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Iran News in Brief – May 3, 2022

The new Fatemeh Zahra mosque in Ashraf 3, Albania



Tehran’s FM Doubles Down on Belligerence Concerning Vienna Talks and Regional Conflicts

In an interview with Al-Masira, the Iranian regime’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated: “Praying in Quds is a divine promise and the blood of the martyrs of the resistance and the Palestinian people will fulfill this promise. We are sure that we will pray in Quds soon.”

“Negotiations in Vienna have not stopped, but continue in another process in order to lift the unilateral sanctions imposed on us,” he added. “Our goal in these talks is to reach a strong and lasting agreement. We called on the American side to be realistic. The lifting of all sanctions and obtaining economic guarantees are among the most important items on our negotiating agenda.”

Pentagon Press Secretary Stresses Tehran’s Malign Influence in the Middle East

Responding to a reporter during his daily press briefing at the Pentagon, US Department of Defense spokesman John F. Kirby said: “We always look at our force protection overseas, particularly in the Middle East. And we change it routinely based on whatever the existing security threat is. I would just tell you a couple of things without getting into the specific anecdotes you cited there and I’m not going to talk about intelligence. But nobody here at the department is oblivious to the fact that Iran continues to be a malign actor in the region. They continue to support terrorist groups; they continue to develop a ballistic missile program. They obviously, even as they sit in negotiations, continue to develop certain nuclear capabilities. And they are harassing shipping and clearly pose a threat in the maritime domain. You pick it. There’s an awful lot there that Iran is doing in a malign way in the Middle East region.”

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RSF Ranks Iran at Bottom of World Press Freedom Index

According to its annual report on the Global Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders examined the state of journalism in 180 countries and regions, with Norway, Denmark, and Sweden topping the list. Concerning Iran, the report reads: ” Iran is one of the world’s ten worst countries for press freedom, according to RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, and it remains one of the most repressive ones for journalists. As the country’s media is largely controlled by the Islamic regime, the main sources of news and information come from media outlets that are based abroad. Journalists and independent media in Iran are constantly persecuted by means of arbitrary arrests and very heavy sentences handed down after grossly unfair trials before revolutionary courts.

What’s Next for Marines in the Middle East?

As the Pentagon focuses on eastern Europe and threats from China in the Pacific, Marines in the Middle East are reorganizing and readying themselves for the future—while keeping a wary eye on Iran.

In an exclusive interview with Defense One, the commander of Marine Corps Forces Central Command, Maj. Gen. Paul Rock, said that while the Marine footprint in the area has decreased significantly over the last few years, the service understands “that there’s a fair shot that we haven’t seen the last crisis or contingency in this region,” and they want to be prepared for that possibility.

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Below the Radar: How an Indian Tycoon’s Petrochemicals Empire Quietly Dodged Iran Sanctions

Indian tycoon Yogesh Mehta is not shy about his success. In dozens of interviews, YouTube videos, and Twitter posts, he recounts how his hard work and ingenuity made his Dubai-based business, Petrochem, the number one chemical distributor in the Middle East and Africa.

But throughout the many accounts of his rise, Mehta has omitted one element of his business’s operations: a hidden trade in sanctioned Iranian petrochemicals.

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Iranians Honor May Day Across Three Continents

On May 2, Iranians and supporters of the Iranian Resistance around the world organized rallies to honor International Workers’ Day. While expressing their respect and solidarity with the labor movement, they held placards and pictures that exposed the Iranian regime’s systemic mistreatment of Iranian workers at home. Rallies were held in the following locations:

Gothenburg and Stockholm, Sweden

Toronto and Montreal, Canada

Oslo, Norway

Sydney, Australia

Paris, France


Iranian People’s Arduous Journey Will Lead to Victory and Freedom

Happy Eid al-Fitr to all of you and to all Muslims! May those fasting and all our compatriots achieve increasing solidarity and unity of action against the mullahs’ religious dictatorship on this blessed day and in light of its messages. Eid al-Fitr is the peak of all the fasting and victories in Ramadan. This year, we are celebrating it at the Fatemeh Zahra Mosque in Ashraf 3.

Fitr is the promise of freedom. This mosque is named after Fatemeh Zahra (the Prophet’s daughter). With the red flag of Imam Hossein and his slogan of Heyhat min az-Zellah (far be it from me to surrender to the enemy), it symbolizes the ongoing rebellion against the mullahs’ oppressive regime, which is a demagogic, inhumane, and misogynistic religious dictatorship.

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Calls for Regime Change in Isfahan, Central Iran

On Monday, May 2, at 11:20 PM local time, bystanders and passersby who walked the Khajoo Bridge came to hear slogans against the Iranian regime and in support of the organized resistance. Some slogans were as follows:

“Oh toilers and workers, the MEK are with you and bear the torch of your struggle”,

“Down with the tyrant, whether the Shah or the Leader”,

“Raisi, you’re the butcher of 1988”!

Iran’s Regime Is Becoming Increasingly Incapable of Suppressing Protests

“Teachers’ voices will not be shut down. It is the dictator that will be shut down,” a teacher shouted during a protest rally in Shiraz on May 1, one of 55 cities across Iran that witnessed demonstrations on International Workers’ Day. The chant, a reference to the Iranian people’s desire for the overthrow of the tyrannical regime, was quickly picked up and repeated by other teachers and people who had attended the rally.

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New Case Filed Against Political Prisoner Yasaman Aryani

Tehran’s Criminal Court has filed a new suit for political prisoner Yasaman Aryani imprisoned in Karaj’s Kachouii Prison. Yasaman Aryani was sentenced to five months imprisonment in addition to her previous prison term by this provincial court on April 26.

Ms. Aryani was sentenced to 16 years in prison for opposing the mandatory Hijab and participating in anti-government protests. After many appeals, the sentence was reduced to nine years and seven months imprisonment.

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Security Forces Attack, Arrest Protesting Iranian Teachers During Nationwide Labor Day Protests

Thousands of Iranian teachers took to the streets in dozens of cities in 21 provinces across Iran, protesting their dire living conditions, low salaries, officials’ hollow promises and the failure of the government to meet their demands on Labor Day. The teachers and educators called for the full implementation of the Civil Service Management Law and equalizing pensions, halting privatization, and allocating sufficient funds per capita to schools. The protesting teachers also demanded the return of fired teachers, the release of union activists, and an end to the prosecution of teachers.

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Labor Day 2022 and the Situation of Iran’s Workers

The world celebrated International Labor Day this year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused great humanitarian and economic catastrophes for Ukraine, Europe, and the world. The war in Ukraine has caused several fundamental and necessary commodities used by ordinary people to become scarce causing prices to spike. This has added another layer of hardship to the lives of workers around the world including those in Iran.

The living situation of Iranian workers, however, is beyond just economic hardship. Repression, censorship, and oppression, along with poverty and hunger, have gripped the majority of Iranian citizens and workers, and for this reason, Iran is currently experiencing major economic, political, and security turmoils.

Read more: Iran News in Brief – May 2, 2022