Brief on Iran (BOI – 349)


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January 26 @
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iranian professorJustice Dept charges Iranian professor with violating foreign-agent law
The Hill, January 19, 2021

The Justice Department charged an Iranian professor with U.S. permanent residency with violating the foreign-agent law by acting as an unregistered agent for Iran.

Kaveh Afrasiabi of Watertown, Mass., was charged with two counts of acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent for Iran against the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), according to a complaint unsealed on Tuesday.
Afrasiabi was arrested on Monday and was slated to appear in federal court in Boston on Tuesday morning. He could face up to 10 years in prison.
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trialIranian Diplomat’s Ledger Triggers Spy Ring Investigation In Germany
Iran International, January 22, 2021

With the discovery of a detained Iranian diplomat’s coded ledger and another ledger containing receipts for cash payments of thousands of euros, the German Federal Crime Agency and Intelligence agencies have started their investigation into a potentially massive spy ring in Europe.

Asadollah Asadi, a diplomat at the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Vienna was arrested in 2018 for the attempted bombing of an MKO (Iranian dissident group) assembly near Paris. His trial is currently taking place in Belgium.
The news about the discovery of the ledgers and Asadi’s cash payments was reported by German TV’s Channel One.
The report says when Asadi was arrested on July 1, 2018, the German police discovered many documents, including a black ledger in his car, with coded dots, which seem to be instructions on making bombs.
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Maduro sent letter to Iran’s leader accrediting US fugitive
AP, January 22, 2021

MIAMI (AP) — A Colombian businessman was carrying a letter from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accrediting him to Iran’s supreme leader when he was arrested on a U.S. warrant last year, according to a new court filing in a politically charged corruption case ratcheting up tensions with the South American nation.

Attorneys for Alex Saab made the filing in Miami federal court Thursday just hours after prosecutors in the African nation of Cape Verde said they granted the 49-year-old Colombian house arrest as he fights extradition to the U.S. to face money laundering charges.
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Iran Protests & more


bitcoin minersOutcry Over Power Outages, Smog Forces Iran To Act Against Bitcoin Miners
Radio Farda, January 19, 2021

Iranian authorities are blaming power outages and worsening air pollution in cities across the country on the energy drain caused by bitcoin mining operations.

The cryptocurrency farms are a huge energy drain because they use banks of high-powered computers to try to unlock complex numerical puzzles related to international financial transactions.
When successful, bitcoin miners create units of so-called digital coins that can be traded globally without the scrutiny and restrictions of traditional financial markets.
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Amnesty International, January 20, 2021

On the third anniversary of the nationwide protests of December 2017 and January 2018, Amnesty International renews its calls for justice for the dozens of protesters, including children, who were killed by Iran’s security forces across the country, and their bereaved families. The organization also stands in solidarity with those seeking truth and accountabilityfor the thousands of protesters who were arbitrarily detained, those who suffered torture or other ill-treatment in detention,those who died in custody in suspicious circumstances and those who were subsequently sentenced to death or executed following grossly unfair trials.

Three years on from the deadly crackdown, the Iranian authorities have refused to open even a single criminalinvestigation into the litany of crimes and human rights violations committed by Iran’s security forces both during the protests and in their aftermath, including unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment, and grossly unfair trials leading to the execution of at least one protester and death sentences for several others.
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OIAC Webinar Series Part 3 – Roundtable Dialogue with Community Leaders, December 15, 2020



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