Brief on Iran

OIAC Brief On Iran (BOI) -Jan 26, 2015

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Brief On Iran – Newsletter
Jan 26th, 2015
  Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)

Iran Human Rights

Iran Human Rights, January 21, 2015: Three prisoners were hanged in the public in town of Bonab (NorthwesternIran) reported the Iranian state media. According to the state run Iranian news agency Mehr, the prisoners were convicted of kidnapping and murdering a 12 year old girl in October 2014. The public hangings took place today, Wednesday 21. January.

According to a local website the prisoners were identified as “Hamed”, “Siyavash” and “Ali”. The report didn’t mention how old the men were.

Iran Human Rights

 An Iranian man has been sentenced to surgical removal of one eye and one ear as retribution for an acid attack. The sentence has not been implemented yet because no doctors have been willing to carry out the sentence. Iran Human Rights (IHR) condemns the Iranian authorities’ use of barbaric punishments and urges the international community to react. Spokesperson of IHR, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: ” Removal of inhumane punishment in law and practice must be a prerequisite for any improvement of relations between Iranian authorities and the international community”.

Iran Human Rights

 Five prisoners were convicted of drug-related charges. At least 28 people have been executed in the first two weeks of 2015 in Iran.

 Iran Human Rights, January 14, 2015: Five prisoners were hanged in the prison of Arak (Central Iran) yesterday Tuesday January 13, reported the official website of the Judiciary in Markazi Province.

All the prisoners were sentenced to death by Arak Revolution Court for drug related charges said the report. The prisoners were identified as “Mohammadreza S.” charged with possession and trafficking of 10 kilograms of heroin, “Mohammad A” for possession and trafficking of 3 kilograms and one gram of heroin, “Davoud A” for possession of 3330 grams of heroin and 3 grams of concentrated heroin, “Javad M.” for paticipation in buying and possession of 4300 grams of heroin, and “Mostafa F.” for participation in buying and possession of 4300 grams of heroin, said the report.

Iran Human Rights
Iran Human Rights, January 20, 2015: One man was hanged in the prison of Torqabeh (near Mashhad, north-eastern Iran) Monday morning 19. January. According to the Iranian daily newspaper Khorasan, the 26 year old man who was identified as “M. S.” and convicted of murdering another man under a street fight in 2008, was sentenced to qesas (retribution in kind).

 

  Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle East)
The New York Times

BUENOS AIRES – Eighteen years have passed since a suicide bomber drove a Renault van loaded with explosives into the headquarters of the Jewish community center here, killing 85 people. Since then, investigations have meandered. Interpol arrest warrants have led nowhere. Aging suspects connected to the attack have begun to die.

But in the elusive quest for justice in the bombing, which ranks among the deadliest anti-Semitic attacks anywhere since World War II, few developments have riled Argentina‘s Jewish leaders as much as the government’s move in recent weeks to improve relations with Iran, the nation shielding in the high echelons of its political establishment various people accused by Argentine prosecutors of having authorized the attack.

Each country has domestic reasons to reach out to the other. As Argentina’s economic growth slows, it is finding in Iran a robust client for its agricultural commodities, with trade volumes between the two nations surging more than 200 percent over the last five years to more than $1.2 billion.

The Hill

“A collection of laws is not enough to reform society,” Islamic Republic of Iran’s founder Ruhollah Khomeini wrote in his book some decades ago.

The appointment of a caliph [person claiming to be representative of the prophet Mohammad], he added, “Was not for the sole purpose of explaining the laws but also for implementing them.”  In the decades since, Khomeini and his disciples have proceeded to implement this medieval interpretation of Islam into every aspect of life in Iran, with deliberate plans for extraterritorial expansion.

As free societies grapple with how to best contain the deceptively sudden growth of fundamentalist Islam and the Islamic State in particular, Khomeini’s blueprint seems all but forgotten.

Having first declared himself a Caliph and not content with legislating laws or a primitive penal code, Khomeini sought and then succeeded in implementing these medieval laws. To expansionists like him, they and not a popularly chosen representative government are endowed with the know-how of running a society.

The Wall Street Journal

A prosecutor who fingered Iran dies the day before he was to tell all.

Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman was set to deliver proof to the Argentine Congress Monday of an alleged cover-up by President Cristina Kirchner of Iran’s responsibility in the 1994 terrorist attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. Hours before the hearing, Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment.

The Wall Street Journal

Islamist violence stems much more from recent history than from the faith’s essentials.

MANY in the West take the Paris attacks as evidence that Islam needs reform, or indeed a full-on Reformation. They should be careful what they wish for. The reforming of religions is a messy business, and does not necessarily make them gentler or more biddable. Indeed the jihadists from whom the Paris murderers took their lead see themselves as reformers, tasked with a mission to strip their faith of centuries of arcane jurisprudence and non-Islamic practice and bring it back to its fiercer, truer original form.

Their goal is nothing like the tempering outcome hoped for by those calling for a Reformation along the line of Europe’s five centuries ago, but the process has at least one similarity. As in the religious wars that followed on from Europe’s Reformation, the worst of the violence perpetrated by jihadists has been felt by their co-religionists. Most of the victims of resurgent Islamic fundamentalism have been Muslims.

The Daily Beast

PARIS – Since 2005 Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman has been crusading for his vision of justice in the horrific 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and injured hundreds more. He claimed that Iran was behind it and, more recently, that the Argentine government was trying to block his efforts to prove that.

On Sunday night, Nisman was found dead in his apartment, only hours before he was set to testify before an Argentine parliamentary commission about his allegations.

The circumstances revealed thus far by the police suggest a suicide. The history of Iran’s operations overseas inevitably suggests otherwise. And there are disturbing echoes of the world 20 or 30 years ago when Tehran, often in league with its clients in Hezbollah, waged a global war on the enemies of the Islamic Republic, deploying hit teams second only to the Israelis in their skill at assassination.

The Economist

Iran is doing better than its rivals at expanding its influence in an unstable region.

OFFICIALS in Tehran are not shy about their aim of spreading influence abroad, nor of their apparent success. Even as the efforts of the West and its Sunni Arab allies look distinctly half-hearted, notably in their fight against Islamic State (IS), Tehran can claim, with only a pinch of hubris, to run three Arab capitals: Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut.

This week it may have added a fourth: Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, where on January 20th Shia Houthi rebels took over the presidential palace (see article). American and Saudi officials believe the rebel militia is backed by the Iranians, although they deny it in public (and boast of it in private).

 Iran- Nuclear Activities

The Obama administration on Wednesday paid $490 million in cash assets to Iran and will have released a total of $11.9 billion to the Islamic Republic by the time nuclear talks are scheduled to end in June, according to figures provided by the State Department.

Today’s $490 million release, the third such payment of this amount since Dec. 10, was agreed to by the Obama administration under the parameters of another extension in negotiations over Tehran’s contested nuclear program that was inked in November.

Iran will receive a total of $4.9 billion in unfrozen cash assets via 10 separate payments by the United States through June 22, when talks with Iran are scheduled to end with a final agreement aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear work, according to a State Department official.

IAEA Yukiya Amano

…….When I became Director General in late 2009, I applied this principle to Iran. I felt that spelling out the issues with clarity was an essential first step towards resolving the problem. My quarterly reports from February 2010 onwards stated that nuclear material declared by Iran was not being diverted from peaceful purposes. But I also stated that Iran was not providing sufficient cooperation to enable the Agency to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran was in peaceful activities. I urged Iran to implement the Additional Protocol and clarify the issues relating to what have become known as possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme.

The next important question was how to approach these possible military dimensions. Our technical experts had spent years painstakingly and objectively analysing a huge quantity of information about that programme from a wide variety of independent sources, including from the Agency’s own efforts and from information provided by Iran itself, as well as from a number of Member States.

After carefully reviewing the issue, I decided to present a detailed report in November 2011. In that report, I stated that the information assembled by the Agency was, overall, credible. It was consistent in terms of technical content, individuals and organizations involved, and time frames. The information indicated that Iran had carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The information also indicated that, prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured programme, and that some activities might still be ongoing……

The stalemate over nukes, and now a Tehran-backed coup in Yemen, show that Obama isn’t tough enough.

The nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran appear stalemated. Meanwhile Iran is on the march in the Middle East with its forces supporting the coup in Yemen, buttressing the Assad war-machine in Syria, mediating between factions in Iraq, and plotting with Hezbollah operatives on the periphery of Israel. Today, the American alliance system stands bruised and battered while our friends in the region perceive Iran and its resistance-front galloping across the region.

These two simultaneous developments-the deadlock in nuclear talks and Iran’s aggressive moves in the region-are not coincidental. They are intimately linked, and that should be a lesson for President Obama: The nuclear deadlock cannot be broken unless Washington reengages in the myriad of conflicts and civil wars plaguing the region, particularly now that Yemen is vulnerable and the Saudi royal family is in a state of turmoil following the death of King Abdullah on Thursday.

The US House of Representatives has begun working on its own Iran sanctions bill rather than simply agreeing to pass whatever the Senate comes up with, Al-Monitor has learned.
The dual-track effort presents an additional challenge for the White House, which has repeatedly warned Congress that new sanctions could derail nuclear talks. It could, however, end up buying time for negotiators to strike a final agreement, since both chambers must pass the same bill for legislation to become law.”We feel very strongly that the House needs to play an important role, not just rubber-stamp whatever the Senate decides to do,” the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs panel, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., told Al-Monitor. “So we’re going to put our heads together [with Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif.] and see what’s the best way to proceed.”

 No Confidence Votes on Iran
The Wall Street Journal
President Obama is unhappy with House Speaker John Boehner for inviting Israel’s Prime Minister to address Congress without consulting the White House, with spokesman Josh Earnest calling it a “departure” from protocol. What Mr. Obama should really worry about is that Members of Congress in both parties are showing a stunning lack of confidence in his Iran diplomacy.

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