Political Director of OIAC, Dr. Majid Sadeghpour, interview with VOA on “Gen. Mattis Hearing” & “US policies toward Iran”
Dr. Majid Sadeghpour Interview VOA (Farsi)
Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)
On Jan. 4, the reports came from within Gohardasht Prison, near the Iranian capital Tehran, that activist and political prisoner Ali Moezzi, still behind bars despite completing his term, had disappeared.
Moezzi has faced repression from the Islamic Republic since its earliest days. He spent years in prison in the 1980’s for his affiliation with the Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK).
He served two more years, beginning in 2008, for having visited his two daughters residing in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. He was arrested again in 2011, seven months after his latest release, because he had attended the funeral of a fellow political prisoner, another MEK activist who had died because authorities denied him access to life-saving medical treatment.
Iran Human Rights (JAN 15 2017): In the last few days, at least 26 people, including two women, were reportedly executed in various Iranian prisons.
13 January 2017 – The top United Nations human rights official today called on business leaders gathering at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss town of Davos next week to use their considerable influence to stand up for human rights and prevent rights violations in countries where they operate.
“The hard-won laws and principles of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights are increasingly imperiled, and the business leaders gathering in Davos next week have a key role to play to stem this terrible tide and to insist upon respect for human rights in the States where they operate,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a news release issued by his Office (OHCHR).
Unofficial reports in Iran are hinting at the possible appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as the likely successor to the late Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s position as head of the Expediency Council, a powerful body, which is intended to resolve disputes between the Iranian parliament and the Guardian Council. Rafsanjani died of a heart attack on Sunday, Jan. 8. Although relatively unknown in the West, the 56 year-old Raisi was a key member of the “Death Commission” that in the summer of 1988, oversaw the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the opposition People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI or MEK).
Raisi is known to be a close ally of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, whose endorsement will be essential for him to assume this role. He has even been tipped as a possible successor to Khamenei. Raisi is currently the custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, a charity organization in charge of Iran’s holiest shrine.
Shortly before his death, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s former president and clerical major domo, mused on the Holocaust. “For instance, it is said that six million Jews died. Later accounts reveal that although people died, many Jews were in hiding during those days; ‘the dead’ are actually still living.” The larger point of the interview was to remind Iranian officials not to quibble publicly with the fraudulent Western narrative of the Holocaust, for it only empowers Israel. Such was Rafsanjani’s method and guile: He frequently brandished a moderate image that concealed the reality of his militancy.
Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle-East)
The regime of Iran has started off the New Year by continuing its repressive policies against prisoners. For the inmates, there is absolutely nothing to be “happy” about. If you’ve been following the news emerging from Iran’s prisons in the past week, you would know the situation of prisoners is appalling and continues to worsen. In the past few days’ executions have been carried out and the lives of multiple political prisoners who launched hunger strikes are in imminent danger.
On January 4, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reported the Iranian regime carried out seven executions in a span of three days. On January 3the regime executed four prisoners in Karaj Central Prison. Another three prisoners, all in their thirties, were executed in Ghazvin Prison between January 2-3. It must be noted that thousands of inmates including political prisoners, women, and juveniles have been executed since Hassan Rouhani, the so called “moderate” president, took office in Iran. The majority of these prisoners didn’t even receive a fair trial. Refusing prisoners with a fair trial, which is the right of each and every citizen, is cruel and among the many injustices existing in Iran. Risking their own health and lives, multiple political prisoners have launched hunger strikes protesting the regime’s corruption and crimes.
The regime in Iran suffered a major setback after former president and figurehead Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died of a heart attack on Sunday. He was 82.
Following the 1979 revolution, Rafsanjani played an influential role in structuring the regime’s policies, and his death will leave a significant power vacuum, coming less than four months prior to significant presidential elections.
Known for his persuasive role in shaping the regime’s politics following the 1979 revolution, Rafsanjani will leave a power vacuum in his wake.
Iran’s Persian-language newspapers widely covered a recent speech delivered by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to university students in Tehran. Some of Khamenei’s remarks were classic in the sense that they were anchored in showing the importance of advancing Iran’s 1979 revolutionary values.
Intriguingly, Khamenei put great emphasis on comparing Iran’s enemies to thieves, which highlights several of Khamenei’s tactical shifts and recent concerns regarding the continuing rapprochement with the international community, particularly the West.
Iran’s Press TV stated: “The Leader compared the enemy to a thief who would seek to burglarize a house but pretends that the reason for its enmity is the defensive weapon held by the householder.”
Aleppo has fallen, almost completely, to Syrian government forces in this past week, leaving not only rebel fighters but also tens of thousands of innocent civilians stranded in a bombed-out shell of that ancient city. Humanitarian intervention failed to prevent the disaster in the first place or the summary executions that followed it.
The evacuations that followed might have gone smoothly if not for the influence of one of Bashar al-Assad’s foreign backers: the Islamic Republic of Iran. Notwithstanding reports of the Assad regime’s murders of civilians after the capture of the city, the government did seem prepared to accept the terms of the ceasefire as they were initially defined.
Ten-Year-Old Syrian Refugee Hiba Tells How She Survived A Harrowing Journey
Hiba tells her story:
“They were dying all around us, asking for help. But we couldn
These are the words of Hiba Nabulsi, a ten-year-old refugee from Syria. She now lives at a center in Macedonia, where UNICEF helps refugee children recover by providing education, healthcare, water and sanitation, nutrition, psychosocial support – and a hand to hold.
Watch Hiba tell her story here:
Iran- Nuclear Activities
Iran dealing with shock of Trump’s election, death of its leader
Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States presents the Islamic Republic of Iran with tremendous uncertainty and, perhaps, anxiety.
Mr. Trump’s platform included a promise to initiate dramatic shifts in American policies.
Trump rightly decried Mr. Obama’s cherished Iran nuclear deal – The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran has already cheated with impunity, twice exceeding defined limits on its stockpiles of heavy water.
TEHRAN, Iran – The U.S. and five other world powers have approved Iran importing as much as 130 tons of uranium, Iran’s English language Press TV reported Friday.
The TV quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman as saying “the Joint Commission monitoring the implementation of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 approved the purchase on the part of Iran during a meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Wednesday.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense likely spells trouble for the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal.
Mattis was reportedly forced to retire five months early as commander of U.S. Central Command in 2013 by the Obama administration for being too hawkish on Iran. Mattis did not oppose the deal itself, but instead asked provocative questions about the long-term impact of the deal.
…Iran is “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East,” Mattis said in April 2016, echoing the concerns that got him forced out of the administration. The Iran nuclear deal is also signed by Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany.