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Iran News in Brief – December 7, 2023

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THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 6:00 PM CET

Treasury Targets Network Financing Houthi Regional Aggression

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WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 13 individuals and entities responsible for providing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of foreign currency generated from the sale and shipment of Iranian commodities, backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), to the Houthis in Yemen. Through a complex network of exchange houses and companies in multiple jurisdictions, these persons, under the auspices of U.S.-sanctioned Houthi and IRGC-QF financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal, serve as an important conduit through which Iranian money reaches the country’s militant partners in Yemen.

“The Houthis continue to receive funding and support from Iran, and the result is unsurprising: unprovoked attacks on civilian infrastructure and commercial shipping, disrupting maritime security and threatening international commercial trade,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Treasury will continue to disrupt the financial facilitation and procurement networks that enable these destabilizing activities.”

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UPDATE: 3:30 PM CET

Princeton Professor Investigated by House Republicans for Suspected Ties to Iran

the college fix

A Princeton University professor suspected of advancing Iranian state interests is under investigation by the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Professor Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a Middle Eastern nuclear and security policy specialist who has taught at Princeton for 13 years, denies he has any ties to the Iranian regime.

“I have not been able to go to Iran since June 2021 and I have not been engaged with any government including the government of Iran since the Iranian court convicted me in 2008,” Mousavian told The College Fix via email.

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FBI Director Cites Mysterious Iran-Linked Attack in Arguing for Section 702

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FBI Director Christopher A. Wray made a fresh appeal to lawmakers this week to renew an expiring surveillance power, revealing that in one recent case, it had helped authorities alert 300 potential victims in all 50 states as well as in other countries that they might be targets of a cyberattack. He didn’t identify the case, but officials familiar with the matter told The Washington Post that it involved hackers sponsored by Iran who were launching ransomware attacks in 2021. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.

One target of that campaign, which has been made public, is Children’s Hospital in Boston. And Wray noted in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that “Iran has conducted a cyberattack on a children’s hospital in New England.”

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Amnesty International Report on Iran’s Use of Rape and Torture Against Men, Women and Children as Young as 12 Should Put Western Appeasers to Shame – Struan Stevenson

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Amnesty International’s latest report on the conditions suffered by political prisoners and other detainees in Iran’s medieval jails should provide a wake-up call for Western politicians keen to appease the theocratic regime. Amnesty says that prisoners detained following the nationwide uprising in 2022 have been subjected to rape and sexual assault, aimed at intimidating protesters and opponents of the regime.

The report documents – “in harrowing detail” – the ordeals experienced by 45 survivors of the countrywide protests, including 26 men, 12 women, and seven children, who were subjected to rape, gang rape, and other forms of sexual violence. It identifies those responsible for the rape and sexual violence as members of the paramilitary Basij, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the ministry of intelligence and security forces (MOIS), and various branches of the police, including the Public Security Police (police amniat-e omoumi), the investigation unit of Iran’s police (agahi), and the police special forces (yegan-e vijeh).

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UPDATE: 2:00 PM CET

Dozens With Ties To Iranian Regime Caught by Canada’s Sanctions

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For 12 years, Roohollah Firooznam ran a company that installed and operated security cameras for Iran’s hardline regime. The cameras were used to monitor detainees at prisons where torture took place, and to keep watch on political opponents. Three directors of the company were senior members of the intelligence ministry. A former vice-president of Iran was a shareholder. Firooznam’s business partner in another venture was a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander who spent a decade guarding Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.

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UPDATE: 8:00 AM CET

Appeasing Iran’s Regime Invites Terrorism

germany berlin ncri office burned

On December 3, agents of Iran’s regime attacked and set fire to the office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Berlin. Fortunately, the occupants intervened and prevented the fire from spreading across the building. The incident is currently being investigated by the German police as a possible terrorist attack. This comes in continuation of a series of terrorist activities by Iran’s regime against the Iranian Resistance and its supporters in the past year. On May 31 and June 11, 2023, agents of the regime’s terrorist IRGC Quds Force attacked a building belonging to the supporters of the Iranian Resistance with firearms and incendiary material.

The uptick in the regime’s terrorist activities against the Iranian Resistance comes against the backdrop of a series of concessions made by the West to the regime, including the release of its terrorist diplomat Assadollah Assadi.

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Iran’s Regime Faces Backlash After Changes to Retirement Laws

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In recent days, the contentious decision to raise the retirement age in Iran by the regime’s parliament has sparked widespread criticism. Labor organizations have denounced the resolution as “anti-labor” in separate letters to the Guardian Council, urging its rejection. Members of the labor commission within the parliament have also penned a letter to the Guardian Council, seeking the rejection and revision of this resolution.

In this letter, the labor faction outlined the challenges faced by the labor community, warning that the approval of this resolution by the Guardian Council would deal an irreparable blow to workers. They asserted that the decision to increase the retirement age was made “without due consideration of logical and legal reasons” and without respecting workers’ maximum rights and fair reforms under the 7th Development Plan.

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Court Hearing Examines Masoumeh Yavari’s Charges

iran masoumeh yavari

The Revolutionary Court of Golpayegan convened on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, to review the case of political prisoner Masoumeh Yavari. Ms. Masoumeh Yavari, 45 years old, has been charged with “propaganda against the regime” and “collaborating and communicating with hostile governments.” Today, she presented her defense in court.

Masoumeh Yavari is currently imprisoned in Dolat-Abad Prison in Isfahan. She was summoned to the Golpayegan Court after receiving a summons. Previously, on Wednesday, October 19 of the current year, an interrogation session for Masoumeh Yavari was held at the second branch of the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Golpayegan.

Ms. Yavari was arrested by security forces at her residence in Golpayegan on September 4, 2023, and after a search of her house, she was transferred to Dolat Abad Prison in Isfahan.

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On Students Day in Iran, Honoring Young Iranian Women

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On December 7, 1953, three students were killed by military forces on the campus of Tehran University’s College of Engineering. Since then, this day has been known as Students’ Day in Iran, honoring the struggles of Iranian university students. Iranian universities have long served as hubs of knowledge. Alongside knowledge, there emerges a deep longing for freedom. Consequently, many leaders of opposition movements in Iran have risen from universities, drawing from the most informed sectors of Iranian intellectuals.

During the Shah’s dictatorship in Iran, freedom-seeking students organized protests, birthing leading opposition groups within Iranian universities. Despite severe crackdowns under the mullahs’ regime, these institutions persist as centers of protest, often leading to widespread arrests and imprisonment of students.

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Revolutionary Guards Seize Two Vessels in the Persian Gulf

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The Iranian regime’s IRGC has seized two vessels with 34 foreign crew members in the Persian Gulf on charges of “fuel smuggling.” The IRGC announced the seizure of the ships on December 6.

According to the regime’s news agencies, citing Ali Ozmayee, the commander of the fifth naval zone of the IRGC, one of these ships, with 13 foreign crew members, was smuggling 2.28 million liters of fuel and was seized near Abu Musa Island in the south.

He added that the other ship, with 21 foreign crew members, was carrying 2.3 million liters of smuggled fuel and was confiscated by IRGC forces.

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Iranian Security Forces Raped Detained Protesters, Amnesty International Reports

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On Thursday, December 6, Amnesty International released its latest report on the conditions of Iranian regime opponents and detainees of the protests in 2022 in Iran. The organization stated that the regime security forces have extensively used sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence to intimidate protesters and opponents. The report documented in detail the harrowing ordeals of 45 survivors of nationwide protests in 2022, including 26 men, 12 women, and seven children, who were subjected to rape, gang rape and/or other forms of sexual violence by intelligence and security forces.

The report reveals that perpetrators of rape and other forms of sexual violence included agents from the Revolutionary Guards, the paramilitary Basij force, and the Ministry of Intelligence, as well as different branches of the police force including the Public Security Police (police amniat-e omoumi), the Investigation Unit of Iran’s police (agahi), and the Special Forces of the police (yegan-e vijeh).

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Paris—December 5, 2023: MEK Supporters Held an Exhibition in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution

Paris—December 5, 2023: MEK Supporters Held an Exhibition in Solidarity With the Iranian Revolution.

Paris, France—December 5, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held a photo exhibition in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution. This exhibition served as a tribute to the martyrs of the nationwide Iranian uprising. They also condemned the wave of brutal executions in Iran.

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Zurich— December 5, 2023: MEK Supporters Held an Exhibition in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution

Zurich — Dec 5, 2023: MEK Supporters Held an Exhibition in Solidarity With the Iranian Revolution.

Zurich, Switzerland — December 5, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized a photo exhibition in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution. This exhibition served as a tribute to the martyrs of the nationwide Iranian uprising. They also condemned the wave of brutal executions in Iran.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – December 6, 2023