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July 27 2015
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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

Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications

- In a meeting with government officials on July 18th, four days after the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, President Rouhani of Iran praised the work of his negotiating team and called the deal a triumph. Is the President right? Does the deal really signify a victory for Iran, as he claims, or an elusive surrender, as a number of critics have pointed out? To answer these questions, a brief review of the contents of the agreement is in order. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh 7/27/15

Iran nuclear agreement is an historic opportunity for peace

- Many congratulations to all parties involved in the historic agreement on the future of Iran's nuclear programme. Well done to Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari in bringing home an historic deal for Iran and the world. Commendations to John Kerry and the leaders from the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany in reaching an agreement that will result in Iran agreeing not to develop nuclear weapons. -Richard Branson 7/27/15

Iran's state banks to join SWIFT once JCPOA comes into effect: Official

- An official at the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says the country's state-run banks will soon rejoin the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) once Iran's nuclear agreement with the world powers enters into effect. 7/27/15

Anti-Iran Deal Groups Better Funded Than Pro-Deal Groups By Nearly Five to One

- The Democratic Party has latched onto the message that critics of the Iran deal are spending big money over the next 60 days to kill the agreement in Congress. Last Wednesday, for example, House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) commented that, "I know there's tens of millions of dollars lined up against the agreement." And Obama, interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show last week, criticized "lobbyists" and "money" working against the deal. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 7/27/15

Duluth orchestra, Iranian composer make music history

- For perhaps the first time since the Iranian revolution in 1979, an Iranian composer living in Iran is collaborating with an American orchestra. It's the world premiere of "Kalileh," a classic Persian fable set to music by composer Hooshyar Khayam. 7/27/15

Nader Tehrani Named Dean Of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture

- Nader Tehrani, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been appointed dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He joins Cooper this month. 7/27/15

Iran builds $2.5 billion power plant in Iraq

- Iran is building a natural gas combined cycle power plant in Iraq's Basra at a cost of $2.5 billion in the Persian country's biggest engineering services deal yet. 7/27/15

On Iran Congress Risks Alienating Europe

- Members of Congress opposing the Iranian nuclear deal don't seem to care that it's a multilateral agreement their longest-serving European allies support. Europeans are far from impressed that the US legislature has taken hostage the diplomatic roadmap on the nuclear file that they played a critical role in negotiating. GOP Republicans have clearly attempted to shift the debate from a vote on the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) announced last week to one on the US presidential legacy and US-Iran relations. -Ellie Geranmayeh 7/26/15

Female Entrepreneurs Fuel A Changing Iran

- It has been a long parade of investors and foreign CEOs in the office of Nazanin Daneshvar, a young female engineer who founded the e-commerce company Takhfifan (Persian for "discount"). She welcomes such visitors, and foreign journalists, who have come to Iran to discover a country as hopes have risen that the international economic sanctions will be lifted. -Sophie Fay, Worldcrunch 7/26/15

Featured Video

The documentary shows how three young women - Irish pro surfer Easkey, Iranian pro snowboarder Mona and Iranian diver Shalha are introducing a new sport in Iran: SURF.
Through the eyes of these three main characters, the viewer experiences the journey from a unique and unusual perspective full of heart and emotion. After introducing the three characters, the film reveals their journey to the remote southeastern region of Iran, Baluchistan, where Mona and Shalha are going to learn to surf with Easkey. All three share a passion and belief in the power of sport, especially surfing, as a way to break down social and cultural barriers, and to connect with others.
The film shows how these three young women are encouraging more people to join them and how surf is becoming accepted and practiced by the local Baluchi community. Their enthusiasm for this new sport and excitement at the opportunities it could offer grows.
Together they are planting the seed of surfing in Iran and making history by creating the first Iranian surf club. The film also captures the diversity and complexity of Iran, documenting the contrast between the rural, traditional region of Baluchistan and the capital city of Tehran, where sport is already well developed. The capacity women have to follow their passion and practice sport in these different places is documented. Through the eyes of these young, pioneering sportswomen the film explores why it so important for women to practice sport and how the apparently simple act of surfing can become a powerful creative medium for change.


Into The Sea

Rouhani Government and Conservatives Clash over Laws on Female Dress - More than two-thirds of the members of the Iranian Parliament-216 MPs-have signed a resolution supporting the implementation of a law that requires women to observe strict rules on clothing in public. The Rouhani administration has expressed doubts on the effectiveness of coercive tactics against women who are not as observant as hardliners in the Islamic Republic would like them to be. 7/26/15

The Sources of Opposition to the Iran Agreement - An air of unreality pervades much of the debate on the agreement to restrict Iran's nuclear program. Opponents of the agreement raise issue after issue on which the agreement is clearly superior to the alternative that would exist if the opponents succeed in getting the U.S. Congress to kill the deal, but the opponents keep raising such issues anyway. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 7/26/15

Iran's Kurdistan University establishes first Kurdish literature program - University of Kurdistan announced that in the coming year it is launching its first Kurdish language and literature program. The university reports that the program will start by accepting 40 students in September of 2015. 7/26/15

Iran's "Smart filter" for internet now in second stage - Iran's minister of communications reports that the first stage of "smart filtering" for the internet has been "successful" and the second stage has now been launched. IRNA reports that according to Mahmoud Vaezi, the so called "smart filtering" is a complex project envisioned in three stages. 7/26/15

For new Iranian American lobbying group, response to nuclear deal is pivotal first test - In 2002, during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq - and as the possibility of war with Iran loomed - four Iranian Americans formed the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), largely to voice opposition to war with Iran and urge diplomatic negotiations. Now, 13 years later, the group is launching an advocacy arm, NIAC Action, that aims to take Iranian Americans' voice in politics to the next level. -Catherine Ho, Washington Post 7/26/15

Former AIPAC Official on Iran's Importance to AIPAC - So it was pretty compelling Thursday when The Nelson Report quoted a "former AIPAC official" on why the legendary lobby was so heavily invested in persuading Congress to reject the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1. I'm posting it here with Chris's permission. -Jim Lobe, Lobelog 7/26/15

British Foreign Office Eases Travel Advice For Iran Visits - Britain's Foreign Office has eased its travel advisory on visits to Iran. The new advisory issued on July 25 no longer urges British citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to the country. However, it calls on Britons to avoid traveling to border areas close to Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. 7/26/15

US Lawmakers, Obama Officials Spar on Iran Nuclear Deal - Secretary of State John Kerry sparred with members of a Senate committee during the first public hearing on the controversial deal to lift economic and other sanctions against Iran in exchange for it scaling back its nuclear program. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew joined Kerry Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. -VOA 7/24/15

White House Calls Rally Against Iran Nuclear Deal 'Pro-War' - The White House has called a demonstration against the Iran nuclear deal a "pro-war rally." The main speaker at the demonstration, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, is one of several GOP candidates who have said that, as president, they would be ready to launch an immediate military strike on Iran. The rally was held outside the White House itself. 7/24/15

German Economy Minister defends landmark Iran visit - Germany's Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has defended his visit to Iran, dismissing criticism by pro-Israel lobby groups which are furious at Europe's bid for post-sanction business with Tehran. Speaking to reporters in Berlin Thursday, Gabriel said Tehran's refusal to recognize Israel is not a legitimate reason to avoid doing business with Iran. 7/24/15

The Iran Deal: Where Are the Fault Lines? - It's tempting to see the successful negotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)between Iran and the P5+1 nations as the conclusion of nearly two years of negotiations. But the reality is that last week's achievement is only the beginning. Now comes the task of winning approval for the agreement among participating governments, maintaining the terms of the agreement (some of which last up to 25 years), and managing the deal's ramifications for the Middle East and beyond. -Derek Davison 7/24/15

Iranian activist Nargress Mohammadi decries plight of mothers in prison - Nargess Mohammadi, the prominent Iranian human rights defender and deputy director of the Human Rights Defenders Centre who has been in prison for over two months, has written a letter from Evin Prison revisiting eight years of motherhood in the light of her activism. The letter, published on the Defenders of Human Rights Centre website, reveals that Nargess Mohammadi's twins have now left Iran and are living with their father. 7/24/15

Hardline Iranian Clerics Stop Screening of Film on Shia Religious Figure - A highly anticipated award-winning film about the revered 7th century Shia religious figure, Imam Hossein, has been pulled from cinemas across Iran on the first day of its screening following criticism by conservative religious leaders. The film's director, Ahmad Reza Darvish, maintains that he has had the support of senior religious leaders throughout the production process. 7/24/15

Tehran keen on removing obstacles in way of foreign trade: Iran industry minister - Iran's Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh says Tehran works to remove obstacles in way of foreign trade seeking long term economic cooperation with Europe in various areas including infrastructure, tourism, industry and investment. 7/24/15

Post Box public sculpture latest to be stolen in Tehran - Another bronze sculpture on public display in the streets of Tehran has been stolen. The Shargh daily reports that on Monday July 20, the 120-kg bronze sculpture entitled Post Box was stolen. The sculpture, which depicts a child dropping a letter into a mailbox, was installed in front of the Postal Museum in Tehran on Imam Khomeini (Sepah) Street. 7/24/15

Correcting the Critics of the Iran Nuclear Deal - From the standpoint of U.S. security, the agreement on Iran's nuclear program announced on July 14 is a very good one. Iran consented to a significant rollback of its nuclear capacity and to a level of monitoring far exceeding any other country. The main goal of the U.S. and its partners has been met: Iran's path to a nuclear weapon has been blocked. -Mitchell Plitnick 7/24/15

Greece, Iran, and the Rules of the Game - Alexis Tsipras had a choice. As the leader of the fledgling Syriza government in Greece, he could have told the European Union to stuff its austerity plan. He could have taken the risk that the EU would offer a better deal to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Or, failing that, he could have navigated his country into the uncharted waters of economic independence. But he chose to "follow the rules" by accepting the EU plan. - John Feffer, LobeLog 7/24/15

The Fine or the Crude Art of Window Dressing Hypocrisy at its Best - Those who actually believe (perhaps better than 95% of the public here) that the main purpose of the nuclear agreement reached between the world powers and Iran was to delay and hopefully to stop Iran's clandestine efforts to develop atomic weapons can now be cautiously optimistic that the mission has been accomplished. -Kambiz Zarrabi 7/23/15

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and UN Resolution 2231: The winners and the losers - The dust has settled and the long-awaited agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany) called "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (JCPOA) is now a reality. The JCPOA curtails Iran's nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Also real is the UN Resolution 2231, which terminates all the previous sanctions resolutions against Iran passed by the United Nations Security Council. We can now announce the winners and losers in the 36-year battle between Iran and its adversaries. -Sasan Fayazmanesh 7/23/15

Iran, Europe finalize $2B of projects: $178B more to go - Iran and the EU have opened a conference on trade and investment in Vienna, with Iranian officials pledging to splash out more than $180 billion on oil and gas projects. 7/23/15

UN Petition Seeks To Win Tehran Reporter's Release - The Washington Post filed an urgent petition July 22 with the United Nations for the release of the newspaper's jailed Tehran correspondent, Jason Rezaian, on the anniversary of his arrest in Iran. The reporter faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted in Iran on charges of espionage and anti-government propaganda -- charges which he and his family vehemently deny. 7/23/15

Turkey Allegedly Had Role in Helping Iran Dodge Sanctions - More details are emerging about the role Turkey has allegedly been playing in assisting Iran to dodge international sanctions involving the trading of gold by an Iranian businessman that Turkey's president once dubbed a philanthropist. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA 7/23/15

Iran's Economy after the Nuclear Deal - The critics of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed last week between the Western powers and Iran cite the potential benefits of the agreement for Iran as the main reason why it is bad for the US and its allies in the Middle East. They're wrong, however, that the extra economic resources flowing to Iran as a result of lifting sanctions will empower it to expand its influence, destabilize the region, and to undermine Western interests. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani 7/23/15

Can Washington Meet Iran's Deepest Challenge--to US Hegemony in the Middle East? - Comments abound on Obama's achievement in reaching an agreement with Iran on nuclear issues. For a predictable minority it's not an achievement at all but a terrible setback. Most criticism focuses on the challenge of possible Iranian cheating. That misses the big picture: is Washington itself able to deal with an ascendant Iran--much like the challenge of an ascendant China? -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog 7/23/15

Iranian teachers arrested as forces bust protest at Parliament - Teachers' efforts to stage demonstrations on Wednesday July 22 were unsuccessful; however, it appears that their protests have reached the ears of MPs, who have reacted to their demands in Parliament. 7/23/15

Thousands Protest In Times Square Against Iran Nuclear Deal - housands of pro-Israel protesters packed into New York's Times Square July 22 to demand that Congress vote down the proposed U.S. nuclear deal with Iran. Protesters, including Republican politicians, Jewish and evangelical Christian groups, chanted "Kill the deal," which they denounced as a threat to Israel and global security. 7/23/15

No country big enough to disrespect Iran: Aide to Leader - The countries that threaten Iran with military action and those who order them to do so are merely "bluffing," said Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a Wednesday press conference with visiting Secretary of State at the Swiss Foreign Ministry Yves Rossier in Tehran. The Iranian official further emphasized that no country is big enough to threaten and disrespect the Iranian nation as "number one power in the region." 7/23/15

Will Obama's Legacy Start or Stop with the Nuclear Deal? - Much to the chagrin of those who oppose Obama's nuclear deal, there is no telling where the informal bonds created by hours of unrelenting talks will end up taking the US and Iran. The departure of Javad Zarif and John Kerry from Vienna will surely not mark their final farewell as counterparts. On at least a few occasions, both sides discussed matters outside the nuclear file. -Henry Johnson, LobeLog 7/23/15

Iranian Vets Also Push for Nuclear Deal - In hundreds of interviews with veterans in Iran from all political stripes, I heard the constant refrain that "war is horrible." Even for those who hold hardline views against the west, none of them wanted their children to experience what they had. Given Secretary Kerry's remarks, in the end, it seems to be the men on both the American and Iranian sides who experienced bloody wars firsthand, that wanted to most avoid a new conflict. -Narges Bajoghli 7/22/15

Anti-Iran Deal AIPAC Spin-off Relies on Iranian Ex-Terrorist Group - When the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) declared war on the nuclear accord between Iran and world powers signed last week in Vienna, it put its money where its mouth is. AIPAC, Washington's most influential pro-Israel lobby reportedly plans on spending $20 million over the next two months urging Congress to vote against the deal. -Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib 7/22/15

IAAB's Camp Ayandeh Turns 10! - Since 2006, Camp Ayandeh, through a positive and inclusive environment, has developed leadership skills and built a strong network of Iranian American students. The Summer Leadership Institute sponsored by the Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) will celebrate the 10th annual Camp Ayandeh between July 18th to July 27th at Cabrini College outside of Philadelphia. 7/22/15

VOA Interview: Kerry Says Iran Deal Will Make World Safer - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says implementing the international nuclear deal with Iran will make the world safer, improve the standard of living for Iranians and potentially open up other opportunities between the United States and Iran. -Setareh Derakhshesh, VOA 7/22/15

Obama Calls on Iran to Free 4 Americans - U.S. President Barack Obama demanded Tuesday that Iran release three Americans it is holding and help find a fourth believed to be in the country. "We are not going to relent until we bring home our Americans who are unjustly detained in Iran," Obama told a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Pittsburgh. 7/22/15

Will Iran's Revolutionary Guard Support Nuclear Deal? - The Iran nuclear deal may be done, but the fight to make it happen - or not happen - is just beginning. Supporters and detractors are lining up on both sides, with one of the most formidable players, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, condemning the United Nations Security Council's unanimous endorsement Monday of the deal. -Heather Murdock, VOA 7/22/15

Anti-Iran Deal Groups Backed by $145 Million - A high-profile list of U.S. non-proliferation, nuclear policy, Iran, and national security experts welcomed last week's announcement of a deal between the P5+1 and Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear program . Opponents of the deal, meanwhile, will make a last-ditch effort to derail the agreement reached in Vienna. They will use the 60-day congressional review period to pressure members of Congress, many of whom owe their seats to casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, to vote to reject the deal. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 7/22/15

Nuclear Deal: How Iran Could Enhance Regional Stability - Much has been written about the Iran nuclear deal and the threats that a post-sanctions Iran could pose for the region. This fear is primarily driven by Saudi Arabia's pathological obsession that a resurgent Iran would eclipse Saudi Arabia and other members of the primarily Sunni sheikdoms of the Gulf Cooperation Council. -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 7/22/15

Iran's oil delegation in Vienna to discuss petchem investment - An Iranian oil industry delegation has set off for Vienna to introduce investment opportunities in Iran's petrochemical industry to European investors following the removal of international sanctions against Iran. 7/22/15

Former Israeli National-Security Officials Like Iran Deal - Lest anyone believe that Israel, particularly its national-security establishment, is united behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's opposition to the week-old Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran, Americans for Peace Now has set up a very helpful website featuring some quite authoritative voices of dissent. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/22/15

Security Council adopts resolution endorsing Iran nuclear deal - The United Nations Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a monitoring system for Iran's nuclear programme and considering the "eventual removal" of all nuclear-related sanctions against the country. 7/21/15

'Gold rush' begins for Iran business - European companies see a huge potential for business in Iran and some of them have already marked out their target markets, waiting for a nod to move in. European delegations are already trickling in, adding to an increasingly hectic schedule which Iranian officials are running for foreign trade arrivals. 7/21/15

Kerry Says Iran Sanctions Relief Could Be Felt Within Six Months - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says international sanctions on Iran could start to be lifted as soon as six months from now. "There are certain things that Iran needs to do and the [International Atomic Energy Agency] needs to do, and those things have to be resolved -- all of them -- before the sanctions begin to be relieved," Kerry told Voice of America's Persian News Network in an exclusive interview 7/21/15

Heavy rains flood roads in northern Iran - Heavy torrential rains have flooded Chaloos and Haraz roads in Tehran and Alborz Provinces so far killing 35 people. Fifty vehicles are also reportedly missing in the Asara region of the two mountainous roads. Meanwhile five villages have been trapped by floods and another six were killed in Sijan from the floods. 7/21/15

French FM 'to visit Iran next week' after breakthrough in nuclear talks - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has announced a plan to visit Iran next week in the wake of a landmark breakthrough in the nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries. Fabius announced his plan on Tuesday, but refrained from releasing more precise details. 7/21/15

Iran's Zarif Defends Nuclear Deal In Parliament - Addressing Iran's lawmakers, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has defended what he said was a "balanced" nuclear deal with world powers. "We don't say the deal is totally in favor of Iran," Zarif, who led Iran's negotiating team, told the conservative-dominated parliament on July 21. "Any negotiation is a give and take." 7/21/15

Iran in talks with 4 carmakers - The CEO of Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO), Iran's leading car manufacturer, says IKCO is in final talks with four major foreign companies to set up joint ventures. Hashem Yekeh Zareh said IKCO has finalized a new contract with its French partner, Peugeot, which will be inked soon. 7/21/15

Iran's Next Need: Internal Healing - Now that we Iranians have begun breaking out of our three-decade antagonism with the West, it is time to initiate a long overdue reconciliation at home. For 35 years now, Iranian people have been categorized as insiders and outsiders by the state. To understand the structure of this division, the key lies in the narrative of the Iran-Iraq war. -Haleh Anvari, NY Times 7/21/15

The Nuclear Agreement; Fantasies vs Facts - But how the Iranians view this agreement and how it is being viewed in the United States tell two very different stories. And this difference should be of great interest and concern to the Iranians, much more so than to the American public, as events begin to unfold. _Kam Zarrabi 7/20/15

Historical background of the Caspian Sea as a legal point in favor of Iran - A review of the last rounds of negotiations between Iran and the other Caspian littoral states, including the deliberations made and decisions adopted in the several summit meetings of the Caspian states, reveal that Iran has failed to persuade the other Caspian states to consider a fair and equitable share for Iran (at least 20 percent) of the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba 7/20/15

Russia's Stake in Iran Nuclear Deal - President Barack Obama said Russia was a "help" in securing the deal to limit Iran's nuclear program. In addition to that praise, printed in the New York Times, Obama talked with Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone Wednesday, thanking Putin for Russia's role in the negotiations. Simon Saradzhyan, a researcher at Harvard University's Belfer Center, said Obama was underestimating the role Russia played in securing the agreement. -Jonas Bernstein, VOA 7/20/15

US oil service giants yearn for return to Iran - Halliburton and Schlumberger, both among the world's largest oilfield services companies, are waiting in hopeful anticipation that Iran will ramp up oil exports, US media have said. 7/20/15

Bipartisan Group of 60 Senior National Security Leaders Endorse Iran Deal - Coming on the heels of its release of a letter signed by more than 100 former U.S. ambassadors endorsing the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran, the New York-based Iran Project has just released a statement this morning urging support for the accord signed by a bipartisan group of 60 former officials and lawmakers with extensive national-security experience. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/20/15

Pro-Israel Think Tank Head Denies Possibility of War - Those opposing the Iran deal often lead off their objections with a caveat: they don't think the alternative to the nuclear accord signed this week in Vienna is war. I happen to think it probably is. I put it this way: the alternative(s) to this deal puts us back on the path to confrontation. But, that said, I understand why opponents of the deal want to make like they're not warmongering. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog 7/20/15

Kerry TV Tour Touts Iran Nuke Deal - In a series of high-profile television appearances Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the American public for the first time since signing off on an Iran nuclear deal last week. Kerry said the agreement, which culminated from months of talks between the top diplomats of seven countries, likely won't restart diplomatic relations with Tehran. 7/19/15

Should the US Work With Iran to Fight IS? - World leaders reached a deal with Iran on July 14 to ease economic sanctions if Iran curbs its nuclear capabilities, and this has reopened the debate over whether the U.S. should work more closely with Iranian-backed militias, several dozen of which are now fighting against IS in Iraq. -Cecily Hilleary, VOA 7/19/15

Tehran Professor: Iran's Anti-Americanism Has Run Its Course - An outspoken Tehran University academician said anti-American ideology under the slogan "Death to America" is at a dead end in Iran. Political science professor Sadeq Zibakalam said in an exclusive interview with VOA that because of changes that have occurred in Iran in recent years, "we are observing the sunset of 'Death to America.' -Isabela Cocoli, VOA 7/19/15

Sorry, Folks, Nuclear Weapons Are Passe - Two lines of attack on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, finalized on Bastille Day this week, are that constraints on Iran expanding its uranium enrichment capacity will lapse after 10 years and that, in the meantime, Iranian cheating will be inevitable and hard to detect. -Peter Jenkins 7/19/15

Merkel's deputy in Tehran to talk business - Germany's Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is in Tehran for high-level economic and trade talks with Iranian officials. Sigmar flew to Tehran on Sunday at the head of a delegation of "representatives from companies, industry groups and the sciences," his ministry said in a statement. 7/19/15

Pursue Human Rights in Iran with the Same Vigor as the Nuclear Accord - The nuclear accord reached this week between Iran and the P5+1 countries represents a resounding victory for diplomacy and peace. It was achieved only through unrelenting determination borne from a realization that the benefits of an accord far outweighed those of any alternative. -Hadi Ghaemi, LobeLog 7/19/15

Iran Deal: Avoiding the Fate of Sisyphus - The 5+1 negotiating team and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, much like Sisyphus in Greek mythology, have pushed the burden of mutual understanding on Iran's nuclear program to the hilltop. Now they see if they can avoid Sisyphus' fate and keep the agreement from slipping back into failure. Those of us who can only watch the process should realize that the various restraints on Iran are not the core of the issues that will now occupy the administration and Congress. -Charles Naas 7/18/15

The Nuclear Deal With Iran And The Prospect Of Regional Transformation - We have been witnessing the ever intensifying catastrophic news of repetitive costly policies, military failures and human loss and despairs from southwest Asia aka the Middle East for the past few decades. However, the long much anticipated historic nuclear accord between the 5+1 countries spearheaded by Iran and the U.S., the fortuitous fruit of the longest diplomatic brinkmanship ever, is now poised to set a new milestone for non-confrontation and dialogue over war the progressive ramifications of which will be internationally reverberated for decades to come. -Rachel Eliasi Kohan 7/18/15

Obama: Iran Nuclear Deal Goes Further Than Any Before - U.S. President Barack Obama says this past week's deal to get Iran to stop developing nuclear weapons does "more than anyone has done before" to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. He said without the deal, the world risks having another war in the most volatile region in the world. 7/18/15

National Trust spokesman arrested upon return to Iran - The Youth Branch of the National Trust Party reports on its website that Gerami Moghaddam was arrested on Friday July 17 upon arrival in Iran. He had left Iran after the election protests of 2009, which led to the widespread arrest and exodus of numerous supporters of the Green Movement, which had supported the candidates who challenged the legitimacy of the presidential election. 7/18/15

AIPAC and Its "Better" Iran Deal - Well, it's finally upon us. The nation's most influential Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is declaring war on the Iran nuclear deal, a signature achievement of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. AIPAC has at long last come out directly against the deal, urging Congress to vote against it in order to scuttle the accord. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog 7/18/15

The Nuclear Deal and Expunging Iran's Historical Ghosts - Amid the cacophony regarding what's next or what the nuclear agreement will or will not do, however, it is also important to reflect on the negotiations themselves and what they have already accomplished for Iran, a country besieged by the ghosts of many problem-ridden negotiations with the outside world in the past. -Farideh Farhi 7/17/15

100-Plus Former U.S. Ambassadors Applaud Iran Deal - As the controversy over the Iran deal heats up--and it's going to get a lot hotter, especially come September--more than 100 former U.S. ambassadors have signed on to a letter drafted by The Iran Project applauding what they characterized as a "landmark agreement" and urging its support by Congress. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/17/15

What the Nuclear Deal Says about Iran's Politics and Society - In the aftermath of the recent nuclear accord on Iran's nuclear program, it is important to understand correctly the Islamic Republic's motives for signing the deal with the United States (and the other P5+1 countries) and the factors that enabled the Iranian negotiators to reach an agreement. Without such an understanding, the United States will continue to make policy toward Iran on the basis of previous assumptions about the country. -Shireen T. Hunter 7/16/15

Iran Deal: Key Excerpts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - In the interests of providing information that can promote hopefully rational debate on a key issue, we are presenting below "key excerpts" of the JCPOA announced today in Vienna as released by the State Department. -Jim Lobe 7/15/15

What The Nuclear Deal Means For Iranians - After feeling the pinch of economic sanctions for years, ordinary Iranians appear eager to soon see the benefits of this week's landmark nuclear deal. Many believe that more international cooperation will bring improved economic conditions, new business opportunities, and better ties with Western countries. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 7/15/15

Plastic-Bag Free Day in Iran: Campaign promotes stopping use of plastic bags - On July 12, which is Plastic-Bag Free Day in Iran, several organizations once again geared up to raise public awareness about the environmental problems posed by plastic bags. For a week, Tehran and several other provinces will implement a program of using biodegradable bags in stores and markets bearing the logo "less plastic, cleaner earth, better health". 7/14/15

Great Salt Lake's Iranian 'twin' is drying up - It's an inland sea of nearly 2,000 square miles with extremely salty water supporting a delicate web of life and providing natural resources for important industries. That may appear to be a description of Utah's Great Salt Lake. In fact, though, it describes a lake in Iran that is astonishingly similar to Utah's famous inland sea. The two salt lakes, on opposite sides of the world, are so nearly identical that scientists from both countries are working together to help them survive. -John Hollenhorst, KSL 7/14/15

Iranian Intelligence Ministry Seeking "Maximum Punishment" for Prominent Human Rights Activist - The Intelligence Ministry has made a written request to impose the maximum punishment on human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, her husband Taghi Rahmani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 7/14/15

Call for Submissions: 2016 Nowruz Banner Contest - Farhang Foundation is calling on aspiring and veteran graphic artists to submit original designs that conceptualize Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) or some other aspect of Iranian culture. Eligible designs will be considered as the central artwork featured on street banners and other marketing material that will proudly promote Farhang's 8th Annual Nowruz Celebration at LACMA throughout prominent boulevards of Los Angeles in March 2016. 7/13/15

Longest Iran bridge to reach Qeshm Island - Iran is building its longest cross-sea bridge, linking the Qeshm island in the Persian Gulf to its coast in Bandar Abbas to join a transit corridor which stretches all the way up to the Caspian Sea and the Central Asia. 7/10/15

Overwhelming Expert Consensus Favors Agreement with Iran - There is an overwhelming consensus among non-proliferation, nuclear policy, and national security experts that a negotiated accord is the best, and likely the only, way to ensure that Iran never builds a nuclear weapon. But you would not know that if you relied on congressional hearings or most media coverage of the negotiations. -Joe Cirincione, LobeLog 7/6/15

Grassroots Groups Representing Millions of Americans Urge Congress to Support an Iran Deal - NIAC Action signed a letter sent today by grassroots organizations representing millions of Americans urging Congress to support a strong final nuclear deal with Iran. "Every single poll shows that the American public supports an Iran deal and yet Congress seems hellbent on voting to kill it," said NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi. 6/30/15

Critiquing a Critique of Obama's Approach to Iran - Last week, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) posted a "statement" on the Iranian nuclear negotiation. The statement attracted attention because some of the parties appeared to be finding fault with the Obama administration despite past service in that administration. -Peter Jenkins 6/30/15

Iran: Draconian amendment further erodes fair trial rights - The Iranian authorities have put another nail in the coffin of justice by making a retrogressive amendment in Iran's new Code of Criminal Procedures which limits the right to access an independent lawyer of one's choice during primary investigations in certain criminal cases, including those related to national security. The authorities must immediately amend the law to ensure that any person charged with a criminal offence has access to a lawyer of their own choosing from the time of arrest. -Amnesty International 6/29/15

The 2nd Europe-Iran forum: on September 24-25, 201 in Geneva, Switzerland - In October 2014, the 1st Europe-Iran Forum became the first major international business conference dedicated to Iran's private sector commercial opportunities. Building on the success of the first event, BHB Emissary and its partners are proud to host the 2nd Europe-Iran Forum on September 24-25, 2015 at the prestigous Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva, Switzerland. 6/27/15

POLL: Iranian Public Opinion on Nukes, the U.S., Politics - A major new poll of Iranian public opinion with important and fascinating results was released here and in Tehran Tuesday and deserves much more attention than it is likely to get (at least in the United States). -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 6/24/15

POLL: American Jewish Support for Iran Deal Exceeds Support Among General Population - American Jewish support for an agreement with Iran exceeds support for the deal among the general US population, according to a new poll. American Jews express strong support for a final agreement with Iran that increases inspections in exchange for economic sanctions relief. Fifty-nine percent say they would support such a deal, compared to 53 percent of American adults in an April CNN poll that asked the same question. -J Street 6/12/15

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last updated on Mon Jul 27 14:39:13 GMT 2015