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Week of May 27th
Jannati surprise
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, 89, was chosen as the head of the recently elected Assembly of Experts. The 88-member assembly acts like the Vatican’s College of Cardinals; it helps elect the new supreme leader of Iran. Ayatollah Jannati is a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He has been critical of President Hassan Rouhani and very outspoken against the Iran Deal and rapprochement with the West.
 
President Rouhani called the Assembly of Experts an example of “religious democracy” and added that the people have chosen the individuals who will decide on the new supreme leader of Iran.
India invests in Iran
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Tehran for a two-day visit. It’s the first official trip by an Indian leader in a decade. The two countries signed 12 agreements, including a $500 million deal to build a strategic port in Chabahar that is expected to bypass Pakistan.
 
President Hassan Rouhani and his Indian counterpart also reached an agreement with visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on a "transit corridor" as part of the project.
 
Meanwhile, India's National Aluminum Co Ltd (NALCO) and Iran’s mining sector agreed to explore the possibility of building an aluminum smelter in Iran.
 
So, how significant is India's $500 million deal with Iran?
 
 

Taliban in Tehran?
When Taliban Leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone strike this week, he reportedly had been in Iran earlier that day before returning to Pakistan. Mansour and his driver were killed on the outskirts of Ahmad Wal, while traveling on the main highway connecting Quettathe capital of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan Provinceto Iran.
 
The Taliban spokesperson claims Mansour used a Pakistani passport to travel to the U.A.E. and Iran. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry announced that a passport found at the site of the attack had a valid Iranian visa.


Iran and the Taliban have been at each other's throats for decades, but ISIS has them teaming up like never before.


Cannes Gold
Oscar award-winning director Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” won two prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. Farhadi won the Palme d'Or for best screenplay while lead actor Shahab Hosseini won best actor. In his speech, Hosseini dedicated his prize to the Iranian people. “The Salesman” takes place during a production of “Death of a Salesman” by American playwright Arthur Miller.
 
While at the film festival, Farhadi spoke out about Iran’s mistreatment of those critical of the Iranian government through their work. He said, “Intellectuals have been so insulted and mistreated in my country. It embarrasses me no end. I’m very proud of [Abbas] Kiarostami and our poets and writers. They’re not bogged down in any way, that’s erroneous propaganda.” Fans greeted the cast and crew upon their return to Tehran.
 
In other news, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are in talks to star in Farhadi’s next film.
 
And here’s why ‘The Salesman’ signals a post nuclear deal cinematic resurgence in Iran.
Other stories that made headlines

Human and animal rights

Scientist Omid Kokabee has been temporarily released from prison.
 
Actress Nazanin Boniadi: Iran, free jailed British-Iranian mother.
 
Dad’s emotional birthday card appeal for West Hampstead toddler detained in Iran.
 
Iran publicly executes five Kurdish rights activists in Urmia.
 
Teachers' union leader warns of an intensifying harassment and imprisonment.
 
Political prisoners and the challenges of voting.
 
Top lawyer says clients subjected to arbitrary sentences and forced to confess.
 
Horror at Boumehen animal shelter attacked by arsonists.
 
 
Domestic politics
 
How Leonardo DiCaprio became unlikely champion in Iran.
 
Iran dismantles more than 20 terrorist groups in one year.
 
Graduation ceremony held for foreign students in Iran.
                        

Tehran accuses Israel of holding four Iranians who disappeared 34 years ago.
 
 
Foreign policy
 
U.S. seizure of Iranian assets may open old wounds.
 
Iran to renew financial support for Islamic Jihad after two-year hiatus.
 
Iran's defense minister: 'Zionist conspiracy' to blame for Iraq, Syrian conflicts.

Saudi Arabia and Iran agree on issuing electronic visas for Iranian pilgrims.

Has the Iran-Saudi cyberwar already started?

U.S. opposes $50 million bail for Turkish-Iranian gold trader.
 
Iraqis divided over Qassem Soleimani's role in their country.

IRGC advisor said Iran could “raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.”


Tehran accuses Israel of holding four Iranians who disappeared 34 years ago.

Iran recalled its ambassador to Nigeria over clashes between Shiites and army.


Iran Deal

IAEA says Tehran sticking to the Iran Deal.

Canadian citizen sentenced in U.S. for violating Iran sanctions.

Iran transfixed by U.S. election over fears of impact on nuclear deal.

J Street defends itself against charges it got paid to back Iran Deal.

Lawmakers press Obama officials on Iran nuclear deal.

'A kind of death': life on the U.S. Treasury blacklist.

Khamenei says Tehran forced world to strike Iran Deal, "after they saw Iran’s might".

Tehran still locked out of global financial system, says central bank chief.
 
Treasury chief warns even tightest U.S. policy can’t keep every dollar out of Tehran.
 
Is the Iran Deal unraveling? Think again.
 
 
Oil and trade
 
John Kerry's awkward push for investment in Iran.
 
What's fueling opposition to Tehran’s new oil contracts?
 
In Iran, dividends of nuclear deal are slow to appear.
 
Iran says euro conversions now possible.
 
Iran has no plans to freeze the level of its oil production and exports.
 
Iran-Saudi row threatens any OPEC deal, puts role in question.

Iran now exporting biological drugs technologies.
 
 
Art and culture
 
End of an art form? The Persian Rug may not be long for this world.
 
From ancient Persian poetry rises 'Feathers of Fire,' billed largest shadow play.
 
The war on “sinful” music concerts in Iran.
 
Is it time to tame Iran's lawless publishing sector?
 
 
History

1943: Polish refugees in Iran.
 
Colonel under Saddam says he was ordered to kill all Iranians in Khorramshahr.
 
Iran marks 34th anniversary of liberation of Khorramshahr.
 
Another memoir: “Leaving Iran: Between Migration and Exile” by Farideh Goldin.
 
 
Science and medicine
 
Iran reportedly ranks 6th place when it comes to nanotechnology, exceeding Japan.
 

Other
 
NRA threatens Iran with video about men who wrestle alligators.
 
Air pollution reduced in Tehran, capital experiences 11 days of clean air.
 
Iranians spend about $216 million on alcohol a year.
 
Iran busts a graduation party, men and women lashed 99 times for dancing, drinking
 
Iran by the numbers: facts & figures on the economy since 1980.
 
Excerpt from “Missing Man: The American Spy Who Vanished in Iran”.

Half-Iranian ‘Bachelorette’ adds ethnic diversity to show and positive representation.
Events
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