THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS
UPDATE: 8:30 PM CET
State Media Suggest Infighting Is Increasing
The recent Assembly of Experts meeting shed light on internal conflicts within the clerical regime. A state-run website called Ruydad 24 published an article on September 26 titled “The Notable Absence of Amoli Larijani and Alamolhoda in the Assembly of Experts,” pointing out that the twelfth session of the fifth term of the Assembly of Experts proceeded without the presence of Ahmad Alamolhoda, the Supreme Leader’s representative in Mashhad, former Chief Justice Sadegh Amoli Larijani, and Mohammad-Ali Mousavi Jazayeri.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Mohajeri, who is close to former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, revealed that the systemic purging called the “purification procedure,” has been planned for several years and is expected to continue and increase in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Joint Statement of the GCC-UK Ministerial Meeting – September 2023
The Foreign Ministers or their representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council member states and Minister James Cleverly, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs the United Kingdom, together with GCC Secretary General Jasem Albudaiwi, met in New York on September 18, 2023, to discuss regional and global issues, review progress of the GCC-UK Strategic Partnership and strengthen their consultation, coordination and cooperation in all fields.
Ministers welcomed diplomatic engagement by Saudi Arabia and other GCC member states to pursue regional de-escalation and emphasised the importance of adherence to international law, including the UN Charter, by states of the region. They reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring freedom of navigation and maritime security in the region and their determination to deter illegal actions at sea or elsewhere that might threaten shipping lanes, international trade, and oil installations in the GCC states. The Ministers underscored their support for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and renewed their call for Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
US Imposes Sanctions on Iranian Drone Procurement Network
WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday placed sanctions on entities and people based in China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran for aiding the Iranian attack drone program, which Washington accuses of supplying such weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine.
The U.S. Treasury said it put sanctions on five entities and two people who were part of a network helping procure sensitive parts – including servomotors, which help control position and speed – for Iran’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program.
The network facilitated shipments and financial transactions for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ procurement of such motors used in Iran’s Shahed-136 drones, it said, adding that a motor procured by the network was found recently in the remains of a Russia-operated Shahed-136 drone shot down in Ukraine.
UPDATE: 3:30 PM CET
Wednesday Protests in Iran
Today, September 27, retirees of the Social Security Organization in Shush, Khuzestan Province, protested again in front of the organization’s office, expressing dissatisfaction with their living conditions and the lack of attention to their demands.
September 27—Tehran, #Iran
Defrauded customers of the state-backed Negin housing project hold protest rally as authorities continue to disregard their woes.
"We have been waiting for our homes for 20 years!" one of the protesters says#IranProtestspic.twitter.com/tqhyAqV8Y9
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) September 27, 2023
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) September 27, 2023
Human Rights Council Condemns Gross Human Rights Violations in Iran at Geneva Session
During the fifty-fourth regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, representatives from various countries condemned severe human rights violations in Iran, particularly the wave of executions.
A representative from the United Kingdom stated that the Iranian regime continues to suppress women and girls, and the “Chastity and Hijab” bill perpetuates this oppression.
A representative from Belgium mentioned the use of violence by Iranian regime officials against anyone advocating for human rights and standing against ongoing and systematic discrimination against women and girls. Belgium’s representative expressed deep concern and alarm over the heavy sentences handed down to protesters, including the use of the death penalty.
A representative from Finland emphasized that the Iranian regime has no justification for the death penalty, especially against those fighting for freedom.
The representative of Sweden conveyed deep concern about the ongoing human rights situation in Iran, emphasizing the brutal suppression of protests and the rising use of the death penalty as alarming. The representative expressed worry regarding arbitrary detentions in Iran, urging for the release of all Swedish and European citizens who have been arbitrarily detained.
Similarly, the representative of the United States remarked that the Iranian regime responds to people’s desire for freedom with increased suppression.
The representative of Norway voiced deep concern over the attempts in Iran to control women and girls, particularly through legislation like the compulsory hijab bill that enforces stricter penalties against women.
On behalf of the European Union, the representative of Spain highlighted serious apprehensions regarding the human rights situation in Iran, which has deteriorated over the past year. The representative cited increasing restrictions on freedom of thought, expression, civil liberties, and the rights of individuals belonging to ethnic and religious minorities.
The representative of the Netherlands reiterated deep concern about severe suppression in Iran, especially against women and individuals belonging to ethnic or religious minorities. Netherlands’ representative urged the Iranian regime to halt the suppression and allow access to special rapporteurs and truth-finding missions, emphasizing the importance of full cooperation.
The fifty-fourth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council commenced on September 11 and will continue until October 13.
Jordan Downs Two Drones Carrying Drugs From Syria -Army
AMMAN, Sept 26 (Reuters) – The Jordanian army on Tuesday said it downed two drones carrying drugs from Syria in the latest incident raising concerns over increased smuggling across the border.
The army statement said the drones had crossed into its territory and their hauls of crystal methamphetamine were seized. It warned it would act forcefully to prevent any attempt to destabilise the country’s security.
Jordanian officials say the increasing use of drones carrying drugs, weapons and explosives is adding a new dimension to a cross-border billion-dollar drug war the U.S. ally has blamed on Iranian-backed militias that hold sway in southern Syria.
Inside Iran’s Influence Operation
In the spring of 2014, senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials initiated a quiet effort to bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues — particularly its nuclear program — by building ties with a network of influential overseas academics and researchers. They called it the Iran Experts Initiative. The scope and scale of the IEI project has emerged in a large cache of Iranian government correspondence and emails reported for the first time by Semafor and Iran International. The officials, working under the moderate President Hassan Rouhani, congratulated themselves on the impact of the initiative: At least three of the people on the Foreign Ministry’s list were, or became, top aides to Robert Malley, the Biden administration’s special envoy on Iran, who was placed on leave this June following the suspension of his security clearance.
Sen. Cruz Calls for Halt in Secret Iran Negotiations After Leaked Emails Show Top Biden Officials Were Part of Iran Regime Operation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after reports in Semafor and Iran International revealed the existence of an extensive Iranian regime influence operation that involved current administration officials, including those linked to Robert Malley, the administration’s long-time Special Envoy to Iran:
“These reports and the emails they expose are indescribably troubling. When Joe Biden was elected, the Iranian regime’s nuclear program was in a box, their economy was on the brink of collapse, and their oil exports had cratered. President Biden and Biden officials have allowed the regime to get within reach of a nuclear arsenal, restore their economy, and export millions of barrels per day of oil worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
UPDATE: 9:30 AM CET
Maryam Rajavi Meets Mep Dorien Rookmaker
Ms. Rookmaker expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to meet with Maryam Rajavi. She specifically praised the activities of the Resistance Units within Iran, highlighting the remarkable courage of young women and girls who chose to join the ranks of the Iranian Resistance despite facing significant risks. Ms. Rookmaker conveyed to Maryam Rajavi, “You serve as a source of inspiration and motivation not only for Iranian women but also for all of us around the world.”
Ms. Rookmaker further stated, “The regime in Iran sustains its rule through terrorism and executions. Regrettably, the information available to political dignitaries and parliamentarians regarding the actual situation of the regime, the Iranian people, and the resistance is woefully inadequate.
Iran’s Regime Cuts off Contacts To Political Prisoners in Ghezel Hesar
Thirteen political prisoners in Ghezel Hesar Prison, Karaj, have been deprived of making phone calls and visiting family since Wednesday, September 20, at the behest of the prison’s criminal director.
According to the human rights website HRANA, an informed source close to the family of one of the prisoners said that on Monday, September 25, “The families of these prisoners went to the prison to visit them. The families were told that Ashkan Kamali, the head of Ghezel Hesar prison, had forbidden these prisoners to visit and that they were not allowed to have contact with anyone outside the prison. Authorities said that the prisoners “will serve their sentences without observing the principle of separation of crimes in Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj.”
Iran’s Repressive Policies Against Students and Children
In recent years, the Iranian regime has come under international scrutiny for its increasingly repressive policies, particularly concerning the country’s students and children. The Iranian regime, known for its authoritarian approach to governance, has been criticized for implementing measures that not only curtail the freedom of expression and thought among its young population but also seek to indoctrinate youth with its fundamentalist ideological framework. Iran’s education system has historically been a battleground where political and ideological interests have clashed. The regime has intensified its efforts to control the content of textbooks, curricula, and classroom activities. These changes go beyond the traditional boundaries of education, serving as tools for the regime to shape the minds of young Iranians in accordance with its ideology.
Where Is Verishe Moradi, a Women’s Rights Activist?
Verishe Moradi, also known as ‘ Ciwana Sine,’ a citizen of Sanandaj, political activist, and women’s rights defender, has been abducted by the Iranian security forces for nearly two months. Her family is kept in the dark regarding her situation and whereabouts. According to reports received by Iran Human Rights Monitor (IranHRM), Verishe Moradi, a women’s rights defender and member of the Kurdish Women’s Society for Freedom (KJAR), was abducted by security forces on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, in the outskirts of Sanandaj, while traveling from Marivan to Sanandaj. She has been probably detained by the IRGC Intelligence forces.
The New Academic Year in Iran Sees Strict Clothing Restrictions for Female Students
The new academic year has seen stepped-up pressure and restrictions on Iranian students, and more arrests and suspension of students. Simultaneous with the new academic year and the opening of schools, the approval of the new Hijab and Chastity Bill into law for a three-year trial period has created a strict atmosphere in the universities. On Monday, September 25, social media posts showed images of camouflaged vehicles on parade inside Tehran University and playing anthems from the Iran-Iraq wartime. Some state-backed student councils have also posted banners indicating the new regulations for students how to dress for school. The councils have also sent text messages to students indicating the new regulations.
Retirees Rally in Six Iranian Provinces to Demand Their Rights
Iran protests continued on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, with the retirees’ protests in several cities. Female retirees also took part in these protests. Iranian women know that they can achieve their rights only if they tie their demands with the demands of the nationwide movement. The retirees hold rallies every Tuesday in protest of their dire living conditions and the clerical regime’s failure to respond to their needs. This week they held protest rallies in Qazvin, Hamedan, Ilam, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, and Kurdistan.
The retirees called for the freedom of imprisoned teachers and complained in their chants about high prices, inflation, and the backbreaking pressure on them and their families. They chanted, “Neither the parliament nor the government think about the nation.”
IAEA Director: Ambiguities Remain On Iran’s Nuclear Activities
The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that only full cooperation from Iran can prove the peaceful nature of the country’s nuclear program. He stated that several important aspects of Iran’s nuclear activities remain unresolved, and the agency is ready to cooperate with Iran.
The 67th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency began on Monday, September 25, in Vienna, Austria. During this conference, which will continue until September 29, high-ranking officials and representatives of member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency will examine a wide range of topics.
In his opening speech at the conference, Rafael Grossi, the Director-General of the agency, addressed the most important issues, including Iran’s nuclear activities.
Also, read Iran News in Brief – September 26, 2023