The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!
Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)
Iran: Arash Sadeghi’s Father Stages Hunger Strike to Support His Son
Hossein Sadeghi, father of political prisoner Arash Sadeghi, staged hunger strike to support his son. Mr. Sadeghi said: “My son Arash in his 67th day of hunger strike is experiencing moment to moment struggle with death. On Monday, December 26, Arash was urgently transferred to Taleghani hospital in Tehran due to his deteriorating health condition and underwent medical examination. The hospital’s doctors said my son was in extremely dire health condition and in a written report warned about my son’s «dangerous heart condition and risk of cardiac arrest, and danger of coma and even death».”
The suffering father continued: “Now, since last Friday, December 23, I staged a hunger strike to protest the authorities lack of attention to address the demands of my child, and to protest keeping him incommunicado and denying him visit with his wife, and also to support his hunger strike and legitimate demands. I demand his dire condition be addressed and his demands be met. I call on all to be the voice of my son, his wife and other imprisoned loved ones (political prisoners).”
Four fingers of the right hand of two prisoners were amputated in an Iranian prison on the Christmas day, December 25.
IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (DEC 26, 2016): Amputation verdicts of two peisoners were carried out in the prison of Urmia (Northwestern Iran), Sunday December 25.
According to close sources the two prisoners who were brothers, were sentenced to prison and amputation of four fingers of the right hand because of a robbery they allegedly committed in 2011.
The prisoners were identified as Faramarz and Majid Bigham and the amputations were carried out in the yard of Urmia prison. According to sources, other prisoners were encouraged to watch the amputations.
Iran: City Officials Beat
Tragedy of grave sleepers in Iran.
Following the reports published in Shahrvand newspaper on people sleeping in empty graves, officials in Nasirabad, Shahryar, beat the homeless out of the cemetery on Tuesday morning, December 27.
Nearly a year after the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the ensuing fanfare regarding the possibility of an age of reform within a feeble theocracy, Tehran’s behavior has taken a turn for the worse. The most tangible evidence of this can be seen in its treatment of the Iranian people.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Widely distributed images of dozens of homeless Iranians, many of them drug addicts, taking shelter in empty graves outside Tehran in freezing temperatures have prompted a public outcry and criticism from President Hassan Rouhani.
The photographs, first published this week by the newspaper Shahrvand – meaning Citizen in Persian – and since circulated online, have prompted criticism of the authorities’ handling of poverty and addiction.
A nationwide debate on Iranian media and online between individuals, officials and several institutions has yielded proposals ranging from forced sterilisation of addicts to free deliveries of hot food and rehabilitation programmes.
Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle-East)
New information of Iran’s deepening ties with the Taliban have ignited concerns of renewed warfare in Afghanistan that may prove to be trouble for US-backed troops and might push the country deeper into turmoil.
Tehran insists that their contact with insurgents is meant to promote regional security. Local and US officials have been sceptical.
Iran is accused of covertly aiding the Taliban, at a time when uncertainty reigns over President-elect Donald Trump’s Afghanistan policy.
“(The) narrative goes something like this: that the Taliban are the ones fighting Islamic State,” top US commander in Afghanistan John Nicholson said recently, denouncing the “malign influence” of external powers. “This public legitimacy that Russia lends to the Taliban is not based on fact, but it is used as a way to essentially undermine the Afghan government and the NATO effort and bolster the belligerents. “Shifting to Iran, you have a similar situation. There have been linkages between the Iranians and the Taliban.”
The UN Security Council is to vote on a draft Russian resolution endorsing the ceasefire agreement in Syria and plans for peace talks between both sides of the conflict.
It also demands rapid access for aid to be delivered across the country.
But Syria’s main rebel alliance says it will abandon the truce at 1800 GMT on Saturday if the government continues to attack areas under its control.
Iran- Nuclear Activities
Large shipments tied to nuclear negotiations make it harder to track what Tehran does with the money.
WASHINGTON-In the three years since a preliminary nuclear deal was struck with Iran, Tehran has received more than $10 billion in sanctions relief from around the world in the form of cash and gold, according to current and former U.S. officials.
The large shipments of gold and cash, from oil funds unfrozen in numerous countries, represent the kind of financial relief that made Iran’s leaders eager to complete the international nuclear accord. Some of the cash and gold went to Iran while the U.S. and other world powers negotiated with Tehran on a final nuclear deal. More shipments took place after final deal went into effect last January.
This tallying of the sanctions relief to date includes payments previously announced and others that haven’t been. In one previously unreported payment, the U.S. authorized Iran to receive $1.4 billion in sanctions relief between when the final deal was struck in July 2015 and when it took effect, according to the U.S. officials.