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February 18 2017
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Stories from the Rains of Love and Death: Four Plays from Iran


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Iran's Supreme Leader Cements Hardline Position by Rejecting Offer of National Reconciliation

- Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's refusal of an offer to achieve "national reconciliation" in Iran by ending the six-year extrajudicial house arrests of three opposition leaders has crushed hopes that the state's crackdown on dissidents, which intensified in response to the nationwide protests against the results of the disputed 2009 election, would finally end. 02/18/17

Iran: Women Allowed to Attend Kish Island Open

- The apparent decision by Iranian authorities to allow women to attend the Kish Island Open volleyball tournament is a positive, if small, step in the right direction, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent media reports said that female spectators will be allowed to attend the four-day beach volleyball competition, from February 15 through 18, 2017. Women had been barred from attending volleyball tournaments under a 2012 decree, in violation of international rules. -HRW 02/18/17

US Hesitates to Confirm Sanctioned Iran's General Soleimani Visited Russia

- The Trump administration says it cannot confirm that an Iranian general barred from foreign travel by the U.N. Security Council visited Russia this week, despite a prominent U.S. congressman and news outlet saying he had made the trip. -Michael Lipin, VOA 02/18/17

Iran Announces New Military Drills Despite U.S. Warnings

- Iran says its elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) will conduct massive military drills next week in eastern and northeastern parts of the country. General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the IRGC's ground units, said in Tehran on February 18 that the maneuvers, Grand Prophet 11, will begin on February 20 and last for three days. 02/18/17

Iran's carpet exports to U.S. go from zero to millions

- About $69 million worth of Iranian carpets were exported to the United States during the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year, ended on January 19, while the figure was zero in the entire preceding year, ISNA quoted Hamid Kargar, the head of Iran's National Carpet Center, on Wednesday. 02/18/17

Trump Travel Ban Crashes Texas Wedding Plans

- President Donald Trump has repeatedly said his approach to preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil won't always be tidy. That's especially true when it affects things like the already delicate task of compiling a wedding guest list. Just ask Shervin Taheran. -John T. Bennett, Roll Call 02/18/17

European Parliament Condemns Human Rights Violations in Bahrain

- While the Trump administration is escalating tensions with Iran and moving closer to the Persian Gulf monarchies, the European Parliament (EP) took a step in the opposite direction. At its plenary session on February 16, it adopted a resolution condemning human rights violations in Bahrain and Kuwait, with a particular focus on Bahrain -Eldar Mamedov, LobeLog 02/18/17

Why America needs the Muslim Ms. Marvel now more than Ever!

- During the first few weeks of the Trump administration, we've seen increased pressure on Muslim and immigrant communities in the United States. In the face of these threats, which Marvel superhero might be best equipped to defend the people, ideals and institutions under attack? Some comic fans and critics are pointing to Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel. -Katie M. Logan, Informed Comment 02/18/17

2017 Freestyle World Cup: Iran defends title after defeating US

- The Iranian men's national freestyle wrestling team has claimed the top position at the end of the 2017 Freestyle World Cup in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah, after trouncing the American side in the title challenge. 02/17/17

PHOTOS: Dust storm, public utility outage spark protests in Ahwaz, Iran

- Recurrent periods of suffocating dust storms, lately accompanied by crippling power and water supply cuts, have provoked public protests in the city of Ahvaz, southwestern province of Khuzestan. 02/17/17

Featured Video

The Salesman UK premiere - message from the Mayor of London

Targeting Iran's Regime Will Strengthen, Not Break, the Moscow-Tehran Alliance - In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on February 13, hawkish scholar Michael Ledeen argued that "dismantling the Khamenei regime as peacefully as possible" is the best way to end what he describes as the Russian-Iranian alliance. His argument, though, contained several questionable assertions that cast doubt on the feasibility of his policy recommendations. -Mark N. Katz 02/17/17

The Problem with Thinking on Your Knees - Take the Trump administration's recent threats against Iran. The Iranian public does not seem particularly alarmed. These are threats that it has heard a thousand times before. The more fatalist among them shrug and say, "God does what God wills." But the more combative say, "Let them come and get a taste of us. Iran isn't Iraq or Afghanistan." The group that is driven to despair by Trumps threats is the small minority of intellectuals in and out of Iran. -Mahmoud Omidsalar 02/17/17

Iran Needs Billions to Upgrade Gas Fields, But Will Investors Invest? - Iran sits on what are thought to be the world's largest gas reserves, yet can barely supply its own domestic demand. Since the United Nations-backed deal over Tehran's nuclear program spurred the lifting of international sanctions, the country has strived to attract foreign investment in developing oil fields and upgrading its aging infrastructure. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA 02/17/17

Iranian Oscar nominee gets free London screening in snub to US travel ban - The mayor of London will join some of the leading names in British film at a free premiere screening of the Oscar-nominated The Salesman, the Iranian director of which was affected by Donald Trump's travel ban. -Nadia Khomami, Guardian 02/17/17

EU reports huge rise in Iran steel imports - The European Steel Association - Eurofer - has reported a significant rise in Iran's exports of steel to Europe, saying the country is now the third biggest exporter to the continent after China and India. 02/17/17

No Breakthroughs At Second Round Of Syrian Peace Talks In Astana - Syrian peace negotiators have failed to make any breakthroughs at talks in Kazakhstan, but power brokers Russia, Turkey, and Iran said they would move to shore up a shaky cease-fire. 02/17/17

Amidst US-Iran tensions, wrestlers emerge as sports diplomats - The journey to the Wrestling World Cup in Iran has been an exhausting one for the US team - not so much because of the long trip from the US to the Iranian city Kermanshah with two stopovers in Frankfurt and Tehran. It was the diplomatic hurdles that had stressed Team USA out. -CNN 02/17/17

Freestyle Wrestling World Cup: Iran, Azerbaijan, US and Mongolia are first day winners - In the first round of Free Style World Cup in Kermanshah, Iran and Azerbaijan have crushed Turkey and Russia, respectively to take the first blood. Iran's western provincial center of Kermanshah hosts Free Style World Cup 2017 where in two groups, world's dominant national squads compete in direct matches. n Group A, Georgia and the US also faced each other and the latter defeated the Georgians 7-1. 02/16/17

Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World established at UCLA - UCLA has established the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World, the first center in the Western Hemisphere that aims to advance the knowledge of ancient Iranian languages, history and religions. The Pourdavoud Center was named for the late Professor Ebrahim Pourdavoud, a pioneering scholar of ancient Persia, and was made possible by a gift from his granddaughter, Dr. Anahita Naficy Lovelace, and her husband, James B. Lovelace. 02/16/17

Don't Call Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps Terrorists - According to news reports, the Trump administration is weighing the option of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). In parallel, Congress also seems to be taking steps in that direction. Some of the most hawkish and ideological elements of the American foreign-policy establishment, as well as hardcore opponent of the nuclear agreement such as United Against Nuclear Iran and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, have long pursued this designation for the IRGC. -Reza Nasri 02/16/17

Iran's Rohani Seeks To Mend Frayed Ties With Persian Gulf Arab Neighbors - Iranian President Hassan Rohani has sought to mend ties with his Gulf Arab neighbors on a one-day trip to Oman and Kuwait, his first since taking power in 2013. Relations between predominantly Shi'ite Iran and the mainly Sunni Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, remain strained over their support for opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. 02/16/17

Iran: Trump Stance Won't Derail Foreign Investment in Oil, Gas - Iran's deputy minister for petroleum says the hawkish stance taken by U.S. President Donald Trump on the Iranian nuclear deal is a "passing hiccup" that should not affect foreign investment in the country's energy sector. Amir Hossein Zamaninia made the remarks Wednesday at the CWC Iran LNG and Gas Partnerships Summit in Frankfurt, Germany. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA 02/16/17

The Best Way of Dealing with Iran: Capitalism - Like many previous US administrations over the past four decades, the Trump presidency's Middle Eastern policy seems to be coalescing into the trusty "pro-Israel and anti-Iran" channel. That's hardly surprising, given that it has been the comfortable Washington consensus--indeed almost the only idea in town--for so long. -James Spencer, LobeLog 02/16/17

Revolutionary Guards Try to Silence US-Based Iranian Dissident by Arresting Her Sister - Leila Haghighatjou, the sister of Fatemeh Haghighatjou, an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic, was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards to intimidate the former member of Parliament, an informed source told the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 02/16/17

Bright lights and a bidet chandelier: Iran gets a blast of shocking colour - How will British 'colour activist' David Batchelor go down in a country where vibrant hues are all but banned? Will his lavatorial light land him in trouble? -Haleh Anvari, Guardian 02/16/17

Iran defeats U.S. Navy in defiant animated film - A full-length animated film depicting an armed confrontation between Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the U.S. Navy is soon to open in Iranian cinemas, amid rising tensions over President Donald Trump's hardening rhetoric against Tehran. -Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters 02/16/17

'Not Even Dogs Live Like This' -- Afghan Refugees Return Home To Find Squalid Conditions - Standing in a battered tent flanked by mud and human waste, Sahibuddin Khan and his family of five are among the thousands of returning Afghan refugees seeking food and shelter in crowded, ramshackle camps that have sprung up on the outskirts of Kabul. -RFE/RL 02/16/17

PHOTOS: Iranians Protest Air Pollution, Water Cuts In Ahvaz - Demonstrators took the streets of the western Iranian city of Ahvaz on February 13 to protest against air pollution, water shortages, and power cuts. Amateur video obtained by RFE/RL's Radio Farda showed crowds chanting against what they called "injustice." They also condemned state television for its apparent lack of reporting on the condition of public utilities in city. 02/15/17

Iran remains committed to JCPOA: International Atomic Energy Agency Chief - The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has once again confirmed that Iran is implementing the landmark nuclear agreement it signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015. "Implementation is very important and that requires efforts by all and ... we have a very robust verification tool," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters on the sidelines of a summit in Dubai on Tuesday. 02/15/17

PHOTOS: Tehran International Auto Show Kicks Off Hosting 200 Automakers - Tehran International Exhibition of Automobile and Related Industries (Tehran Auto Show) became operational at Shahr-e-Aftab International Exhibition Center on Tuesday hosting giant Iranian and foreign automakers. Among the well-known car manufacturing companies it can be referred to Iranian carmakers Iran Khodro, Saipa and Pars Khodro as well as foreign companies including BMW, Scania, Volvo, Renault, Mitsubishi, MG, Hyundai, Toyota, KIA Motors, Nissan, MVM, Chery 02/15/17

Iranian researchers find way to treat long bone nonunion - Iranian researchers at Royan Research Institute have proved in a study that the problem with long bone nonunion is related to mesenchymal cells. Long bone nonunion is a serious complication of a fracture in which the normal process of bone healing is interrupted or stalled. 02/15/17

Iranian Minister, Ranger Engage In Verbal Fistfight Over Persian Wild Ass - Iran's Minister of Industries, Mines, and Trade has lampooned environmentalist activists' concerns over the spoiling of the pristine habitats of Persian wild ass. The drama had been on its climax when commander of Damavand Wildlife Patrolling Unit reacted to rather blunt and blatantly irresponsible remarks by the minister who had said that a few wild asses should not impede the way to exploring mines in a pristine habitat 02/15/17

Publication of 1970 Memories of Sadegh Ghotbzadeh in the United States - The 1970 memoir of Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, one of the closest advisers of Ayatollah Khomeini, is published in the United States. The compiler of the collection is Ali Sajjadi who has analyzed the role of Ghorbzadeh in 1979 revolution in Iran as well. 02/15/17

Iranian Culture Minister confirms his role in cancellation of Tehran art show in Berlin - Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi-Amiri said on Tuesday that he was behind the cancellation of the exhibition of Western artworks from the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMCA) in Berlin. He made the remarks in his first press conference since last November when he was appointed to the position. 02/15/17

U.S. business leaders to Trump: Refugees enrich America - In the wake of the Trump Administration's contested travel ban, 80 CEOs and other business leaders have signed a letter calling on President Donald Trump to uphold refugee and immigration policies that affirm the equal opportunity of the American Dream. They said 02/15/17

As Tensions Rise, Steve Bannon and ISIS Get Closer to Their Common Goal: Civilizational War - THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION has taken sweeping, drastic measures that it says are necessary to protect Americans from the threat of terrorism, including its executive order halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. But the radical policies and beliefs of this administration could just as easily end up fueling the narratives of extremist groups fighting the United States. -The Intercept 02/15/17

PHOTOS: Iranians warmly welcome US freestyle wrestling team - Hundreds of Iranian wrestling enthusiasts and correspondents have extended their friendly welcome to American wrestlers, who arrived in the country to take part in the 2017 Freestyle World Cup. The US freestyle wrestling team landed at Shahid Ashrafi Esfahani Airport in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah, located 525 kilometers west of the capital, Tehran, on Monday afternoon and was given a warm reception upon arrival. 02/14/17

Challenging Compulsory Hijab: Reception at Swedish Ambassador's Residence in Tehran - An Iranian newspaper has published photos of Swedish female diplomats and business executives attending a function at the Swedish embassy in Tehran. The publishing of the photos by a state media is unprecedented as the Islamic Republic has never acknowledged the right of foreign female representatives to choose their own attire while visiting Iran, imposing the veil upon them. 02/14/17

Women Make Up 10% of Iran's Administration: VP - Women compose ten percent of the Iranian administration, the vice president in women and family affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, said here on Sunday. The United Nations has affirmed the statistics about the number of women in the administration, Mehr news agency quoted her as saying. 02/14/17

Iran's Hardliners Grow More Confident - With tensions between the United States and Iran mounting over Tehran's test-firing of mid-range ballistic missiles, Iran's hardliners appear emboldened. They talk now of having a chance of winning their country's presidential election in May - or at least turning incumbent Hassan Rouhani into a lame-duck president, if he does manage to secure reelection. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA 02/14/17

Iran, Luxemburg stress observance of nuclear deal - Iran and Luxembourg have laid emphasis on the need for all the parties to a multilateral nuclear deal between Iran and six other countries to comply with their contractual obligations. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Luxembourg's visiting Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn stressed the importance of continued commitment to the deal on the part of the relevant parties during a meeting in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Tuesday. 02/14/17

Sukhoi near deal to sell Superjet 100s to Iran - Iran says Russia's planemaker Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company is moving closer to a deal to sell its Superjet 100 aircraft to the country. Maqsoud As'adi Samani, the secretary of the Association of Iranian Airlines, was quoted by the domestic media as saying that Sukhoi had already started technical talks to obtain a license from the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to sell the planes to Iran. 02/14/17

Iran should not put all eggs in one basket: University of Tehran Professor - Iran should not put all its eggs in one basket and it is necessary to establish "good ties" with all countries, says Davoud Hermidas Bavand, a politics professor at the University of Tehran. 02/14/17

Iran's Judiciary Commutes Death Sentences of Some Juvenile Offenders - The Iranian judiciary has agreed to commute the death sentences of six people who were sentenced to death while they were juveniles while refusing the requests of four others, Tehran's Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi announced on February 8, 2017. 02/14/17

Ali Vayeghan Was Deported Under Trump's Executive Order. Now He's Back in the U.S. - WHEN IT BEGAN to dawn on Marjan Vayghan that her uncle Ali had been detained by customs enforcement at the Los Angeles International Airport, she hadn't even heard about President Trump's Muslim ban. On the evening of January 27, the same day Trump signed the executive order, Ali Vayeghan, an Iranian national with an American green card, was scheduled to arrive at LAX on a 7 p.m. flight -The Intercept 02/14/17

12 Iranian startups to attend CeBIT 2017 in Hannover, Germany - Iran will participate in CeBIT exhibition as one of the leading events for IT and communication technology worldwide, slated for mid-March in Hannover, Germany. 12 Iranian startups will showcase their latest achievements at a special hall designated for startup companies during the 5-day event from 20th March to the 24th March 2017 at the Hannover Congress Centrum in Hannover, Germany. 02/13/17

Global automakers gather in Tehran - Major European and Asian automakers have participated in the 4th Iran Automotive Industry International Conference (IAIIC) which was inaugurated in Tehran on Sunday. In addition to Peugeot Citroen, Scania, and Renault, some other automobile and auto part manufacturers from Turkey, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and China are also taking part in the two-day event, IRNA reported. 02/13/17

Iran's Auto Production Up 40 Percent Year-On-Year - Iran says its production of automobiles has already seen an increase of around 40 percent over a period of 11 months starting 21 March 2016 compared to the same period in the previous year. Iran is the Middle East's largest auto market with a population of 80 million. The automobile industry is seen as Iran's biggest non-oil sector, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). 02/13/17

Iranian Archers Win Medals In Las Vegas World Cup - Members of the Iranian archery team have managed to bag one gold, one bronze and two silver medals in Las Vegas 2017 Indoor Archery World Cup Stage 4. Initially blocked by the Trump administration's controversial travel ban, members of the Iranian archery team were issued visas to reach Las Vegas for an important Indoor Archery World Cup competition. 02/13/17

Iran discovers new oil fields with 30 billion barrels of oil: Official - Iran has discovered about a dozen new oil fields with in-place reserves of 30 billion barrels, head of exploration at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) says. Some 4.7 billion barrels of these reserves are recoverable, said Seyyed Saleh Hendi who also announced the discovery of 128 trillion cubic feet of gas. 02/13/17

Yo-Yo Ma ensemble wins Grammy for 'Sing Me Home' - Cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma and his ensemble 'Silk Road' of which Iranian Kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor is also a member won the Grammy for Best World Music Album for 'Sing Me Home' on Sunday. 02/13/17

Glamour and heartbreak: The precious jewels of Iran's 'sad-eyed' princess - Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiari never imagined that one day she would marry Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and that she would reign over her country, Iran. She was queen for seven years, from 1951 to 1958. -Vincent Meylan, CNN 02/13/17

Iran, Sweden Initial The Non-Aligned Movement deplores US coercive measures against IranAccords During Swedish Prime Minister's Visit - Iran's supreme leader has told Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that Sweden has a good reputation among Iranians and is seen by Tehran as a reliable economic partner. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the remarks to Lofven during a meeting in Tehran on February 11. During Lofven's visit, the two countries initialed accords on cooperation in science and technology, higher education and research, roads, telecommunications, and technology. 02/12/17

Report: Iranian Hackers Target Activists' Mac Devices With Revamped Malware - State-sponsored Iranian hackers, who had until now focused almost exclusively on civil and human rights-focused users of the Android operating systems, have for the first time developed malware (software that damages or disables computer systems) that targets users' Apple devices, according to a new report by Internet security expert, Collin Anderson. 02/12/17

Iran Oil revenues set to reach $45B-$50B in next fiscal year: Oil Minister - Iranian oil minister has said that considering oil prices at $55 per barrels, the country's revenues from oil and gas condensate exports will reach $45-$50 billion in the next Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2017-March 20, 2018), IRNA reported on Saturday. 02/12/17

Former lover of the poet known as Iran's Sylvia Plath breaks his silence - Forty miles south of London, in a quiet West Sussex village, lives a 94-year-old Iranian intellectual who has for half a century kept silent about his former lover, a giant of modern Persian literature who was killed in a car accident aged just 32. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian 02/12/17

The Non-Aligned Movement deplores US coercive measures against Iran - The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has deplored the US government's recent "unilateral and coercive" measures against Iran, expressing the body's support for the Islamic Republic's national sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. 02/12/17

Trump Warns Iran's Rohani He'd 'Better Be Careful' After Defiant Speech - U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up his war of words with Iran on February 10, warning Iranian President Hassan Rohani that he'd "better be careful" after Rohani made a defiant speech denouncing U.S. "warmongering." 02/11/17

US will fully implement JCPOA, says EU's Foreign Policy Chief Mogherini - European Union's foreign policy chief says the administration of US President Donald Trump gave her confidence that Washington will be committed to following through with the 2015 nuclear agreement. Federica Mogherini made the remarks on Friday during her first visit to Washington since Trump became US President in January. 02/11/17

National Museum of Iran showcasing extensive repatriated artifacts - A total of 550 historical relics including sculptures, earthenware and jewelries, repatriated from Belgium, Italy and the U.S., have been put on show at the National Museum of Iran. Adopting "Cultural Diplomacy Achievements" as its motto, the exhibit showcases four collections that have been retrieved with the incumbent Iranian government, the national museum announced on Feb. 6. 02/11/17

Political drama "Midday Event" receives Best Film award at Fajr Festival - "The Midday Event", a political drama that features the terrorist atrocity of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization in Iran of the 1980s, has been crowned best at the 35th Fajr Film Festival. Producer Mahmud Razavi received his award from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a closing ceremony held at Tehran's Milad Tower on Thursday night. 02/11/17

Syria-bound Russian planes using Iran airspace for anti-terror operations: Iranian Official - A senior Iranian official says Russian warplanes are using the Islamic Republic's airspace for anti-terror operations in Syria. The Russians' use of Iran's airspace continues "because we have a fully strategic cooperation with Russia," Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani told Fars news agency on Saturday. 02/11/17

Iranians Use Twitter to Oppose Flag-Burning and Thank Americans for Resisting Trump's Travel Ban - A few days before the 38th anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution-traditionally commemorated with hardliners burning U.S. flags and promoting other forms of anti-Americanism-thousands of people participated in a Twitter storm to express gratitude for the Americans who protested against President Donald Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran. 02/10/17

The Limits of Sports Diplomacy in US-Iran Relations - US-Iranian relations since 1979 have been characterized by long periods of animosity and mutual demonization and only fleeting moments of relaxed tensions. Under President Trump, the United States has ratcheted up the anti-Iran rhetoric and actions, causing some analysts to opine that a military confrontation between the two countries is likely. -Nader Entessar 02/10/17

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' Upholds Court Order Blocking Trump's Executive Order - "The court's decision to uphold the order blocking the Trump administration's un-American Executive Order is a triumph of justice. The message to the Trump administration is clear: America's democratic institutions will not allow our democracy to be corrupted by bigoted and racist measures that divide our country and make America less safe. -NIAC 02/10/17

Women's World Chess Championship kicks off in Tehran - The knock-out tournament will have the participation of some of the world's top players, including the former Women's World Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia), Anna Ushenina (Ukraine), Zhu Chen (Qatar) and Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), the current Women's World Rapid and Blitz Champion Anna Muzychuk, the winner of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2015-2016 Ju Wenjun (China), the three-time Russian champion and two-time European Champion Valentina Gunina and other leading grandmasters. 02/10/17

Iran Marks 1979 Revolution Anniversary With Mass Rallies, Defiant Words - Hundreds of thousands of Iranians rallied on February 10 to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The rallies commemorate February 11, 1979, when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted a U.S.-backed monarch, Shah Reza Pahlavi. 02/10/17

Iranian-American Orgs File Federal Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban Executive Order - Several prominent Iranian-American organizations have filed a joint action in federal court to stop the Trump Administration's Executive Order banning nationals from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. The lawsuit was filed by Iranian American civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri, partner of Washington, DC-based firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC; the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer ("APKS"), on behalf of the Pars Equality Center, the Iranian American Bar Association, the National Iranian American Council, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans. 02/9/17

The "Ambassadors Of Peace" In Iran - Iran hosted around 320 tour guides from about 40 countries in the 17th World Federation of Tour Guides Association (WFTGA) Convention. The event took place from January 28 to February 1, 2017 in Tehran. In the 3-day pre-convention tour around 160 guests visited the historical cities of Qazvin, Zanjan, and Hamedan, enjoying traditional foods, handicrafts, and also folk music. 02/9/17

Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib: Trump's travel ban would have blocked my parents from moving here - President Trump's recent executive order denying entry to refugees as well as immigrants and visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries has disrupted the lives of thousands of people here and abroad. I can relate to what those families are going through. Two decades ago, my family would have been one of them. -Washington Post 02/9/17

Iran's Intelligence Ministry Cracks Down on Alleged "Anti-Revolutionary" Telegram Channels - In the latest crackdown by hardliners against popular social media applications in Iran, the Intelligence Ministry has detained several channel administrators of Telegram. Hardline domestic news outlets have subsequently aired admins' alleged video "confessions." 02/9/17

US: Iran 'Kidding Itself' If It Doesn't Realize Trump Has New Approach - TAccording to news reports, the Trump administration is weighing the option of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). In parallel, Congress also seems to be taking steps in that direction. Some of the most hawkish and ideological elements of the American foreign-policy establishment, as well as hardcore opponent of the nuclear agreement such as United Against Nuclear Iran and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, have long pursued this designation for the IRGC. he White House has dismissed a defiant message from Iran's supreme leader about Donald Trump, saying Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should realize "there is a new president in office." -In his daily press briefing Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump would not remain idle in response to Iran's "violations, or apparent violations," of its 2015 nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other world powers. He said Trump "will continue to take action as he sees fit. ... [H]e is not going to project what those actions will be, and he will not take anything off the table." -Michael Lipin and Payam Yazdian, VOA 02/8/17

Iran Should Take American Threats Seriously - It was not surprising that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, "officially put...Iran on notice," following what he cited as "recent Iranian actions, including a provocative ballistic missile launch and an attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants." President Trump himself later confirmed these comments. -Shireen T. Hunter 02/7/17

President Rouhani says Iran nuclear deal benefits everyone - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers is an agreement that offers benefits to all the parties involved. Speaking at a ceremony in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Tuesday, President Rouhani referred to the recent remarks by US President Donald Trump, who has called the Iran deal "the worst... ever negotiated," and countered by saying that the deal is to the benefit of all. 02/7/17

Iran's Supreme Leader Says Trump 'Reveals America's Real Face' - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said he is grateful to U.S. President Donald Trump for showing "the real face of America." Khamenei's website quoted him as making the comments in a February 7 meeting with military commanders in Tehran. 02/7/17

How Iranian Americans can weather Trump's assault on their heritage - For Iranian Americans, estimated at somewhere near a million strong, President Trump's order banning the entry of people from Iran and six other countries has a doomsday feel - one that is uncomfortably familiar. Since the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, through the "axis of evil" in 2002, they've reported feeling intensely unwelcome. That sensation began to break only last year, with President Barack Obama's nuclear deal. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post 02/7/17

Iran launches Persian Gulf Explorer ship - Iran's first hydrographic and oceanographic survey ship called Persian Gulf Explorer was launched after being delivered to National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science. On the fifth day of Fajr Decade, the first Iranian hydrographic and oceanographic survey ship, which has been designed and built by the Iranian Defense Ministry's Marine Industries Organization, was officially put into the water during a ceremony in Bandar Abbas. 02/7/17

Hoz-e Sultan, a gigantic natural mirror in central Iranian plateau - Hoz-e Sultan, a lonely salt lake in the heart of Iran, resembles a gigantic natural mirror as its shallow water covers a vast plain of salt deposits. It is the epicenter of a relatively rich fauna as well. Sprawled about 40 kilometers north of the city of Qom and adjacent to the Qom - Tehran highway, the lake covers 37,075 hectares. With an altitude of about 720 meters above sea level, the lake is considered as one of the lowest parts of the Iranian plateau. 02/7/17

Three Iranian films to go on screen at Portland festival - Three Iranian films will go on screen at the 40th Portland International Film Festival, which will be held February 9-25, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. "Life+1 Day" by Saeid Rustai and "Parting", a joint production of Iran and Afghanistan by Navid Mahmudi will go on screen in the New Directors section, in which new and emerging filmmakers represent the new generation of master storytellers. In addition, "Starless Dreams", a documentary by Mehrdad Oskui will be screened in the Documentary Views category of the festival. 02/6/17

Behnaz Shafiei: Iran's trailblazing female biker makes history with women's race - When Behnaz Shafiei crosses the finish line on Friday at the end of a dusty, rock-strewn race track in Karaj, near Tehran, it will mark the end of both a simple motorbike race and a three-year campaign for women's rights in Iran. Whether she wins the race or not, it's a victory. 02/6/17

Trumpian Follies & Iran's Options - This Emperor does have clothes, lots of it, closetsful, but seems to be lacking in some more important attributes. He has done it again; this time he has put Iran "on notice", no less! Is Mr. Trump a savvy diplomat, a good politician, or is he simply a good businessman, a deal maker? The answer to the first two questions is an absolute NO. About being a good deal maker/businessman, well, having a lot of money is not a convincing criterion... -Kambiz Zarrabi 02/5/17

Latest U.S. Iran Sanctions Signal New Policy Of Confrontation - The United States on February 3 imposed new sanctions against Iran, a move that comes days after Tehran conducted a ballistic-missile test and amid an escalating war of words between the two governments. Shortly after the announcement, U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn signaled a new, more confrontational U.S. policy toward Iran, saying the "international community has been too tolerant of Iran's bad behavior." 02/4/17

Trump to Iranian People: Drop Dead - The shameful episode of Trump's January 27 executive order and Muslim travel ban has turned on its head decades of American messages about Iran. This step--apparently the brainchild of the "torturer's apprentice" Steve Bannon--has been a bizarre reversal of America's policy. We now say nothing about the Islamic Republic's government but express our public disdain for its people. -John Limbert 02/4/17

Iranian Professors Call For Easing Travel Restrictions For U.S. Citizens - A group of professors has urged Iranian President Hassan Rohani to respond to a recent order by U.S. President Donald Trump temporarily barring travel by Iranians to the United States by easing travel restrictions for U.S. citizens visiting their country. 02/4/17

Decades of Demonization Behind the Ban On Muslims - President Donald J. Trump's executive order banning the entry of citizens of seven countries with majority Muslim populations shocked many people in the United States and many more in Europe and elsewhere. It also elicited a wave of criticism from a variety of quarters-including business, academia, and human rights organizations-both in the United States and elsewhere. -Shireen T. Hunter 02/2/17

Winner of Farhang's annual Nowruz banner competition announced - Each year, Farhang Foundation, through its Nowruz Banner Competition, reaches out to a global community of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers, enlisting their talents to create and submit original designs that capture the essence of Nowruz. During the weeks leading to Farhang's annual Nowruz celebration, the winning design is featured on large street banners in prominent areas of Los Angeles announcing the event. 02/2/17

America Polarized and in Turmoil: United, we must take back our country from the ultra-supremacists in the White House - Among the executive orders signed by President Donald J. Trump this past Friday, there is the enhancing "national security and border control," that has led to massive demonstrations and much controversy. No patriotic American, native or naturalized, could argue against the meritorious notion of enhancing our national security, immigration and border control. However, while most Americans are committed to inclusivity and blind justice, Trump and his dwindling number of supporters want to block Muslims by using a religious litmus test for entry and immigration to the US. -David N. Rahni 02/1/17

PROFILES: Iranian woman motorcycle racer Baran Hadizadeh - Up at the crack of dawn Baran Hadizadeh starts her day of motocross practice, a routine she goes for three times a week. Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits. Taking her heavyweight motorbike in tow, she drives to the racing track in Hashtgerd, outskirt of Tehran, to live her dream, one day at a time. -Marjan Golpira 01/16/17

IMVBox: A whole new world of Iranian movies at your fingertips - is the world's leading online distributor of high-quality Iranian cinema. Its Video On Demand service houses the largest legally-assembled library of Iranian feature films, documentaries, TV shows and short films. Thousands of hours of content all easily accessible across multiple devices, all offering a high-quality playback experience. The platform uses a subscription-based model that requires members to pay either a monthly or annual fee. One month of premimum subscription free of charge for visitors! 01/13/17

PHOTOS: Foreign Tourists Visiting Historical Houses In Kashan, Iran - Since the signing of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers in July 2015, there has been a big jump in travel by foreign tourists to Iran. One of the favorite destinations for the tourists is Kashan in central Iran where they can visit numerous historical houses from the 18th and 19th centuries that illustrate the finest examples of architecture from the Qajar era. 12/26/16

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last updated on Sat Feb 18 13:40:24 EST 2017