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Wednesday’s Iran Mini Report – September 5, 2018

Wednesday's Iran Mini Report - September 5, 2018

• Donald Trump plans to hold UNSC meeting on Iran later this month: Nikki Haley

US President Donald Trump plans to chair a meeting of the UN Security Council later this month to discuss Iran’s alleged violations of international law, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said.

“He (Trump) is calling the meeting to address Iran’s violations of international law and the general instability Iran sows throughout the entire Middle East region,” Haley said as she briefed reporters about the Council’s programme of work for the month.

On the meeting on Iran, she said the message to Tehran is that the world is watching its actions, whether supporting terrorism, launching ballistic missiles or selling weapons.

• Iran could cause an ‘unintended’ military conflict

Iran’s reaction to the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions in November could lead to some kind of “unintended military escalation” – a risk currently underappreciated by markets, RBC Capital Markets closely-watched oil market expert Helima Croft said on Wednesday.

“We maintain that Iran ‘s response to the coercive measures will play an important role in determining the potential upward trajectory of prices,” Croft and her team of oil analysts said in a note Wednesday.

• Iran: Intensified Crackdown on Rights Defenders

On Wednesday September 5, Human Rights Watch stated: Iranian authorities have ramped up their crackdown against human rights defenders, Human Rights Watch said today. Since August 31, 2018, they have arrested four more human rights defenders, as well as Reza Khandan, husband of the prominent imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, all in Tehran. The authorities should immediately release these human rights defenders, who appear to have been arrested solely for peaceful dissent.

“Iranian authorities continue to dig a hole for their domestic and international credibility as they lock up scores of lawyers and activists for the ‘crime’ of defending citizens’ fundamental rights,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “At a time when everyday life is increasingly difficult for millions of Iranians, rights advocates should be an essential part of solving collective problems, instead of a primary target of the government’s crackdown.”

• 45-year-old Iranian man set himself on fire on September 4 in front of his children outside Tehran’s city hall.

Despite severe burns, the victim was saved and taken to a hospital, reports say.

Disregarding the screams of onlookers and warnings by police officers, the man tried to commit suicide by self-immolation, with his two children and a colleague present at the scene.

The man was apparently protesting a fine of 5 billion rials (roughly $118,000 at official rate) that he received after his shop was sealed off by municipality staff.

According to statistics, each day more than 13 people take their lives by suicide in Iran, most of whom are aged 15–35. Some studies also show that in 2013, for instance, the average rate of suicide in Iran was six out of every 100,000 people, the BBC Persian Service reported two years ago.

Last year, Mohammad Javad Fatemi, chairman of the Burns Research and Study Center, affiliated with the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, announced that 30,000 people are hospitalized every year for setting themselves on fire across the country.