| Iran- Human Rights (Women, Minorities, Ethnics)|
NCRI – Agents of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security arrested three Christian men in the Esfahan province last week.
Messrs. Shahram Ghaedi, Heshmat Shfiei and Emad Haqi were arrested on September 27 in the city of Fooladshahr.
MOIS agents raided the home of Mr. Sharam Ghaedi at 6:30 pm. They searched his home and confiscated his personal items before detaining him.
Shahram Ghaedi, an actor, was making a movie about the life of Jesus Christ.
There is no information on the whereabouts of the three arrested Christians in Iran.
Last year Hassan Rouhani became the president of the clerical regime in Iran beside the political opposition, ethnic minorities, including Kurds, Arabs, and Baluchis and religious minorities, including Christians, who have suffered from the violence of the regime.
Christians have been detained and sentenced to long-term imprisonment and exile, many without access to a lawyer or a fair trial.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has recently been lecturing the United States and the West on human rights, particularly through Twitter. Recently, the Ayatollah tweeted, “Based on global statistics, US gvt is the biggest violator of #HumanRights.” The Supreme Leader added, “Besides int’l crimes, it commits crimes against its ppl. #Ferguson.”
The Ayatollah talks about global statistics, but where are these numbers? His claims could actually spur a real discussion if the Iranian government and Khamenei could cite his claim that the “US govt is the biggest violator of #HumanRights.”
Iran- Terrorism Activities (Middle East)
In a new book, former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta suggests that President Obama failed to heed his advisers who wanted to leave troops in Iraq past December 2011, which may have contributed to the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“It was clear to me–and many others–that withdrawing all our forces would endanger the fragile stability then barely holding Iraq together,” Panetta writes in the book, an excerpt of which was published on Time.com this week.
Panetta acknowledged the difficulties of putting together the agreement that would have allowed U.S. forces to stay in the country – it had the support of various leaders in Iraq, but none who were willing to back it publicly – but also said the U.S. could have used its leverage, such as reconstruction aid money, to convince then-President Nouri al-Maliki to support a continued U.S. presence.
Thhis is not the first time the United States has attacked the Islamic State in Syria, and it will not be the last time if U.S. military operations in Syria are limited to ISIL, as the group is commonly known. President Obama must also take decisive action against the Assad regime, which caused ISIL to flourish. He should have taken such action long ago…..
……Striking ISIL is absolutely necessary, even if the hour is late. But Americans should have no doubts about what is truly needed next: If we are to win this war, both ISIL and Assad must go.
Remember Iran? The dominant foreign policy issue of the past year has fallen by the wayside as Congress focuses on the rise of the Islamic State (IS). Republicans who just months ago vowed to use every tool at their disposal to force a vote on new sanctions in the Senate have shelved those plans, and even the GOP-controlled House isn’t scheduled to hold a single hearing before the midterm elections. The shift in focus has given President Barack Obama’s negotiating team welcome breathing room as it pursues a nuclear deal in Vienna, even as congressional skeptics fret that Iran will take advantage of the lull in attention.
“The negotiators need the room to work,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations panel on the Near East. “And I think maybe a little bit less pushing and pulling from this angle may help that work be done.”
A large majority of members of US House of Representatives wrote Secretary of State John Kerry expressing their concern Thursday over the Iranian regime’s “refusal” to work with the United Nations nuclearwatchdog.
In a joint letter 354 of the House’s 435 members warned that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been frustrated in its efforts to investigate the “potential military dimensions” of the Iranian regime’s nuclear program.
“We believe that Iran’s willingness to fully reveal all aspects of its nuclear program is a fundamental test of Iran’s intention to uphold a comprehensive agreement,” wrote the lawmakers including House Speaker John Boehner and several Democrats.
“We remain deeply concerned with Iran’s refusal to fully cooperate with the (IAEA),” they added.
Iran News Update
INU – The issue of Iran’s human rights record was raised by chief US nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman in her latest comments about the talks between Iran and the P5+1. The various parties had been meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and Sherman reports that talks between Iran and the US “boil down to two things”: the nuclear issue and the Americans imprisoned in Iran, namely Pastor Saeed Abedini, former Marine Amir Hekmati, and Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian.
Sherman indicated that US officials “really hoped that there would be some humanitarian gestures when President Rouhani came to the United States.” But this has not been the case, and indeed Rouhani and his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have both dodged the issue, insisting that it was a matter for the Iranian courts only.