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Iran News in Brief – May 15, 2023

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THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 9:00 PM CET

Iran Protests at a Glance

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

Monday, May 15, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1

Brave youths attacked an IRGC paramilitary Basij base in the city of Fuman in Gilan Province, northern Iran, early Sunday morning local time. This was in response to the regime’s brutal executions under Khamenei’s direct orders.

On Sunday night, brave protesters in Kerman, south-central Iran, torched pro-regime posters across the city.

In Kermanshah, western Iran, a brave protester wrote in graffiti: “Down with Khamenei!” referring to regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

In the city of Isfahan in central Iran families gathered outside the city’s Dastgerd Prison late Sunday night as reports indicated regime authorities were preparing to execute three inmates early Monday morning.

The regime’s security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowd gathering outside the Prison. Locals were attempting to prevent the regime from executing three inmates.

The Iranian opposition president-elect, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, saluted the people of Isfahan and commended the courageous youth who, through their protest gathering outside Dastgerd Prison, expressed the deep-seated anger and disgust of the Iranian nation towards the merciless executions of Iranian youth.

In a similar action, families of death row inmates rallied outside the regime’s judiciary in Tehran and demanded a halt to the execution of their loved ones. In Bandar Abbas, southern Iran, families of death row inmates rallied outside the Bandar Abbas Central Prison, and also demanded a halt to executions.

There are reports that regime authorities executed two inmates in Khorramabad Central Prison in Lorestan Province, western Iran, on Monday.

In Deholoran, western Iran, workers of the IGC company in the Dashte Abbas area have continued their strike for 26 days now while they have yet to receive their March salaries. Authorities continue to impose pressure and threats on the protesting workers.

Retirees of the regime’s telecom industry began a new wave of protests on Monday, holding gatherings and protesting the regime’s policies in the cities of Sanandaj, Bojnurd, Rasht, Arak,Isfahan, Ahvaz, Ilam, Shahrekord, Mashhad, and Khorramabad in western Iran.

On Sunday night, Locals in the capital’s Shahrak-e Bagheri district began chanting anti-regime slogans, including: “Down with the republic of executions!”

“Down with the dictator!”

“Down with Khamenei!”

In another district of Tehran locals were head chanting anti-regime slogans on Saturday night.


UPDATE: 8:00 PM CET

In 20 Years, We Won’t Have Physicians Anymore, Official Warns

iran fararu physicians

On the sidelines of the 44th Congress of the Society of Surgeons, the head of the Surgeons’ Society expressed his concern about the lack of specialists and announced that if this situation continues, in the next ten or twenty years there may be problems in many domains and patients might be forced to go abroad for treatment.

Iraj Fazel said on Sunday, May 14: “In these years, we treated the medical community badly. We have humiliated the medical community as we did to teachers. Teachers, who, like the medical community, are one of the main sources of society and educators of the future generation of the country. Instead of being in the classroom, they stand on the street every day and chant slogans for their livelihood. This kind of behavior towards the primary sources of society, who play an important role in the administration and future of the country. This is not the way a country should be run and it does not have a good outcome.”


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According to numerous international human rights NGOs and media reporting, the government convicted and executed dissidents, political reformers, and peaceful protesters on charges of “enmity against God” and spreading anti-Islamic propaganda. Authorities carried out hudud punishments such as amputation of fingers (for theft), flogging, and internal exile. The government denied individuals access to attorneys and obtained false confessions through torture in some cases. It reportedly detained and held members of religious minorities incommunicado. In his July report on human rights in Iran, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (UNSR) expressed alarm at “the disproportionate number of executions of members of minority communities, in particular the Baluch and Kurdish minorities,” who together accounted for 35 percent of the 251 individuals executed between January and June.

The NGO Women’s Committee of Iran and Iran International reported photographs and videos on social media showed the government built high concrete walls around the Khavaran Cemetery in Tehran, a site where in 2021 the government required Baha’is to bury their dead after prohibiting them from accessing Golestan Javid Cemetery, which had previously been allocated for Baha’i use. NGOs said the government also installed security cameras with the intent of intimidating mourners. Khavaran Cemetery was believed to be the site of a mass grave for political prisoners killed by the government in 1988.

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UPDATE: 12:00 PM CET

Another Case of Fraud Revealed in Tehran Municipality

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The vice-chairman of the Internal Affairs Commission of the regime’s parliament confessed to another case of fraud.

On May 14, on grounds of a factional dispute, Mohammad Hassan Asafari said that one of the managers of the Waste Management Organization of Tehran municipality has received a monthly paycheck of 106 million tomans.

According to official statistics, the salary of an ordinary worker is between 4 to 6 million tomans a month, whereas the official poverty line stands currently at around 25 million tomans.

The state-run ILNA news agency wrote on May 14: “In recent days, news about a 106 million toman paycheck from one of the managers of the Tehran Municipal Waste Management Organization has caused ambiguities and complaints among citizens concerning the payment of unconventional figures as salaries and benefits in the capital’s urban management. This happens because, in recent months, we learned through social media about the salaries of the employees and managers of the Tehran Municipality and City Council who have received monthly payments north of 30 to 50 million tomans.”


Drone Strike That Killed U.S. Contractor in Syria Was Launched by Iran-Backed Militia in Iraq

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An Iranian-backed militia in northern Iraq was behind the drone attack that killed a U.S. military contractor in northeast Syria on March 23 and wounded more than two dozen American civilian and military personnel, according to U.S. officials. The Iraqi origin of that attack hasn’t been previously reported but was acknowledged by a senior U.S. military official Saturday in response to questions from The Wall Street Journal. It was one of four attempted drone attacks launched from Iraqi territory by Iranian-backed militias against U.S. forces outside the country since August. The cross-border strikes illustrate the difficulties the Biden administration faces in the Middle East as it shifts its military focus to deterring China and Russia. It also highlights the challenges the U.S. faces in developing a policy to deal with Iraq 20 years after toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein.

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UPDATE: 7:30 AM CET

Rally in Isfahan Attempts to Prevent Execution of Protesters

Following concerns about the possibility of the execution of three protesters, Saeed Yaqoubi, Saleh Mirhashmi, and Majid Kazemi, a number of brave people of Isfahan held a protest rally in front of Dastgerd prison on Sunday evening, May 14. While protesting the regime’s Judiciary’s death sentences, the people clashed with security forces who were dispatched to disperse the crowd. Anti-riot police fired tear gas and started threatening people with arrests and harsh repercussions.


People in Different Cities Continue Protests Against Iran’s Regime

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Iran’s nationwide uprising is witnessing its 241st day on Sunday as people from various sectors of society have been protesting the regime’s policies, especially as the economy continues to crumble. The country’s pensioners and retirees are also making calls for another round of nationwide protests today to voice their demands. Regime officials are concerned as these types of social/economic protests are usually the prelude to vast nationwide rallies that lead to political demands and people voicing their outrage about the mullahs’ apparatus in its entirety. Parallel to these protests the regime is continuing its recent surge of executions by sending more inmates to solitary confinement and relentlessly hanging others.

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The Courage Award Goes to the Iranian Women’s Democratic Association in Italy

Courage award to Shahrzad Sholeh

Courage Award was presented to six brave and selfless women at the Italian Parliament. On Thursday, May 11, 2023, a ceremony honoring six selfless and courageous women was held in the Italian Parliament in the presence of Fabio Rampelli, the Vice President of the Parliament. Ms. Antonella Sennori, one of the European Women’s Network directors, sponsored the event. She began by introducing the six courageous women who had been actively involved in political and social activities in Italy for years and were recognized by this network as deserving of the Courage Award. The European Women’s Network has over ten years of experience in social, cultural, and human rights activities. It is affiliated with the Forza Italia party in Italy.

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Goals of Ebrahim Raisi’s Trip to Syria on May 3, 2023?

ebrahim raisi bashar assad meeting

There were many speculations about the purpose of Ebrahim Raisi’s trip to Syria, particularly since the trip was meticulously planned and coincided with a meeting of some Arab foreign ministers in Amman, Jordan to bring Syria back to the Arab world, with the political consequence of distancing Bashar al-Assad from the Iranian regime.

Reuters news agency reported on May 3, 2023, that Raisi’s trip comes at a time when Iran and its regional rival Saudi Arabia are restoring their relations after years of tension. Arab countries that had isolated Syria in 2011 due to the suppression of protests are now developing a roadmap to end the 12-year war and reintegrate Syria into the Arab group.

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Soraya Rostami Suffers Nervous Breakdown Due to Pressure at Workplace

Soraya Rostami

Soraya Rostami, an employee at the Water Department in Kamyaran, has been urgently admitted to the hospital due to a nervous breakdown due to severe psychological pressures exerted by the department’s management and the local government. Her health condition has reached a critical state, causing great concern.  Kamyaran is one of the cities of Iranian Kurdistan in western Iran. On Saturday, May 13, Soraya Rostami, who worked in the rural water and wastewater department of Kamyaran County, was transferred to Sina Hospital in Kamyaran following the distressing psychological pressures imposed by government authorities.

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The Heavy Blow of Protests Cause Fear and Horror in the Iranian Regime

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Recent protests in Iran dealt a significant blow to the regime, particularly to Khamenei’s credibility as the supreme leader. The slogan “Death to Khamenei” was a clear indication of this loss. As a result, some of the regime’s experts and supporters are now acknowledging the regime’s impending downfall and are distancing themselves from it to avoid the people’s retaliation. Fearing the people’s wrath, they are trying to rebrand themselves as being aligned with the people’s grievances and desire for change. Recently, Mehdi Nassiri, the former editor of the state-run newspaper Keyhan, who was responsible for the repression and death of many opponents, made some unprecedented remarks during a TV debate.

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Iran Policy Podcast—Struan Stevenson: Dictatorship and Revolution in Iran’s Contemporary History

Struan Stevenson: Dictatorship & Revolution in Iran's Contemporary History | Iran Policy Podcast #5


Also, read Iran News in Brief – May 14, 2023