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February 20 2019
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Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn: A Hitchhiker's Adventures in the New Iran


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NIAC Action Endorses Yasmine Taeb for Virginia State Senate

- NIAC Action is proud to announce its official endorsement of Yasmine Taeb, candidate for Virginia's 35th Senate District. Yasmine is waging a primary challenge against the Virginia Senate's Democratic Minority Leader, Dick Saslaw. 02/20/19

Pompeo: The Real Threat To U.S. National Security

- I know something about U.S. secretaries of state lying to the American people and the international community. I assisted one of them to do so on February 5, 2003 before the United Nations Security Council. Yes, Colin Powell and I had been spoon-fed the lies by a too-compliant intelligence community leadership and a Machiavellian vice president, but we delivered those lies with vigor. For that, I at least am ashamed. I will let the former secretary of state speak for himself. -Lawrence Wilkerson, LobeLog 02/20/19

President Rohani: Iran-US tug of war at maximum level

- President Hassan Rohani says the tug of war that is currently underway between Iran and the United States is at its "maximum level," but that the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly emerge victorious in "this battle of wills." Speaking at a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Rohani made mention of the consecutive failures suffered by the US in its anti-Iran schemes. -Press TV 02/20/19

As Dollar Rises In Iran Police Arrest 20 Currency Dealers

- Police chief of Greater Tehran has announced Tuesday the arrest of "twenty foreign currency dealers", as the U.S. dollar makes more gains on the local market. Hossein Karimi reiterated that more than 190 currency dealers currently are in jail, saying that all "unauthorized" currency exchange bureaus have been shut down. He also threatened all those who engage in currency trade on social media and announce "inflated rates". -Radio Farda 02/20/19

Iranian Cities of Andimeshk and Dezful clash over border issue

- Reports from Iran say that Monday evening and on Tuesday there were clashes and tensions between residents of the southeastern city of Dezful and the neighboring town Andimeshk over a new sign showing the borders of the two townships. -Radio Farda 02/20/19

Choosing Raeesi as Judiciary Head Will Be a "Catastrophe" for Justice in Iran

- The appointment of Ebrahim Raeesi, who participated in "death commissions" that ordered the extrajudicial executions of thousands of prisoners in Iran in 1988, as Iran's next head of the judiciary, will represent a complete repudiation of the rule of law and a reward for those involved in crimes against humanity, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. If Raeesi is chosen as judiciary head, which appears increasingly likely, CHRI forcefully condemns his appointment. -CHRI 02/20/19

House Launches Inquiry Into U.S. Nuclear Plans In Saudi Arabia

- A new congressional report says that senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials. -RFE/RL 02/20/19

The Iranian Revolution: why 1979's uprising still shapes the Middle East

- Forty years ago, Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled Tehran - and 2,500 years of monarchy ended, to be replaced by an Islamic republic. Here, Ali Ansari examines the causes and legacy of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. -BBC 02/20/19

Doostan Charity's Norooz party 2019: Saturday, March 9th in London

- Doostan Norooz party 2019 is the annual Doostan fund-raising events and a chance to thank our generous community for their continued support and donations by celebrating the start of the Persian New Year together and as a family of friends in this magnificent Dinner & Dance event. 02/19/19

Meybod celebrates becoming world city for Zilou

- On Monday, Meybod celebrated becoming a world city for Zilou, a traditional type of floor covering commonly woven across the central Iranian city and its outskirts. The oasis city won the WCC-APR status last October after a delegation of international experts probed the in-house expertise which has been passed down generations to generations. 02/19/19

Featured Video

Iran's Javad Zarif warns "risk of war with Israel is great" (MunichSecurityConference 2019)

Rouhani inaugurates projects worth $1.4 billion: Persian Gulf Star Refinery to supply half of Iran's gasoline - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani put 40 major development projects worth 60 trillion rials (about $1.428 billion) into operation in the southern province of Hormozgan on Sunday and Monday. The president also inaugurated the third phase of Persian Gulf Star Refinery in a ceremony on Monday participated by Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. -Tehran Times 02/19/19

Iran, China seeking to deepen 'strategic partnership' - Top diplomats of Iran and China have emphasized the two nations' determination to promote their "strategic" relations in various areas as a high-ranking delegation from Tehran visits Beijing for talks. During a meeting on Tuesday with Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi in Beijing, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran views the "strategic partnership between Iran and China as one of our most important relations." -Press TV 02/19/19

Warsaw And The Limits Of The Anti-Iran Alliance - One of the key goals that the Trump administration pursued by organizing the Warsaw conference on the Middle East was to undermine the European Union (EU) as one of the remaining defenders of a multilateral, rules-based international order. -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 02/19/19

House Dems Probing Report Trump Officials Pushed Saudi Nuclear Sales - Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a new congressional report citing whistleblowers within the administration. -AP 02/19/19

Despite sanctions, Iran's oil exports rise in early 2019: sources - Iran's exports of crude oil were higher than expected in January and are at least holding steady this month, according to tanker data and industry sources, as some customers have increased purchases due to waivers from U.S. sanctions. -Reuters 02/19/19

Iran was not predestined to become a regional hegemon: Its rivals helped it - Flush with victory at home in 1980, Iran's new rulers turned their attention abroad. "I hope that [Iran] will become a model for all the meek and Muslim nations in the world," Ayatollah Khomeini said. His wish did not come true. No other state has adopted the concept of velayat-e faqih, or Shia clerical rule. -Economist 02/19/19

The Anti-Iran Warsaw Conference And The Isolated Superpower - The Trump administration tried to make this week's Middle East conference in Warsaw what the administration had intended it to be all along: an Iran-bashing exercise that would get Europeans to join in more of the bashing. But the conference instead became what most European governments-whose attendance at the gathering was spotty and often low-level-warned it would be: a demonstration not of U.S.-European unity on policy toward Iran but instead of disunity. That the conference's final statement makes no mention of Iran has to be a major disappointment for the administration. -Paul Pillar 02/18/19

Iran's man grabs European spotlight with anti-Trump focus - The U.S. is trying desperately to isolate Iran, but on Sunday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif seized the stage of the world's premier security conference. He held the audience of power-brokers rapt for nearly 40 minutes as he thrashed the Trump administration, fired a pointed demand at Europe to do more to protect their nuclear deal, and generally painted a portrait of Tehran's worldview that at times drew chuckles for defying reality. -David M. Herszenhorn, Politico 02/18/19

U.S. Dollar, Prices Rise As Iran Faces Uncertainty - The U.S. dollar is again on a steep rise in Iran. The greenback climbed to over 130,000 rials on Monday morning February 18. This is the biggest rise for the dollar in Iran's government-controlled forex market during the past three months. 02/18/19

Comparative Conferences: Sochi Vs. Warsaw - The recent Warsaw Conference on the Middle East was notable for America's inability to rally European governments to the anti-Iranian cause that the Trump administration, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have been strongly pushing. This U.S. failure in Warsaw stands in stark contrast to the February 14 summit meeting in Sochi between the presidents of Russia, Iran, and Turkey. -Mark N. Katz, LobeLog 02/18/19

Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril - The congresswoman's foreign policy views are far more in line with voters than the disconnected party establishment -Trita Parsi and Stephen Wertheim, Guardian 02/18/19

Iran warns Saudi Arabia, UAE of retaliatory measures, scolds Pakistan after deadly terror attack - The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE that they could face retaliatory measures for supporting terrorists on behalf of the US and Israel. General Mohammad Ali Jafari on Saturday stressed that Iran would give a "decisive" response to a Wednesday terrorist attack which killed 27 IRGC border guards in the southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province. 02/17/19

Iran's national optical fiber network to expand by 20% to 84,000 kilometers - The Telecommunication Infrastructure Company will expand the national optical fiber network by 14,000 kilometers to 84,000 kilometers by the next two months, the company's managing director Sadeq Abbasi Shahkouh said, Mehr reported on Friday. -Tehran Times 02/17/19

Police In Tehran Fire In The Air To Disperse Protests Against Hijab Enforcement - The Iranian government's official news agency (IRNA) has confirmed reports that police in a working-class neighborhood of Tehran fired shots in the air Friday February 15 evening after residents had a clash with morality enforcement agents. -Radio Farda 02/17/19

PHOTOS: Iran unveils Fateh submarine equipped with cruise missiles - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has inaugurated a new domestically-built submarine armed with cruise missiles in line with the Islamic Republic's move to boost its defense power. The inaugural ceremony for Fateh (Conqueror) submarine was held in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan Province on Sunday. 02/17/19

Iran's Zarif accuses Israel, US of seeking war - Addressing the Munich Security Conference, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also criticized the U.S. administration after Vice President Mike Pence this week called on European powers to pullout of the nuclear deal with Iran. Zarif urged France, Germany and Britain to do more to save that accord. -Reuters 02/17/19

The United States And Iran Are In A Quantum War - It took just under an hour for staff at Israel's Government Press Office to delete a tweet that suggested that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had finally decided to wage war on Iran. The office replaced that tweet with another one that clarified that Israel merely seeks to join with Arab nations to "combat Iran." -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog 02/17/19

'Burnt City' battles U.S.-Iran relations with biracial humor and bilingual poetry - Hamzehee, a doctoral student in LSU's Department of Communication Studies, describes "Burnt City" as a "personal Persian show in a partisan political time that compares domestic abuse in one's home to the impacts homelands have on their citizens." -Advocate 02/17/19

Iran needs youth league for talent identification: Coach Katayoun Khosrowyar - Katayoun Khosrowyar, head coach of Iran's U19 women's football team, is worried for not having a youth league for talent identification and for development of young players. The Iranian team will participate at the Kuban Spring Women's U19 Football Tournament next month and she will test four new Iranian-American players in the event. 02/15/19

Russia, Turkey, Iran Poised to Map Syria's Future - The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey are meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi Thursday to discuss the conflict in Syria for the first time since the United States announced its troop withdrawal. Although the Kremlin hasn't divulged details, a number of observers say questions about the strategic implications of a U.S. pullout and differences between Moscow and Ankara on a political settlement in northern Syria are likely to predominate. -Pete Cobus, VOA 02/15/19

Ten Detained Political Activists and Environmentalists Denied Counsel in Iran's Kurdistan Province - Ten political activists and environmentalists arrested in Iran's Kurdistan Province between December 31, 2018, and January 6, 2019, are being held at the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in the city of Sanandaj while being denied access to legal counsel and contact with family members. -CHRI 02/15/19

IRAN: Sugar Mill Workers Call for International Action to Free Detained Colleagues Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Qoliyan - A union representing workers of the Haft Tappeh sugar mill in the Iranian city of Shush, Khuzestan Province, has called on individuals and international organizations to demand the release of union representative Esmail Bakshi and freelance reporter Sepideh Qoliyan from the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in Ahvaz. -CHRI 02/15/19

Javad Zarif warns it would be 'suicidal' to go to war with Iran - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned the U.S. and its allies that it would be "suicidal" to start a war with Iran, accusing Washington of having a "pathological obsession" with his country.. In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with NBC News on Friday, Zarif said that the "same gang" behind the 2003 Iraq War are"at it again" in pushing for war with his country. -Richard Engel, NBC News 02/15/19

Trump's Iran summit shows just how far he is from the rest of the west - Pompeo's Warsaw war rally marks another stage in the deliberate, Trumpian process of dividing and disrupting the postwar western alliance, to the point of disintegration. If it were not obvious already, this week's bellicose tub-thumping demonstrates that Britain, France and Germany can no longer rely on rational, informed, balanced US leadership. And Iran cannot rely on the European powers to stop Trump's next war of choice. -Simon Tisdall, Guardian 02/15/19

Iran's Punishment Has Far Exceeded Its Crimes - The U.S.-sponsored conference in Warsaw, which just concluded in Warsaw, was ostensibly about peace and stability in the Middle East. But it was really just an opportunity to gang up on Iran. Before attending the meeting, Israel's prime minister in a video on the sidelines of the summit called for action by Arabs and Israel against Iran, which his office translated as meaning war. The Hebrew word used indeed means war. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog 02/15/19

Netanyahu's 'War' Comment Wasn't an Accident - On Wednesday, before the opening of the Warsaw Ministerial conference on the Middle East, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to an Israeli TV reporter. The gathering of more 60 nations -- including Arab countries -- is, he said, an important step in pursuing their "common interest in advancing war with Iran." -Zev Chafets, Bloomberg 02/15/19

Suicide attack in Iran frames visit to Pakistan by Saudi crown prince - While Baluchistan is set to figure prominently in Prince Mohammed's talks with Mr. Khan, the attack also coincided with a US-sponsored conference in Warsaw, widely seen as an effort by the Trump administration to further isolate Iran economically and diplomatically...Mr. Giuliani told the protesters who waved Iranian flags and giant yellow balloons emblazoned with the words, "Regime Change" that "we want to see a regime change in Iran." -James M. Dorsey 02/14/19

Unable to Move His Arm, Iranian Political Prisoner Arash Sadeghi Denied Hospitalization for Infected Biopsy Wound - Arash Sadeghi, a political prisoner in Iran, has lost the ability to move his right arm due to an infection on his shoulder that has been left untreated in Rajaee Shahr Prison, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. "After the biopsy, the assigned doctor prescribed monthly hospital visits to check his tumor and stop its growth," said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons. "But the head of Rajaee Shahr Prison always comes up with some excuse to prevent Sadeghi's transfer to the hospital. -CHRI 02/14/19

Terrorists attack IRGC bus; Iran vows revenge - A number of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces have been killed in a terrorist attack in southeastern Iran. The attack killed 27 IRGC members and injured 13 others, initial reports suggested. -Press TV 02/14/19

Iran: Female Defendant Not in Court as Others Tried for Spying - Iran says Niloufar Bayani, a female member of a group of eight conservationists on trial for spying, has been absent from the courtroom this week as a prosecutor continued reading charges that rights activists say are bogus. -Michael Lipin, VOA 02/14/19

US Charges Former Air Force Intel Officer With Spying for Iran - A former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence officer who defected to Iran nearly six years ago has been charged with revealing classified military information to the Iranian government and helping Iran target her former co-workers, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. -Masood Farivar, VOA 02/14/19

Transformation in Iran Will Come From Women - On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, a former political prisoner assesses the prospect of change in Iran. -Amy Mackinnon, Foreign Policy 02/14/19

U.S. Revives Secret Program to Sabotage Iranian Missiles and Rockets - The Trump White House has accelerated a secret American program to sabotage Iran's missiles and rockets, according to current and former administration officials, who described it as part of an expanding campaign by the United States to undercut Tehran's military and isolate its economy. -New York Times 02/14/19

UN court has jurisdiction to hear part of Iran-US dispute - The International Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that it has jurisdiction to hear part of a case brought by Iran against the United States that seeks to claw back around $2 billion worth of frozen Iranian assets. -AP 02/14/19

Intervention: Same Old, Same Old? - Not only is the Trump administration not normal, its foreign policy reveals an administration in turmoil with several foreign policies being pursued at the same time. No wonder the world is confused about what American policy is. Policy-making in this administration is clearly a jump ball. -Gordon Adams, LobeLog 02/14/19

Poll: Majority Of Iranians Still Support JCPOA - In spite of the Trump administration's decision to violate the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) and reimpose sanctions in an effort to exert "maximum pressure" on the Iranian government, new polling finds that a majority of Iranians still stand by the agreement. -Derek Davison 02/13/19

Trump Tweeted a Photo of Iranian Protest. He Didn't Ask the Journalist Who Took It. - All her life Yalda Moayeri, a 37-year-old photojournalist from Iran, has struggled with men. She has dealt with mansplaining colleagues, Iranian censors and the country's security forces. Some created obstacles, others pressured her. She always fought back. Now she's tangling with President Trump, who used a photograph she shot without permission for his own political purposes. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times 02/13/19

11TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF NOWRUZ AT UCLA - Join Farhang Foundation for the 11th Annual Celebration of Nowruz at UCLA's Royce Hall and Dickson Courts on March 10, 2019. The event includes musical performances, children's activities, dancers, a Haft Sin display and our annual Persian Costume "Spring Walk" open to children and adults of all ages. 02/13/19

Iranian-Americans nurture new generations after revolution - Today, there are nearly a half-million people in the U.S. with Iranian ancestry. More than 40 percent live in California, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The biggest community is in Los Angeles, which has led some to adopt the nickname "Tehrangeles." Beyond Southern California, other significant populations live in the New York and Washington metropolitan areas, and in Florida and Texas. -Amy Taxin, AP 02/13/19

Investors Have Always Struggled in Iran - Given how Iran's economy has fared in the 40 years since the Islamic Revolution, it's reasonable for Iranians to wonder whether they might be more prosperous had the revolution never taken place. Iran's average annual growth in gross domestic product for the years 1961-78 was 8.86 percent, or more than three times higher than the 2.44-percent average for 1980-2017. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, Bloomberg 02/13/19

Trump Pushes Iraq to Stop Buying Energy From Iran - The Trump administration is pressuring Iraq to stop buying energy from its neighbor and sole foreign supplier, Iran, in what has become a major point of conflict between Washington and Baghdad. Iraqi leaders, fearing that a further shortfall in power would lead to mass protests and political instability in their electricity-starved country, are pushing back on the demand, which is rooted in President Trump's sanctions against Iran. -Edward Wong, NY Times 02/13/19

Why Has Iran Remained In The Crosshairs - The value of a US Dollar is now around 12,000 Tomans in Iran. The inflation rate seems out of control. There is a shortage of meat, even chicken, as well as other staple commodities and medicines in the market. The prices of locally manufactured automobiles fluctuate from one day to the next. Housing prices have skyrocketed since last year, to where the price of a typical flat in Tehran is over 1,000 US Dollars per square meter! There is also the horrible prospect that what is happening in Venezuela is a model of what the United States has in mind for Iran. -Kambiz Zarrabi 02/12/19

Iranian Agents Tried to Frame Detained Conservationists by Staging Scenes to Falsely Implicate Them - Amid eight conservationists' closed-door trial in Iran's revolutionary court system, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has been informed that agents staged scenes around at least two of the detainees with the intent of implicating them in a false narrative. In one instance, plainclothes agents transported conservation scientist Niloufar Bayani out of Evin Prison in Tehran to several locations in an affluent town for a day and directed her to engage in specific acts while filming her without her consent. -CHRI 02/12/19

Iran's Other Generation Gap, 40 Years On - Among the Revolutionary Faithful, the Young Seek Confrontation While Their Elders Embrace Change -Narges Bajoghli, Foreign Affairs 02/12/19

America's Next Phony War: Will Iran Be Trump's Iraq? - The president was upset. Watching TV in his White House residence, his usual morning routine, Donald Trump saw his intelligence chiefs kick the legs out from under yet another of his pet campaigns: Iran. Trump and two of his top national security officials had been suggesting for two years that the Islamic republic was still in pursuit of a nuclear weapon and posed a mortal threat to its neighbors and the West. -Jeff Stein, Newsweek 02/12/19

Remembering Iran's Revolutionary Days - Blood gushes from the dead man's head, dripping down his face as he sits slouched in the backseat of the yellow Peykan car. Two men search the pockets of the green raincoat that he wears over his army uniform. A teenager, holding his head and crying helplessly, sits on the side of the road, next to a machine gun... -Scheherezade Faramarzi, LobeLog 02/12/19

The White House burns the intelligence community again with a threatening message to Iran - Monday marked the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution, which installed its theocratic government, and national security adviser John Bolton responded to the day in a video address. The White House ended its message to Iran with a veiled threat to Iran's government. Bolton has long advocated bombing Iran and was one of the architects of the US's 2003 invasion of Iraq, which was based on flawed intelligence that indicated the country was working to produce a nuclear weapon. -Alex Lockie, Insider 02/12/19

The Anatomy Of A Revolution - Iran is celebrating the anniversary of its 1979 Revolution this month. Just as with the previous 40 years, an army of experts will attempt to dissect the exact nature of the Islamic Republic, its achievements, and a proverbial laundry list of its shortcomings. -Reza H. Akbari, LobeLog 02/12/19

The Shah's Long Road - On January 16, 1979, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran, boarded a plane at Mehrabad Airport near Tehran. He would never return. Iran, where he had ruled as monarch and dictator for several decades, was in the throes of a revolution, and would soon be led by a new Islamic government led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Fifty-four years of Pahlavi rule, and 2,500 years of Iranian monarchy, were over. -Gregory Brew, LobeLog 02/12/19

IRAN: Grand Ayatollah Speaks Out Against Child Marriage - The story of an 11-year-old girl, Raha, has once again set off another round of muscle flexing by ayatollahs and Shi'ite sources of emulation over the legal age for marriage. Raha, from the province of Ilam, western Iran, was recently forced to marry a 50-year-old man who already has a wife and seven children, Imam Ali Community reported on February 8, adding, "Raha was practically sold for 150 million rials (roughly $1,500)." -Radio Farda 02/11/19

Family of Late Conservationist Kavous Seyed-Emami Petitions Iran to Respond to State TV Smears - One year after his father's suspicious death in Tehran's Evin Prison, Ramin Seyed-Emami has filed a petition to respond to the unsubstantiated reports about his father broadcast by Iran's main state-run broadcasting organization. He is also calling on the judiciary to release his mother, who remains barred from leaving the Islamic Republic despite the expiration of the travel ban that was imposed on her in December 2018. -CHRI 02/11/19

"Ten Years is Enough:" Mother of Canadian Resident Imprisoned in Iran Seeks Pardon - The mother of Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian resident imprisoned in Iran since 2008, sent a letter to Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi on February 1, 2019, requesting that Malekpour be included in a mass pardon of prisoners that may happen in March. -CHRI 02/11/19

The Lasting Lessons Of The Iranian Revolution - February 11 marks the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Iran, which toppled the country's monarchical system and ushered in the Islamic Republic. The outcomes of that fateful day continue to shape the discourse on Iran and are particularly pertinent in today's political climate. -Assal Rad, LobeLog 02/11/19

The Iran Revolution at 40: From Theocracy to 'Normality' - In February of 1979, Tehran was in chaos. A cancer-stricken Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Western-backed autocrat, had gone into exile in mid-January, leaving behind a rickety regency council. On Feb. 1, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the godfather of the revolution, returned from exile in Paris. And in the Iranian version of "Ten Days That Shook the World," street demonstrations raged until the government collapsed on Feb. 11. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times 02/11/19

The 1979 Revolution: Unfinished Business In Iran - Iran turns 40 on Monday, give or take a few thousand years. As part of the official commemorations for the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, or what is known in Iran as "Ten Days of Dawn" (Dahe-ye Fajr), state television broadcasts archival footage from that period. The scenes and images are unimaginable the rest of the year. There are men with Western ties and women without Islamic hijabs. Secular housewives march in the streets alongside hezbollahi students... -Shervin Malekzadeh, LobeLog 02/11/19

In pictures: Iran marks anniversary of Islamic Revolution with mass rallies - Various Iranian cities and towns were the scene of mass rallies celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Monday. The revolution toppled the US-backed Pahlavi monarchy and set the stage for the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Press TV 02/11/19

PHOTOS: A Persian Leopard Undergoes Artificial Insemination In Tehran - For the first time a Persian leopard was artificially inseminated at the Tehran Zoological Garden on Thursday morning. German experts lent a hand in implementing the artificial insemination techniques. 02/8/19

PHOTOS: Iran unveils underground ballistic missile plant for first time - Iran has unveiled an underground plant manufacturing precision ballistic missiles for the Aerospace Division of its Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). "Unveiling this missile production city deep underground is an answer to the idle talk made by the Westerners, who assume they can restrict us and dissuade us from [pursuing] our long-term goals by means of threats and sanctions," Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC's chief commander, said during the unveiling ceremony on Thursday. 02/8/19

Avoiding War With Iran - In his State of Union, President Trump focused his comments about the Middle East on Iran, the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), and the U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. Despite his negative rhetoric about Iran, Trump did identify some potential common ground with the government in Tehran. -Seyed Hossein Mousavian, LobeLog 02/8/19

Forty years of state lies: RSF unveils leaked Iranian justice file - No fewer than 860 journalists and citizen-journalists were prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned and in some cases executed in Iran between 1979 and 2009, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) revealed today on the basis of information in a leaked Iranian justice department digital file. -RSF 02/8/19

How The CIA Overthrew Iran's Democracy in Four Days - On August 19, 2013, the CIA publicly admitted for the first time its involvement in the 1953 coup against Iran's elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. The documents provided details of the CIA's plan at the time, which was led by senior officer Kermit Roosevelt Jr., the grandson of U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt. -NPR 02/8/19

Mounting Evidence that Clears Eight Conservationists from Grave Charges, Judiciary Still Relies on Forced "Confessions" - In light of the upcoming court session on February 12 in which eight conservationists who have been detained for over a year will have to defend themselves against grave national security charges, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) calls upon the Iranian Judiciary to ensure all safeguards necessary for a free trial will be provided. -CHRI 02/8/19

IRAN: On the virtues of evolution rather than revolution - In response to a couple of recent articles that I have written about the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and the current situation in Iran, I have received some angry and occasionally rude comments. The writers who comment on social media often lack the honesty or the courage to give their real names and hide their identities behind some pseudonyms. They have even accused me of being guilty of facilitating the fall of the Shah's government, of treason, of being a fanatical supporter of the Islamic Republic, being dishonest and trying to deceive the people. -Farhang Jahanpour 02/7/19

Jason Rezaian's Prisoner Book Reviewed - Beginning July 2014, the Iranians had a problem. For reasons known only to themselves, Revolutionary Guards Security Officers arrested Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi, his wife of 15 months, in the garage of their apartment building in Tehran. Now what were the Iranians going to do? They spent the next year-and-a-half climbing out of the hole they'd dug for themselves. -John Limbert 02/7/19

Iran Claims Iraq Will Pay Its Debts, But U.S. Sanctions Make It Hard - One day after Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh complained that Iraq has not paid billions of dollars for its imports from Iran after the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, Iran's Central Bank Governor told reporters that he has reached an agreement with his Iraqi counterpart about the payments. -Radio Farda 02/7/19

Tehran tourism exhibit to host over 700 Iranian, international businesses - A total of 660 Iranian tourism marketers and businesses along with 57 foreign ones will participate in the 12th Tehran International Tourism Exhibition, which will be running from February 12 to 15. Iran hosted 6,074,580 foreign nationals during the first nine months of the currant Iranian calendar year, up by 56 percent year on year. -Tehran Times 02/7/19

Pompeo, Bolton, And Iran's "Fake Opposition" - As Iranian people struggle for democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law, as well as preserving the national security and territorial integrity of their country, two main groups have emerged among the opposition to Iran's hardliners, both within Iran and in the diaspora. One group, the true opposition that includes the reformists, religious-nationalists, secular leftists, various labor groups, human rights activists, and others, believes that it is up to the Iranian people living in Iran how to change the political system in their country. -Muhammad Sahimi 02/6/19

Iranian-American Michael Rostampour Invited To Iran's National Basketball Team - Rising basketball player Mike Rostampour has been invited to Iran national basketball team. The 6ft 8in (2.03m) Minnesota-born forward has never seen action for the Iran national squad before, but has significant international basketball experience. 02/6/19

Iranian Lawyers Condemn Tehran's Jailing of Colleague, Demand Release - A group of Iranian lawyers has condemned Iran's government for imprisoning a fellow lawyer convicted of slandering a former official and demanded that their colleague be released. In an open letter to the Iranian people dated Monday and shared with VOA Persian by lawyer Hossein Ahmadiniaz, he and 18 other lawyers said Sunday's jailing of their counterpart, Mostafa Tork Hamedani, at Tehran's Evin Prison violates Iran's international commitments to the principles of a fair trial. -Michael Lipin and Shahram Bahraminejad, VOA 02/6/19

Organ donation rate grows 60-fold in 18 years in Iran - Organ donation rate has increased by 60 times over the past 18 years, though the growth is not considerable compared to the global scale, head of the transplantation and treatment of diseases department at the Ministry of Health has announced. 02/6/19

Iran's recoverable crude at 160 billion barrels: NIOC - The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in an announcement put Iran's reserves of recoverable liquid hydrocarbons at an estimated amount of 160.12 billion barrels, while its natural gas reserves stand at 33.33 trillion cubic meters. This makes Iran one of the world's largest holders of crude oil, condensate and gas liquids reserves on the planet. 02/6/19

Norooz, Persian New Year, added to Vancouver calendar of events - Vancouver has added Norooz, the Persian new year festivity, to its official celebrations and observations calendar. Vancouver City Council has put the event on the calendar of the Canadian metropolis to recognize an intangible heritage of Iranians and other immigrants who celebrate the first day of the spring and the renewal of nature, IRNA reported on Saturday. 02/5/19

Iran At Crossroads On 40th Anniversary Of Islamic Revolution - On February 11, 2019, the Islamic Republic of Iran marks the fortieth anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. In his latest speech at a conference of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), for which he received huge fees, National Security Advisor John Bolton said: "The outcome of the president's policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini's 1979 revolution will not last until its fortieth birthday...." -Farhang Jahanpour 02/5/19

"The Night When the Moon Was Full": A film about true love story of a terrorist - The 37th Fajr Film Festival has premiered director Narges Abyar's latest drama "The Night When the Moon Was Full" about a true love story of Abdul-Hamid Rigi, a member of the Jundallah terrorist group. The film tells the story of Abdul-Hamid Rigi, the younger brother of Abdul-Malik Rigi, the founder and leader of the Jundallah terrorist group in southeastern Iran, who marries Faezeh Mansuri, a woman from Tehran. 02/5/19

Iran: Words Matter, Truth Heals, And History Shapes The Future - I have had the opportunity to travel to Iran on seven occasions since 2005. Most recently, in November 2016, I went there to participate in a conference with Christian and Muslim religious leaders from around the world. While there I received word that Donald Trump had just been elected president. -John Bryson Chane, LobeLog 02/5/19

Iranian MPs Ask Rouhani To Pay Attention To Ecologists Facing Harsh Punishment - Several members of the Iranian Parliament (Majles) have called on President Hassan Rouhani to pay attention to the situation of eight detained ecologists, the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported on Monday. The environmentalists have been under "temporary arrest" by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for longer than a year now. 02/5/19

IRAN: President Rouhani's Former Deputy Says His Government Has Failed Women - President Hassan Rouhani's former Deputy for Women and Family Affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, has admitted that the president who campaigned as a moderate and his team failed to address major problems confronting Iranian women. -Radio Farda 02/4/19

INSTEX: A Real Solution Or A Symbolic Move To Keep Iran In Nuclear Deal - One day after Germany France and the UK launched INSTEX (Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges) to help reduce the impact of sanctions on Iran there are still speculations about the measures' effectiveness, with some saying INTEX simply has symbolic significance. -Radio Farda 02/1/19

PHOTOS: Euphoria in Isfahan as water flows into Zayanderud river - With water is released into Zayanderud river in central province of Isfahan, the citizens are exhilarated by seeing the river alive again. Water has filled the area once again bringing back the glory to the area, and people have gathered around it to take pictures as the river will be alive only for 20 days. 01/30/19

Three Members of Iran's Writers Association Charged With National Security Crimes for Opposing Censorship - Three senior members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA) have been charged with national security crimes for peacefully protesting state censorship policies, according to a statement posted by the trade union on Facebook on January 22, 2019. -CHRI 01/30/19

Iranian saffron ice cream among world's top 50 desserts - Iran's saffron ice cream or bastani, scented with saffron, rosewater and pistachios, is among the world's 50 best desserts, according to CNN. From a lightly golden color to its distinctive aroma, the creamy treat is the essence of spring. By tradition, this Iranian ice cream is a favorite at Nowruz, the Persian New Year. -Tehran Times 01/30/19

Norooz Spring Festival in San Francisco: March 9, 2019 at Union Square - Norooz Outreach and Diaspora Arts Connection proudly present the inaugural all-day "Norooz Spring Festival," celebrating the arrival of Spring on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Share the Norooz spirit by bringing your non-Persian friends and join us for a day of celebrations and festivities, including food, live-music, dance, Persian calligraphy and miniatures, activities for children, and other demonstrations of the symbols of Norooz. 01/28/19

Iranian Lawyers Demand Release Of Jailed Colleagues - In an open letter addressed to the head of Islamic Republic's judiciary, dozens of prominent Iranian attorneys have called for the immediate release of their colleagues, jailed on trumped up charges related to their defense of civil rights. -Radio Farda 01/25/19

Five Iranian named among 50 influential architects from Middle East in 2019 - Five Iranians have been named among the 50 most influential architects of the Middle East in 2019, according to a list published by the Middle East Architect (MEA) magazine. The magazine named Mohammad Khavarian, Kourosh Hajizadeh, Amir-Hossein Hajizadeh, Farshad Mehdizadeh and Arash G Tehrani as Iran's influential architects in the Middle East region. 01/23/19

Announcing The Winning Nowruz Banner Design for 2019 - Farhang Foundation announces the winner of the 2019 Nowruz Banner Design Competition and the musical artist selected for the headlining Royce Hall concert as part of Farhang's 11th Annual Celebration of Nowruz at UCLA! 01/23/19

Iranian Startups Offer Opportunities In An Unstable Economy - The past decade in Iran has witnessed a surge in the number of startups, larger Internet companies, and digital-service providers. Owing to the impact of American sanctions, Iranians are often left to their own devices when it comes to Internet services. Amid the country's rapid digitization and the fact that more than 62 percent of all households were connected to the Internet as of March 2017 -- a staggering leap from 21 percent in 2013 -- there is clearly increasing demand. 01/16/19

Belqeys Citadel in North Khorasan, Iran sees 55% more visitors - The ruined citadel, which is sometimes referred to as Shahr-e Belqeys ("The city of Belqeys") is located in northeastern North Khorasan province. It lies at a short distance from the city of Esfarayen. Remnants of the citadel, family lodgings, irrigation channels, a cistern, and a hypostyle hall are amongst objects so far been unearthed in Belqeys during rounds of excavation. 01/6/19

PHOTOS: The 6th Biennale of Urban Sculptures Exhibition in Tehran - The sixth Biennale of Urban Sculptures Exhibition is underway at Saba Cultural and Art Institute in the Iranian capital Tehran until 26 December. -Mehran Riazi, Mehr 12/13/18

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Iranian Film Festival, San Francisco: September 22-23, 2018

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last updated on Wed Feb 20 13:07:17 EST 2019