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Iran News in Brief – February 1, 2023

iran khoy earthquake aftermath cold 1



IAEA Chides Iran for Undeclared Change to Fordow Uranium Enrichment Setup

Vienna, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The U.N. Nuclear Watchdog Criticised Iran on Wednesday for Making an Undeclared Change to the Interconnection Between the Two Clusters of Advanced Machines Enriching Uranium to up to 60% Purity, Close to Weapons Grade, at Its Fordow Plant.

The International Atomic Energy Agency Found the Change During an Unannounced Inspection on Jan. 21 at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (Ffep), a Site Dug Into a Mountain Where Inspectors Are Stepping up Checks After Iran Said It Would Dramatically Expand Enrichment.

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Iran Uprising at a Glance – Day 139

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

Wednesday, February 01, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1

  • Days: 139
  • Protests: 282 cities
  • Fatalities: 750+ estimated deaths, 637 identified by MEK
  • Detentions: 30,000

Iran’s nationwide uprising marked its 139th day on Wednesday as in cities across the country people from different social sectors took to the streets and protested the regime’s rule.

Reports also indicate an escalating atmosphere of dissent and tension in the city of Khoy following Saturday’s 5.9 magnitude earthquake that has left many devastated and in need of urgent aid. Authorities have dispatched many security units to the city and are even attacking anyone asking for a tent and/or protesting the harsh conditions.

In Urmia, northwest Iran, people took matters into their own hands and started collecting aid for the needy people in neighboring Khoy as authorities have been failing/refusing to do anything.

Early Wednesday morning a major explosion occurred outside a judiciary building in Isfahan, central Iran. Today is the first of 10 days that the mullahs’ propaganda apparatus launches every year to celebrate their rule. This explosion is a reminder of the people’s hatred toward the ruling dictatorship.

In other developments, in  Baharestan, Isfahan courageous locals burned the banner of Khamenei and In Kermanshah, western Iran locals wrote Graffiti on the walls which reads: “The IRGC is the murderer of Iran’s people.”

In Abdanan, western Iran, protesters rallied in the streets, set up roadblocks, and demolished a statue of the IRGC paramilitary Basij Force while chanting: “This is the year Seyed Ali (Khamenei) is overthrown!”

Personnel of the Parsian Bank in Tehran rallied outside the regime’s Central Bank on Wednesday to hold a protest gathering and seek answers to their demands that have long gone unanswered by regime officials.

In Tehran, family members of death row inmates rallied on Wednesday outside the regime’s judiciary building protesting the death sentences and demanding answers from regime officials. This is the sixth such rally held recently as prisoners’ family members have traveled from across the country to hold these gatherings on January 29January 25January 22, January 16, and January 14 in the country’s capital.


Australian Senate Committee Urges FM to Designate IRGC

In a report concerning the suppression of protesters in Iran, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Australian Parliament asked the Australian federal government to include the IRGC in the list of terrorist organizations and impose more sanctions against people associated with the Iranian regime.

According to the report, submitters and witnesses were largely consistent in calling for the Australian Government to take practical steps to stand up for and protect the universality of human rights. The key measures proposed include, but are not limited to:

  • Making significant use of Australia’s Autonomous Sanctions regime
    (applying Magnitsky sanctions);
  • listing the IRGC as a terrorist organisation;
  • expelling the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) Ambassador from Australia;
  • revoking the Australian citizenship of IRI-affiliated individuals, as well as of
    any family members residing in Australia;
  • cracking down on IRI intimidation of the Iranian diaspora in Australia;1 and
  • supporting the removal of the IRI from the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

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Targeted Sanctions in Response to Human Rights Violations in Iran

australian foreign ministry penny young

The Australian Government is imposing targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on individuals responsible for egregious human rights abuses in Myanmar, as well as sanctions on entities enabling the repression of its people.

The Government is also imposing additional sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities over abhorrent abuses of human rights.

Sanctioned individuals include 16 members of the Myanmar military regime’s governing State Administration Council (SAC), as key individuals directly responsible for the coup d’état two years ago today.

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French Forces Seize Iranian-supplied Weapons Bound for Yemen

wall-street-journal-logo-300Elite French special forces seized a boatload of Iranian-supplied weapons and ammunition bound for militants in Yemen as part of a deepening effort to contain Tehran, according to officials familiar with the operation.

On Jan. 15, the officials said, a French warship stopped a suspected smuggling ship off the Yemeni coast where the specially trained French team boarded the boat. On board, the officials said, the French military discovered more than 3,000 assault rifles, a half million rounds of ammunition and 20 antitank guided missiles.

The operation, which was coordinated with the U.S. military, is the outgrowth of a more proactive French role in challenging weapons smuggling in the Middle East.

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UK Conservative MP Calls Belgian Offer to Swap Iranian Terrorist ‘Shocking Development’


LONDON—A British MP who escaped death when an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was intercepted before he could bomb a rally of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris in 2018 has described it as “worrying” that Belgium was considering swapping Assadi for a Belgian citizen in an Iranian jail.

Earlier this month Olivier Vandecasteele, a humanitarian worker, was jailed for at least 12 years and given 74 lashes after being convicted of espionage following a secret trial in Iran.

Bob Blackman, a Conservative MP, told a conference at the Houses of Parliament in London on Monday it was a “shocking development” for Belgium to consider swapping Vandecasteele for Assadi, who was jailed for 20 years in Antwerp in February 2021 for plotting a bomb attack against the rally, which was attended by several British MPs as well as U.S. and European politicians.

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EU Adds Iranian Drone Manufacturer to Russia Sanctions List

eu sanctions logo

The Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Corporation (HESA) has been added to the EU’s Russia sanctions list for its alleged involvement in the development and delivery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to Russia. Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/192 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2023/193. In July 2010, HESA was designated under the EU’s Iran nuclear proliferation sanctions. It is also listed in the UK, US, Australia and Canada.


Azerbaijan’s Interior Ministry Continues Operation Against the Iranian Spy Network: 39 People Detained

As a result of the special operations carried out by the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 39 people who carried out acts of sabotage and disruption under the “veil of religion” in Azerbaijan were identified and detained, APA reported.

Those people who pretended themselves as religious have carried out propaganda in favor of Iran on social networks, abused the freedom of religious belief in our country, and fulfilled the tasks of the Iranian special services in order to undermine the traditions of tolerance formed in Azerbaijan.

In order to create sectarian discrimination and conflict between people, they created confusion in the society by using attributes related to Iran, as well as black flags with various inscriptions in the Persian language, in religious ceremonies attended by Azerbaijani citizens and in social networks, and transferred the information they collected to the special services they were tasked with.

Azerbaijani MIA Detains Owner of InterAz and SalamNews During Operation

As APA reported Azerbaijan’s Interior Ministry conducted an operation against the Iranian spy network and Matlab Baghirov, known as Haji Matlab is among the detainees.

Note that Matlab Baghirov is the owner of ‘InterAz’ and ‘SalamNews’.


Azerbaijan Security Forces Arrest 7 People From Iranian ‘Espionage Network’

Iranian regime embassy in Backo
Iranian regime embassy in Baku

The arrests come less than a week after a security official was killed and two guards were wounded at the Azeri embassy in Tehran. Azerbaijan security forces arrested seven people on Tuesday in connection to an Iranian “espionage network,” the latest development in worsening tensions between Baku and Tehran.

According to the Turkish news site Anadolu Agency, Azeri security forces have started a “massive” operation against spies connected to the Islamic Republic since Tuesday morning. The arrests came less than a week after the head of security at the Azeri embassy in Tehran was killed and two guards were wounded in a shooting attack.

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Iran Sees New Spark in Anti-regime Protests Across the Country


Protesters in many cities across Iran and numerous areas of the capital Tehran took to the streets on Monday, igniting a new spark in the country’s ongoing anti-regime revolution. People were seen establishing roadblocks and taking control of their streets with fires, while also chanting anti-regime slogans specifically targeting regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the mullahs’ Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and paramilitary Basij, and their security forces apparatus.

Protests in Iran have to this day expanded to at least 282 cities. Over 750 people have been killed and more than 30,000 are arrested by the regime’s forces, according to sources of Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The names of 637 killed protesters have been published by the PMOI/MEK.

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Student Activist Niloufar Mirzaii Stands Trial Without a Lawyer

Niloufar Mirzaii min 1

Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran convened on January 30, 2023, examining the charges against student activist Niloufar Mirzaii.

Student activist Niloufar Mirzaii has been detained for three months. Her trial was held in the absence of a lawyer. The presiding judge rejected granting her a temporary leave on bail. Student activist Niloufar Mirzaii was a 2nd-year graphic arts student at Tehran’s Al-Zahra University.

Plainclothes agents abducted her from the front of the university on November 1, 2022. She is detained in Evin Prison after spending time in the notorious Qarchak Prison. No information is available on her charges.

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Copenhagen, Denmark—January 30, 2023: MEK Supporters Held an Exhibition in Support of the Iran Revolution

Copenhagen—January 30, 2023: MEK Supporters Held an Exhibition in Support of the Iran Revolution

Copenhagen, Denmark—January 30, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians, supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), held a photo exhibition in memory of the martyrs of the nationwide Iranian Revolution. They also expressed solidarity with the nationwide uprising, which has entered its fifth month despite the regime’s brutal crackdown.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – January 31, 2023