Brief on Iran (BOI – 338)


Crafting a U.S.-Iran Policy After the 2020 Election
A nonpartisan approach in Congress is essential for forming a cohesive long-term policy for the country
US News, Oct. 29, 2020

WITH RECORD NUMBERS OF Americans actively casting their ballots to decide who will assume the presidency of the United States and serve as their elected representatives in both of houses of Congress – and with domestic concerns from COVID-19 to the economy and social unrest dominating headlines – it is easy to lose sight of looming foreign policy challenges that await U.S. leaders in 2021.

While Donald Trump or Joe Biden will face a range of global issues over the next four years, no security challenge is more urgent than the continued threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The five recommendations outlined below constitute a nonpartisan vision for sound policymaking on Iran in 2021 and beyond:
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state of human rights

Iranian Americans Hold Photo Exhibition and Call for Accountability at State Department
Oct. 21, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC, October 21, 2020 – In an elaborate photo exhibition held by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) outside the U.S. Department of State building in Washington, DC, prominent speakers and supporters of democratic opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), highlighted four decades of systemic arrests, torture and executions in Iran and called on the international community to hold perpetrators of these crimes accountable.

Prominent political personalities and former political prisoners spoke about the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, majority of whom were members of Mujahedin-e-Khalgh (MEK), the November 2019 murder of 1,500 protesters, and the assassination of dozens of political dissidents abroad. Speakers included former U.S. Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, former Senator Robert Torricelli, as well as former State Department officials Ambassadors Mitchell Reiss and Marc Ginsberg. Former Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and former White House official Linda Chavez also addressed the rally.
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Iranian hackers who posed as the Proud Boys accessed voter data in one state, feds say
CNN, Oct. 31, 2020

(CNN)The Iranian hackers suspected of posing as the Proud Boys and sending threatening emails to potentially thousands of American voters accessed voter registration data in at least one state, US federal officials said Friday evening.
The hackers had posted a video online last week that purported to show they had access to information about American voters.

The FBI and the government’s cybersecurity agency, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said Friday that the Iranians had “obtained voter registration data in at least one state.”
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United States Files Complaint to Forfeit Iranian Missiles and Sells Previously-Transferred Iranian Petroleum
The Iranian Missiles Were Confiscated and the Iranian Petroleum Was Transferred From Ships in International Waters, Oct. 29, 2020

The Justice Department today announced the filing of a complaint to forfeit two shipments of Iranian missiles that the U.S. Navy seized in transit from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to militant groups in Yemen, as well as the sale of approximately 1.1 million barrels of Iranian petroleum that the United States previously obtained from four foreign-flagged oil tankers bound for Venezuela.

These actions represent the government’s largest-ever forfeitures actions for fuel and weapons shipments from Iran.
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Iran Protests & more

Iran’s Daily COVID-19 Deaths Hit Record; Health Official says True Toll Worse
VOA, Nov. 1, 2020

DUBAI – Iran’s daily tally of coronavirus deaths hit a record high of 434 on Sunday, the Health Ministry announced, and the head of a top medical body said the actual toll was at least three times higher than the official count.

The deaths, announced by Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari on state TV, take the official toll to 35,298 in the Middle East’s worst-hit country. She said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 7,719 to 620,491.
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Iran Arrests Thousands Arbitrarily Fearing an Protest
Iran Focus, Oct. 29, 2020

Iranian authorities have settled on widespread and heavily publicized arrests of “security disruptors” in order to scare the people out of anti-establishment protests or any gathering that could spur an anti-establishment protest.

Mohammad Reza Yazdi, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC) Mohammad Rasulallah brigade in Tehran, told state-run television on Monday that the role of his forces in the suppression of the people has increased dramatically since 2018, which was just after a major upheaval threatened to unseat the entire ruling system.
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