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UPDATE: 10:30 AM CET
Iran’s Zagros Forests at Risk: Lerook Dam Construction Sparks Concerns
The Raisi administration’s plans to build an additional dam in western Iran pose a significant threat to the country’s already endangered environment, potentially causing further destruction.
The state-run ILNA News Agency reported today that officials from the Iranian regime’s “Natural Resources” and “Environment” organizations have raised concerns about a significant part of the country’s natural habitat in the Zagros region being at risk due to the potential construction of a long-delayed dam.
According to Naghi Shabanyan, the Deputy Head of Iran’s Department of Natural Resources and Watershed Management, both the environmental and natural resources organizations have not granted any permits for the construction of the Lerook dam and power plant.
He also highlighted the possibility of significant tree loss in the Zagros forests if the Lerook dam is built, citing a report from the project consultant company that estimates up to “41,000 trees” could be cut down.
Recently, the Ministry of Energy’s plans to build the “Lerook dam” in the “Central Zagros” region near the border of Lorestan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari provinces have sparked concerns among environmental activists regarding the potential environmental impact of another dam in the country’s forested areas.
New UANI Investigation Uncovers German Universities’ Collaboration With IRGC
(New York, N.Y.) — A new investigation by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has, for the first time, revealed that several leading German universities have established close partnerships with an Iranian university that has officially backed terrorist attacks on Israel and is extensively affiliated with some of the most hardline elements of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as well as Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization in Germany.
Five German universities are engaged in an official partnership with an Iranian university that is extensively affiliated with the Islamist extremist, antisemitic Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and Hezbollah – a designated terrorist organization in Germany.
This Iranian university, affiliated with the IRGC and Hezbollah, which has partnerships with German universities, has endorsed and advocated for terrorist attacks on Israel, with board members implicated in human rights violations.
Monday Protests in Iran
On Monday, November 5, retired telecommunications workers from various provinces and cities, including Gilan, Tehran, Ardabil, Ilam, Sanandaj, Isfahan, and more, gathered in protest. They were expressing their dissatisfaction with the lack of attention to their demands. These demands included the full implementation of personnel and employment regulations from the year 2010 and addressing issues related to healthcare insurance.
Simultaneously, on the same date, official employees of the Ministry of Oil working at the Aghajari Oil and Gas Operating Company also gathered to voice their grievances. Their demands included:
- The complete removal of salary caps.
- The elimination of retirement age restrictions.
- The return of excess taxes.
- Full implementation of Article 10 and retroactive payment.
- A request for non-interference with the employees’ retirement fund.
UPDATE: 8:00 AM CET
Retirees Hold Protest Rallies in Several Iranian Cities as Living Conditions Deteriorate
On Sunday, November 5, retirees of the Social Security Organization in the cities of Shush, Ahvaz, Dezful, and Kermanshah protested against poor living conditions and the lack of attention to their demands, including the need for higher pensions due to the rising costs of living. At the same time, retirees of the steel industry in the cities of Shahrud, Ghaemshahr, and Isfahan held protest rallies for similar reasons. The pensioners were chanting slogans including, “We will not live under oppression,” “Pensioners will die but will not give in to disgrace,” and “We only get our rights on the street!”
Retirees were chanting, “We will not rest until we have our rights,” “Shout for your rights” and “The bankrupt government is the enemy of pensioners,” expressing their frustration and anger at the destructive policies of the government of Ebrahim Raisi.
Most Iranian Workers Deprived of Insurance, Basic Rights
Bahar News, a state-run website in Iran, has addressed the issue of job security for workers. It highlights the pressing problem of job insecurity and the absence of proper labor contract arrangements in the job market, affecting a significant portion of the workforce.
According to statistics, a staggering 96% of employment contracts are temporary, leading to issues such as the lack of insurance coverage and inadequate compensation. Small workshops with fewer than ten employees also face unique challenges, as certain labor laws may not apply to them.
The website discusses the detrimental impact of temporary contracts on workers, emphasizing that extending a labor contract for a specified period doesn’t automatically make it permanent. This means that a worker who has been with a workshop for many years, despite multiple contract renewals, might risk losing their rights merely due to the expiration of the contract term, potentially leading to violations of their rights.
A New Wave of Gas Poisoning of School Girls Resumes in Iran
On Saturday, November 4, 2023, a number of students in Kowsar girls’ school in Ahvaz had to be taken to hospital due to inhaling an odorous gas which caused shortness of breath and other symptoms of poisoning.
Official media in Iran did not use the term “poisoning,” and only wrote about “shortness of breath.”
In the meantime, the political and intelligence deputy of the governor of Khuzestan said the students were feeling “discomfort.”
Abdollah Afrazeh Shahavand rejected the notion of poisoning and said using the term poisoning is the enemy’s scheme and will be taken advantage of against national security.
Munich, Germany—November 4, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution
On November 4, 2023, in Munich, Germany, supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from the Iranian community gathered in a show of solidarity. They strongly condemned the atrocities committed by the ruling mullahs’ regime and expressed unwavering support for the Iranian Revolution.
Heidelberg, Germany—November 4, 2023: MEK Supporters Held an Exhibition in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution
Saturday, November 4, 2023, in Heidelberg, Germany, members of the Iranian community who support the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized an exhibition as a display of solidarity. They vehemently denounced the atrocities perpetrated by the ruling mullahs’ regime and demonstrated steadfast backing for the Iranian Revolution.
Also, read Iran News in Brief – November 5, 2023