Iran news in brief, August 31, 2019
Iran news in brief, August 30, 2019
Iranian Regime's Rocket Launch Ends in Failure
Satellite images show that an Iranian rocket appears to have exploded on the launch pad Thursday.
The satellite pictures were taken Thursday morning of the regime's Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan Province.
The photos show black smoke and part of a painted launch pad apparently scorched away.
David Schmerler, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told The Associated Press: “Whatever happened there, it blew up and you’re looking at the smoldering remains of what used to be there.”
The failure is the third by the Iranian regime this year. In January and February, the regime attempted to launch two rockets, both of which failed to reach orbit.
New Plan Enforced to Step up Suppression of Women for Improper Veiling
A new plan is going to be enforced across Iran this week to further step up suppression of women for improper veiling. The acting commander of Police, Ayyoub Soleimani, said the new plan, called Nazer 2 (or Observer 2), is going to be implemented.
The new plan is designed to put maximum pressure on women. According to the new plan, Police will be present in public places, major stores, and beaches to give warnings to women who are considered improperly veiled based on the regime’s standards.
Soleimani said, “The plan is going to be implemented this week (beginning on Saturday), and in every place which is more public, our presence and monitoring will be more serious.”
The Iranian Regime’s Police had already implemented the Nazer 1 plan to monitor women who remove their veils inside their cars.
Iran Regime Collectively Executes 8 People in Gohardasht Prison
Eight people were collectively executed in Iran's notorious Gohardasht Prison in Karaj on August 29.
They were transferred to solitary confinement on August 26 to be prepared for execution.
On Wednesday morning, Iranian authorities executed a man who had killed the regime’s notorious Friday Prayers Leader in Kazerun.
Also, authorities in Babol, northern Iran, hanged a man in public during the early morning hours of Monday, the state media reported.
On the same day, the regime executed a woman in Mashhad prison.
Rights Group Publishes New Report on Enforced Disappearances in Iran
To mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on 30 August, the human rights group Iran Human Rights Monitor has published a new report, titled: "Enforced Disappearances in Iran and the 1988 Massacre".
The report says the Iranian regime has a history of cracking down on its opponents. Incommunicado detentions, arbitrary abductions, summary executions, torture and enforced disappearances are among practices commonly used against opponents.
Dissident intellectuals and students, ethnic groups and religious minorities, and members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran have always been targeted.
The group urged the United Nations to take all necessary measures to end impunity for Iranian officials.
It said the time has come for referring the dossier of human rights violations in Iran, particularly the enforced disappearances and executions of the 1980s and the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, to the UN Security Council.
The full report is available on the Iran HRM website.
Iran news in brief, August 29, 2019
Man Hanged in Public in Iran for Killing a Notorious Mullah
Iran's regime on Wednesday publicly hanged a man for killing a notorious Friday prayers' leader of the city of Kazerun.
Hamid-Reza Derakhshandeh, who stabbed to death mullah Mohammad Khorsand on May 29, was hanged in public at the site of the murder.
Friday Prayer leaders are mullahs who represent the Iranian regime’s supreme leader in different cities, which makes them hated among the Iranian population who are fed up with the repression and corruption of regime officials.
Derakhshandeh, 47, had previously said he had punished the Friday prayers' leader for stealing from poor people.
In comments following the killing of the regime’s Friday Prayer leader in Kazerun, Derakhshandeh said: “Dear people of Iran, I love all of you, I love the poor people of Iran, those who don’t have bread to eat at night, those who have become sick of having to borrow money to make ends meet…”
“I had heard and seen cases of injustice. Hundreds of these cases. There’s only so much I can do to buy and give to the poor. I saw these crimes. I’m not a criminal. This was my first time. My friends know me. I’m not a criminal.”
U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Iranians It Says Are Linked to Regime's WMD Program
The U.S has placed sanctions on the leaders of two procurement networks it says are linked to the Iranian regime for engaging in undercover acquisition activities that benefited the Iranian regime's military.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday one of the networks is led by Iranian national Hamed Dehghan, the CEO and chairman of Pishtazan Kavosh Gostar Boshra, LLC, and manager and board chairman of Ebtekar Sanat Ilya.
The agency said the network operated by Hamed Dehghan used a Hong Kong-based company to evade U.S. and global sanctions, and to target U.S. technology and components for people linked to the Iranian regime and its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The Treasury Department said the second network, led by Iranian national Seyed Hossein Shariat, purchased Nuclear Suppliers Group's aluminum alloy products for the benefit of the Iranian regime's military.
Iran Regime Sentences Woman to 24 Years for Protesting Compulsory Hijab
The Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Court in Tehran has sentenced civil activist Saba Kord Afshari to 24 years in prison for protesting the compulsory hijab and refusing to give a “televised confession.”
Ms. Afshari, in her early twenties, is presently detained in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
Saba Kord Afshari was repeatedly pressured to make video confessions, something that she strongly resisted and refused to do. The Intelligence Ministry even arrested her mother to bring further pressure and force her to force her make false confessions.
Ms. Kord Afshari was first arrested on August 2, 2018 during street protests front of the Daneshjoo Park in Tehran.
The maximum sentenced to be implemented for her is 15 years for “promoting corruption and prostitution by removing her veil and walking in the streets without the veil.”
Amnesty International: UN Must Investigate Iran’s 1988 Massacre
In the lead-up to the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on 30 August, Amnesty International on Wednesday called on the United Nations to set up an independent investigation into Iran’s 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners.
The Iranian authorities’ “continued failure to disclose the fate and whereabouts of thousands of political dissidents who were forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret during Iran’s 1988 prison massacres has sparked a crisis that for decades has been largely overlooked by the international community,” Amnesty International said on its website on August 28.
Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director at Amnesty International, said: “The families of those secretly killed in the 1988 prison massacres are still living through a nightmare. They and many others in Iran are haunted by the thousands of missing bodies, which have cast a spectre over the country’s justice system to this day.”
“It is misguided to view the 1988 mass killings as historical events. The enforced disappearances are ongoing and, 30 years later, victims’ families continue to be tormented by anguish and uncertainty over the fate of their loved ones,” he added.
Iran news in brief, August 28, 2019
Iranian Regime's President Wants US to Lift Sanctions Before Any Talks
The Iranian regime's president back-pedaled Tuesday on possible talks with Donald Trump, saying the U.S. president must first lift sanctions imposed on the regime.
Hassan Rouhani’s change of heart came a day after Trump said Monday that there’s a “really good chance” the two could meet on their nuclear impasse after a surprise intervention by French President Emmanuel Macron during the G-7 summit to try to bring Washington and Tehran together.
Rouhani said in a televised speech: “Without the U.S.’s withdrawal from sanctions, we will not witness any positive development.”
“If someone intends to make it as just a photo op with Rouhani, that is not possible,” he said.
Iran Regime Is the World’s Biggest Jailer of Women Journalists
Iran's regime is now the world’s biggest jailer of women journalists; the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders has announced.
Reporters Without Borders said on its website on Monday that it was "alarmed" by a "new wave of arrests and interrogations of women journalists" in Iran since the start of August 2019.
"The Islamic Republic is now the world’s biggest jailer of women journalists, with a total of ten currently held," the media freedom organization said.
“Already one of the world’s five biggest jailers of journalists, Iran is now holding more women in connection with their journalistic activities than any other country in the world,” said the head of the group's Iran Desk.
“We call on Javaid Rehman, the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, to intervene with the utmost urgency to obtain their release and to address the disastrous press freedom situation in this country,” he added.
Iran is ranked 170th out of 180 countries in the watchdog’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.
Iran Journalist Flees Zarif Delegation to Stay in Sweden
An Iranian journalist covering Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's Nordic tour has fled the official delegation and applied for residency in Sweden, officials in Sweden said Tuesday.
The Swedish Migration Agency said Amir-Tohid Fazel, a political reporter for the Iranian regime's ultra-conservative Moj news agency, had "applied for a residence permit in Sweden on 21 August 2019".
Fazel was travelling with Zarif's delegation as part of an international tour of European countries.
On August 20, "when I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues in Tehran contacted me via internet and said 'four plainclothes came to the news agency with a warrant for your arrest'," he said in an interview with Swedish television SVT.
Iran Court Upholds British Council Worker's 10-Year Jail Sentence
British Council worker Aras Amiri has had a 10-year prison sentence for “cultural infiltration”, which the Iranian regime regards as tantamount to espionage, upheld by the regime's appeals court.
Ms Amiri, who is from Iran but lives in the UK, was identified "because of her cultural infiltration in society through arts and her widespread activities,” a judiciary spokesman said.
State media also named two other people convicted of spying. British-Iranian Anousheh Ashouri was sentenced to 12 years after being found guilty of allegedly sending intelligence to Israel and "for acquiring illegitimate wealth".
Iranian Ali Johari was also given a 12-year prison term, accused of working for Israeli intelligence agencies and visiting Israel to get citizenship.