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Iran’s ‘Castle of Dreams’ Sweeps Shanghai Golden Goblet Award Ceremony

China’s top film festival showered its highest three honors on the Iranian film “Castle of Dreams".

“Castle of Dreams,” a drama about family, separation and keeping one’s promises collected a trio of prizes on Sunday night at the Shanghai International Film Festival. It won the Golden Goblet prize for best film, the best director prize for Reza Mirkarimi, and a shared best actor award for Hamed Saberi Behdad.

The almost unprecedented awards haul comes at a time when analysts say that Beijing and Tehran are likely to develop even closer cooperation as their respective relationships with the U.S. deteriorate. China is Iran’s largest trading partner, and Tehran’s willingness to stand up to U.S. pressure is partially due to ability to fall back on Beijing’s support.

Shanghai international Film Festival closing ceremony


 

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"Rouhani also mocked a US decision to “seize assets of” Ayatollah Khamenei as part the sanctions order, saying the Leader only owns “a Hosseiniyeh (Shia place of worship) and a simple house.

“Iran’s Leader is not like those of other countries, who have billions in an account abroad so you can sanction it, seize it or block it,” said Rouhani. “To sanction him for what? Not to travel to America?”

He added that the new sanctions — which will also target Zarif — prove the US was “lying” about the offer of talks with Tehran, which the White House has repeatedly put forwards over the past months in parallel with its pressure campaign and stepped-up military moves against the Islamic Republic.

“You (Americans) call for negotiations. If you are telling the truth, why are you simultaneously seeking to sanction our foreign minister, too? It is obvious that you are lying,” said the Iranian president."

 

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"The United Arab Emirates says there is no "clear, scientific and convincing" evidence to assign blame for the recent tanker attacks off its coast in the Sea of Oman, splitting with the United States and Saudi Arabia, which hold Iran responsible for the suspicious acts.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said Wednesday that his country was not able to pin the attacks on any country because an investigation had failed to find enough proof.

“Honestly we can’t point the blame at any country because we don’t have evidence,” bin Zayed said during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow.

“If there is a country that has the evidence, then I’m convinced that the international community will listen to it. But we need to make sure the evidence is clear and precise and scientific and convincing for the international community,” he added."

 

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Trump to FOX: “Had I not been elected president Iran would have taken over Saudi Arabia, they would have taken over the entire Middle East.”



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France's Macron to ask Trump to drop some Iran sanctions to help talks

TOKYO (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he will try to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to suspend some sanctions on Iran to allow for negotiations to de-escalate the crisis in the region.

“I want to convince Trump that it is in his interest to re-open a negotiation process (and) go back on certain sanctions to give negotiations a chance,” Macron told reporters on the train from Tokyo to Kyoto.

The French leader will meet his U.S. counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 summit this weekend.

Macron said the idea would be to begin a discussion and set up the parameters of talks ranging from Iran’s nuclear activities to its wider role in the region. “We’d give ourselves a few months,” Macron said.

 

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Tehran confident that resisting Trump is working

“Recent tensions have made the Islamic republic more determined not to retreat under pressure,” said Saeed Laylaz, a reform-minded analyst of Iran’s political economy. “This strategy has worked very well so far and Iran has realised that the US’s approach toward Iran is more bark than bite.”

Notwithstanding uncertainty over the US president’s intentions, one regime insider in Iran said the country had correctly calibrated its response. “We behave like a child who is unfairly beaten . . . but is able to jump up and slap the US in the face and immediately go back to the victim position,” said the insider.

But there are few signs of panic in Tehran. The value of the rial currency has remained relatively stable this year and businesses have adjusted to higher sanctions-related costs. Politicians appear more united against Mr Trump than they have been since he arrived in the White House. And city residents are not overly worried about the threat of war.

“Even a month ago, I had the nightmare of war but no longer. I realised Americans are bluffing about war,” said Majid, a 49-year-old employee of a private company. “There were so many tensions between Iran and US but the US did not attack Iran and the currency market was stable.”

“Any war against Iran would have massive consequences. Iran will level to the ground countries around the Persian Gulf,” said Mr Laylaz, referring to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, two close US allies. The regime insider said: “Our message in recent weeks to the US and its regional allies was clear: our finger is on the button. If you hit three targets in Iran, we will respond by hitting three targets in Dubai.”

In response to Mr Trump’s offer of talks, Iran has said it will only come to the negotiating table if the US rejoins the nuclear agreement. But Tehran is now reducing its own level of commitment to the deal and is set to breach limits on the size of its enriched uranium stockpile on Thursday."

 

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Iran 3.67% enriched uranium stocks exceed 300kg of JCPOA ( Iran nuclear deal )
Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile has passed the 300-kilogram limit under its nuclear deal, an unnamed source familiar with the matter told Fars on Monday.
 

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Nuclear officials: Iran has exceeded uranium limit
JULY 1, 2019
By Nicholas Sakelaris & Daniel Uria


An International Atomic Energy Agency inspector examines a uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, Iran. File Photo by Kazem Ghane/IRNA/UPI | License Photo


July 1 (UPI) -- Iran has exceeded the amount of enriched uranium it's allowed to stockpile under the 2015 nuclear agreement, nuclear inspectors said Monday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran has more than 661 pounds of uranium, the limit allowed by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Iran warned European leaders 10 days ago it would surpass the limit, which is a technical violation of the deal.

"We told the Europeans that if more practical, mature and complete measures were taken, Iran's reduction [to its] commitments could be reversed. Otherwise, we will continue," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

Enriched uranium is a key ingredient in nuclear weapons but also has legitimate uses at nuclear power plants. The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Monday Iran had exceeded the cap.

Iran could now face greater sanctions for violating the agreement.

Earlier Monday, Zarif said Tehran won't back down or give in to pressure from the United States, which withdrew from the agreement last year and has since imposed more sanctions.

Speaking at the National Day of Industry and Mines in Tehran, Zariff said the United States threatens Iran because of continued defeats in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He said after using every possible means, the United States attacked the Iranian economy with sanctions, including on its crude oil exports.

"We will never succumb to international pressure, and together with the people of the world, we will force them to only treat Iran with respect and never threaten an Iranian," Zarif said.

The diplomat also said the United States called four U.N. Security Council meetings last year in an attempt to form a consensus against Iran.
"The U.S. would do anything to find allies against Iran," Zarif said. "That is why they resorted to economy as the last trick in their disposal."

The Obama-era nuclear deal, he said, made Iran a stronger, more influential power in the Middle East.
"The Americans arrived at the conclusion that, with the [deal], the Islamic Republic had broken free from the shackles that tied its hands and was increasing its regional power and presence," Zarif said.

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that any attack against the United States would be met with "great and overwhelming force" and in some areas "obliteration."

Zarif also tagged Trump in a tweet that warned "misconceptions endanger peace" and U.S. sanctions amount to "war."

U.S. press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Monday that the United States will maintain "maximum pressure" on the Iranian regime until it ends its nuclear ambitions.
"It was a mistake under the Iran nuclear deal to allow Iran to enrich uranium at any level. There is little doubt even before the deal's existence, Iran was violating its terms," Grisham said. "We must restore the longstanding nonproliferation standard of no enrichment for Iran. The United States and its allies will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons."

 

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Nice video (covers a lot of Iran's military progress that many people aren't aware of):

 

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