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The Iranist
Week of April 22nd
Oil meeting goes nowhere
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) gathered in Qatar to discuss an output freeze, but failed to reach an agreement. The deal was meant to help the price of oil rise after a 12-year low. Iran initially announced Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh would attend, but ended up not sending a delegation. Tehran is benefiting from boosted production after sanctions were lifted and isn’t interested in an oil freeze. OPEC is set to discuss the oil freeze again in June.

Kerry and Zarif chat
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif met in New York and discussed some complaints regarding the implementation of the Iran Deal. Zarif claims Iran is blocked from the international financial system. As a result, Tehran believes Washington isn’t fulfilling its obligations under the Iran Deal.
The Iranian foreign minister denied Iran wanted access to the American financial system. He also added, “[U.S. officials] need a much more proactive approach to just letting people know that they won’t be punished for dealing with Iran.” The two are said to continue their meeting later today to discuss the sanctions relief process in more detail.
Zarif’s concerns seem just since banks and corporations are wary of doing business in Iran due to American rules. Similarly, Europe says U.S. regulations keeping it from trade with Iran.
The Iranian foreign minister also took time to pen an op-ed for the Washington Post on what critics get wrong about the nuclear agreement.
Also, Iran’s central bank chief warns that banking transaction issues could jeopardize the nuclear deal.

Obama talks to GCC
U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia to attend a two-day summit with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The U.S. president wasn’t received at the airport by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, but by the governor of Riyadh and Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubair. During a meeting with King Salman, they discussed regional issues including Yemen, Iran’s role in the region, and ISIS. Obama reassured the Saudi monarch of their shared alliance, but didn’t apologize for recent remarks about Riyadh’s policies. The U.S. president also said Saudi Arabia should learn to co-exist with their neighbor Iran.
At the GCC summit, there were no new initiatives or plans laid out. However, President Obama expressed "serious concerns" about Iran’s behavior post-nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, Jordan recalled its ambassador to Tehran for the second time in four months. The Hashemite Kingdom cited Iran’s interference in affairs of Arab neighbors. This comes right after the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) accused Iran of supporting terrorism.

Here’s how President Obama can push Riyadh to talk to Tehran.

Secret moral police
Iranian authorities announced the launch of 7,000 undercover morality police. “Creating calm and security in the country, especially in Tehran, is what the people expect from the police,” said Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Sajedinia. He added that “moral security” wasn’t just about women’s veiling, but also drug abuse and smuggling, noise pollution, reckless driving, theft, and violence by gangs.
President Hassan Rouhani criticized the new move for undercover morality police. The Iranian president said the government shouldn’t make such decisions and promised to preserve Iranian citizens’ freedom. “Our first duty is to respect people's dignity and personality. God has bestowed dignity to all human beings and this dignity precedes religion,” he added. Many Iranians shared the video clip of Rouhani’s comments on social media.

Air France resumes
After eight years, the first Air France flight arrived in Tehran on Sunday. During recent weeks, the French airliner was in a controversy over allowing its stewardesses the option not to fly to Iran if they didn’t feel comfortable wearing a headscarf upon exiting the airplane.

Not everybody seemed to mind the compulsory headscarf.
A new KLM and Air France office was also opened in Tehran this week.

At the same time, the EU is prepared to loosen restrictions on Iran Air.
Other stories that made headlines

-- Omid Kokabee to undergo surgery for kidney cancer.

-- Iran is tormenting the Baha’i people—is Canada going to do anything about it?

-- Five Iranian construction workers killed on the job every day.

-- Censorship, Iranian style: The seven obstacles to publishing books in Iran.

-- Iran bars reformist female MP for 'shaking hands with unrelated man'.

-- Ahmadinejad’s return: Another spin on the wheel of corruption.

-- Discount ticket on the bus to reform: Iran's runoff elections.

-- Deciphering the Supreme Leader's call for a 'resistance economy'.

-- Can the U.S. and Iran maintain ties after Obama?

-- Supreme Court upholds Iran payments to victims of 1983 Beirut bombing.

-- South Korea's president to visit Iran for first summit talks.

-- Turkey urges cooperation with Iran to fight terrorism, sectarian strife.

-- Iran launches long-range rocket, but fails to put satellite into orbit.

-- Iran displays parts of its new Russian S-300 defence missile system.

-- President Rouhani vows to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel.

-- Iranian official says Nusra, not ISIS, main threat to West.

-- EU asks Iran to help establish common ground between Assad and opposition.

-- Iran deploys army to bolster support for Syrian president.

-- Kerry asks Russia about Qassem Soleimani’s trip that defied UN travel ban.

-- Russia, Iran poised to break Syrian Opposition toehold in Aleppo.

-- The U.S. to buy 32 tons of heavy water from Iran at an estimated at $8.6 million.

-- New York Times op-ed from Editorial Board: What Iran needs to fix.

-- How Rouhani is moving to boost Iran's stock market.

-- How sanctions relief became a tool in Iran’s domestic battles.

-- Tragic rape and murder of 6-year-old girl brings Afghans and Iranians together.

-- Iranians are using satellite television beams as an alternative to censored Internet.

-- My Stealthy Freedom calls on Western tourists to violate headscarf law.

-- Couple in Iranian Kurdish city of Mariwan aid and shelter wild animals.

-- Skincare, makeup, and nail polish are ramping up as luxury brands enter Iran.

-- The vibrant culture of Iran is ripe for rediscovery; Start with its incredible cuisine!

-- ‘Shahrzad’ series set in 1950s draws big audiences with echoes in politics today.

-- Farah Diba Pahlavi: An exile from an art collection.

-- Middle East’s largest subway station opened in Tehran.

-- Watch trailer for 'Raving Iran,' a doc on Tehran’s underground techno scene.
A special thanks to Bilal Ahmed for helping us with this week's newsletter!
...تا هفته بعد

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