Brief On Iran – Newsletter
July 20th, 2015
Washington, DC, July 15, 2015 – The agreement announced this week between P5+1 countries and Iran represents a significant retreat by the Ayatollahs but regrettably fails to block Tehran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb. Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC-US) is deeply concerned that the unwarranted concessions provides the extremist rulers in Iran tens of billions of dollars to further feed the roots of terrorism in the region.
Most notably, the agreement allows Iran to deny or delay immediate access to its declared or suspect nuclear facilities and virtually ignores all aspects of the long-standing unresolved issues related to its clandestine activities and their Possible Military Dimension (PMD). The deal also circumvents six U.N. Security Council resolutions without securing measures to ensure acceptable verification of regime’s nuclear activities.
Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)
Iran Human Rights
Iran Human Rights, July 15 2015: Official sources in Iran have reported on the public execution of a prisoner in Mahvelat County. The prisoner was charged with the rape of an 11-year-old girl who died in the hospital, according to the website of the Judiciary for the province of Razavi Khorasan. Iranian authorities reportedly executed the prisoner during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The website for broadcasting in Mahvelat County reports the prisoner was sentenced to death by hanging for rape and also sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Iranian authorities used the Islamic Penal Code to justify the charges and sentencing.
Iran Human Rights
Iran Human Rights, June 29, 2015: According to official reports, Iranian authorities carried out two amputation sentences in the Central Prison of Mashhad on Sunday (during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan).
One of the prisoners was identified by Khorassan newspaper as M.A., 26 years old, accused of theft by breaking into a residential home and stealing money. However, hours after its publication, the paper removed the prisoner’s name from the report. The amputation sentence was reportedly issued in branch 136 of Mashhad’s public and criminal court. The other prisoner, reportedly charged with ten counts of theft, was transferred to the Central Prison of Mashhad for the execution of his sentence (Ferdowsi Prison, where he is held, is reportedly not equipped to carry out amputations).
Human Rights in Iran
Civil and political activist Minoo Mortazi Langroudi has launched an appeal against the six-year prison sentence she received for her peaceful activism. Ms. Langroudi was convicted on charges of disturbing national security and propaganda against the state, based on her activities with a peaceful group that is critical of government policies.
“Ms. Langroudi’s activities have been within the law,” a source close to the family told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “All her life she has shown that she is not an extremist or a law breaker and now she expects the sentence against her will be quashed.”
Minoo Mortazi Langroudi is a member of the Council of Nationalist-Religious Activists, a political organization that advocates for political reform and greater democratization in Iran and which is banned by the Islamic Republic. She is also one of the founders of Mothers for Peace, a grassroots group formed to campaign against military action against Iran, and a board member of the Center to Defend Prisoners’ Rights, an informal civil society organization focused on obtaining due process and better conditions for political prisoners as well as their release, which is also banned in Iran.
Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle East)
Civilians in the city of Aleppo, Syria are being subjected to appalling human rights violations committed by the Syrian government and many armed opposition groups. These violations amount to war crimes and in the case of those committed by the Syrian government, are so systematic and widespread that they constitute crimes against humanity. In this report Amnesty International calls upon all parties to the Syrian conflict to end deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects; to end the indiscriminate use of explosive weapons; to end arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, and enforced disappearances; and to allow unimpeded humanitarian access.
Retired Army three-star general and former Army Asst. Vice Chief of Staff Jay Garner told Howard Altmanof The Tampa Tribune that the U.S. Administration is taking orders from Tehran not to arm the Kurdish militia in northern Iraq and Syria.
“The Iranians have told the administration not to arm the Kurds. They back the government in Baghdad, which is a puppet government to Iran. Our administration is so immersed in this nuclear deal (with Iran) that I think they will do anything the Iranians tell them to do,” Garner said.
Garner is convinced that the Kurds can defeat Islamic State if they receive the necessary weapons. He claims that if the U.S. would give the Kurds A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and Apache attack helicopters, Javelin and TOW anti-tank weapons, 81 mm mortars, and M113 armored personnel carriers and armored Humvees, they would be able to continue their advances toward Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.
“They have over 600 miles of frontage,” Garner said. “They have to guard the whole front and all that they have is light infantry.”
The Kurds need anti-tank weapons to eliminate the threat of the truck bombs Islamic State uses. Islamic State now uses three plates of armor to stop RPG’s from destroying their truck bombs that are often packed with thousands of pounds of explosives.
BEIRUT – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad signed a law ratifying a $1 billion credit line from top regional ally Iran, Syria’s state news agency SANA said on Wednesday, funds which will help ease economic strains from the costly war.
The agreement was between two state-owned banks, the Syrian Commercial Bank and Export Development Bank of Iran, it said. Syria signed a previous $3.6 billion credit line with Iran in July 2013 which has been used up mostly for oil imports, bankers have said.
The new deal was signed on May 19 and approved by the Syrian parliament on Tuesday, SANA said. The money would be used for funding imports of goods and commodities and implementing projects, it said, without giving details.
Tehran’s financial aid has been seen as pivotal to the Syrian government and the economy, which has more than halved in the four years since the conflict erupted, researchers say.
Iran is believed to have sent dozens of military advisers and President Hassan Rouhani has said Tehran will back Assad “until the end of the road”. Several senior Iranian military figures have been killed in recent months.
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has written an op-ed in the Financial Times which sets forward a distinct sequence for ostensibly resolving the daunting security challenges of the Middle East.
First, the P5+1 – the group of powerful nations negotiating with Iran – should come to a deal over its nuclear program. As a result, he argues, Tehran will “open new horizons” and join “the international battle” against “the increasingly brutal extremism that is engulfing the Middle East.”
The idea that Iran is a partner in the fight against terrorism is not only disingenuous but also absurd. What Zarif is seeking is a leap of faith by his Western readers, who are asked to believe that a country which has been repeatedly identified as the largest state supporter of terrorism in the world will suddenly be altered by an agreement over its nuclear program into an ally against terrorism. He is asking the world to simply trust Iran that this transformation is about to happen.
Against the backdrop of daily reports of atrocities at the hands of terror groups in Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, the world now has word of a nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and the Iranian regime, which-even in the most optimistic reading-not only fails to block Tehran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb, but will provide it with tens of billions of dollars to add to its war chest.
Some may view the concessions to Tehran as an attempt by the Obama administration to secure Iran’s cooperation to counter and defeat the insidious danger of Islamic fundamentalism. This would misread the regime’s history and stated intentions. Tehran’s nuclear program is explicitly tied to its revolutionary, imperialist impulse. As former President and current head of the Expediency Council Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani once boasted, if the regime acquires nuclear weapons, who could prevent the export of the “revolution”?
Declassified- Now that the President Barack Obama and his administration are selling the Iran nuclear deal, they say U.S. negotiators held a firm line against Iran’s last-minute push for even more concessions. But if you compare the deal today with what was described in a White House fact sheet on the “framework” reached in April it shows that the West ceded a lot of ground to Iran in those final days in Vienna.
In a few cases, the White House line is partially true. Iran’s leaders had publicly insisted that they would forbid international inspectors any access to military sites, and its negotiators tried to get an immediate lifting of a U.N. arms embargo on conventional weapons. In both cases, Iran compromised for the final deal. But more often it was the West that backed down, and in more significant ways.
Speaker of the House
He’s been called the “shadow commander” and “the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today.” He’s trained and directed Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, guided Hezbollah raids on Israel, and he’s responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops. And shockingly, he’s getting a big break in President Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran. Qasem Soleimani is innocuously listed on page 95 in Annex II of the agreement alongside other individuals and companies slated to receive sanctions relief. But don’t be fooled: this is the same Qasem Soleimani (aka General Soleimani) who commands the Quds force – Iran’s elite foreign fighting group that supports terror groups in places like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.