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Iran News in Brief – February 12, 2024

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UPDATE: 10:00 PM

Monday Protests in Iran

Workers and retirees across various cities in Iran have resumed their protest rallies, demanding basic rights and improvements in their living conditions amidst continued government neglect.

Retirees of the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) in Tehran restarted their protest rallies, advocating for increased pensions and other essential requirements. Chanting slogans like “We have seen no justice, we will not vote anymore,” the retirees express their discontent with the current situation.

In Ahvaz, southwest Iran, workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) reignited their demonstrations, citing persistent disregard from regime authorities for their grievances.

Meanwhile, in Sanandaj, western Iran, retirees of the Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) rallied against the regime’s failure to adhere to laws mandating pension adjustments according to the cost of living.

In Rasht, northern Iran, workers of the Khazar Steel Foundry gathered in front of the governorate to protest factory closures and unpaid wages.

Similarly, retirees and pensioners of the TCI in Tabriz, northwest Iran, and Marivan, western Iran, resumed their protests, demanding higher pensions and improved living conditions.

In Arak and Urmia, central and northwest Iran respectively, retirees of the TCI staged protests in front of provincial headquarters, urging the regime to fulfill their demands.

Moreover, in Qom, central Iran, creditors of the Maskan-e Melli housing company took to the streets to demand reimbursement of funds as the regime-backed company failed to meet its obligations.

In Shush, southwest Iran, retirees and pensioners of the Social Security Organization protested for higher pensions and better services in accordance with government laws.

US Says It’s Taken Possession of Boeing 747 Iran Illegally Sold To Venezuelan Firm


WASHINGTON — The U.S. government has seized a Boeing 747 cargo plane that officials say was previously sold by a sanctioned Iranian airline to a state-owned Venezuelan firm in violation of American export control laws.

The Justice Department said Monday that the American-built plane had arrived in Florida and would be disposed of.

The plane had earlier been transferred from Iranian airline Mahan Air — which officials have alleged provides support for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force — to Emtrasur, a Venezuelan cargo airline and subsidiary of a state-owned firm that had previously been sanctioned by the United States. Officials said the sale, done without U.S. government authorization, violated export control laws and also improperly benefited Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

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Gasoline Challenges Mount in Iran as Regionalization of Fuel Cards Sparks Controversy


In Iran, recent reports have surfaced regarding various challenges faced by citizens due to new restrictions on fuel purchases and the regionalization of fuel cards. Media outlets highlight that gasoline is freely sold for up to 20,000 tomans per liter.

According to these reports, fuel cards belonging to Tehran-plated cars have been rendered unusable in other cities, leaving citizens encountering a “no credit for refueling” message at gas station pumps after inserting their fuel cards.

Jafar Salari-Nasab, CEO of the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, claimed that no new restrictions on gasoline allocation have been imposed. He stated that the regionalization of fuel cards has only been implemented in the Sistan and Baluchestan, and Kerman provinces.

The Deputy Minister of Oil added that if vehicle owners face difficulties refueling in other provinces, it is because stations have deviated from regulations.

Despite denials from oil ministry officials, social media users share their experiences of traveling to other provinces and encountering refueling problems, suggesting the onset of regional fuel card use. Furthermore, some users report the sale and distribution of 20,000-toman gasoline per gallon during the gasoline supply constraints imposed by the official network.

The subsidized price of gasoline in Iran stands officially at 1,500 tomans, while the free market price is 3,000 tomans, making the new rate approximately 13.3 times the subsidized official price and about 6.7 times the free market official price.

The November 2019 uprising in Iran was triggered by a sudden government decision to significantly increase fuel prices, which led to widespread protests across the country. This decision exacerbated existing economic grievances and sparked public outrage, resulting in large-scale demonstrations and clashes with security forces.


Iran’s Regime Removes Qasem Soleimani Statue from Isfahan Stadium Amid Controversy

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Following the directive from the Asian Football Confederation and concerned about ongoing controversies, the Iranian regime removed the statue of the notorious Qasem Soleimani from the Naqsh-e Jahan Stadium in Isfahan.

The Qasem Soleimani statue at Isfahan’s Naqsh-e Jahan Stadium prompted the Saudi Al-Ittihad team to boycott an October 2, 2023 football match, leading to its cancellation. Iranian spectators reacted by pelting stones at the statue, demanding its removal.

On November 1, 2023, the Asian Football Confederation’s Disciplinary Committee ruled that Al-Ittihad beat Iran’s Sepahan 3-0 in the canceled match. Sepahan received a $200,000 fine and a three-match ban at the stadium.

Hezbollah Training Russian Drone Operators in Syria – Ukrainian Intel Says


Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate (HURsaid on Monday, Feb 12 that Russian troops are being trained on the use of Iranian drones at the Shayrat airfield in Syria’s western province of Homs.

The training is being conducted by Lebanese Hezbollah Police and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and is teaching the Russians to become operators of Iranian Shahed-136 and Ababil-3 UAVs, as well as the Raad remote-controlled aircraft.

The head of this training has been identified as a senior Hezbollah commander, Kamal Abu Sadiq, who is a specialist in the manufacture and maintenance of drones. Syrian mercenaries, whom the Kremlin plans to use as UAV operators in the war against Ukraine, are being trained alongside the Russian servicemen.

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IRGC Appointments: Catalysts for Regime’s Actions at Home and Abroad

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Per a decree from the Iran regime’s Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade, a commander from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), lacking any prior experience in economic management, has been named Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade in terms of commercial affairs.

Abbas Aliabadi, the Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade and a former IRGC commander, has appointed Mehdi Farahi to oversee commercial affairs within the ministry.

Farahi’s background reveals a sole focus on military endeavors within the IRGC, raising questions about his suitability for a role concerning commercial affairs.

The increasing presence of IRGC figures in key political and executive roles, particularly within vital sectors like industry, mining, trade, and the economy, underscores the organization’s substantial influence over Iran’s economic landscape.

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Iran’s Regime Continues to Squeeze the Population With Mounting Taxation

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The mullahs of Iran, if granted the opportunity, appear poised to extend their taxation reach even to the very air people breathe. Their insatiable appetite for taxation knows no bounds, with virtually every aspect of life falling under their purview. Not even the private interactions of individuals on social media platforms are spared from their relentless taxation. In a recent address, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the regime’s so-called reformist faction, shed light on the oppressive tax burden shouldered by the populace: “This government and parliament have introduced over 20 new taxes and fees, encroaching on every facet of people’s lives.

“From property and rent to vehicles, financial transactions, utility bills, money transfers, administrative service fees, and even internet anti-filtering services—all subjected to taxation. Such cruelty stands unparalleled in our nation’s history and is rare even among the world’s most tax-laden countries.”

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Iran’s Struggle with Air Fleet Modernization

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Mohammad Mohammadi Bakhsh, the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, who previously pledged to modernize the country’s air fleet and ensure that active aircraft are under 20 years old, now intends to utilize foreign airlines to address the shortage of domestic air fleet and alleviate the soaring prices in the air ticket market. The utilization of foreign airlines for domestic flights is a proposal previously advocated by Mehrdad Bazrpash, the Minister of Roads and Urban Development in the regime. Although this plan was presented to the parliament as part of the 7th development plan, it faced opposition from parliamentary members. The head of the Civil Aviation Organization has acknowledged that resorting to foreign airlines is necessitated by the deficiency in the domestic air fleet.

Despite the numerous challenges associated with relying on foreign airlines, it appears that the 13th government perceives no alternative solution to address Iran’s aging and limited air fleet, particularly in light of recent escalations in domestic flight ticket prices, which pose a dual challenge to the regime.

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Voices of Protest: Workers’ Struggles Amidst Iran’s Economic Challenges

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The Iranian regime’s Minister of Labor has announced plans for a minimum wage increase of more than 20% for workers, a move seen as crucial in the face of staggering inflation rates surpassing 40%. However, this proposal is met with mixed reactions from within the regime itself, with the head of the program and budget organization considering a 25% increase to be generous.

Despite these intentions, doubts linger about whether such adjustments will adequately address the pressing needs of millions of Iranians and their families, given the steep rise in living expenses. Rumors swirling around the upcoming Supreme Labor Council meetings suggest that the government might present a 20% salary increase proposal, sparking protests and concerns among workers and experts alike.

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1979 Anti-Monarchy Revolution: The Unbreakable Spirit of Iranian Women

anti monarchy revolution women tortured by Shah min

The 1979 Anti-Monarchy Revolution of February 11, 1979, was a defining moment in Iran’s history. It marked the end of decades of dictatorship under the Shah and the beginning of a new era of hope for freedom, democracy, and social justice. Women played a critical role in the revolution, influenced by the progressive ideals of the Mojahedin and Fedayeen movements. Despite the brutal oppression of Shah’s secret police, SAVAK, these women fought tirelessly for a better future for themselves and their country. They endured torture, imprisonment, and even death in their pursuit of freedom. These brave women were symbols of resistance, inspiring generations to come.

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Global Rallies by Freedom-Loving Iranians on the Anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Anti-Monarchical Revolution

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February 10, 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) gathered in various cities around the world, including Berlin, Germany; Vancouver, Canada; Bern, Switzerland; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Paris, France; London, England; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden; Rome, Italy; Vienna, Austria; and Luxemburg. They organized rallies and exhibitions to commemorate the anniversary of the anti-monarchical revolution. Supporters of the Iranian resistance pledged to fight to the end to overthrow the mullahs’ regime.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – February 11, 2023