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October 31 2014
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Iranian journalists rally around detained colleague who covered protests

- A letter signed by 129 journalists calls for the release of Arya Jafari, the ISNA photojournalist who has been in custody in Isfahan since October 22 for coverage of protests against the repeated acid attacks against women in Isfahan. 10/31/14

US Catholic Bishops: Consider Iran's Nuclear Weapons Fatwa

- In March of this year, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a delegation of religious and academic figures to the Iranian religious city of Qom to begin a dialogue with Shia scholars and ayatollahs. According to Bishop Richard Pates, chair of the USCCB's Committee on International Peace and Justice, the discussion in Qom focused heavily on the morality of weapons of mass destruction. -Derek Davison, LobeLog 10/31/14

U.S. firms eager to sell to Iranians after sanctions lifted

- Apple, Boeing and General Electric are prepared to officially enter the Iranian market as soon as international sanctions against the country are lifted. According to The Wall Street Journal, the three companies have already entered preliminary talks for offering iPhones and spare parts in Iran. 10/31/14

Iran, Turkey Rivalry Puts Focus on Kurds

- As differences over Syria and the Islamic State continue to deepen between Turkey and Iran, Kurds living across the Middle East are set to become pawns in the intensifying rivalry between these two regional powers. This week, former close allies Tehran and Ankara again exchanged angry barbs. -Dorian Jones, VOA 10/31/14

How Much is Iran's Economy Recovering?

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani could not wait for the quarterly Economic Trends report published by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to be issued. It showed that from March 2013 to March of this year, Iran's GDP increased by 4.6 percent. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog 10/31/14

Facing its own Islamic State-inspired militants, Iran wields a smaller stick

- With the help of local Sunnis on its southeastern border with Pakistan, Iran is using a blend of force, dialogue, and money to counter Jaish al-Adl, a radical group that claims to fight for Sunni rights. -Scott Peterson, CSM 10/31/14

The U.S.-Iran non-alliance alliance against Islamic State

- Washington and Tehran say they abhor each other. Yet they appear to be tacitly working together - if awkwardly and at arm's length - to fight Islamic State. When everyone hates everyone else (welcome to the Middle East!) and pursues their own self-interest, strange political alliances can emerge. -Aki Peritz and Faris Alikhan, Reuters 10/31/14

Iran a 'time bomb' for oil prices

- Markets should look for "a significant additional political risk premium on the price of Brent" if nuclear arms talks between Iran and major world powers break down, Nomura has warned. -Holly Ellyatt, CNBC 10/31/14

Will the World Blame Iran if Nuclear Talks Fail?

- The remarks of US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman at a symposium in Washington, DC on Oct. 23 contained at least one very questionable assertion: "We hope the leaders in Tehran will agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that this program will be exclusively peaceful...If that does not happen, the responsibility will be seen by all to rest with Iran." -Peter Jenkins 10/30/14

NIAC Encouraged That Apple is Looking at Entering Iran

- National Iranian American Council Policy Director Jamal Abdi released the following statement regarding reports that Apple, Inc. is exploring opportunities to sell goods in Iran should a nuclear deal be reached and sanctions be sufficiently lifted 10/30/14

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) - Official Trailer

Iranian Government Spying in Social Networking Sites - This is a field report about the indifference of internet users to the Islamic republic regime's spying efforts in cyber space as it tries to identify those who are against the regime or certain policies.The only immunity for these users comes from their overwhelming multitudes and the undeniable prevalence of opposition to the regime. -Hamid Rezai 10/30/14

Iran rises in World Bank Doing Business rankings - The Doing Business 2015 report updates all indicators as of June 1, 2014, ranks economies on their overall ease of doing business, and analyzes reforms to business regulation - identifying which economies are strengthening their business environment the most. 10/30/14

As West Applauds Kurdish Female Fighters, Iran Praises Peshmerga 'Elders' - While Western media and social networks have lauded the courage of young Kurdish female fighters, the Iranian press has praised their older, male Iraqi Peshmerga counterparts. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE 10/30/14

Reporter's family urges Iran to release him - The family of an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post who has been jailed in Iran since July is urging authorities to release him, saying on Thursday that his continued incarceration without charge is a "farce." -AP 10/30/14

Iran Has 16 Intelligence Agencies - A few days after the publication of a special booklet by the ministry of intelligence, Fars news agency which is closely associated with Iran's intelligence services announced for the first time the existence of 16 intelligence-security agencies in the Islamic republic. -Arash Bahmani 10/30/14

Desired Discussion Model - 12Petals encourages cooperative (unadversarial) approach as more valuable to the creation of and the nourishing of a culture of tolerance and a culture of human rights, because this system seeks out solutions and subsequently sets much higher standards in the search of truth and cooperative settings for justice. 10/30/14

Goldberg Sees Crisis in US-Israel Ties, Blames Bibi - While everyone ritually insists that the bonds between Israel and the United States are "unbreakable," yesterday's analysis by Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here," argues that they're currently under unprecedented strain and that the fault lies mainly with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 10/30/14

A walled paradise: a history of Iranian gardening - Iran was built on the vision of a garden that held every type of plant and flower and protected its habitants within its walls. Touraj Daryaee takes nostalgic look back at a 'paradise' many are now eager to escape -Guardian 10/30/14

ISNA journalists detained over coverage of acid attacks in Isfahan - The editor-in-chief of ISNA in Isfahan has been detained by the authorities in connection with the news agency's coverage of the acid assaults on women. Reports indicate that four ISNA staff were originally arrested in this regard, and while two have been released, Editor-in-chief Zahra Mohammadi and the head of ISNA's society columns, Sanam Farsi, remain in custody. 10/29/14

Video Asks Tehranis About Their Fears - In a newly released video, Iranian artist Ali Molavi has asked a group of citizens in the Iranian capital what they're afraid of. One woman says her fear is the lack of status for women living in Iran. "Women in Iran have no value," the woman says. A man says he fears his wife, while another says that "war" is his greatest fear. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 10/29/14

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night: An Iranian Vampire Western - The first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, Ana Lily Amirpour's debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. 10/29/14

Iranian Parliament Rejects Rohani's Science Minister Nominee - Iran's parliament has rejected President Hassan Rohani's nominee for the post of science minister, saying he is not fully committed to Islamic values. The legislature's rejection of Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi came two months after the previous science minister was forced out over what conservatives who dominate the legislature alleged was his support for pro-Western voices at universities. 10/29/14

Rafsanjani may run for chairmanship of Iran's Assembly of Experts - "If certain people, whom I deem incompetent to be the chairman of the Assembly of Experts, intend to get nominated for the post, I will run for the chairmanship of the assembly," the source quoted Rafsanjani as saying. 10/29/14

Resolving Key Nuclear Issue Turns on Iran-Russia Deal - U.S. and Iranian negotiators are working on a compromise approach to the issue of Iran's uranium enrichment capabilities, which the Barack Obama administration has said in the past Iran was refusing to make concessions on. -Gareth Porter, LobeLog 10/29/14

The Collapse of Order in the Middle East - Will Rogers once observed that "when you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you've got to have been looking for it." It's a good deal more than 5.000 miles to Baghdad or Damascus from here. And, boy, have we gotten into trouble! -Chas Freeman, LobeLog 10/29/14

Filmmakers Clash as Rouhani's Agenda Leaves Iranians Divided - After decades portraying starkly different visions of Iran through their movies, two of the nation's leading filmmakers (Ebrahim Hatamikia and Abbas Kiarostami) have turned on each other in a dispute that has sucked in some of the country's top officials. -Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg 10/29/14

Iranian Entrepreneurs Make Pitches That Are Just Practice, For Now - Imagine this: You have a great idea for an Internet startup. You're sure it will work. You are ready to be part of the global market. There's one big problem: You live in Iran, a country facing some of the most extensive financial sanctions imposed on any country in the world. -Deborah Amos, NPR 10/29/14

Iran Accuses Turkey of Prolonging Civil War in Syria - Iran accused Turkey on Tuesday of prolonging the three-year conflict in neighboring Syria by insisting on President Bashar al-Assad's overthrow and supporting "terrorist groups" in Syria, the official IRNA news agency reported. -Reuters 10/29/14

Photos: Luxury Train From Europe Arrives In Tehran - The five-star tourist train Golden Eagle traveling from Hungary to Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday October 27, ending its first tour. The 70 tourists onboard the train are mostly British or Australian and have paid anywhere between 10,000 and 24,000 euros for their two-week trip. 10/28/14

Citing 'surge' in executions, UN expert voices deep concern about right to life in Iran - The human rights situation in Iran remains of deep concern, an independent United Nations expert said today, flagging issues related to the right to life, the judicial system, religious persecution, and discrimination against women. 10/28/14

Comprehensive nuclear pact possible by deadline: Iran's President Rouhani - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program can be reached before the November 24 deadline if the six major powers negotiating with Iran show the political will to reach a consensus. 10/28/14

Iran Moves To Muzzle Media Coverage Of Acid Attacks - Iranian officials are moving to muzzle media coverage of a string of recent acid attacks targeting young women in the central city of Isfahan. In recent days, several Iranian officials have warned the media over their coverage of the crimes, accusing them of fomenting public discord and promoting the "views of the enemy." -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 10/28/14

Kobani Kurds Expose the Hypocrisy of the Coalition to Fight ISIS - The coalition's purported fight against ISIS is essentially akin to a parent's trying to discipline a disruptive or disobedient teenage child. No matter how harsh the punishment for the child's unruly behavior may be, it will not include killing him. ISIS is simply too useful to the nefarious interests of the coalition members-and of the beneficiaries of war-dividends in general-to be eliminated. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh 10/28/14

Iranian MP complains of mass firing at Kurdistan university - Marivon MP Omid Karimian has spoken out against the termination of 300 members of the Kurdistan Medical Sciences University staff, calling the move even more concerning in view of the province's high rate of unemployment. 10/28/14

Iran Slams U.S. Coalition After IS-Held Town Retaken - On October 26, the Iraqi government claimed a significant victory for its troops and Shi'a militias near Baghdad: the recapture of the key Islamic State-held town of Jurf Al-Sakhar. Iraq's new interior minister, Mohammed Salem Al-Ghabban, insisted that this victory -- which was apparently overseen by the commander of Iran's Qods Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani -- was achieved without the assistance of the U.S.-led coalition against IS. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE 10/28/14

Chemical waste sends 235 to hospital in Zahedan, Iran - More than 200 hundred people in Zahedan, most of them schoolchildren, were hospitalized because of poisoning due to the inadequate disposal of oil and gasoline waste in the city. 10/28/14

The Islamic State's Ideology is Grounded in Saudi Education - According to an article published Oct. 21 on Al-Monitor, the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) has issued new regulations for the school systems under its control in Iraq and Syria. The announced purpose of the so-called guidelines, which carried the imprimatur of the group's "Amir al-Mu'minin," presumably leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is to "eradicate ignorance and disseminate Sharia sciences." -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog 10/28/14

Iran foreign trade value tops $57.214bn in 7 months - Based on latest statistics of the Customs Administration's Public Relations Department, value of Iran's foreign trade reached $57.214 billion in the first seven months of the year. 10/28/14

Bachmann's War on Islam: I'm an Enemy. How Did That Happen? - At the 2014 Values Voter Summit, Minnesota Republican US Representative Michele Bachmann lambasted Barack Obama for not declaring war on Islam and said that there was no such thing as moderate Islam. -Mahbod Seraji, Truthout 10/28/14

Unnatural Selection: Installation by Pantea Karimi and Amber Stucke - The Mohr Gallery in Finn Center presents UNNATURAL SELECTION, an installation exhibition by artists Pantea Karimi and Amber Stucke. The exhibition will be on display from October 27, 2014 through December 7, 2014. There will be an opening reception with the artists on Friday, November 7 from 6pm - 8pm. 10/27/14

Al-Baghdadi, Self-Proclaimed Caliph of the Islamic State - Part 2 - When Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai adopted the name of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Quraishi and revealed himself to the world as the Amir al-Mu'minin (the Commander of the Faithful) Caliph Ibrahim of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the whole world had to sit up and take notice of him. -Farhang Jahanpour 10/27/14

Iranian Activist Sotoudeh Freed After Detention - Sotoudeh, a well-known human rights attorney, told Reuters on October 26 that she was held along with several other activists the previous day after a rally against a three-year ban on her from practicing law. She said the rally was also to urge Iranian authorities to allow "more openness and freedom" in society. 10/27/14

In Washington, Poetry Diplomacy With Iran - In an October 23 keynote speech on the status of nuclear negotiations with Iran, U.S. chief nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman cited a verse by the great Persian poet Saadi. "Have patience; all things are difficult before they become easy," Sherman, U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs, said in remarks that came a month before the November 24 deadline for Iran and major world powers to reach a lasting nuclear deal. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 10/27/14

The biggest threat to a nuclear deal isn't Iran's hardliners - Negotiations with Iran over the future of its nuclear program have not even concluded yet some members of Congress are preparing to manufacture a political crisis over a deal. -Trita Parsi, Reuters 10/27/14

Iran-Russia joint maneuver in the Caspian Sea: who is the hypothetical enemy? - The biggest enemy of Iran in the Caspian Sea is Russia. The Russians are supporting a method for delimitation of maritime territories in the Caspian Sea which is directly contrary to the positions and interests and even claims of Iran. -Bahman Aghai Diba 10/27/14

Probe into Iran's veterans' foundation stirs controversy - A member of the probe committee charged with investigation of Martyrs and Veteran's Affairs Foundation announced that their committee is facing serious obstacles in its mission. 10/27/14

Iran to increase oil production capacity to 4.3m bpd - Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Moazami said oil production capacity will increase to 4.3 million barrels per day in a near future, noting that by the yearned 100 million cubic meters will also be added to the county's gas production capacity. 10/27/14

US Condemns Iranian Woman's Execution - The United States has condemned Iran for executing a woman convicted of killing a man to defend herself from an alleged sexual assault. The 26-year-old woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari, was hanged Saturday morning. 10/27/14

Cage fish farming in Caspian, catastrophic or beneficial? - While some lecturers describe implementation of the plan for farming rainbow trout in cage in the Caspian Sea unprincipled and catastrophic for the environment, executive officials believe the plan is beneficial in creating job opportunities. 10/27/14

Iran nuclear deal would open last big frontier stock market - Years of economic sanctions and isolation have ravaged Iran's economy but created one of the last unexploited opportunities for international portfolio investors, who could start moving their money in this year if geopolitics permit. -Andrew Torchia, Reuters 10/27/14

Iranian-American woman Azita Raji Nominated For Ambassador To Sweden - The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. 10/25/14

Iran's President Rouhani orders investigation into acid attacks in Isfahan - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has instructed three ministries to accelerate efforts to find culprits behind the recent acid attacks in Isfahan amid national outrage over the despicable acts. 10/25/14

As Optimism Grows, Possible Iran Deal Gains Key Endorsement - Optimism that the US and world powers can, after all, strike a nuclear deal with Iran by or shortly after the current November 24 deadline appeared to grow here in Washington substantially this week. Such a deal also gained a critical endorsement, one that should provide a lot of political cover to shaky Democrats, as well as voices in the US Jewish community who, in contrast to the right-wing leadership of AIPAC and other "mainstream" Jewish organizations, have long favored President Obama's diplomatic efforts. -Jim Lobe 10/25/14

France to award Legion of Honor to Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh - Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh will be decorated with a Legion of Honor medal, Derambakhsh told the Persian service of ISNA on Friday. He will receive the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor during a ceremony that will be held at the Embassy of France in Tehran on Sunday. 10/25/14

Acid attacks on Iranian women highlight political divisions - Media coverage of protests against the throwing of acid and other violence against women in Isfahan and Tehran was met with resistance from government bodies, even as President Hassan Rohani called for swift action against those who throw acid. 10/25/14

Iran finishes 4th in 2014 Asian Para Games - Iran finished in fourth place winning 120 medals, including 37 gold, 52 silver and 31 bronze medals. Iran was just one gold medal short of third place Japan whose silver and bronze medals were less than Persians. -Masoud Hossein, Tehran Times 10/25/14

Iran Hangs Woman Accused of Killing Rapist - Iran has hanged a woman who had been on death row for five years for killing her alleged rapist. The execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari was reported by the official IRNA news agency. The man she killed - Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi - was a former intelligence officer, whom she said tried to rape her. 10/25/14

The GCC's Security Dilemma - The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman-are frustrated. Four of them-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE-have vast quantities of petroleum. All of them are monarchies. And all of them are militarily weak. -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog 10/25/14

Beltway Foreign Policy Groups to Congress: Stay Out of the Way on Iran! - The November 24 deadline for Iran and world powers to reach an agreement on Iran's nuclear program is quickly approaching. If negotiators can reach a deal next month, it will almost certainly provide unprecedented access for inspectors to Iran's nuclear sites... -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 10/25/14

Tehran. Waiting for Normality - Returning to Tehran a little over a month before the November 24 nuclear negotiations deadline was for me the source of a number of surprises. In the first place, the city -- judging from its bustling pace and crazy traffic -- does not seem the capital of a country on its knees because of the sanctions and not even, from talking to a number of people in different walks of life, in real trouble. -Roberto Toscano, Huffington Post 10/25/14

37 Organizations to Congress: Quit Playing Politics with Deal to Prevent Iran War - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) was one of 37 organizations to send a letter to Congress today regarding the roles of Congress and the President in sealing a nuclear deal with Iran. The letter was prompted when certain lawmakers reacted harshly to a New York Times report that, if there is a nuclear deal with Iran, the White House plans to initially use executive action to temporarily suspend certain sanctions. 10/24/14

Iran Claims Key Role In Helping Its 'Iraqi Brothers' Fight IS - Following weeks of increasingly harsh criticism of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria, in the past few days Iran has begun to emphasize its role in helping Iraq battle IS militants. Part of this narrative has been to stress Iran's close relationship with Baghdad, and its willingness to cooperate with other countries in the region, including against IS. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE 10/24/14

Winners of 2014 Noor Film Festival Announced - Noor Film Festival's 2014 closing ceremony was held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and awards were presented to the following films: 10/24/14

31 Nobel Physics Prize Laureates Join Thousands of Activists to Call for the Release of Iranian Physicist - A delegation consisting of Amnesty International, the Committee of Concerned Scientists, and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran will deliver thousands of petitions and letters collected by these organizations and the American Physical Society calling for the release of Omid Kokabee to the Iran UN Mission in New York 10/24/14

Ebola Could Enter Iran, Says Health Minister - Iranian Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi said on October 23 that the deadly Ebola virus is likely to enter Iran.Hashemi said no case of Ebola has been observed in Iran so far. 10/24/14

Iranian, Arab Media: 'Russia-Iran Anti-IS Operations Room' In Iraq - A report that Iran and Russia were to run a joint operations room in Iraq to combat the Islamic State (IS) group is spreading across Iran's media. The report originates in Lebanon's "Al-Mustaqbal" newspaper, which cites unnamed "Iraqi sources" as saying that Russian and Iranian military experts were to work with the Iraqi military to establish a joint anti-IS operations room. -Joanna Paraszczuk, RFE 10/24/14

Decoding Iran's economic indicators - In the past few weeks, there has been a major debate in Iran about the validity of economic data presented by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and government officials. It all started with a detailed report by the CBI stating that the Iranian economy grew by 4.6% in the 12-month period ending in spring 2014. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor 10/24/14

Iranians protest rash of acid assaults on women - Iranians took to the streets in Isfahan and Tehran to protest the recent incidents of acid throwing in Isfahan and demand that the authorities provide security for all citizens. In recent weeks in a number of incidents, women have been assaulted with acid, leaving at least one dead and many others struggling with serious burns to their hands and faces. 10/23/14

The Roots of Recurring Iranian-Pakistani Tensions - In the past two weeks, relations between Tehran and Islamabad appear to have deteriorated again over border clashes and terrorist attacks in Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan province located close to the Pakistani-Iranian border. -Shireen T. Hunter 10/23/14

Column: Lessons of North Korea for Iran Nuclear Talks - Among the arguments marshaled by those wary of a nuclear agreement with Iran is that past efforts to negotiate away North Korea's nuclear weapons program failed. Iran's regime, they argue, is just as untrustworthy as North Korea's and what's more, -Barbara Slavin, VOA 10/23/14

Photos: Thousands Of Iranians Protest Acid Attacks - Thousands of Iranians have demonstrated in Tehran and Isfahan against several recent acid attacks against women accused of not being "properly veiled." Hundreds gathered in front of the parliament building in Tehran, while eyewitnesses said a few thousand came to the Justice Ministry building in Isfahan, the central-western city where the acid attacks took place. 10/22/14

Iran's Isfahan Outraged Over Acid Attacks - Soheila Jowrkesh had just pulled over to take a call from her mother when she became a victim. As she sat in her car with the window open, two men on a motorcycle threw liquid acid at her. The attack left her completely blind in her right eye, with injuries to her left eye and extensive burns to her forehead, hands, and legs, her father, Nasser Jowrkesh, told the BBC's Persian service. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 10/22/14

Photos: Middle East's largest planetarium opens in Tehran - The largest planetarium in the Middle East, Dome of Mina, was inaugurated on Monday October 6th at a ceremony attended by Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and a number of officials from Iran's Space Agency (ISA). 10/22/14

Iranian Justice Minister calls acid attacks on women "terrorism" - On the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran, the justice minister told reporters that authorities in Isfahan are thoroughly investigating the incidents of acid being thrown on women, adding that the actions were "acts of "sabotage and terrorism." 10/22/14

Iranian Culture Minister stands firm against call for film censorship - Ali Jannati, Iran's Minister of Culture and Guidance, has announced that a request by the head of Parliament's Culture Commission to ban a number of films has been denied. Ahmad Salek has reportedly called on Ali Jannati to ban eight films branded as "seditious" by his commission. Iran's conservative factions refer to the opposition protests that were triggered by allegations of vote fraud in 2009 as "sedition." 10/22/14

Iran, Russia to open new chapter in trade ties - Iran and Russia are considering possibilities of opening a new chapter in their trade relations, with experts saying the new measures could break the domination of Western currencies over bilateral exchanges, Press TV reports. 10/22/14

Gaza and the Bipartisan War on Human Rights - Israel's seven weeks of attacks this summer on heavily populated civilian neighborhoods in Gaza has led to unprecedented concern among Americans who, while still broadly supportive of Israel, found the attacks to be disproportionate and unnecessary. -Stephen Zunes, LobeLog 10/22/14

Four arrested for acid attacks on women in Isfahan - Four people suspected of throwing acid in Isfahan have been arrested, says a spokesman for Iran's Interior Ministry, and "all dimensions of the incidents" are being investigated. 10/21/14

"Digital Native" and "Discipline" Share Grand Prix at Tehran Short Film Festival - Iranian director Mahbubeh Mohammad-Zaki's "Digital Native" and Swiss filmmaker Christopher M. Saber's "Discipline" have shared the Grand Prix at the 31st Tehran International Short Film Festival. 10/21/14

US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS - The United States and Iran are both helping fight Sunni militants in the Islamic State group. But one of the biggest battlefields is Syria, where Washington and Tehran back opposing sides in the civil war. -Scott Stearns, VOA 10/21/14

Iran Investigates Acid Attacks On Women - Iranian officials said they are investigating a series of acid attacks on women that occurred in the historic city of Isfahan in recent days. Some social network users in the country wrote that there had been up to 13 acid attacks against female drivers who allegedly were targeted for not being properly veiled. 10/20/14

Announcing 7th Annual Farhang Foundation Short Film Festival: Celebrating Iranian Heritage - Calling on individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life 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). 10/20/14

Next Stop: Iran - The number of international travelers in Iran has been steadily increasing, up from 2.2 million people in 2009 to 3.6 million in 2011. During the first half of 2014 travel increased 215%, in what government officials have called a "tsunami of tourists." 10/20/14

Caspian Summit: review of zones of national jurisdiction - The Fourth Caspian Summit of the Caspian States was held on the 29th of September 2014 in Astrakhan of Russia. (1) The Summit failed to find a new legal regime for the Caspian Sea which was its most important mission and discussions on it have been going on for the last two decades between the littoral states of the Caspian Sea.... -Bahman Aghai Diba 10/20/14

Iraq's PM to Visit Iran, Seeking Help in Fight Against IS - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is headed to Iran Monday for talks with key Tehran officials about the joint fight against Islamic State militants and economic links between the two countries. 10/20/14

Iranian artists gather at Tehran center to present "Art for Humanity" - The exhibition "Art for Humanity" displaying works by 100 artists to help the United Nations World Food Program fight hunger in the world was inaugurated at Tehran's Niavaran Cultural Center on Friday. 10/19/14

Iran Bans Human Rights Lawyer From Practicing Law - A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer says she has been banned from practicing her profession for three years. Sotoudeh told AFP that she would not try to appeal the decision but will conduct a sit-down protest outside the Iran Bar Association's headquarters in Tehran, starting October 21. 10/19/14

Photos: Polo match is held in Isfahan's historic Naqsh-e Jahan Square to prompt UNESCO to register the sport in Iran's name - A polo match was held in the world's oldest polo field in Isfahan on the sidelines of the 2014 Inter-City Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network (ICCN) International Festival, General Assembly and Women's Forum. 10/15/14

Coalition Contacts President Obama in Support of Judge Tabaddor's Suit Against the Department of Justice - This week, the Public Affairs Alliance (PAAIA), along with 30 Years After, the Arab American Institute, the Armenian National Committee of America, and the PARS Equality Center sent a letter to President Obama in support of Judge Afsaneh Ashley Tabaddor and her recently filed suit against the United States Department of Justice (Case No.14-cv-06390, Tabaddor v. Holder et al.). 10/11/14

Six Iranian Filmmakers Launch Campaign Urging Deal Over Nuclear Crisis - Six prominent Iranian movie directors have launched an Internet campaign saying "there is no deal that is worse than no deal" in an effort to end the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. The website for the campaign, which is in English, says international sanctions have hurt the Iranian people without harming Iran's nuclear program and urges Tehran and world powers to "address the issues, not special interests." -Charles Recknagel, RFE 10/1/14

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last updated on Fri Oct 31 15:53:18 GMT 2014