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Iran News in Brief – July 26, 2023

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THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 9:00 PM CET

Iran: International Community Must Stand With Women and Girls Suffering Intensifying Oppression

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The Iranian authorities are doubling down on their oppressive methods of policing and severely oppressing Iranian women and girls for defying degrading compulsory veiling laws, Amnesty International said today. In a detailed analysis published today, the organization exposes the authorities’ intensified nationwide crackdown on women and girls who choose not to wear headscarves in public. In the latest escalation on 16 July, the spokesperson of Iran’s police, Saeed Montazer-Almahdi, announced the return of police patrols to enforce compulsory veiling and threatened legal action against women and girls who defy forced veiling. This coincided with videos circulating on social media, depicting women being violently assaulted by officials in Tehran and Rasht, and security forces firing teargas towards people helping women escape arrests in Rasht.

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UPDATE: 7:00 PM CET

Clerical Regime Fakes Economic Relations with Venezuela, Official Admits

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Emphasizing the regime’s profound international isolation, the state-run newspaper “Sharq” strongly criticized Ebrahim Raisi’s government for fabricating the existence of flourishing economic relations with Venezuela.

The daily wrote on July 26, “While every day, news of Iran’s economic ties and growing trade with Venezuela is prominently featured in some domestic media, Masoud Daneshmand, a member of the board of directors of the Transportation and Shipping Association, reveals that Iran is not receiving any payment for the goods sold to Venezuela. Discussing the latest situation of cargo transportation between Iran and Venezuela, he told the ILNA news agency: ‘We are not receiving any payment for the goods sold to Venezuela; the transactions are barter deals. Meanwhile, Venezuela does not have any goods available for barter with Iran, and the ships practically return empty.'”

Furthermore, the official revealed that there is no regular shipping line established with Venezuela because the volume of cargo between the two countries is not significant, and only three shipments are exchanged throughout the year. Approximately every three or four months, a commercial ship can travel from Iranian ports to Venezuela, and if the cargo owner misses this ship, they have to wait for the next one for about four months, undoubtedly losing the target market for at least the next four months.


UPDATE: 3:30 PM CET

Inflation Woes in Iran: Expert Warns of Potential 70% Rate

Skyrocketing inflation in Iran

Despite the latest report from the regime’s statistics center announcing a 2% decrease in inflation in Iran in the month of Tir [June-July], a state-affiliated economist named Peyman Molavi told the Khabar Online that a 70% inflation rate is already in sight.

The expert added that while he hopes this won’t happen but if liquidity growth exceeds 4% per month and economic growth remains around 1% to 2%, a 70% inflation rate could become a reality. He also stated that achieving an inflation rate below 40% annually is simply impossible with an economic growth of 3% and a liquidity growth of 30%.

Previously, the member of the regime’s parliament had argued that the real inflation in the country is 120%, criticizing the government’s claim of 40% inflation as “manipulating numbers.”

In an interview with the state-run news website “Ruydad 24,” Gholamreza Nouri Qazlajeh dismissed the notion of controlling inflation as a mere product of the Raisi government, highlighting the rising living expenses and families struggling to make ends meet. Nouri Qazlajeh stressed that controlling prices should be based on the rates of essential items such as food, car prices, housing rents, and household goods, stating that the government is not telling the truth.


UPDATE: 2:30 PM CET

Virginia Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Conspiring to Violate Iranian Sanctions

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Behrouz Mokhtari, 72, of McLean, Virginia, was sentenced today to 41 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran by conspiring to engage in prohibited business activities on behalf of persons and entities in Iran. In addition, Mokhtari was ordered to forfeit approximately $2,862,598 in proceeds derived from his criminal activity as well as a residence he purchased in Campbell, California, for over $1.5 million using such proceeds.

Mokhtari pleaded guilty earlier this year in the District of Maryland to two counts of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economics Power ACT (IEEPA). According to court documents, Mokhtari engaged in a conspiracy lasting from at least March 2018 until at least September 2020 in which he conducted numerous business activities on behalf of Iranian entities without first obtaining the required licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In a separate conspiracy lasting from about February 2013 until at least June 2017, Mokhtari and a number of Iranian nationals agreed to conduct illicit shipments of petrochemical products to and from Iran­, utilizing his front company, East & West Shipping Inc., in Panama to do so.

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Angelina Jolie Stands by Iranian Women and Men ‘Defending Basic Rights and Freedoms’ in Instagram Post

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Angelina Jolie stood by Iranians ‘defending basic rights and freedoms’ on Tuesday in a social media post. The 48-year-old actress and humanitarian took to Instagram to call attention to the situation in Iran following the death last September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the country’s morality police. Jolie shared an image of a woman wearing clear glasses with tears running down her eyes in the colors of the Iranian flag along with the words, ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’. ‘Respect and solidarity to Iranian women and men for their courage in defending basic rights and freedoms, and thinking of those imprisoned or facing prosecution – as in other situations where freedom of expression is restricted or denied – including #ElahehMohammadi #NiloofarHamedi #NargesMohammadi #ToomajSalwhi,’ Jolie wrote in the caption for her roughly 14.5 million followers.

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UPDATE: 12:00 PM CET

From Paris to Rome, the West Faces the Truth of Iran!

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Five hundred political figures from around the world, many very well known, attended the recent Paris Free Iran summit. Their enthusiastic presence showed that Tom Ridge, the first secretary of US Homeland Security, was correct when he said, “the moment has come for the West to face the truth about Iran.” Other political figures also recognize that change is coming to Iran. Anna Firth, a member of the British Parliament: “We are in a moment of major change.”

Hervé Solignac, a member of the French National Assembly: “What is going on in Iran now is the desire for freedom, which is the issue of all the people of the world, and we are fighting for the freedom of all the people of the world.” He further added: “The freedom of Iran is our problem and responsibility “, and “We share our highest human sentiments with all freedom seekers.”

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Iranian Oil Remains Stuck off Us Coast as Shippers Fear Repercussions

HOUSTON, July 25 (Reuters) – A cargo of sanctioned Iranian crude oil that was confiscated by the U.S. has sat off the Texas coast for eight weeks, unable to unload because commercial agents fear any vessel that takes it will be shunned by customers, people familiar with the matter said.

Suez Rajan, a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, has been anchored off Galveston, about 50 miles (80 km) outside of Houston, since May 30, with ship agents refusing to accept it. The Suezmax requires a lightering agent to transfer the crude to smaller ships, as its size and weight restrict it from directly entering the port.

Shipping companies are worried that lightering the Iranian crude onto their vessels would lead other oil buyers to shun their ships on future voyages, one of those people said.

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UPDATE: 7:00 AM CET

Justice for the Victims of Iran’s 1988 Massacre Echoes Around the Globe

summer of 1988, more than 30,000 political prisoners

In 1988, when the founder of the mullahs’ regime, Ruhollah Khomeini, ordered the massacre of political prisoners affiliated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), he thought that he would get rid of his main opposition and alternative once and for all. He did not expect this crime against humanity to trigger a justice-seeking movement that would last for decades and spread across the world. According to a fatwa by Khomeini, anyone who insists on support for the MEK was to be wiped out and destroyed, and the name of those freedom fighters would never be mentioned in any part of the world.

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Global Concern Over Death Sentence of Iranian Political Prisoner

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The Iranian regime’s judiciary has sentenced political prisoner Mohammad Javad Vafa’i Sani to death on charges of “supporting the MEK”, “spreading corruption on earth”, and “burning and destroying regime facilities”, after enduring two years of imprisonment and torture the verdict was delivered to his lawyer. Mohammad Javad Vafaei is a 26-year-old boxing champion from the city of Mashhad. He was arrested in this city in March 2020. The regime’s judiciary set bail of 300 billion rials (approximately $600,000) for his temporary release, which his family could not afford. The Iranian regime is trying to prevent the spread of social protests by increasing executions and repression. This sentence is part of the regime’s continued pressure on political prisoners and its efforts to further suppress society to prevent the possibility of future fiery protests.

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Iranian Regime’s Parliament Proposes Financial Punishments for Dress Code Offenses

women-arrested-morality-400The ruling regime in Iran, led by clerics with a misogynistic outlook, has introduced severe fines targeting what they label as “improper attire” for women. The regime’s Parliament Research Center has proposed a bill on hijab, which allows the morality police patrols to enforce financial penalties on those they perceive as violating the dress code. According to the proposal, fines ranging from 100 million to 150 million tomans are being considered for instances of “improper veiling.” For repeat offenses, the fine could go up to 150 million tomans. Furthermore, individuals found appearing “naked or semi-naked” in public places may face fines between 100 to 150 million tomans and could even be subjected to up to 10 years of imprisonment.


Scorching Heat and Struggling Hospitals: Tragedy Unfolds in Tehran

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On July 24, the state-run news website, Khabaronline, reported on the dire situation of hospitals in the heart of Iran’s capital with the headline, “Tragedy in the Heart of the Capital: Hospitals Struggle Amidst Soaring Temperatures.”

“It may seem unbelievable, but one of Tehran’s largest hospitals is operating without any cooling facilities in this scorching heat,” the source wrote. “As the temperature approaches 40 degrees Celsius, patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Rasoul Akram Hospital are deprived of even the basic cooling amenities in one of the capital’s major healthcare centers.”

“According to reports and images provided by patients’ companions to Khabaronline, the ICU section of the hospital lacks proper ventilation and air conditioning, making the situation unbearable in the sweltering and oppressive environment. Patients’ companions have been forced to bring fans from their homes to alleviate the discomfort. The pressing question is whether the Ministry of Health is aware of this deprivation. If such a condition is seen in the center of Tehran, one can only imagine the challenges faced by patients in more remote and underprivileged cities,” the state-run outlet added.


Also, read Iran News in Brief – July 25, 2023