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Iran News in Brief – November 23, 2023

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THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 10:30 PM CET

US Claims Killing Eight ‘Pro-Iran’ Fighters in Iraq

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BAGHDAD: US fighter jets struck two targets in Iraq early on Wednesday, killing eight ‘pro-Iran’ fighters in retaliation for repeated attacks on American troops, US and Iraqi sources said. The twin strikes, which followed a similar bombardment of Iran-backed forces on Tuesday, drew condemnation from the Iraqi government, which said it had not been consulted about the military action on its soil.

The US military “conducted discrete, precision strikes against two facilities in Iraq”, US Central Command posted on X, previously Twitter.

“The strikes were in direct response to the attacks against US and coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups,” CENTCOM added.

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EU Parliament Condemns Human Rights Violations in Iran, Calls for Proscribing IRGC

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On Thursday, December 2, 2023, the European Parliament passed a resolution addressing the human rights situation in Iran. Specifically, the resolution focused on the latest attacks against women, women’s rights defenders, and the arbitrary detention of European Union citizens.

The statement reads in part, “Parliament strongly condemns the deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran, and the brutal murders of women by the Iranian authorities, including the 2023 Sakharov Prize laureate Jina Mahsa Amini. MEPs urge the Iranian authorities to end immediately all discrimination against women and girls, including mandatory veiling, and to withdraw all gender discriminatory laws.”

The text that was adopted by 516 votes in favor, 4 against with 27 abstentions, also states, “They reiterate their call for the initiation of criminal investigations into crimes committed by the Iranian authorities under universal jurisdiction, to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization and sanction those responsible for human rights violations in Iran, including the Supreme Leader, the President, and the Prosecutor-General. Parliament calls on the European External Action Service and member states to support Sakharov and Nobel Prize laureates, and urges member states to facilitate the issuance of visas and asylum and emergency grants to those who need them.”


Security Forces’ Assault Claims Lives of Two Freight Carriers, Injures Seven

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The criminal forces of the Iranian regime’s border regiment in Western Iran committed crimes by shooting at diligent freight carriers, known as “kulbars,” along the Baneh and Piranshahr. This resulted in the death of two kulbars, and seven others were injured.

In a separate incident, another kulbar named Rahman Maroufi, from Piranshahr, lost his life due to extreme cold while missing in the mountains during his courier duties.

The state-run Aftab News wrote today, “During the past few days, a 23-year-old kulbar from Urmia tragically succumbed to the cold in the mountainous border regions of Turkey. This incident took place at the Turkey-Iran border, and news reports have identified the deceased as Ghassem Karimi, a resident of the village of Firouzian in the Soumaou Baradoust region of Urmia. Mr. Karimi, who was married and had two children, lost his life due to exposure to freezing temperatures while working as a courier at the border.”


UPDATE: 3:00 PM CET

Thursday Protests in Iran

On Thursday, November 23, scammed customers of the “Rezayat Khodro Taravat-e Novin Cooperative” company in Qazvin, along with some investors, took to the streets to call on the Judiciary to address their complaints.

For the past few months, hundreds of individuals who suffered financial losses from the Rezayat Khodro Taravat-e Novin company have been staging protest gatherings in Tehran, Qazvin, and the Takestan county.

According to reports from local news agencies, the protesters are denouncing the company’s embezzlement of a substantial amount, specifically 30 trillion tomans, through the pre-sale of cars. This has affected a minimum of 38,000 victims across Iran. Frustrated by the lack of attention to their plight, the protesters have persisted, and today, a few hundred of them gathered in front of the Qazvin governorate, marching through the city streets.

Sources within Iran report that security forces responded to the demonstrators with tear gas and water cannons.


Ukraine Says Downed ‘Rare’ Iranian Drone Launched by Russia

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Russia attacked Ukraine with more than a dozen attack drones and a cruise missile, the Ukrainian air force said Wednesday, claiming to have downed all the drones.

This came as authorities in the southern region of Odesa announced they earlier shot down a rare Iranian-designed attack and reconnaissance drone.

The air force said the barrage had been launched from southeast Russia and that a combination of air defense units in several central regions had “destroyed all 14 enemies Shahed-131/136 drones.”

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UPDATE: 8:00 AM CET

Conference at the European Parliament, Strasbourg

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Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s speech: “I am delighted to be here with you at the House of European Democracy. I was deeply touched by Mr. Vidal-Quadras’s courageous and inspiring message. As always, resilient and steadfast in his support for the cause of freedom in Iran with an exceptionally high morale. He was supposed to be with us today. He believed this was a timely meeting in a critical moment. With his message, he is here among us, more than at any other time. On behalf of the Iranian people, I salute Professor Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a leading voice against appeasement, who warned about the threat posed by “the world’s most criminal regime.” A man who played a crucial role in the leadership of this parliament for 15 years as its first Vice President. Today, Professor Alejo Vidal-Quadras stands as Europe’s awakened conscience protesting against religious fascism.”

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The Imperative of Combating the Terrorism of Iran’s Regime

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After the assassination attempt against Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, the Chairman of the International Committee in the Pursuit of Justice, attention once again turned towards state terrorism in Tehran, and many personalities, media outlets, and international organizations reacted to it. Emanuele Pozzolo, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Parliament, said that the Iranian regime is currently the foremost supporter of terrorism in the world. The extremism of the mullahs is becoming a serious and prominent problem for the entire world.

In an article in Townhall, Ken Blackwell, former US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission, stated: “In the aftermath of Tehran’s recent warmongering in the Middle East last month, the ominous specter of the Iranian regime’s designs materialized once more in a chilling act of terrorism on the streets of Madrid on Thursday.

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Iran’s Pension Funds Crisis

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Iran’s pension funds are confronting a critical juncture, presenting the regime with a daunting decision-making challenge. The options on the table—either raising the retirement age or merging pension funds—come with formidable obstacles and vocal opposition. The proposed solution to reform pension fund structures through mergers or dissolution, coupled with a suggested increase in the retirement age for men to 65 and women to 60, faced resistance even in the regime’s parliament. Despite this setback, the Supreme Council of Welfare and Social Security took the initiative by initiating reforms in the Oil Industry Pension Fund, triggering protests among Iranian oil industry retirees.

Founded in 1948 by Mansour Dehdashtian, an accountant at the Abadan Refinery, the Oil Industry Pension Fund has operated independently for 76 years. Despite attempts to integrate it into the broader social security framework, it has remained a non-governmental entity, managing internal resources and pension payouts.

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Mohammad Mehdi Vossoughian, 21, is Tried on False Charges

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According to the Iran Human Rights Monitor (Iran HRM), the trial session to examine the charges against Mohammad Mehdi Vossoughian was held today, Wednesday, November 22, 2023, at the Revolutionary Court in Golpayegan County, in Isfahan Province. Mohammad Mehdi Vossoughian, a student of anesthesia at the Medical School of Isfahan University, resides in Golpayegan. He appeared before the Revolutionary Court of Golpayegan today. His defense lawyers defended him against charges of propaganda against the system, communication with hostile countries, and membership in opposition groups.

The court convened while there were serious concerns about the health and safety of this prisoner in Golpayegan Prison. He was taken to a hospital on Friday, November 17, 2023, but security forces immediately returned him to prison.Mr. Vossoughian has been diagnosed with a severe intestinal infection. His condition was critical when he was transferred to the hospital last Friday.

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The Regime in Iran Allocated $2.65 Billion To Enhancing Defense Infrastructure

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The general provisions of the proposed budget for the year 2024 state that the government intends to allocate 1,340 trillion rials to strengthen the defense infrastructure.

Therefore, according to this proposed bill, it is emphasized that in case this amount is not allocated, the National Iranian Oil Company is obliged to deliver crude oil or gas condensates to legal entities introduced by the General Staff of the Armed Forces, equivalent to the monthly difference.

This defense budget comes at a time when the examination of the budgets of other sectors, including employment generation, facilitating public access to medicine and food, and education, shows a lack of proportionality between the country’s actual needs and the allocated figures and numbers.

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Rally in Vienna – November 23-24, Simultaneous With the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

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Simultaneous with the IAEA Board of Governors meeting, Iranians residing in Vienna, supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), will hold a rally to call on the IAEA to refer the Iranian regime’s dossier to the UN Security Council and activate the Iran nuclear deal’s snapback mechanism, thereby re-imposing sanctions outlined in six previous UN Security Council resolutions.
The Iranians will also underscore that the Iranian regime has played a prominent role in the ongoing war in the region and that the international community should focus on the Iranian regime’s status as the leading exporter of fundamentalism and extremism, through its support, financing, and provision of arms to proxy groups throughout the region.

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Canada—November 18, 2023: MEK Supporters Rallied in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver

Canada—November 18 2023

Canada—November 18, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized rallies and exhibitions in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.

This demonstration served as a tribute to the martyrs of the nationwide Iranian uprising in November 2019 and 2022.

Iranians in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver strongly condemned the terrorist attack on Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras in Madrid on November 10.

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MEK Supporters Rallied in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution in Amsterdam, London, and Rome – November 18, 2023

Amsterdam— November 18, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally in Solidarity With the Iranian Revolution.

November 18, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized rallies and exhibitions in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution in Amsterdam, London, and Rome.

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MEK Supporters Rallied in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution in European Cities – November 18, 2023

Nov 18, 2023: MEK supporters rallied in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution in European cities.

November 18, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized rallies and exhibitions in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution in European cities including, Cologne, Malmö, Aarhus, Düsseldorf, Heidelberg, and Helsinki.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – November 22, 2023