Iran Human Rights (JAN 14 2016): Iran state run media, Ashkezar News, reports on the execution of one prisoner on the morning of Thursday January 14 at Yazd’s central prison (central Iran). According to the report, the prisoner, identified as “A.B.”, was a Wahhabi.
According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network, six prisoners were hanged at Orumiyeh’s central prison (northern Iran) on murder charges. The executions were reportedly carried out on Wednesday January 13. On Tuesday the prisoners had been transferred from their cells to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions. The prisoners have been identified as Aref Shahindeji, Hossein Ezzataleb, Rahman Ranjbar, Alireza Akbari, Arsalan Badyaneh, and Abdul Wahab Hatami.
Countless instances since the 2013 election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – including most recently the state-sanctioned torching of the Saudi embassy in Tehran – should have dispelled the notion that we are dealing with a moderate reformist at the helm of the Islamic Republic. Sectarian conflict is on the rise with Iran backing Syria’s Assad, Hezbollah, an anti-American insurgency in Yemen and radical Shia factions in Iraq.
Rouhani has gradually lost most of his reformist supporters in Iran, who have suffered increasing repression and worsening economic conditions during his tenure. These developments have proven the accuracy of analyses from sources like the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which insisted from the start that moderation was not a realistic prospect under the existing theocratic regime.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, acknowledged training thousands of those whom he called the armed revolutionary generation in the countries of the region, according to what was quoted by the Fars news agency. Jafari said at the funeral of Hamid Reza Asadullah, a leader in the Revolutionary Guards who was killed in Syria, that the positive outcome of the developments and events in the region is the training of about two hundred thousand armed young troops in the region’s countries.
US Embassy Says Several Americans Missing in Iraq
The U.S. Embassy confirmed Sunday that “several” Americans have gone missing in Iraq, after local media reported that three Americans had been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Scott Bolz said, “We are working in full cooperation with Iraqi authorities to locate the missing Americans.”
Bolz did not identify the missing Americans or say what they were doing in Iraq.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said that “due to privacy considerations” he had nothing further to add about the missing Americans. “The safety and security of Americans abroad is our highest priority,” Kirby said.
As we enter into 2016, some members of the foreign policy community are looking forward to a year of new relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The nuclear agreement or so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), finalized in Vienna on July 14, has reportedly cleared its main hurdles on the way toward being implemented by Iran, the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China.
There is now a steady push for foreign investment in Iran, culminating in state visits between the regime and major European powers. January will see the most significant of these to date, when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits France and Italy, in large part to finalize trade deals.
The United States imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for supplying Iran‘s ballistic missile programme in a move delayed by over two weeks so as not to endanger this weekend’s release of U.S. prisoners, sources familiar with the matter said.
The U.S. Treasury Department said it had blacklisted the UAE-based Mabrooka Trading, and its owner Hossein Pournaghshband for helping Iran’s produce carbon fibre for the programme. Financial institutions and companies are barred from dealing with those on the U.S. blacklist.
The key to this success, we are told, was that the U.S. and Iran had a reliable diplomatic channel because of nuclear negotiations to defuse this potential crisis. On Wednesday, a senior State Department official briefed reporters about five phone calls between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif. Kerry made it clear that the most important issue was getting the Americans released, unharmed — turning this into “a good story for both of us,” Kerry told Zarif, according to the briefer.