Saturday's Iran Mini Report - January 5, 2019
• US families sue banks from Lebanon and Iran
Families from around the globe have filed suit in Brooklyn federal court “against several banks they say funded terrorism that killed their loved ones,” according to New York Post.
Three separate lawsuits filed Tuesday and Wednesday claim banks from Lebanon and Palestine “maintained accounts for various branches of terrorist organizations” the report added.
The site added that at Brooklyn federal court, the group also filed a lawsuit against Bank Saderat and Bank Saderat Iran.
The banks were accused of providing Hezbollah with material support needed to carry out attacks.
It said that Hezbollah and the banks are being sued for a total of $50 million.
• Tortured Worker Challenges the Minister of Intelligence to a Debate
Esmail Bakhshi, one of the protesting workers of Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Company who was arrested and heavily tortured in prison, has challenged the minister of Intelligence to answer his questions on a live TV program.
On his Instagram page, Bakhshi says: “After 25 days of arrest, I am now forced to use psychoactive medication.”
Bakhshi says: “They beat me up so hard that I could not move in my cell for 72 hours, and even sleeping was painful. Today, after almost two months since that day, I still feel pain in my broken ribs, kidneys, left ear, and testicles. The interesting thing was that the torturers called themselves the Anonymous Soldiers of the Messiah.”
Bakhshi also asks the minister of intelligence: “As someone who is a cleric, I ask you, what is the moral, humanitarian, and Islamic verdict of torturing a prisoner? Is it OK? How much of it?
Esmail Bakhshi was arrested along with 17 other Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane company workers. He was released on a bail of 4 billion rials.
• Isfahan farmers hold demonstrations, chant “death to Rouhani”
On Friday, the farmers of Varzaneh, east Isfahan, returned to the Darvazeh Dolat square to hold demonstrations in protest to the government’s policies that have resulted in their deprivation from water to irrigate their fields.
The farmers were chanting: “Death to [Hassan] Rouhani the liar” and “Rouhani you liar, what happened to our Zayandeh Rud.” Zayandeh Rud, the province’s main river, is the principal source of irrigation water for the farmers. But due to the policies and projects undertaken by the government, the farmers’ access to the waters of Zayandeh Rud has degraded considerably. Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president of the Iranian regime, has recurrently promised to solve the water problems of the farmers of Isfahan. But nearly halfway into his second term, those promises have yet to materialize. That’s why the farmers are constantly calling him and other regime officials liars.
• U.S. Accuses Iran Of Using Space Launch As Cover For Missile Program
The New York Times: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran on Thursday against launching three spacecraft in the coming months, describing them as a cover for testing technology that is necessary to lob a warhead at the United States and other nations. His statement seemed intended to build a legal case for diplomatic, military or covert action against the Iranian missile program. It was surprising only because Iran has been launching modest space missions, mostly to deploy satellites, since 2005.
• Iran To Send Warships To The Atlantic, Closer To U.S. Waters
Reuters: The Iranian regime navy will send warships to deploy in the Atlantic from March, a top commander said on Friday, as the Islamic Republic seeks to increase the operating range of its naval forces to the backyard of the United States, its arch foe. Iran sees the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the Gulf as a security concern and its navy has sought to counter that by showing the flag near American waters. A flotilla will leave for the Atlantic early in the Iranian new year, starting from March, Iran's naval deputy commander said.
• Iran Rejects U.S. Warning Against Space Launches, Ballistic Missiles
Reuters: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected a U.S. warning against carrying out space vehicle launches and missile tests, saying on Thursday they did not violate a U.N. resolution. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a pre-emptive warning to Iran earlier on Thursday against pursuing three planned space rocket launches that it said would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution because they use ballistic missile technology.
• Pompeo: US 'Will Not Stand By And Watch' Iran Develop Ballistic Missiles
Washington Examiner: Iran must not to proceed with a series of space-related tests that could disguise a ballistic missile program, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Thursday. "The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime's destructive policies place international stability and security at risk," Pompeo said in a statement. "We advise the regime to reconsider these provocative launches and cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation."
• Women Threaten Hunger Strike Over Iran Prison Conditions
The National: Two high-profile women prisoners at Iran's Evin jail are to go on hunger strike in protest at the failure by authorities to give them proper medical treatment. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national, and Iranian rights campaigner Narges Mohammadi jointly announced they would start an initial three-day protest on January 14 and continue until their demands were met.
• Bolton, Pompeo To Travel To Mideast To Reassure U.S. Allies
Bloomberg: Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton plan to crisscross the Middle East to reassure nervous U.S. allies after President Donald Trump's surprise withdrawal from Syria and Jim Mattis's resignation as defense secretary. Bolton will depart Washington Friday for stops in Israel and Turkey, he said on Twitter. Pompeo will visit the region next week, according to an administration official.
• Bolton To Travel To Turkey, Israel To Discuss Syria, Iran
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton says he will travel to Israel and Turkey to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and how Washington and its allies intend to counter Iran's "malign behavior" in the region. In a tweet posted on January 3, Bolton also said he will discuss ways to prevent the "resurgence" of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in the region.
• Iran regime’s Health Minister Quits Over Budget Cuts As US Sanctions Bite
Iran regime’s health minister has resigned over proposed budget cuts, the official news agency IRNA reported, amid an economic crisis wrought by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Tehran. IRNA said on Thursday President Hassan Rouhani accepted the resignation of Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, widely seen as the key official behind the 2014 launch of an ambit