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Iran News in Brief – April 19, 2023

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THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 9:00 PM CET

Iran Uprising at a Glance

Based partially on reporting by PMOI (MEK) Network in Iran

Wedensday, April 19, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1

  • Days: 216
  • Protests: 282 cities
  • Fatalities: 750+ estimated deaths, 675 identified by MEK
  • Detentions: 30,000

Iran’s nationwide uprising witnessed its 216th day on Wednesday. Cities across Iran reported protests by people from all walks of life.

Reports tallied by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) indicate numerous chemical attacks by the regime’s operatives against schools across Iran.

The all-girls Nasiri and Abuzar high schools in the city of Urmia, northwest Iran, were the latest targets of chemical gas attacks by regime operatives on Wednesday, leaving several students poisoned and in dire condition. Some of the targets included:

  • The Chamran School in Hamadan, western Iran.
  • The all-girls Peeshtazan High School in Dezful, southwest Iran
  • The all-girls Ommat High School in the “Tehranpars” district of Tehran. This is the second time this specific school has been targeted in the regime’s chemical gas attacks.

Iranian opposition coalition NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi condemned the misogynist regime’s chemical gas attacks targeting schools across the country and described these measures as the regime’s response to fears of another popular uprising.

Defiant youth and MEK Resistance Units inside Iran launched a wave of 13 attacks and anti-regime measures in response to the mullahs’ chemical gas attacks against schoolgirls.

  • In Isfahan, central Iran, and Kuhdasht, western Iran, defiant youth attacked the offices of the criminal judiciary.
  • In Amol, northern Iran, defiant youth attacked the mullahs’ so-called “seminary,” which the regime uses to promote fundamentalism.
  • In Robat Karim, south of Tehran, and Tonekabon, northern Iran, defiant youth attacked IRGC Basij bases.
  • In Shahriar, west of Tehran, protesters attacked the regime’s “Islamic Development Coordination Council”
  • In Borujerd, western Iran, and Nowshahr, northern Iran, MEK Resistance Units torched a large sign of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
  • In Isfahan, central Iran, and Minab, southern Iran, MEK Resistance Units torched regime propaganda posters
  • In Kelarabad, northern Iran, MEK Resistance Units torched posters promoting compulsory hijab regulations
  • In the Nazi Abad district of Tehran, and the city of Rafsanjan, central Iran, MEK Resistance Units torched large posters of Khamenei and regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini.

Farmers from across the province of Isfahan rallied in the provincial capital on Wednesday to continue their protests for their fair share of water for their lands and crops.

Pensioners and retirees of the regime’s Social Security Organization in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, protested high prices, poverty, corruption, inflation, poor living conditions, and officials’ refusal to address their demands.

Locals in the Shahrak-e Bagheri district and other parts  of Tehran were chanting anti-regime slogans on Tuesday night, including:
“Down with Khamenei!”
“This is the year Seyed Ali (Khamenei) is overthrown!”
“Down with the dictator!”


UPDATE: 6:30 PM CET

Treasury Sanctions Procurement Network Supporting Iran’s UAV and Military Programs

US treasury department

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated one individual and six entities in a sanctions evasion network that has facilitated Iran’s procurement of electronic components for its destabilizing military programs, including those used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Particularly, this action targets the head of U.S.-designated Iran’s Pardazan System Namad Arman (PASNA), and the entity’s Iran-, Malaysia-, Hong Kong-, and PRC-based front companies and suppliers that have enabled PASNA’s procurement of goods and technology. This action also updates the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) entry for PASNA to include an alias and the names of two fictitious companies used by PASNA in its procurement efforts.

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UPDATE: 5:00 PM CET

Two Poor Fuel Porters Killed in Southeastern Iran

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On Tuesday night, April 18, two fuel porters were reportedly killed after being chased by security forces in the city of Saravan, Sistan and Baluchistan province.

According to a local news source, the chasing of the fuel porters by the regime’s security forces caused an accident whereby their motorcycles caught fire and the fuel porters burned to death. There has been no information obtained about the identity of the victims.

Independent human rights organization’s data suggest that a total of 845 citizens were targeted by security forces, of which 571 citizens lost their lives. Among the targeted, 22 people were freight carriers, 9 were fuel porters, and 540 were ordinary civilians. 274 citizens were injured due to the indiscriminate firing of security forces, of which 134 were freight carriers, 128 were civilians, and 12 were fuel porters.


Iran Blatantly Develops Nuclear Program – NATO Secretary-general

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“Global security also faces threats, China rapidly increases its nuclear arsenal without being transparent on its capabilities. Iran and North Korea blatantly develop their nuclear programs,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg while delivering a speech at the NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction, Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-Proliferation, APA reports.

According to him, alongside nuclear weapons and other weapons, artificial intelligence and new technologies are being emerged that create risks and these risks should not be ignored: “Now our world became more dangerous and less predictable,” he said.

Read more


UPDATE: 12:00 AM CET

Treasury Disrupts International Money Laundering and Sanctions Evasion Network Supporting Hizballah Financier

US treasury department

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated a vast international money laundering and sanctions evasion network of 52 individuals and entities in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. This network facilitated the payment, shipment, and delivery of cash, diamonds, precious gems, art, and luxury goods for the benefit of Hizballah financier and Specially Designated Global Terrorist Nazem Said Ahmad, who was designated on December 13, 2019, for providing material support to Hizballah. The network designated today includes dozens of individuals and their associated companies involved in assisting Nazem Said Ahmad in evading U.S. sanctions to maintain his ability to finance Hizballah and his luxurious lifestyle. This designation is a part of a coordinated action with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program, and the United Kingdom.

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Azerbaijani MIA Carried Out Special Operation, 20 People Serving Iran Were Detained

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A group of people who were engaged in criminal activities in Azerbaijan under the name of religion on the orders of Iran’s special services was exposed, APA reports. Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan carried out a special operation against them. During the operation, it was found that about 20 people are members of this criminal group and perform other activities under the name of religion. It was established that they organized the mass sale of narcotic drugs, and conducted religious propaganda in favor of Iran. Their goal was to strike at the secular values of Azerbaijan, to addict young people to drugs.

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International Business Organizations Convicted of Criminal Conspiracy To Violate Iranian Sanctions

US treasury department

 WASHINGTON – Two international business organizations pleaded guilty and were sentenced today in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for their participation in a criminal conspiracy to violate U.S. export laws and sanctions by sending U.S.-origin goods to Iran. Taiwan business organization DES International Co., Ltd. (“DES”), and Brunei business organization Soltech Industry Co., Ltd. (“Soltech”), each pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations.  The two companies were each sentenced to pay a fine of $83,769, which is three times the value of the goods unlawfully exported to Iran, and to serve a five-year term of corporate probation. The sentences were handed down by United States District Judge Jia M. Cobb.

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Grasping at Straws

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Michael Rubin, a self-described “academic” with a penchant for spurious claims, is now peddling a new bizarre and incredible theory: that the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), Iran’s leading democratic opposition, is more reviled than the odious Iranian regime itself. Yet he never explains why he is so obsessed with his sustained campaign to malign the MEK, through numerous articles on his personal website, since the start of the anti-regime protests in September of last year. One wonders, if the MEK is indeed as unpopular as he alleges, what is the motivation for his vendetta? Surely, if this were true, the Iranian people would reject the organization out of hand without Rubin’s noxious assist to the brutal regime.

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UPDATE: 9:00 AM CET

Rallies Expand in Iran as Anger Escalates Over Chemical Attacks, Poor Economy

Chemical gas attacks by regime operatives targeting schoolgirls across Iran April 2023 696x392 2

Iran’s nationwide uprising is witnessing its 215th day on Tuesday as the regime’s organized and deliberate chemical gas attacks continue against schools across the country, leaving mostly schoolgirls poisoned and in need of urgent medical care. Popular protests in response to these atrocious attacks, parallel to the country’s nosediving economy, are escalating in numbers, resulting in growing concerns among regime officials in this regard. The Hengaw Human Rights Organization has reported at least 20 chemical gas attacks by regime operatives targeting schools throughout Iran. This includes five attacks in Bukan alone, and the cities of Gilan-e Gharb, Karaj, Tabriz, Khoramabad, Dezful, Isfahan, Saqqez, Urmia, Sanandaj, Ravansar, and Kermanshah.

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Chemical Attacks on Schools Continue in Iran While the Regime Dodges Responsibility

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Chemical attacks on schools continued in Iran on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. School girls in Tehran and several other cities in Iran, including Karaj, Islamshahr, Kermanshah, Ahvaz, and Urmia, were poisoned in chemical attacks on schools by agents of Khamenei. Schools affected include Kowsar, Sa’ed, AbrarPardis Sharif, and Makkeh, as well as Ghias Educational Complex in TehranTahzeeb and Rezvan in Karaj, Saipa in IslamshahrNabovvat, Esmat, and Effat in Kermanshah, Setayesh High School in Ahvaz, Iman in Saqqez, and Baharan in ArdabilHadaf High School in Urmia. Many students were taken to medical centers, some reportedly in serious condition.

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The Narrative of Iran’s Economy; Empty Pockets of the People and the Plundering Hands of the Government

narrative of Irans Economy Empty Pockets of the People and the Plundering Hands of the Government

Following the budget imbalance in recent years, the governments appointed by Khamenei have no choice but to reach into the empty pockets of the Iranian people. The tragic story of reaching into the pockets of the Iranian people may have lost its novelty, and the civil society of Iran may have realized that the appointed ruling governments are covering their expenses from the pockets of the people. However, despite this, the scope of the issue has not diminished, and it seems that the situation will continue in the same manner this year.

The financial crisis in Iran’s economy has reached its peak, and the government is desperately searching for any way to compensate for the budget deficit, with no regard for the consequences. These policies mean the destruction and collapse of the narrative of Iran’s economy.

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Oslo, Norway—April 15, 2023: Freedom-Loving Iranians and MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution

Oslo, Norway—April 15, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution.

Oslo, Norway—April 15, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a rally in solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising.

Members of the Iranian community in Oslo expressed their utter support of their risen compatriots and vowed to continue echoing their voices, calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands—April 15, 2023: Freedom-Loving Iranians and MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution

Amsterdam—April 15, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally in Dam Square in Support of the Iran Revolution.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands—April 15, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians, supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held a rally in Dam Square in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution. The Iranian community in Amsterdam supported their rising compatriots and pledged to continue to call for freedom and democracy in Iran.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – April 18, 2023