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October 09 2015
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Senior Iranian Commander Killed in Syria

- A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander has been killed in Syria, Tehran said Friday, and French warplanes carried out fresh airstrikes in the country, as the conflict continued to take on a complex international component. 10/9/15

US Officials: Russian Missiles Aimed at Syria Crashed in Iran

- As many as four Russian long-range cruise missiles launched from warships in the Caspian Sea fell short of their Syrian targets and crashed in Iran, U.S officials said Thursday. The officials gave no information about exactly where the errant missiles might have landed or whether they caused any damage. -VOA 10/9/15

Putting Parchin to Rest

- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano and his top deputy last month finally paid a personal visit to a building at the sprawling Parchin military factory complex in Iran that they have suspected of housing unspecified nuclear-related experiments. Amano later reported that, in addition to some signs of recent renovation work, the building had "no equipment"inside it. -Robert Kelley 10/9/15

Iran's Powerful Revolutionary Guards Chief Warns Of 'Nuclear Sedition,' U.S. Plot

- The commander of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has denounced unspecified events surrounding Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers as "sedition" tied to a U.S. plot to derail the Islamic republic from its revolutionary path. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 10/9/15

Independent Tallies Put Death Toll From Hajj Crush Over 1,220

- The stampede last month during the hajj pilgrimage near Mecca killed between 1,221 and 1,399 people, according to independent tallies by news organizations. That is far more than the 769 dead officially reported by Saudi Arabia. The independent tallies are based on the number of dead reported by individual countries whose citizens were in the crush. 10/9/15

The Artist Sculpting Kurdish Identity in an Iranian City

- Hadi Ziaoddinni, a painstaking visual chronicler of Kurdish life and culture, now labors in the same building that the lady wordsmith (reputed to be the first female historian in the Middle East) likely wrote her celebrated histories and poems, in a mixture of Howrami Kurdish and Persian. Ziaoddinni's choice of subject matter is not coincidental. -Kirsten O'Regan, Hyperallergic 10/9/15

World Leaders Yawn at Saudi Human Rights Abuses

- When the Islamic State beheads captives, it's nothing less than "an assault on all humanity," President Obama told the UN last week. Good for you, Mr President, you're right to be indignant and angry when prisoners have their heads chopped off, and you're right to use your access to the international podium to condemn these sickening killings. Yet President Obama remains silent about U.S. ally Saudi Arabia's regular beheading of prisoners. -Brian Dooley, LobeLog 10/9/15

Ayotte Relying On Out-Of-State Anti-Iran Deal Donors In Reelection Bid

- Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has risen to prominence as the newest member of the so-called "three amigos." Alongside Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ayotte is one of the most hawkish and outspoken voices in the Senate, attacking the Obama administration's foreign policy on issues ranging from the Benghazi attack and the ongoing crisis in Syria to the agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran to limit the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 10/9/15

Khamenei Forbids Iran Negotiating With U.S. After Nuclear Talks

- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned any further negotiations between Iran and the United States October 7, in a blow to moderates hoping to end the two nations' decades-long estrangement. 10/8/15

Photos: Parvaz Homay musical group finally performs in Tehran

- The Parvaz Homay group, including Iranian singer and composer Saeed Jafarzadeh, finally performed a concert in Iran after eight years. ISNA reports that the group performed on the night of Tuesday October 5 at the Vahdat Concert Hall. 10/8/15

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Philipp Geist Gate Of Words Azadi Tower Tehran/ Iran 03.-05. Oct. 2015

How the Tragedy in Mecca Influences Iran-Saudi ties - Since September 24, 2015 when hundreds of Iranian pilgrims were killed in the stampede in the holy city of Mecca during the annual hajj, the public rage against the Saudi regime has reached a peak in the history of the relationship between the two countries. -LobeLog's Tehran Correspondent 10/8/15

Russian Tanks, Iranian-trained Militias Headed to Syria - Russia is adding to its barrage on rebel forces in Syria, sending in more firepower in the form of an additional Russian battalion armed with advanced tanks and artillery while punching ahead on the ground in central and western parts of the country with an Iranian-trained force that could number 10,000 or more. -Jeff Seldin, VOA 10/8/15

The Right-Wing Americans Who Made a Doc About Argentina - The new documentary, Los Abandonados (The Abandoned), presents a narrative that encompasses the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) center, Nisman's allegations against Iran in 2006, and finally, the prosecutor's untimely death by a .22-caliber revolver pistol shot to the head. -Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe, LobeLog 10/8/15

Iran to launch over 50 new oil projects - Iran says it plans to introduce above 50 new oil projects to international investors in what will be a key section of the country's plans to boost oil production in an emerging post-sanctions era. 10/8/15

Iran Boycotts Book Fair Over Rushdie Invite - Iran says it will boycott next week's Frankfurt Book Fair because the event has invited author Salman Rushdie to be a guest speaker. The Iranian Culture Ministry said on its website on October 8 that Rushdie is hated in the Islamic world for writing "books insulting to Islam." 10/8/15

Iran to seal deal with Mercedes-Benz soon - Gholam-Reza Razzazi, the managing director of Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing (IDEM), told reporters that the cooperation with Mercedes-Benz will specifically involve the production of Arna mini-trucks as well as Arian mini-buses - both IDEM's upcoming products. 10/8/15

Report: Iran-based hackers spy using fake LinkedIn profiles - A group of suspected Iranian hackers are using a sophisticated network of fake LinkedIn profiles to spy on unsuspecting targets worldwide -- including the U.S. -- according to a new report. -CNN 10/8/15

Politics versus Policy: Follow-up to the Iran Nuclear Agreement - It is not surprising, given how domestic politics tends to work, that since the agreement survived last month's Congressional gauntlet we have been seeing a sort of rebalancing of political accounts in which the forces opposing the agreement are being propitiated in other respects. Although the propitiation is understandable in terms of domestic politics, it is damaging U.S. foreign policy interests. It undermines the prospects for constructively building on the agreement to advance other U.S. interests in the Middle East, and it may even imperil the nuclear agreement itself. -Paul Pillar 10/7/15

Iran's widespread water crisis fuels rural depopulation - The Governor of Tabas says many residents of rural areas in Southern Khorasan are migrating due to the "rapid fall in the level of underground waters" in the region. ILNA reports that at a meeting of the Council of Water Resource Protection, the Tabas Governor stressed that Southern Khorasan is among the 16 provinces currently in a severe water crisis. 10/7/15

IMF: Iran accord to lift Mideast economy - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the Middle East and North Africa are set to benefit from Iran's nuclear agreement, lifting economic growth in the region next year. In its biannual World Economic Outlook, the IMF said growth will "pick up substantially in 2016, supported by accelerated activity in the Islamic Republic of Iran" which is the Middle East's second largest economy. 10/7/15

Iran's Supreme Court Refuses to Grant Imprisoned Activist a Retrial - The political activist and university professor Saeed Madani, imprisoned in Iran since January 2012 for his peaceful activism and participation in a nonviolent political opposition group, has been denied a retrial by the Supreme Court, his wife Mansoureh Ettefagh told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 10/7/15

Iran's Javad Zarif on Russia and Peace in Syria - Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is in demand these days. On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, he shook hands with President Obama and met twice with Secretary of State John Kerry. (Zarif and Kerry have been nominated, jointly, for the Nobel Peace Prize, scheduled to be announced this week, for their two-year negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal.) -Robin Wright, New Yorker 10/7/15

Report: Iranians can buy from Amazon, Ebay - Iranians can now make online shopping from major retailers Amazon and Ebay through a delivery channel established by the Iran Post Company, its managing director says. 10/7/15

How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow - At a meeting in Moscow in July, a top Iranian general unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory - with Russia's help. Major General Qassem Soleimani's visit to Moscow was the first step in planning for a Russian military intervention that has reshaped the Syrian war and forged a new Iranian-Russian alliance in support of Assad. -Reuters 10/7/15

The Entrepreneur Behind Iran's Billion-Dollar Super Mall - On the outskirts of Iran's historic city of Isfahan, one of the largest shopping malls in the Middle East has taken shape. -Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg 10/7/15

Another Intifada? - Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation experience daily injustices: mass arrests, arbitrary detentions, military raids, separate and unequal legal systems, road closures, restrictions on travel, and settler attacks. However, only when Israeli Jews are killed does the region make the news in the United States and pundits start talking about "escalating violence" and "rising tensions." -Naomi Dann, LobeLog 10/7/15

The United States Needs to Rein in Its Regional Allies - The interests of the great powers and their regional allies have seldom totally coincided, and often their interests have diverged in important ways. This was even true during the Cold War era, despite the fact that within each competing camp allies shared the same ideology. -Shireen T. Hunter 10/6/15

Accused Iranian tycoon pledges payback of "Oil Fraud" proceeds - Judge Salavati announced at the beginning of the October 5 session that the foreign lawyers of Babak Zanjani have provided a draft of an unconditional commitment to pay off all the money owed to the National Iranian Oil Company. 10/6/15

Iranian MPs seek details of case against Washington Post reporter - Eleven Iranian MPs have called on the Minister of Justice to provide them with information regarding the "spying activities" of Jason Rezaian, the Iranian reporter working for the Washington Post who is on trial in Iran for espionage charges. 10/6/15

'Elegy' by Iranian director Yousef Kargar shortlisted for 89th Academy Awards - Yousef Kargar's 'Elegy' has received a nomination to the 2016 Academy Awards after winning the Jury Award for Best Foreign Short at the 3rd Summer Slam Film Festival (SSFF) 2015. Elegy, produced by the Orumieh office of Iranian Youth Cinema Society, narrates the story of an old man who has been waiting for the return of his missing son for 25 years. 10/6/15

Sister of Saeed Malekpour Says Family Hopes for a Pardon for Imprisoned Iranian Web Developer - Prisoner of conscience Saeed Malekpour, serving a life sentence for blasphemy, has been allowed monthly family visits at Evin Prison where he has been held for the last seven years, after a year in which prison authorities denied him in-person visitation, his sister Maryam Malekpour told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 10/6/15

Cautiously, Iranians Reclaim Public Spaces and Liberties Long Suppressed - As the music ended and the crowd rose in a standing ovation, several women in the audience could be seen with heads bared, the obligatory head scarves draped around their necks. This was no underground concert by an indie band in North Tehran, though. Rather, it was a recital by a classical lute player in Vahdat Hall. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times 10/6/15

Iran, its Youth and the Tech Start ups - "Iranians are just like the Israelis, very entrepreneurial", says Parsha Ghaffari CEO and founder of an Artificial Intelligence startup, Aylien. Parsha Ghaffari, an Iranian youth who launched his startup venture in Ireland represents the youth of contemporary Iran. -Snehal Manjrekar, Market Express 10/6/15

Three Strikes and You're Out? The False Promise of Aerial Policing - The unlearned lessons of America's recent failures in war took an ominous and strange twist last week as yet another state embraced the false promise of aerial policing in the Middle East. Russia represents the third country in the modern era to mount an aerial campaign to try and police the region's politics from 10,000 feet. - James A. Russell, LobeLog 10/6/15

Photos: German Artist Philipp Geist's "Gate Of Words" Light Up Tehran's Azadi Square - German artist Philipp Geist's light installation entitled "Gate of Words" pours down colored words of love, peace and freedom on Tehran's Azadi Tower for three days from October 3 to 5. The shining words, in English, German and Persian, move with the live music on the walls of the tower, the German artist said during a press conference held at the tower last Wednesday. 10/5/15

"Oblivion Season" by Iranian director Abbas Rafei crowned best at Universal Film Festival - Iranian director Abbas Rafei's "Oblivion Season" won the best film award at the Universal Film Festival in Kansas City, Missouri, the organizers announced on Saturday. In addition, the film brought Sareh Bayat the award for best actress. 10/5/15

Former Iranian diplomat still missing in Saudi Arabia: Deputy FM - A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic is seriously pursuing the fate of Iran's former ambassador to Lebanon who remains unaccounted for after the tragic September 24 crush in Mina, Saudi Arabia. 10/5/15

Persian Tech Entrepreneurs in D.C. - Persian Tech Entrepreneurs aims to highlight the significant achievements of entrepreneurs within the Iranian American community, while serving as an inclusive platform that champions innovation. Join PTE at their first event in D.C. for a day of fantastic speakers and networking with fellow entrepreneurs. NIAC's own Reza Marashi will be speaking on the 'Business and Government' panel among many other distinguished business professionals. 10/5/15

Trendy Tehran: Meet the female entrepreneurs breaking boundaries in Iran - Mahsa Rezazadeh started her cafe in Tehran seven years ago and now brings in a better wage than her husband, a lawyer. She attributes her success amid a sanctions-shattered Iranian economy to hard work and the fact that however bad things get in Iran, Iranians cannot resist the smell of a home-cooked meal and freshly brewed coffee. -Maryam Babak, International Business Times 10/5/15

The Superpower as Victim - Given the cluttered landscape of the last 14 years, can you even faintly remember the moment when the Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War ended in a stunned silence of shock and triumph in Washington, Eastern Europe was freed, Germany unified, and the Soviet Union vanished from the face of the Earth? At that epochal moment, six centuries of imperial rivalries ended. Only one mighty power was left. -Tom Engelhardt, LobeLog 10/5/15

Iran holds funerals for victims of human crush in Mina - Iranians held mourning ceremonies in the capital, Tehran, and other cities for the victims of the tragic human crush of September 24 in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during the Hajj pilgrimage rituals. A large crowd of people attended the funeral ceremonies across the country on Sunday October 4, 2015, 10 days after the tragic incident killed hundreds of pilgrims. 10/4/15

Trial starts for Iranian tycoon accused of keeping oil proceeds - Iranian tycoon Babak Zanjani went on trial on Saturday for embezzlement charges involving the sale of oil. ISNA reports that Zanjani was brought to court under strict security measures on Saturday October 3, adding that his lawyer and two sisters were present in court. 10/4/15

Iran: Facebook Activist Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for "Insulting the Prophet" - Soheil Arabi, whose death sentence for "insulting the prophet" was recently struck down by the Supreme Court, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, a source close to the case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 10/4/15

Four Iranian Ministers Warns President Of Looming Economic Crisis - The Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday September 4 that the ministers of the economy, industry, labour and defence have delivered a joint letter to the Iranian president criticizing the "inconsistent policies of government bodies". 10/4/15

'Unusual' wheat loadings for Iran in Europe - Ships are scheduled to make unusual loadings of about 60,000 tonnes of wheat for Iran, but overall demand from the country is expected to be very low this year, European traders say. 10/4/15

How the Nuclear Deal Will Give a Huge Boost to Iran's Reformists - When future generations of Iranians and Americans look back at the deal with Iran over its nuclear program in Vienna in July, they will certainly consider it a victory for dialogical diplomacy and patient policy-making. But they will also remember it as an opportunity for Iranian civic actors to enable and empower Iran's civil society space. -Ramin Jahanbegloo , Huffington Post 10/4/15

Curious about Iran's art scene? Here are 3 videos that'll take you up close - Iran has a rich history of painters, artists, and calligraphers. Unfortunately, the Iranian art scene receives little attention - but not because of a lack of contemporary Iranian artists. In fact, the situation is quite the opposite: there are Iranian artists active in almost all categories of art, from contemporary and street art to classical Islamic art. -Frida Lundgren, Your Middle East 10/4/15

First Group Of Iran Hajj Dead Return Home - Iran is welcoming a plane carrying home the first group of Iranian pilgrims killed in last week's stampede during the annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. President Hassan Rouhani was among several senior officials attending a repatriation ceremony Saturday at the Tehran airport as the plane arrived. 10/3/15

Kerry, Zarif Meet At UN To Discuss Syria, Iran Nuclear Deal - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held an impromptu meeting at a United Nations gathering of world leaders October 2 to discuss Syria and carrying out the Iran nuclear deal. Kerry and Zarif sent their advisers out of the room to meet alone, then left separately without commenting. 10/3/15

Iran Orders Bahraini Diplomat To Leave In Tit-For-Tat Move - Iranian news media are reporting that Iran's Foreign Ministry has declared Bahrain's second-ranking diplomat in Tehran persona non grata and ordered him out of the country. 10/3/15

Silent Arrogance: Netanyahu at the UN - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly today, one day after a speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Nothing of substance is going to change as a result of these speeches. But Netanyahu's in particular offered a good picture of the current state of affairs and why they are what they are. -Mitchell Plitnick, LobeLog 10/3/15

The Destructive U.S.-Backed Campaign in Yemen - The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) reports that during a six-month period from late March until last week (even before the incident involving the wedding) at least 2,355 civilians had been killed in the fighting in Yemen, with almost two-thirds of the deaths caused by airstrikes conducted by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 10/3/15

After the Iran Deal: Getting Beyond Enmity - Why has the United States been so unwilling to take advantage of a closer tie with Iran, the most internally stable nation in the area with a population of roughly 80 million, a post-sanction burgeoning economy with substantial American investment opportunities, and sizable energy resources? Why have we been unwilling to recognize that Iran has legitimate national and religious interests-some quite compatible with our own regional concerns? -Charles Naas 10/2/15

Captain of Iran's Persepolis football team dies of cardiac arrest - Iranian soccer player Hadi Norouzi has lost his life after suffering a heart attack, in what has been described as the second tragedy to strike the Islamic Republic's soccer in nearly a month. 10/2/15

Pars Equality Center Celebrates "Power Of Community" Fundraising Luncheon At SLS Beverly Hills - On Sunday, September 27, 2015, Pars Equality Center - the leading non-profit organization celebrating five years of providing social and legal services to the Iranian-American community - hosted the "Power of Community" Luncheon at the SLS Beverly Hills. Keynote speaker was entrepreneur Farhad Mohit (founder & CEO, Flipagram). 10/2/15

Netanyahu Slams Iran Nuclear Deal at UN - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a blistering condemnation of the deal between Iran and major world powers aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly Thursday in New York. -Margaret Besheer, Mark Snowiss, VOA 10/2/15

NIAC Action Denounces Latest House Effort to Derail Iran Deal - NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3457, the "Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act," a bill that would threaten to kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: 10/2/15

Saudi King expresses sympathy to Iran over pilgrim deaths - After days of contentious exchanges between Iranian and Saudi authorities over the tragic incident in Mena that led to the death of thousands of Muslim pilgrims, the Saudi King has reportedly sent a message of condolence to the Iranian government. 10/2/15

Cardin Finally Introduces Still-Weaker Iran Oversight Bill - After a couple of weeks of negotiations with fellow Democrats and (indirectly) with the White House, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has finally introduced the latest version of his "Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015." It is co-sponsored by eight of his most AIPAC-sensitive colleagues, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who, like Cardin, voted with Republicans to reject the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last month. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 10/2/15

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Iranian Bank's Appeal Over 1983 Lebanon Attack - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Iran's central bank against a $1.75 billion judgment over a 1983 bomb attack on a U.S. Marines barracks in Lebanon. 10/2/15

Henry of Arabia - The only person Henry Kissinger flattered more than President Richard Nixon was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. In the early 1970s, the Shah, sitting atop an enormous reserve of increasingly expensive oil and a key figure in Nixon and Kissinger's move into the Middle East, wanted to be dealt with as a serious person. He expected his country to be treated with the same respect Washington showed other key Cold War allies like West Germany and Great Britain. -Greg Grandin, LobeLog 10/2/15

Why are Iranian husbands standing up for their wives? - Husbands in Iran are taking pictures of themselves declaring their commitment to female equality - and thousands are sharing their messages on Facebook. -BBC 10/2/15

Shell, Total get first gas stations in Iran - Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total are the first foreign companies ever to win access to Iran's retail energy market after getting permit for 200 service stations which they will set up across the energy-rich country. ​ 10/2/15

Iranian government reacts to restrictions on women travelling abroad - After the National Women's Futsal team captain, Nilufar Ardalan, was denied leaving the country to participate in the Asian Championships 2015 because her husband refused to give her permission to leave the country, negative reactions to the legal requirement of a husband's permission for Iranian women seeking to travel abroad continues to make headlines. 10/1/15

Iran Says Hajj Death Toll Hits 464 - Iran's hajj organization said Thursday that 464 Iranians are now confirmed dead after last week's stampede during the annual Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Before Thursday, Iran's total had been half that number with the fate of others unknown since the crush of pilgrims happened outside the city of Mecca last week. Saudi authorities have said the total number of victims is at least 769 people with Iranians making up the largest share. 10/1/15

Conspiracy Theories Fly In Iran Over Deadly Hajj Incident - Tehran has said that negligence and mismanagement by Saudi organizers caused last week's hajj stampede that left at least 464 Iranians dead. The Iranian losses were the largest incurred by any nationality in the deadly crush that took place in the Mina neighborhood of Mecca on September 24, the deadliest tragedy to befall the annual Muslim pilgrimage in 25 years. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 10/1/15

Kayhan Kahlor and Erdal Erzincan to perform at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California - Four-time Grammy Award nominee Kayhan Kalhor is a legendary musician in the classical Persian tradition, with devoted fans that span the globe. Together with Turkish baglama player Erdal Erzincan, he will explore traditions of improvisation at the nexus of Persian and North Indian music. 10/1/15

Women in Iran Are Ready to Show They Mean Business - Women in Iran are ready to make career gains in a way few of their peers can in the Gulf Arab world. -Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg 10/1/15

Birth anniversary of Royana; Iran's 1st cloned sheep - Iran's first successfully cloned sheep was born on September 30, 2006 from an adult cell in a test tube in a laboratory. Nine years since then, and the country is making rapid progress in the field of biotechnology. 10/1/15

The United States and Iran: A Great Rapprochement? - In 1968, as the world was unravelling at the seams, the historian Bradford Perkins published The Great Rapprochement. The book chronicled the U.S. move away from "Anglophobia" and toward "Anglophilia" during the two decades prior to the First World War. Without the "great rapprochement," a product of geopolitical calculations and cultural affinities, the United States may not have allied with Great Britain during the world wars. What a different world it could have been. -Matthew Shannon 9/30/15

Penelope brings message of peace and friendship to National Museum of Iran - TEHRAN - National Museum of Iran is playing host to the exhibition of "A Statue for Peace: The Penelope Sculptures, From Persepolis to Rome", which features four statutes of Penelope from the collections of the National Museum of Iran and two European museums. 9/30/15

President Rouhani: Iran Seeks Peace, Development - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that the nuclear deal agreed to between the six major powers and Tehran should signal a new era and help lead to peace and stability in the Middle East. Speaking at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, Rouhani said the nuclear deal is "not the final objective, but a development which can and should be the basis of further achievements to come." -Margaret Besheer, VOA 9/29/15

IAAB's YAR Fellowship: An Exciting New Opportunity in Iran - We're excited to share our new and improved itinerary for the YAR Fellowship, our newest groundbreaking program! YAR is a yearlong fellowship program that includes a three-week full-immersion course in Iran, to be held January 4th- 24th, 2016. YAR will bring together advanced undergraduates, recent college grads and graduate students, who will deepen their scholarly, professional and cultural understanding of Iran. 9/29/15

Obama Says U.S. Willing To Work With Russia and Iran To Resolve Syrian War - U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States is prepared to work with Russia and Iran to bring an end to the conflict in Syria but that a resolution to the war must include a "managed transition" away from Syrian President al-Bashar Assad. 9/29/15

Iranian women win their first futsal championship - Iran's women's national futsal team has lifted the trophy at the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Futsal Championship in Malaysia following a victory over the Japanese side. 9/27/15

Top US, Iranian Diplomats Discuss Syria, Iran Nuclear Deal - The United States sees a "major opportunity" in diplomatic talks at the United Nations to end the bloodshed in Syria and Yemen and to make progress toward achieving peace there. Secretary of State John Kerry gave that optimistic assessment following his talks in New York Saturday with Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, ahead of the opening of the annual U.N. General Assembly debate on Monday. -Pamela Dockins, VOA 9/27/15

Film on prophet's childhood chosen as Iran's Oscar entry - Iran is sending Majid Majidi's latest film Mohammad, the Messenger of God to vie for the Oscar for best foreign language film for 2016. The Mehr News Agency reports that from the six films being considered in Iran, Mohammad, the Messenger of God was unanimously chosen. 9/27/15

How Pope Francis US Visit Can Help Boost Diplomacy and Defeat Militarism - Pope Francis's visit to Washington DC could not have been better timed for the Obama administration. Relations with Cuba have been normalized and the Iran nuclear deal has survived the theatrics of the mandated Congressional review. Pope Francis has of course played an important role in many of these wins for President Barack Obama. He helped with the backchannel diplomacy with Havana, he has endorsed the Iran deal and the White House has reportedly also enlisted his offices to help secure the release of three American citizens imprisoned in Iran. -Trita Parsi 9/26/15

Whatever Happened to the Iranian Parliament's JCPOA's Review? - Earlier this week Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appointed Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs and chief nuclear negotiator, to oversee the implementation phase of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The appointment came after Secretary of State John Kerry designated Ambassador Stephen Mull as lead coordinator for JCPOA's implementation on the US side. -Farideh Farhi, LobeLog 9/26/15

Rohani: 'Long Road To Travel' Before U.S.-Iran Ties Normalize - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said that ties with the United States had improved, but there was a "long road to travel" before their relations could normalize. "The situation has certainly changed," Rohani said on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York to a group of senior editors from media organizations. 9/26/15

US-Iran Talks to Focus on Nuclear Deal, Regional Tensions - Working out ways to implement the Iran nuclear deal and possible discussions of the Syrian conflict will be on the agenda when Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. The two will meet Saturday in New York, where world powers are gathering for the U.N. General Assembly. 9/26/15

War Profits Drive GOP Hawks: Wilkerson on GOP Debate - Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell: But there is a group in this country who will put money behind anyone who looks like he's going to maintain and even push more stridently than before the business of war, if you will. I've recently had a person at the highest levels of power in this land say to me, inside Washington there's a bias toward war. That's absolutely correct. Lots of people made a lot of money off the invasion of Iraq. Lots of people made a lot of money off Afghanistan. 9/20/15

RECKLESS HYPOCRISY: The Folly of Self-Righteous Indignation - I have been mulling the futility of critiquing America's tragically misguided foreign policy toward the Islamic world, the Middle East, and particularly in dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Of course I would like to believe, and sometimes do even pretend, that my articles or lectures, like those of many other observers and analysts who have similar views, have had an impact, however minute, in bringing about some detectable change of attitude in the public domain. -Kam Zarrabi 9/15/15

The EU's Emerging Post-Deal Iran Strategy - Although the debate in the US on the Iran nuclear deal is heated and ongoing, the EU is quietly forging ahead with its own post-deal Iran strategy. Unlike in the US, there is no need for parliamentary review in the European Parliament or in the national parliaments of the EU member states to make the deal effective. On the same day that the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the deal, so did the Council of the EU-a body representing the national governments of the EU states. -Eldar Mamedov 9/15/15

Iranian freestyle wrestlers land in 2nd place in world wrestling championships - Iran's national freestyle wrestling team has finished its campaign at the 12th edition of the World Wrestling Championships in the United States, taking the second place at the end of the prestigious international with no gold medal in tally. 9/13/15

The Jewish Community and the Iran Deal - First, of the 28 Jewish members of Congress, 19 effectively voted in favor of the JCPOA, while nine opposed, including the one Jewish Republican (Lee Zeldin) in the House. Of the Democratic opponents, seven Jewish senators supported the deal. Only two Jewish senators--Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin--opposed it. In the House, 11 Democratic members voted to approve it; nine were opposed. -Jim Lobe 9/13/15

The Iran Deal and American Jews - Far too much of the analysis of the nuclear deal with Iran has focused on what the American Jewish community and Israeli leaders think, as if those opinions were more important than those of the other Americans, Iranians, and international community at large who are also affected by the deal. -Naomi Dann, Jewish Voice for Peace 9/8/15

Shahrzaad's Tale From Iran's First Woman Filmmaker, Actress, Dancer And Poet To A Wandering Homeless - Shahrzaad's Tale is a story of a lost era and a forgotten star of pre-revolutionary Iranian cinema; it is the story of an accomplished poet, filmmaker and cultural critic who was tragically silenced by the political storms of the period. 9/3/15

Iranian Exiles Embrace Israel's Drive Against Nuclear Deal - Since July 14 when the Vienna nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 - the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany - was announced, its opponents have been waging an all-out war against it. In particular, the same pundits who lied to us to lead the United States to a catastrophic war in Iraq are doing the same again, this time against Iran. But, one opposition group is most interesting because it consists of some of the Iranian exiles living in the United States. -Muhammad Sahimi 9/1/15

The Citadel of the Original Royal Avesta in Persepolis - It is said both in the native and foreign sources that the original Avesta "written on 12,000 prepared cow-skins, and with gold ink," was burnt together with other treasures and books when Alexander of Macedonia set Parsgarde (Persepolis) on fire. In other sources, it is said that there were actually two copies, one kept in Shapigan treasury and the other in the "citadel of writings" dejnebeshteh whose exact location had never been found, thus a mystery. -Khoobchehr Keshavarzi 7/27/15

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last updated on Fri Oct 9 14:01:33 GMT 2015