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Iran News in Brief – October 19, 2021




Health Expert Slams Iranian Regime’s Response to the Pandemic

mohammad reza mahboubfar-iran-health expert-min

Talking about the high death toll of alleged vaccinated people in Iran, Mohammad Reza Mahboubfar, a health expert, said: “Among those admitted to the intensive care unit, reports indicate that some vaccinated patients have eventually died. Unfortunately, due to the lack of transparency in the statistics and information published by the Ministry of Health and affiliated medical universities in the provinces, the depth of this tragedy in the society is unclear.”

Talking to the state-run newspaper Hamdeli, this health expert said: “In the last six months, at least ten other film and theater artists have died from the Coronavirus. Some of whom are said to have received one or two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinated deaths in our hospitals are not limited to artists.”

Pointing to the cause of the problem, Mahboubfar added: “Regarding the Chinese vaccine, the effect of Sinofarm vaccine is only 5%. Regarding the domestic Barakat vaccine, at first, the dangerous pandemic was held for a joke. Instead of importing valid foreign vaccines, the country’s resources were spent on producing a vaccine whose production line has not been sufficient to supply the country’s needs. There is also no documented information about its effectiveness and safety available. There is still nothing about the Barakat vaccine on the website of the World Health Organization, and the name of this vaccine does not even appear on the list of the WHO.”


IAEA Chief Warns Iran Nuclear Surveillance Is No Longer ‘Intact’

An Iranian flag at the country’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. AFP via Getty Images

The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog has warned that stop-gap measures to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities are no longer “intact” amid concerns that talks to resurrect a global agreement to curb Tehran’s atomic work have stalled.

Rafael Grossi, director-general of the IAEA, told the Financial Times in an interview he urgently needed to meet Tehran’s foreign minister to discuss proposals to reinvigorate the fragile surveillance programme.

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Members of Bus Driver Union in Tehran Chant: “Death to the Oppressor”!

Members of the Bus Drivers Union in Tehran gathered in front of the Judiciary building on Monday, to protest the official’s breach of contract regarding their housing projects. The protesters chanted “Death to the oppressor”.

Iran’s Economy Is in Its Worst Shape, State-run Paper Admits

State-run Jahan-e-Sanat wrote today: “According to many experts, we are at the highest level of macroeconomic instability, and even during the eight-year war [with Iraq], our economy was in a much better shape… Iran’s economic challenges have become so deep that we really can’t do much to solve them in the short term. The only thing we can do in the short term is to finalize the [nuclear] negotiations. We need to end the tensions between our country and other countries in the world, especially the Western countries, that has led to serious sanctions.”

The daily added: “The rift between the government and the people has blocked the way for a national movement and unity, and in a polarized political space it is obvious that any crisis, instead of creating a sense of national unity and determination, becomes a field of political and factional rivalry.”


Iranians Demonstrate Their Resolve To Hold the Regime’s Officials to Account

Iranians and supporters of the Mojahedin Organization demonstrated today, while Hamid Noury, one of the perpetrators of the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 in Iran was tried in the Stockholm court. Today is the 31th session of the trial and the demonstrators continue their protest tirelessly.

Three Executions Reported on Monday


According to reports from inside Iran, three prisoners in the cities of Zahedan; Saravan, and Amol were executed by the Iranian regime’s Judiciary on Monday. The victims, Zakaria Baluch and Saeed Sadeghi were both residents of Saravan and were executed in Zahedan and Saravan prisons while Hossein Hedayati (32) was executed in Amol prison.


Coronavirus Death Toll Across Iran Exceeds 459,500

Infographic-PMOI-MEK reports over 459,500 coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths in Iran

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) announced on Monday, October 18, 2021, that the COVID-19 death toll in 547 cities across Iran had exceeded 459,500. The number of victims in Tehran has reached 107,606, Khorasan Razavi 37,700, Isfahan 31,180, Khuzestan 28,170, Mazandaran 16,950, West Azerbaijan 16,808, Fars 16,665, Gilan 16,040, East Azerbaijan 16,033, Alborz 13,538, Kerman 12,257, Hormozgan 7,735, Kurdistan 7,357, Yazd 7,558, Qazvin 5,199, and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari 3,485.

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Ceremony in Tribute to the Late Sir David Amess, British MP, and a Great Friend of the Iranian Resistance. Ashraf -3


An elaborate and moving ceremony at Ashraf-3, Albania, home to thousands of members of the main Iranian opposition group, PMOI, was held to pay tribute to British MP, Sir David Amess, who was brutally murdered on Friday.

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Iran: State Media Warns About Economic Conditions, Expanding Protests

As Iranians from all walks of life continue to hold protests in different cities across Iran, state-run media are warning about the possibility of another round of nationwide uprising.

On Sunday, the state-run Mostaghel newspaper ran a piece that discussed the critical living conditions of the Iranian people, especially those of Iran’s teachers, who have constantly been demonstrating for their most basic needs. Mostaghel warned that protests would continue if the situation does not change.

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Blinken Hosts IAEA Chief Amid Iran Nuclear Monitoring Dispute

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken-International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi (1)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi at the State Department in Washington. AFP

National News- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi in Washington on Monday to discuss a protracted dispute between the global watchdog organisation and Iran over access to its nuclear sites.

The impasse between the IAEA and Iran comes as President Joe Biden’s administration continues its efforts to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table in a bid to resurrect the ailing nuclear deal.

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EU Plays Down Chance of Any Iran Talks Outside Vienna

Joseph Borrell-EU's foreign policy chief
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell delivers a speech during a debate on the future of EU-U.S. relations as part of a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, October 5, 2021. Frederick Florin/Pool via REUTERS

Reuters – The European Union on Monday played down the prospect of serious talks on Iran’s nuclear programme outside the framework of negotiations between world powers and Iran in Vienna, with the EU’s foreign policy chief saying time was not on Iran’s side.

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U.S. Says ‘Intermediate Step’ of Meeting in Brussels Not Necessary for Iran Talks

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi-Bushehr nuclear power plant, in Iran
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visits the Bushehr nuclear power plant, in Iran, October 8, 2021. Official Presidential Website/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters – The United States does not think talks in Brussels are necessary before the resumption of indirect negotiations with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday.

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Internet Activist Sentenced to Prison in Absentia in Western Iran


An internet activist was sentenced to seven months of prison for “spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic by publishing images and content in cyberspace” in Saqqez, western Iran. According to the Hengaw Organization website, the activist was identified as Ebrahim Shouryani. Ebrahim’s trial took place on October 12 and his sentence was issued in absentia. He has 20 days to appeal the court’s decision. Ebrahim is the administrator of a Telegram channel and was previously detained in December 2020 but was later released on bail.

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Oil Workers Across Iran Continue To Strike To Protest for Their Rights

Following the two strikes last year, Iran’s contract oil workers threatened to resume strikes in March 2021 if their demands were not met by Iranian regime officials. As a result of the regime refusing to fulfill the demands, the second phase of strikes began as planned and has been continuing for the past 7 months, and is more widespread than before.

During the latest phase of strikes, protests have been held across 114 cities in Iran, involving tens of thousands of workers. As of October 2021, 40% of the workers are still continuing their strikes.

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Photographer Farahnaz Khalili, 25, Committed Suicide After Judge Threw Out Her Case


Photographer Farahnaz Khalili, 25, committed suicide after a judge threw out her complaint of assault and abuse. Farahnaz Khalili was from Bushehr. Her lifeless body was taken to Bushehr Bolkhir Village Hospital in late August. Ms. Khalili’s cousin described the incident as tragic. Two months before her suicide, Farahnaz had been commissioned to photograph a garden wedding. At the end of the ceremony, she had a dispute with the client about overpayment. The client verbally and physically assaulted Farahnaz Khalili.

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Dolatabad Women’s Prison in Isfahan: Harassment of Prisoners in Silence and Exile

iran-isfahan-dolatabad-prison (1)

Reports leaked from Dolatabad Women’s Prison in Isfahan indicate that conditions are so harsh that many female prisoners imprisoned for common crimes are waiting for an opportunity to commit suicide. The food situation in Dolatabad Women’s Prison is very bad. Prison food is inedible, but prisoners are given ready meals every night.

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Read more: Iran News in Brief – October 18, 2021