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Iran News in Brief – May 18, 2022

THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 12:00 AM CEST

State Official Arrested over Leak Accusations involving IRGC Leaders’ Corruption

Mohammad Ghaemi (left) and former IRGC commander Saeed Mohammad (right)

Published reports indicate that Mohammad Ghaemi, the former director of the Yas Holding Liquidation Committee affiliated with the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards, has been arrested and has been in prison for more than two months without access to a lawyer.

The state-run ‘Ruydad 24′ website confirmed the news of Mr. Ghaemi’s arrest without further elaboration about the charges, but some media outlets reported it was mainly due to the leak of an audio file that exposed the IRGC commanders’ corruption. Ghaemi appears to have been arrested by the IRGC’s intelligence service, which is headed by Hossein Taeb, a staunch supporter of the parliament’s speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf who was exposed when the leaked file was made public.


Tehran Added a New Security Apparatus for More Crackdown on Dissent

The state-run newspaper Hamdeli wrote on May 17: “Some MPs plan to add a new intelligence agency to the country’s political structure. According to the Fars news agency, 74 members of the parliament have prepared a bill for the foundation of the Judiciary Protection and Information Organization. The bill has already been announced by the leadership of the parliament.”

Article 1 (c) of this bill addresses issues that were previously defined in practice by other security organizations and institutions, and which are now being formally executed.

Paragraph C reads: “Preventing, detecting, identifying and countering conspiracies and activities of espionage, sabotage, subversion and creating dissatisfaction among the people and actions against national security at the level of the judiciary and taking care of the cases.”


UPDATE: 8:30 AM CEST

State Officials Express Concerns over Severe Public Anger

The new wave of uprisings across Iran and the public hatred that has been expressed towards state institutions and security forces has caused some reservations among the regime’s officials and media.

Abdollah Eraqi, Deputy Commander of the IRGC Land Forces on May 16: “Future wars will be fought on a hybrid and combined level, and the enemy of our country’s economy, society, politics, and culture will attack through cyberspace. But today, the enemy is attacking the clergy and the IRGC. It is trying to change our mental beliefs. That is why the clergy has a special role in the “Jihad of Clarification.”

Abdollah Haji Sadeghi, the Supreme Leader’s representative in the IRGC at a meeting called “the clerical martyrs” on May 16: “Put this out of your mind that one day, (the global) arrogance and the enemies will come to terms with you over human rights and nuclear energy. This won’t happen. They are at war with us over the superiority of the Supreme Leader.”

State TV host, May 16: “The enemy, and especially the dissident media, are trying their best to sow division between the people and the government by inciting a limited number of people and creating chaos in several cities. The enemies of the state and the revolution are provoking the crowds in several cities in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province which led to riots for several hours.”

Ali Mohammadi, the state prosecutor in Shahrekord, Charmahal and Bakhtiari province: “The protests are leading to attacks on some state organizations and buildings, which is not correct and which will definitely be dealt with.”

Ali Mohammad Akbari, IRGC commander in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province: “The Basij centers were attacked and a number of our dear Basij forces had accidents, which are under investigation. What are these people up to? They want to hit us in any way.”


Iran Opposition PMOI/MEK Host Mike Pompeo in Ashraf 3, Albania

Ashraf 3, home to thousands of members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Manëz, Albania, hosted Mike Pompeo, the 70th United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on Monday, May 16.

Sec. Pompeo met with Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). During the five-hour visit to Ashraf-3, Secretary Pompeo also toured the “Museum of 120 years of struggle for freedom in Iran,” the Fatima Az-Zahra Mosque, named after the revered daughter of the Prophet of Islam, and other landmarks built in MEK’s new home. He delivered a speech at a gathering of PMOI/MEK members in Ashraf 3.

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5000 Nurses in Iran Dismissed From Their Jobs in Three Months

Some 5000 nurses were dismissed from their jobs in the past three months. At a news conference, the head of the Iranian Nursing Organization announced the expulsion of the nurses who were on 89-day contracts. Mohammad Mirzabeigi broke the news of the evictions using the term “cessation of cooperation.” He said, “In the past three months, some Medical Sciences universities ended their cooperation with 5000 nurses.” (The state-run eghtesadnews.com – May 17, 2022).

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Iran Steps up Executions Amid Ongoing Protests Over Food Prices

The Iranian regime has stepped up executions to intimidate the society infuriated over the skyrocketing prices of food staples. At least 18 prisoners, including a woman, have been executed in recent days in Iran. One of those executed was a minor at the time of the arrest. Nine of those executed were convicted of drug-related charges and nine were convicted of murder. The political prisoners detained in ward 3 of the Central Prison of Zahedan have recently reported, “There are reliable reports that the death sentences for another 83 prisoners have been sent to the Bureau for Implementation of the Verdict of Zahedan Prison.”

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Read more: Iran News in Brief – May 17, 2022