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The Iranist
Week of June 3rd
Quote of the week
“The world must understand that the United States will act decisively if necessary, including with military action, to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.” 
Hillary Clinton, during her foreign policy speech
Guess who’s back, back again?
Pragmatist Ali Larijani won a third term with 237 votes as speaker of Iran’s 290-seat Majlis (parliament). Reformist Mohammad Reza Aref of Tehran’s “List of Hope” withdrew his name after the first round of voting. Larijani’s role as speaker is seen as boost to President Hassan Rouhani’s push to open Iran to the world economy post-nuclear deal.
Two reformists of Sunni background were also elected in the parliament’s 12-member governing board. This is a first for the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

Also, here's how Iranian conservatives seized Assembly of Experts chairmanship.

Sorry, no Hajj this year
Tehran announced it wouldn’t allow Iranian citizens to travel to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in September. The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam. A Muslim must undertake a pilgrimage at least once in their life, unless they are financially or physically unable to fulfill this obligation.
Saeed Ohadi, the head of the Hajj and Pilgrimage organization, claimed there were a number of obstacles that hindered negotiations. This included too much time spent discussing electronic visas; the presence of Iranian flags for pilgrims to recognize their groups; restrictions on Iranian physicians accompanying the pilgrims and the amount of medicine brought; and a ban on Iranians holding any public Shiite ceremonies.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir denounced Tehran’s demands. He said, “Iran has demanded the right to organize... demonstrations and to have privileges... that would cause chaos during Hajj. This is unacceptable. This year, Iran refused to sign the memorandum. It is very negative if Iran's intention from the start was to maneuver and find excuses, in order to prevent its citizens from performing the Hajj. If it is about measures and procedures, I think we have done more than our duty to meet those needs, but it is the Iranians who have rejected things.”

Meanwhile, Iran says Saudi Arabia is the “biggest sponsor of terrorism” in Iraq and elsewhere.

A suggestion: Keeping Tehran and Riyadh from war and getting them to talk.

Big Brother is watching
Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace has given foreign messaging apps a year to transfer all data on Iranian users to servers inside the country. Since Twitter, Facebook, and Whatsapp are already blocked, the new rules seemed to be targeting Telegram, a popular messaging app with 20 million users in Iran.
In October 2015, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov Tweeted about growing pressure from the Iranian government: “Iranian officials want to use @telegram to spy on their citizens. We cannot and will not help them with that.”
Already many expressed their concern on social media. Even the Committee to Protect Journalists noted Telegram’s security flaws put activists and journalists at risk

Cannes Controversy
Since Oscar award-winning director Asghar Farhadi won two prizes at Cannes Film Festival for “The Salesman,” two of his stars have come under scrutiny. Iranians criticized actor Shahab Hosseini on social media for claiming he wanted to dedicate his best actor award to the 12th Shiite Imam, despite saying at Cannes it was dedicated to the Iranian people. It’s unclear whether or not he was pressured by Iranian officials.
Similarly, actress Taraneh Alidoost’s bare arm during a news conference in Tehran caught the attention of hardliners for having a ‘woman power’ tattoo. Hardliners criticized Alidoost alleging the symbolism meant she was in favor of abortion rights and against family values, despite being married and with a daughter. In a series of Tweets, Alidoost said, “Keep calm and YES I’m a feminist.” She also added, “Feminism doesn’t mean antiman or antifamily. Feminism means that each human aside from his or her gender has the right to an individuality and according to that, to choose the life that she or he wants.”
Other stories that made headlines

Human rights
Mine workers flogged over protests.

Iran arrests 8 people for making 'obscene' music videos.

'Islamic' chair cover gets Iranian activist Shadi Sadr in trouble.
Foreign Minister Zarif says Iran is ready to hold human rights talks with the EU.
What do political prisoners say about the 1979 Revolution?
Khomeini grandson defends decades-old mass political executions.
The cost of discrimination — in Iran, in South Africa, everywhere.
Domestic politics
At least 50 websites belonging to Iran's Foreign Ministry were hacked.
Iranians in uproar over executive pay at state-owned company.
Iran has a drug problem, and young, well-educated women are biggest victims.

Former President Ahmadinejad's luxury car legacy.

Khomeini’s grandson says there is more to Islam than hijab.
Foreign policy
Ex-Mossad chief: Iran isn't an existential threat.
Israel arrests correspondent for Iran’s Arabic language television, Al-Alam.
Recently freed Greek prisoner says 4 Iranian diplomats alive in Israeli jail.
Is Iran about to cut Muqtada al-Sadr loose?
Saudi Arabia slams Iran's role in Iraq as 'unacceptable'.
Bahrain upholds sentences for five convicted of spying for Iran.
Iraqi Sunni politicians reject visit by Iran's Qassem Soleimani to Fallujah.
Iran-led push to retake Fallujah from ISIS worries U.S.
What was Mullah Mansour doing in Iran?
Iran's 'marriage of convenience' with Taliban.
Iran Deal
Foreign Minister Zarif rejects Donald Trump vow to renegotiate Nuclear Deal.
Iran Deal convinced Trump to run, according to his son.
How Hillary Clinton will squander the nuclear deal with Iran.

Most U.S. states have sanctions against Iran. Here’s why that’s a problem.
Iran appeals to U.S. to ease up on European finances for trade.
The Iran nuclear deal: Prelude to proliferation in the Middle East?
Burns to Al-Monitor: 'No illusions' about nuclear diplomacy with Iran.
NPR ombudsman has issues with funding by Ploughshares.

State Department admits deleting footage from briefing, which mentions secret talks.

Oil and trade
Tehran faces financial hurdles for Airbus orders.
Iran to sign $3 billion power plant deal with Turkish companies.
Norway’s Hemla Vantage closes in on $600 million Iran gas joint venture.
Iran plans June oilfield tenders for international companies.
EU eyes return as Iran’s first trade partner.
U.S. subpoenas Huawei over its dealings in Iran and North Korea.
Germany to build 10 five-star hotels in Iran.

Iran finds new port partner in India.

Art and Culture
EDDY Award Finalist (Vote now): Devouring Tradition at Persian New Year.
Putting Persian food on the menu.
Persian hospitality with dash of Italian: Iranian family opens pizzeria.
Sotheby’s Deputy Chairman reflects on 1970s Iranian art and culture scene.
After nuclear deal, Iranian art auction sees $7.4 million in sales.
Where did Iran get its military arms over the last 70 years?

Iran volleyball team overwhelms China 3-2 in Rio 2016 qualifier.
Iran defeats Lebanon in 2016 WABA Championship.
Nose jobs, tummy tucks and breast enhancements are big in Iran.
An intrepid Iranian adventurer has travelled around the world on her motorcycle.
An American in Iran: Why you should go and what you need to know.
...تا هفته بعد
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