Thursday, July 18, 2024

Iran News in Brief – June 15, 2024



Sweden And Iran Exchange Prisoners In Breakthrough Deal

STOCKHOLM, June 15 (Reuters) – Sweden and Iran carried out a prisoner exchange on Saturday, officials said, with Sweden freeing a former Iranian official convicted for his role in a mass execution in the 1980s while Iran released two Swedes being held there.

The prisoner swap was mediated by Oman, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “Omani efforts resulted in the two sides agreeing on a mutual release, as those released were transferred from Tehran and Stockholm,” it said.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition of groups opposed to Iran’s Islamic Republic government, said it appeared Sweden had yielded to blackmail and hostage-taking tactics in a move that would encourage Tehran.

Lawyer Kenneth Lewis, who represented a dozen plaintiffs in the Noury case in Sweden, said his clients were not consulted and were “appalled and devastated” over Noury’s release.

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How Iran Is Using European Mafia To Kill Its Political Opponents

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Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a longtime supporter of the Iranian opposition, tells Larisa Brown how he survived being shot in the head on a Madrid street last year. The plot centres on three suspects, from Spain, Tunisia — and Britain.

As a “protected person of high risk”, Alejo Vidal-Quadras has several Metropolitan Police officers guarding the London hotel suite when we meet. But it is his wife, Amparo, who makes him feel safe. “The fact I travel with my wife is very necessary,” the 79-year-old says, adding that ever since he was the target of an assassination attempt several months ago, Amparo has been by his side during his international travels.

This two-day visit to London is important because he is seeing some parliamentarians and his “friends in the Iranian resistance” to discuss his case. A security team met him as soon as he landed at the airport.

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Iran Installing and Starting Cascades of Advanced Centrifuges as Tensions High over Nuclear Program

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran has started up new cascades of advanced centrifuges and plans to install others in the coming weeks after facing criticism over its nuclear program, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog said Friday. The U.S. called the moves “nuclear escalations.”

Spinning up new centrifuges further advances Iran’s nuclear program, which already enriches uranium at near-weapons-grade levels and boasts a stockpile enough for several nuclear bombs if it chooses to pursue them. However, the acknowledgment from the International Atomic Energy Agency did not include any suggestion Iran planned to go to higher enrichment levels amid wider tensions between Tehran and the West as the Israel-Hamas war rages in the Gaza Strip.

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PMOI Resistance Units Support The Free Iran Rally

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While Iran’s regime struggles in the quagmire of the upcoming sham presidential elections following the death of Ebrahim Raisi, PMOI Resistance Units have carried out 10,000 activities in anticipation of the annual Free Iran Rally.

By installing and raising placards, conducting small street parades, and widely distributing leaflets, the Resistance Units have brought slogans raising awareness on the boycott of the regime’s elections, the “Woman Resistance Freedom” campaign, and Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan for the future of Iran.

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Employment of Women: The 7th Article of the NCRI Plan on Women’s Rights and Freedoms

The 7th article of the 12-article plan formulated by the National Council of Resistance of Iran for Women’s Freedoms and Rights, unanimously approved in 1987, advocates for equal rights between men and women in the realm of employment. This pivotal article encompasses several critical provisions:

  1. Equal Pay for Equal Work: Women should receive the same wages as men for comparable work.
  2. Non-Discrimination: Discrimination based on gender during employment is strictly prohibited.
  3. Benefits Parity: Women are entitled to the same benefits as men, including leave, pension, disability support, child and marriage rights, and unemployment insurance.
  4. Special Rights during Pregnancy and Childbirth: Pregnant women and new mothers should enjoy specific rights and facilities.
  5. Childcare Support: Ensuring access to childcare services is essential.

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Iran’s Tax Revenue Surge Amid Economic Challenges and Sanctions

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The Iranian regime’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Ehsan Khandouzi, recently announced that the government’s tax revenues have reached 8,000 trillion rials, equivalent to $13.5 billion.

This achievement marks a historic high for the country’s tax administration, with revenue collections reaching 108% of the approved amount for 2022.

While Khandouzi did not specify the annual growth rate of tax revenues, he highlighted that the previous year’s tax revenues were 4,700 trillion rials, indicating significant growth. Oil exports remain a primary source of income for Iran’s budget, despite ongoing U.S. sanctions. Tehran currently sells approximately 1.3 million barrels of oil per day to China, though the exact cash returns are unclear due to these international sanctions. Since 2023, the regime has intensified efforts to increase tax revenues and improve collection rates.

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Iran’s Razavi Khorasan Province Holds Record For 20-CM Subsidence in Iran


An Iranian regime official warned that the rate of land subsidence in Razavi Khorasan Province, eastern Iran, is 20 centimeters per year, and the subsidence has now reached “northwest of Mashhad.”

According to the state-run news agency ILNA, Ali Beitollahi, the secretary of the National Task Force on Earthquakes and Ground Displacement, stated that based on “studies” on the subsidence situation in Razavi Khorasan Province, “the subsidence areas in this province are five times larger than the subsidence areas in Isfahan.”

He said that currently, this province “holds the national record for the extent of subsidence areas” and warned that if human-induced subsidence continues at this rate, “the entire area of Mashhad will also be affected.”

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Iran’s Regime Has Tripled Taxes to Compensate for Low Oil Revenue

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The Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance stated that the government’s tax revenues have reached 8,000 trillion rials, equivalent to $13.5 billion. According to Ehsan Khandouzi, the Tax Organization achieved 108% of the projected revenue for 2022, setting a new record in the country’s tax collection history.

Khandouzi did not mention the annual growth rate of tax revenues but said the government had 4,700 trillion rials in tax revenues last year, indicating significant growth.

Oil exports are considered the main source of budget revenue for Iran, which is still under sanctions by the United States.

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Iran’s Regime Installing Hundreds of Centrifuges to Nuclear Facility, IAEA Warns


Reuters, citing a confidential report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seen by the news agency, wrote that Iran’s regime informed the IAEA on June 10 and 11 that it would install eight cascades, each consisting of 174 IR-6 centrifuges, within three to four weeks at the Fordow facility.

According to the report, the IAEA confirmed on June 11 that the Iranian regime had completed the installation of IR-6 centrifuges in two cascades at Fordow and that installation in four other cascades was ongoing. The confidential report on the Iranian regime’s nuclear program has been sent to the members of the organization.

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Berlin, June 11, 2024: MEK Supporters Exhibition and Call for Participation in #BerlinDemo29June

Berlin, June 11, 2024: MEK Supporters Exhibition and Call for Participation in #BerlinDemo29June

Berlin, Germany—June 11, 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) continued to set up an exhibition to express solidarity with the Iranian Revolution. They also protested against the increasing wave of executions carried out by the Iranian regime.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – June 14, 2024