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Iran News in Brief – January 30, 2023

In the aftermath of the earthquake in Khoy, West Azerbaijan province, people who lost their homes are suffering in the cold



Iran Uprising at a Glance – Day 137

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

Monday, January 30, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1

  • Days: 137
  • Protests: 282 cities
  • Fatalities: 750+ estimated deaths, 637 identified by MEK
  • Detentions: 30,000

Iran’s nationwide uprising marked its 137th day on Monday as people in cities across the country continued to protest the officials’ corrupt policies and incompetence in providing the nation’s basic necessities.

Following Saturday night’s earthquake in Khoy of West Azerbaijan Province in northwest Iran, people gathered outside the local governor’s office demanding answers and aid. There is a severe shortage of bread and food in stores across the city. Members of the local paramilitary Basij, however, attacked the residents instead of providing them with help.

Early Monday morning local time, members of MEK-affiliated Resistance Units in the city of Kopon in Fars Province, south-central Iran, attacked a statue of the eliminated IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani and set it ablaze. This is a further indication of the people’s utter hatred of Soleimani and the entirety of the mullahs’ regime.

On the same day, in Mashhad, northeast Iran, a young protester wrote the slogan of “Death to Khamenei’ on a billboard on a major overpass in the city’s Sad Metry district.

In Sanandaj, western Iran, brave youth blocked a highway by setting tires on fire and chanted, “Death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Leader (Khamenei).”

On Sunday evening, members of MEK-affiliated Resistance Units projected a large image of Iranian Resistance Leader Massoud Rajavi and opposition coalition NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi on the capital’s Imam Ali Highway.

The same day, locals in Tehran, including the Narmak district and Negin Gharb Residential Complex, chanted anti-regime slogans specifically targeting Khamenei and the mullahs’ entire apparatus. The slogans included: “Death to the republic of executions!” and “Death to the child-killing regime!”

In Esfarayen, North Khorasan Province, northeast Iran, protesters used Molotov cocktails to target a building used by the regime to promote the mullahs’ ideology of hatred, misogyny, and fundamentalism.

On Monday morning, retirees and pensioners of the regime’s telecommunications industry cities across the country took to the streets for a second consecutive Monday protesting their low pensions and poor economic conditions. These rallies were held in the cities of Tehran, MashhadIsfahanYazdRasht, Sanandaj, Kermanshah, AhvazIlamKhorramabad, and Urmia.


EU Is Considering Whether To Proscribe IRGC As Terrorist Entity, FT Says

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According to the Financial Times, the European Union is considering legal options on whether to designate the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity; a move that might jeopardize what the newspaper called “hopes of restoring an international agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from developing the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon”.

According to this report, four diplomatic sources have told FT that this issue was raised at the meeting of the EU foreign ministers last week and while one or two countries supported it, the legal department of the European Union is supposed to offer an additional opinion on the legality of the measure within three weeks to inform the 27 members of this union about the decision.

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I Am a Former Political Prisoner in Iran. I Worry the Regime Will Execute Female Activists

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The Islamic Republic of Iran executed two more protesters in early January, despite persistent international outcry over two similar executions that were carried out in December. The latest killings sparked a fresh outpouring of public condemnation, as well as new threats of economic sanctions. Yet the following day, the regime’s judiciary proceeded to issue three more death sentences. To me, as a former political prisoner in Iran, this was like déjà vu.

In reality, dozens of other detainees are already facing charges that could also carry the death penalty, reported the Norway-based Iran Human Rights, while the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, or MEK, the leading voice for a democratic alternative to the clerical regime, reports that upward of 30,000 Iranians have been arrested since mid-September, most of whom are still awaiting charges or trial, according to the International Committee in Search of Justice.

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Tehran Failed to Persuade Baku; Azerbaijani Diplomats left Iran

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Despite efforts by the Iranian regime’s senior officials to prevent another diplomatic fiasco, news sources in the Republic of Azerbaijan state that the diplomats of this country have left Tehran. The latest move by Baku took place after an armed attack on the country’s embassy in Tehran left one Azerbaijani guard killed.

Following the attack on Friday, January 27, Khalaf Khalafov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, announced on Sunday that the diplomatic activity of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Iran has been completely suspended. Though this was initially denied by Iranian state media.

Trying to avoid the severity of relations, the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi had a phone call with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Saturday, while Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian contacted his Azerbaijani counterpart, suggesting the creation of a joint investigation committee. But despite these efforts, Baku decided to completely suspend its diplomatic activities in Tehran.

On Sunday, the Iranian state media announced the transfer of the body of the Azerbaijani agent who was killed during the attack on the embassy, but some sources outside Iran say that the diplomats of the Republic of Azerbaijan have also left Tehran along with the cofin.

Iran’s Network of UK ‘Cultural Institutions’ Must Be Closed


The UK Government has finally decided to get tough in tackling aggressive Iranian terrorism carried out on British soil. But is Downing Street overlooking a network of extremist cultural institutions hiding in plain sight?

In the coming weeks, the UK may terror-list Iran’s most feared military organisation, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

This impending decision follows Tehran’s execution of British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari this month – the first such execution of a dual-national by Tehran since the 1980s.

MI5 director general Ken McCallum recently confirmed that Iranian agents had planned 10 attacks on British soil in 2022, including plots to kidnap and murder British or UK-based individuals. Rishi Sunak has admitted that the Government is spending an increasing amount of time countering Iran’s malign activities in Britain.

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Blinken: All Options Available To Prevent Iran From Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon


US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said on Sunday that Iran has rejected the current proposal to return to the nuclear agreement, adding that Washington still believes that diplomacy is the most effective way to deal with the Iranian nuclear file.

Blinken said in an exclusive interview with Al-Arabiya that Iranian youth are defending their basic rights in the face of Tehran’s regime, adding that US focus now is on the Iranian regime’s suppression of its people in the streets.

Blinken highlighted US support to Iranian people, stressing that the decision of “regime change” remains ultimately up to the people. He added: “The Iranian regime is convincing its people of the idea that the US wants regime change.”

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Iran’s People Continue Voicing Escalating Dissent, Demanding Regime Change


Cities in different parts of Iran are reporting anti-regime protests by people from different parts of the Iranian strata. This includes nightly rallies reported in the capital, protests over economic grievances, and the regime’s failure to provide for the people’s basic needs due to rampant corruption and incompetence among state officials.

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 the 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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Charges of Armita Abbasi Examined in First Court Session

Armita Abbasi

The court hearing examining the charges of Armita Abbasi was held on Sunday, January 29, 2023, at Branch one of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj.

According to social media reports, Armita Abbasi’s father wrote on his Instagram that the court session examining the charges of Armita Abbasi had convened on Sunday.

The detained protester Armita Abbasi was arrested in early October during nationwide protests. During her detention and before being transferred to Fardis Prison (Kachouii) in Karaj, she was severely tortured for a week and gang-raped many times.

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Iranian Skier Atefeh Ahmadi Seeks Asylum in Germany

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Atefeh Ahmadi, a member of Iran’s national ski team, has defected and sought asylum in Germany. Atefeh Ahmadi, the flag bearer of the Iranian national ski team in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Iran’s top skier, has applied for asylum in Germany.

Some sources say this 22-year-old Iranian national skier traveled to Germany a few days ago to prepare for participation in the world championships in France. She later said that she did not intend to participate in those competitions with other Iranian national ski team members and had applied for asylum in Germany.

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Gothenburg, Sweden—January 28, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution

Gothenburg, Sweden—January 28, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution.

Gothenburg, Sweden—January 28, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held a rally in solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising. Members of the Iranian community in Gothenburg expressed their utter support of their risen compatriots and vowed to continue echoing their voices, calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.

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Bremen, Germany—January 28, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution

‌‌Bremen, Germany—January 28, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally in Support of the Iran Revolution.

Bremen, Germany—January 28, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held a rally in solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising. In their demonstration in Bremen, Iranians demanded the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime. They called to the German Government to adopt a firm policy against the dictatorship of the mullahs.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – January 29, 2023