Brief on Iran

Brief on Iran (BOI) – 172

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Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)

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Iran’s Election

Crimes Against Humanity in Iran Thrust Into Limelight With Raisi’s Presidential Bidimge-2
Center of Iran Human Rights

April 14, 2017-The candidacy in Iran’s upcoming presidential election of Ebrahim Raisi, who played a leading role in crimes against humanity during the 1980s, is a serious setback for a country striving to rejoin the international community.
In 1988, Raisi was part of a four-man commission that implemented the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners. Current President Hassan Rouhani, Raisi, and the former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are considered at present to be the most serious contenders for the presidency, which will be decided in Iran’s elections on May 19.
“A man who should be on trial for the most heinous crime in contemporary Iranian history, is instead seeking the presidency,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“Allowing him to run for president is yet another grievous wound for the families who unjustly lost their loved ones in 1988,” he added.
Thousands of political prisoners were executed in Iran that year after facing what came to be known as the “death committee,” which decided whether the prisoners would live or die based on their perceived loyalty to the Islamic Republic.

Iran: Man Hanged in Publicimge-3
Iran Human Rights

Iran Human Rights (APR 13 2017): A prisoner who was sentenced to death on six counts of murder charges was hanged in publicin the city of Arak (Markazi province).
According to a report by the Iranian state-run media, ISNA, the execution was carried out on Thursday April 13 in front of a crowd of people. The report identifies the prisoner as Abbas Sahraei, 27 years of age. Mr. Sahraei was reportedly arrested about three months ago and sentenced to death in a hasty judicial process.
IHR is deeply worried that Abbas Sahraei did not receive a fair trial that meets international standards. Iran is among the very few countries in the world still carrying out executions in public. “We call on Iran’s dialogue partners to push for an end to this practice,” says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.
IHR has obtained a video clip of the execution being carried out. View it here (viewer discretion is advised).

EU Prolongs Sanctions on Iran Over Human Rights Violationsimge-4
US News

The European Union on Tuesday extended until April 2018 sanctions against Iran for “serious human rights violations”, a narrower measure than restrictions the bloc had already lifted after an international accord on Tehran’s nuclear programme.
The EU has pursued rapprochement with Iran since the 2015 nuclear deal, which reversed a decade of hard-hitting Western financial and trade sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Top EU officials have been shuttling in and out of Tehran since, often accompanied by large European business delegations.
But the bloc has also extended by a year its travel ban and an asset freeze on 82 Iranian people and one entity, as well as a ban on exports to Iran of equipment for monitoring telecommunications and other gear that “might be used for internal repression.”

Iranian Azeri Rights Activist on Trial for Advocating Mother Languageimge-5
Iran Human Rights

Abbas Lesani, an Azeri ethnic rights activist, is being tried for advocating for state recognition of his mother tongue and making a speech at his friend’s wedding calling for an end to the discrimination of Azeris in Iran.
Speaking in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on April 10, 2017, Lesani said his first trial was held in the Revolutionary Court in Meshkinshahr, Ardabil Province, on March 7 for the charges of “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the state.”
This week he was tried at the Revolutionary Court in Ahar, East Azerbaijan Province, for allegedly “organizing and leading opposition groups intent on overthrowing the state.”
Lesani told CHRI he has been presenting his defense in the Azeri-Turkish language.
“At the March 7 trial, I wrote my defense for the first time in Turkish and I rejected the charges. The judge wouldn’t accept it in Turkish at first, but since this is our legal right, he eventually did,” said Lesani.

Iran’s iron-fisted rulers ban familes from rallying for the condemnedimge-6
American Thinker

A few days ago, on April 9, Tehran witnessed a painful day for the family members of death row inmates, especially the mothers, whose beloved children are under imminent threat of execution in Iran’s prisons.
The families held a protest in front of the parliament in Tehran on Sunday, demanding that the death verdicts against their loved ones be canceled and a law passed banning all executions in Iran, according to a wire posted by the “Human Rights Center of ‘No’ to Prison, ‘No’ to Execution.”

The presence of women and mothers was notable at this rally. During the past 38 years, mothers have been at the forefront of challenging the silence and terror imposed by the tyrannical rule of the ayatollahs, their crackdown forces, and their secret agents of the regime. The mothers held pictures of their sons or daughters with their names on them. “We pray for those on death row, that their lives may be spared,” one mother said, as she burst in tears.

Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle-East)

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‘Make America pay’imge-7
Daily Mail

Iran calls on Syria to ensure Trump ‘regrets his attack’ after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US ‘will hold to account any who commit crimes against innocents’
Russian and Iranian forces warned US they would retaliate with military action
It comes after Donald Trump crossed a ‘red line’ with bombing of Syrian forces
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Syria to ‘make Americans regret’ attack
The Russian Embassy in London suggested the situation could lead to ‘real war’
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will push for Russia to face tough sanctions over support for Assad
Iran has called on Syria to ‘make Americans regret their attack’ after Russia warned Donald Trump there will be a military response if the US strikes at Assad again.
President Hassan Rouhani accused the US of not acting ‘within international frameworks’ before condemning America’s surprise bombardment of a Syrian airbase.
It comes after both Russian and Iranian forces warned Trump they would retaliate with military action if the US President launched more strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Iran Is a Bigger Threat Than Syria and North Korea Combinedimge-8
The Wall Street Journal

Damascus and Pyongyang violated their agreements. Tehran can comply and still threaten millions.
The U.S. has signed agreements with three rogue regimes strictly limiting their unconventional military capacities. Two of those regimes-Syria and North Korea-brazenly violated the agreements, provoking game-changing responses from President Trump. But the third agreement-with Iran-is so inherently flawed that Tehran doesn’t even have to break it. Honoring it will be enough to endanger millions of lives.

After ISIS: The Threat Of Iran’s IRGCimge-9
The Daily Caller

As the main bases of the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh) fall like dominos, and as the threat of that “caliphate” with territorial claims gradually wanes, a much more frightening monster, the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), emerges in the landscape of the Middle East.
As the main bases of the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh) fall like dominos, and as the threat of that “caliphate” with territorial claims gradually wanes, a much more frightening monster, the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), emerges in the landscape of the Middle East.
The image conjures up the picture of the biblical monster Leviathan, whose name inspired the title of Thomas Hobbes’s seminal work on political philosophy.

While the U.S. wasn’t looking, Russia and Iran began carving out a bigger role in Afghanistanimge-10
The Washington Post

KABUL – Iran and Russia have stepped up challenges to U.S. power in Afghanistan, American and Afghan officials say, seizing on the uncertainty of future U.S. policy to expand ties with the Taliban and weaken the country’s Western-backed government.
The moves come as tensions have flared between the United States, Iran and Russia over the conflict in Syria, and officials worry that the fallout could hurt Afghanistan’s chances for peace. For years, Iran and Russia have pushed for a U.S. withdrawal.
Now, as the Taliban gains ground and the White House appears to lack a clear Afghan policy, Iran and Russia have boosted support for insurgents and sidelined the United States from regional diplomacy on the war.

The Story Of Iran’s Presidential Electionsimge-11
Forbes

With former firebrand president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entering Iran’s presidential election and spiraling the entire race into unprecedented crises, taking a more in-depth look into the history of elections in Iran is quite necessary.
Holding elections have been a tradition practiced by humanity for a few thousand years to manage society. Elections, based on the correct and conventional meaning of the word, became a traditional law in Iran following the Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century. Although, the ruling monarchy had a tendency to either cancel elections altogether or holding farce polls.

Iran: New Valfajr Torpedo Launched from Ghadir Submarineimge-12
American Enterprise Institute

Iran claims that the 95 foot-long Ghadir-class submarine has both stealth technology and can launch missiles and torpedoes simultaneously. While this may be an exaggeration, the submarine can nevertheless threaten not only civilian shipping but also military vessels given the Persian Gulf’s relative shallowness and narrowness. The excerpted article from Fars News reports on the operation of the Ghadir-class during the Valfajr-95 war games.
The article is significant because it discusses the operation of the Ghadir-class in the deeper waters of the northern Indian Ocean. As the Iranian military establishes a greater network of logistical support-in Sudan, Syria, and perhaps Sri Lanka as well-the demonstrated ability to launch Valfajr torpedoes could widen the threat posed by Iranian submarines.

Ambassador Nikki Haley: ‘There’s Multiple Priorities’ in Syria: Assad, ISIS, Iranhaley
CNS News

“Is regime change in Syria now the official policy of the United States?” Jake Tapper asked U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“So, there’s multiple priorities,” Haley said. “It’s — getting Assad out is not the only priority. And so what we’re trying to do is obviously defeat ISIS.
“Secondly, we don’t see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there. Thirdly, get the Iranian influence out, and then finally move towards a political solution, because, at the end of the day, this is a complicated situation. There are no easy answers. And a political solution is going to have to happen.”

Haley said there is no political solution that includes Assad remaining in power: “It’s going to be hard to see a government that’s peaceful and stable with Assad.”
She said the U.S. expects “regime change” to happen:
“So, what I think you’re seeing is, this isn’t about policy or not. This is about thoughts. And so, when you look at the thoughts, there is no political solution that any of us can see with Assad at the lead.

What Ahmadinejad’s run says about the state of Iranian politicsimge-13
The Washington Post

Well, he’s got this going for him: He knows the job.
As “stunned” onlookers watched, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered to run – once again – for president. In doing so, he defied the country’s supreme leader, who told him not to compete. (“I told him he should not participate in that matter,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last year, according to his official website. It’s “not in his interest and that of the country.”)
The former president’s surprising decision to run adds even more uncertainty to the upcoming election. It’s widely seen as a referendum on the 2015 nuclear deal, in which Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for international sanctions relief. A majority of Iranians support the deal, though many say that they’re disappointed by its limited economic impact.

Why it doesn’t matter to the UK whether President Rouhani or a new hardliner wins the Iranian electionsimge-14
Independent

The British Government has remained disappointingly silent on the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a London mother being held on spurious charges in an Iranian jail. This shows how far our policy of appeasement has gone
A nasty “hardliner” – known for being a member of the 1988 “Death Commission” which oversaw the massacre of thousands of political prisoners – has just thrown his hat into the ring in the Iranian elections.
He poses a threat to the supposedly moderate President Rouhani (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Michael J Fox’s dad in Teenwolf – a werewolf, for sure, but a relatively cuddly one).
In the run-up to 19 May, the press will be teeming with analyses of the merits of the rivals for the role of president in the Islamic Republic, and the consequences each might herald.

Iran- Nuclear Activities

Dividing the enemy alliance: inside the Trump strategyimge-15
New York Post

Though Trump won’t get much credit for it, the last few weeks were a triumph for American diplomacy. We put a tyrant on notice that he can’t use weapons of mass destruction on his own people, we put paid to the idiotic suggestion that President Trump is subservient to Vladimir Putin, we rallied the West and spooked our enemies – and we did all this without the loss of a single US serviceman.
Along the way we revealed that the Obama administration was less than truthful when claiming that the WMD had been removed from Syria.Now what? When facing three opponents, as America is with Russia, Syria and Iran, the most obvious response is to try to break them up through a side deal with one of them. That’s the signal Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nicki Haley sent to Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad on March 30 in saying we’d be prepared to live with him.

How Trump can help cripple the Iranian regimeimge-16
The Washington Post

Reuel Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
A consensus has developed in Washington for some “push back” against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Democrats and Republicans would be well-advised to learn from the Cold War: Don’t compromise the battle on the ground for fear of compromising arms control. We should contain and roll back Iran and its growing army of proxy militias. We should target the clerical regime’s Achilles’ heel – popular disgust with theocracy. Human rights ought to be a priority for American Iran policy.
The Green Revolt, which erupted in Iran in 2009 after a disputed presidential election, may be a faded memory for many in Washington, but it continues to haunt Iran. Contrary to the accepted wisdom of the Obama administration, the disturbances of that summer posed a serious threat to the Islamist order.

Rogue states like Iran face tougher action as US says nuclear attack by North Korea ‘closer than ever’imge-17
The Telegraph

Rogue states such as Iran face tougher military action from America under Donald Trump, the director of the CIA has warned, as he said the US is “closer now than we have ever been” to the threat of nuclear missiles from North Korea.
Mike Pompeo urged Iran to “take note” that Donald Trump’s missile strikes against the Syrian military were a sign the White House was “prepared to engage in activities that are different from what America has been doing these past few years”.
His comments came as China warned that military conflict over North Korea’s nuclear weapon’s programme could break out “at any moment” as a stand off with the US approached breaking point.

Some Democrats Growing Impatient Over Delays on Iran Sanctionsimge-18
The Weekly Standard

Sens. Blumenthal, Coons, Casey and others supported Obama’s nuclear deal but see the need to act against ballistic missile tests and human rights abuses.

Congress should as soon as possible consider a bill that slaps sanctions on Iran over its illicit non-nuclear activities, Democratic lawmakers who supported the 2015 Iran nuclear deal told THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker said during a hearing last week that the bill had hit some delays, citing “concerns about how the European Union might react and [Iranian] elections that are coming up.” A Corker aide specified to TWS on Thursday that the bill was being held up by a Democratic objection.
Maryland senator Ben Cardin, the committee’s top Democrat, denied that the measure had been delayed over concerns about Iran’s May presidential election. He said he was working to get more support for the bill and had “been meeting with a lot of different groups.” Asked whether he knew of any Democratic objections, Cardin said, “You have to ask the Democrats. … I don’t know.”

Boeing Trying to Sell Planes to Leading Official of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corpsimge-19
The Washington Free Bacon

With Iran’s presidential election looming close, there’s a lot of debate and controversy over who is going to occupy the country’s top political role. With tight restrictions on candidates, a supreme leader who can override the results, and institutions that can manipulate the popular vote, there’s not much to say about the credibility of Iran’s presidential elections.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to know who might be at the front of Iran’s showcase of politicians for the next four years. Here’s what you need to know about the potential candidates for Iran’s presidency in May’s elections.

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