Saturday's Iran Mini Report - December 8, 2018
• Iran sentences 15 Ilam Petrochemical workers to 74 lashes for striking
Iran sentenced 15 Ilam Petrochemical workers in the western province of Ilam to lashes and prison terms.
The workers of the Ilam Petrochemical Plant were charged with “disrupting public order and peace” on October 14 by the 104nd Branch of the Ilam Penal Court.
The workers had staged a sit it for a few days outside the factory in spring closing all the roads leading to the factory. They were protesting the non-employment of local workers and the layoff of 11 experienced workers of the Ilam Petrochemical Plant.
Human rights sources have disclosed the names and sentences for the 15 Ilam Petrochemical workers who have each received six months of prison and 74 lashes. A worker identified as Milad Dousti was the only one who has been sentenced to two years of prison and 74 lashes.
Founded in 2003, Ilam Petrochemical Co. manufactures and markets petrochemical and chemical products including ethylene, propylene, and polypropylene.
• Iran summons more than 10 Ahvaz Steel Factory workers over protests
According to human rights sources, at least 10 Ahvaz Steel Factory workers were summoned over the phone by the town’s intelligence agency on Wednesday over recent protests.
There is still no information on the identities of those who were summoned.
The workers were threatened once they went to the intelligence agency that if they continued their protests, they would be dealt with more seriously.
• Iran Executive Says EU Has Not Renewed Steel Exports Deal
A member of Iran Steel Association says that the European Union has not renewed the agreement to buy Iranian steel, pending the possible launch of a barter arrangement of trade, called Special Purpose Vehicle or SVP.
Ahmad Donya Noor, who is also a steel executive, told Iran’s ILNA, “The European side has informed that until clarification of SVP it refrains from renewing the agreement, due to U.S. sanctions”.
Donya Noor explained that Europe is still grappling with the operationalization of the special trade arrangement, whereby trade with Iran can continue despite U.S. sanctions.
• US warns imprisoned Iranian activist in imminent danger
The State Department is warning the life of an imprisoned Iranian human rights activist is in imminent danger.
Deputy Spokesman Robert Palladino says in a statement Friday that Farhad Meisami began a hunger strike four months ago and should be released immediately.
Palladino says Meisami’s detention is a “brazen violation of human rights.” He is calling on Iran to release all unjustly detained political prisoners.
The statement says Meisami was arrested for peacefully protesting in support of women’s rights in Iran.
• Iran: Caspian credit firm clients demand stolen savings returned
Iran, Dec. 7, 2018 - In Kerman, central Iran, clients of the Caspian credit firm – linked to the Iranian regime’s notorious Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) – rallied on Thursday demanding their stolen savings returned. This branch, known as the Basij branch of this entity, was the scene of numerous clients chanting and demanding the return of their money that has been plundered by the IRGC.
The protesters were chanting: “Forget any trials & court procedures; tell us where the people’s money is.”, “Caspian, Caspian, we are here and we stand united”, “Return the people’s money
• Labor Activist Asal Mohammadi Arbitrarily Arrested In Tehran
Asal Mohammadi, a labor activist and a student at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Azad University of Tehran, was arrested at her home by security forces on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, and transferred to Branch One of the Prosecutor’s Office in Evin Prison.
Asal Mohammadi had published articles on various websites in support of Iranian workers. In recent weeks, Asal Mohammadi had also written articles in support of the ongoing protests of the Ahvaz Steel and Haft Tappeh workers.
Iranian authorities have increased targeting of rights activists in recent weeks following the ongoing peaceful protests.
• Daughter Of Jailed Activist Calls On International Community To Save Father
Hengameh Vahedian, daughter of rights’ activist, Abbas Vahedian, addressed the European Union representatives and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Mr. Javaid Rehman, regarding her father who have been imprisoned since October 11.
In a video message, Hengameh Vahedian said, “My name is Hengameh Vahedian the daughter of Abbas Vahedian the activist who was arrested in September this year by the Iranian security forces. After my long discussion with the prosecutor they decided to release my father on bail.
However, when I produced the documents for his release to the prosecutor, Mr Soleimaninejad, he responded that he does not see his release in the best interest of the country, and his interrogation should continue for further 10 days.
A teacher, author and a member of The Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association (ITTA), Abbas Vahedian, was arrested on October 11, at his home in Mashhad on the eve of the sit-in strike by security agents who raided his house, confiscated his personal belongings and took him to an unknown location.
• Iran Regime Official: EU Has Not Renewed Steel Exports Deal
Ahmad Donya Noor A member of Iran Steel Association says that the European Union has not renewed the agreement to buy Iranian steel, pending the possible launch of a barter arrangement of trade, called Special Purpose Vehicle or SVP.
Donya Noor, who is also a steel executive, told Iran’s ILNA, “The European side has informed that until clarification of SVP it refrains from renewing the agreement, due to U.S. sanctions”.
Donya Noor explained that Europe is still grappling with the operationalization of the special trade arrangement, whereby trade with Iran can continue despite U.S. sanctio .
• HSBC Monitor Flagged Payments Linking Huawei With Iran
Bloomberg: A monitor assigned to HSBC Holdings Plc told federal prosecutors about suspicious transactions linking Huawei Technologies Co. with Iran, adding evidence to a U.S. investigation that led to the arrest of the Chinese company's finance chief, according to a person familiar with the matter. The monitor, Exiger, was enlisted by the Justice Department to oversee HSBC's compliance efforts in 2013 following a $1.9 billion deferred-prosecution agreement with the bank that exposed a range of weaknesses in its internal controls.
• OPEC Yet To Agree On Final Deal As Iran Seeks Exemptions
Reuters: Saudi Arabia's energy minister said he wasn't confident OPEC would reach a deal on Friday to cut oil output as sources said the producer group's leader had yet to agree on exemptions for sanctions-hit Iran. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries resumed discussions in Vienna at around 0900 GMT, before a meeting later in the day with non-OPEC oil producers led by Russia.
• Would Not Allow Iran Obtain Nuclear Weapons: Trump | Economic Times
United States President Donald Trump has vowed not to allow Iran acquire nuclear weapons. "We cannot let the world's leading sponsor of terror, a regime that chants death to America and threatens Israel all the time with annihilation and constantly screams out death to Israel, to possess the deadliest weapon on earth. We will not allow that to happen," the US President told a select Jewish audience Thursday at the White House reception for Hanukkah.
• Iran: Mass Execution Of 12 Inmates In Kerman Central Prison
Iran Human Rights Monitor: Iran on Thursday executed 12 prisoners in Kerman Central Prison, most of them convicted of drug charges. Four of the executed prisoners were identified as, Abdolghani Ghalandarzehi, Yaghub Ghalandarzehi, Jalil Khodabakhsh and Yousef Jalaledin, all from Iran's ethnic Baluch minority. According to witnesses, the bodies of 12 people executed today were handed over to their families. More recently, on November 21, the Iranian authorities, hanged three prisoners collectively in public in Shiraz on charge of moharebeh (fighting with God).
• More Than 700,000 Afghans Leave Iran As Economy Slows
Reuters: More than 700,000 undocumented Afghans have returned from Iran this year as the Iranian economy tightens, with a knock-on effect on the Afghan economy, according to data from the UN's migration agency. In a report covering the period up to December 1, the International Organization for Migration said a total of 752,325 Afghans had returned from Iran and Pakistan, including 721,633 from Iran.
• Zayani: Iran Should Abide By International Law
Asharq Al-Awsat: Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdulatif Al-Zayani said that the Iranian regime had no choice but to reconsider its political path and abide by the basic principles governing relations between States, based on the United Nations Charter and the international law. He noted that Iran's role in the region would be one of the topics of discussion by Gulf leaders during a summit in Riyadh on Sunday.