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Iran News in Brief – July 20, 2023

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THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 9:00 PM CET

93 NGOs, Human Rights Experts Write to Volker Türk To Help Prevent Imminent Execution in Iran

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LONDON, 20 July 2023 – JVMI is among 93 international NGOs, current and former United Nations officials, human rights and legal experts, and Nobel laureates that have sent an urgent letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, requesting his urgent intervention to prevent the imminent execution of Mohammad Javad Vafa’i Thani, an Iranian boxing champion who is on death row in Iran for taking part in the anti-government protests.

The text of the letter and list of co-signatories are included below:

Dear High Commissioner,

We request your urgent public intervention to save the life of Iranian political prisoner Mohammad Javad Vafa’i Thani. According to information received from Vakil-Abad Prison in the city of Mashhad, earlier this morning a prison judge went to the political prisoners’ ward, where he informed Vafa’i Thani that his execution verdict had been finalised. Vafa’i Thani was then summoned and taken by a prison guard to an unknown location. There is no further information about his current whereabouts. Vafa’i Thani, 27, is a local boxing champion in Mashhad and a supporter of the main opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI or MEK).

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Iran: EU Adopts New Restrictive Measures for Military Support to Syria and Russia’s War of Aggression Against Ukraine

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The Council today established a new framework for restrictive measures in view of Iran’s military support of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. This new regime prohibits the export from the European Union to Iran of components used in the construction and production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). It also provides for travel restrictions and asset freeze measures that could be imposed against persons responsible for, supporting or involved in Iran’s UAV’s programme. This new regime complements the three previously adopted packages of drone-related sanctions targeting individuals and entities, the latest of which in February 2023.

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Top 10 Weakest Currencies In The World In 2023

Forbes-logo-300We’ve analysed the weakest currencies, based on the number of units of foreign currency received in exchange for one US dollar. The exchange rates are sourced from our currency converter, based on data from Open Exchange as at the time of writing.

The Iranian rial is the weakest currency in the world, with 1 rial buying just 0.000024 US dollars (or, put another way, $1 equals 42,273 Iranian rials). The Iranian rial was first introduced in the late 1700s. It was later pegged to the British pound, followed by the US dollar. Although now free-floating, the currency has remained at around 42,000 rials to the dollar over the past few years. Iran is located on the Persian Gulf between Iraq and Afghanistan and is a leading global exporter of oil and natural gas. However, economic sanctions have put pressure on Iran’s currency, along with political unrest and high inflation.

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Menendez, Hagerty Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Codify U.S. Sanctions on Iran’s Missile and Drone Program

us-senate-foreign-relations-committee-logoWASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) introduced the MISSILES Act, a bipartisan bill to impose U.S. sanctions on Iran’s missile and drone program. As Israeli President Isaac Herzog said in his address to Congress, Iran spreads hatred, danger, and terror in the Middle East and publicly calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. The looming October 2023 sunset of key UN Security Council restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles and drones – including potential transfers to Russia for use against Ukraine – underscores the need for this urgent legislation, and serves as a wake-up call to the U.S. and the international community.

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UPDATE: 2:30 PM CET

The World Listens

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A turning point in the global narrative on Iran was marked in Rome on July 12, 2023. At the center stage stood Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), seizing the moment to call for a new policy on Iran. As she addressed the Italian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the air buzzed with anticipation of a decisive chapter in Iran’s quest for democracy. The discourse was deeply focused on Iran’s future, which is in the throes of a nationwide uprising yearning for transformation. Mrs. Rajavi, the torchbearer of this change, urged Italy to spearhead a firm policy initiative regarding the Iranian regime within the European Union.

Afterward, Mrs. Rajavi made her case before a bipartisan audience from Italy’s Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, attended by senators like Giulio Maria Terzi, Lucio Malan, and Gisella Naturale and representative Emanuele Pozzolo, alongside former Italian Prime Minister Carlo Cottarelli. The center of the discussion was Mrs. Rajavi’s 10-point plan for a democratic Iran.

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UPDATE: 10:30 AM CET

Washington Times: Global Support for the Ten-Point Plan for a Democratic, Secular Republic in Iran

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Over 3,600 Cross-Party Lawmakers in 61 Parliaments in 40 Countries, including 29 Majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives, Parliaments in the U.K., France, Italy, the
Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Slovenia, Moldova, Malta, North Macedonia, San Marino, Jordan, and Yemen:

  • Endorse Ten-Point Plan by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the
    National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), for a Democratic, Secular,
    Non-nuclear Republic in Iran.
  • Echo the voice of the Iranian people in rejecting all forms of dictatorship, be it
    the deposed Shah or the current theocratic regime.
  • Urge holding regime officials accountable for crimes against humanity

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Us Condoning Raid on Iranian Opposition Camp Suggest Joe Biden’s Appeasement of Mullahs’ Regime Has Reached a New Low – Struan Stevenson

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Despite more than 100 former world leaders urging the global community to support the popular uprising against Iran’s tyrannical regime, its chief appeasers in the West, US President Joe Biden, and French President Emmanuel Macron appear to be actively conspiring with the brutal mullahs. Both Biden and Macron seem foolishly determined to lift the international sanctions on Iran and resurrect the zombie nuclear deal, designed to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon but used as a cover to do just that. In an act of fawning supplication, Macron even tried to ban a rally held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Paris earlier this month but was thwarted by legal action in the French courts.

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Uk’s James Cleverly Says Iran Needs To Change Its Behaviour

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The UK’s Foreign Secretary said on Wednesday that Britain was determined to support allies in the Middle East to “ensure that they never see a nuclear armed Iran”. Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, James Cleverly said Britain was resolute in its efforts to thwart Iran’s malign activities. “We maintain a tough and robust position towards Iran,” he said. “Our actions are in response to their behaviour and if they don’t like it, they can and should change their behaviour.” Britain has been the target of more than a dozen Iranian actions in the past 18 months. Mr Cleverly said Britain’s security services have interrupted at least 15 attempted kidnappings on UK soil by Iranian agents.

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UPDATE: 8:00 AM CET

The Truth Behind the “United Opposition” Argument

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In a recent joint meeting of a number of Italian parliamentarians, John Bercow, former speaker of the UK Parliament, said, “You will notice in the dishonest lexicon, the dishonest use of the dictionary by the Iranian regime, how they say that there is no united opposition, no united opposition. They’ve stopped saying there’s no meaningful alternative. They say there’s no united opposition alternative… If what the butchers, the tyrants, and the demagogues from Iran’s government are saying is that there isn’t unanimity, well, of course, there is no unanimity… Mrs. Rajavi and her mass movement cannot be expected to unite with the enemies of democracy, with people who don’t favor pluralism, people who don’t want democratic change, who don’t believe in equality, who don’t think there should be a right to regular and independently monitored elections, but amongst the mass of people for whom the flame of freedom will never be extinguished and for whom that flame burns brightly, there is mass support for change.”

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U.S. Bans 14 Iraqi Banks in Crackdown on Iran Dollar Trade

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WASHINGTON—The U.S. has barred 14 Iraqi banks from conducting dollar transactions, U.S. officials said, part of a sweeping crackdown on the siphoning of U.S. currency to Iran and other sanctioned Middle East countries. The ban, which was imposed Wednesday by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is likely to provoke new tensions between Baghdad and Washington and could spark more economic turmoil for ordinary Iraqis. It signals a hardening of sanctions enforcement against Iran only months after the Biden administration appeared intent on lowering tensions with Tehran. The Treasury recently approved a payment of 2.5 billion euros, equivalent to about $2.8 billion, toward unpaid debts by the Iraqi government for Iranian electricity and gas imports, which had been frozen by sanctions.

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Leila Ziafar Arrested for a Post Against the Mandatory Hijab

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Security forces arrested Leila Ziafar in Tehran on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, for posting a tweet about the mandatory Hijab. The family of Leila Ziafar does not even know which agency has arrested her. She was reportedly arrested after leaving her sister’s residence at midnight. Security forces ambushed and arrested her. They later ransacked her residence and confiscated her electronic devices, including her cell phone. Leila Ziafar has a Ph.D. in the food industry. She was a presenter on the radio but left her job after the November 2019 nationwide protests in Iran.

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How Iran’s Inequitable Tax System Affects Low-Income Groups

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On June 15, a report was released by the Iran regime’s media detailing the list of luxury properties in Tehran valued at over 500 billion tomans. These properties range from a 700-square-meter duplex in Shahrak Gharb to an 800-square-meter triplex in Niavaran. The question is, how can some people afford to spend such exorbitant amounts, considering the minimum wage for a worker is only 9 million tomans and the average salary for a teacher falls between 11 and 14 million tomans? While the hardworking labor of the country living on the outskirts of Tehran struggles even to rent a primitive settlement, super-rich people affiliated with the regime spend over 500 billion tomans on triplexes in super-rich regions such as Niavaran.

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