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July 31 2015
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Obama Pushes For Deal With Iran To Avoid 'Path To War'

- U.S. President Barack Obama told supporters on July 30 that Democratic support in Congress for the Iran nuclear deal is "squishy" and they must work hard to counter an aggressive lobbying campaign against it. In a call with groups affiliated with the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning Washington think-tank, Obama said activists who want peace must not make the same mistake they did in the run-up to the Iraq war, when proponents of the war drowned out their weaker voices. -Patrice Hill, RFE 7/31/15

Will Iranian Americans Get Sanctions Relief?

- Despite the nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran, the U.S. trade embargo with Iran will not be among the sanctions to be lifted. This means that Iranian Americans will continue to be prohibited from engaging in most trade-related transactions with Iran or Iranian parties. -Tyler Cullis, NIAC 7/31/15

Photos: Iranian Green Protesters Circle Forest During Environment Chief's Visit

- Environmental activists formed a human chain around Palang Dareh Forest on Thursday July 30 while the head of Iran's Department of the Environment, Massoumeh Ebtekar, was visiting Mazandaran Province in northern Iran to mark National Forest Day. 7/31/15

Letter to Congress: Support Iran Deal Now

- there are a few things you should know about me. Specifically, I am an honorably discharged, Navy, Vietnam era veteran. So I think a bit more about ensuring U.S. national security and the costs of wars than the average person. I am also Jewish. So issues such as the security of Israel and U.S. responsibilities for, and obligations to, are also something I think about. -David Isenberg 7/31/15

Kerry Tour Will Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is launching a five-nation tour of the Middle East and South Asia on Friday in a bid to strengthen economic and security ties and ease concerns about the Iran nuclear deal. -Pamela Dockins, VOA 7/31/15

Nuclear accord heralds new era of scientific ties in post-sanctions Iran: Science journalist

- Prominent science journalist Richard Stone says the agreement between Iran and six global powers over Tehran's nuclear program heralds a new era of cooperation between Iranian and Western scientists. He made the comments during a seminar on science journalism and diplomacy, organized by the Iranian Association for the Popularization of Sciences, in the capital Tehran on Wednesday. 7/31/15

Tom Cotton Assails Iran Deal (Again)

- Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) told a receptive audience at the neoconservative Hudson Institute on Tuesday that Congress should take action to defeat the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal that was concluded in Vienna earlier this month between Iran and the countries of the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China). 7/31/15

Bad Analogies Abounding on Iran Deal

- In their desperation to sabotage the nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran, neoconservative foes of the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) are resorting to all kinds of historical analogies. Their most popular, of course, date back to the 1930s: appeasement, Chamberlain, Munich, Hitler, and all of that other stuff that led to the Holocaust. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/31/15

The Kurdish Elephant

- Let's mix some metaphors in the Middle East, all of them involving elephants. In the crisis zone that encompasses Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria, the Kurds are the elephant in the room. They are the "problem" that no one really wants to talk about. -John Feffer, LobeLog 7/31/15

US Lawmakers Seek Details of Iran Nuke Inspection Regime

- U.S. lawmakers pressed top administration officials Wednesday for details on the international inspection regime that will enforce a landmark nuclear pact with Iran. The officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, testified before the Senate Armed Forces Committee to try to allay lawmakers' concerns and convince them to approve the deal reached earlier this month in Vienna. -Michael Bowman, VOA 7/30/15

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Reza Aslan Wants You to Take Action for Peace | NIAC Action

Joint Statement of Iranian-American Organizations on the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal - As organizations that represent the Iranian-American community, we welcome the news of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed to by the United States, UN powers, and Iran. This historic diplomatic achievement will benefit the American people and the Iranian people alike by taking war off the table and creating the possibility for sustained peace and renewed relations. 7/30/15

Iran: Arrest of surgeon in Mamasani stirs outrage - Iran's health minister has condemned the arrest and handcuffing of a surgeon in Mamasani. While some of the surgeon's colleagues and co-workers staged demonstrations in her support, the Governor of Mamasani says the whole affair was caused by a misunderstanding. 7/30/15

Iranian Critics of Deal on the Defensive - Most observers of Iranian domestic politics believe that the nuclear agreement could not have happened without Ayatollah Khamenei's approval, and so, no forces in the parliament or any other power center can prevent the deal from being approved and implemented. Even the more ardent and sophisticated critics of the nuclear deal in Iran have come to accept that their cause is hopeless. -LobeLog's Tehran correspondent 7/30/15

Iran sees 'new chapter' in ties with Total - Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran welcomes French energy giant Total's return to the resource-rich country amid Tehran's drive to step up oil and gas development projects after the removal of sanctions. Zangeneh made the announcement after meeting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who visited Tehran to "revive relations" after the finalization of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries. 7/30/15

Qeshm village in Persian Gulf invites tourists to wooden Lenj workshops - Tourists who travel to the Persian Gulf's Qeshm Island, can join wooden Lenj construction workshops at Peyposht, a village near Laft port of Qeshm County, Hormozgan Province. The workshops reveal one of the most important historical aspects of Persian Gulf history in the region, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) Office in Qeshm Free Zone Abdoljavad Kamali said in a press release on Sunday. 7/30/15

India pushing to revive Iran gas pipeline - With a delegation headed to Tehran soon, Indian officials will push for the revival of the $7 billion gas pipeline from Iran which has to cross Pakistan, a New Delhi-based newspaper says. India dropped out of the massive project under US pressures but a recent opening in the business environment in Iran has prompted Indian leaders to make a fresh bid for the pipeline, the Economic Times reported, citing informed sources. 7/30/15

Facebook's first intern just landed $50 million from Peter Thiel and other investors - Darian Shirazi started his career at 15 years old, when he made his name reselling computer components on eBay. His sales were so impressive that eBay ended up offering him an internship for the next two summers. -Eugene Kim, Business Insider 7/30/15

In Iran, Jason Rezaian's Reporting Strengths Led to Suspicion, Then Detention - They say Mr. Rouhani's internal political adversaries, who see the president as too conciliatory toward the West, may have been responsible for Mr. Rezaian's arrest. The adversaries might have seen an opportunity to embarrass Mr. Rouhani by imprisoning an American journalist perceived as close to his administration. Mr. Rouhani's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has said he knows Mr. Rezaian personally and has called him "a fair reporter." -NY TImes 7/30/15

Netanyahu Lost His Iran Bet, but His Next Gamble May Be Disastrous - After the deal was announced, the prime minister's appearance was that of a desperate gambler who had lost everything. But now he wants to wreck what's left of U.S.-Israel relations. After losing his pants, he's now putting his underwear on the roulette wheel in a move that experts on American politics say hasn't much of a chance. -Yossi Verter, Haaretz 7/30/15

Kerry: Alternative Iran Deal Is 'Unicorn Fantasy' - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned members of Congress that walking away from the nuclear deal reached with Iran would mean giving Tehran a "green light" to return to its enrichment efforts. "The alternative to the deal we've reached isn't a better deal... some kind of unicorn fantasy that contemplates Iran's complete capitulation," Kerry said. 7/29/15

Rouhani to visiting French Foreign Minister: Nuclear conclusion should mark better Iran-EU ties - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers should pave the way for further promotion of ties between Tehran and Europe. "The nuclear agreement should mark [Iran's] better cooperation with Europe," Rouhani said in a meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Tehran on Wednesday. 7/29/15

EU's Mogherini Visits Iran, Vows to Implement Nuclear Deal - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini insisted Tuesday during a visit to Tehran that she made the trip to begin implementation of the nuclear accord with Iran. Mogherini said she wanted to ensure the "smooth implementation" of the nuclear accord between Iran and the international community, which she said would pave the way toward better relations. -Edward Yeranian, VOA 7/29/15

Wieseltier on Iran: Laughable - It is everyone's right to present themselves as The Great Moral Arbiter. And the rest of us are within our rights to laugh at them. That's what first came to mind after I finished reading Leon Wieseltier's 2,000-plus-word jeremiad against the Iran nuclear deal in The Atlantic.-Ali Gharib 7/29/15

Sign the petition: Defend the Iran deal and stop Republicans from starting a war with Iran - The United States, Iran and five other world powers announced a historic deal to dramatically curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions on Iran. Republicans are trying to sabotage the deal, put us back on the path to confrontation with Iran and start a war -- but they can't do it unless Democrats help them. 7/29/15

Fabius highlights new Iranian relations in newspaper piece - In an exclusive Op-Ed statement published on Tuesday July 28 in the Iran daily, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius strikes a positive note regarding relations with Iran in advance of his visit to Tehran on Wednesday July 28. 7/29/15

Huckabee's Holocaust Remark Defended by Adelson-Funded ZOA - Former Arkansas governor and GOP hopeful Mike Huckabee's comparison between the Iran deal and the Holocaust brought an avalanche of denunciations from Jewish groups condemning his prediction that President Barack Obama will "take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven." -Eli Clifton 7/29/15

Most Polls Suggest Americans Support the Deal, Especially Jews - Two polls released this morning have rather different takes on the Iran deal. One, from J Street, confirms last week's LA Jewish Journal poll that American Jews broadly support the nuclear agreement, 60-40%. The other, from CNN/ORC, is an outlier from the bulk of post-deal polls in finding that Americans want Congress to reject the deal. This conclusion, however, is likely because of the poor construction of the poll. -Eva Galanes-Rosenbaum, LobeLog 7/29/15

Iranian singer's pro-nuclear song no guarantee of government approval - Iran's Ministry of Culture says it has not given any guarantees to underground singer Amir Tataloo that singing a song in support of the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy policies would help him shed his underground status and earn him a chance to give public concerts. 7/29/15

Mercedes-Benz exploring partnership with Iran Khodro - Mercedes-Benz is exploring a partnership with Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro for manufacturing trucks, vans, and buses, Iran Khodro Chief Executive Officer Hashem Yekke-Zare' said. The German automaker may open an office in Iran within two to three months, Yekke-Zare' said on the sidelines of a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. 7/29/15

The Iran agreement is a disaster for Isis: Federica Mogherini - "It always seems impossible until it's done": the words of a man who made the impossible come true - Nelson Mandela - resonated with me on 14 July, when the seven countries around the table in Vienna, under the steer of the European Union, finally reached a deal on Iran's nuclear programme. -Federica Mogherini, Guardian 7/29/15

Iran, EU agree to resume stalled high-level talks - Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic and the European Union have agreed to revive stalled talks. Speaking at a press conference with visiting EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday, Zarif said Iran-EU "high-level" talks are to resume in the "near future." 7/28/15

Kerry, Moniz Return to Capitol Hill to Push Iran Deal - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz go before a Congressional committee again Tuesday as they continue their efforts to get support from skeptical lawmakers reviewing the international nuclear deal with Iran. 7/28/15

US firms 'losers' when Iran doors open - US media are criticizing "strict, decades-old restrictions" that will continue to prohibit trade with Iran even after sanctions against the country are lifted. The Wall Street Daily has warned in an article that US corporations are set to lose big to their European and Asian rivals once the gates to the Iranian market open in a post-sanction period. 7/28/15

Kerry, Moniz Return to Capitol Hill to Push Iran Deal - U.S.-Russian collaboration to secure a deal on Iran's nuclear program has raised hopes of closer cooperation on other world issues, but analysts say any progress is likely to be slow in coming. Meanwhile, Russia may be planning to spend the political capital it earned by helping to negotiate the Iran nuclear deal. -Daniel Schearf, VOA 7/28/15

Iran says planes ready for US flights - After a hiatus of over three decades, Iran is now looking into the possibility of launching direct flights to the United States in light of the removal of sanctions that have prohibited the country from doing so. Iran's aviation officials say the country is technically prepared to launch direct flights to the United States, but an authorization to do so is still needed. 7/28/15

President Obama on Monday lashed out at Republican presidential candidates for making what he called "ridiculous" claims about his policies and "outrageous attacks" that crossed the line of political decorum. - President Obama on Monday lashed out at Republican presidential candidates for making what he called "ridiculous" claims about his policies and "outrageous attacks" that crossed the line of political decorum. -Peter Baker, NY Times 7/28/15

Former Bush Diplomats Push Back on Criticism of Iran Deal - Two senior retired diplomats warned Friday that the U.S. would isolate itself from a global consensus if Congress rejected the nuclear agreement concluded between the P5+1 and Iran earlier this month. -Derek Davison and Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/28/15

The Citadel of the Original Royal Avesta in Persepolis - It is said both in the native and foreign sources that the original Avesta "written on 12,000 prepared cow-skins, and with gold ink," was burnt together with other treasures and books when Alexander of Macedonia set Parsgarde (Persepolis) on fire. In other sources, it is said that there were actually two copies, one kept in Shapigan treasury and the other in the "citadel of writings" dejnebeshteh whose exact location had never been found, thus a mystery. -Khoobchehr Keshavarzi 7/27/15

Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications - In a meeting with government officials on July 18th, four days after the conclusion of the nuclear agreement, President Rouhani of Iran praised the work of his negotiating team and called the deal a triumph. Is the President right? Does the deal really signify a victory for Iran, as he claims, or an elusive surrender, as a number of critics have pointed out? To answer these questions, a brief review of the contents of the agreement is in order. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh 7/27/15

Iran nuclear agreement is an historic opportunity for peace - Many congratulations to all parties involved in the historic agreement on the future of Iran's nuclear programme. Well done to Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari in bringing home an historic deal for Iran and the world. Commendations to John Kerry and the leaders from the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany in reaching an agreement that will result in Iran agreeing not to develop nuclear weapons. -Richard Branson 7/27/15

Iran's state banks to join SWIFT once JCPOA comes into effect: Official - An official at the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says the country's state-run banks will soon rejoin the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) once Iran's nuclear agreement with the world powers enters into effect. 7/27/15

Duluth orchestra, Iranian composer make music history - For perhaps the first time since the Iranian revolution in 1979, an Iranian composer living in Iran is collaborating with an American orchestra. It's the world premiere of "Kalileh," a classic Persian fable set to music by composer Hooshyar Khayam. 7/27/15

Anti-Iran Deal Groups Better Funded Than Pro-Deal Groups By Nearly Five to One - The Democratic Party has latched onto the message that critics of the Iran deal are spending big money over the next 60 days to kill the agreement in Congress. Last Wednesday, for example, House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) commented that, "I know there's tens of millions of dollars lined up against the agreement." And Obama, interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show last week, criticized "lobbyists" and "money" working against the deal. -Eli Clifton, LobeLog 7/27/15

Nader Tehrani Named Dean Of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture - Nader Tehrani, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been appointed dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He joins Cooper this month. 7/27/15

Iran builds $2.5 billion power plant in Iraq - Iran is building a natural gas combined cycle power plant in Iraq's Basra at a cost of $2.5 billion in the Persian country's biggest engineering services deal yet. 7/27/15

On Iran Congress Risks Alienating Europe - Members of Congress opposing the Iranian nuclear deal don't seem to care that it's a multilateral agreement their longest-serving European allies support. Europeans are far from impressed that the US legislature has taken hostage the diplomatic roadmap on the nuclear file that they played a critical role in negotiating. GOP Republicans have clearly attempted to shift the debate from a vote on the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) announced last week to one on the US presidential legacy and US-Iran relations. -Ellie Geranmayeh 7/26/15

Female Entrepreneurs Fuel A Changing Iran - It has been a long parade of investors and foreign CEOs in the office of Nazanin Daneshvar, a young female engineer who founded the e-commerce company Takhfifan (Persian for "discount"). She welcomes such visitors, and foreign journalists, who have come to Iran to discover a country as hopes have risen that the international economic sanctions will be lifted. -Sophie Fay, Worldcrunch 7/26/15

Rouhani Government and Conservatives Clash over Laws on Female Dress - More than two-thirds of the members of the Iranian Parliament-216 MPs-have signed a resolution supporting the implementation of a law that requires women to observe strict rules on clothing in public. The Rouhani administration has expressed doubts on the effectiveness of coercive tactics against women who are not as observant as hardliners in the Islamic Republic would like them to be. 7/26/15

The Sources of Opposition to the Iran Agreement - An air of unreality pervades much of the debate on the agreement to restrict Iran's nuclear program. Opponents of the agreement raise issue after issue on which the agreement is clearly superior to the alternative that would exist if the opponents succeed in getting the U.S. Congress to kill the deal, but the opponents keep raising such issues anyway. -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog 7/26/15

Iran's Kurdistan University establishes first Kurdish literature program - University of Kurdistan announced that in the coming year it is launching its first Kurdish language and literature program. The university reports that the program will start by accepting 40 students in September of 2015. 7/26/15

Iran's "Smart filter" for internet now in second stage - Iran's minister of communications reports that the first stage of "smart filtering" for the internet has been "successful" and the second stage has now been launched. IRNA reports that according to Mahmoud Vaezi, the so called "smart filtering" is a complex project envisioned in three stages. 7/26/15

For new Iranian American lobbying group, response to nuclear deal is pivotal first test - In 2002, during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq - and as the possibility of war with Iran loomed - four Iranian Americans formed the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), largely to voice opposition to war with Iran and urge diplomatic negotiations. Now, 13 years later, the group is launching an advocacy arm, NIAC Action, that aims to take Iranian Americans' voice in politics to the next level. -Catherine Ho, Washington Post 7/26/15

Former AIPAC Official on Iran's Importance to AIPAC - So it was pretty compelling Thursday when The Nelson Report quoted a "former AIPAC official" on why the legendary lobby was so heavily invested in persuading Congress to reject the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1. I'm posting it here with Chris's permission. -Jim Lobe, Lobelog 7/26/15

British Foreign Office Eases Travel Advice For Iran Visits - Britain's Foreign Office has eased its travel advisory on visits to Iran. The new advisory issued on July 25 no longer urges British citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to the country. However, it calls on Britons to avoid traveling to border areas close to Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. 7/26/15

US Lawmakers, Obama Officials Spar on Iran Nuclear Deal - Secretary of State John Kerry sparred with members of a Senate committee during the first public hearing on the controversial deal to lift economic and other sanctions against Iran in exchange for it scaling back its nuclear program. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew joined Kerry Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. -VOA 7/24/15

White House Calls Rally Against Iran Nuclear Deal 'Pro-War' - The White House has called a demonstration against the Iran nuclear deal a "pro-war rally." The main speaker at the demonstration, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, is one of several GOP candidates who have said that, as president, they would be ready to launch an immediate military strike on Iran. The rally was held outside the White House itself. 7/24/15

The Iran Deal: Where Are the Fault Lines? - It's tempting to see the successful negotiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)between Iran and the P5+1 nations as the conclusion of nearly two years of negotiations. But the reality is that last week's achievement is only the beginning. Now comes the task of winning approval for the agreement among participating governments, maintaining the terms of the agreement (some of which last up to 25 years), and managing the deal's ramifications for the Middle East and beyond. -Derek Davison 7/24/15

German Economy Minister defends landmark Iran visit - Germany's Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has defended his visit to Iran, dismissing criticism by pro-Israel lobby groups which are furious at Europe's bid for post-sanction business with Tehran. Speaking to reporters in Berlin Thursday, Gabriel said Tehran's refusal to recognize Israel is not a legitimate reason to avoid doing business with Iran. 7/24/15

Iranian activist Nargress Mohammadi decries plight of mothers in prison - Nargess Mohammadi, the prominent Iranian human rights defender and deputy director of the Human Rights Defenders Centre who has been in prison for over two months, has written a letter from Evin Prison revisiting eight years of motherhood in the light of her activism. The letter, published on the Defenders of Human Rights Centre website, reveals that Nargess Mohammadi's twins have now left Iran and are living with their father. 7/24/15

Hardline Iranian Clerics Stop Screening of Film on Shia Religious Figure - A highly anticipated award-winning film about the revered 7th century Shia religious figure, Imam Hossein, has been pulled from cinemas across Iran on the first day of its screening following criticism by conservative religious leaders. The film's director, Ahmad Reza Darvish, maintains that he has had the support of senior religious leaders throughout the production process. 7/24/15

Tehran keen on removing obstacles in way of foreign trade: Iran industry minister - Iran's Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh says Tehran works to remove obstacles in way of foreign trade seeking long term economic cooperation with Europe in various areas including infrastructure, tourism, industry and investment. 7/24/15

Correcting the Critics of the Iran Nuclear Deal - From the standpoint of U.S. security, the agreement on Iran's nuclear program announced on July 14 is a very good one. Iran consented to a significant rollback of its nuclear capacity and to a level of monitoring far exceeding any other country. The main goal of the U.S. and its partners has been met: Iran's path to a nuclear weapon has been blocked. -Mitchell Plitnick 7/24/15

Post Box public sculpture latest to be stolen in Tehran - Another bronze sculpture on public display in the streets of Tehran has been stolen. The Shargh daily reports that on Monday July 20, the 120-kg bronze sculpture entitled Post Box was stolen. The sculpture, which depicts a child dropping a letter into a mailbox, was installed in front of the Postal Museum in Tehran on Imam Khomeini (Sepah) Street. 7/24/15

Greece, Iran, and the Rules of the Game - Alexis Tsipras had a choice. As the leader of the fledgling Syriza government in Greece, he could have told the European Union to stuff its austerity plan. He could have taken the risk that the EU would offer a better deal to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Or, failing that, he could have navigated his country into the uncharted waters of economic independence. But he chose to "follow the rules" by accepting the EU plan. - John Feffer, LobeLog 7/24/15

The Fine or the Crude Art of Window Dressing Hypocrisy at its Best - Those who actually believe (perhaps better than 95% of the public here) that the main purpose of the nuclear agreement reached between the world powers and Iran was to delay and hopefully to stop Iran's clandestine efforts to develop atomic weapons can now be cautiously optimistic that the mission has been accomplished. -Kambiz Zarrabi 7/23/15

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and UN Resolution 2231: The winners and the losers - The dust has settled and the long-awaited agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany) called "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" (JCPOA) is now a reality. The JCPOA curtails Iran's nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. Also real is the UN Resolution 2231, which terminates all the previous sanctions resolutions against Iran passed by the United Nations Security Council. We can now announce the winners and losers in the 36-year battle between Iran and its adversaries. -Sasan Fayazmanesh 7/23/15

Iran, Europe finalize $2B of projects: $178B more to go - Iran and the EU have opened a conference on trade and investment in Vienna, with Iranian officials pledging to splash out more than $180 billion on oil and gas projects. 7/23/15

UN Petition Seeks To Win Tehran Reporter's Release - The Washington Post filed an urgent petition July 22 with the United Nations for the release of the newspaper's jailed Tehran correspondent, Jason Rezaian, on the anniversary of his arrest in Iran. The reporter faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted in Iran on charges of espionage and anti-government propaganda -- charges which he and his family vehemently deny. 7/23/15

Turkey Allegedly Had Role in Helping Iran Dodge Sanctions - More details are emerging about the role Turkey has allegedly been playing in assisting Iran to dodge international sanctions involving the trading of gold by an Iranian businessman that Turkey's president once dubbed a philanthropist. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA 7/23/15

Iranian teachers arrested as forces bust protest at Parliament - Teachers' efforts to stage demonstrations on Wednesday July 22 were unsuccessful; however, it appears that their protests have reached the ears of MPs, who have reacted to their demands in Parliament. 7/23/15

Can Washington Meet Iran's Deepest Challenge--to US Hegemony in the Middle East? - Comments abound on Obama's achievement in reaching an agreement with Iran on nuclear issues. For a predictable minority it's not an achievement at all but a terrible setback. Most criticism focuses on the challenge of possible Iranian cheating. That misses the big picture: is Washington itself able to deal with an ascendant Iran--much like the challenge of an ascendant China? -Graham E. Fuller, LobeLog 7/23/15

Iran's Economy after the Nuclear Deal - The critics of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed last week between the Western powers and Iran cite the potential benefits of the agreement for Iran as the main reason why it is bad for the US and its allies in the Middle East. They're wrong, however, that the extra economic resources flowing to Iran as a result of lifting sanctions will empower it to expand its influence, destabilize the region, and to undermine Western interests. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani 7/23/15

Iranian Vets Also Push for Nuclear Deal - In hundreds of interviews with veterans in Iran from all political stripes, I heard the constant refrain that "war is horrible." Even for those who hold hardline views against the west, none of them wanted their children to experience what they had. Given Secretary Kerry's remarks, in the end, it seems to be the men on both the American and Iranian sides who experienced bloody wars firsthand, that wanted to most avoid a new conflict. -Narges Bajoghli 7/22/15

Anti-Iran Deal AIPAC Spin-off Relies on Iranian Ex-Terrorist Group - When the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) declared war on the nuclear accord between Iran and world powers signed last week in Vienna, it put its money where its mouth is. AIPAC, Washington's most influential pro-Israel lobby reportedly plans on spending $20 million over the next two months urging Congress to vote against the deal. -Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib 7/22/15

IAAB's Camp Ayandeh Turns 10! - Since 2006, Camp Ayandeh, through a positive and inclusive environment, has developed leadership skills and built a strong network of Iranian American students. The Summer Leadership Institute sponsored by the Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) will celebrate the 10th annual Camp Ayandeh between July 18th to July 27th at Cabrini College outside of Philadelphia. 7/22/15

Security Council adopts resolution endorsing Iran nuclear deal - The United Nations Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a monitoring system for Iran's nuclear programme and considering the "eventual removal" of all nuclear-related sanctions against the country. 7/21/15

The Nuclear Agreement; Fantasies vs Facts - But how the Iranians view this agreement and how it is being viewed in the United States tell two very different stories. And this difference should be of great interest and concern to the Iranians, much more so than to the American public, as events begin to unfold. _Kam Zarrabi 7/20/15

Historical background of the Caspian Sea as a legal point in favor of Iran - A review of the last rounds of negotiations between Iran and the other Caspian littoral states, including the deliberations made and decisions adopted in the several summit meetings of the Caspian states, reveal that Iran has failed to persuade the other Caspian states to consider a fair and equitable share for Iran (at least 20 percent) of the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba 7/20/15

Tehran Professor: Iran's Anti-Americanism Has Run Its Course - An outspoken Tehran University academician said anti-American ideology under the slogan "Death to America" is at a dead end in Iran. Political science professor Sadeq Zibakalam said in an exclusive interview with VOA that because of changes that have occurred in Iran in recent years, "we are observing the sunset of 'Death to America.' -Isabela Cocoli, VOA 7/19/15

Iran Deal: Avoiding the Fate of Sisyphus - The 5+1 negotiating team and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, much like Sisyphus in Greek mythology, have pushed the burden of mutual understanding on Iran's nuclear program to the hilltop. Now they see if they can avoid Sisyphus' fate and keep the agreement from slipping back into failure. Those of us who can only watch the process should realize that the various restraints on Iran are not the core of the issues that will now occupy the administration and Congress. -Charles Naas 7/18/15

The Nuclear Deal With Iran And The Prospect Of Regional Transformation - We have been witnessing the ever intensifying catastrophic news of repetitive costly policies, military failures and human loss and despairs from southwest Asia aka the Middle East for the past few decades. However, the long much anticipated historic nuclear accord between the 5+1 countries spearheaded by Iran and the U.S., the fortuitous fruit of the longest diplomatic brinkmanship ever, is now poised to set a new milestone for non-confrontation and dialogue over war the progressive ramifications of which will be internationally reverberated for decades to come. -Rachel Eliasi Kohan 7/18/15

The Nuclear Deal and Expunging Iran's Historical Ghosts - Amid the cacophony regarding what's next or what the nuclear agreement will or will not do, however, it is also important to reflect on the negotiations themselves and what they have already accomplished for Iran, a country besieged by the ghosts of many problem-ridden negotiations with the outside world in the past. -Farideh Farhi 7/17/15

100-Plus Former U.S. Ambassadors Applaud Iran Deal - As the controversy over the Iran deal heats up--and it's going to get a lot hotter, especially come September--more than 100 former U.S. ambassadors have signed on to a letter drafted by The Iran Project applauding what they characterized as a "landmark agreement" and urging its support by Congress. -Jim Lobe, LobeLog 7/17/15

What the Nuclear Deal Says about Iran's Politics and Society - In the aftermath of the recent nuclear accord on Iran's nuclear program, it is important to understand correctly the Islamic Republic's motives for signing the deal with the United States (and the other P5+1 countries) and the factors that enabled the Iranian negotiators to reach an agreement. Without such an understanding, the United States will continue to make policy toward Iran on the basis of previous assumptions about the country. -Shireen T. Hunter 7/16/15

Iran Deal: Key Excerpts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - In the interests of providing information that can promote hopefully rational debate on a key issue, we are presenting below "key excerpts" of the JCPOA announced today in Vienna as released by the State Department. -Jim Lobe 7/15/15

What The Nuclear Deal Means For Iranians - After feeling the pinch of economic sanctions for years, ordinary Iranians appear eager to soon see the benefits of this week's landmark nuclear deal. Many believe that more international cooperation will bring improved economic conditions, new business opportunities, and better ties with Western countries. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 7/15/15

Call for Submissions: 2016 Nowruz Banner Contest - Farhang Foundation is calling on aspiring and veteran graphic artists to submit original designs that conceptualize Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) or some other aspect of Iranian culture. Eligible designs will be considered as the central artwork featured on street banners and other marketing material that will proudly promote Farhang's 8th Annual Nowruz Celebration at LACMA throughout prominent boulevards of Los Angeles in March 2016. 7/13/15

Longest Iran bridge to reach Qeshm Island - Iran is building its longest cross-sea bridge, linking the Qeshm island in the Persian Gulf to its coast in Bandar Abbas to join a transit corridor which stretches all the way up to the Caspian Sea and the Central Asia. 7/10/15

Overwhelming Expert Consensus Favors Agreement with Iran - There is an overwhelming consensus among non-proliferation, nuclear policy, and national security experts that a negotiated accord is the best, and likely the only, way to ensure that Iran never builds a nuclear weapon. But you would not know that if you relied on congressional hearings or most media coverage of the negotiations. -Joe Cirincione, LobeLog 7/6/15

Grassroots Groups Representing Millions of Americans Urge Congress to Support an Iran Deal - NIAC Action signed a letter sent today by grassroots organizations representing millions of Americans urging Congress to support a strong final nuclear deal with Iran. "Every single poll shows that the American public supports an Iran deal and yet Congress seems hellbent on voting to kill it," said NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi. 6/30/15

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last updated on Fri Jul 31 14:59:20 GMT 2015