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October 26 2016
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The East Moves West: India, China, and Asia's Growing Presence in the Middle East


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John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif named winners of the Chatham House Prize 2016

- The Chatham House Prize is presented annually to the person, persons or organization deemed by members of the Royal Institute of International Affairs to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year. 10/25/16

Iran books place in FIFA U-20 World Cup

- Reza Jafari's brace booked Islamic Republic of Iran a place in the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Championship Bahrain 2016 on Monday evening as Amir Peiravani's side handed Uzbekistan a 2-0 defeat to also qualify for the finals of next year's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic. 10/25/16

Iranian authorities dragged a writer to prison for writing an unpublished story

- On 24 October 2016, Iranian intelligence authorities broke the apartment door of writer and human rights activist Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, raided her apartment and took her by force to serve a 6 year prison sentence for writing a story on stoning women in Islam, that was never published. 10/25/16

Iranian-American Citizen Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison

- An Iranian-American dual citizen who has been jailed in Iran since July has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of collaborating with the United States and "insulting sanctities," one of his U.S.-based relatives told RFE/RL's Radio Farda. 10/25/16

Iran, Bosnia sign economic MoU

- Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the promotion of business cooperation and mutual investment. The document was signed by the countries' officials in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the visiting chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, during a ceremony at Tehran's Sadabad Complex on Tuesday. 10/25/16

UK lifts sanctions on key Iranian bank

- The British government has announced that it has removed Bank Saderat Iran (BSI) from its list of sanctioned entities. The announcement was made by the UK Treasury which added that the BSI assets had also been unfrozen. 10/25/16

Iran's Rohani Says Turkish Intervention In Iraq 'Very Dangerous'

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani says Turkey must get permission from the Iraqi government to take part in the operation to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group. 10/25/16

Prominent Iranian Koran Reciter Accused Of Sexual Abuse

- A prominent Iranian Koran reciter and teacher is facing allegations of sexual abuse lodged against him by several of his students, who claim that he sexually assaulted them several years ago. Saeed Tusi who is known for reciting the Koran at state events attended by senior officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has denied the allegations against him as "false and spurious" 10/25/16

For the Middle East, It's the Center for American Regress

- Last week, I featured a new Atlantic Council report by former Stimson Center president Ellen Laipson in which she argued that the nuclear deal with Iran--and the opportunities for future cooperation with Tehran that it opened up--required "national security officials... to shed old thinking about the near permanence of U.S.-Iran enmity. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 10/25/16

Iran's Sareh Javanmardi receives Allianz Best Female Athlete of the Month for September

- Sareh Javanmardidomani has been voted by the public as the Allianz Best Female Athlete of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, completing a double victory for Iran as compatriot powerlifter Siamand Rahman received the Best Male honour last week. 10/24/16

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Nonprofit Omid-e-Mehr aids battered women in Iran

Young Iranian politician reaches the "Young European Leaders" podium - A young Iranian politician received the "Young European Leaders," a reward for his political commitment. Councilman in Switzerland, emeritus member of one of the largest political party of the country, Darius Azarpey (Dariush-e Azarpey in Farsi) won the prize, while just ascending to the Vice Presidency of the Iran-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce. 10/24/16

Iranian Designs Shine at 2A Asia Architecture Award - Eight designs produced by Iranian architects are among the winners in different categories at the 2A Asia Architecture Award 2016 (2AAA 2016) in Vienna, the organizers announced last week. 10/24/16

Envoy hails as 'historic' Finland President's visit to Tehran - Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, at head of a high-ranking delegation, will visit Tehran in an effort to broaden and deepen ties between Tehran and Helsinki. The delegation consists of a number world-known Finnish companies in different areas such as environment and water resources management, Finnish Ambassador to Tehran Harri Kamarainen told the Tehran Times on Sunday. 10/24/16

Caspian Sea legal regime needs consensus, common understanding: Iran FM - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Caspian Sea's legal regime should be drawn up based on mutual trust, consensus, and understanding and must take into account the common interests of all involved countries. The Iranian minister made the remarks in an address to the 47th session of the special working group to draft the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea in Tehran on Sunday. 10/24/16

Islamophobia in the Age of Trump - The frequency of anti-Muslim behavior in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. A study released earlier this year by California State University-San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that incidents of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab violence increased drastically from 2014 to 2015, by 78.2% and 219% respectively, reaching levels that haven't been seen since the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. -Derek Davison, LobeLog 10/24/16

Wives Of Ambassadors Join "I'm Lake Urmia" Campaign - Wives of 12 ambassadors to Iran joined "I'm Lake Urmia" campaign, which aims to collect one million signatures required by the United Nation to help restore the lake, Mehr news agency reported. The campaign was launched in late August in the platform of social media. 10/23/16

KLM Airlines resumes flights to Iran - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands, has officially resumed flights to Iran after a hiatus of over three years. The first flight of the company in its new Iran service period landed in Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) on Saturday evening, Iran's local media reported. 10/23/16

Iran's Parliament Passes 'Clean Air' Bill - Iran's parliament (Majlis) on Wednesday approved clean air bill which could greatly help deal with sources of pollution in the country once in comes into force. The bill will be discussed in detail later this week, IRIB reported. -The chief of Department of Environment, Masoumeh Ebtekar, explained that the bill has been modified with the help of cabinet members and executive bodies. 10/23/16

Iran's President Criticizes US Presidential Candidates - Speaking Sunday in a televised speech in the city of Ark, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he had no preference in the U.S. election and the choice offered to American citizens was between "bad and worse" referring to presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. 10/23/16

Iran loses to India in 2016 Kabaddi World Cup final - Iran finished in second place after losing to powerhouse India 38-29 in the Kabaddi World Cup final on Saturday. Seven-time defending champions Indians proved their supremacy after trailing 12-18 at the half-time in Ahmedabad, India. 10/23/16

Iran supports measures aimed at stabilizing oil market: President Rouhani - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic supports any measures aimed at restoring stability to global oil markets. "Iran supports any measure in line with the stabilization of the oil market, fair prices and equitable quota for the producers," Rouhani said in a meeting with visiting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Tehran on Saturday. 10/23/16

"The Salesman" wins Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize at Chicago Film Festival - A film that gives us unique insight into the problems that arise from a case of sexual assault and the way an Iranian society deals with it. At the same time, the film is an immensely powerful tale of revenge that is universal and, in this case, told in a realistic way which features extremely painful dilemmas. It is a tale which uncovers the human condition on many levels. The Special Jury Prize goes to The Salesman by Asghar Farhadi. 10/22/16

President Rouhani on Iranophobia: Iran is kinder than what has been said - President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran wants peaceful coexistence with the countries in the region and the larger world, noting Iran is "kinder" than what has been said. Addressing a ceremony on the National Exports Day on Thursday, Rouhani said Iran's relations with the world should be based on constructive interactions. He noted that expanding relations with the world would not be successful through disputes. 10/22/16

Tehran hosts 2nd Rectors' Forum for Top Iranian, Russian Universities - The 2nd Rectors' Forum for Top Iranian and Russian Universities convened chancellors of 33 top universities from the two countries in Tehran on Thursday to examine ways of fostering academic cooperation. University chancellors from top 13 Iranian universities along with top 20 Russian universities, Iranian Science Minister Mohammad Farhadi, Russian ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan, and rector of Lomonosov Moscow State University Viktor Antonovich Sadovnichiy attended the one-day event 10/22/16

Ayatollah Montazeri's Son Legally Defends Releasing Audio File of Father Denouncing 1988 Mass Execution of Prisoners - Ahmad Montazeri, the son of late Grand Ayatollah Hosseinali Montazeri-the once successor to Iran's first supreme leader-has been charged with "acting against national security" and "revealing state secrets" for publishing an audio recording of his father denouncing the Islamic Republic's mass execution of prisoners in 1988. 10/22/16

Iran's Hossein Soltani wins silver at IWF Youth World Weightlifting Championships - Hossein Soltani of Iran claimed a silver medal in the men's 69kg event at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Weightlifting Championships on Saturday. Soltani won the overall silver with a 295kg finish after lifting 131kg in snatch and 164kg in clean and jerk. 10/22/16

French firm Total to invest $2B in Iran's petchem industry - Iran says it expects the French energy giant Total to invest as much as $2 billion in its petrochemical industry. Adel Salimnejad, the managing director of Iran's Persian Gulf Holding Company, told the domestic media that Total's investment will be made in an olefin project. 10/22/16

Iran says will bring technicians back home from Kirkuk after deadly attack - A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic will bring its technicians back home from the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk following a deadly attack by Daesh Takfiri terrorists on a power station and other buildings near the city. Speaking to IRNA on Friday night, Iran's Consul General in the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah, Sa'adollah Massoudian, said the toll for the Iranians killed in the terrorist attack stood at four. He added that four other Iranian nationals were injured in the terrorist attack. 10/22/16

Retracing a Utopian Stage: Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis - From an unassuming corner of the Bergen Assembly, the international art triennial currently taking place in this small Norwegian city, reverberates an acoustic collage of percussion and a series of dramatic vocal crescendos. The source is a multi-screen, immersive projection of archival footage from the Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis. -Nafas Art Magazine 10/22/16

The Wheels Are Coming off the Saudi Operation in Yemen - After initially denying that their aircraft had even been there, the Saudis finally admitted that they were responsible for the double-tap strike on the October 8 funeral of a major Yemeni notable. However, they denied culpability. According to the official Joint Incidents Assessment Team report-produced with US and UK oversight-the 140 victims of the murderous violation of a funeral were killed by faulty intelligence... -James Spencer, LobeLog 10/22/16

CONFERENCE: Iranian Architects and Architecture: Transition from Traditional to Postmodern - The main focus of this conference (to be held on November 12th in London) is to look at the evolution of 20th century architecture in Iran, concentrating on the transition from traditional to postmodern architecture. -Iran Heritage Foundation 10/21/16

Photos: Ramsar Royal Palace - Ramsar Palace is a historic building and among royal residences located in Ramsar, a city on the coast of the Caspian Sea, in Mazandaran province of Iran. The palace was established on a land of 60,000 square meters in 1937, and it was used as a summer residence by Reza Shah and then by his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. 10/21/16

Wife Of Iranian-Austrian Jailed In Iran Proclaims His Innocence - The wife of an Iranian-Austrian man sentenced recently by an Iranian court to 10 years in prison on spying charges has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that her husband is a "simple businessman" unjustly imprisoned. 10/21/16

Painting by Iranian artist Hossein Zenderudi sells for over $300K at Christie's in Dubai - "De Chaque Cote, Les Etoiles Fusent" ("On Each Side the Stars Fuse"), a painting by Iranian artist Hossein Zenderudi was sold for $ 307,500 at Christie's Dubai sales of Modern and Contemporary Art on October 18. 10/21/16

Azeri Rights Activist in Critical Condition After Starting Second Hunger Strike in Tabriz Prison - Imprisoned Azeri rights activist Rasoul Razavi has received emergency medical treatment on several occasions since he started a hunger strike in Tabriz Prison on October 3, 2016, an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 10/21/16

Baku wants Iran to develop power plants in Azerbaijan - Azerbaijan has called on Iran to expedite the implementation of a plan which envisages the joint construction of power plants by the two countries. Etibar Pirverdiyev, the head of Azerenergy JSC which is the largest electrical power producer in Azerbaijan, said the joint construction of new power plants by Azerbaijan and Iran will enhance energy stability and export potential of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. 10/21/16

Top Iranian students risk losing funding over US and Canadian visa delays - More than 100 top Iranian students admitted to US and Canadian universities have missed their first semester and fear losing their hard-fought bursaries or funding because of visa difficulties. -Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian 10/21/16

A journalist's dark perspective on the nuclear deal with Iran - Anyone who hates the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran will love this book. In "The Iran Wars," Wall Street Journal chief foreign affairs correspondent Jay Solomon tells the story of Iran's nuclear program and its projection of power in the region, and the American struggle to contain the country. -Elaine Sciolino, Washington Post 10/21/16

In Private, Clinton Split With Obama on Iran - A month after President Barack Obama's historic 2013 phone call to Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, his former secretary of state privately warned that the so-called moderate only won the election because Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard Corps allowed it. -Eli Lake, Bloomberg 10/21/16

Interview: Shiva Farivar, Candidate for Irvine City Council - Shiva Farivar is a longtime Irvine resident and community leader who is running for a seat on the Irvine City Council in the upcoming November elections. This election marks the second time Shive Farivar is running for public office. In 2010, she was a candidate for Irvine City Council, and ran a very competitive race. 10/20/16

Iran becoming a major destination for European tourists: EU Official - The European Union commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship said on Tuesday that Iran is being turned into a major tourism destination for European travelers. Although some sticking points, such as investment problems, still remain with the EU side, but "The EU in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and other global establishments tries to overcome the barriers," said Elzbieta Bienkowska 10/20/16

Two Iranian Labor Rights Activist Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Peaceful Activism - Labor rights activists Jafar Azimzadeh and Shapour Ehsani-Rad were sentenced to 11 years in prison each for their peaceful activism on October 15, 2016 by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in the city of Saveh, 76 miles southwest of Tehran. 10/20/16

Iran says talking to 16 firms over oil projects - Iran says it is negotiating with 16 international energy companies over investing in the exploration and development of oil and gas projects that it recently put out on tender. Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, the deputy head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for engineering and development affairs, told reporters that all the projects which were put out on tender earlier this week are feasible even with oil at $40 a barrel. 10/20/16

Surreal Mural By Iranian Artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo Materializes On The Greenway - Each fall, a new mural materializes on the towering facade of the transportation building that sits on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Dewey Square. This year the wall is being painted by Mehdi Ghadyanloo, a 35-year-old Iranian artist known for creating more than 100 surreal public works of art in Tehran. The Greenway mural is his first in the U.S. -WBUR-FM, Boston 10/20/16

Report: Take More Risk to Find Common Ground with Iran - Whoever moves into the White House next January should be willing to "take more risk to find some common ground with Iran," according to a new report released by the non-partisan Atlantic Council on October 19. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 10/20/16

Iranian actor calls for famous actress in exile to be welcomed back - Javad Hashemi, a famous Iranian actor who is best known for his blockbuster roles as a compassionate Basij soldier, has caused controversy by saying in a televised interview, "If I were in office in the Islamic Republic and [Golshifteh Farahani] said that she wanted to return, I would say 'come back.'" -Misha Zand, Al Monitor 10/20/16

Iran tourism for women: Safe or not safe? - With sanctions on Iran being relaxed and airlines including British Airways reintroducing direct flights to Tehran, Iran is once again attracting foreign businesses and travellers. Having just returned from a one-month self-drive tour of the country, I can assure you the destination has much to offer. -Justine Oliver, ETN 10/20/16

Iran Rejects U.S. Interference Over Jailed Dual Nationals - Iran says it won't accept any U.S. "interference" after Washington demanded the release of an Iranian-American businessman and his 80-year-old father. Iranian officials announced on October 18 that Siamak and Baquer Namazi had been jailed for 10 years for "espionage and collaboration with the American government." 10/19/16

Six-Year Prison Sentence Against Teachers Union Leader Upheld After Pressure by Revolutionary Guards - Branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court has upheld the six-year prison sentence against Esmail Abdi, the chairman of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association, confirmed Abdi in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. 10/19/16

A political prisoner is challenging Iranian state impunity while serving a 15 year sentence - Maryam Akbari Monfared is a political prisoner in Iran serving a 15 year sentence and is now taking the state judiciary to court for the unlawful execution of four of her siblings and the imprisonment of her mother, all of whom were political prisoners in the 1980s in Iran. Akbari Monfared, a mother of three, has another brother alive and he is also a political prisoner currently serving a 17-year sentence in Iran. 10/19/16

Britain's Vodafone Enters Iranian Phone Market - Vodafone and HiWEB, a leading Iranian ISP, today jointly announced a new non-equity Partner Market agreement for Iran. Vodafone will assist HiWEB in rolling out and modernising network and IT infrastructure, expanding the fixed and mobile internet services - under the HiWEB brand - that HiWEB can offer to its Iranian consumer and corporate customers. 10/19/16

NIAC Strongly Condemns Iran's Sentencing of Siamak and Baquer Namazi, Urges Their Release - NIAC President Trita Parsi released the following statement after Siamak and Baquer Namazi were reportedly sentenced to ten-year terms in prison: "The sentencing of Siamak and Baquer Namazi to ten-year prison terms is a gross injustice that should deeply embarrass the Iranian government. We urge Iran to immediately release the Namazis - as well as all dual nationals unjustly detained in Iran on spurious charges - so that they can reunite with their families. 10/19/16

American Presidential Election: An Illusion of Democracy - Einstein takes credit for the saying that goes like this. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." In reality you don't have to be an Einstein to know this, you'd think it's common sense to come to this conclusion. But, when it comes to the Presidential elections, this proverb stands. -Sina Alavi 10/19/16

Iran's Supreme Leader Urges Authorities Not To Back Down Against US - Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on Iranian authorities not to back down in the face of the United States' ever-increasing demands. Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks on Wednesday in a meeting with a group of top university students and members of Iran's National Elites Foundation. 10/19/16

Wild is the Wind: Disco-taxis and pretty girls: in search of the world's oldest windmills in Iran - The sun burned hot on the roof of the car as we drove on the desert road near the frontier town of Taybad. In an effort to drown out the roaring and rattling of the engine, our driver cranked up the radio, making the forty-year-old Paykan bounce up and down on the beats of the Persian pop tunes he liked. I was in the back, squeezed between two old Afghan gentlemen dressed in blue robes and turbans on one side, and a rolled up carpet on the other. -Jippe Kreuning, Reorient 10/19/16

Iran CAPA Aviation Summit - hope turns to frustration, but optimism remains as growth abounds - When CAPA - Centre for Aviation held its first conference in Iran at the end of Jan-2016 the atmosphere was primarily one of optimism. Immediately preceding the conference the expectation was that Iran and the West would move to rapidly reverse decades of estrangement. The first round of sanctions against Iran had come down - in line with the historic 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the '5+1' powers - and major airlines and aircraft manufacturers were coming to the table. -CAPA 10/19/16

Eight Lessons from Afghanistan - Although President Obama slowed the drawdown in U.S. troops from Afghanistan, vowing to keep 8,400 troops there until the end of his term, the next president faces a major policy decision: will maintaining or enlarging the American military presence improve Afghanistan's prospects for long-term stability? Equally important, do the probable gains of a continued deployment outweigh the anticipated risks and costs? -Diana Ohlbaum, LobeLog 10/19/16

Iran Sentences Iranian-American Businessman, His Father Each To 10 Years - An Iranian-American businessman and his 80-year-old father have reportedly been given 10 years in prison each for cooperation with the United States. Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi, were jailed for "collaborating with the hostile American government," the Mizan news agency reported on October 18. 10/18/16

Muhammad Ali's Widow Calls on Iran to Free Imprisoned Iranian-American Son and Father - The widow of American boxing legend Muhammad Ali has called on Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, to free Iranian-Americans Siamak Namazi and his father Bagher Namazi. "I would like to request that your Excellency show Islamic mercy towards these two individuals who are pure-hearted citizens of our world, and allow these Muslims to be reunited with their family in this holy month (Muharram, marking the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala on the first month of the Islamic calendar)," wrote Lonnie Ali in a letter to Khamenei. 10/18/16

Letter From Political Prisoners: Prison conditions in Iran cause slow death of prisoners - In a letter addressed to Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council on Iran, Amnesty International and Human rights Watch, a group of political prisoners in Rejaishahr Prison in Karaj protest against the violation of their basic rights as prisoners. 10/18/16

NIAC Welcomes European Parliament's Report on Diplomatic Engagement of Iran - The National Iranian American Council released the following statement on the report from the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs on EU strategy toward Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal: "The successful nuclear negotiations with Iran were a game changer and Europe is poised to make the most of the opportunity while the U.S. risks being stuck on the sidelines... 10/18/16

Iran Navy foils pirate attacks on vessels in Gulf of Aden - Iranian naval forces have successfully thwarted major pirate attacks on two merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden. The 44th flotilla of the Iranian Navy, consisting of Alvand destroyer and the Bushehr logistic vessel, saved two Iranian ships from three pirate attacks on Monday morning. 10/18/16

Iran exporting 25 radiopharmaceuticals: Nuclear Chief - Iran's atomic energy chief said in comments on Tuesday the country produces and exports 25 radiopharmaceuticals (a radioactive compound used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes) to Asian and European countries. "Currently, 25 radiopharmaceuticals are produced inside the country and exported to countries of Iraq, Egypt, and Germany," Ali Akbar Salehi told the press on the sidelines of the 10th national talent seminar. 10/18/16

4 Maps That Explain Iran's Place In The Middle East - If you ranked the civilizations that have most affected the course of human development, Persia would be near the top of the list. We forget this because in recent centuries, the states that have ruled in Iran have been either weak or isolated from the rest of the world. -Forbes 10/18/16

Iran Hard-Liners Release Video Showing Detained Iranian-American Businessman - Iranian hard-line media have released a video showing detained Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi. Iran's judiciary news agency posted a minute-long video on October 17 showing a montage of clips including Namazi in a conference room, his arms raised at his sides, and his U.S. passport. 10/17/16

Interview: Iranian Affairs Expert Sahar Nowrouzzadeh - Sahar Nowrouzzadeh is an Iranian American with a distinguished career in foreign policy, having started her career in public service in 2005 at the United States Department of Defense as a Foreign Affairs Analyst and later becoming a Team Chief. Subsequently, she joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Affairs Officer and in 2014 began a two year rotation as the Director for Iran on the White House's National Security Council under President Obama... 10/17/16

Photos: Iran Air Force begins large-scale drills in Isfahan - Iran's Air Force has started large-scale three-day military drills in the central province of Isfahan, demonstrating the aviation branch of the Army's prowess in defending the country's airspace. Codenamed Fada'eeyan-e Harim-e Velayat 6 (The Devotees of the Velayat Sanctuary 6), the exercises were launched in the province's Anarak district on Monday October 17, 2016. 10/17/16

Iran Detains 11 Involved In Online Modeling Network - Iranian authorities say they have detained 11 members of a modeling network. The semi-official Tasnim news agency said the network was involved in producing and publishing pornographic pictures and spreading "depravity" in society. 10/17/16

Iranian Lawmakers Call For Release Of Activist Narges Mohammadi - A group of Iranian lawmakers have written an open letter to the head of the judiciary calling for the release of Narges Mohammadi, a journalist and activist who is serving a lengthy prison sentence. Mohammadi was arrested last year after launching a campaign to end the death penalty in Iran. She was sentenced to 16 years in prison in May for founding the movement, which was deemed to be an illegal splinter group. 10/17/16

7th London Iranian Film Festival: October 28th - November 2nd - Europe's largest Iranian film festival returns for its 7th edition in London. We're thrilled to open this festival with 'The Salesman', winner of the Best Screenplay and Best Actor awards at Cannes this year. 10/17/16

Iran tells banks dollar deals allowed by U.S. Treasury - The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in an announcement has told the banks across the country that any failure by non-American banks to provide dollar-related services to Iranians is "unacceptable" in light of the US Treasury's recent update on doing business with Iran. 10/17/16

Film Review: 'Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming' - A mixed-race Canadian poet travels to a poetry festival in Iran and discovers her own voice while opening herself to those of others in the whimsical, animated coming-of-ager. Tapping a host of fellow animators to create a visually rich tapestry, director-writer-animator Ann Marie Fleming creates an entertaining, educational, and poignant tale about identify and imagination that is filled with stories and poetry. -Yahoo Movies 10/17/16

Iranian woman entrepreneur Soheila Pirmoradian to receive EBC*L Prize - Iranian businesswoman Soheila Pirmoradian is amongst selectees who will be honored with European Business Competence* License) EBC*L Women Entrepreneur Awards, during a ceremony scheduled to be held in Paris on November 3. 10/16/16

Iran's Navy fleet sets sail for Baku, Azerbaijan with message of peace and friendship - A senior Iranian Navy official says a fleet, comprising a domestically-built destroyer and a missile-launching warship, has departed for Azerbaijan's port city of Baku on the Caspian Sea coast. Rear Admiral Afshin Rezaei Haddad told reporters on Sunday that Damavand destroyer and Joshan missile vessel with 200 navy forces on board headed to Baku in a 3-day operation. 10/16/16

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif participates in Swiss Talks on Syria - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has held separate talks with his Iraqi and Russian counterparts in the Swiss lakeside city of Lausanne about a solution to the crisis in Syria. Zarif held meetings with the Iraqi and Russian foreign ministers, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of Syria talks in Lausanne on Saturday. 10/16/16

Narges Kalbasi Ashtari's story: An outcry for help - She is called the Mother Teresa of India and all for good reason. At 29, Narges Kalbasi Ashtari is a mother to many orphans, abandoned and visually impaired children in India. However, today, she has become the victim of a very complex and unjust system in India and is being punished by the very same people she once left her life behind for. 10/16/16

Iran's Fatemeh Moqimi nominated for Asia-Pacific Women Entrepreneur Award - Iranian female entrepreneur Fatemeh Moqimi has been nominated for the Asia-Pacific Women Entrepreneur Award. Moqimi, who also holds a seat at Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA), was chosen by the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) Women Entrepreneurs Council (CWEC) to vie with other nominees for the award 10/15/16

Women's sports in Iran after the Revolution - Tonia Valioghli is a veteran Iranian swimmer, record holder and former member of Iran's National Team and is currently a competitive swimming coach in Germany. She is a physical education graduate from Iran and a sports commentator. Zamaneh Media spoke to her about the situation of women's sports in Iran before and after the Revolution and the recent controversy emerging in the sidelines of the Women's World Chess Championship set to be held in Tehran in February 2017. 10/15/16

Prominent Iranian Rights Activist Narges Mohammadi Rejects Prison Sentence in Stinging Open Letter - In an open letter from Evin Prison prominent human rights defender Narges Mohammadi has strongly rejected the Appeals Court's decision upholding her harsh prison sentence, describing it as a "tyrannical" way to silence her activism. 10/15/16

Car-Free Tuesdays Campaign: Iran allots loans of up to $3,000 to bicycles, electric motorcycles - Iran has allotted loans of up to 100 million rials (nearly $3,000) to bicycles and electric motorcycles, an official with the Department of Environment has said. "People can take out loans of 30 million rials (nearly $1,000) to 100 million rials to buy bicycles and electric motorcycles," YJC quoted Mohammad Darvish as saying. 10/15/16

Ten Things You Should Know About Iran's Multi-Billion Dollar National Internet Project - A few months after the Iranian government launched the first phase of its "national information network" (NIN), many questions still surround Iran's domestically hosted, state-controlled and censored internet. In this article, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran discusses ten critical questions about NIN, the country's most expensive internet-related project. 10/14/16

Lima Wins Best Animation Award at Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival - Animation Lima directed by Afshin Roshanbakht and Vahid Jafari received the best animation award at the 10th Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival. "A gorgeous stop motion short about a son's struggle to keep the memory of his father alive, with an evocative score by Icelandic composer Stein Thor." 10/13/16

FIFA World Cup qualifier: Iran stuns South Korea 1-0 in Tehran - Iran men's national football team has achieved yet another convincing victory in the third round of the 2018 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup qualification tournament, and scored a triumph against South Korea. 10/12/16

Iran Rights Champion's Latest Prison Term Aimed At 'Instilling Fear,' Says Exiled Husband - When Narges Mohammadi's activist husband resolved in 2012 to leave Iran to escape yet another jail sentence connected to his political activities, she stayed behind with their two children. "She believed she could be more effective inside the country," Taghi Rahmani, a political activist who had been in and out of Iranian prisons for two decades and had a conviction hanging over his head, said of his wife recently from Paris, where he has since been joined by their 9-year-old twins. -Golnaz Esfandiari 10/10/16

Chess Grandmaster Khademalsharieh says World Championship is necessary for Iranian women - After many of the highest-ranking female players have called for a boycott of the next year's world Chess Championships in Iran, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh said that the championship will help the Iranian women to participate in the most important event in the country for the first time. Khademalsharieh, 19, is an Iranian chess player who holds the titles of International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM). 10/9/16

In Memoriam: Renowned Iranian Scholar Ruhi Ramazani - Rouhoullah "Ruhi" K. Ramazani, a University of Virginia professor emeritus of government and foreign affairs who dedicated his life to UVA and to promoting political understanding of Iran-U.S. relations, died Wednesday in Charlottesville. He was 88. - Anne E. Bromley, University of Virginia 10/7/16

Los Angeles museum to showcase works by Iranian artist Ali-Akbar Sadeqi - Works by the 79-year-old painter, book illustrator, animator and sculptor, Ali-Akbar Sadeqi will be put on display in an exhibition, which is scheduled to open to the public at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on October 23. 10/5/16

IMF Says Iran Economy 'Rebounded Strongly' Following Lifting Of Sanctions - In a statement issued on October 3 after a visit to Iran, IMF staff said oil production and exports "rebounded quickly" to presanction levels, as an array of international sanctions targeting Iran were lifted in January following a nuclear deal with world powers that curbed the country's controversial nuclear program. Meanwhile, "increased activity" in agriculture, car production, trade, and transport services has led the recovery in growth in the non-oil sector. 10/4/16

Zinat Daryaee: The Great Entrepreneur of Qeshm Island - Walking at a pavilion near Goftegoo Park in western Tehran, the music of natives from southern Iran attracts all the visitors. The largest pavilion of Qeshm Island, part of Hormozgan Province, is run by a female entrepreneur, Zinat Daryaee. Zinat Daryaee, whose name means adornment of the sea, is really a jewel in the heart of Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf. 10/4/16

My wife, imprisoned in Iran for six months and counting - Today marks six months since my wife, Nazanin, was taken and put in an Iranian prison. It marks six months since Gabriella, our two-year-old daughter, had her passport confiscated so that she would be kept in Iran. Nazanin is a charity worker in the UK. Nazanin and Gabriella were in Iran on holiday, visiting Nazanin's parents. On April 3, while on their way home, Nazanin was arrested at the airport check-in desk. Since then it has been another world. -Richard Ratcliffe 10/4/16

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last updated on Tue Oct 25 14:21:12 GMT 2016