Brief On Iran (BOI) – Newsletter August 10th, 2015

Brief On Iran – Newsletter
August 10th, 2015
  Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)
   The Telegraph
  Ahmad Vahdat, & Colin FreemanMohammad Ali Taheri
Iran accused of sentencing dead man to death to cover up torture. Mohammad Ali Taheri, an Iranian faith healer, reportedly died in prison and was then sentenced to death to cover it up.
Supporters of an Iranian faith healer who was jailed for blasphemy and “touching the wrists of female patients” have accused the country’s government of posthumously sentencing him to death to cover up his death from torture and hunger strike.
Mohammad Ali Taheri, a pioneer of “holistic” complementary medicine, initially received a five-year jail sentence. His case was among those raised last week by Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, after it was announced last weekend that he had later been sentenced to death by Iran’s “revolutionary court” on fresh charges of spreading “corruption on earth”.
US-based followers of his Circle of Unity organisation now claim to have learned from sources within Iran’s prison system that he actually starved himself to death as long as ago as January, but that the Iranian authorities then covered it up. The Iranian government insists he is still alive.
  Hand and Foot Imputation, Eye Gouging In Iran
  Human Rights
OIAC- Hand and Foot Imputation, An Eye Gouging In Iran
Daily Mail Human Rights News reported on August 6th, that a man has been sentenced to have his eyes gouged out in Iran after damaging the sight of a man during a street fight, it has been reported.
The horrifying ‘eye for an eye’ sentence was handed down to a 27-year-old man, referred to only by his first name, Hamed. It is punishment for unintentionally injuring a man’s eye during a brawl in March 2011, when he was just 23 years old.
In another incident, Iranian Regime On Monday, August 3rd, amputated the hand and foot of an inmate in a prison in Mashhad, northeast Iran.
The prisoner, only identified as Rahman K. had his right hand and left foot severed by the authorities. He was accused by the regime of committing a bank heist along with an associate, identified as Mehdi R. Both were pronounced by the authorities to be “moharebeh,” or “waging war on God.”
Both men received the same sentence. It is not known when Mehdi’s sentence will be implemented or if it has already been done so. According to the state-run daily Khorasan both men will continue to serve an extended prison sentence as well.
  Iran: Juvenile offender due to be executed within days
   Amnesty International
  The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the implementation of a death sentence for juvenile offender Salar Shadizadi, and ensure that a new request for a judicial review made by his lawyers earlier this week is granted without delay, said Amnesty International.
The execution of Salar Shadizadi, who was jailed and sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was just 15 years old, was originally scheduled for 1 August and then postponed to 10 August after an international outcry.
“Carrying out the execution of Salar Shadizadi would be a deeply tragic blow to Iran’s obligations under international human rights law, which strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by persons under the age of 18. To carry out an execution while a judicial review of the case is being sought would also be a slap in the face of justice,” said Said Boumedouha, Acting Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
  The Lie that Europe Cares About Human Rights
   Commentary Magazine
  Michael Rubin
Once upon a time, the European Union prided itself on human rights a “core aspect of European identity.” When Klaus Kinkel became Germany’s foreign minister on May 18, 1992, he declared promotion of human rights to be a top priority, at least rhetorically. Behind-the-scenes, though, Kinkel seemed to salivate at the Iranian market.  By 1987, Germany already accounted for more than a quarter of Iran’s total imports, but Germany wanted more. Iran, after all, was an impressive market; oil-rich and in desperate need of investment after eight years of a devastating war. So, the Clinton administration promoted “Dual Containment,” Kinkel and his European colleagues argued that Iran was simply too important to isolate.
   The Guardian

State-run agencies and semi-official websites run articles in effort to discredit Ahmed Shaheed.

Iran has launched a sophisticated smear campaign against the UN special rapporteur investigating its human rights violations by widely spreading a fabricated WikiLeaks cable purporting to show he received bribes from Saudi Arabia.

In a concerted effort aimed at discrediting Ahmed Shaheed in the eyes of the general public, Iranian state-run agencies and semi-official websites simultaneously carried articles claiming that the Saudi embassy in Kuwait had paid the UN envoy $1m to take an anti-Iran position. It dominated many Iranian front pages on Tuesday and an Iranian official later used the false information to question Shaheed’s credibility.

 BBC News
 Kasra Naji

 A top secret document sent to newspaper editors has surfaced on the internet.

Issued by the ministry in charge of the press, the two-page document faxed to media organisations relays directives from Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. It says editors should praise the deal and the negotiating team.

It stresses the need “to safeguard the achievements of the talks”; avoid sowing “doubt and disappointment among the public”; and avoid giving the impression of “a rift” at the highest levels of government.

It’s been the reformist newspapers in Iran that have been the target of such orders in the past – orders that for example sought to stifle debate about the advisability of the whole nuclear programme, and its cost to the nation.

  Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle East)
The Washington Post
Jackson Diehl

With the Iran nuclear deal in hand, President Obama appears ready to focus more of his attention on
 stemming the wars, mass atrocities and humanitarian catastrophes that have spread across the Middle East during his presidency. He has articulated several big goals he wants to reach before the next president takes office: to put the United States and its allies “on track to defeat” the Islamic State; to “have jump-started a process to resolve the civil war in Syria“; and to defend Israel and other U.S. allies from aggression mounted by Iran and its proxies.
Here’s the problem: The last two of those goals are, as the president conceives them, directly in conflict with each other.

At his post-deal news conference last month, Obama conceded that Iran might use some of the billions it will soon receive to supply the Lebanese Hezbollah militia with fresh weapons, and he vowed to do his best to stop it. “It is in the national security interest of the United States to prevent Iran from sending weapons to Hezbollah,” he said.

A Chinese-made Chengdu J-10 fighter jet is seen on the tarmac during a rehearsal before the opening of the seventh China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition. Reuters/Bobby Yip (China)
China and Iran are mulling a $1 billion deal that would see China trade 24 Chengdu J-10 fourth-generation fighter jets in exchange for control of Iran’s biggest oil field for two decades, a report in the Taiwanese newspaper Want Daily said Thursday. The oil field in question is the 350 square-mile Azadegan field, which produces around 40,000 barrels of light and heavy crude per day. It’s currently operated by the National Iranian Oil Company and is thought to be the largest oil discovery in the country in 30 years.
The China National Petroleum Corporation had previously signed a $2.5 billion deal in 2009 to produce 75,000 barrels a day at the South Azadegan oil field over a 25-year period. However, work to develop the field for production was canceled in 2014 because strict sanctions imposed by the West against Iran were beginning to affect Chinese financiers of the deal. A similar $2 billion contract signed in 2009 for the North Azadegan field has continued throughout sanctions.
Iran’s military mastermind is getting defiant.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani ignored a travel ban and sanctions and flew to Russia to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Vladimir Putin, two unnamed Western intelligence sources told Fox News.
It’s not clear what the leaders discussed at the July 24 meeting.
Soleimani is a US-designated terrorist. US Secretary of State John Kerry, as he rallies Washington support for the Iran nuclear deal, has assured American officials that Soleimani and his Quds Force would continue to face sanctions from the US Treasury even after UN sanctions are lifted under the deal, Fox reports.
Iran Quds chief visited Russia despite U.N. travel ban: Iran official 
The head of Iran’s elite military Quds Force, who is subject to a United Nations travel ban, has met senior Russian officials in Moscow, an Iranian official said on Friday.
Qassem Soleimani, chief of the force which is an overseas arm of the Revolutionary Guards, has been subject to an international travel ban and asset freeze by the U.N. Security Council since 2007.
But the Iranian official, who declined to be identified, said Soleimani had made the trip in the second half of July, where he had held talks covering regional and bilateral issues and the delivery to Iran of S-300 surface-to-air missiles and other weapons.
Soleimani had arrived in Moscow on July 24 and met President Vladimir Putin and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu before departing three days later, Fox News reported on Thursday.
Nicole Hong

A group of American terrorism victims filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a federal judge to stop the U.S. government from releasing billions of dollars in Iranian assets as part of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal.

The approximately two dozen victims are Americans injured or killed in suicide bombings in and around Israel from 1995 to 2006 and their family members.

The victims previously sued Iran and were awarded over $1.5 billion, including $152.7 million in compensation, by federal judges who found that Iran helped support the terrorist attacks against them. Iran hasn’t paid the judgments, some of which date back over a decade.

 Syria foreign minister in Tehran for talks with Iran, Russia
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for talks with officials from allies Iran and Russia that are expected to focus on efforts to end the civil war in his country.
Iran and Russia have stood by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing military and financial support during more than four years of the conflict. The United States and some of its Gulf Arab allies have said Assad must leave office.
World powers led by the United States reached a nuclear agreement with Iran on July 14 but both sides have made it clear that the deal will not change their policies in the region.
 Iran- Nuclear Activities

  House of  Representatives

Today, August 4, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced H.J.Res. 64, legislation that would prevent the implementation of the Obama Administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran.  The legislation was introduced consistent with the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, passed and signed into law in May.  Upon the legislation’s introduction, Chairman Royce said:

“I wish the Obama Administration had negotiated a verifiable, enforceable, and accountable agreement.  While a tremendous amount of effort was put into these negotiations, the result falls well short of this standard.  That’s the only conclusion I can come to after dozens of hearings with independent experts who have expressed extreme misgivings about this deal, especially the lifting of the arms embargo on Iran’s ICBM program.  The agreement gives Iran permanent sanctions relief, but in exchange only temporarily restrains Iran’s nuclear program.
  Armin Rosen

The Iranian regime has filed a complaint with the International Atomic Energy Agency, alleging that the United States has already broken the Iran deal.

The complaint cites remarks by White House press secretary Josh Earnest about the possible use of military force in the long run, and the use of nuclear inspections to gain intelligence about Iran’s nuclear facilities in the meantime. These are frequent talking points that the White House uses to reassure legislators like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Iran calls them a “material breach” of the nuclear deal itself.

According to the text of the Iran deal itself (page 20), any of the parties can treat “significant nonperformance” of the agreement “as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA.”

  Simon Tisdall

As debate rages among politicians and pundits in Washington over whether to endorse last month’s historic nuclear compromise with Iran, key European allies have already given their verdict: a resounding thumbs up.

Government ministers and business leaders in France, Germany, Italy and elsewhere in the EU are racing to open up a new era of diplomatic, trade, investment and possible future military cooperation with Tehran, regardless of what American and Israeli sceptics say.
While Americans argue over timescales, technicalities and Iranian trustworthiness, behind their backs the scramble for Persia, recalling Europe’s 19th-century scramble for Africa, has already begun. The cohesion of the international sanctions regime isolating Iran is crumbling by the day.
 James Dunn

Do aerial images show Iran’s last-ditch efforts to hide nuclear weapons? Think tank claims ‘incriminating evidence’ after sanctions are lifted by Obama

  • Aerial shots reportedly show activity at Parchin military complex, which has been previously linked to nuclear testing
  • A Washington watchdog says pictures reveal attempts to ‘sanitize’ the site
  • The activity started after the July 14 agreement between Iran and the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany
  • The six world powers agreed to lift economic sanctions if Iran allowed inspections of its nuclear program and didn’t build any nuclear weapons.
Aerial photos of a nuclear site in Iran appear to show ‘a last-ditch effort’ to hide ‘incriminating evidence’ before the inspections it agreed to in last month’s international deal.
The photos, from a respected Washington think tank, show ‘renewed activity’ at Parchin, a military site in Iran that has previously been linked to explosives work with nuclear weapons.
A report from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), reveals movement that started after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to end international sanctions on Iran.As part of the deal, Iran agreed to host inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at sites such as Parchin, where the country is suspected of developing nuclear weapons.

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