A weekly newsletter on all things Iran.
The Iranist
Week of August 5th
“The nuclear deal, as an experience, once again proved the pointlessness of negotiating with the Americans, their bad promises and the need not to trust America’s promises.”

                            – Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during a speech

“If the Americans had implemented [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] accurately and with good intentions and prevented the obstruction and slowdowns that we are seeing today, we would have had confidence in them,” Rouhani said. “We would have been ready to negotiate with them on other issues that would have been in the interests of the region, America, us and others.”

                            – President Hassan Rouhani, during the Iranian State of the Union
 Domestic Politics
Iranian media revealed state recruitment exams have gender quotas that are heavily in favor of men. President Hassan Rouhani ordered a delay in the exams for Iranians seeking government jobs, and asked the process be reviewed to ensure it was consistent with gender-inclusive policies. He also criticized the “culture of sexual discrimination” within the country and promised to provide more rights and equal opportunities for women. Thousands of Iranians were enrolled to take the test next month for some 3,000 jobs in the state sector, which included roles for computer programmers, nurses, prison guards, and teachers.
 Foreign Policy
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Paris with Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group. The meeting comes weeks after former director of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, attended an MEK rally and called for the overthrow of the Iranian government. Tehran is one of the main sponsors of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA’s) rivals for power in Gaza and the West Bank. According to Fars News Agency, the meeting was condemned by a coalition of Palestinian groups. Many thought the Saudi government organized the meeting.

Valiolla Nanvakenari, a member of Iran’s parliament and National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said, “Backing the terrorist group in any sort by any institution or country whatsoever runs counter to international norms and regulations and draws the Iranian people’s ire.” He added, “How can a terrorist (Maryam Rajavi) help resolve the problem of Palestine which has been a target for terrorist attacks, and moreover MEK members cooperate with the Zionist regime?”
 Iran Deal
The Wall Street Journal revealed the Obama administration paid $400 million in cash to the Iranian government just as four American detainees were released. The money was part of the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 revolution. The amount was flown on an unmarked cargo plane to Iran. Since U.S. sanctions prevent dollar transactions with Tehran, it was paid in euros, Swiss francs, and other currencies. However, there's more to the story since the released American detainees were in fact part of a prisoner swap

The White House denied the Republican party’s accusation that it paid Tehran cash as ransom for the four Americans. While republican presidential nominee Donald Trump repeated a falsehood about a tape showing cash delivered to Iran.

Meanwhile, American-made planes granted "temporary sojourn" in Iran by U.S. Treasury Department. Even though something is holding up Iran's big airplane deals.
Uncertainty of a possible Donald Trump presidency and Brexit are causing foreign investors to think twice about doing business with Tehran. Even after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was ratified, Iran's inability to gain full access to the global financial system continues to cause issues at home. Another important issue is that next year is the Iranian presidential election. Pragmatist President Rouhani's ability to win a second term also proves to be a gamble for investors.

An Iranian official explained, “Iran will continue to work with small banks, institutions as long as major European banks are reluctant to return to Iran.” U.S. banks are unable to conduct business with Iran due to U.S. sanctions, and European banks are reluctant due to hefty fines for violating U.S. financial sanctions. One of the main problems European banks face is the inability to transact in U.S. dollars with Tehran.

In an attempt to attract Western investors, Iran approved new oil-field contracts. The terms were not disclosed. They still need to pass through parliament and be signed by Speaker Ali Larijani. Oil production was 3.55 million barrels per a day in July, the highest it has been since December 2011.
 Social Media
A British porn star traveled to Iran to get a nose job. 27-year-old Candy Charms posted about her visit to Tehran, without realizing she would receive an incredible amount of attention—both encouraging and disparaging—from Iranians on social media. In an interview, she explained, “I loved the people and it's a shame that it has had such a negative effect as I would have liked to return!”

Here is the original deleted post:
Meanwhile, “My Stealthy Freedom” is posting photos of men wearing hejab—the Islamic head cover for women—as a show of solidarity for the everyday plight of Iranian women. It hasn’t caught on like wildfire as portrayed in some media reports. An online search reveals only a few dozen posts.

Also, why are so many Iranians suddenly saying “I'm a pimp”? (Technically it’s translated as cuckold.)
Human rights

Hanging of teenager shows Iranian authorities’ brazen disregard for international law.
At least 10 Sunni prisoners hanged in Rajaee Shahr Prison despite unfair trial claims.
British-Iranian mother imprisoned in Iran makes first court appearance.
Christian convert Maryam Zargaran on hunger strike for four-year prison sentence.
Iranian hackers have compromised more than a dozen accounts on Telegram.
Is sending a romantic text a crime in Iran?

Foreign policy
Iran rejects UK claims of sending arms to Yemen.
Tehran says United Nations betrayed Yemeni children by not blacklisting Saudi Arabia.
How to kick-start Iran-U.S. regional cooperation.
Iranian general possibly wounded by Israel or rebels during Syria visit.
Tehran says it will support any solution approved by the Syrians.
Iraqi defense minister hails Iran’s “continuous support” for Iraq in the war against ISIS.
Why was Tehran so quick to rally behind Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan?
Tehran still holds Riyadh responsible for last year’s Mecca stampede.
Iranian Army Ground Force unveiled a drone for jamming and deception operations.
Citizen Lab reveals Iranian link in hack attempt on Syrian dissident.
Ukraine ambassador pledges push to lift visa requirements for Iranians.
Long road ahead for Iran’s bid to join World Trade Organization.
Why Iran’s property market is unlikely to boom anytime soon.
Japan plans to invest $10 billion in various Iranian economic sectors.
Iran and Georgia sign four-month contract to export Iranian gas.
Arts and culture
Indie rock musician Ali Azimi: 'It's heartbreaking that I can't perform in Iran'.
Bringing the horror film industry to the Middle East.
Indiegogo for play based on The Little Black Fish, an Iranian children story.

Cambridge photojournalist challenges perceptions of Iranian women in exhibit.

Treasury Department official key in negotiations during Iran Hostage Crisis, dies.
How two enemy soldiers in the Iran-Iraq War saved each other’s lives decades later.
Funerals held in Iran for remains found belonging to 127 soldiers of the Iran-Iraq War.
Tehran’s American friend: William Morgan Shuster (Part I).
An American with Iran against the Russian Empire (Part II).

Science and environment
The salty waters of Iran’s Lake Urmia recently morphed from a deep green to a rich red.
Sand storms turn some regions in Iran into “hell”.
Iranian-Swedish mathematician wins European Mathematical Society Prize.
Entrepreneur Roxanne Varza builds the world’s largest tech campus in Paris.
Space image of northeastern Iran looks like a work of art.
Iran’s 2016 Olympic uniform controversy continues.
Iran wins gold at World Youth Chess Olympiad.
Three Iranians and two Iraqi illegal immigrants arrested in the UK.
...تا هفته بعد
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