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A weekly newsletter on all things Iran.
The Iranist
Week of November 4th
QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“These two candidates show the catastrophic reality which goes beyond what even we were saying… Their statements are proof of the destruction of human values in the United States.

   – Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the U.S. presidential election


(Khamenei also said he watched the debates and that the two presidential candidates’ comments were “sufficient for the annihilation of the reputation of the United States.")


LONG LIVE CYRUS!
FILED UNDER:
 Domestic Politics

On October 28th, a gathering of thousands of Iranians at the tomb of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae caused controversy (IranWire). The people were there to celebrate Cyrus the Great Day, causing a 30-40 km traffic jam in the area. It was said to be the largest gathering they’ve had in years. Videos released on social media show the crowd chanting, “Cyrus is our father, Iran is our country!” Then they started criticizing the Islamic Republic: “Freedom of thought cannot flow from beards!” “I am Iranian; I do not worship the Arabs!” “Not Gaza nor Lebanon; My life for Iran!” and “Never sleep Cyrus; Iran has no father!” The last chant was in reference to the Shah’s statement during the 2,500th anniversary of the monarchy at the same location in 1971: “Sleep in peace Cyrus, for we are awake.”

Iranians chanting at Pasagardae

Hardline Grand Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani condemned the celebration and labeled those who took part as “counter-revolutionary” (Reuters). On October 29th, Shiraz’s prosecutor announced the organizers of the gathering were arrested and would be prosecuted for violating “values” of the Islamic Republic and chanting nationalistic slogans based on pre-Islamic ideals. A judicial official said the organizers had been under surveillance by intelligence for some time.

Amongst those arrested was Iranian actor and poet Mohammad Reza Ali Payam. He was badly beaten during the arrest and was hospitalized. After several interrogations, the actor was released. Payam has been arrested twice in the past for speaking out against corruption and injustice in Iran. In March, he was released after spending 10 months at Evin Prison.

What is it about Harvard that impels its people to produce pseudo-scholarly non-facts about Iran? (LobeLog).

Vote of confidence for President Hassan Rouhani’s three new ministers (IranWire).

Also, a former Iranian prosecutor and serial human rights abuser was sentenced to 135 lashes for corruption (The Guardian).


DID HE OR DIDN'T HE?
FILED UNDER:
 Foreign Policy

Iran’s only Jewish member of parliament denied being interviewed by an Israeli radio station after it aired (Times of Israel). In an English-language radio interview on Sunday, Siamak Moreh Sedgh said, “Iran does not want to start a war against Israel, because they know that everyone who starts a war in the Middle East is doing suicide.” Sedgh also added that he believed the Iranian government is “healthy and wise enough to avoid a war with Israel.”

After the Times of Israel reported the story, within hours, MP Sedgh denied the interview happened. He told Fars News Agency, “I have had no interview with the Israeli Radio and deny both the report and the interview.” He added that, “I do not answer phone calls and questions from the Zionist media because they are not the creatures that we want to answer.”

All Iranian factions hail Lebanon’s election of a new Marronite Christian president after two years (Al-Monitor).
 
What exact role is Tehran playing in the Mosul offensive (Christian Science Monitor)?
 
Can Iran pull Turkey and Iraq away from brink of war (Al-Monitor)?
 
Meanwhile, the EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini was in Tehran to discuss the Syria conflict (PressTV).
 


DIVISION OVER SANCTIONS
FILED UNDER:
 IRAN DEAL

Congress is divided over the best approach in renewing restrictions on Iran’s missile and nuclear activities (Washington Post). At the end of the year, the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) expires. U.S. lawmakers are keen to make sure Washington can “snap back” punitive measures, but the White House fears Tehran could interpret this as a U.S. violation of the Iran Deal.

A deputy commander of the IRGC says Iran will “send nuclear deal to museum” if U.S. fails to keep its pledges (IRNA).

The Loretta Lynch story you’re seeing on the internet is mostly false (Snopes).
 
Why is Washington stalling on Iran sanctions relief (Top Topic)?


OPEC DEADLOCK
FILED UNDER:
 Economy + Trade

Despite agreeing to an output cut in September, OPEC still can’t manage to get Tehran to cut production due to a data disagreement (Wall Street Journal). On Friday, an OPEC meeting at the organization’s Vienna headquarters ended in deadlock with Iran and Iraq disputing the data used to allocate production cuts. Both countries are keen about increasing output, which hurts OPEC’s proposal to slash production in order to increase oil prices. Neither country is ready to freeze production, mainly to address political concerns at home. Baghdad needs the money to fund its fight against ISIS, whereas Tehran seeks to reach its pre-sanctions output. The High Level Committee of Experts will meet again in Vienna on November 25th, before the next OPEC meeting on November 30th, during which individual quotas will be finalized.

OPEC still has a long way to go before it can get Iran to cut oil production (Al-Monitor).

Tehran’s crude oil export exceeds 2.44 million bpd, while output has neared 4 million bpd (PressTV).


IRAN HOSTAGE CRISIS
FILED UNDER:
 THIS DAY IN HISTORY

On November 4th, Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran (CNN). They took 52 American hostages for 444 days in what became known as the Iran Hostage Crisis. The Carter administration attempted a rescue mission in April 1980, known as Operation Eagle Claw, but it was aborted after a series of unfortunate events leading to the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen. The debacle was a major embarrassment for President Jimmy Carter and contributed to his exit from the White House after one term. Months of negotiations finally led to the hostages' release within hours of the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan on January 20, 1981.

Anti-U.S. talk dominates Iranian media on anniversary of hostage crisis (Al-Monitor).

To learn more about behind the scenes during the Iran Hostage Crisis, read Gary Sick’s All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter With Iran.

If you haven't already, watch "Argo".


CARTOON OF THE WEEK
Lebanon elected a new Maronite Christian president after 29 months. Michel Aoun is backed by Shiite Hezbollah, an ally of Iran. In this cartoon, Aoun's shadow is waving the victory sign while Saudi King Salman is rubbing his head in frustration.


OTHER NEWS THAT MADE HEADLINES
RIGHTS

The 4th anniversary of activist Sattar Beheshti's death.
 
Iran’s prosecutor general links Narges Mohammadi with “evil triangle” of nuclear deal.
 
Tricked into ending hunger strike, imprisoned music distributors resume quest for justice.
 
Mother who founded group memorializing 1988 summoned to court after flight ban.
 
Editor who exposed corruption in Tehran municipality remains detained despite evidence.
 
Pressured by hardliners, university forces former political prisoner out of teaching job.
 
Maryam Akbari-Monfared remains jailed two years after family posts $362,000 bail.
 
Killing Baha’is paves our way to paradise.
 
Iran's justice minister calls for fewer executions and changes to death penalty laws.
 
Call for Iran to release British-Iranians heats up as UK government petitioned.

DOMESTIC ISSUES

Does Iranian law consider the United States a hostile state?
 
Why Reformists have no choice but to back President Rouhani.
 
Iranian hardliner hints former President Ahmadinejad not completely out of the game.
 
Iran 'smart filters' 95 million explicit contents on Instagram.
 
Iran court issues verdict for suspects in Saudi embassy attack.
 
General says U.S. ‘can no longer manage’ Muslim world’s political, military development.
 
Untruths about Iran’s ballistic missiles and capability to produce chemical agents.
 
Iran ranks 118th of 149 on prosperity index.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Tehran denies U.S. accusation of Yemen arms shipments.
 
Iran's Red Crescent says humanitarian aid cargo shipment arrived in Yemen.
 
Israeli official says Iran commands 25,000 Shiite fighters in Syria.              
 
Tehran-backed Iraqi Shiite militias plan to fight alongside Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.
 
Iran vows full support for Iraq’s fight against terrorism.
 
Khamenei Cairo billboard removed following huge political outrage.
 
Tehran announced 100+ foreign firms registered to take part in air show next month.

IRAN DEAL + SANCTIONS

Iran accuses Europe of not fully supporting nuclear deal.
 
Greece defies EU, U.S. on sanctions for Iran’s Bank Saderat.

+ Two California men tried to export military parts to Iran.

U.S. treasurer in Israel for talks on Iran sanctions.
 
Swiss attorney general halts Iran talks suspected espionage case at hotel.


ECONOMY + TRADE

The billion-dollar gold rush to tap into Iranian oil.
 
Iran eyes new oil buyers as Asia remains linchpin.
  
Tehran to host International Energy Expo.
 
A frustrated Europe hopes a Hillary Clinton win can spur elusive Iran deals.

UK pressing wary banks to deepen trade deals with Iran.
 
Austrian bank plans to open branch in Iran.
 
Western telecoms and media groups look to strike deals in Iran.

+ Qatar's Abu Issa Holding to enter Iran retail market in 2017.
 
Why Iranian companies need to work with international lawyers.

ARTS + CULTURE

Collector’s desert odyssey in the footsteps of O’Keeffe.

HISTORY

The 1953 coup: what secrets remain?

DIASPORA
 
Moving from Tehran to Arlington wasn't easy. But there's no going back.
 
SCIENCE + ENVIRONMENT

Sanctions threaten Iran’s efforts to prevent climate change.

SPORTS

+ Iran wins five medals at Karate World Championships.
 
Iranian wrestlers get two medals in World University Wrestling Championship.
 
Coach Carlos Queiroz's Iran close in on history.

OTHER

Check out the Sabzeemoji, a keyboard app and Iranian must-have!
 
One traveler’s tale of sexual harassment in Iran.
 
Heena Sidhu pulls out of shooting championship in Iran due to compulsory hijab rule.

EVENTS
...تا هفته بعد
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