THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS
UPDATE: 10:30 PM CET
Islamic Charity Linked to Iran Shuts Weeks After Watchdog Tried To Take Control
A British charity run by the UK representative of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, has closed only weeks after the aid watchdog removed its trustees. The Charity Commission this month announced it had removed the trustees from the board of the Islamic Centre of England over its links to Iran.
The London charity has previously received warnings from the watchdog after an unofficial speaker at the centre, Massoud Shadjareh, praised Qassem Suleimani, the deceased commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. He called Suleimani, who the UK had designated a terrorist, a “dedicated soldier of Islam”. Suleimani was killed by a US drone strike in January 2020.
United Nations Human Rights Commission’s Social Forum Cannot Be Chaired by Iranian Diplomat Ali Bahreini as His Regime Kills Hundreds of Its Own People – Struan Stevenson
Does the United Nations know no shame? As an organisation created to implement and uphold the highest ideals of peace, justice, and human rights, how is it possible that an ambassador from Iran’s theocratic fascist regime will be appointed as chair of the UN Human Rights Council’s Social Forum in November?
The appointment of Ambassador Ali Bahreini will make a mockery of the universal declaration of human rights and international conventions, given that Iran is the leading violator of these principles. The UNHRC Social Forum is expected to “focus on the contribution of science, technology, and innovation to the promotion of human rights, including in the context of post-pandemic recovery”.
Fmr. Dutch PM Balkenende Joins Call To Put Iranian Revolutionary Guard on Terrorism List
Over 100 prominent politicians, including former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, have signed a letter calling the European Union to put the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) on its terrorism list. The letter was drawn up by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which presents itself as Iranian opposition abroad. It was signed by former Prime Ministers, Presidents, and other politicians, NOS reports.
The letter, addressed to the European Union, United States President Joe Biden, the United Kingdom, and Canada, calls for solidarity with the Iranian people and a tougher approach against the IRGC. This elite corps is more powerful than the Iranian army and has regularly cracked down on protests in recent months. The signatories accuse the international community of “decades of silence that have fueled a culture of impunity.”
US Sees ‘Serious Threat’ as Iran Unveils New Missile
AFP – The United States on Thursday called Iran’s missile program a “serious threat” after the clerical state unveiled a new model with its longest range to date.
“Iran’s development, and proliferation of, ballistic missiles poses a serious threat to regional and international security and remains a significant non-proliferation challenge,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.
The Kheibar missile will have a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) and be able to carry warheads weighing over one tonne, Iran’s defense ministry said.
The unveiling comes after talks hit a stalemate on restoring a nuclear deal in which Iran promised to scale back its activities in return for sanctions relief.
Swedish Appeals Court Upholds Life Sentence in Russia Espionage Case
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden’s highest court on Thursday upheld the life sentence for the eldest of two Iranian-born Swedish brothers for spying for Russia and its military intelligence service GRU for a decade.
Peyman Kia, a naturalized Swede, was sentenced to life in January in one of the Scandinavian country’s biggest espionage case in decades. His brother, Payam Kia, was given nine years and 10 months. They were found guilty for having worked jointly to pass information to Russia between Sept. 28, 2011, and Sept. 20, 2021.
At first, both brothers appealed the Jan. 19 sentences by the Stockholm District Court. But Payam Kia retracted his appeal last week, hours before the appeals verdict was scheduled to be announced. His lawyer, Björn Sandin, explained to Swedish broadcaster SVT that his client feared getting a higher sentence.
UPDATE: 8:30 PM CET
Iran Protests at a Glance
Based partially on reporting by PMOI (MEK) Network in Iran
Thursday, May 25, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1
According to reports by the Iranian opposition, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) on Thursday, people from different sectors of the society in various cities continued their anti-regime protests.
May 25 – Tabriz, northwest #Iran
Defrauded real estate owners who've seen their lands confiscated by the regime are protesting for their rights.#IranProtests pic.twitter.com/dZ9CtCLM2i
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) May 25, 2023
During the past few days at least nine death row inmates in the prisons of Kerman, Urmia, Jiroft, Sanandaj, and Isfahan have been executed.
Defrauded real estate owners in Tabriz, northwest Iran, who’ve seen their lands confiscated by the regime held a gathering on Thursday and are protesting for their rights.
May 24 – Bandar Khomeini, southwest #Iran
Truck drivers in this city have joined the truckers' nationwide strike and are continuing this initiative for the third consecutive day.#IranNationwideStrikes pic.twitter.com/gtckNj8vvK
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) May 24, 2023
On May 24 in Bandar Khomeini, southwest Iran, truck drivers joined the truckers’ nationwide strike and continued this initiative for the third consecutive day.
UPDATE: 9:00 AM CET
Islamic Charity in London That Praised Iranian Terror General Closes
An Islamic Center described as the voice of Iran’s Supreme Leader in the UK has closed – just weeks after the Charity Commission tried to take control. The Islamic Centre of England (ICE) shut its doors on Wednesday following an investigation by the charity watchdog over how it was run.
Some sources have suggested that the Iranian regime decided to pull the plug on the operation rather than lose control to an interim manager appointed by the Charity Commission. Another source, however, suggested that while the building was being closed down – at least temporarily – the charity was still being run by the interim manager with cooperation from the trustees.
Ukraine’s Zelenskiy to Iran: Why Support Russia and Terror?
May 24 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged Iranians on Wednesday to reconsider the supply of deadly drones to Russia in order to stop their slide into “the dark side of history.”
Iranian-made Shahed drones supplied to Moscow have played a major role in Russia’s attacks on cities and infrastructure, though Zelenskiy said Kyiv’s air defences were now skilled at downing them – about 900 of 1,160 aimed at Ukrainian targets.
“The simple question is this: what is your interest in being an accomplice to Russian terror?” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.
“What is the benefit to Iran of such cynical killing? By Russian hands, but with your weapons, your weapons…Your Shaheds, which terrorise Ukraine every night, mean only that the people of Iran are being driven deeper and deeper into the dark side of history.”
Pentagon Official: US Remains Committed to Address Iran’s Reckless Activities in Middle East
At the Third Annual Middle East Institute CENTCOM Conference, the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities Dr. Mara Karlin said: “We have been clear with our long-standing partners in the region – integration and interoperability are necessary to address Iran’s reckless activities across all domains, to meaningfully counter violent extremist organizations, and to address crises whether natural or man-made. The United States cannot continue to address these challenges unilaterally. The scope, scale, and cross-border nature of the threats demand integration and multilateral cooperation. We are asking our partners to increase their contributions and support for integration. Our enduring commitment is to (1) continue working together and alongside them, within the region, while (2) maintaining the most combat-credible fighting force in the world that can dynamically and rapidly flow forces into the region and reposition global assets and capabilities to respond to crises.”
UPDATE: 8:00 AM CET
Over 100 Former World Leaders Call on West To Hold Iran Accountable for Its Crimes Against Humanity
The Islamic Republic of Iran must be held accountable for its long-running crimes against humanity, according to over one hundred former world leaders in an open letter to the heads of the U.S., Canada, the EU, and the UK. The letter, published on Tuesday, calls on President Joe Biden, European Council President Charles Michel, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as the leaders of the 27 member states of the European Union, to support Iranian protesters while taking “decisive steps” against the current regime.
It begins by noting that over the past eight months, the globe has witnessed a “sweeping popular uprising in Iran” that is demanding both freedom and democracy.
It also recognizes that “for four decades, the democratic coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has constantly and tirelessly pursued democratic change,” and expresses support for NCRI President Maryam Rajavi’s “Ten Point Plan,” which aims to ensure Iranians’ freedom of expression and assembly, as well as the right to choose their elected leaders, as part of the path toward a free, secular, and democratic Iran.
World Policy for Action Against the Iranian Regime and for Supporting Marjam Rajavi
In a joint letter, 107 former world leaders from 45 countries called for international support for pro-democracy protests in Iran and the blacklisting of the regime’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). The letter, addressed to world powers, came just days after the regime executed three protesters, underlining the urgency of the situation. Among the signed are Janez Janša.
The letter, signed by former heads of state or government, calls on the leaders of Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States to “be held accountable for their crimes by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Former world leaders, including SDS President Janez Janša, express their support for the Iranian people, who want a secular and democratic republic in which no individual, regardless of religion or birthright, enjoys unjust privileges over others. The letter stressed that the Iranian people had firmly discouraged any dictatorial rule.
People of Iran Voice Their Hatred of the Regime as They Recall Atrocities
The people of Iran are continuing their anti-regime protests at every opportunity, including events held to mark their losses at the hands of the mullahs’ atrocities. The people of Abadan in southwest Iran held a large rally on Tuesday one year after the Metropol building catastrophe that saw a ten-story structure collapse, leaving dozens killed and injured. Students in various universities also held gatherings condemning the regime’s recent surge in executions and the strict rules and regulations imposed on campus, especially targeting female students. As the country’s nationwide uprising marks its 251st day on Wednesday, 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.
Serious Budget Deficit Puts Iran’s Regime in Perilous Conditions
In the last days of the Persian Year of 1401 (mid-March 2023), Iranian regime president Ebrahim Raisi claimed his government “doesn’t have any budget deficit until the end of the year.” But in reality, his 2022-2023 budget bill had a huge 4.6 quadrillion rials deficit or $8.8 billion. While many regime experts considered this budget deficit “unprecedented,” it seems that the real number is much higher. On May 21, Rahim Mombeini, deputy head of the Planning and Budget Organization, announced that “The actual budget deficit last year was roughly 7.9 quadrillion rials.”
Iran“the Iranian People Are Ready To Overthrow the Regime”, Opposition Leader Tells Meps
The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, has urged MEPs to support a much tougher stance by the EU and its member states against the theocratic regime in Tehran. She said the people of her country had risen against religious fascism and she criticised European inaction in response to the executions of protesters, writes Political Editor Nick Powell. Maryam Rajavi returned to the European Parliament four years after her last visit, a period that has seen a massive growth in popular resistance to the rule of the mullahs in Iran. She is now President-elect of the preeminent opposition body, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Her struggle has lasted a lifetime since she took part in student protests against the dictatorial rule of the last Shah.
Vida Rabbani: The Plight of an Imprisoned Iranian Journalist
On Sunday, May 21, 2023, Vida Rabbani, a journalist, was transferred from Evin prison to Tehran’s Taleghani hospital for much-needed medical treatment. Vida Rabbani had been grappling with severe headaches for the past two months, prompting the need for an MRI test. Despite her deteriorating physical condition and the prison hospital’s recommendation for a CT scan and specialized examination, the relevant authorities staunchly opposed her transfer to an external medical facility. Born in 1989 and residing in Tehran, Vida Rabbani is a married individual with a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Effects of Ali Shamkhani’s Dismissal in Iran’s Government Policies in 2023
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, was dismissed after 10 years in the position by Ebrahim Raisi and replaced with Ali Akbar Ahmadian. What could be the meaning behind this dismissal? The most immediate explanation is that following the exposure of Shamkhani’s deputy and advisor on charges of spying for the United Kingdom, the Iranian government, led by the Supreme Leader, intended to remove him from the secretary position of the National Security Council. Such infiltration, especially at the highest levels of government security within the National Security Council, was a devastating blow for both the regime and Ali Shamkhani personally.
Also, read Iran News in Brief – May 24, 2023