A weekly newsletter on all things Iran.
The Iranist
Week of January 27th

“This ruthless regime continues to deny you your freedom. It prevents thousands of candidates from competing in elections, it steals money from your poor to fund a mass murderer like [Syrian President Bashar] Al-Assad. By calling daily for Israel's destruction, the regime hopes to instill hostility between us. This is wrong. We are your friend, not your enemy.”

        – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuin video addressed to Iranian people

Donald Trump and Netanyahu discussed the perceived threat of Iran by phone (Wall Street Journal).

 Domestic Affairs

State media did not broadcast Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, but many Iranians tuned in on illegal satellite dishes (The Guardian). Much of state media was covering the Plasco building collapse, although PressTV broadcasted the inauguration live online. The following day, on January 21, state newspapers wasted no time weighing in on the Trump presidency (Al-Monitor).

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said Tehran doesn’t have an immediate pronouncement on Trump (AP). Bahram Ghasemi told reporters on Monday that it’s “too soon to assess [Trump] and analyze his remarks, stance and the framework of his viewpoints.”

With Trump now president, some Iranians realize that “Obama was a great opportunity for Iran that is now gone.” (Al-Monitor)

Updates on Plasco building collapse:

Rescuers found the bodies of two firefighters in the Plasco buildings rubble (AP). At least 30 firefighters were killed.

Why did the Tehran fire department fail to control the Plasco building fire? (IranWire)

Trauma and solidarity: How firefighters support each other worldwide (IranWire).

 Foreign Policy

After two days of talks in Astana, the governments of Iran, Russia, and Turkey agreed to enforce a partial ceasefire in Syria (New York Times). The three powers plan to establish a system to enforce and monitor the almost month-old ceasefire, but didn’t explain in detail how they would do it. Neither the Syrian government nor rebels signed the agreement, both parties expressed reservations. This is the first time in nine months that the Syrian government and rebels met. Not present at the talks were Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, YPG, and ISIS.

Meanwhile, President Hassan Rouhani met with Kuwait’s foreign minister in Tehran and discussed improving ties between Iran and its Gulf Arab neighbors (AP). The Iranian president told Kuwait’s Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah that his country’s foreign policy is to improve “friendly and brotherly” relations with Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Rouhani added that cooperation is needed to fight terrorism.

Kuwait recalled its ambassador last January following attacks on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad. The Kuwaiti embassy still functions.

Glad to see Obama go, Gulf Arabs expect Trump to counter Iran (Reuters).

Will Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s death draw Iran and Egypt farther apart? (Al-Monitor)

Trump's possible ban on seven Muslim countries:
Donald Trump plans to sign an Executive Order banning refugees and visa holders from Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States (NBC). Countries considered for ban: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.
The National Iranian American Council explains what the ban means for Iranians and Muslims (NIAC).
Iranians are no strangers to a U.S. ban, but the Trump era is different (CNN).
One of the stars of “The Salesman” protests Oscars over ban (See CARTOON OF THE WEEK).


A new poll shows that 77.5 percent of Iranians are not confident the United States will hold up to its side of the nuclear deal (Al-Monitor). The poll conducted in December by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and also showed that 72.6 percent of Iranians said their economy had not improved despite sanctions relief.

Trump's Iran Deal options: Why renegotiation is better than repudiation (Foreign Affairs).

Israel’s security establishment recommends Trump not touch the Iran Deal (Al-Monitor).


This month, Europe is expected to import more Iranian crude than it has in about five years (Bloomberg). Imports will reach 622,581 bpd in January, the largest flows for a single month since November 2011, according to ship-tracking and European Union data. This is a sign Tehran is finally regaining its share that was lost under sanctions.

Tehran welcomes Russia’s participation in the $2.5 billion construction of a pipeline to transfer Iranian gas to Europe (PressTV). The IGAT-9 pipeline will connect the South Pars gas field to Europe via Turkey.


A five-year prison sentence for a British-Iranian woman was upheld in an appeals court (The Guardian). Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is currently imprisoned in the women’s ward of Evin Prison on unspecified charges related to Iranian national security. She was a project manager at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the news agency’s charitable arm. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained in April 2016 while on a family visit to Iran with her toddler, Gabriella, who remains in Tehran under the care of her grandparents after Iranian authorities seized her British passport. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard, claims his wife is being used as a pawn in political dealings with the United Kingdom.

There is a petition calling for Nazanin’s release ( It has already accumulated over 850,000 signatures.

President Rouhani must act against imprisonment of dual nationals (ICHRI).


Jamie Coe illustrates Oscar-nominated "The Salesman" for the New Yorker. Pictured: Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) and Emad (Shahab Hosseini).

Oscar-award winning director Asghar Farhadi nominated for Best Foreign Language Film again (Vulture).

Hardliners wasted no time criticizing Farhadi in the media (IranWire).

Taraneh Alidoosti, the actress in "The Salesman," joins voices condemning Donald Trump’s reported plans for ban on people from Muslim countries (The Guardian). Alidoosti posted on Instagram and Twitter, “Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest.”

+ Intelligence agents arrest filmmaker Saleh Deldan and journalist Zeynab Karimian.
+ Civil rights activist sentenced to seven years in prison at 10-minute mass trial, released.
+ Ailing British-Iranian grandpa serving 7-year prison sentence denied medical leave.
+ Poet charged with spreading ‘propaganda’ after posting photo of beaten colleague.
+ Shiraz University bans Baha’i student, Nazanin Nikouseresht.
+ Iranian university conceals evidence of expelling Baha’i students for religious beliefs.

+ Journalist demands apology after being branded a “traitor”.
+ Iranian directors decry censorship after minister bans films from Tehran Fajr Festival.
+ Hardliners pressuring Rouhani to ban popular Telegram app, this time for 2017 election.

+ Saving the children of prisoners from victimhood.

+ Iran rejects UK official’s remarks on human rights record.


+ 70 percent of Iranians dissatisfied with President Rouhani on democracy and civil rights.
+ Why the death of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani could strengthen its reformists.

+ Who will replace Rafsanjani as chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council?
+ Could a hardline woman challenge Rouhani in Iran's presidential vote?
+ Iranian lawmaker claims country’s missile development program a redline.
+ Debate over sterilizing homeless women addicts resurfaces in Iran.

+ Iran’s cartoon goons: Behind the scenes of the Holocaust Cartoons Exhibition.


+ Foreign policy disaster: Trump team threatens world security by escalating against Iran.
+ Iran and Saudi Arabia struggle to reconcile differences.
+ Osama Bin Laden once worried that Iran put tracking chip in sons.


+ Trump is an avowed enemy of the Iran Deal, but tearing it up is easier said than done.
+ Senators Rubio, Young, and Cornyn reintroduce Iran Non-Nuclear Sanctions Act.


+ Tehran sees oil partnership potential with Trump.

+ How large will the smart metering market in Iran be over the next ten years
+ Iran’s 11-month oil export to Turkey hits 5.6 million tons.
+ Tehran to pay $1.9 billion to Turkey for gas dispute from 2012.

+ Ibrahim Morady: The carpet dealer who helped fool the Nazis.

+ Sardari, the Iranian Muslim who saved Jews from the Holocaust.

+ There’s a graphic novel on Operation Ajax, the coup that overthrew PM Mossadegh.


+ Craft and Folk Art Museum hosts look at Iranian art culture and heritage.


+ Iranian soccer players face intensified crackdown.

...تا هفته بعد
Something we missed? Have an event?
Email us:
Copyright © 2017 The Iranist, All rights reserved.
The Iranist doesn't share information with third parties.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
The Iranist · - · -, CA 91343 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp