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India Cements Role in Iran with Chabahar Deal

- Indian prime minister Narendra Modi made his first-ever visit to Iran on Sunday. It was also the first visit by an Indian head of state since the Iranian nuclear deal last year. Topping Modi's agenda were two key agreements-the trilateral transit pact between India, Iran and Afghanistan and the bilateral contract between India and Iran on the first phase of development of the Chabahar port. -Sumitha Narayanan Kutty 5/24/16

Kamancheh Master Kayhan Kalhor Plays in Tehran amid Conservative Backlash against Concerts

- After six years of silence in Iran, music of kamencheh master Kayhan Kalhor blared out in Vahdat Concert Hall once more. On Saturday night, May 21, Kalhor and his ensemble performed to a full hall of ardent fans in Tehran. 5/24/16

Iran helped Syria hold Daesh back: Soleimani

- The Commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Qassem Soleimani says Daesh terrorists would have overrun Syria if it were not for Iran's assistance. 5/24/16

Hard-Liner Elected Head Of Iran's Powerful Assembly Of Experts

- Iran's Assembly of Experts has chosen hard-liner Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati to head the powerful body that is responsible for electing and overseeing the work of Iran's supreme leader. 5/24/16

The Future (of a Nuclear Deal)

- The problem today is that while the U.S. can claim it has accomplished its goal with the JCPOA-namely that Iran, having shipped out most of its enriched uranium stockpile, essentially shuttered one impenetrable (to conventional weaponry) facility and taken out the core of a reactor, is in no position to go nuclear anytime soon-Iran and some of its former business partners, especially the Europeans who were party to the deal, argue that U.S. laws and unilateral sanctions are presenting major obstacles to their being able to do business with each other. -Hooman Majd, LobeLog 5/24/16

Iran Says It Will 'Speed Up' Case Of Jailed Advocate For Internet Freedom

- For the first time, Iran has officially acknowledged that it has imprisoned a U.S. permanent resident who advocates for Internet freedom. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said Tehran "will try to speed up" the case of Lebanese citizen Nizar Zakka, who disappeared in Tehran in September after attending a government-sponsored conference. 5/24/16

How Leonardo DiCaprio became unlikely champion in Iran

- Iranians were elated when they discovered that actor Leonardo DiCaprio had shared on his Instagram account a photo of Iran. DiCaprio, a champion environmentalist, republished The Weather Channel's photo of drying Lake Urmia to bring attention to climate change. -Holly Dagres, Al-Monitor 5/24/16

Asghar Farhadi, Shahab Hosseini awarded at Cannes Film Festival

- The Iranian film "The Salesman" by Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi received two awards, for Best Screenplay and Best Actor, won by Iranian actor Shahab Hosseini. 5/23/16

Iran, India agree to expand relations: President Rouhani

- Heading a high-ranking delegation, Modi arrived in the Iranian capital on Sunday. The Indian prime minister was accorded an official welcome in Tehran at the start of a two-day visit to make a case for India's space in Iran's market following the lifting of sanctions. 5/23/16

Iran, India, Afghanistan sign Chabahar transit agreement

- Iran, India and Afghanistan sign a key trilateral deal, known as the Chabahar agreement, to establish a strategic transit and transport route connecting the three countries. The agreement was signed in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday. 5/23/16

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FORUSHANDE - Press Conference - EV - Cannes 2016

Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea and positions of Iran - The Caspian littoral states (Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan) have been working on a document called "draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea" for the last several years in numerous meetings at various levels including the summit conferences of the heads of states and governments. They have not yet succeeded to reach a consensus on all important articles of such a document which are related to the criteria for delimitation of the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba 5/23/16

Posters on streets help to promote environmental culture: artist - One of the most important steps needed to be taken towards having a better environment is to raise public awareness and artistic works ranging from films to paintings and graphic designs as a global language can set the scene for such accomplishment. -Maryam Qarehgozlou, Tehran Times 5/23/16

Something Better: Musings on the legacy of the age-old Iranian art of escapism - ...But when all is said and done, we know that we will always slip through those cracks and slide between those fingers; we, Iranians, of the burnt generation and golden years, of the centuries of darkness and silence, of the wine-drenched tongues of bards - Joobin Bekhrad, Reorient 5/23/16

Iran wins 5th crown in Greco-Roman wrestling world cup - Iran has for the fifth time won the Greco-Roman wrestling world cup after defeating Russia in the finals of the 34th edition of the games. The Iranian outfit overcame the Russian squad 8-0 in Iran's southern city of Shiraz on Friday. 5/22/16

India PM in Tehran to strike agreement on Chabahar Port development - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in the Iranian capital Tehran at the head of a large delegation to boost economic and political ties with Tehran. Modi landed in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day visit with Iranian officials. He was welcomed by Iran's Economy Minister Ali Tayebnia at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport. 5/22/16

The Past, the Present, and the Bridge: Ali Dehbashi's Bukhara Magazine - IT'S 9 A.M. on a cool but sunny Tehran morning in the spring. We sit in a corner of a garden in Bagh-e Ferdows, upper Valiasr Street, one of the only few homes of the early Pahlavi era that have not yet been razed to make way for an apartment building, or a high rise. There are sycamore trees all around us, once ubiquitous in the vast orchards that ran through this area. -Los Angeles Review of Books 5/22/16

Local Villagers in Iran Revived the Once Drying Lake Bazangan - Covering an area of about 52 hectares in its glory days, Bazangan or "Kol Bibi" Lake is located east of the very wealthy city of Mashhad and is the largest natural lake in north east of Iran. The local and federal authorities never even started a "save lake Bazangan" initiative, no governmental or international aid was made available and the Iranian Department of the Environment did absolutely nothing. 5/22/16

Tehran Calls On U.S. To Encourage Investment In Iran - Iran's foreign minister has called on the United States to encourage investors to engage with Tehran. Speaking at a news conference in Tehran a day after Western powers said they back legal business with Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that "more serious and concrete actions must be taken" by the United States to spur investment in Iran. 5/22/16

Cannes: Why Asghar Farhadi's 'The Salesman' Signals a Post Nuclear Deal Cinematic Resurgence in Iran - Asghar Farhadi's return to Cannes with his well-received "The Salesman" comes after the Iranian auteur's Paris-set "The Past" vied for a Palme d'Or in 2013. It also marks his somewhat unexpected return to shooting in Iran after "A Separation." -Nick Vivarelli, Variety 5/22/16

UN Experts Outraged By Jailing Of Iranian Rights Activist - A group of United Nations officials have expressed outrage about the conviction and sentencing of a leading human rights activist in Iran on charges that include membership in a campaign for the abolition of the death penalty. 5/22/16

Hill Update: National Defense Authorization Act - As we have over the past few months, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. -LobeLog 5/22/16

How an Iranian woman snuck into a football stadium only open to men - A young Iranian woman has become a star among fans of the Persepolis football team after she snuck into a match, which women are forbidden to attend. She took to social media to show how she disguised herself as a man to get in. -France 24 5/22/16

North Korea and the GCC - North Korea has had a relatively short and somewhat complicated relationship with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Despite the lack of an energy relationship, North Korea does interact with the GCC in three realms. It maintains an official diplomatic relationship with five of the six countries, primarily through its embassy in Kuwait. It sends laborers to work in many of the GCC countries. And it is involved, somewhat tangentially, in military affairs in the region as well. -John Feffer, LobeLog 5/22/16

US, Europe to Clear Up Rules for Doing Business with Iran - The United States and three key European allies -- Britain, France, and Germany -- say they want to eliminate any confusion about what investment and business deals with Iran are permitted after the nuclear deal. -Ken Schwartz, VOA 5/20/16

Concerts of Popular Iranian Musicians Canceled Due to Pressure from Religious Conservatives - Two of Iran's top musicians have been prevented from performing in the city of Neyshabour and other locations in northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province by the local prosecutor. Iran's House of Music, an independent association of musicians, has written a letter to Judiciary Chief Sadegh Amoli Larijani protesting the ongoing disruption of sanctioned musical performances. 5/20/16

Take Action: Urge your Representative to oppose the VISA Act - House Republicans are moving forward with the next discriminatory visa law inspired by the bigoted rhetoric of our decaying political atmosphere. -NIAC Action 5/20/16

Iran Judiciary Vows to Punish Former President's Daughter for Upholding Baha'i Rights - A high-ranking member of the Iranian Judiciary has said that action will be taken against Faezeh Hashemi, the outspoken daughter of prominent former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, following her meeting with Baha'i leader Fariba Kamalabadi and other well-known civil rights activists in Tehran last week. 5/20/16

Animal Cruelty Punishable by Flogging and Imprisonment in Iran? - In lack of a law that specifically deals with curtly towards animals, Iran judiciary is now making up stances for those accused of aggravated animal abuse. In the latest example an accused that abused a dog and caused bodily harm to the animal was sentenced to two months in prison in the northern city of Astara. 5/20/16

Why the Iranian Nuclear Deal Is at Risk of Unraveling - Today, nearly six months after the deal was implemented, Iran is still waiting for those benefits. The country can't access most of the estimated $100 billion it holds in foreign banks. The reason: U.S. laws, which weren't included in the nuclear deal, are still highly restrictive. -Jonathan Broder, Newsweek 5/20/16

Israel defense minister quits, warns of "extremist" takeover - Yaalon told reporters that "Israel is a healthy society" with a "sane majority" that is tolerant of minorities and strives for a liberal and democratic society. "But to my great dismay extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel, also over the Likud party, and are shaking the house and threatening to hurt its inhabitants," he said. -Washington Post 5/20/16

Confessions of a Dangerous Model - A film about an interrogation session was aired by the media inside Iran. In it the Tehran Prosecutor General, is interrogating a woman, a famous fashion model: Elham Arab. Elham Arab is a female bridal fashion model that stirred much controversy when she made a guest appearance in a TV program called Mah-e Asal (Honeymoon). She is now the subject of a publicly aired interrogation and prosecution. 5/19/16

Lawyers say OFAC not clearing Iran sanctions ambiguities - Criticisms are rising against the US Treasury Department for what lawyers say is its failure to clear up the ambiguity caused by a maze of overlapping sanctions and exemptions over Iran trade issues. At the center of criticisms is the Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, known as OFAC. 5/19/16

Anti Death Penalty Activist Sentenced to 10 years in Prison in Iran - Narges Mohammadi, human rights and anti death penalty activist who is the vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran was sentenced to 16 years in prison. On 18 May 2015, Judge Abolghasem Salavati who heads the 15th division of Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court stretched the already long prison sentence of Narges Mohammadi by sentencing her to 16 years in prison. 5/19/16

Iranian Political Activist Tabarzadi Arrested - Iran has reportedly rearrested political activist and journalist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, who was released last year after spending more than five years in jail for his outspoken criticism of the Iranian establishment. His son said Tabarzadi had "very likely" been arrested on May 17 and reportedly was transferred to the special wing of a Tehran prison notorious for housing political prisoners for the country's intelligence service. The reason for his arrest is unclear. 5/19/16

Iran's oil exports at highest level since 2012 - The latest market figures show that oil exports in April reached the highest level in over four years - a yet another indication that the country is regaining the share of the market it lost as a result of the sanctions at a faster pace than expected. 5/19/16

Iranian-Turkish Businessman Seeks Bond in Sanctions Evasion Case - WASHINGTON- Lawyers for an Iranian-Turkish national arrested in March on charges of conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran have asked a federal court to set a $50 million bond for his release until trial. Reza Zarrab is one of three people charged in what prosecutors allege was a five-year scheme involving millions of dollars in transactions on behalf of the Iranian government and businesses. -Chris Hannas, VOA 5/19/16

An Ayatollah's Daughter Prompts a Debate on Religious Persecution in Iran - A house visit by a daughter of a prominent ayatollah to a female leader of the persecuted Bahai religious minority touched off a debate this week in Iran about the harsh treatment of a group deemed pagans and impure by the country's dominant clerics. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times 5/19/16

Iran's Government and Revolutionary Guards Battle for Control of Economy - President Hassan Rouhani wants to make way for foreign deals and investment by limiting the business role taken on by the Revolutionary Guards when sanctions isolated Iran. -WSJ 5/19/16

President Rouhani: Croatia can be gateway to Iran's ties with Europe - "Croatia can be the gate of our relations with the European Union due to historical and cultural commonalities between the two countries and its geographical status," Rouhani said during a press conference with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Tehran. 5/18/16

Iran's Fashion Industry under Assault; Details of Arrests of Models by Revolutionary Guards Surface - Eight people working in Iran's fashion industry have been arrested and formally charged in an industry wide crackdown led by the Revolutionary Guards. Cases have also been opened on another 29 people, and most of the 170 fashion industry workers who have been targeted during the past six months have also been interrogated, an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 5/18/16

Kering, Cannes honor Iranian Filmmaker Ida Panahandeh - Kering, a leading world company for apparel and accessories, and the Cannes Film Festival honored Iranian filmmaker Ida Panahandeh with the Women in Motion young talent award on Sunday. 5/18/16

IMF Warns Iran Not To Rely Only On Oil Revenue To Boost Economy - A top International Monetary Fund official warned Iran not to count on a big jump in oil revenue to boost its economy, but said it should seek other opportunities to re-engage with the global economy. "I speak here today at a pivotal moment for Iran's economy," said IMF Deputy Managing Director David Lipton in a speech at the Central Bank of Iran on May 17 during a two-day visit to Tehran. 5/18/16

Iran's Parliament Seeks Compensation From U.S. For 'Moral Damages' - In an apparent tit-for-tat move, Iran's outgoing parliament has passed a bill that requires the government to seek compensation from the United States for "material and moral damages" due to U.S. policies toward Tehran over the past six decades. 5/18/16

Women Prevented from Attending Iran's Premier League Finale - Iranian women were once again blocked from attending a major public sports event alongside men as the police stopped women from entering Tehran's Azadi Stadium for the finale of Iran's Premier League soccer season on May 13, 2016. 5/18/16

New director of IRIB says change in news programs high on agenda - The new director of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Abdol-Ali Ali-Asgari, has said that making a couple of major changes to new programs is high on the agenda. Speaking to the reporter after his inauguration on Tuesday, he also said that IRIB will turn its main focus on producing educative programs. 5/18/16

Iran Arrests 8 for 'Un-Islamic' Online Modeling - Iranian police have cracked down on women posting pictures of themselves online with their hair uncovered. Eight female models who posted photos of themselves uncovered have been arrested and charged with "un-Islamic acts." Women in Iran have been required to cover their hair in public ever since the 1979 revolution. 5/17/16

Preserving Persia's glorious past: Persepolis exhibition showcases Oriental Institute's ongoing work in ancient Iran - Today the Oriental Institute remains the nation's premier center for the study of ancient Iran, and its scholars hope the Persian Empire will play an important role in its future archaeological research. "No other American university has the depth on Persia and Iranian archaeology that the University of Chicago has," says Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute, who was among the half-dozen institute scholars who spoke last year at an international conference in Tehran. 5/17/16

French Foreign Ministry Staffer with Dual Citizenship Awaits Appeal on Prison Sentence in Iran - Nazak Afshar, an employee of France's Foreign Ministry who holds Iranian and French citizenship, is awaiting a ruling on her appeal against a six-year prison sentence issued by Judge Abolqasem Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court on unspecified charges. 5/17/16

Tehran Billboards To Display Famous Artworks - Over 2000 billboard ads will be replaced with images by Pablo Picasso, Rene Magritte and Henri Matisse and reproductions of traditional Persian miniatures, carpets, calligraphy and many more for ten days, turning the face of the city into a huge art gallery. 5/17/16

Regime Changers and War Hawks Dominate Congressional Iran Deal Hearing - It didn't take long for the much remarked upon New York Times Magazine profile of Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes to reach a height that all probing news stories might aspire to: spurring Congressional hearings to investigate wrongdoing on the part of the government. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog 5/17/16

No, Yemen's Houthis actually aren't Iranian puppets - For years, mounting instability had many predicting the collapse of Yemen. These forecasts became reality in 2014 when years of accumulated tension pushed the country into civil war. On one side is an alliance of the Houthis, a northern movement that has been fighting the government since 2004 ... -Thomas Juneau, Washington Post 5/17/16

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Accuses Kim Kardashian of Being a Secret Agent - The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp, an agency tasked with policing domestic culture and heading off the influence of other nations, is concerned about the social-media popularity of Kim Kardashian. -Vanity Fair 5/17/16

Three Iranian projects competing for Aga Khan Award for Architecture - Three Iranian projects were shortlisted with 16 other works from around the world for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture worth $1 million. The projects are the Manouchehri House in the central Iranian city of Kashan, the Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge and the 40 Knots House, both located in Tehran. 5/16/16

IMF deputy director to meet high ranking Iranian officials - The International Monetary Fund's second in command is to meet with the Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Valiollah Seif, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, and other senior officials. The IMF's First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday, is also set to meet private sector representatives, bankers, academics and students during his two-day visit. 5/16/16

Historic Iranian village of Abyaneh strained by influx of tourists - Officials of the historic village of Abyaneh say they are faced with a tsunami of tourists. Mohammad Adeli told ISNA that the village faces a tsunami of tourists especially on weekends and holidays. 5/16/16

Drop in Iran's fertility rate frustrates official policy goal - The head of Iran's census department has announced that despite the overhaul of population-control policies, the fertility rate in the country is on the decline. The report adds that gains of 4.25 percent in earlier years have suddenly declined to only 2.3 percent in the past year. 5/16/16

Hill Update: Undermining the Iran Nuclear Deal - As we have over the past few months, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. -LobeLog 5/16/16

Esteghlal Khuzestan stands atop Persian Gulf League podium - Esteghlal Meli-Sanati Khuzestan Football Club, commonly known as Esteghlal Khuzestan, has won the championship of Iran's Persian Gulf Pro League, formerly known as Iran Pro League (IPL), following a well-deserved victory over Isfahan-based Zob Ahan. 5/14/16

Lack of Medical Attention: "Progressive Premeditated Murder" of Political Prisoners - They did not want to transfer prisoners to the hospital so they brought the hospital to the prison. The planned building of a hospital in Evin Prison was the mark of the judiciary's reluctance to transfer sick prisoners to hospitals outside of the prison. That plan, however, like many other projects undertaken by the Islamic Republic, lacked the necessary preparatory studies and assessments and was ultimately reduced to a clinic. -Ehsan Mehrabi 5/14/16

Iran's Pasargad wants to become 'global bank' - Pasargad Financial Group, which owns Iran's second largest bank, is considering selling its shares in energy entities in a sign of improving business environment. Iranian banks made inroads into a number of non-banking fields, such as real estates, industry and energy when the most stringent sanctions in 2012 shriveled the economy. 5/14/16

Iran Hosts Holocaust Cartoon Contest - Masuod Shojai-Tabatabai, the secretary of the contest, claimed it had nothing to do with denying the Holocaust, but that it was meant to highlight the plight of Muslims currently being massacred "by the Zionist regime in Gaza and Palestine." -VOA 5/14/16

Senior Tabriz city officials charged in growing scandal - The corruption scandal at the Tabriz municipal offices has deepened with the arrest of two more senior managers accused of "receiving bribes and collusion charges". The Tabriz Prosecutor General told Seda va Sima broadcasting on Friday May 13 that the latest detainees are the city's Security Manager and the Manager of Tabriz City Hall. 5/14/16

Sadiq Khan and the End of Islamophobia - In the recent mayoral race in London, the Conservative Party's Zac Goldsmith was in many ways the perfect candidate: a young, handsome fellow who possessed full-spectrum appeal. To win the election, Goldsmith could have focused on all the work he'd done on the environment, as a journalist and former editor of the magazine The Ecologist... Instead, the Goldsmith team prompted a huge backlash by suggesting that his opponent, the Labor Party's Sadiq Khan, was a Muslim extremist because of his associations and his political bedfellows. -John Feffer, LobeLog 5/14/16

US Navy Officer Fired Over Iran Incident; More Action Expected - A U.S. Navy commander has been fired and further disciplinary action may follow as American authorities investigate the detention of 10 U.S. sailors who entered Iranian waters by accident in January. 5/14/16

Where Iran Sanctions Relief Falls Short - Over the last few weeks, the debate about supposed U.S. obstruction of sanctions relief has reached a fever pitch. Secretary of State Kerry has brushed off criticism from Europe and Iran, making it clear that the US stands by its obligations under JCPOA. He has stated that US sanctions are used as "an excuse" to hide the fact that some European companies "don't want to do business or they don't see a good business deal." -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj 5/13/16

Maryam Mirzakhani, First Iranian Woman to be Elected to the National Academy of Sciences - Maryam Mirzakhani, a Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University, was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences. One of the highest honors for scientists in the United States, new members are elected by current members based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. 5/13/16

Banks Still Wary Of Doing Business With Iran Despite U.S. Urging - Some of the top European bankers who met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to hear assurances that they can resume business with Iran still have no plans of doing so. Britain's Standard Chartered bank, which, along with France's BNP Paribas, has been fined billions of dollars for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran in the past, issued a statement after the meeting on May 12, saying it hasn't changed its plans. 5/13/16

Cleric Calls On Khamenei To Back Female Lawmaker Barred From Parliament - A prominent Iranian cleric has called on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to intervene in the case of a reformist lawmaker who has been barred from taking her seat in parliament after photos published on social media reportedly showed her not wearing a hijab. 5/13/16

Supporters of Nuclear Deal Should Promote Iran Human Rights - At a panel discussion Wednesday at the Atlantic Council that this reporter moderated, Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, expressed optimism that the Iranian government could improve its record on human rights in the aftermath of a landmark nuclear deal. -Barbara Slavin 5/13/16

White House, Congress Clash Over Aide's Tactics Pushing Iran Deal - The White House and congressional Republicans sparred on May 12 over an aide who was reported to have used questionable tactics to "sell" the Iran nuclear deal to Congress and the press. 5/13/16

Urban air pollution killing seven million annually: WHO - The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of rising air pollution in cities across the world, estimating that it is claiming the lives of seven million people every year. The dirtiest air was recorded at the Iranian city of Zabol, which suffers from months of dust storms in the summer 5/12/16

Kerry Reassures Top Bank Executives On Doing Business With Iran - Kerry told the meeting of European bank executives in London on May 12 that lenders will not be penalized for doing legitimate business with Iran because most global sanctions have been removed under Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. 5/12/16

Iran: Poet Released After Multiple Arrests. Activist Teacher Released After Hunger Strike - Keyvan Mehregan, the Iranian poet, journalist and filmmaker, was released from Evin Prison on Wednesday May 11. Mehregan's wife, Afsaneh Parchekani, reports that the prosecutor and the judge agreed to a conditional release for her husband, who had been on a furlough. 5/12/16

British mother, Nazanin Ratcliffe, held prisoner in Iran 'allowed to see daughter and parents' - The British mother held prisoner in Iran has been allowed to see her parents and her infant daughter for the first time since her arrest. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37, was allowed out of solitary confinement for over two hours on Wednesday. -Telegraph, UK 5/12/16

Iranian Political Prisoners Turn to Life-Threatening Hunger Strikes to Protest Unjust Sentences - The imprisoned spokesman of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association, Mahmoud Beheshti Langroudi, was hospitalized on May 8, 2016 after falling seriously ill from a 17-day hunger strike. The imprisoned teacher's rights activists Esmail Abdi and Jafar Azimzadeh, who are also on hunger strikes, are in poor health as well, an informed source told the Campaign. 5/11/16

Iranian women barred from provincial stages as classical concert tours - The third leg of Shahram and Hafez Nazeri's Persian classical music concert tour is set to kick off in Isfahan on May 19 and 20, and the group's female musicians have been banned from appearing on stage. 5/10/16

Husband Of Detained British-Iranian Woman Calls On Britain To Bring Her Home - The husband of a British-Iranian charity worker detained in Iran for more than a month has called on British authorities to bring her home. "The cruelty of the situation seems both outrageous and arbitrary -- that a young mum and baby can be treated as some national security threat is absurd, far outside any reality our family was familiar with," Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said in a statement. 5/10/16

Foreigners can purchase 100% shares of Iranian state-run firms: Official - Deputy Head of Iranian Privatization Organization (IPO) Davoud Khani announced that his organization is ready to transfer 100 percent of the shares of state-run firms to foreign investors without any limit, IRNA reported on Sunday. 5/9/16

U.S. Sanctions Still Hinder European Business with Iran - Frustration was palpable at a conference this week in Switzerland on European business with Iran. The continued hangover of United States sanctions that prevent Iranian access to the U.S. financial system - and bankers' fear of punitive new fines - are inhibiting the mega deals that many Iranians and Europeans anticipated would follow implementation of a landmark nuclear deal. -Barbara Slavin 5/8/16

Iran Admits Heavy Casualties In Syria - Tehran says several of its soldiers have been killed in fighting near Aleppo, in what could be one of Iran's biggest losses in Syria since deploying forces to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 5/8/16

Iranian Journalists Face Growing Threats and Intimidation by Authorities - Iran's Intelligence Ministry officials are increasingly harassing and threatening independent journalists in an apparent move to dissuade them from feeling emboldened by reformist and centrist candidates' gains in the county's recent Parliamentary elections. 5/8/16

Women in Iran's Parliament: Opportunities and Challenges - Iran's tenth parliament will begin its term in June boasting many firsts, including the highest number of female parliamentarians. In Iran's first round of parliamentary elections, 14 female MPs were elected, and, according to the results of Iran's run-off parliamentary elections held on April 29, an additional four women have been elected as MPs. 5/6/16

US Navy to Avoid Hormuz After Iran Threat to Close Strait - U.S. Defense Department spokesman Colonel Steven Warren says U.S. warships have stopped accompanying U.S. and British-flagged commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz. The move came after Iran threatened to close the waterway to U.S. and allied vessels. 5/6/16

Non-Aligned Movement slams US court ruling on Iran's frozen assets - The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which is comprised of 120 member states, has denounced the US Supreme Court's recent ruling that allows for the seizure of frozen Iranian assets, describing the measure as violation of the international law. 5/6/16

Iran: Flawed Convictions for Journalists - An Iranian court convicted three journalists and a family member of another journalist on April 25, 2016 on vague national security charges. The four, along with a fifth journalist, have been detained since November, 2015. The authorities should quash their convictions and release them. 5/4/16

Public Outcry in Iran Over Plan for Increased Morality Police Prompts Review - Deploying 7,000 undercover morality police in Tehran contradicts the principle of the presumption of innocence, Iranian lawyer Ali Rambod told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. "We should move towards interpreting laws on the basis of innocent until proven guilty," he said. "It appears this principle has been overlooked in regards to the undercover police force." 4/28/16

Statue of Persian poet Omar Khayyam unveiled at the University of Oklahoma - On March 30, 2016, the University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren announced a $4 million gift for the College of International Studies, and the establishment of a new center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies. At the announcement, Boren also unveiled one of OU's newest pieces of artwork, "Omar Khayyam," inspired by the Persian polymath, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet of the Islamic Golden Age. 4/25/16

Announcing The 8th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival Celebrating Iranian Heritage - Now in its eighth year, the 2016 Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival has officially been announced. Calling on filmmakers worldwide to submit short films visualizing some aspect of Iranian art,culture, and heritage, Farhang Foundation's annual online short film festival offers contestants the opportunity to compete for $10,000 (first prize), $5,000 (second prize), and $3,000 (third prize). 4/20/16

She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World - This landmark exhibition of more than 80 photographs and a video installation challenges stereotypes surrounding the people, landscapes, and cultures of Iran and the Arab world. She Who Tells a Story refutes the conventional idea that Arab and Iranian women are oppressed or powerless, illuminating the fact that women are creating some of the most significant photographic work in the region today. 4/16/16

U.S. Calls On Iran To Release Father, Son Jailed Without Charges - The United States has called for the release of two Iranian-American citizens detained without charge in Tehran. Family members say businessman Siamak Namazi was arrested in October while his father Baquer, 80, was detained last month. Both men are believed to be in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. 03/19/16

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Craft & Folk Art Museum and Farhang Foundation Announce Call For Submissions For Juried Exhibition Of Contemporary Photography And Video

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last updated on Tue May 24 13:17:36 GMT 2016