• 2021-02-04

    An Iranian diplomat accused of plotting to bomb a meeting of an emigrant opposition group has been jailed for 20 years in Belgium. The diplomat's accomplices also received lengthy prison terms. An Antwerp court sentenced Assadolah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat formerly based in Vienna, Austria to the maximum 20 years behind bars on Thursday. It is the first time an Iranian official has been put on trial and sentenced by an EU member state for terrorism offenses. Reporters were not allowed into the courtroom to hear the verdict, with the whole building heavily guarded by police backed by armored vehicles and helicopters. "The ruling shows two things: A diplomat doesn't have immunity for criminal acts... and the responsibility of the Iranian state in what could have been carnage," Belgian prosecution lawyer Georges-Henri Beauthier told reporters outside the court. 

  • 2021-02-03

    In order to understand how the U.S.-Iranian relationship might be repaired and turned into something more constructive, it is essential that we learn from the full history of that relationship that extends beyond the usual grievances of 1953 and 1979. Luckily, there is an outstanding new book on the history of U.S.-Iranian relations that does just that. John Ghazvinian’s America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present is an impressive scholarly work that traces the development of U.S.-Iranian relations from the earliest days of traders and missionaries up through the disaster of the “maximum pressure” policy of the last four years. It is a story of multiple wrong turns and missed opportunities, but it also reminds us that there was a time when the U.S. stood up for Iranian national rights and Iranians saw America as a potential ally. That suggests that there could be a more constructive and normal relationship in the future, provided that we learn how to avoid stumbling into the same pitfalls that have plagued the relationship for most of the last century.

  • 2021-02-02

    Iran Agrees to Free South Korean Ship’s Crew

    In return, South Korea pledged speedy action to address Iran’s complaints about $7 billion impounded there as a result of U.S. sanctions.

    By Choe Sang-Hun and Farnaz Fassihi

    February 2, 2021

  • 2021-02-01

    According to Haft Tappeh Sugarcane workers’ syndicate, 28 workers were summoned to court following a complaint of  Omid Baygie- the employer of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane company  on 12th  January, 2021. The workers ‘Syndicate of Tehran an suburbs (Sherkat -e- Wahed) has issued a statement, whilst defending the workers ‘demands, also condemning the summon of progressive workers, and the prosecution against them. It is necessary that with our nationwide unity and solidarity, whilst conspiracy of the Islamic regime and the employer of Haft Tappeh. [...]

  • 2021-01-29

    Restrictions on messaging app placed after huge migration from WhatsApp, as government and judiciary blame each other for decisionIranian [...] This is not the first time Iran has witnessed a widespread migration on social media platforms. In 2018, WhatsApp was the beneficiary when the judiciary banned one of its main rivals, Telegram. Iranians flocked to the app due to reports it had high levels of encryption, while authorities urged the use of local messaging apps, which are far less secure. 

  • 2021-01-29

    While the average global growth in steel production was negative in 2020 -- touching near -1 percent, Iran marked a 13.4-percent rise in the sector. Uzbekistan’s steel production grew by 42.6 percent, and Moldova’s output increased by 18.7 percent, Tehran Times cited the latest report the World Steel Association (WSA) on Friday. According to the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, the country produced 29.03 million tons of steel during 2020 compared to the last year’s figure of nearly 25.6 million tons. Meanwhile, the global association states that crude steel production in the world fell 0.09 percent to stand at 1.829 billion tons in 2020. According to the WSA figures, Iran was the 10th top steel producer of the world in 2020, a similar standing to the past two years. Iran produced 2.6 million tons of crude steel in December 2020, which was 19.2 percent higher than the figure for December 2019, the report confirmed. The average global production growth in the mentioned month was 5.8 percent. As the world's top producer, China produced 1.052 billion tons of crude steel in 2020, up 5.2 percent compared to 2019. India and Japan ranked second and third in the world with of 99.5 million and 83.1 million tons of production, respectively. The production of South Korea, Japan, and India as the leaders of the industry, however, decreased by 6 percent, 16.2 percent, and 10.6 percent, respectively. 

  • 2021-01-27

    A judge in Iran has told the German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi, who is being detained in Tehran’s Evin prison, that her case cannot go to court unless she confirms the charges brought against her, and that only “trusted lawyers” can access prisoners’ files. The judge’s demands have been condemned by a German parliamentarian. 

  • 2021-01-25

    Bordering Iran on the northeast, Turkmenistan is a Central Asian country with a population of 6 million. What Turkmenistan lacks in population it makes up in enormous energy reserves. Domestically produced natural gas accounts for 80 percent of the feedstock used for electricity production. In 2006, discovery of the world’s second largest natural field, Galkynysh, saw the country become the country with the fourth largest natural gas reserves worldwide. […] Considering the difficulties associated with facilitating exports to Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and China, Turkmenistan and Iran have an opportunity to enter new gas deals on the basis of clear mutual benefits. Iran’s strategy to become the natural gas hub of the region depends on developing several gas corridors with its neighbors—gas-rich Turkmenistan ought to be a key partner in this strategy.

  • 2021-01-25

    The hajj—that is, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca—was a subject of deep personal resonance and ethical symbolism for Ali Shariʿati. Born in 1933 in provincial Khorasan, Shariʿati was one of Iran’s most influential twentieth-century intellectuals. The crux of his thought, Ervand Abrahamian argued, was the project of refiguring Islam—and Shi’ism, in particular—from being understood as a “conservative, fatalistic creed” or “apolitical personal religion” into a mass “revolutionary ideology that permeate[d] all spheres of life."[1] In deconstructing Islamic rituals, symbols, and beliefs—in addition to drawing upon existentialist, anticolonial, and Marxist intellectual traditions—Shariʿati articulated a charismatic and original vision of Islam as a form of liberation theology. In attempting this supposed “ideologization of Islam,” there is perhaps no place in which Shari’ati expressed himself as passionately than in his writings on hajj. 

  • 2021-01-25

    The hajj—that is, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca—was a subject of deep personal resonance and ethical symbolism for Ali Shariʿati. Born in 1933 in provincial Khorasan, Shariʿati was one of Iran’s most influential twentieth-century intellectuals. The crux of his thought, Ervand Abrahamian argued, was the project of refiguring Islam—and Shi’ism, in particular—from being understood as a “conservative, fatalistic creed” or “apolitical personal religion” into a mass “revolutionary ideology that permeate[d] all spheres of life."[1] In deconstructing Islamic rituals, symbols, and beliefs—in addition to drawing upon existentialist, anticolonial, and Marxist intellectual traditions—Shariʿati articulated a charismatic and original vision of Islam as a form of liberation theology. In attempting this supposed “ideologization of Islam,” there is perhaps no place in which Shari’ati expressed himself as passionately than in his writings on hajj. 

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