What Iranian Elections Mean for the Middle East

TORONTO (INPS) – What are the messages Iranians signalled by their robust election campaign and high turn out? Western nay-sayers say it shows discontent. But perhaps with a touch of envy, at a time when western politics is rife with discontent and yet elicits at best a yawn, or at worse, looks more like a circus. The Islamic revolution has had bad press in the West from the start, but the results show a level of freedom that contrasts favourably with the West, and puts paid to the mantra that the 2009 elections were stolen by the bad guys.

‘Iranophobia’ Gives Way to a New Era for Iran’s Soft Power

By Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh*

TEHRAN – Finally, after about two years of negotiations and talks, the nuclear marathon between Iran and six big powers of the world reached its finishing point with the announcement of the Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and official announcement of the lifting of the European Union’s sanctions along with an important part of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Of course, any smart analyst and politician knows that this good ending is also a beginning for foreign obstructionist efforts, domestic conflicts, doubts on the part of trade partners about the volume and extent to which economic relations should be developed as well as magnification of any weakness by governments and media that were opposed to this process from the very beginning.

Security Council Joins the U.S. and EU in Removing Sanctions Against Iran

NEW YORK | VIENNA (IDN) – While the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the lifting of sanctions on Iran, the Security Council announced on January 17 that it has removed Iranian Bank Sepah and its international subsidiary from a sanctions list.

The initiative followed the announcement previous day of a UN report confirming that Iran has completed necessary preparatory steps to start the implementation of a plan of action aiming to resolve the nuclear issue.

Multilateral Diplomacy Triumphs as Sanctions Again Iran are Lifted

VIENNA (IDN) – Political will and multilateral diplomacy marked a milestone as U.S. President Barack Obama revoked a 20-year system of sanctions against Iran and Federica Mogherini, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and a Council member of the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), announced the lifting of EU economic blockade against Tehran on January 16.

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Anti-Terrorism Coalition’: An Iranian Perspective

By Hamid-Reza Azizi, Middle East Analyst*

The regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia in its onslaught on Yemen has not been able to achieve its goals after about nine months. However, Saudis have now taken a new step by forming an “anti-terrorism coalition.”Nonetheless, the makeup of this coalition and the time it has been proposed have raised serious questions about the goals and intentions of Saudi Arabia. In an analytic approach, a set of political and military considerations can be seen as underlying the formation of this coalition.

Celebrating the Victory of Light over Darkness

TEHRAN (IDN | Iran Review) – Iranians around the world celebrate Yalda, which is one of the most ancient Persian festivals. The festival dates back to the time when a majority of Persians were followers of Zoroastrianism prior to the advent of Islam.

On Yalda festival, Iranians celebrate the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.

Considered the longest night of the year, Yalda eve is the night when ancient Iranians celebrated the birth of Mithra, the goddess of light.

Yalda, which means birth, is a Syriac word imported into the Persian language. It is also referred to as Shab-e Chelleh, a celebration of winter solstice on December 21 – the last night of fall and the longest night of the year.

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