Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)
The incumbent Hassan Rouhani has been selected, not “elected,” to a second-term as the Iranian regime’s president, as announced by the officials today, Saturday, May 20, 2017.
The regime, not surprisingly, claimed a large voter turnout, but reports and video clips by the network of the Iranian resistance in various cities in Iran, as well as journalists, who managed to visit unassigned voting stations, suggest that a large portion of the population had stayed away from ballot boxes.
The campaign this year attracted greater public attention to the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the main Iranian opposition, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). Public outrage against Rouhani’s rival, Ebrahim Raisi, over his role in the massacre reached so high that even many powerful figures within Khamenei’s faction were not prepared to support Raisi, to the Supreme Leader’s dismay.
RAN HUMAN RIGHTS (18 MAY 2017): In advance of the Iranian Presidential elections on 19 May, which will take place in a largely restrictive environment, we, the undersigned organisations, urge that the Iranian government fulfill its international human rights obligations and cease the systematic targeting of human rights defenders (HRDs).
Scores of HRDs have been arrested and remain in prison on arbitrary charges, simply for carrying out their work in defence of human rights. These include lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani, student activist Zia Nabavi and human rights defender Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee. In both 2016 and 2017, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran reported that HRDs continued to be subjected to a wide range of violations of their rights of freedom of movement, expression, association and assembly and are often exposed to death threats, harassment.
The chief physician of Evin Prison has refused to hospitalize imprisoned children’s rights activist Atena Daemi-currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for her peaceful activism-to receive urgent medical treatment for her more than 40-day hunger strike, her mother told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“On Monday (May 15, 2017) Atena was taken to a doctor outside prison to complete her tests,” Masoumeh Nemati told CHRI. “When the doctor examined her, he said she should be hospitalized immediately because her damaged gallbladder was causing severe vomiting. But the prison agents refused because they said their orders were to only take her for tests and bring her back to prison.”
“My husband and I went to the prosecutor’s office on Wednesday (May 17) and we were told no permission would be given to hospitalize her because the clinic’s doctor does not think it’s necessary,” she said.
Political prisoners in Iran are singled out for harsh treatment, which often includes denial of medical care.
During the four-year presidential term of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, on average, one Kurdish citizen has been executed in every five day or almost seven Kurdish citizens have been executed monthly.
According to the statistics registered in the Statistic Center of Hengaw, 328 Kurdish citizens have been executed in the Iranian prisons mostly in the Urmia Prison and Karaj Prison from May 2012 till May 2017.
Based on the statistics, 21 of them were women and 7 of them were Kurdish political prisoners. During this period, the regime’s Judiciary has sentenced 32 Kurdish citizens to death in charge of political or religious activities.
444 Kurdish Kolbars become victim in Rouhani’s term
During the past four years, hundreds of Kurdish Kolbars (porters) in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat) in northeastern Iran have dead or wounded.
According to the statistics registered by the source, 444 cross-border porters have dead or wounded from May 2012 till May 2017.
Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle-East)
IRAN’S PRESIDENTIAL election on Friday is a familiar contest between a relative moderate, the incumbent Hassan Rouhani, and a hard-line conservative backed by the Revolutionary Guard and, it seems, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It’s not correct to say the difference between them is insignificant: Mr. Rouhani, embraced by Iran’s educated middle class, favors more relaxed enforcement of Islamic rule at home and engagement with Western investors abroad, while opponent Ebrahim Raisi is a populist who rails against foreign influence and predicts the “Zionist regime” of Israel will be ‘wiped from Jerusalem.’
What we hope – what I would hope – is that Rouhani now has a new term, and that he use that term to begin a process of dismantling Iran’s network of terrorism, dismantling its financing of the terrorist network, dismantling of the manning and the logistics and everything that they provide to these destabilizing forces that exist in this region. That’s what we hope he does. We also hope that he puts an end to [Iran’s] ballistic missile testing. We also hope that he restores the rights of Iranians to freedom of speech, to freedom of organization, so that Iranians can live the life that they deserve.
That’s what we hope this election will bring. I’m not going to comment on my expectation. But we hope that if Rouhani wanted to change Iran’s relationship with the rest of the world, those are the things he could do.
The United States said on Friday it believed forces in a convoy targeted by U.S. military aircraft in southern Syria on Thursday were Iranian-directed, in a possible sign of increased tension between Washington and Tehran in the Syrian war.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that the U.S. strike was defensive in nature. It was condemned by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has the backing of Iran and Russia.
A member of the U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces told Reuters on Thursday the convoy comprised Syrian and Iranian-backed militias and was headed toward the garrison in Syria used by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces around the town of At Tanf.
President Trump heads to Saudi Arabia tomorrow for a weekend summit with more than fifty Arab and Muslim leaders. But not surprisingly Iran and its ally Syria have not been invited because of regional tensions.
The Saudis and Americans accuse Iran of “state-sponsored terrorism” for its support for the Shia-dominated regime of President Assad in Syria. And the Americans confirmed tonight that they had carried out an air strike against pro-government militia there, it is believed for the first time. We report on Iran’s involvement in a war up to 900 miles away.
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Even after polls were kept open for five hours longer than originally planned, it was not immediately clear who had won the Iranian presidential election on Friday. Various reports in Western media suggested that the incumbent Rouhani would likely have an edge over hardline challenger Ebrahim Raisi, because high voter turnout suggested that moderate and reformist voters had overcome their lackluster support for Rouhani in the wake of his disappointing first term. However, these reports have been disputed by Iranian dissidents, who insist that regardless of who is declared the winner, voter turnout was much lower than Tehran has claimed.
The BBC’s initial reporting indicated that the polling hours had been extended on three occasions over the course of the evening, supposedly in response to long lines of people who had not yet been able to cast their ballots. But the Paris-based opposition coalition the National Council of Resistance of Iran drew upon intelligence networks inside of Iran to disseminate images apparently showingempty polling places throughout the country.
The BBC also noted that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had used the last day of the presidential campaign to reiterate comments he had made several times in recent weeks, urging all Iranians to participate in the election process in order to safeguard the “legitimacy” of the theocratic regime. Some of these public statements included veiled references to a campaign by the NCRI’s main constituent group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, to encourage people to boycott the election.
Iran- Nuclear Activities
On May 19, Iran goes to the polls to select a new president. So far the campaign has been dominated by the economy. Unemployment is high, and oil prices are low. The lifting of sanctions following Tehran’s nuclear agreement with the West has yet to yield benefits. Yet the effect of sanctions – or whether the next president is a hard-liner or a relative moderate – is secondary to the largest long-term threat to Iran’s stability.
Due to gross water mismanagement and its ruinous impact on the country, Iran faces the worst water future of any industrialized nation. After the fall of the shah in 1979, water policy became a victim of bad governance and corruption, putting the country on what may be an irreversible path to environmental doom and disruption that owes nothing to sanctions or years of war with its neighbors.
The Trump administration will continue nuclear sanctions relief for Iran, keeping in place the Obama-era nuclear deal. But the U.S. will also impose new economic penalties related to the country’s missile work. Those sanctions will target military officials, according to the Treasury Department, as well as a China-based network accused of supplying ballistic missile material to Iran.
Stuart Jones, the acting assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs, told The Associated Press the U.S. is still forming a “comprehensive Iran policy” but will continue implementing the Iran nuclear deal in the meantime. That represents a departure from President Trump’s comments on the campaign trail against the nuclear deal negotiated under former President Barack Obama, who also renewed a series of waivers to U.S. sanctions on Iran shortly before leaving office in January.
One of the astounding things about Islamic extremists is that, with astonishing regularity, they tell you exactly what they are thinking. Want to know what targets ISIS intends to hit next? Watch the videos they release with great regularity. Want to know what the Islamic Republic of Iran is up to inside the United States? Listen to the Iranian Intelligence Minister, Mahmoud Alavi.
Speaking earlier this year, Alavi discussed at length the activities of what he called a pro-Iranian “lobby group” in Washington, DC, which clandestinely pushes a pro-Iranian agenda and spreads its ideology. As per Alavi, this lobby is working to bolster the regime’s international status and help legitimize its nuclear plans and programs.