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Iran News in Brief – May 24, 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

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1

According to reports by the Iranian opposition, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) on Wednesday, the people of Iran continued their anti-regime protests at every opportunity, including events held to mark their losses at the hands of the mullahs’ atrocities.

Families of death row inmates rallied outside the regime’s main judiciary building in Tehran on Wednesday demanding officials halt the execution of their loved ones.

On May 22, in Kermanshah, Western Iran, brave youths attacked a base of the IRGC Ground Forces and the IRGC’s 29th Division in this area. This attack, taking place early Monday morning local time, resulted in multiple explosions.

Retirees and pensioners of the regime’s Social Security Organization from the cities of Shush and Ahvaz, in Khuzestan province, held a gathering on Wednesday demanding their rights while protesting their low pensions.

In other reports from Rostam (Momaseni) in Fars Province, south-central Iran, five years after a local sugar cube factory was shut down, the workers of this site continued to demand their unpaid salaries.

On Wednesday, labor activists in Isfahan central Iran continued their strike for the third consecutive day.

100 days after the earthquake in Khoy, northwest Iran, most of the locals don’t have any money or adequate shelter. That is why many cannot afford to live in a house and are forced to remain in tents.

Locals in the city of Malayer of Hamadan Province in western Iran, and Karaj, located west of Tehran, including residents of the city’s Navvab district, were chanting anti-regime slogans on Tuesday night, including:

“Down with Khamenei!”
“Down with the dictator!”
“My life for Iran!”


UPDATE: 7:30 PM CET

IRGC Killed 10 Kurdish Citizens, Local Source Reports

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Over the past two weeks, more than 10 Kurdish citizens have been killed by the IRGC in several cities of western Iran.

According to a report by a local human rights organization on Wednesday, at least ten Kurdish citizens have been killed by direct fire from IRGC forces in the cities of Maku, Shut, Khoy, and Chaldaran. The report confirms the identities of three of the victims: Rasul Khalkanlu, Mahmoud Abast, and Fakhreddin Isazadeh.

Eyewitness sources further state that on the evening of Sunday, May 21, IRGC forces opened fire on a car on the road from Khoy to Urmia, resulting in the death of the driver. The IRGC then proceeded to kidnap the driver’s body to avoid exposure. It is worth noting that the bodies of the deceased have not been returned to their relatives and families, and the IRGC has refused to address this matter.


UPDATE: 3:30 PM CET

U.S. Navy Steps up Efforts To Curb Iran’s Ship Seizures in Strait of Hormuz

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U.S. Navy warships stationed in the Persian Gulf region have increased their patrols through the Strait of Hormuz, the busy merchant ship passageway, in response to recent moves by Iran to seize two oil tankers, the latest sign of rising tensions between Iran and the United States.

“Iran’s actions are unacceptable,” Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of U.S. naval forces in the region, said in an interview on Monday at the Navy base here in Bahrain. He was speaking several days after he rode a Navy guided-missile destroyer through the strait of Hormuz, along with leaders from the French and British navies, in an effort to send a unified message to Iran.

Iran has “harassed, attacked or interfered” with 15 internationally flagged merchant ships since 2021, Pentagon and White House officials said this month, as they announced the move to increase patrols by U.S. Navy ships, drones, and planes, as well as those of United States allies in the region.

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US State Dept Slammed Iranian Regime’s Sham Trials and Executions

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller

At his press briefing on May 23, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said: “Over the course of the protests, Iranian authorities have repeatedly violated Iranians’ human rights, punished them for executing their essential freedoms. This includes not just members of the Iranian public who have – who came forward to protest, but also journalists in the country. Sham trials and executions have been key components of the regime’s attempt to suppress any form of dissent. And we once again, as we have on a number of occasions, call on Iranian authorities to stop their arbitrary detentions, stop their sham trials, and stop denying the Iranian people the fundamental freedoms that they deserve.”


Regime Intends to Relocate Prisons in Fars Province

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To prevent social unrest in light of the continuum of a wave of executions, the Iranian regime intends to relocate its prisons to remote areas, away from the cities.

“Last night, in a conversation between the head of the Prisons Organization and the governor of Fars province, they emphasized more cooperation and interaction, especially the transfer of prisons in urban areas to leave the residential context,” the IRGC-run Fars news agency reported on today. “In this meeting, [Prisons Organization Chief] Gholam Ali Mohammadi appreciated the attention of the judicial and executive authorities of the provinces to prison safety and said: ‘Our goal is to reform, educate and rehabilitate prisoners, and to fulfill this mission, the need for a suitable space and a standard place is essential.”

In recent months, following the arrest of tens of thousands of protesters, Iran’s prisons have become a flashpoint between security forces and the prisoners’ family members who occasionally gather outside the prison and protest in a bid to rescue their loved ones from torture or execution. Many of these rallies have turned violent and the regime wants to eliminate any risk of potential unrest.


Executions in Iran and the Blood Lust of the IRGC – Minister Endorses Un Special Rapporteurs’ Condemnation of Executions but Stops Short of Agreeing to Proscription

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My Lords, nothing happens inside Iran without the active complicity and knowledge of the IRGC. Will the Minister take the opportunity to condemn the “horrific wave” of executions, as described by United Nations special rapporteurs on Friday, including those of Majid Kazemi, Saeed Yaghoubi and Saleh Mirhashemi that day, after they were reportedly subjected to torture in prison? Does not this bloodlust and the IRGC go hand in hand? As the noble Lord, Lord Pickles, said, what more has to happen before there is proscription?

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
(Con)
I absolutely join the UN rapporteur in condemning those executions.

Source


UPDATE: 2:00 PM CET

Over 100 Former World Leaders Tell Biden To Get Tough on Iran as Scrutiny Mounts for Lack of Strategy

Fox-News

Former Vice President Mike Pence and 107 other former world leaders on Tuesday signed a letter to President Joe Biden and his counterparts in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe calling on the West to adopt a tougher approach to Iran and support Iranian anti-government protesters demanding regime change. The letter came after U.S. lawmakers last week expressed bipartisan support for the Iranian people demonstrating against their government and slammed Biden for in their view not having a coherent or comprehensive strategy toward Iran.

The leaders also express support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition of Iranian opposition groups, and a 10-point plan for democratic transition advocated by the coalition’s leader, Maryam Rajavi. Beyond Pence, an outspoken supporter of the Iranian opposition movement, signatories of the letter included former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and two former European Commission presidents, among dozens of other ex-heads of state.

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Two Portuguese Among 107 Former Presidents and Prime Ministers Calling For Western Support for the Popular Uprising in Iran

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One hundred and seven former presidents and prime ministers, including Portuguese, on Tuesday sent an open letter to the leaders of world powers, urging them to support the ongoing uprising in Iran, days after the Iranian regime executed three more protesters.

“We urge your countries to support the Iranian people in their struggle for change and to take decisive action against the current [theocratic] regime – this includes blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards and holding the regime’s leaders accountable for their crimes against humanity,” reads the letter, released by the Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran (JVMI) research and documentation center. signed, among other politicians, by former head of state and government Aníbal Cavaco Silva and former prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

“We believe it is up to the Iranian people to decide their future. However, we recognize that for four decades, the democratic coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has constantly and tirelessly fought for democratic change,” and consider that “the Ten-Point Plan drafted by NCRI President Maryam Rajavi deserves support.”

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UK Government Under Pressure to Ban IRGC Four Months After Vote

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The government’s failure to ban Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps more than four months after MPs voted for it was challenged on Tuesday. The House of Commons unanimously passed a motion in January to urge the government to proscribe the IRGC as a terrorist group. Although the vote was not binding, it put pressure on ministers to respond to violence against protesters in Iran by security forces controlled by the IRGC.

Peers in Westminster have now called on the government again to take action against the military body, which has been proscribed by allies such as the US. “It’s now been more than four months since the House of Commons passed a resolution universally in favour of proscription of the IRGC,” Labour’s Lord Walney said.

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UPDATE: 7:00 AM CET

Iran’s Nationwide Uprising Marks 250th Day as Protests in Different Cities Continue

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Iran’s nationwide uprising is marking its 250th day on Tuesday as people from all walks of life are taking to the streets to voice their grievances. Anti-regime protests are ranging from hatred of the mullahs’ rule due to the regime’s recent surge in brutal executions—including three protesters hanged last Friday—to the country’s nosediving economy that is making it impossible for people to make ends meet. People throughout Iran continue to specifically hold the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei responsible for their miseries, while also condemning the oppressive Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and paramilitary Basij units, alongside other security units that are on the ground suppressing the peaceful demonstrators.

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Why Khamenei Insists on Privatizing Iran’s Economic Institutions

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Iran’s economy lies in ruins, exerting immense strain on its populace. Rather than tackling the nation’s dire financial catastrophe, regime authorities, mainly Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, persist in exploiting the country’s wealth by “privatizing” large economic entities. Following the humiliating economic and social debacle of his so-called consolidated system and Ebrahim Raisi’s “young and Hezbollahi government,” Khamenei tried to explain the regime’s bankruptcy to his demoralized forces and outline his plundering strategy in a speech on April 18.

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Joint House Caucus Hearing Voices Support for Iranian Women, Uprising, and Maryam Rajavi

Hearing at the US House of Reps 1 min

Breitbart.com reported on the House joint hearing in Washington, D.C., on May 21. The Thursday, May 18 hearing featured the Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Two pivotal bipartisan U.S. House Caucuses, the Iranian Women Congressional Caucus led by Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Nancy Mace (R-SC), alongside the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus under the helm of Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) convened a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday to deliberate on the ongoing eight-month-long uprising, the regime’s harsh suppression, future prospects, and the appropriate U.S. policy. The event, the first assembly in support of Iran’s uprising and the human rights of the Iranian people, was attended by prominent members of the House.

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The Unstable State of Iran’s Education System

Iran Schools

In a recent speech, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei emphasized the government’s commitment to maintaining control over the country’s education system and dismissed any notion of privatizing it. However, the reality is that Iran’s education system has been plagued by significant deficiencies caused by the regime, resulting in high dropout rates and a large population of undereducated children. Instead of addressing these challenges, the regime exacerbates the suffering of children by suppressing their participation in protests, leading to many absences from school. This clearly demonstrates that education is not a top priority for the regime, rendering the supreme leader’s claims irrelevant.

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Iran’s Budget Deficit Skyrockets Amidst Government Corruption and Embezzlement

On January 11, 2023, Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, submitted the country’s Budget Bill for the year 1402 (Persian calendar, 2022-2023) to the parliament for review and approval. Raisi personally attended the presentation and painted the bill as a catalyst for the nation’s progress. He claimed that the government achieved success in the previous fiscal year, 2021, through cooperation and collaboration among various departments within the Islamic Republic’s system. Raisi expressed hope that the upcoming budget would outperform previous ones and thanked parliamentary representatives and budget review committee members.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – May 23, 2023