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Iran News in Brief – November 16, 2023

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Cotton, Colleagues Call on Biden Administration To Designate Iraq-Based Groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations

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Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), yesterday sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen. The senators urged the secretaries to hold terrorist groups linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) accountable for attacks on U.S. servicemembers.

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Iran on ‘Execution Spree’ Since Start of Israel-Hamas War, Killing 107 Anti-Regime Activists, Ethnic Minority


Iran has executed over 100 people since the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7 drew the world’s attention to Israel and the Gaza Strip, with one report referring to Tehran’s “execution spree.”

“On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, as the United Nations General Assembly’s Third Committee was considering a resolution condemning the systematic and widespread violation of human rights in Iran, the henchmen of the Iranian regime executed six prisoners,” the secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) wrote this week after more executions took place.

The NCRI noted that the regime, which the United Nations has condemned dozens of times for “systematic and widespread violation of human rights,” has continued to “carry out brutal executions in an increasing manner” and called for the international community to “ostracize” Iran.

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Armored Vehicles Deployed in Sistan and Baluchestan Amid Ongoing Protests

Zahedan in Sistan Baluchestan Province Iran

Amid state efforts to crack down on weekly protests in Sistan and Baluchestan province, the commander of the province’s State Security Forces declared on Thursday, November 16, the deployment of “anti-ballistic tactical storm” vehicles. The official claimed these vehicles are stationed in the province with the aim of “enhancing security, maintaining tranquility, and dealing seriously with those disrupting security.”

According to reports from the semi-official ISNA news agency, Dostali Jalilian asserted that these vehicles would be used to counteract “armed robbers and wrongdoers.”

The introduction of armored vehicles in Sistan and Baluchestan province coincides with a period when cities in the region, particularly Zahedan, saw a significant presence of security and military forces from the regime during the nationwide protests in the year 1401. Cities like Zahedan and Khash have been witnessing street protests every Friday since security forces fired on demonstrators in Zahedan on September 30 last year, known as Bloody Friday.

On Fridays, reports indicate that security forces establish checkpoints, conduct street inspections, and perform physical searches, including those involving women, to prevent worshippers from attending the Makki Mosque in Zahedan. The regime has also increased state-sanctioned executions in this province to deter the restive public.

Large-scale Raid against Islamic Center Hamburg

NDR logoAs part of investigations against the Islamic Center Hamburg (IZH), 54 properties in seven federal states were searched on Thursday. This was announced by the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said that the IZH had long been monitored by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and classified as Islamist. The association Islamisches Zentrum Hamburg e.V. is suspected of being directed against the constitutional order and the idea of international understanding. Among other things, the security authorities are investigating the suspicion that the IZH supports the activities of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, which are banned in Germany.

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Rep. Hill’s Bill To Provide Transparency Into Financial Corruption of Iranian Leaders Passes Out of House Financial Services Committee

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. French Hill’s (AR-02) bipartisan legislation, H.R. 6245, the Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act, passed out of the House Financial Services Committee. This bill would expose the finances of Iran’s authoritarian and theocratic leaders and crack down on financial institutions that maintain accounts in connection with those funds.

“Iran has been the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism for decades and has financially enabled the recent terrorist attacks committed by Hamas against Israel. The Iranian regime is also selling drones to Russia to further the killing in Ukraine and is a partner with Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, in his murder and torture of his own citizens. Iran provides hundreds of millions of dollars to fuel weapons and terror for its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon, further targeting Israel. These Iranian actions of terror demand accountability and transparency into the finances of Iran’s leaders, and the Iranian people have the right to know how their barbaric leaders are profiting at their expense. I am pleased that this important legislation passed out of committee today and is one step closer to becoming law.”

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US Navy Warship Shoots Down Drone Fired From Yemen

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The guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner shot down a drone fired from Yemen over the Red Sea early Wednesday, according to two U.S. defense officials. Unlike an incident last month in which an American destroyer shot down multiple drones and missiles fired in the direction of Israel, this drone was headed toward the USS Thomas Hudner. Reuters was first to report the warship shot down the drone.

It’s not clear yet who is responsible for launching the drone, but earlier this week, the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen threatened to attack ships in the Red Sea. The incident follows the Houthis’ shoot-down of a US MQ-9 Reaper Drone last week over the Red Sea.

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Iran’s Regime Is Ramping up Executions in the Fog of War

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According to a statement by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the regime has carried out at least 78 executions in the past three weeks. The regime has been especially harsh in its sentences against Iran’s Baluch community.

On Monday, November 13, the regime executed Mohammad Barahoui Anjomani, Mohammad Karim Bakazaei Akson, and Edris Bilrani, three Baluchi prisoners in Zahedan. The three prisoners were charged with attacking the headquarters of the State Security Force (SSF), Police Station 12, and attacking an SSF patrol.

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A Baloch Woman Was Executed in Kerman Central Prison

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On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, the execution sentence of a female prisoner named Zar-Khatoon Mazar Zehei, a 46-year-old mother from Saravan, residing in Khash, in Sistan and Baluchestan province, was carried out in Kerman Central Prison for drug-related offenses.

According to reports received by Iran Human Rights Monitor (IranHRM), Zar Khatoon Mazar Zehei, born in 1977, was the daughter of Sabegh and the mother of one girl. She was the head of her family as her husband had passed away some time ago. On Monday, November 13, 2023, Zar Khatoon Mazar Zehei was transferred to solitary confinement for the implementation of the death sentence and had a final visit with her family.

According to the report from Hal Vash website, Ms. Mazar Zehei was arrested in the route from Kerman to Shiraz at a checkpoint in December 2017 on charges related to drug offenses and the transportation of drugs inside the bus.

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Protests in November 2019 and the Regime’s Catalogue of Shocking Crimes

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The number of women killed in any confrontation bespeaks of their greater participation and active role in that battle. More than 400 women were among the 1,500 killed by government forces during the November 2019 protests in Iran. Suddenly erupting in upwards of 200 cities in 29 of the country’s 31 provinces, the uprising itself was the most stunning moment of Iran’s contemporary history.

A member of the mullahs’ parliament from Karaj said at least 719 locations across Iran were involved in the protests.

The protests took shape very rapidly, quickly radicalized against the mullahs’ leader Ali Khamenei, and targeted hundreds of military and government centers.

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Iran’s Regime Exported $1 Billion In Military Gear In 2022


In a speech at Tehran’s Rajaei University on November 13, Mehdi Farahi, the deputy defense minister of the Iranian regime, claimed that Iran had “almost $1 billion” in military exports in the past year.

Without referring to the details of the military export items, Farahi stated that the Ministry of Defense uses “knowledge-based companies, industrial towns, universities, and science and technology parks,” and that “7,000 companies” and over “100,000 individuals” collaborate with this ministry.

This Defense Ministry official announced the “billion-dollar” military exports of Iran in the past year while the United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran’s missile program, based on the nuclear agreement, the JCPOA, ended in October.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – November 15, 2023