Brief on Iran

Brief On Iran (BOI) – Newsletter August 31st, 2015

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Brief On Iran – Newsletter
August 31st, 2015
  Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)
Behrouz Alkhani

  Amnesty International
  
Behrouz Alkhani, a 30-year-old man from Iran’s Kurdish minority, was executed early this morning local time, said Amnesty International, despite the fact that he was awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal.
The organization has also learned that the authorities have so far refused to return Behrouz Alkhani’s body to his family.
“Today’s execution of Behrouz Alkhani, who was still waiting for the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal against his sentence, is a vicious act of cruelty by the Iranian authorities and a denigration of both Iranian and international law. It is appalling that they have imposed further pain and suffering on Behrouz Alkhani’s family by refusing to return his body for burial,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“The fact that the authorities have carried out the execution despite the pending appeal against a sentence imposed in a grossly unfair trial and international pleas to halt the execution, shows their utter disregard for justice. His execution is just further proof of the authorities’ determined resolve to continue with a relentless wave of executions which has seen more than 700 put to death in Iran so far this year.”
   The Time
  Julia Zorthian
  

Hundreds of migrants tried to cross to Macedonia on Friday

Hundreds of migrants trying to cross the border from Greece to Macedonia clashed with police lines on Friday, just a day after Macedonia declared a state of emergency and closed the border. Photographer Georgi Licovski captured this image of distressed children pushed against the police line and crush of bodies.
“For the first time in my life I saw my colleagues-photographers and journalists-crying because of the situation,” Licovski told TIME after spending the day taking pictures at the border. He added that it was also the first time he has cried while working.
   Iran Human Rights
  

 At least seven prisoners charged with murder were hanged to death at Kermanshah’s Dizel Abad Prison on Wednesday morning.

Iran Human Rights, Thursday August 27 2015: According to unofficial reports, at least seven prisoners charged with murder were hanged to death at Kermanshah’s Dizel Abad Prison on the morning of Wednesday August 26. Two of the prisoners have been identified as Behrouz Nouri, approximately 25 years, and Shah Bakhshihaghi. The names of the other prisoners are not known at this time. Iranian state media and government bodies have not reported on these executions.
   OIAC

 Mr. Hassan Jaafari said his wife is a housewife and 40 years old and she was arrested for a mere “telephone contact” with her family in Ashraf (the seat of the main Iranian opposition, the PMOI, in Iraq) and condemned to 15 years imprisonment on the charge of “waging war on God”.

Mr. Jaafari said Judge Salavati who is in charge of his wife’s case had explicitly told him that Maryam was paying the price for the activities of her sisters and brothers.
Maryam Akbari Monfared is mother of three girls, now 10, 17 and 17. The latter is actually a niece adopted by her aunt. Her brother Reza Akbari Monfared is also in Gohardasht Prison, Karaj.
Maryam Akbari’s two brothers were executed by the clerical regime in 1981 and 1984 for supporting the PMOI and one of her sisters and another brother were killed in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in summer 1988.
  Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle East)
After a brief respite aboard a Greek passenger ship, Syrian refugee Mohamed has found himself stranded on a filthy, chaotic strip at the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) border, his way to the relative security of northern Europe blocked by razor wire and riot police.
The 20-year-old geology student, like thousands of others stuck at the Greek frontier village of Idomeni, has made an arduous and often dangerous journey to escape the horrors of the Syrian civil war.
What he has found at Idomeni has brought him close to despair and now he simply wants to go anywhere in Europe that is safe. “We just want to survive,” he told Reuters.
After making his way through Turkey, Mohamed took a small boat over the narrow stretch of water to Kos, one of the Greek islands where thousands of migrants have arrived this summer from as far as Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
A group of nearly 200 retired generals and admirals sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging lawmakers to reject the Iran nuclear agreement, which they say threatens national security.
The letter is the latest in a blizzard of missives petitioning Congress either to support or oppose the agreement with Iran, which would lift sanctions if Iran pared back its nuclear program. Letters have come from ad hoc groupings of rabbis, nuclear scientists, arms-control and nonproliferation experts – and now, retired senior military officers, many of whom have worked in the White House during various administrations dating to the 1980s.
The letter, addressed to Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate and the House, is a response to one sent last week by three dozen retired senior military officers who support the nuclear deal.
More than 30 other officials including former Mosul governor Athil al-Nujaifi were also blamed in the report.
The militants seized Mosul in a sweep across north and west Iraq last year.
Mr Maliki, a Shia, is seen as having fanned sectarian tensions, leading to a growth of discontent in those mainly Sunni Arab areas captured by IS.
Hours earlier, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi cleared the way for a court martial of military commanders who abandoned their posts as another city, Ramadi, fell to IS in May this year.
The moves come as the current government continues a major campaign to combat corruption and mismanagement.
 Iran- Nuclear Activities

  The Hill
  Dr. Majid Sadeghpour
“I think we all share a simple, basic premise, which is that the United States must not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten our national security,” so said Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), adding that he would support the nuclear deal struck between the P5+1 and Iran, “only if I’m convinced it sufficiently freezes every Iranian pathway to a nuclear weapon.” He could not have said it any better.
Although the administration insists that this agreement is not based on trust but on verification, the supreme leader Ali Khamenei and his underlings have already rejected inspections of military sites, a critical part of the inspections regime envisioned in the comprehensive long-term deal with Iran.  Tehran’s interlocutors, it appears, have made a series of unnecessary concessions in the agreement. Meanwhile, the regime has sensed that it can win even more compromises if it digs in deep enough.
  
Consider this: The Iran nuclear negotiations that concluded July 14 with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action did not begin in 2013 after the election of so-called moderate President Hassan Rouhani. Rather, they began under the adversarial presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The ayatollah, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, recently acknowledged this as he attempted to encourage Iranians to maintain and extend the country’s combative relationship with the United States. His subordinates have followed suit. Iranian Brigadier Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi famously welcomed the nuclear agreement by saying that Iranians should hate the United States “100 times more” because of it.
  

LONDON — According to a draft document seen by the Associated Press, it appears that Iranian technicians — and not the International Atomic Energy Agency — will be taking the lead in collecting samples from the Parchin military complex to check for the presence of any trace amounts of nuclear material. This is the site in Iran whereconventional explosives testing possibly relevant to nuclear weapons research isalleged to have taken place more than a decade ago.

Usually, IAEA staff would do the sampling themselves. So — assuming the Associated Press story is true, and the draft document reflects the final agreed measures — how come such a “managed-access” arrangement was granted to Iran this time?

It’s hard to be certain, but it may be because the IAEA’s track record under its previous head of safeguards, Olli Heinonen, is marred by the botched analysis of the Syrian site at Al Kibar. The Iranians may be insisting on leading the Parchin inspections themselves to make sure they, too, are not wrongly accused by the IAEA.

  

LONDON — According to a draft document seen by the Associated Press, it appears that Iranian technicians — and not the International Atomic Energy Agency — will be taking the lead in collecting samples from the Parchin military complex to check for the presence of any trace amounts of nuclear material. This is the site in Iran whereconventional explosives testing possibly relevant to nuclear weapons research isalleged to have taken place more than a decade ago.

Usually, IAEA staff would do the sampling themselves. So — assuming the Associated Press story is true, and the draft document reflects the final agreed measures — how come such a “managed-access” arrangement was granted to Iran this time?

It’s hard to be certain, but it may be because the IAEA’s track record under its previous head of safeguards, Olli Heinonen, is marred by the botched analysis of the Syrian site at Al Kibar. The Iranians may be insisting on leading the Parchin inspections themselves to make sure they, too, are not wrongly accused by the IAEA.

 Appeasing Iran?
   The Hill
 Alan J. Kuperman
As Congress reviews the Iran nuclear deal, it faces the hardest choice in foreign affairs: whether to threaten or appease an adversary.  The proper choice, scholars agree, depends on the rival’s intent.
If the other country is “status quo” – just wants to be left alone to prosper without dominating other countries or flouting international rules – we should concede its limited demands.  Appeasement is not a dirty word in such a case, but the ideal foreign policy.  However, if the other country is “revisionist” – seeking to dominate others and overturn the global order – we must deter it through coercion including the threat of force.

Such advice may sound simple, but misreading intent can lead to disaster.  If we threaten a status quo country, the result can be unnecessary war, such as the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  The opposite mistake – appeasing a revision state – can be even worse.  Conciliating Nazi Germany led to a war so terrible that “appeasement” has forever been transformed into an epithet.

Though no two historical moments are identical, the similarities between the pending Iran nuclear deal and the Munich agreement of 1938 are haunting.

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