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The Iranist
Week of December 18th
Update on H.R. 158
H.R. 158 was expected to be voted on in the Senate early this week, but was added to the omnibus bill. The House of Representatives passed the $1.1 trillion dollar spending package that included the discriminatory visa waiver legislation today.
There is still time to voice your concern about the bill. The National Iranian American Council has a petition that contacts your senators directly. There is also a White House petition circulating that if receives 100k signatures, will force President Barack Obama to directly act upon H.R. 158—a bill he initially endorsed.
Here’s an updated FAQ on the discriminatory visa waiver bill.
IAEA closes Iran research
After twelve years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) closed its probe into whether Iran possessed nuclear weapons or as it’s called, “possible military dimensions” (PMD). Both Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif welcomed the closure, which allows the sanctions relief aspect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to be fulfilled in the coming weeks. “We can say with certainty that the fraudulent issue of PMD is a thing of the past,” said Zarif.
President Hassan Rouhani expects sanctions removal sometime in mid-January.

Pool for Supreme Leader
For the first time in the Islamic Republic’s history, the Assembly of Experts is examining the succession of Iran’s supreme leader. According to former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, "The Assembly of Experts will act when a new leader needs to be appointed. They are preparing for that now and are examining the options. They have appointed a group to list the qualified people that will be put to a vote (in the assembly) when an incident happens."
Cartoonist Mana Neyestani captures just how vigorous the process is to choose Iran’s next supreme leader.
No to U.S. products
This week, the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran issued a 227-item ban list on U.S. consumer goods. The list includes billiard tables, bottle openers, chewing gum, cigars, nail and shaving products, shuttlecocks, stamps, tanks, toilet paper, vinegar, etc. Even though sanctions prevent direct trade between the United States and Iran, last month Reza Nematzadeh of the Iranian Commerce and Industry Minister ordered a ban “to stop the entry of American consumer goods and to prohibit products that symbolize the presence of the United States in the country.”
Star Wars in Iran
In 1977, the first Star Wars film debuted in theaters. Here’s an ad for Episode IV: A New Hope at Tehran's Shahr-e Farang cinema.
Other stories that made headlines

-- Police enforces segregation of men and women at Iran’s ski slopes.

-- Editor at Ettela'at to face trial for publishing photo of former President Khatami.

-- CPJ’s annual report puts Iran as third worst country for imprisoning journalists.

-- PM David Cameron writes to President Rouhani over jailed British grandfather.

-- Gay Iranian poet flees persecution in Iran only to find himself in love with Israel.

-- Friends of imprisoned businessman say anonymous story endangered him.

-- In Iran, sharing photos on mobile apps can mean jail.

-- Iran complains to Nigeria over 'massacre' of sect loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini.

-- Report and denial that IRGC Commander Soleimani met Putin in Moscow.

-- Argentina abandons pact with Iran to investigate 1994 attack at Jewish center.

-- Don’t check your PayPal account—and other things to avoid in Iran.
-- Iran seizes thousands of cars for women's veil offences.
-- Tehran's air pollution hits worst level in months.
-- How one Iranian TV show is breaking censorship boundaries.
-- Partying in the desert in secret, while in Iran.
--Will Iran end the death penalty for drug smuggling?
-- Check out Gol Bezan, a podcast on Iranian football.

-- The six best things I ate in Iran.

-- Italian photographer takes a look inside the studios of Iran's artists.

-- Iran’s Sikhs get a better deal than many other minorities.


...تا هفته بعد

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