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November 22 2019
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Six Conservationists Sentenced to Long Prison Terms in Iran After Two Years Behind Bars

- Six of the eight wildlife conservationists who have been detained in Iran since their arrest in January 2018 have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to ten years for espionage, a lawyer with knowledge of the cases told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). CHRI has confirmed these sentences with several people with direct knowledge of the court announcements. -CHRI 11/21/19

Conference in Paris - Tappeh Sialk: A Key Site for the Archaeology of Iran

- ​The site of Tappeh Sialk in Iran was excavated by the archaeologist Roman Ghirshman between 1933 and 1937, exposing whole areas of the ancient cultures of the plateau, from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. The objective of this conference will be to take stock, 80 years after the publication of Ghirshman's work, on the history of this site and on its central role for Iranian archaeology. -Iran Heritage Foundation 11/21/19

Huge investment attracted at Kish Invex 2019: Iranian Official

- Iranian officials have hailed an investment opportunity event held south of the country as a major success at a time many foreign investors are avoiding the country due to the American sanctions. Gholamhossein Mozaffari, the top government official at Kish Island, said on Wednesday that over 350 business and investment meetings had been organized at Kish Invex 2019, a four-day event that had opened in the Persian Gulf resort on Monday. -Press TV 11/21/19

Permission review: female footballer pays penalty in Iran

- Permission is a handmaid's tale taken straight from the headlines. In 2015, Niloufar Ardalan was captain of the Iranian women's indoor football team, which had just reached the Asian Championships final in Malaysia. Incredibly, she was prevented from playing, because her TV presenter husband would not give her the permission to travel abroad that married women in Iran legally need. -Peter Bradshaw, Guardian 11/21/19

Iranian Americans Struggle to Reach Family Amid Internet Blackout

- When people in Iran began protesting a rise in gas prices last Friday, Mina, an Iranian American based in Washington, DC, wasn't sure what to feel. She had spoken with family members in the country that day; their accounts of the demonstrations were "not particularly alarming," she says. By Saturday evening, when the Iranian government instituted a near-total internet blackout, Mina began to panic. -Elham Khatami, Wired 11/21/19

Iran blasts Amnesty protest toll calling it 'disinformation'

- Iran rejected human rights watchdog Amnesty International's death toll at more than 100 in recent protests as "fabricated", calling the group a "biased" organisation. Tehran's UN spokesman Alireza Miryousefi described Amnesty's figure of 106 dead in the demonstrations as part of a "disinformation campaign waged against Iran from outside the country". -Aljazeera 11/21/19

Protests In Lebanon: A View From Iran

- These protests come at a time when Iraq has also witnessed ongoing demonstrations, laying blame for their misfortunes on external actors such as Iran and the U.S. Analysts have mainly sought to examine how the demonstrations in Lebanon affect Iran and its local ally, Hezbollah. However, very few analyses have taken an Iranian view of the current demonstrations in Lebanon. -Talal Mohammad, LobeLog 11/21/19

Lethal and Excessive Force Against Protestors in Iran Must Cease, News Blackout Must End

- The authorities' use of excessive force against protestors in Iran, which has included the use of live ammunition and has resulted in dozens of deaths, is a blatant and unjustifiable violation of international law and must cease, the Center for Human Rights in Iran said in a statement today. -CHRI 11/20/19

Iran Claims Victory Over 'Enemy Conspiracy' As Death Toll From Protests Rises

- Iran's leaders have claimed defeat over an "enemy conspiracy" in the face of growing international condemnation of its deadly crackdown on demonstrations sparked by sharp fuel-price hikes. "Our people have been victorious," President Hassan Rohani told a cabinet meeting on November 20, claiming that the "armed anarchists" who took to the streets across Iran were few in number. -RFE/RL 11/20/19

Foreign travelers not deterred by Iranophobia: Iranian tourism official

- Iran's deputy tourism minister on Monday said that anti-Iranian sentiment or Iranophobia, which has long been forged and spread by some Western governments and media, has not prevented foreign travelers from visiting the country. 11/20/19

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Pentagon Says Iran's Missile Arsenal Unequaled In Middle East - Iran's arsenal of missiles is unmatched in the Middle East, even bigger than Israel's, a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report says. Iran would develop its defense capability faster if it were not for a UN-mandated arms embargo for most weapons that is set to expire in October 2020. -RFE/RL 11/20/19

As US weighs in on Iran protests, critics highlight American culpability for economic crisis - As deadly anti-government protests continue across Iran, Washington has weighed in on the crisis that was ignited by a sudden hike in fuel prices - but come under criticism for the US' part in contributing to the economic crisis. Although Donald Trump himself has not yet reacted to the events on Twitter, some American officials have commented on the demonstrations. -Negar Mortazavi, Independent 11/20/19

Almost a fifth of Iran's gasoline output smuggled abroad: Report - A new report citing data from the Iranian government shows that almost a fifth of the daily production of gasoline in the country falls into the hands of smugglers who ship the fuel to the neighboring countries. The findings come days after Iran decided to increase the price of gasoline and impose restrictions on the regular delivery of the fuel to the motorists. -Press TV 11/20/19

Economic Sanctions Are Testing The Resilience Of Iran's Islamic System - The increase in the price of gasoline is only one manifestation of Iran's economic and financial woes resulting from the economic sanctions. The main culprit has been the loss of Iran's oil income. According to OPEC's latest monthly report in November 2019, Iran's oil exports have fallen by 1.65 million barrels per day since the imposition of U.S. sanctions. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog 11/20/19

A Notorious Iranian Hacking Crew Is Targeting Industrial Control Systems - Iranian hackers have carried out some of the most disruptive acts of digital sabotage of the last decade, wiping entire computer networks in waves of cyberattacks across the Middle East and occasionally even the US. But now one of Iran's most active hacker groups appears to have shifted focus. -Wired 11/20/19

Israel carries out 'wide-scale strikes' on Iranian forces in Syria - Israel says it has hit dozens of targets in Syria belonging to the government and allied Iranian forces. The Israeli military says the "wide-scale strikes" responded to rockets fired by an Iranian unit into Israel. Syria says two civilians died and that Syrian air defences shot down most of the missiles over Damascus. Other reports say the death toll was higher. -BBC 11/20/19

UN Calls on Iran to Avoid Force, Respect Right to Protest - State security forces have used violent and deadly force to repress protests that erupted in dozens of cities in Iran during the evening of November 15, 2019, after the government announced a sudden gasoline price hike. 11/19/19

Iran football team needs fresh impetus to qualify for World Cup - It's not weird that Team Melli suffered back-to-back defeats in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Bahrain and Iraq. Team Melli needs the young and talented players to keep going. Iran is in danger of not qualifying for the FIFA World Cup qualification next stage, while Team Melli was widely regarded as the Group C favorites. -Masoud Hossein, Tehran Times 11/19/19

U.S. Cancels Civil-Nuclear-Cooperation Waiver For Iran - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is canceling one of four sanctions waivers that allowed foreign firms to cooperate with Iran's civilian nuclear program without penalties. The waivers are some of the last remaining provisions of a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from last year. -RFE/RL 11/19/19

Want to Support Iranians? Stop Sanctioning Iran's Internet - As Iran erupted with protests this past weekend, the Iranian government responded with a violent clamp down against demonstrators and the severing of nearly all Internet connections between Iran and the rest of the world. In the U.S., the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued statements of solidarity - despite the fact that many of the economic woes Iranians are protesting have been due to U.S. sanctions. -Jamal Abdi, Iranian 11/19/19

Iran begins payments to 60 million as petrol price protests continue - Iran's government has begun rushing out promised direct payments to 60 million Iranians, in a sign that the regime has been spooked by the scale of protests against petrol price rises announced last week. In some cases petrol prices are being raised by as much as 300%. Unrest continued throughout Iran on Monday and internet access remained blocked for a second day. -Patrick Wintour, Guardian 11/19/19

Iran's Shadow War on ISIS - Since the election of Donald Trump, the United States and Iran have grown increasingly fractious, exchanging provocations that have fueled fears of war. But in the early days of the fight against ISIS under President Barack Obama, these longtime rivals were focused on a common goal: halting the Islamic State's advance and destroying its so-called caliphate. -Murtaza Hussain, Intercept 11/19/19

At Least Six Killed In Iranian Protests Over Gas Price Hike - Tensions remain high in Iran three days after a sharp hike in fuel prices sparked deadly protests in dozens of towns and cities across the country. The situation on the streets was unclear on November 18, however, largely due to an Internet outage imposed by authorities that has stemmed the flow of videos and communications shared on social media. -RFE/RL 11/18/19

Iranian woman weightlifter Elham Hosseini makes history by winning medal - Elham Hosseini became the first Iranian woman to win a medal in an international weightlifting tournament. Hosseini claimed a bronze medal at the 2019 Weightlifting IWF Naim Suleymanoglu Tournament on Saturday. 11/18/19

Iran's President says people have right to protest, but vandalism will not be tolerated - President Hassan Rohani said on Sunday that the people have the right to protest, however, vandalism will not be tolerated. Late on Thursday, the government announced a partial cut in petrol subsidies. The decision went into force on Friday morning. However, some groups of people in certain cities, including Ahwaz, Tehran, Sirjan, Karaj, poured into the streets protesting the move. 11/18/19

A SPY COMPLEX REVEALED: Leaked Iranian Intelligence Reports Expose Tehran's Vast Web of Influence in Iraq - Now leaked Iranian documents offer a detailed portrait of just how aggressively Tehran has worked to embed itself into Iraqi affairs, and of the unique role of Suleimani. The documents are contained in an archive of secret Iranian intelligence cables obtained by The Intercept and shared with the New York Times for this article, which is being published simultaneously by both news organizations. -Intercept 11/18/19

The U.S. Is Setting the Stage for Another Coup in Iran - The crowd protests that grew to affect 100 cities over the weekend in Iran were sparked by the government increasing the price of gasoline by as much as 3 times overnight. But the underlying discontents with the government have been caused by a sinking economy, expected to shrink by 9% this year. -Juan Cole, Truthdig 11/18/19

'Iranian Hulk' Sajad Gharibi joins Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship - The "Iranian Hulk" is set to unleash his fury in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Internet sensation Sajad Gharibi -- an extreme bodybuilder from Iran with an outrageously puffed-up physique -- has joined the boxing fight club, according to MMA Fighting on Sunday. -New York Post 11/18/19

Iran slams 'hypocritical' US support for economic protests - Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for backing protesters in Iran on Sunday, describing a tweet from Washington's top diplomat as "hypocritical." Pompeo said that the US supported the demonstrations that erupted in several cities across the country Friday after Iran's National Oil Company (NIOPDC) announced increases of 50% to 300% in gas prices. -Sara Mazloumsaki, CNN 11/18/19

PHOTOS: Outrage In Iran Over Hike In Gas Prices As Economic Woes Worsen - Iranians are blasting their government for rationing gas and greatly increasing its price, with many concerned that the move will lead to inflation and greater hardship in a country where so many people are struggling to make ends meet. Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 11/17/19

Iranian Startups: Komodaa's Success Story Is Heard From Shiraz - Sana Khalesi, founder of Komodaa, formerly a content writer in the UK and Greece, says of launching komodaa Startup in Shiraz and that she and her team are thinking of a market of 3,600 billion Tomans (about 300 million dollars). Komodaa is the first Eco-friendly and online fashion marketplace in Iran that tackles this issue by making it super simple to buy/sell pre-owned wearables. -Tahereh Khajegiri, Shanbe Magazine 11/17/19

Legal Expert Says Sweden Has Authority to Prosecute Iranian Man Connected with 1988 Mass Executions - Legal experts weighing in on the arrest in Sweden on November 9 of Hamid Nouri (also spelled Noury), who allegedly participated in the 1988 extrajudicial mass killings of prisoners in Iran, note that Swedish courts have the authority to investigate and prosecute individuals accused of crimes against humanity in other countries. 11/17/19

2022 World Cup qualification: Lackluster Iran suffer late loss against Iraq - Iran national football team suffered a second successive loss in the 2022 World Cup qualification, losing to Iraq 2-1 on Thursday. In the match held in neutral venue Amman, Mohanad Ali gave the Iraqi team the lead from the edge of the six-yard area in the 11th minute after the Iranian defenders failed to clear the ball. 11/15/19

Photos: Iranian sculptors, international fellows doing their best at Tehran symposium - A number of Iranian and foreign sculptors are doing their best to create monumental artifacts in the 9th Tehran International Sculpture Symposium, which started on November in Tehran's Abbasabad district. Winners will be announced during a special ceremony on November 26, just one day after the end of the symposium. -Babak Borzouyeh 11/15/19

Iran Imposes Gasoline Rationing, Raises Prices As U.S. Sanctions Continue To Bite - Iranian authorities have imposed rationing on gasoline purchases and have increased the price of fuel substantially as the economy continues to be hit by U.S. financial sanctions. The National Petroleum Products Distribution Company on November 14 said a 60-liter monthly limit of gasoline will be set on every private automobile and that prices will go up to about 12.7 cents a liter from nine cents. -RFE/RL 11/15/19

Iran chief banker warns against speculation as currency prices surge - The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has warned the people against engaging in fresh round of speculative trade of foreign currencies, saying a slight weakening of Iran's rial over the past days is nothing to worry about. -Press TV 11/15/19

OPEC Says Iran's Oil Production Down By 1.65 Million bpd Since U.S. Sanctions - The latest OPEC monthly report published November 14 says that not only Iran's oil production fell in the first ten months of 2019, but also the price of the most exported type of Iranian oil fell. Iran's oil production in October decreased by 18,000 barrels, reaching 2,146,000 barrels per day. Iran was producing 3.8 million bpd before the United States imposed sanctions in November 2018. -Radio Farda 11/15/19

Widow of Detainee Who Died in Iranian Custody Recognizes Her Interrogator Posing as "Reporter" on State TV - A man claiming to be a reporter in a pseudo-documentary about Iran's detained conservationists that was aired by the state-controlled Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) organization on national television has been recognized as an interrogator by one of his victims. -CHRI 11/15/19

US sanctions send Iranians to Turkey in droves - Afshin, a 29-year old barber from Tehran, had been thinking of moving to Turkey for the past 10 years. But it was only two months ago when he felt like he no longer had a choice. "My life was like walking on a blade," he said. Like many middle-class Iranians, Afshin was hard hit by the United States' renewed sanctions against Tehran in November 2018." -Al-Monitor 11/15/19

If Iran cannot reap JCPOA benefits others will suffer too: FM Zarif - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced in the Astana Club meeting on Tuesday that if Iran cannot reap the economic benefits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) definitely the other sides will suffer too. Under the JCPOA, commonly called the Iran nuclear deal, Iran was tasked to limit its nuclear program in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. 11/14/19

Iranian taxi driver returns 70,000 Euros left in his cab to Polish couple - A Polish couple who had left a bag containing 70,000 euros in cash in a taxi in Tehran have been reunited with their money thanks to the honest driver, Borna news agency reported on Tuesday. Ali Hassan Zafari, the driver, handed the bag to the Polish embassy in Tehran on November 3, after he realized it had been left behind. 11/14/19

Tehran prosecutor lifts ban on the film "The Paternal House" - Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabainejad, the director of the Culture Ministry's Supervision and Evaluation Office, announced on Wednesday that the Tehran prosecutor has overturned the Tehran Public and Revolutionary Court's October decision to ban the honor killing drama "The Paternal House". 11/14/19

A gifted physicist reduced to living in his car: what killed Hamid Alamdari? - Hamid Farahi Alamdari 1962-2018: He was a charmer who spoke seven languages and claimed he had nearly worked with Stephen Hawking - but somehow Hamid ended up living in a Tesco car park and dying alone -Simon Hattenstone and Daniel Lavelle. Guardian 11/14/19

IRAN: Detained Kurdish Teacher Falsely Accused of Security Charges, Sister Says - Kurdish language teacher Zahra Mohammadi has been in detention in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran's Kurdistan Province, since May 23, 2019, falsely accused of "propaganda against the state," and "acting against national security" because of alleged contacts with opposition parties, her sister told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). -CHRI 11/14/19

Trump aides retaliated against State staffer of Iranian descent, probe finds - President Donald Trump's political appointees inappropriately retaliated against a career civil servant at the State Department in part because of her ethnic background, her perceived political views, and the fact that she was in government during prior administrations, a federal watchdog says. -Nahal Toosi, Politico 11/14/19

Tehran, It's Time To Listen And Take A Realistic View Of The Protests In Iraq - More than a month after protestors first took to the streets across Iraq, Adil Abdul Mahdi surprisingly remains the country's prime minister. In what has been a movement against high unemployment, poor basic services, and state corruption, demonstrators insist on the removal of factions and political elites that came to power in the years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. -Neda Bolourchi, LobeLog 11/14/19

Italy's Sulmona Film Festival's Best Actress Award Goes To Iran'a Behdokht Valian For Role In "Tattoo" - Iranian actress Behdokht Valian was named best actress for her role in director Farhad Delaram's drama "Tattoo" at the 37th Sulmona International Film Festival in Italy, the organizers announced on Saturday. The film is about a young girl who wants to renew her driver's license but she is sent to the traffic police center for her tattoos. 11/13/19

Elementary schools closed in Iran's capital Tehran amid high pollution levels - The governor of Tehran province said on Tuesday that elementary schools in cities of Tehran, as well as in Varamin, Qarchak and Pishva, all to the south of the capital, will be closed on Wednesday given that an index measuring the quality of the air in those cities was still at unhealthy levels, especially for sensitive groups of the population. 11/13/19

President Rohani Admits Without Oil Exports The Government In Iran Is Broke - Iran's President Hassan Rohani says his country's situation has never been as "difficult and complicated" as it is today. Rohani admitted that U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports are making it difficult to run the affairs of the country. The remarks are in sharp contrast to Rohani's previous statements in which he portrayed a promising picture of the country's economy. -Radio Farda 11/13/19

IRAN: Man Imprisoned for Protesting Compulsory Hijab Punished by New Evin Prison Director - Imprisoned civil rights activist Farhad Meysami was transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj (west of the capital) on November 9, 2019, as punishment for launching a peaceful protest, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. "After taking him away, Evin Prison officials gathered his personal belongings in Ward 4 and refused to answer his cellmates' questions," a source with contacts inside the prison told CHRI on the condition of anonymity. -CHRI 11/13/19

President Rohani Repeats Criticism Of Iran's Judiciary, Says Won't Remain Silent - President Hassan Rohani has defended his criticism of the Iranian Judiciary about the way it deals with financial corruption in Iran, vowing not to remain silent before parliamentary elections. In a speech on Monday, when Rohani was heckled by protesters, he attacked Iran's Judiciary controlled by hardliners for pursuing corruption cases selectively. -Radio Farda 11/13/19

IRAN: Kurdish Political Prisoner Held for 25+ Years Should be Freed Under Revised Penal Code, Says Lawyer - One of the longest-serving political prisoners in Iran, Mohammad Nazari, is eligible for release but is being arbitrarily denied freedom, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Nazari, who is of Kurdish descent, has been in prison for more than 25 years after being sentenced to life imprisonment in 1994 for allegedly being a member of the banned Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), a separatist opposition group that was based in northwestern Iran at the time. -CHRI 11/13/19

Iran's Strategy Of Reducing Its Commitments Under The Nuclear Deal Is Risky And Could Backfire - After the United States' withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the reimposition of even harsher sanctions on Tehran, coupled with Europe's inability or unwillingness to provide Iran with relief from the rigors of U.S. sanctions, Tehran adopted a strategy based on demonstrating the dangers of the U.S. policy of maximum pressure on Iran. -Shireen Hunter, LobeLog 11/13/19

The Persian Gulf states tried to turn Iran's own weapon against it -- and it backfired with terrible consequences - Whether you call them militias, armies, rapid forces or whatever you'd prefer depends on where you stand. This belt of militias extends across Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It is a complicated pattern of armed groups created to fight each other as part of an endless multi-layered cold war shaping the region's future. -Ahmed Aboudouh, Independent 11/13/19

So Long, Literary Giants! Iran Revamps Its Textbooks - Omar Khayyam is considered a giant of Persian poetry. His poems have been part of Iran's school curriculum for years. Yet students will reportedly no longer be able to read his rubaiyat in textbooks under a new plan. Students are instead likely to learn about the life of an Iranian fighter killed in Syria, where the Islamic republic has helped prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime during the country's eight-year civil war. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 11/12/19

200 Film Personalities Condemn Censorship in Iran: "Our Profession Has Been Under Attack" - More than 200 members of Iran's film industry signed an open letter dated November 2, 2019, condemning state censorship and demanding "freedom of expression and thought" in the Islamic Republic. The letter was published by Persian-language websites after the judiciary banned director Kianoush Ayari's film "The Parental House" less than a week after it was first screened in Iran. -CHRI 11/12/19

Iran's government approves $71m in loans for quake-hit East Azarbaijan - The government will provide some 3 trillion rials (about $71 million) to make up for the damage caused by earthquake in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, Majid Joudi, an official with the Housing Foundation has said. A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Tark county in East Azarbaijan province on Friday, which killed six people and injured over 580 others. 11/12/19

Missing American's Iran-Based Lawyer Reveals Previously Undisclosed Details in New Court Filing - The Iran-based lawyer representing the family of missing American former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who was last seen in the Iranian resort island of Kish in 2007, has filed a complaint requesting more information about two issues that could shed light on Levinson's disappearance. -CHRI 11/12/19

European Signatories Call on Iran to Reverse Actions Against Nuclear Deal - France, Germany, Britain and the European Union say they are "extremely concerned" about Iran's renewed uranium enrichment activities and what they call "regrettable acceleration of Iran's disengagement" from commitments it made under the 2015 agreement regarding the country's nuclear program. 11/12/19

Iran FM challenges European claim of upholding nuclear deal commitments - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has challenged a claim by the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal that they are upholding their end of the bargain, saying the trio have, in fact, fulfilled none of their contractual commitments. -Press TV 11/12/19

The New Middle East That's Coming - As Saudi Arabia slowly backpedals, we could see an end to the Yemen war, an easing of Iran's isolation, and a reduced role for the U.S. -Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy In Focus 11/12/19

Tehran Paints Over Its Anti-American Murals - The city's old public art showed a United States to be feared. The new ones depict a country that is weaker, more laughable, and riddled with its own problems. -Fotini Christia, Foreign Policy 11/12/19

Iran takes the crown at Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup - Title-holders Iran defeated Spain 6-3 at the 2019 Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup final match at Jumeirah's Kite Beach on Saturday. Iran won the competition for the third time. The Persians had already won the title in 2013 and 2018. 11/11/19

US sanctions on Iran killing children with EB: NGO - Iranian children suffering from a rare skin condition known as EB are losing their lives as US economic sanctions hamper the flow of vital medical products, an NGO says. Hamid Reza Hashemi-Golayegani, the head of the NGO that helps such patients, said Sunday that at least 15 Iranian children with epidermolysis bullosa (EB) have died since the US launched its new sanctions on Iran in August. -Press TV 11/11/19

Iran: Rule Allowing Appeals Hearings without Defendants Present is Blatant Violation of Law - The decision by Iran's Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's blessing, to prevent the presence of the defendant, plaintiff or their legal representatives at appeal hearings is a violation of the Constitution and Criminal Procedures Regulations, Iranian human rights activists said in interviews with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). -CHRI 11/11/19

New oil field is Iran's second largest: Oil Minister - The Namavaran oil field discovered by Iranian experts has an estimated 53 billion barrels of reserves, Zangeneh said on Monday. Iran's largest oil field contains 65 billion barrels and is located in in Ahvaz. According to Zangeneh, exploration started at the site in 2016, with 31 billion barrels previously discovered. The newly-discovered field adds 22.2 billion barrels to the country's estimated crude reserves. -Press TV 11/11/19

An Entity Offering Services For Polygamy Operates In Iran - Come and enjoy our free training workshops for polygamy, a controversial Persian ad on Instagram invites users in Iran to try the service. The ad shows a "happily smiling family"; a man, his four "cheerful" wives, and their three joyful children, waving flags of the Islamic Republic of Iran. -Radio Farda 11/11/19

No Action Yet in Iran's Parliament on Bill to Ban Broadcast of Confessions During Investigations - An Iranian parliamentary bill that aims to stop state-funded media outlets from airing forced "confessions" during the investigative phase appears at a standstill more than a month after it was introduced by Member of Parliament (MP) Mahmoud Sadeghi. -CHRI 11/11/19

The Iranian opposition fighters who mustn't think about sex - For six years, Albania has been home to one of Iran's main opposition groups, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK. But hundreds of members have walked out - some complaining about the organisation's rigid rules enforcing celibacy, and control over contact with family. Now, dozens languish in the Albanian capital, Tirana, unable to return to Iran or get on with their lives. -BBC 11/11/19

At Least Five Dead, Dozens Injured As Strong Earthquake Hits East Azerbaijan In Northern Iran - An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 has struck in northwestern Iran in the East Azerbaijan Province, killing at least five people, state media have reported. According to early reports, at least 120 other people have been injured in the quake, which hit at 2:17 a.m. on November 8. -RFE/RL 11/8/19

Irish Museum hosts exhibition on ancient Persian prophet MANI - The Persian prophet Mani created a new religion in the 3rd century AD. He believed the world is a struggle between the forces of dark and light which ultimately causes the release of the light-soul from the material body. The Persian Emperor, Shapur I, allowed Mani to freely promote his ideas through the empire but later, following the pressure of Zoroastrian priests, Bahram I arrested Mani. -Pejman Akbarzadeh 11/8/19

The Limited Utility Of The Iran Sanctions - The objective of any sanctions regime is not to punish the target country or weaken its economy as an end in itself. Rather, a sanctions campaign--including the Trump Administration's policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran--is meant to change the target country's behavior. -Kenneth Katzman, LobeLog 11/8/19

Iran electricity company to run fiber optic cables to homes: Official - Iran's electricity company Tavanir is planning to run fiber optic cables to the home alongside its power network across the country as it seeks to install a new generation of electricity meters while enabling communication service providers to offer faster internet connections. -Press TV 11/8/19

Is France Moving Against The MEK? - On October 30, a volley of tweets attributed to Alexis Kohler, chief of staff of the French President Emmanuel Macron, announced that France, taking into account the "negative consequences" of the presence of the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) on the French soil, will restrict its activities in the country. On November 5, however, the Elysee Palace disowned the tweets as fake, and the Twitter handle supposedly belonging to Kohler was suspended. -Eldar Mamedov 11/7/19

Marriages Decrease, Divorces Increase At Alarming Rate In Iran - The rate of marriages in Iran dropped by nine percent in the 2018 compared with the previous year, an official at the National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR), Alireza Sajedi, says. "NOCR registered 550,565 marriages in (the Iranian year) 1397 across Iran, which shows a nearly 9% drop, compared with 1396," Sajedi asserted, adding that the rate of marriage in the country started to drop in the late 2000s, and continued to shrink. -Radio Farda 11/7/19

U.S. Maximum Pressure Meets Iranian Maximum Pressure - Iran announced on 5 November that it is moving ahead with incremental breaches of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to President Hassan Rouhani, as of 6 November, Tehran will start "injecting [uranium hexafluoride] gas into the centrifuges in Fordow", a bunkered enrichment facility that under the deal is meant to be converted "into a nuclear, physics and technology centre". -Ali Vaez and Naysan Rafati, LobeLog 11/7/19

Iran's President Rohani opens first major startup accelerator in Tehran - President Rohani has opened a first major startup accelerator in the county, a sign his government is intent on using the domestic know-how to compensate for the technological losses caused by the American sanctions. Rohani opened the Azadi Innovation Factory (AIF) in Tehran where he spent hours talking to heads of startups and minor accelerator companies involved in various fields of technology and science. 11/6/19

Experimental art space in Tehran has been recreated in Pittsburgh - Two artists began a collaborative project after one was denied a visa to enter the US under Donald Trump's travel ban. The American artist Jon Rubin, a Carnegie Mellon professor, has partnered with the Iranian artist Sohrab Kashani on a project that replicates Kashani's apartment in Tehran in the Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh. -Gabriella Angeleti, Art Newspaper 11/5/19

Shirin Neshat: a stare that challenges us to look away - Shirin Neshat confronts certain views of Islam with her Women of Allah series. As it goes on show in LA, Kelly Grovier takes a look at the Iranian artist's arresting images. -Kelly Grovier, BBC 11/5/19

Public Opinion, Foreign Policy And The Perpetual War: Some Bitter Realities - Many years ago, when I was being interviewed at the Immigration & Naturalization office for my application for citizenship, the young officer started asking me some patent questions: What are the colors in the American flag; How many States in the Union; etc. Finally, she asked me what I thought the most important advantage of becoming a citizen would be. The answer I gave, which I knew she expected, was having the right or the privilege to vote. -Kambiz Zarrabi 11/4/19

Visit Tappeh Mill, one of the most ancient temples in Iran - Of the buildings that still remain from the early years of civilization, are the ancient temples. Given the importance of religion for the mankind, it's not surprising that these spiritual sites were built using topmost architectural innovations of the time in imposing scales. 11/4/19

Iran U23 Greco-Roman team wins world title - Iran Greco-Roman team won the title of the U23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Sunday. The Iranian team finished in first place with 122 points, followed by Georgia (121) and Russia (118). Iran won three gold and three bronze medals in the competition. 11/4/19

Prominent Labor Leader Esmail Bakhshi Freed From Iran Prison On Bail - A prominent labor activist and leader has been released today from prison in Iran on bail after ten months of incarceration following strikes and protests last year in the factory where he worked. Esmail Bakhshi was the representative of workers at the Haft Tapeh Sugar Mill in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, where workers began strikes last November in protest for their unpaid wages and other demands. -Radio Farda 11/1/19

Iran's freestyle wrestling team finishes second at U23 World Championships - Iran freestyle team became runners-up at the 2019 U23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The Iranian team won three gold medals, one silver and two bronzes in the competition. 10/31/19

Brick by Brick: Rethinking Masonry Construction in Iran - Iran's architecture has long been rooted in Persian culture. From tea houses and pavilions to domestic huts and elaborate mosques, the country's built environment is tied to this influences, as well as the landscape and its broader context. At the heart of Iran's more recent projects is a desire to reinterpret history through new spaces and forms. -Eric Baldwin, Arch Daily 10/31/19

"Maximum Pressure": U.S. Economic Sanctions Harm Iranians' Right to Health - The Trump administration's broad sanctions on Iran have drastically constrained the ability of the country to finance humanitarian imports, including medicines, causing serious hardships for ordinary Iranians and threatening their right to health, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The administration in Washington should take immediate steps to ensure a viable channel exists for trade of humanitarian goods with Iran. 10/29/19

Iran Wushu Sanda team claims world title - Iran's eight-member Sanda team claimed eight gold medals and won the title of the 15th World Wushu Championships (WWC) in Shanghai, China. Iran had won three gold medals in the women's divisions. China won the championships in Taolu and Sanda, winning 10 gold medals and one bronze. Iran became runners-up with eight gold medals, two silvers and one bronze. 10/24/19

Iranian women win two more medals at World Wushu Championships - Iranian Talolu practitioners won two more medals at the 15th edition of the World Wushu Championships on Tuesday. Hanieh Rajabi won a silver medal at the nandao discipline and Zahra Kiani snatched a bronze medal at the Women's Changquan. 10/23/19

State-Sponsored Twitter Accounts Pushing For War With Iran - I suspect that the Iran Disinformation Project isn't the only initiative that has misappropriated taxpayer dollars in a similar fashion. Given the connectivity between the Iran Disinformation Project, FDD, Farashgard and Tavaana, I am interested in identifying individuals connected to said organizations that have received federal grants or contracts. Moreover, there should be an investigation launched immediately into how Tavaana has spent funding received via federal grants dating back to 2010. -Geoff Golberg, Medium 10/23/19

The screening of 'COUP 53' in Manhattan - After ten protracted, nonetheless, scrupulous years of research and interviews, and arduous scripts writing and productions, COUP 53, the historical two hour chilling thriller documentary of the British MI6 and the American CIA's bloody covert actions against IRAN, which led to the overthrow of the first and perhaps the last ever democratically elected prime minster Dr. Mohammad Mosadegh, went on SVA Theatre silver screen in Manhattan on October 18. -Davood N. Rahni 10/22/19

Iranian Woman weightlifter Elham Hosseini eyes Olympics berth - Iranian woman weightlifter Elham Hosseini is targeting the Tokyo Olympics. Hosseini was part of Iran national team who participated at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Weightlifting Championships in Pattaya, Thailand for the first time. Hosseini, who finished in 16th place in the women's 71kg with a total of 191kg, has participated in qualifying events so far. 10/21/19

Trying To Exploit Iran's Diverse Ethnic Population To Advance A War Agenda - On September 25, during the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)-a pro-Israel, anti-Iran lobby group-held a "summit" in New York that was attended by, among others, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, and Sigal Mandelker, the outgoing Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, as well as diplomats from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. As usual, tough rhetoric was uttered by all the speakers, and threats were made. -Muhammad Sahimi 10/17/19

Female pilots take control of first Iranian domestic flight - Reports in the Iranian media shows a female captain and her co-pilot (Neshat Jahandari and Forouz Firouzi) have flown a passenger plane, a first in the history of the country's aviation industry. The reports published on Tuesday showed photos of the two pilots taken from the social media showing them before and after the two-way flight between the capital Tehran and the second largest city of Mashhad, located east of the country. -Press TV 10/16/19

Iranian Women Artists Showcased in Upcoming Exhibit Curated by Shirin Neshat - The Center for Human Rights in Iran is honored to announce an upcoming exhibition of thirteen contemporary Iranian women artists in New York City, curated by the internationally acclaimed artist Shireen Neshat. The show, A Bridge Between You and Everything features nearly 100 works-paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and video-by both established and emerging artists, who began working after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. The exhibition is organized by the Center. 10/15/19

2019 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans - Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) has released the findings of its 2019 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans, which reveals that tensions in both the wider U.S. society and between the United States and Iran are felt by the Iranian American community. 10/15/19

Facebook And The Fake Iranian Opposition - The campaign of silencing the true opposition has now spread to Facebook. Coordinated attacks are waged against any Facebook page that espouses opposition to the policies of the Trump administration, Saudi Arabia, and Israel toward Iran, including economic sanctions and war, as well as military intervention in other countries. In addition, the Facebook pages of anyone who counters the efforts by pro-monarchist groups promoting Reza Pahlavi are also attacked. -Muhammad Sahimi 9/27/19

Genome study shows that Iran's population is more heterogeneous than previously believed - An international research team including scientists from the University of Cologne, Germany, numerous Iranian universities and the University of Sydney, Australia, has shown that today's Iranian population is composed of partially highly heterogeneous ethnic groups, exhibiting a high degree of genetic variation. In many cases, their source goes back many thousands of years. The results, obtained from the first genome-wide genetic characterization of the Iranian population by this team, appeared in PLOS Genetics under the title 'Distinct genetic variation and heterogeneity of the Iranian population'. 9/25/19

Iran Sanctions Curbing Global Scientific Progress: Top British Journal - The British medical journal BMJ Global Health says US sanctions on Iran, a leading country in the world for science, are curtailing global scientific progress. As a result of the draconian sanctions, Iranian scientists have been denied opportunities to publish their findings, attend meetings, and access essential supplies and information, the publication said. -Press TV 9/10/19

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last updated on Thu Nov 21 11:08:55 EST 2019