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Iran News in Brief – April 25, 2024

THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 9:00 PM

New UK Sanctions Target Iranian Drone Industry

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – Britain on Thursday announced new sanctions targeting Iran’s military drone industry, in response to Iran’s drone and missile attack on Israel earlier this month.

The measures, taken in co-ordination with the U.S. and Canada, target four businesses and two directors at a network of drone companies with the aim of limiting Iran’s ability to launch drones.

“The Iranian regime’s dangerous attack on Israel risked thousands of civilian casualties and wider escalation in the region,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement.

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US Issues Further Sanctions on Iran, Targets Drones

WASHINGTON, April 25 (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday issued further sanctions on Iran, targeting Iranian drones, including their use by Russia in the war in Ukraine, as Washington seeks to ratchet up pressure on Tehran.

The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said the action, taken in coordination with the United Kingdom and Canada, targets over one dozen entities, individuals and vessels it accused of playing a key role in facilitating and financing the clandestine sale of Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles to Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).

MODAFL in turn supports Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Treasury said.

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UPDATE: 10:00 AM

Stevenson: Resolution on Iran Evokes Our Founding Declaration

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Thomas Paine, one of America’s great Founders famously said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

His words will be familiar to the 145 bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have signed a resolution condemning the Iranian regime’s brutality and repression. The resolution calls for the protection of dissidents targeted by the regime.

It was introduced by Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, and recognizes the right of the Iranian people to seek regime change, without calling for U.S. military support.

Acknowledging the soaring regional conflict in the Mideast which has “heightened since the October 7, 2023, attacks” by Hamas on Israel, the resolution identifies the mullahs’ regime as the definitive nerve centre for spreading Islamic fundamentalism, commanding and sponsoring terrorism, as well as warmongering across the region.

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UPDATE: 7:30 AM

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Summons Iran’s Chargé D’affaires

Today 23 April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Iran’s chargé d’affaires to call for the release of the Estonian resident on board the ship seized on 13 April in the Strait of Hormuz. Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said summoning the chargé d’affaires was the next step in a series of diplomatic efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at securing the release of the Estonian resident. “Meeting with the chargé d’affaires of Iran today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the seizure of MSC Aries and called for the immediate release of its crew, including the Estonian resident,” the foreign minister said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains in touch with MSC, the company that operates the ship, and according to the operator, doctors were allowed on board the ship yesterday to perform medical checks on all crewmembers.

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Judge Orders Preventative Detention for Iranian and 2 Peruvians in Thwarted Plot to Kill Israelis

LIMA, Peru (AP) — A Peruvian judge has ordered 18 months of preventative detention for an Iranian and two Peruvian men while they are investigated for allegedly attempting to kill two Israelis living in the South American country.

The ruling by Magistrate Miguel Quevedo was handed down Tuesday but released Wednesday. The defendants are also accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism.

The judge said the motive for the unsuccessful alleged killing plot was unclear, but police and prosecutors in Peru have said the Iranian, Majid Azizi, could be a member of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, which is responsible for intelligence work outside Iran.

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Why Iran’s Regime Insists on Suppressing Women under The Pretext of Hijab

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While Iran’s regime is engulfed in crises at home and abroad, on April 13, it launched another wave of suppression, terror, and fear. It is not surprising because oppression and suffocation have always been the essence of this regime, but it is strange that in these circumstances, where their concerns about the exacerbation of challenges have increased, why are they seeking to create more crises and give more reasons to enrage the people?

This insane behavior is even unacceptable to many elements and insiders of the regime. They question the leaders of the regime, asking, “Why are they engaging in such behaviors? Why do they want to revive the cycle of repression once again?”

On April 20, the state-run Ham-Mihan newspaper wrote, “This form of public confrontation will only result in the spread of hatred and, of course, increase distrust…

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Iran’s Human Rights Crisis Deepens in 2023: Amnesty International Report

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The Iranian regime’s human rights record continued its downward spiral in 2023, according to a scathing report by Amnesty International. The report, titled “The State of the World’s Human Rights: April 2024” details a systematic crackdown on dissent, widespread torture, and a surging use of the death penalty. The report comes in the wake of the 2022 protests, a nationwide movement sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman arrested for violating Iran’s compulsory veiling laws. The report paints a grim picture of the Iranian regime’s response to these protests, highlighting a series of repressive measures aimed at silencing dissent.

Amnesty International documented a systematic effort by Iranian regime authorities to suppress basic human rights. Freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly came under heavy fire. The report details the use of censorship, jamming of satellite television channels, and the continued blocking of social media platforms. An internet blackout was also employed to disrupt communication during anticipated protests.

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Iran’s Inflation Rate Soars to Highest Level in 80 Years

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On April 20th, the Central Bank of Iran announced the annual inflation rate for 2023-2024 as a staggering 52.3%. This figure, displayed in a table used to calculate debt and dowry payments, marks the highest inflation rate in Iran since 1942, during the Allied occupation of World War II.

This announcement contradicts a previous report from Iran’s Statistics Center on March 22nd, which placed the inflation rate at 40.7%. This significant discrepancy raises concerns about data manipulation, echoing accusations from some members of parliament and economic experts.

Faraz Daily further fueled these concerns in a March 28th report titled “Worrying signs of manipulation to show the government’s success in controlling inflation.” The report suggests a possible trend of manipulating statistics to create a more favorable picture for the Raisi administration by year’s end.

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The U.S. Tightens Sanctions On Iran, Targeting Cyber Attackers

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The U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Iran’s regime on Tuesday. These sanctions target four individuals and two companies accused of cyberattacks against American businesses and government agencies.

The Treasury Department claims these actors acted on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Cyber Electronic Command (IRGC-CEC). The attacks reportedly included spear phishing and malware deployment.

“Iran continues to launch cyberattacks against the U.S. to disrupt our infrastructure and harm our citizens,” stated Brian Nelson, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury. “The U.S. will continue to expose and disrupt these operations using all available resources.”

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Grossi: Iran Weeks Away from Having Enough Enriched Uranium for Atomic Bomb

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi

Rafael Grossi, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has stated that Iran is just weeks rather than months away from possessing enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear bomb.

According to Grossi, while uranium enrichment at levels close to weapons-grade is concerning, it does not directly imply that Iran currently possesses nuclear weapons.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle published on Tuesday, April 23, Grossi stated that a “functional nuclear warhead requires many other things independently from the production of the fissile material”.

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Protesting Rapper Toomaj Salehi Sentenced to Death

Today, on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, Amir Reisian, the lawyer of Toomaj Salehi, a protesting artist, wrote on his personal page on X: “Branch One of the Revolutionary Court in Isfahan has issued a death sentence for Toomaj Salehi. As the lawyer of the case, he announced further details in an interview with Shargh Network: “Branch One of the Revolutionary Court in Isfahan, in an unprecedented move, did not execute the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding Toomaj Salehi’s case from the year 2022. Instead, they deemed it “guidance” and emphasized the court’s independence. Toomaj Salehi has been sentenced to the harshest punishment, which is execution, on charges of spreading corruption on Earth.”

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A Prisoner’s Narrative: Inside Iran’s Infamous Prison (3)

The extreme solitude of the cell and the neediness in such conditions and in constant solitary confinement, even the casual presence of another living being and an uninvited guest like a fly, spider, cockroach, or even a mouse, for adding diversity and amusement to prison life is truly delightful. Because it can be used as a new subject to overcome the routine life in the cell. Moreover, the prisoner may experience peaceful coexistence with another creature, which may not be very compatible with humans, even in harsh conditions and the confined environment of the cell.

Unlike the normal world outside the prison, where, for example, hearing the buzzing sound of a fly or mosquito in the bedroom the presence of a cockroach in the household environment, or seeing a mouse in the living area, is usually very annoying and repulsive, but in solitary confinement, perhaps nothing is more annoying and repulsive than the sound of interrogators’ grunts and the grim faces of confinement guards.

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Leipzig, Germany—April 20, 2024: MEK Supporters Exhibition in Solidarity With the Iranian Revolution

Leipzig, Germany—April 20, 2024: MEK supporters exhibition in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution

Leipzig, Germany—April 20, 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized an exhibition to express solidarity with the Iranian Revolution.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – April 24, 2024