On Monday, some news sources with a focus on Iran, including the website of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and IranWire, reported that political prisoner Shahrokh Zamani had been found dead under suspicious circumstances inside his cell in Rajai Shahr Prison. The NCRI also reported that Zamani had been subject to systematic mistreatment during his four years in prison and that he had previously written a note alleging that if anything should happen to him, it would almost certainly be at the hands or on the order of officials.
Indeed, the same letter indicates that Zamani had been repeatedly threatened by intelligence agents who described several possible scenarios for his death. Furthermore, suspicion is unlikely to fall on his fellow prisoners, not only because of the virtual impossibility of murdering him in his own cell but also because he was very well-liked within the prison. Since his death, fellow inmates have been demanding information from prison officials, but they have refused to elaborate on the circumstances of his death. No formal investigation appears to be forthcoming.
Iran Human Rights, Friday September 18 2015: Five prisoners charged with murder were reportedly hanged to death at Rajai Shahr Prison on the morning of Wednesday September 16. Iran Human Rights is aware of two of their names at this time: Davoud Alambeigi and Morteza Ahmadbeigiha.
On Sunday September 13, the five prisoners along with five more prisoners, were transferred from their cells to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions. Five of the ten prisoners received reprieves from plaintiffs, and their execution order was suspended.
Imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, who is in need of urgent medical care, will be put on trial on October 7, 2015, to face new charges, according to her husband, Taghi Rahmani.
Rahmani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the new trial will be presided over by Judge Salavati at Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Salavati is well known for the harsh sentences he hands peaceful activists.
Mohammadi was charged with “collusion,” “assembly against national security,” and “membership in Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty,” . Two previous court dates for her trial, on May 3 and July 6 of 2015, were postponed .
In an earlier interview with the Campaign, Rahmani said he had learned there was a letter in Mohammadi’s file to Judge Salavati from the Ministry of Intelligence demanding the maximum penalty for Mohammadi.
Without adequate laws protecting workers’ safety or independent labor groups able to organize and advocate effectively for workers’ rights, workplace deaths in Iran have risen to alarming numbers.
More than 650 people have died and 10,109 others were injured at the workplace in Iran in just the four-month period from March 21 to July 22 in 2015, according to the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization (ILMO).
“The numbers could be much worse. Many workers do not report their injuries to medical centers out of fear of losing their jobs and many work-related accidents do not get reported,” labor activist Mehdi Kouhestani-Nejad commented to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “We do not have mandatory safety training regulations. In other countries, safety comes first,” he added.
According to official statistics gathered in a report by the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA), the number one cause of death at the workplace over this period was falls from high places (45.6 percent), followed by blows from strong objects (22.1 percent), and electrocution (15.1 percent).
Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle East)
Iran Says Wants China’s Help To Resolve Middle East Tensions
Iran wants China’s help to resolve tensions and unrest in the Middle East and is ready to play host to more Chinese firms once sanctions against it are lifted, Iran’s foreign minister saidon Tuesday
China and Iran have close diplomatic, economic, trade and energy ties, and China has been active in pushing both the United states and Iran to reach agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
Under the multilateral deal, agreed in July, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing to long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.
In ten days from now in New York, initiatives, talks, understandings, and deals will come together under two main titles: terrorism and immigration. Both issues in the minds of world leaders are closely linked to Syria and other crises in the Arab world.
US President Barack Obama called for a world summit on terrorism with the Islamic State group (ISIS) in his mind first and foremost.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin tasked his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to chair a ministerial session of the Security Council titled “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Settlement of Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and Countering the Terrorist Threat in the Region.”
President Putin has effectively declared to the world that Russia intends to fight a war directly against ISIS and similar groups in Syria, while keeping the Syrian regime as a key ally in this war. Russia wants the United States to be a military partner – including of the Syrian regime – in this bid.
The blame for the failed US effort to train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS “should be pointed not at Mr. Obama but at those who pressed him to attempt training Syrian rebels in the first place,” administration officials told Baker.
…..”It looks like the White House would like to blame its critics for its own operational illiteracy,” Frederic Hof, a former special adviser for transition in Syria under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told Business Insider over email.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen any other administration employ ‘the devil made me do it’ argument to excuse and explain its own shortcomings.
Terror Fears As Iran Frees Al Qaeda Members
Iran has released five senior al Qaeda operatives from detention and will soon allow them to leave the country, prompting fears they will join other terrorists in Syria planning attacks on the West.
According to intelligence sources, three of the five are members of al Qaeda’s ruling committee the Shura Council.
They were released in exchange for an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen earlier this year.
The move comes not long after the American-led coalition in Syria bombed and killed several members of an organisation known as the Khorasan Group – an al Qaeda network based in Syria but focusing on planning attacks in the West using operatives with foreign passports.
Among those killed was Mohsin al Fadhli, who had also been based in Iran and was released by Tehran.
How one enterprising Iranian expat family and its allies successfully pushed for U.S.-Iran rapprochement-and now stands to make a fortune from sanctions relief.
When the world’s major powers struck a deal over Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna in July, it represented a victory not just for the Islamic Republic, which has now been granted international legitimacy as a nuclear threshold state, but also for a small but increasingly influential lobby in America, one which has long sought rapprochement between Washington and Tehran and now seeks to leverage a successfully concluded nuclear deal as a means to that end.
This Iran lobby, publicly represented by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has become a staunch institutional ally of the White House selling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is known. But while NIAC has done the heavy-lifting-the ad-buying, the leafleting, and congressional meet-and-greets, all designed to sell lawmakers on the Iran deal-its political efforts also underwrite the economic interests of one very well connected but low-profile Iranian family, the Namazis, who played a key role as intellectual architects of NIAC.
AP News Break: UN nuke chief plans trip to Tehran to push probe of Iran alleged weapons work
VIENNA – The head of the U.N. atomic agency is planning a trip to Tehran to push for long-delayed interviews with Iranian scientists linked to alleged past work on nuclear arms, two diplomats saidFriday.
The planned trip is significant. International Atomic Energy chief Yukiya Amano would be traveling less than a month before an Oct. 15 deadline to gather information on allegations that Iran tried to build atomic weapons.
A final U.N. assessment is due in December, and that will feed into the larger July 14 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, helping to determine whether sanctions on Iran will be lifted.
AUSTIN, Texas – The Iran nuclear deal is silent on an issue that the CIA and proliferation experts are concerned about: that Tehran may outsource parts of its nuclear and missiles program to the secretive regime in North Korea, which on Tuesday committed itself to producing more fuel for nuclear bombs.
CIA Director John Brennan acknowledged Tuesday his agency is monitoring whether Iran may try to assist its clandestine nuclear program with help from another rogue state such as North Korea, or by colluding with Pyongyang toward the secret purchase and transfer of nuclear weapons for Tehran.