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Iran News in Brief – February 22, 2024

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UPDATE: 10:00 PM

Thursday Protests in Iran

In Dezful, southwest Iran, creditors of the Golbaran Shopping Center project gathered for a protest rally, airing grievances over authorities allegedly confiscating their savings and failing to fulfill promises. The demonstrators expressed frustration at the lack of accountability.

Meanwhile, in Chabahar, southeast Iran, workers from the Negin Mokran Petrochemical Development Company initiated a strike, demanding payment of overdue wages. The workers’ discontent highlights the ongoing economic challenges facing laborers in the region.

In Ahvaz, southwest Iran, workers at the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) entered their third day of strikes. They voiced objections to the dismissal of their colleagues and criticized authorities for ignoring their demands. The strikes underscore growing tensions between workers and management in the industrial sector.

These demonstrations and strikes reflect widespread dissatisfaction among various segments of the Iranian population, highlighting economic hardships and grievances against authorities’ handling of labor issues.


Sweden: Intelligence Threat From Russia, China And Iran Remains High

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Sweden is in a serious international situation, facing growing threats from foreign powers such as Russia at a time when the country is at a key stage in its accession to NATO, according to the Swedish Security Service’s annual threat assessment review on Wednesday. The Swedish Security Service painted a bleak picture of the country’s security situation, noting that the intelligence threat from Russia, but also China and Iran, remains high and has even worsened since last year’s report.

In the report, Säpo identifies “above all Russia” as the greatest security threat to Sweden. However, it is also noted that Russia, China, and Iran interact with each other to some extent.

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Iran-Fuelled Drone Race Shapes The War In Ukraine


The Iran-fuelled drone war in Ukraine is shaping preparations for the conflict’s third year, as Tehran helps to build up a Russian arsenal while the West tries to sever its rivals’ supply line. New EU sanctions agreed on Wednesday take aim at Russia’s attempts to ramp up drone manufacturing, based on the Iran-made Shahed type that has pounded Ukrainian cities.

Waves of Shahed-136 “suicide drones”, known as the Geran-2 in Russia, have been sent to loiter in Ukraine’s skies and explode with devastating effect, in a two-pronged attack with Russian cruise missiles.

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US Charges Japanese Crime Boss Over Alleged Trafficking Of Nuclear Materials To Iran


US authorities have charged the leader of a Japanese crime syndicate with conspiring to traffic nuclear materials from Myanmar for expected use in Iranian nuclear weapons. Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, and his co-defendant Somphop Singhasiri, 61, trafficked in drugs, weapons, and nuclear material, “going so far as to offer uranium and weapons-grade plutonium fully expecting that Iran would use it for nuclear weapons,” said Anne Milgram, who heads the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“This is an extraordinary example of the depravity of drug traffickers who operate with total disregard for human life,” she said.

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US State Department Slams Tehran’s VPN Ban as Sign of Regime’s Fear of Its People

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller

In a recent press briefing at the US State Department, Spokesperson Matthew Miller slammed the Iranian regime’s decision to ban the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Miller characterized this move as a clear indication of the regime’s deep-seated fear of its populace.

At his press briefing at the US State Department, Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on February 21, “This decision [banning the use of VPNs] is just the latest reminder of how much the Iranian regime fears its people and what they are capable of when they are giving – given unfettered access to the internet and unfettered access to information. The internet disruptions that the Iranian regime has put in place in the past have cost the economy billions of dollars. It caused pain to businesses as well as, of course, choking off information that people need to make decisions about their lives and decisions about their futures. Support for internet freedom in Iran will continue to be a central pillar of our efforts to support human rights in the country. As you’ve said, in the past in the height of the protests in 2022 and 2023, as many as one in three Iranians used U.S.-supported anti-censorship and digital security tools such as VPNs.”


Rebellious Youth Mark Anniversary Of Iran’s 1979 Revolution By Targeting Centers Of Repression

Iran protests: poster of Ruhollah Khomeini burning in Mashhad

Iran’s regime has been using the anniversary of the 1979 revolution to repeat its annual propaganda campaign by staging pro-government rallies and creating the false impression of popular support for the tyrannical rule of the mullahs.

However, on the eve of the anniversary of the 1979 revolution, Iran’s rebellious youths in dozens of cities marked this important event by targeting the regime’s centers of repression and corruption, which have become emblematic of the four-decade rule of religious fascism.

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Tuesdays’ Hunger Strike in the Women’s Ward of Evin


A group of female political prisoners supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who are incarcerated in the women’s ward of Evin Prison joined the prisoners’ hunger strike today, Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

Their objective was to denounce the escalating frequency of executions in Iran. The hunger strikes against the death penalty, aimed at condemning the imposition of the death penalty, were first launched on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, by death-row inmates at Qezel Hesar Prison in Karaj, following the executions of detained protesters Mohammad Qobadlou and Farhad Salimi.

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Iran Regime’s Crackdown on VPNs: The Battle for Online Freedom

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According to reports from Iranian regime-controlled media, the National Virtual Space Center has made a decision to deem the use of VPNs as ‘illegal’. This resolution has already been endorsed by the supreme leader of the regime, Ali Khamenei. Mohammad Amin Aghamiri, the secretary of the National Virtual Space Center, announced on Tuesday, February 20, the implementation of resolution number three from the ninety-sixth session of this council. The session, held on January 9, focused on ‘Examining solutions for increasing domestic traffic and addressing VPN usage’, and its resolution was ratified by Khamenei.

The resolution explicitly prohibits the use of VPNs, unless they possess a valid license. Despite the regime’s longstanding practice of blocking access to numerous websites and applications within Iran, its officials and leaders are known to actively engage on social media platforms using VPNs to bypass filtering. Additionally, some IT officials within the regime profit significantly from the VPN market.

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Iran’s Regime Struggles With Increasing Attacks on its Digital Infrastructure


One week after the servers of the Iranian regime parliament were breached and sensitive documents were revealed, the regime continues to grapple with mitigating its ramifications. Ahmad Sadeghi, a member of the Tehran City Council, disclosed on Sunday that even after eight months since the hacking of the capital’s municipal systems, the regime is still struggling to address the disruption in these systems. He revealed that despite all efforts, not only have they failed to improve the system, but in many cases, they are witnessing regressions, highlighting the weakness of the regime’s capabilities in countering cyber-attacks. He added: “It has been a long time since this cyber attack, but we are still facing challenges and problems in terms of improvements, and it is necessary for the authorities of Tehran Municipality to address this issue.”

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Iran’s Regime Hide True Cancer Statistics


In its latest report, the Iran Open Data website cited the most recent research and statistical data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization.

According to this report, Iran has the third-highest number of cancer cases in the region, with over 137,000 reported cases annually and nearly 119,000 deaths attributed to cancer.

This places Iran behind only Turkey and Saudi Arabia in terms of cancer incidence. However, officials from the Iran regime’s Ministry of Health claim that the actual number of cancer cases in the country is closer to 150,000 per year.

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Inequality Exposed: Iran’s Minimum Wage Versus Regional Standards

Iran Workers Battle for Decent Wages and Livelihood (1)

On Tuesday, February 20, the state-run Iranian newspaper Shargh referenced the latest World Bank report on food security from the previous year. It highlighted a significant observation: in neighboring countries with economies comparable to Iran’s, the minimum wage far exceeds that of Iran. For instance, in countries like Iraq, the minimum wage is more than double, while in Turkey, it’s approximately four times higher than in Iran. In Iraq, workers earn a minimum income of $354 per month, roughly equivalent to 20 million tomans.

Globally, Iran lags behind in terms of minimum wage standards, even when compared to nations like India, Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. These countries consistently rank higher than Iran in terms of minimum wage compensation.

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Iranian Authorities Are Working to Prevent the Emigration of Elite Students

Irans Migration Trend Continues to Rise

Salman Seyed Afghahi, the deputy of the National Elite Foundation, announced the “agreement with the police to address migration offices and prevent the emigration of elite students.” He stated that the police will have a representative at the Elite Foundation to provide information on the entry and exit of elites within less than an hour. In an interview with the regime’s Mehr News on February 19, Seyed Afghahi expressed concerns about some businesses in the migration sector operating with lower costs without providing evidence. He emphasized that these offices are financially supported by a certain system.

Contrary to the statements of Mohammad Javad Zarif, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Iranian regime, regarding student migration as “dark propaganda,” Seyed Afghahi dismissed the notion and criticized media manipulation on the subject as “loading the barrel of the enemy’s gun.”

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Paris, France—February 20, 2024: MEK Supporters Hold Exhibition in Support of the Iranian Revolution

Paris—February 20, 2024: MEK supporters organized an exhibition to support the Iranian Revolution.

Paris, France—February 20, 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized an exhibition in solidarity with the Iranian Revolution.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – February 21, 2023