Brief on Iran (BOI – 119)


Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)

Iran: Supreme Court Confirms 100 Death Sentences for Ghezel Hesar Prisonershang
Iran Human Rights

In the last month Iran’s Supreme Court has reportedly confirmed 100 death sentences for drug offenses.
At least 100 prisoners in Ghezel Hesar Prison (in Karaj, northern Iran) are in imminent danger of execution after their death sentences were reportedly confirmed by Iran’s Supreme Court.

Iran: Tortured filmmaker and musicians face imminent arrest amid crackdown on artistsfilm
Amnesty International

Musicians and filmmakers around the world are being asked to join forces with Amnesty International activists to call on the Iranian authorities to quash the torture-tainted convictions of filmmaker Hossein Rajabian, his brother Mehdi Rajabian and Yousef Emadi, both musicians.
The three men are at risk of imminent arrest after an appeal court upheld their prison sentences for ludicrous charges related to their artistic work, Amnesty International warned today amid an ongoing crackdown on artists and freedom of expression in Iran.

Iranian Activist Receives Six-Month Prison Sentence for Facebook Postsfacebook
Iran Human Rights

The civil rights activist Esmail Ahmadi-Ragheb has been sentenced to six months in prison for “propaganda against the state” by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Shahriar, Tehran Province, for posting content on social media that was critical of government policy.
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Ahmadi-Ragheb said that his comments and photos on Facebook were used as evidence for the anti-state propaganda charge.
“One of the things I had mentioned a lot in my Facebook posts was the term ‘religious dictatorship.’ That was taken as evidence, so was my participation in a rally in support of [human rights lawyer] Nasrin Sotoudeh in front of the Bar Association as well as my meeting with Sattar Beheshti’s [a blogger murdered by his interrogators in prison] mother and my participation in gatherings in support of political prisoners. They told me all these activities were illegal,” he said.

Baha’i man arrested while visiting his wife at Evin Prison!image9

A man was arrested in a visiting hall while he was visiting his imprisoned wife kept in the notorious Evin Prison .
Azija Rafi’zadeh, a Baha’i prisoner and a teacher of the Bahais Higher Education School, is currently serving a five year term in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran.
This Baha’i couple were previously arrested on May 22, 2015 after security forces raided the home of professors teaching at the Bahais Higher Education School.

Iran says court sentences billionaire to death in graft casecourt

A court in Iran has sentenced to death Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani and two accomplices for embezzlement, the judiciary said on Sunday, in a case widely watched due to the billionaire’s prominent role in helping the government evade oil sanctions.
The Islamic court convicted the defendants of “spreading corruption on earth”, a capital offense, and ordered them to repay funds embezzled from, among others, state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said on live television.


Rights and reforms: Iran’s post-election challengesreforms
Euro News

Two years ago, euronews interviewed him (Javad Larijani) about extensive violations against human rights in Iran by government-sponsored agencies and the judiciary.
He promised change. Two years on, latest reports by the United Nations and Amnesty International are filled with cases of human rights abuse while the number of executions have soared to an unprecedented level.


Desperate migrants facing eviction sew lips together in Calais ‘jungle camp’ demonstrationmigrants
Daily Record

At least five men staged the protest and held aloft banners as bulldozers cleared ramshackle homes in the slum for a third successive day. MIGRANTS facing eviction from the camp in Calais known as the Jungle sewed their lips together to protest at their treatment by France.
At least five men staged the protest and held aloft banners as bulldozers cleared ramshackle homes in the slum for a third successive day. One banner read: “I left my country and I came here to find my human rights but unfortunately I have found NONE.”

Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle-East)

Iran’s False Choice: Rebranding Hard-Liners as ‘Moderates’rebranding
The National Interest

Iranians went to the ballot box last Friday to cast their votes for the Assembly of Experts and the Majles, Iran’s parliament. Reading the headlines in U.S. media, one might think reformists had won a landslide victory in both elections. It’s a narrative that could not be further from the truth. The pragmatic camp of President Hassan Rouhani lost the Assembly of Experts to hard-line revolutionaries, and the Majles race remains neck and neck. Moreover, the “reformists” touted as the winners are not reformist at all, even by the skewed standards of the Islamic Republic.


Gulf states declare Hezbollah a ‘terrorist’ groupguards

Gulf states on Wednesday declared Lebanon’s Hezbollah a “terrorist” group, in the latest regional move against the Shiite organization fighting in support of Syria’s regime.
The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council took the action against Hezbollah members because of “hostile actions of the militia who recruit the young people (of the Gulf) for terrorist acts,” GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani said in a statement.


Syrian Protesters Take to Streets as Airstrikes Ease protesters
The New York Times

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Street protests erupted across insurgent-held areas of Syria on Friday, as demonstrators took advantage of the relative lull in airstrikes during a partial truce, coming out in the largest numbers in years to declare that even after five punishing years of war they still wanted political change.
Under the slogan “The Revolution Continues,” demonstrators waved the green, white and black pre-Baathist flag adopted during the early, largely peaceful stages of the revolt, before the proliferation of armed Islamist factions with black jihadist banners.

Opinion: Iran’s Costly Fake ‘Democracy’baghdad
Asharq Al-Awsat

Iranians are, of course, free to accept the Vali- e- Faqih brand of ‘democracy’ or reject it. But such exceptional ‘democracy’ is proving extremely costly to the Arab world.
What the ruling authorities in Tehran regard as ‘democracy’ or “shura” is beyond the scope of this argument, it is enough to say that the current Iranian regime is underpinned on a solid theocratic – security base that monopolizes the right to choose who runs for the ‘Majlis’ (The Lower House of Parliament) and the ‘Assembly of Experts’, and who are branded as traitors. Such ‘democracy’ in practice takes place against a background of hallows reserved to unacceptable political opponents and is distrusted by a large section of Iranian society; including once prominent symbols and figures in Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution before they ending up marginalized, exiled or placed under house arrest.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard using Lebanon for Yemen, Syria Operations, says Mashnouq Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer
Ya Libnan

Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on Sunday of using Lebanon as an “operations room” for its activities in Yemen, Syria and other countries.
“Our stance is clear on rejecting Hezbollah’s interference and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is using Lebanon as an operations room for its foreign operations in Yemen, Syria and other places,” Mashnouq said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television.

Iran- Nuclear Activities

Bolton: Iran’s hard-liners tightly control election charadebolton
Boston Herald

Early returns for Iran’s national legislature, or Majlis, indicate that “moderates” and “reformers” won big in Tehran. But “Downstate” Majlis outcomes are slower to appear. Significantly, returns for the Assembly of Experts (responsible for electing Iran’s Supreme Leader) were spotty. Even the reformers’ most enthusiastic spokesmen conceded, however, that control of the new Majlis remains unclear.
In the West, many immediately saw these initial numbers as vindicating last summer’s Vienna deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. And, indeed, the voting may demonstrate the relief felt in Iran for the lifting of international sanctions that squeezed their lifestyles and businesses for almost a decade. All of this enthusiasm, however, is badly misguided.
……….Scamming the West, in the moderates’ view, is far better than provoking it. The ayatollahs have read their Shakespeare: “one may smile, and smile, and be a villain,”

A reality check on Iranreality
The Washington Times

,,,,,,,,It seems much more likely that the mullahs, like Mr. Putin and the Castros, have figured it out. If they give even the flimsiest cosmetic appearance of “democratic reform,” all the useful idiots in the west-including those currently occupying the White House-will chase that shiny object and ignore the fact that they remain implacably dedicated to their long-standing policy of violent hostility towards America and our allies.

We must not let our natural-and laudable-hopes for liberalization in Iran blind us to what is really happening. Have we already forgotten that just six weeks ago ten American sailors were on their knees with Iranian guns pointed at their heads? This election was nothing more or less than another carefully choreographed and controlled exercise in perpetuating the status quo in Iran, made all the more necessary by the prospect of a high-level transition of power.

Iranian ‘moderate’ victory anything but: Columniranian moderate
USA Today

Just like the Iran nuclear deal, these elections don’t change the character of a regime bent on expanding its power.
On Friday, Iranians went to the polls to cast their votes in two crucial electoral contests. The first was to appoint representatives to the country’s unicameral legislature, commonly known as themajles. The second was to select officials for the Assembly of Experts, the powerful clerical body that oversees the performance of the country’s top religious authority, its Supreme Leader.

Iran Denies Travel Visas to U.S. Lawmakers Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., is pursued by reporters at the Capitol as the House Republican leadership works to muster votes for final passage of the omnibus spending bill to fund the government, in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Earlier in the day, conservatives sought to torpedo the measure because it would leave Obama's immigration policy unchallenged, but Speaker John Boehner patrolled the noisy, crowded House floor looking for enough GOP converts to keep it afloat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Free Beacon

Iran has denied travel documents to three U.S. lawmakers who sought to observe the country’s Friday elections and ensure that they were carried out fairly, according to information provided to the Washington Free Beacon.
The Iranian regime delayed for weeks and ultimately ignored multiple visa requests by three House lawmakers who sought permission to travel to the country in order to monitor the elections held last Friday. Observers say the elections ushered in another crop of hardline, anti-American officials.

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