THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS
UPDATE: 11:00 PM CET
Ukrainian Air Defenses Shoot Down 29 Iranian Shahed Drones Overnight
Russian forces launched 38 Iranian-made Shahed-136/131 drones on Nov. 17-18 with Ukraine successfully shooting down 29, Ukrainian Air Force Command reported this morning.
The drones were launched from the north and southeast in multiple waves and targeted different Ukrainian regions.
Ukrainian air defense forces used a combination of aircraft, air defense systems, and mobile fire groups to defend against the attack successfully.
UPDATE: 1:30 PM CET
Air Pollution Crisis Grips Iran, Particularly in Mashhad and Khuzestan
Approaching winter, air pollution in several Iranian cities has surged, echoing unbearable circumstances in previous years. On Saturday, Mashhad’s air quality index hit a “crisis and danger” level of 337, prompting the closure of educational centers.
Reza Esmaili, head of Mashhad Municipality’s Pollution Monitoring Center, attributed the pollution to “atmospheric instability and dust rise,” calling for further investigation into the dust’s uncertain origin.
In North Khorasan, a sudden spike in the air quality index to 500 prompted an unhealthy day declaration. Dust from Turkmenistan’s Karakum Desert is cited as the cause.
Khuzestan Province faces elevated air pollutant levels, with 156 reported in cities like Ahvaz. Over 500 sought medical attention within 24 hours, citing respiratory issues after autumn rains. Authorities link Khuzestan’s pollution to industries, Iraqi fires in Hor al-Azim, agricultural waste burning, oil well flares, and old waste site fires. Ahvaz experienced a severe air quality index last week, not having a single day of clean air this year. At least 1,247 people lost their lives in Ahvaz last year due to pollution. Khuzestan, dealing with water scarcity alongside pollution, highlights the escalating environmental crisis in Iran.
Internet Disruptions on Fourth Anniversary of November 2019 Uprising
On the fourth anniversary of the November 2019 uprising, there are reports of significant internet disruptions in Iran, with complete outages observed in specific regions. Starting on Saturday morning, November 18, users on social media have been sharing experiences of difficulties in accessing certain foreign websites and Gmail services. NetBlocks, the organization responsible for monitoring internet access, has officially confirmed these disruptions.
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) November 18, 2023
One Dead and Two Missing as Floods Hit Mazandaran Province in Northern Iran
After floods hit certain areas of Mazandaran Province in northern Iran, state officials reported at least one fatality and the disappearance of a mother and child.
Babak Mahmoudi, the head of the Relief and Rescue Organization, stated on Saturday, November 18, that one person lost their life in the flood in Babolshahr, while two others went missing in the cities of Nur and Chamestan. Hossein Ali Mohammadi, an official at the Mazandaran Provincial Governorate, confirmed that two individuals were missing.
Mohammadi informed state media that on Friday night, five cars in the city of Nur were caught in the floods. During the rescue operation, the wreckage of one car, a Peykan model with evidence suggesting the presence of a mother and child, was found. However, the fate of the occupants remains unknown.
UPDATE: 8:30 AM CET
How Iran’s Regime Is Using the Gaza Conflict for Its Internal Politics
Ahead of the parliamentary elections, scheduled for next year, Iran’s regime has carried out the first wave of disqualifications, eliminating several current members of the Majlis(parliament). This move has shattered the illusion of the so-called “reformists” within the regime, who had been harboring hopes of making a comeback to politics after being purged from the Majlis in 2021.
They had believed that Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, in order to display his influence, would at least give them a minimal role. However, upon his order, they were disqualified, not by the Guardian Council, but by the Executive Election Board of the Ministry of Interior, so that the task of removing the rest would be easier and smoother for the Guardian Council, the body that makes sure the legislative body and its decisions are in line with the regime’s ideology and overarching policies.
How Iran’s November 2019 Uprising Shaped the Landscape for the 2022 Revolution
The 2022 uprising, with its profound political and social ramifications within the Iranian regime and society, has reshaped the perception of previous uprisings, particularly the one in November 2019. Why?
The strategic impact of the 2022 uprising is ongoing; its effects persist within the Mullahs’ regime. Ironically, the regime’s recent saber-rattling in Gaza can be attributed to the strategic consequences of the 2022 uprising, which have foretold the inevitable downfall of this regime. The outcome of the 2022 uprising determines the final alignment between the vast majority of Iranian society and the rule of the Mullahs.
The reassessment of the November 2019 uprising should be approached from this perspective, as its outcomes and effects contributed to the higher trajectory of the 2022 uprising in determining the ultimate fate of the Iranian regime.
How Iran’s Regime Tries to Benefit From the Gaza Crisis
The ongoing conflict in Gaza has unfurled a complex web of vested interests, one of the most intricate being the strategic advantages that the Iranian regime reaps from the turmoil. It’s crucial to discern the motivations that propel nations, particularly those with regional sway, to either fuel or dampen the flames of such conflicts.
The Iranian regime’s supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has, time and again, disclaimed any intent to engage in direct confrontation with the United States or Israel. Such conflicts, he insists, would only be detrimental to the regime’s ultimate goals of hegemony and religious authority. Yet, behind this facade of non-engagement lies a shrewd manipulation of the unfolding chaos.
More Hijab Patrols Recruited in Tehran Metro Stations
On August 6, Iranian media wrote about the recruitment of 400 Hijab patrols with a monthly salary of 120 million Rials by Tehran’s municipality. As claimed by regime officials, the duty of these oppressive forces is to issue verbal warnings and prevent unveiled individuals from entering the metro, reporting them to the police in case of resistance.
Paying such high salaries to suppressive forces targeting women comes at a time when, according to the Supreme Labor Council’s decision, the minimum monthly wage for Iranian workers in the current Iranian year of 1402 is less than 50 million rials. Unprecedented inflation and soaring prices have placed immense burdens on workers and laborers. Heart-wrenching scenes of men, women, and children rummaging through garbage bins for their meager sustenance trouble the conscience of any human being, except for the ruling mullahs and the criminal authorities who have abandoned all sense of humanity.
Iran’s Inflation Rate at Highest Level in Past 22 Months
While the Statistical Center of Iran had announced an inflation rate of about 39 percent for October 2023, the latest report from the Central Bank of Iran to the judiciary shows that the inflation index in October was 54.8 percent, the highest figure in the past 22 months.
The regime’s Central Bank suspended the publication of consumer price index data in 2023. The Statistical Center also released these indices with significant delays on a monthly basis to make their changes less noticeable compared to previous years.
The changes in the consumer price index over one year compared to a similar period in the previous year indicate the annual inflation rate. Evaluating this index is important because it includes a higher inflation memory.
Berlin, Germany—November 16, 2023: MEK Supporters Held a Rally and Exhibition in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution
Berlin, Germany—November 16, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized a rally and photo exhibition in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution. Iranians in Berlin strongly condemned the terrorist attack on Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras in Madrid on November 10.
Also, read Iran News in Brief – November 17, 2023