Monday's Iran Mini Report - December 24, 2018
• Albanian Interior Minister: The Iranian regime is the main supporter of terrorism
In an interview with Albanian Vizion Plus network, Albanian Interior Minister Sandër Lleshaj talked about the reasons why two Iranian diplomats, including Tehran’s ambassador to Tirana, were expelled from the country.
Albanian Interior Minister said: “Albania is more secure today than yesterday. The international community considers the Iranian regime the main supporter of terrorism,” said Lleshaj during the interview.
He Add: “MEK isn’t a threat to us. We have welcomed them as our friends. MEK has been threatened in other countries too.”
• Albanian President supports expulsion of Iranian regime ambassador, diplomat
Albanian President Ilir Meta has expressed his full support of a recent decision to expel the Iranian regime’s diplomat terrorists from this country. Meta on Saturday placed his weight behind the Albanian Foreign Ministry’s decision in this regard to expelling Tehran’s ambassador and a diplomat.
On Wednesday, the Albanian Foreign Ministry said the reason behind this expulsion was the two individuals’ involvement in activities threatening the country’s security.
• UK labor unions voice support for arrested workers in Iran
The Trade Union Congress (TUC), one of the largest labor unions in England and Wales with 5.6 million members, issued a statement condemning the Iranian regime’s ongoing crackdown of workers, college students and other protesters across Iran.
The TUC also expressed its solidarity with employees of the National Steel Group in Ahvaz and Haft Tapeh sugarcane mill in Shush, both in Khuzestan province of southwest Iran.
The TUC condemned the raids by security forces into the homes of many protesting steelworkers across Ahvaz and their arrests, emphasizing the apprehended workers must be immediately released.
• Shahroudi A Senior Official And Khamenei Ally In Intensive Care
Media reports from Iran say that the health condition of Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi has turned worse and he is in the intensive care unit of a hospital.
Shahroudi is the head of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) and a long-time conservative ally of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamanei.
Although his illness was said to be a common digestive system problem, but last December he was reported to have been hospitalized in Germany for treatment of a serious health problem.
German authorities were considering to file charges against him for his role in major human rights violation based on a complaint by a German lawmaker who accused the cleric of committing "crimes against humanity" during his decade overseeing hundreds of executions as the head of Iran's Justice Ministry.
Shahroudi was born in Iraq and moved to Iran after the revolution. He is 69 years old.
• Top Iran Official Says U.S. Wants To Provoke 'Chaos' And 'Rebellion'
An influential official in Iran claims that the U.S. intends to "provoke chaos and rebellion" in Iran by weakening the value of its national currency, the rial, and then, "use human rights as an excuse" to interfere in the country's internal affairs.
In a speech cited by a website run by his close allies on December 21, the former Revolution Guards Corps Chief Commander, Major General Mohsen Rezaee maintained that President Donald Trump, "by provoking Israel and Saudi Arabia" against Tehran, has made the Middle East his priority, placing Iran at the top of his list.
Rezaee is currently the secretary of the Islamic Republic's influential Expediency Discernment Council (EDC), a conservative watchdog.
The conservative website, Tabnak, also quoted Rezaee as saying, "Washington has decided to "pave the way" for the "surrender of the Islamic Republic's regime, through imposing new sanctions on Iran.
• Iran Jails Law Student For Social Media Posts Critical Of State Policy
Amir Chamani, a law student at Payam Noor University of Tabriz and civil rights activist was arrested by security forces at his workplace and was taken to Tabriz Central Prison in northwest Iran on December 17, 2018.
He had been sentenced to six months behind bars on September 1, 2018 by Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Tabriz whose name is on a UK sanctions list for issuing harsh sentences against numerous peaceful activists in Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province.
The Appeals Court upheld his six-month prison sentence for posts on social media about political and economic issues.
• Iran Executes Businessman Dubbed “Sultan Of Bitumen” Convicted Of Fraud
Iran on Saturday executed a businessman sentenced to death by a fast-track court set up to fight economic crimes, the judiciary’s news agency Mizan online reported, following an outcry against profiteering and corruption that has seen dozens of people jailed.
Hamidreza Baqeri Dermani known as the “Sultan of Bitumen” was convicted of “corruption on earth,” Iran’s most serious capital offence, after swindling over 10 trillion rials (around $100 million at the current rate) through “fraud, forgery and bribery,” Mizan reported.
Hamid Reza Bagheri Dermani went on trial in August after being charged with forming a network of dummy companies to receive a large number of loans and buying government companies on a privatization list.
The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran has criticized the economic courts for “gravely violating the right to due process and the right to a fair trial in Iran.”