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Iran government

Revolutionary Guard faces new foe in Iran’s opening economy

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s Revolutionary Guard faces a new enemy: the gradual opening of the country’s economy after the nuclear deal with world powers. Though better known for its hard-line fervor as an elite force created to defend Iran’s cleric-led system, the Guard holds vast business interests …

Iran seeks revival of caviar industry in post-sanctions era

GOLDASHT, Iran (AP) — On the shores of the Caspian Sea, an ambitious project is underway to produce a pricey delicacy that could boost Iran’s economy as sanctions ease: caviar. Iran, once the world’s biggest exporter of the luxury food, sold over 40 tons of sturgeon eggs in 2000. Exports …

Iran’s Ahmadinejad seeks political comeback

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has launched a political campaign ahead of February’s parliamentary elections in what could prove a challenge to the moderates behind a landmark nuclear agreement reached last month. Few expect a rerun of Ahmadinejad’s surprise victory in the 2005 elections, which kicked …

Iran’s Zoroastrians celebrate Persian roots

CHAK CHAK, Iran (AP) — Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the seventh century Arab invasion. At Chak Chak, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) …

Iranian coffee lovers flock to new wave of cafes

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Shoulder to shoulder, cheek to cheek, young women and men sit next to each other while a thick film of cigarette smoke fills the dimly lit cafe in central Tehran. Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” blares from the speakers. Young Iranians with slick smart phones …

Saving dying lake is priority for Iranian leader

OROUMIEH, Iran (AP) — The first cabinet decision made under Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, wasn’t about how to resolve his country’s nuclear dispute with world powers. It was about how to keep the nation’s largest lake from disappearing. Lake Oroumieh, one of the biggest saltwater lakes on Earth, has …

Reports: Iran bars 2 top figures from June ballot

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian news websites have boosted speculation that election overseers have barred two prominent but divisive figures from next month’s presidential ballot. The hardline website Tasnimnews.com says the Guardian Council has rejected former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a close confidant of outgoing President …

Food price hikes raise concerns in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranians lined up to buy cooking oil and meat in Tehran on Monday, as price hikes threatened to stir discontent less than two months before presidential elections. Prices of staples such as imported cooking oil, chicken and red meat have jumped up to 60 percent since …