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Iran News in Brief – January 20, 2024

iran behregan protest 19012024

THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 8:30 PM

Iranian and Hezbollah Commanders Help Direct Houthi Attacks in Yemen

DUBAI, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Commanders from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group are on the ground in Yemen helping to direct and oversee Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, four regional and two Iranian sources told Reuters. Iran – which has armed, trained, and funded the Houthis – stepped up its weapons supplies to the militia in the wake of the war in Gaza, which erupted after Iranian-backed militants Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, the four regional sources said. Tehran has provided advanced drones, anti-ship cruise missiles, precision-strike ballistic missiles and medium-range missiles to the Houthis, who started targeting commercial vessels in November in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, the sources said.

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UPDATE: 3:00 PM

UK Police to Counter Hostile State Threats With New Unit

LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) – British police said on Friday they had set up a new unit to counter threats posed by China, Russia and Iran, saying they were very concerned about risks ahead of a national election expected this year.

Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes, Britain’s head of counter-terrorism policing, said the evidence and the sense among his officers were that the challenge posed by hostile states was “greater now than since the days of the Cold War”.

“I don’t want to be coy. We are talking about parts of the state apparatus of Iran, China and Russia,” he told reporters.

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Alarming Increase in Suicides Among Iranian Medical Professionals

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On Saturday, January 20, according to the state-run Etemad Online, a specialist in emergency medicine from a hospital highlighted the rise in suicides among medical personnel in Iran. Based on conducted surveys, the suicide rate within the medical community has surged from 3.1 to 5 times higher than previous levels.

The emergency medicine specialist from Baharlo Hospital added that, on average, 13 suicides leading to death take place annually. Findings indicate a 40% increase in suicides among male physicians and a staggering 130% increase among female physicians compared to the general population, raising significant concerns.

The specialist identified the causes behind the rise in suicides in the medical community as an overwhelming workload, numerous responsibilities, insufficient compensation, and job insecurity. These factors collectively discourage residents from continuing their activities and lead to disillusionment. Today, suicides among residents have taken on the aspect of a “crisis,” with an annual average of 13 suicides leading to death in the entire population of medical residents, amounting to 14,000 individuals. An examination of the mental health status of 253 psychiatric residents revealed that the psychological pressure on this population is more severe than initially perceived.


US CENTCOM Destroys Three Houthi Terrorists’ Anti-Ship Missiles

Seal of the United States Central Command (1)

TAMPA, Fla. – As part of ongoing efforts to protect freedom of navigation and prevent attacks on maritime vessels, U.S. Navy ships are present in the Red Sea. On Jan. 19 at approximately 6:45 p.m. (Sanaa / Yemen time), U.S. Central Command forces conducted strikes against three Houthi anti-ship missiles that were aimed into the Southern Red Sea and were prepared to launch. U.S. forces identified the missiles in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and determined that they presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and the U.S. Navy ships in the region. U.S. forces subsequently struck and destroyed the missiles in self-defense. This action will make international waters safe and secure for U.S. Navy vessels and merchant vessels.

Source


UPDATE: 8:00 AM

The Implications of a Major Boycott of Iran’s Sham Parliamentary Elections

iran election boycott

In an unprecedented show of desperation, Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei has made several public addresses in recent weeks in an attempt to rally his dwindling base of supporters to participate in the regime’s sham parliamentary elections.

From calling the elections a “miracle” to claiming that they will “solve the country’s problems,” in one of his speeches, Khamenei said, “If there is enthusiastic participation of the people in the elections… science… progress, the economy… flourishes, various cultural, economic, and political problems in the country can be solved; such a miracle requires participation.”

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The Plight of Workers’ Wages in Iran and the Regime’s Anti-Labor Policies

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Due to soaring inflation in Iran, the actual purchasing power of workers’ wages has plummeted by half in the final months of the year. The exorbitant inflation in food prices has particularly contributed to this sharp decline.

Looking ahead to 2024, President Ebrahim Raisi of the Iranian regime does not plan to authorize a wage increase exceeding 20% for minimum wage earners, ushering in a series of salary reductions for the upcoming year.

Under the governance of this regime in recent years, workers’ wages have not been increased in accordance with changes to inflation rates and costs of living.

The cost of living basket, as determined by the labor committee and experts, is deemed negligible. Ultimately, worker wages will be adjusted based on a predetermined policy.

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Concerns Mount Over Iran’s Nuclear Activities Amidst International Tensions

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The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, expressed growing apprehension about Iran’s limited cooperation with the Agency during his speech at the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland. He characterized Iran’s approach as holding the IAEA ‘hostage’ amid disputes with Western countries. Grossi criticized Iran’s rejection of inspectors based on their nationality, stating that such actions are disheartening. He pointed out that Iran has significantly curtailed its cooperation with the IAEA, reducing it to the minimum. According to Grossi, the Iranian leadership tends to involve the IAEA in their political differences with Western nations, particularly France, Britain, and the United States, which he deemed unacceptable.

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Iranian Chamber of Commerce Raises Concerns Over Reduced Wheat Purchase Rate: A Threat to Food Security

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In a recent development that has sparked concerns within the agricultural sector, an official from the Iranian Chamber of Commerce has criticized the Minister of Agriculture’s decision to reduce the guaranteed purchase rate for wheat by two thousand tomans. This move, deemed incongruent with the economic realities of society, is raising fears about its potential impact on Iran’s food security.

Haman Hashemi, speaking to the ‘Arsheh Online’ website on January 18, emphasized the strategic significance of wheat as a national product, influencing not only the economy but also employment and food security. Hashemi argued that any decision regarding the purchase price of wheat would have a cascading effect across various sectors, potentially discouraging farmers and posing a threat to the nation’s overall food security.

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Iran Regime’s Bold Military Strikes: Official Praise Amid Rising Regional Tensions

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In a span of three days, Iran’s regime conducted missile and drone strikes on targets in three countries: Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry labeled these attacks as a “violation of international law” and announced its intention to file a complaint with the U.N. Security Council. Concurrently, Pakistan’s leadership issued a strong condemnation, denouncing the “unprovoked violation” of its airspace by Iran. Against this backdrop, Iran’s regime’s officials continue to praise the missile operations carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on various positions in these nations.

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Iran’s Regime Tightens Grip on Education With Gender Segregation and Repressive Measures

Chemical attacks on girls schools 3 min

The oppressive regime in Iran is intensifying its control over women, extending its reach to shape gender policies. These initiatives, which began four decades ago, have infiltrated the country’s educational landscape, leading to a significant social challenge as male and female students now face gender segregation. The regime, not content with altering textbooks, is now set on transforming school architecture to impose its archaic ideologies on children.

Hamidreza Khanmohammadi, the head of the School Renovation, Development, and Equipping Organization, disclosed to Ilna news agency on Thursday, January 18, that “the architectural plan of schools in the future will differ based on the gender and educational level of the students.”

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Rising Death Rates in Iran Caused by Pollution, Poor Medical Services

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Iran’s National Organization for Civil Registration has released statistical data revealing a 2.5% increase in the death rate during the initial nine months of Persian calendar year 1402 (March 2023-March 2024) compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

According to information from the civil registry website, the total number of deaths in Iran reached 312,793 in the first nine months of 2022. In the same period this year, the figure rose slightly to 313,817. In 2023, 56.4% of the deceased were men and 43.6% were women, a marginal shift from the previous year’s percentages of 56.9% for men and 43.1% for women.

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Sixth day of Hamed Qareh Oghlani’s hunger strike in solitary confinement at Urmia prison

hamed qareh oghlani

Hamed Qareh Oghlani, a Turkish political prisoner who is serving his 14-year sentence in Urmia Central Prison, marked the sixth day of his hunger strike. According to the Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM), Hamed Qareh Oghlani, a Turkish political prisoner, began his hunger strike on Sunday, January 14, 2024, in protest against being deprived of the right to medical leave. Today, he is on the sixth day of his hunger strike. On Tuesday, January 16, 2024, while Hamed was on the third day of his hunger strike, he was transferred to solitary confinement by prison officials in Urmia Prison. Hamed Qareh Oghlani suffers from the debilitating condition of grand mal epilepsy. He has resorted to a hunger strike due to the worsening of his illness and in protest of the prison authorities’ refusal to transfer him to a hospital or grant him medical leave. Hamed’s transfer to solitary confinement, considering the worsening of his illness, has caused great concern among his family.

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Lucerne, Switzerland—January 17, 2024: Supporters of MEK Organize Exhibition Condemning Mass Executions in Iran

Lucerne, Switzerland - Jan 17, 2024: MEK supporters exhibition to support the Iranian Revolution.

Lucerne, Switzerland — January 16, 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized a book exhibition, concurrently collecting signatures for a petition denouncing mass executions carried out by the mullahs’ regime. The event also saw expressions of solidarity with the Iranian Revolution.

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Sydney, Australia: MEK Supporters Organized an Exhibition in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution

Sydney—January 18, 2024: MEK supporters held a rally in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution.

Sydney, Australia—January 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized a photo and book exhibition in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – January 19, 2023