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Iran News in Brief – February 20, 2021

"According to official data, the misery index reached 19.8 percent in 2017, jumped to 39 percent in 2018, and reached 45.5 percent in 2019. Estimates show that this index is at 70 percent this year," according to a Feb 16 report by the state run Hamdeli daily.
“According to official data, the misery index reached 19.8 percent in 2017, jumped to 39 percent in 2018, and reached 45.5 percent in 2019. Estimates show that this index is at 70 percent this year,” according to a Feb 16 report by the state run Hamdeli daily.

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UPDATE: 9:30 AM CET

Iran: Coronavirus Death Toll in 480 Cities Exceeds 218,200

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) announced on February 19, 2021, that the Coronavirus death toll in 480 cities across Iran had surpassed 218,200. The number of victims in Tehran is 52,111, Khorasan Razavi 14,550, Isfahan 14,020, Khuzestan 11,035, Mazandaran 9,187, Lorestan 8,983, East Azerbaijan 8,243, Fars 6,552, Golestan 5,680, Alborz 5,513, Kerman 4,844, Kermanshah 4,459, Kurdistan 3,772, Semnan 3,350, Qazvin 2,444, Hormozgan 2,355, and Bushehr 2,204.

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Statement by Bob Blackman and British and Int’l MPs: EU member states and EEAS must suspend diplomatic relations with Iran


Arab News – ‘Iran cannot be appeased’: British MP urges harder line against Tehran

The UK should take more assertive action against Iran by ditching the nuclear deal and following the US lead in introducing economic sanctions that “bite,” a British MP has said.

Bob Blackman, a UK Conservative Party MP, also told Arab News that Tehran’s diplomatic footprint across Europe should be reviewed for its role in facilitating the IRGC’s (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) “nefarious activities.”

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Man and woman accused of adultery sentenced to lashes in Tehran

IRAN: Prisoner Flogged in Public in Ahvaz

The Tehran Criminal Court sentenced a man and woman to lashes on adultery charges. According to state-run media, the husband of the accused woman identified by her first name as Khoshchehreh filed a complaint against his wife one year ago.

Khoshchehreh’s husband suspected her of having extramarital relations with one of his relatives, and the case was taken to court. Both Khoshchehreh and the man identified by his first name as Salar denied the charges, and said they were just friends. However, upon the insistence of Khoshchehreh’s husband, her smartphone was also examined in court and Salar and Khoshchehreh were incriminated because of the messages and pictures on the smartphone.

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Iran: Misery index continues to rise as basic goods become more expensive

In recent years, Iran has been one of the top four countries in the world in terms of misery index, and after the three countries of Venezuela, Argentina and Zimbabwe, it is in fourth place and at its worst.

The devaluation of the national currency (rial) in recent years has been the most important factor in including Iran’s name in this list.

“According to official data, the misery index reached 19.8 percent in 2017, jumped to 39 percent in 2018, and reached 45.5 percent in 2019. Estimates show that this index is at 70 percent this year,” according to a Feb 16 report by the state run Hamdeli daily.

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Iran: strategic elections or strategic impasse?

As the Iranian regime approaches the 2021 Presidential Election, Tehran’s strategic impasse becomes apparent more than ever. For 42 years, Iranian authorities deceived the society by putting up a show of “reformists versus hardliners.” However, in recent years, Iranian citizens have clearly announced that they see no distinction between these supposedly rivaling factions.

“Moderates and principalists are all cuts of the same cloth,” citizens say in their private gatherings. “Reformists, hardliners, the game is over,” people frequently chant in anti-establishment rallies and protests.

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Read moreIran News in Brief – February 19, 2021