Iranian officials say they have deployed a new Russian-made long-range missile system to protect its Fordo nuclear facility. General Farzad Esmaili, the commander of Iran's air defenses, told the state IRIB channel on August 28 that protecting the country's nuclear facilities is paramount "in all circumstances." 8/29/16

Iran, Russia ink oil rig deal worth $1 billion - Iran's Tasdid Offshore and Onshore Development Company and Russia's OJSC Krasnye Barrikady Shipyard signed a deal worth $1 billion to cooperate in building jack-up rigs in Iran, Tasnim news agency reported on Saturday. 8/29/16

CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran - The U.S. knew Hussein was launching some of the worst chemical attacks in history -- and still gave him a hand. -Foreign Policy 8/29/16

Iran's Internet Bandwidth Grown 590% - Growth in Iran's internet infrastructure translates into growth in internet based businesses like tech startups. Iran's internet bandwidth has grown significantly in the past 3 years, though it's far beyond where it should be. -Alireza Jozi, Techsara 8/29/16

Iran Arrests a 'Spy' Who Helped Negotiate a Landmark Nuclear Deal - Iran has arrested a member of a team that played a role in negotiating a milestone nuclear agreement with world powers. According to IRNA, Iran's state media, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said Sunday that a "spy who had infiltrated the nuclear team" was released on bail after being held in jail for a few days. 8/28/16

French Environment Minister Visits Iran, Announces Plans For Joint Projects - French Environment Minister Segolene Royal has announced plans for a series of joint projects with Tehran that are aimed at dealing with energy, water shortages, and pollution. Royal said on August 28 after talks with the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, Massoumeh Ebtekar, that they had discussed the creation of several key partnerships by February 2017. 8/28/16

Iranian Official Admits Executions Haven't Slowed Drug Trafficking - A top Iranian judiciary official says the death penalty hasn't deterred drug trafficking, which is in fact on the rise. "The truth is, the execution of drug smugglers has had no deterrent effect," Mohammad Baqer Olfat, deputy head of judiciary for social affairs, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on August 27. 8/28/16

Burkas, Burkinis, Veils and Women's Rights - Symbolism matters. Especially when it comes to other people's cultures. Most recently we see the old/new issue about Muslim women's dress, especially now grabbing headlines in France where "Islamic beachwear" or the "burkini" (burka-bikini), has been banned in several Riviera beach towns. France of course leads the world in its militantly secular posture on cultural and civic affairs. As well as the symbol of the bikini itself. (Topless--I won't even go there.) -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog 8/28/16

Renowned Iranian actor, producer Davoud Rashidi passes away at 83 - Born in 1933 in Tehran, the notable veteran artist had played starring roles in theater, cinema and television productions. He graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Geneva in 1960 and also attended the school of theater in Geneva. 8/26/16

For Hawks, Every American Captive Returned Home Diplomatically is a Failed Opportunity - This month, opponents of the Iran deal have decided to run with the talking point that the delivery of $400 million to Iran in January was a "ransom payment" for the release of three American citizens. TheNew York Times editorial board concluded that their release was "pragmatic diplomacy not capitulation," not to mention the fact that the funds actually belonged to Iran... -Eli Clifton 8/26/16

US: Navy Ships Fired Warning Shots After Encounters with Iranian Vessels - U.S. Navy ships sailing in the Persian Gulf were forced to fire warning shots and flares after being harassed by Iranian vessels in recent close encounters, the Pentagon said. In one incident Wednesday, the patrol ship USS Squall fired three warning shots into the water in the direction of an Iranian boat that was approaching another American ship head-on. -VOA 8/26/16

OVERCAUTIOUS OBJECTIVITY: Losing Perspective by Being Politically Correct - I have often appreciated Mr. Gharib's articles and analyses of America's policies toward Iran in general, even though I do not always agree with all of his views. In his latest article appearing, he offers a careful and concise critique of the Wall Street Journal's chief foreign affairs reporter, Jay Solomon, addressing the historic P5+1/Iran nuclear agreement and its aftermath. -Kambiz Zarrabi 8/26/16

Fans Take To Social Media To Demand Release Of Iranian Rapper Amir Tataloo - Iranian fans have taken to Instagram and other social media to demand the release of Amir Tataloo, a popular and controversial rapper arrested on charges of spreading depravity among youth. "Free Tataloo!" and "He Is Not Guilty!" say dozens of comments posted on the Instagram account of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. -Farangis Najibullah and Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah 8/26/16

Iran crowned Continental Beach Soccer Tournament champion - Iran became the champion of the Continental Beach Soccer Tournament Ordos on Thursday, following an impressive win over 2015 Asian champion Oman. 8/26/16

Iran Confirms It Will Join OPEC Talks To Support Oil Prices - Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh confirmed that Iran will take part in an OPEC meeting next month in Algeria to discuss ways to support global oil prices. Zanganeh's remarks to the ministry's Shana news service on August 25 helped spur a jump in oil prices, with premium crude rising 62 cents to $49.67 a barrel in London trading. 8/26/16

Armenia, Iran Creating Free Economic Zone To Expand Exports - Armenia's government is working with Iran to create a free economic zone in the country's southernmost Meghri region, Economy Minister Artsvik Minasyan said on August 25. 8/26/16

The International Community's Failure in Yemen - This week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Riyadh amid renewed criticism of the ongoing Saudi-led military operations against the Al Saud ruler's adversaries in Yemen and the international community's failure to resolve the Yemeni Civil War. This meeting will hopefully begin the process of finding a new solution to what has been a devastating political and humanitarian crisis. -Joseph Cozza, LobeLog 8/26/16

4 Iranian Vessels Sped Close to a US Ship in Strait of Hormuz, Navy Says - Four Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels sped close to a U.S. guided missile destroyer in international waters Tuesday in an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday. 8/25/16

BOOK: The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran - An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration 8/25/16

Afghan Girl's Death Has Iranians Questioning Ban On Organ Transplants For Foreigners - The death of a 12-year-old Afghan girl in Iran has prompted that country's health minister to publicly defend a national ban on organ transplants for foreigners that some were initially blaming for the tragedy. 8/25/16

3 Iranian films among 21st century's top 100 - Three Iranian movies have been enlisted in the 21st century's top three movies, BBC reported. The list has been prepared by views of 177 film critics around the world. 8/25/16

Iranian students stand 3rd in International Olympiad in Informatics - Iranian students won two gold and two silver medals in the 28th International Olympiad in Informatics, standing in the third position. Ali Behjati and Arash Mahmoudian-Bidgoli won gold and Amir-Mohammad-Dehghan and Parsa Mir-Taheri grabbed silver medals in the competition held in Russia. 8/25/16

Lecture in London - Iran's Water Myths: should Iran focus on the problem's root causes or its solutions? - Despite having a more advanced water management system than most Middle Eastern countries, similar to the other countries in the region, Iran is experiencing serious water issues. The country is faced with major challenges in the water sector, including, but not limited to: rising water demand and shortage; declining groundwater levels; deteriorating water quality; and increasing ecosystem losses. 8/25/16

Where's the Outrage Over Iran's Exploited Children? - Child labor and exploitation remains a widespread problem throughout much of the world. The issue is centered around exploitation, trafficking and governmental negligence and presents a challenge for those living in closed societies which lack transparency, and social support systems. The exploitation of children has become increasingly prevalent in Iran, and remains uninvestigated by authorities and the outside world. -Hamid Yazdan Panah 8/25/16

Iran names Daesh leader killed in Kermanshah, says nothing is off the country's radar - Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi revealed in a live TV program on Wednesday that Abu Aeshe Kurdi, commander of a Daesh brigade in Mosul, was one of those killed in recent clashes with a terrorist cell in Kermanshah province, western Iran. 8/25/16

Does Fighting in Hasakah Signal a Diplomatic Realignment on Syria? - When I asked Landis about how the PYD might view a Turkey-Russia-Iran axis, if one were to emerge, he said, "I think they are worried about it. It could be one reason why they're grabbing territory now, to limit the amount of pressure that the Syrian government can put on them in the future." It is possible that such an axis is emerging, amid all the diplomacy that followed the failed coup in Turkey and ... -Derek Davison, LobeLog 8/25/16

Iranian Journalists Alarmed As Media Legislation Resurfaces - Critics say proposed new legislation in Iran would mean an end to any form of independent journalism in the Islamic republic while playing into the hands of the country's security organs and hard-line conservative judiciary, who would like to see even tighter state control of the media. 8/24/16

What Hamadan Says About the Fragility of Russian-Iranian Ties - Just one week after Russian bombers began flying missions over Syria out of an Iranian air base in Hamadan, Tehran has revoked its permission for Moscow to use the base. These missions never would have begun if Tehran had not agreed that they could take place. But Russia's public declaration that they were occurring had a negative impact on Iranian domestic politics. -Mark N. Katz 8/24/16

Mehregan 2016 Celebration in Santana Row, San Jose - Santana Row, in partnership with the Iranian Federated Women's Club (IFWC), will proudly celebrate the arrival of fall and the 2016 Persian Fall (Mehregan) on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at Park Valencia, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the evening. There will be nationally-acclaimed Persian musicians and artistic performers free to the public. 8/24/16

Iran Warns, Detains 450 Social-Media Users, Citing 'Immoral' Posts - Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said it has summoned, detained, and warned some 450 administrators of social-media groups in recent weeks. 8/24/16

Iconic Persian songwriter Mohammad Heydari Passes Away in Exile - Mohammad Heydari, one of the iconic Persian songwriters and santur players, passed away today in Los Angeles, due to the cancer. Mr Heydari was 79. 8/24/16

Iran softens to oil production freeze? - Iran has been ramping up output since the lifting of sanctions in January to reclaim its lost market share, dismissing demands to join the freeze initiative. On Tuesday, Reuters cited unnamed sources as saying that Iran was sending "positive signals" that it might get behind the push to curb production. 8/24/16

Iran's foreign trade exceeds $35.8B in 5 months - According to a Tuesday report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), the country's non-oil exports in the aforementioned five months reached $19.108 billion, showing a 10.22-percent increase in comparison with the similar period the previous year. 8/24/16

Of Course "the Ayatollah Thinks He Won" - In the Wall Street Journal last weekend, the paper's chief foreign affairs reporter, Jay Solomon, unloaded a 2,500-word essay looking back at the Iran nuclear deal a little more than year after the accord was signed. Solomon, a measured and well-sourced reporter, examined how the deal had, after this short period of time, affected Iranian politics. The piece bore the online headline: "Why the Ayatollah Thinks He Won." -Ali Gharib, LobeLog 8/24/16

Exactly 500 Years Ago, This Battle Changed the Middle East Forever - Five centuries ago, the contours of the modern Middle East were shaped through a series of Ottoman battles. The outcomes of these battles-which shaped the region's politics, demographics and religious movements-were much more important in the long run than modern phenomena such as the Sykes-Picot Pact. -Akhilesh Pillalamarri, National Interest 8/24/16

The Night Of's Payman Maadi on Middle Eastern Stereotypes in Hollywood and Getting Past the Censors in Iran - Payman Maadi was writing his own films when renowned Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi threw him a curveball, asking him to act for the first time in one of his movies (2009's excellent About Elly). -Gazelle Emami, Vulture 8/24/16

U.S. State Department warns Iranian-Americans about travel to Iran - Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and Western countries including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran. U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel. U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country. 8/23/16

PHOTOS: 16th Mobarak International Puppet Theatre Festival opens in Tehran - 16th Mobarak International Puppet Festival was inaugurated the evening of the first day of the last Iranian month of summer in the presence of the joyful children of Tehran, who had come with their parents to Vahdat Hall to celebrate the opening. 8/23/16

Iranian FM Zarif meets Cuban President Castro - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with Cuba's President Raul Castro while on the first leg of a six-nation tour of Latin American countries. Zarif leads a group of 120 businessmen and financial executives from government and private sectors. 8/23/16

PHOTOS: 25th Iran Handmade Carpet Exhibition kicks off in Tehran - Iran exported $82.9 million of hand-woven carpets, registering 39.5 percent rise, in the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20- July 21, 2016), compared with the same period last year, the Head of Iran National Carpet Center said on August 17. 8/23/16

Elderly Pro-Democracy Iranian Activist Sentenced to Four Years in Prison - The four-year prison sentence handed down to imprisoned author and peaceful political activist Kourosh Zaim has no legal basis and the 77-year-old should be immediately released because of his advanced age, his lawyer Giti Pourfazel told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 8/23/16

German exports to Iran soar in H1 2016 - Official figures show that Germany's exports to Iran soared in the first half of 2016 after a series of US-engineered sanctions that had been in place against the Islamic Republic for several years were eventually lifted. 8/23/16

NIOC, Chinese CNPCI sign new deal on southern Iranian oil field - Chinese CNPCI has been given a chance to participate Masjed Soleiman oil field recovery rate for the second time after an aborted deal in 2011. 8/23/16

How Parasitic Finance Capital Has Turned Iran's Economy into a Case of Casino Capitalism - Critics have often blamed President Rouhani of Iran for blindly following the neoclassical-neoliberal model of capitalism. The critical problem with Mr. Rouhani's economic policies, however, is more than just following the dominant economic model of neoliberalism; more gravely, it is following the worst aspects of that model. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh 8/22/16

Anahita Sadighi, Berlin's youngest gallery owner, revitalises Asian art - The Berlin based gallery was founded in summer 2015 by Anahita Sadighi. Located in the western district of Berlin close to Savigny Platz, the gallery features antique arts of East Asia and the Middle East. 'My aim is to liberate far eastern cultures from their negative and controversial reputation and to awaken again the mesmerisation for the oriental', says Sadighi. 8/22/16

Iran: Russia Has Stopped Using Iran Base for Syria Strikes - Russia has stopped using an Iranian air base for launching airstrikes on Syria for the time being, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday, just hours after the Iranian defense minister criticized Moscow for having "kind of show-off and ungentlemanly'' attitude by publicizing their actions. 8/22/16

Iran Green Movement leaders under house arrest; more than 2000 days - It has now been established that Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) Supreme Leader has absolute jurisdiction over the release of the three opposition leaders who have been under house arrest since February 2011. Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard are the leader of the 2009 Green Movement in Iran and they are still being kept under house arrest without due processes. -Ehsan Mehrabi 8/22/16

Iran to award two key oil deals to China - Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, the deputy director for engineering and development affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has been quoted by the media as saying that China's CNPC will be awarded the development of the second phase of North Azadegan project. Manouchehri added that the second company - Sinopec - will be awarded the development of the second phase of Yadavaran project. 8/22/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Komeail Qasemi wins silver for Iran in freestyle wrestling - Iranian freestyle wrestler Komeail Qasemi is stripped of an Olympic gold as he loses against his Turkish opponent Taha Akgul in the final of the 125-kilogram class of 2016 Rio games. He is the first heavyweight Iranian wrestler to reach the final in Olympic history. 8/21/16

Iranian-Belgian woman Raheleh Asemani shines at Rio 2016 Olympics - Raheleh Asemani, a taekwondo practitioner who was representing Belgium in Rio 2016 Olympics, also came close to earning a medal in the Women's 57 kg taekwondo competitions. Asemani lost the contest for bronze medal to Hedaya Wahba of Egypt, while her countrywoman Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin won a bronze medal in the same weight category to become the first Iranian female Olympian. 8/21/16

Banks become Iran's economic nightmare - In recent years, banks and financial institutions have mushroomed in Iran, engaging more in speculative activities than finance. A number of manufacturing corporations, pension funds, charity foundations as well as civil, military and state organizations have established their own banks to cash in on the lucrative speculative sector. 8/21/16

Iran Unveils New Long-Range Missile-Defense System - Iran has released images of its first domestically built long-range missile defense system, the Bavar-373. The photos carried by several Iranian news agencies on August 21 showed President Hassan Rohani and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan standing in front of the defense system. Rohani also unveiled the first Iranian-made fighter jet engine. 8/21/16

Iran pitches huge gas reserves for Asia markets - Iran is pitching its massive gas sector for trade with Asia where it sees a better market for exports than Europe. "Gas prices are more attractive in East Asia than in Europe," Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir-Hossein Zamaninia has said. 8/21/16

Russian Realism in the Middle East - We should reflect on the meaning of Russia's use of a base in Iran for staging airstrikes in Syria, and about what lessons we could learn from the Russians. The significance does not have to do with any grand realignment in the Middle East or the emergence of a military alliance between Russia and Iran. Russians and Iranians are not buddies. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 8/21/16

Rio 2016 Olympics: Iran's Yazdani aces freestyle wrestling bouts, clinches gold - Iranian freestyle wrestlers Hassan Yazdani Cherati and Hassan Rahimi have adeptly employed a mix of primal hand-to-hand combat and complex tactics at the wrestling competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and picked up two medals, including one gold. 8/20/16

President Rouhani congratulates Iran's first female Olympic medalist - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani extends his congratulation to taekwondo practitioner Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin for becoming the first Iranian female Olympian after winning the bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games. Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin received huge coverage by the Iranian media. Many newspapers covered the story prominently on their front pages. 8/20/16

Defining "Ransom" for the Anti-Iran Crowd - Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration had "secretly" sent $400 million to Iran in January, at the same time that the Iranian government agreed to release three American citizens whom it had detained (a fourth prisoner was also released in a separate deal). The Journal's framing was a bit odd-it's a stretch to call a payment "secret" when the president of the United States publicly acknowledged it when it was made. -Derek Davison 8/20/16

Taekwondo Player Kimia Alizadeh Is First Iranian Woman To Win Olympic Medal - Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin claimed the first ever Olympic medal by an Iranian woman in Rio on Friday. Alizadeh, 18, defeated Sweden's Nikita Glasnovic 5-1 in the under-57kg division to win the historic medal. "I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal, and I hope at the next Olympics we will get a gold," said Alizadeh, who wears a head covering under her headguard. 8/19/16

Olive: The World's First Intelligent Suitcase - A team of Iranian researchers at Tehran's Pardis Technology Park (PTP), using tracking algorithms, have recently presented a robotic intelligent suitcase. According to the public relations department of PTP, Olive Intelligent Robotic Suitcase is the outcome of efforts by the engineers at Idea Kavan San'at Pardis Company (IKAP) . 8/17/16

From Sa'dabad to Zanjan: First all-women car rally to be held in Iran - The first women-only car rally in Iran will be held on August 23-28, it was announced at a press conference at Sa'dabad Palace in Tehran last week. The rally will start at Sa'dabad Tourism Complex in Tehran and will end in the city of Zanjan, passing through Iranian provinces of Alborz and Qazvin. 8/16/16

Weightlifter Sohrab Moradi wins second gold medal for Iran at Rio 2016 - Iran's weightlifter Sohrab Moradi has lifted a total of 403 kilograms at the 94-kilogram category of Rio 2016 Olympics Games, and won the second gold medal for the Iranian squad at the event. 8/14/16

Iran oil fires raise cyber sabotage fears - Iran's cyberspace security authorities are looking into possible sabotage by the US or Israel following a recent string of fires in Iranian oil and gas facilities. 8/14/16

Weightlifter Kianoush Rostami Sets New World Record, Wins First Rio Gold For Iran - Iran has won the first medal of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games as weightlifter Kianoush Rostami grabs gold in the men's 85-kilogram category with a world record after lifting a total of 396 kilograms. The 25-year-old Iranian athlete lifted 179 and 217 kilograms in snatch and in clean and jerk respectively. 8/13/16

Is Iran's President Rouhani in Trouble? - Perhaps because of this unpleasant political landscape for the conservatives the attacks against Rouhani are intensifying and will likely worsen as the election nears. For example, the Friday Prayer Leader of the city of Mashhad, Ahmad Alamolhoda, chose this week to ignore Ayatollah Khamenei's stamp of approval on the nuclear agreement when he called Rouhani "gullible" for stating that the nuclear has brought Iran respect. -Farideh Farhi 8/12/16

"World Youth Orchestra - Sounds for Iran" project performs first concert in Tehran - The World Youth Orchestra and the Tehran Symphony Orchestra performed their first joint concert in Tehran's Vahdat Hall on Wednesday August 10. Two more performances are scheduled on Thursday and Friday nights. These concerts are organized by the National Academy of St. Cecilia and the Sapienza University of Rome. 8/11/16

Iranian President meets Russian and Azeri counterparts, urges dialog for all regional disputes - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for efforts to resolve all regional disputes through dialog and diplomacy. Rouhani made the remarks during a trilateral meeting with his Russian and Azeri counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, respectively, in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku on Monday. 8/9/16

Photos: Drought In Nahbandan, Eastern Iran - Drought affects the lives of residents of the eastern city of Nahbandan seen in these photos (taken on July 31) where people wait for tankers to bring them drinking water. 8/8/16

Cyrus Habib Poised to Become the First Iranian-American Lt. Governor - State Sen. Cyrus Habib (D-WA) has announced his victory in August 2nd's crowded primary election for Washington State Lieutenant Governor. If successful in the November general election, Habib will become the first Iranian American to be elected to the position of Lieutenant Governor, the highest officer of a state after the Governor. 8/8/16

Iranian Ritual Performer Aram Khalkhali Selected As Peace Ambassador Of MusicFestival Of Montignac - Montignac festival was held from July 26 to July 31, 2016 in the town of Montignac, France. At the closing ceremony, Ms. Khalkhali delivered the Peace Message to the other groups and as the representative of the festival expressed the international great aspiration for Peace on Earth. 8/7/16

Iranian-Swedish woman among winners of top European math prize - Iranian-Swedish mathematician, Sara Zahedi, has been awarded a prominent prize by the European Mathematical Society. This is the top honor for young European mathematicians awarded once every four years, according to NPR. 8/2/16

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Philanthropy

Young Persian Artists

Rights

In Support Of The Imprisoned Iranian-American Father And Son, Baquer And Siamak Namazi

General

World Bank forecasts 5.8% GDP growth for Iran in 2016

Iranian-American

US figures urge more Iran engagement

Politics

Brookings: JCPOA "Unlikely" to Cause Regional Arms Race

Economy

Hardliners: The Real Barrier to Iran's Economic Revival

Culture

Going their own way

Sports

Iranian weightlifter Kianoush Rostami sets two world record

Art

Look up Tehran! There is an art gallery above you!

Literature

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

Travel

New Adventure Film KARUN released 16th November Worldwide Aims to Change the Way We Think about Iran

Environment

Man-made Issues Exacerbate Iran's Water Crisis

Entertainment

Asghar Farhadi, Shahab Hosseini awarded at Cannes Film Festival

Music

A New Life For Iran's Orchestras?

Book

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

Event

Focus Iran Summit 2016: September 26-27, 2016 in Tehran

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last updated on Wed Aug 31 14:46:36 GMT 2016