Brief on Iran

Brief On Iran (BOI), Newsletter, August 17th, 2015

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Brief On Iran – Newsletter
August 17th, 2015
  Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)

  Iran Human Rights
Imprisoned rights activist Narges Mohammadi’s medical illnesses have reached a critical stage and require immediate attention, her husband Taghi Rahmani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Mohammadi, who has a history of severe health problems, was transferred from Evin Prison to Taleghani hospital in Tehran on August 2, 2015, because of neurological paralysis. After eight hours of preliminary medical observations, they took her back to prison, even though the doctors insisted she needed to be seen by a specialist, according to Rahmani.
“Her most urgent and most important request is that she be put under the supervision of a specialist physician. That’s what we have asked and the Prosecutor has apparently agreed to it, but no action has been taken yet,” Mohammadi’s husband told the Campaign from his current residence in France.
   The Guardian
 Seven years ago this summer, everything was set for the marriage ceremony of a young Iranian couple who had met and fallen in love at university. But on the day before the wedding, plain clothes officers raided the house of Bahareh Hedayat, a leading student activist, and took her to prison.
It wasn’t a surprise; she had been arrested twice before that, but the timing could not have been a coincidence. When she was released a month later, she didn’t feel in mood for a big ceremony, as is customary in Iran. The couple simply moved in together.
That incident didn’t shake her commitment to fight for human rights. In fact, since then, Hedayat and her husband, Amin Ahmadian, have spent only a year together. She has been in jail the rest of the time.
   Iran Human Rights
  The artist and civil activist Atena Farghadani has developed signs of lymphatic disease in prison as she awaits her chance to challenge a 12-year prison sentence in the appeals court, according to her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi.
“The illness showed up recently and we are waiting to see if they send her to a specialist or to the prison infirmary,” Moghimi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “We hope that considering her health issues, the sentence against her will be changed in appeals court.”
Farghadani’s case has been referred to Branch 54 of the appeals court, but no date for the trial has yet been set.
After drawing a cartoon depicting members of the Iranian Parliament as animals and posting it on her Facebook page, Farghadani was sentenced by a Revolutionary Court on June 1, 2015, to 12 years and 9 months in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” and “insulting the Supreme Leader, the President, Members of the Parliament, and the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] Ward 2-A agents” who interrogated her.
   Holly Wood Reporters
 “Can we trust Iran? Do they not deny the Holocaust?” asks Gerald Molen in an email sent to Norman Lear, Mike Medavoy and others in the entertainment industry.
Gerald Molen, the Oscar-winning producer ofSchindler’s List, has responded to 98 prominent Jews in Hollywood, including producers Norman Lear and Mike Medavoy, who published an open letter in support of President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
“Can we trust Iran? Do they not deny the Holocaust? Do they not invest in terror organizations?” Molen asks in an email sent to, an email account set up by the 98 Hollywood Jews who support Obama’s plan.
In Molen’s email, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, he alleges that the deal proposed will allow Iran to arm its military in five years, purchase ballistic missiles in eight years and restart its nuclear program in 15 years.
   Commentary Magazine
  Michael Rubin
Once upon a time, the European Union prided itself on human rights a “core aspect of European identity.” When Klaus Kinkel became Germany’s foreign minister on May 18, 1992, he declared promotion of human rights to be a top priority, at least rhetorically. Behind-the-scenes, though, Kinkel seemed to salivate at the Iranian market.  By 1987, Germany already accounted for more than a quarter of Iran’s total imports, but Germany wanted more. Iran, after all, was an impressive market; oil-rich and in desperate need of investment after eight years of a devastating war. So, the Clinton administration promoted “Dual Containment,” Kinkel and his European colleagues argued that Iran was simply too important to isolate.
  Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle East)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was to travel later Wednesday to Damascus where he is expected to discuss a peace plan for ending the country’s civil war.Iranian news agency Tasnim quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham as saying that the Iranian four-point plan – an updated version of proposals Tehran put to the United Nations last year – would be formally proposed after discussions with Damascus and other regional players.Iran is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main ally. It has provided vital financial and military assistance to his embattled regime, which has lost considerable ground to mainly rebels and the Daesh (ISIS) extremist group in recent months.

According to a report in Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar last year, the original version of the Iranian plan involved a national unity government including the regime and representatives of the Damascus-based opposition – which has little credibility with armed rebel factions.

Baku-APA.  The recent deal on Iran’s nuclear issue gives Tehran more power to support its allies in the region, a senior advisor to Iran’s supreme leader said on Saturday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.Iran will have “more power to support its friends in the region following the nuclear deal,” Ali-Akbar Velayati, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s advisor on international affairs, was quoted as saying.Years ago, western powers tried but failed to topple the Syrian government. Nowadays, attempts to overthrow the Syrian government has become impossible with an even stronger resistance front against Israel, Velayati said.
More than 30 other officials including former Mosul governor Athil al-Nujaifi were also blamed in the report.
The militants seized Mosul in a sweep across north and west Iraq last year.
Mr Maliki, a Shia, is seen as having fanned sectarian tensions, leading to a growth of discontent in those mainly Sunni Arab areas captured by IS.
Hours earlier, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi cleared the way for a court martial of military commanders who abandoned their posts as another city, Ramadi, fell to IS in May this year.
The moves come as the current government continues a major campaign to combat corruption and mismanagement.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for talks with officials from allies Iran and Russia that are expected to focus on efforts to end the civil war in his country.
Iran and Russia have stood by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing military and financial support during more than four years of the conflict. The United States and some of its Gulf Arab allies have said Assad must leave office.
World powers led by the United States reached a nuclear agreement with Iran on July 14 but both sides have made it clear that the deal will not change their policies in the region.
 Iran- Nuclear Activities
Military Site

  CTV News
  David B. Caruso
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry sparred Tuesday with the lone Democratic senator to publicly oppose last month’s historic Iran nuclear deal, saying there was no way the U.S. could prevent American allies from doing business with Tehran if Congress were to reject the agreement.
Speaking across town in New York, Sen. Chuck Schumer disagreed and suggested Washington still could force the world into isolating the Iranians until they make deeper nuclear concessions.
The dispute goes to the heart of the questions that American lawmakers are considering as they prepare to vote on the nuclear accord.
If they were to shelve the deal — and override an expected presidential veto — they could severely complicate the Obama administration’s ability to honour its commitments to roll back economic sanctions on Iran. In exchange, Iran has agreed to a decade of tough restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and a far more intrusive inspections regime.
Republicans are almost universally opposed at this point.
In the past few weeks, some Iranian activists have vocally supported the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 (China, Russia, France, United Kingdom, United States and Germany). While we deeply respect the experience and views of these men and women, it is important to hear all perspectives.
We represent another collection of Iranian activists who share the world’s hope for a better future but believe that appeasing the Iranian regime will lead to a more dangerous world.
We have spent our lives advocating for peace, justice and freedom in Iran. We represent a diverse array of Iranians who hope to warn the world of the danger of this regime regardless of how many centrifuges spin in Iran.
  Simon Tisdall

As debate rages among politicians and pundits in Washington over whether to endorse last month’s historic nuclear compromise with Iran, key European allies have already given their verdict: a resounding thumbs up.

Government ministers and business leaders in France, Germany, Italy and elsewhere in the EU are racing to open up a new era of diplomatic, trade, investment and possible future military cooperation with Tehran, regardless of what American and Israeli sceptics say.
While Americans argue over timescales, technicalities and Iranian trustworthiness, behind their backs the scramble for Persia, recalling Europe’s 19th-century scramble for Africa, has already begun. The cohesion of the international sanctions regime isolating Iran is crumbling by the day.
Somebody had to go first-why not the Swiss?
News that Switzerland has become the first Western country to start lifting sanctions on Iran will no doubt be followed swiftly by reports of other nations (and corporations) seeking some of the Islamic Republic’ssoon-to-be-unfrozen billions. Russia and China have already beguntalking up arms sales to Tehran; over the weekend, Moscow sent a pair of warships to the port of Anzali, to display Russian naval wares.
For now, the Swiss are easing restrictions on harmless things such as precious metals. But Iran’s military procurers will have made note of recent reports that Switzerland has eased restrictions on arms exports. Swiss-made tanks (known, puzzlingly, as Piranhas) and ammunition are already used widely across the Middle East. How long before munitions makers from Switzerland join the stampede toward Tehran?
But perhaps more important than the specifics of the trade between Switzerland and Iran is the message it sends the US Congress, where a mighty-and mightily futile-bipartisan effort is under way to scuttle the deal. And it is entirely fitting that the message should come from the country that has represented American interests in Tehran for the past 35 years. The message: Move on.

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