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The Iranist
Week of November 20th

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Nous sommes unis  
President Hassan Rouhani postponed his Europe trip after the Paris attacks. Condemning the deadly incident, the Iranian president had these words for his French counterpart François Hollande: “In the name of the Iranian people, who have themselves been victims of terrorism, I strongly condemn these crimes against humanity and offer my condolences to the grieving French people and government.”
On Saturday, Iranians showed solidarity by gathering in front of the French Embassy in Tehran. Dozens attended a candlelight vigil holding placards and laying flowers along the embassy’s wall. Their signs—in English, French, and Persian—said, “We stand by you” and “We are united.”
See more images from the French embassy.

Many Iranians reacted to the terrorist attacks on social media. Some users criticized Saudi Arabia and Western governments, including France, for “wrong policies” towards extremists in the Middle East. Following the trend of Western social media, many overlaid the French flag on their Facebook profile picture, while others called for showing sympathy to the victims of the recent Beirut bombing and other neighboring Arab countries like Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, Iran’s press showed a split over the attacks in France. Predictably  opinions were divided between hardliners and reformists. We definitely know what side the former are on: Propaganda video from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claims U.S. was behind Paris attacks.

Iran next on list for ISIS
Prior to the Paris incident, Iraqi intelligence services shared information that France, Iran and the United States were among countries to be targeted by ISIS, according to Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
Iran’s commander of the army ground forces said troops would take a “decisive response” if ISIS comes within 40 kilometers of the country’s borders with Afghanistan and Iraq. General Ahmad Reza Poudastan added that, “Today part of Daesh is in north Afghanistan and interested to approach Iran's border but the Iranian nation should rest assured that its sons in the army, the Guards, and police are ready. Before the enemy reaches borders, its actions will be neutralized.”
On Wednesday, the IRGC shutdown a terrorist cell with links to ISIS in the Kermanshah province near the border with Iraq. “The members were arrested in an operation and their weapons were confiscated,” the IRGC said in a statement.

Cry for France, go to jail
Cartoonist Hadi Heidari was arrested on Monday, only days after his solidary cartoon for the Paris attacks went viral. He was taken into custody from his office at Shahrvand newspaper by the IRGC’s intelligence unit. Heidari is now serving time at Evin Prison to complete a suspended jail sentence.

The cartoonist’s arrest comes at a time when hardliners in the government are cracking down on what they deem to be “Western infiltration”. Heidari also drew a cartoon in solidarity for the Beirut bombing.

Telegram spreads “immoral” values
Iranian authorities arrested administrators of more than 20 groups on the messaging app Telegram for spreading “immoral content”. According to the IRGC, the users were sharing texts and images that consisted of “satire and sexual advice” and insulted Iranian officials.
In recent weeks, the IRGC have called on the government to block Telegram, but was rejected by Iran’s Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content. However, the committee has set a deadline for Telegram to adopt Iran’s Islamic regulations. For the time being, Tehran reportedly has someone dedicated to monitor and block immoral content on the app.
Not surprising, Iran is the second most censored country in the world.

If Golt and RoboCop had a baby
Iran reveals Sorena III, its latest humanoid robot. Before you get too excited, the robot only walks at 1 mph. Compared to today’s robots, his capabilities are pretty limited. Lame.
Other stories that made headlines
-- Largest mining exploration planned for Iran in twelve provinces.
-- Iranian official states its up to Bashar Al-Assad if he wants to run for office.
-- Iran started dismantling parts of its nuclear program at Natanz and Fordo.
-- United Nations General Assembly’s human rights committee condemns Iran’s rights record.
-- Fifteen members of the Baha’i faith have been arrested in several Iranian cities.
-- “Dear Iran, can I please come home?” Words echoed by many Iranian-Americans.
-- Video asks FIVB to ban Iran from hosting tournaments until women can attend.
-- Sketchy: Bank of Utah purchases another sanctioned aircraft with Iran ties.
-- Is Hassan Rouhani on his way to being a one-term president?
-- Iran intends to unify rial’s exchange rates with the dollar after nuclear deal.
-- Plans for new airlines to be launched: Tehran Air.
-- Israeli artist Ardyn Halter paints memories of his visit to 1970s Iran.
-- Wisconsin lawmakers propose Iran business prohibition.

-- Unveiled women drivers will be fined and their cars will be impounded.
-- Tehran to add 500k bpd to reclaim oil market after sanctions are lifted.
-- Bloomberg travels to Iran to see the secret Warhols.
-- Hardline ayatollah rejects meeting with culture minister over “too liberal” policies.
-- Iranian prisoners make everything from moonshine to electricity.


  • It's International Ghormeh Sabzi Day on November 28th! Take part by posting your pictures on social media with #InternationalGhormehSabziDay. *drools*
...تا هفته بعد
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