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Iran News in Brief – January 29, 2024

ahvaz steelworkers protests
Ahvaz steelworkers protests

THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 8:00 PM

Monday Protests in Iran

In Tehran, families of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients gathered outside the health ministry, decrying the scarcity of essential medication. Simultaneously, retirees from the Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI) convened, demanding increased pensions and other neglected basic necessities.

In Ahvaz, southwest Iran, workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) persisted in their protests outside the company’s headquarters, highlighting grievances over working conditions and pay.

In Zahedan, southeast Iran, retirees of the Telecommunication Company of Iran resumed their weekly demonstrations, pressing for higher pensions, a demand consistently overlooked by the regime.

In Marivan, western Iran, TCI retirees resumed their protests, underscoring the urgent need for higher pensions and other essential support.

Meanwhile, in Rasht, northern Iran, retired TCI employees voiced similar concerns, rallying outside the local TCI office for improved pensions and neglected necessities.

These protests underscore the deepening socio-economic challenges faced by Iranians nationwide, as retirees and workers demand their fundamental rights amidst ongoing economic hardships.


One Iranian and Two Canadian Nationals Indicted in Murder-for-Hire Scheme

united states department of justice 1

One Iranian and two Canadian nationals have been charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce in the commission of a murder-for-hire plot.

According to court documents, from December 2020 through March 2021, Naji Sharifi Zindashti, 49, Damion Patrick John Ryan, 43, and Adam Richard Pearson, 29, conspired with each other in a plot to murder two residents of the state of Maryland. The defendants, one of whom is based in Iran, used an encrypted messaging service called “SkyECC” to recruit individuals who would travel into the United States to carry out the killings, to discuss the identities and locations of the would-be victims, to plan logistics and mechanics of how to carry out the murders, and to negotiate payment for completion of this “job” in Maryland. The intended victims of this plot, who at the time resided in Maryland, had previously fled to the United States after one of them defected from Iran.

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UPDATE: 7:00 PM

Tensions in Red Sea Has Doubled Iranian Shipping Costs, Official Says

cargo-ship-that-belongs-to-the-Admiral-Shipping-Company

Qasem Karimi, the head of the Chamber of Commerce in Urmia, announced a doubling of Iranian ship transit costs due to recent tensions in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

He stated that tensions in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea have doubled the cost of Iranian ship transit along this route. According to Karimi, at the Saroo-Asendro border crossing, trucks were delayed for up to 14 days before entering Turkey, but negotiations with Turkish officials reduced the delay to six days.

Karimi said, “Six months ago, Iranian traders made an agreement with Mersin authorities and customs officials in the region. The agreement aimed to allow Iranian goods to travel by sea to the port of Mersin, and then smoothly transfer to the mentioned markets. However, due to recent tensions, the transportation route shifted from the sea and southern waters to the Iranian-Turkish land borders. This change meant goods either reached destination markets via Mersin Port or traveled the entire route by land. Consequently, there has been a rise in the number of trucks crossing the Iranian-Turkish borders.”

The announcement underscores the economic repercussions of heightened geopolitical tensions in vital maritime routes, affecting not only global trade but also the regime’s economic dynamics.


UK Sanctions Iranian Officials Over Plot To Kill Journalists

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Britain on Monday imposed sanctions on Iranian officials it said were involved in threats to kill journalists on British soil, and others it said were part of international criminal gangs linked to Iran.

The sanctions, imposed in coordination with the United States, target seven individuals and one organisation, Britain’s Foreign Office said.

The sanctioned Iranian officials are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Unit 840, which an ITV investigation in Britain said was involved in plots to assassinate two television presenters from news channel Iran International in the UK.

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Danish Frigate Departs for the Red Sea to Assist Us-Led Operation

KORSOR NAVAL BASE, Denmark, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Denmark on Monday sent a frigate to the Red Sea, where it will participate in a U.S.-led coalition to safeguard commercial traffic against attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militants.

The Iran-aligned Houthi have launched waves of exploding drones and missiles at commercial and navy vessels since Nov. 19, in response to Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

In response, shipping firms have since December diverted hundreds of vessels around southern Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, a journey that takes 10-14 days longer and is more costly than the passage via the Red Sea and Suez Canal.

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UPDATE: 1:30 PM

Two Killed in Strikes Near Sayyeda Zeinab Shrine in Syria: Iranian State Media

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Two people were killed and several others were injured on Monday in strikes near the Sayyeda Zeinab shrine complex on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Iranian state media said.

Citing a source in Iran’s regional alliance, Reuters reported that the strike had hit a location used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Tasnim, a news agency close to the IRGC, reported that the strikes were Israeli airstrikes directed at an “Iranian advisory center.” Tehran commonly uses the term “advisors” to describe its military personnel deployed in Syria.

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McConnell Statement On Iran-Backed Attack That Killed 3 American Servicemembers

mitch mcconnell website logo“My deepest sympathies are with the families of the three brave U.S. servicemembers killed in Jordan at the hands of Iran-backed terrorists. And my prayers are with their comrades wounded in the attack and with the U.S. personnel, including many Kentuckians, serving across the region in harm’s way.

“The entire world now watches for signs that the President is finally prepared to exercise American strength to compel Iran to change its behavior. Our enemies are emboldened. And they will remain so until the United States imposes serious, crippling costs – not only on front-line terrorist proxies but on their Iranian sponsors who wear American blood as a badge of honor.”

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U.S. Officials React to Iranian-Backed Attack

Early Monday morning, the Central Command of the U.S. Army (CENCOM) announced the transfer of eight wounded American soldiers outside Jordan for advanced medical care. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate witnessed a surge of condemnations and calls for an appropriate response to Sunday’s drone attack by Tehran-backed militias.

Jack Reed, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he’s “confident the Biden Administration will respond in a deliberate and proportional manner.”

Senator Ben Cardin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, attributed the deaths of three American soldiers to the Iranian-backed militia’s drone attack.

Senator Tester echoed similar sentiments on social media, stressing the necessity of a response to the attack.

Senator Michael Bennet emphasized the importance of U.S. collaboration with allies to counter the regime’s aggressive influence, denouncing Sunday’s attack as part of a broader pattern of Iranian aggression.

Senator Pete Rickets advocated for a long-overdue confrontation with Iran’s proxy militias, urging strikes on Iranian military assets.

Senator Lindsey Graham urged the Biden administration to strike significant targets within Iran, serving as a deterrent against future attacks.

Senator Marsha Blackburn labeled the attack as a consequence of the Biden administration’s appeasement policy towards enemies.

Senator Dan Sullivan condemned the killing of American soldiers by Iranian-backed terrorist forces as a clear violation and urged Biden for a decisive response against the attack, denouncing policies of appeasement.

Senator Amy Klobuchar demanded accountability for the terrorist act.

Senator Bob Casey blamed the Iranian regime as the orchestrator of the terrorist attack, urging a robust response to protect American forces and allies.


Biden Says US ‘Shall Respond’ After Drone Strike by Iran-Backed Group Kills 3 US Troops in Jordan

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — President Joe Biden said Sunday that the U.S. “shall respond” after three American troops were killed and dozens more were injured in an overnight drone strike in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border. Biden blamed Iran-backed militias for the first U.S. fatalities after months of strikes by such groups against American forces across the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

Biden, who was traveling in South Carolina, asked for a moment of silence during an appearance at a Baptist church’s banquet hall.

“We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave souls in an attack on one of our bases,” he said. After the moment of silence, Biden added, “and we shall respond.”

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Iran-Backed Attacks on US Troops in the Middle East Since Oct. 7

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – The unmanned aerial drone attack that killed three U.S. service members and wounded dozens in northeastern Jordan on Sunday is the latest by Iran-aligned militia groups in Iraq and Syria.

The groups oppose Israel’s campaign in Gaza, which has killed more than 26,000, and hold the U.S. partly responsible. They have attacked U.S. troops in the region over 150 times since the war started in response to Hamas’s October 7 attack in Israel that killed about 1,200. About 2,500 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq and 900 in Syria to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State militants.

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Statement from President Joe Biden on Attack on U.S. Service Members in Northeastern Jordan Near the Syria Border

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Today, America’s heart is heavy. Last night, three U.S. service members were killed—and many wounded—during an unmanned aerial drone attack on our forces stationed in northeast Jordan near the Syria border.  While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.

Jill and I join the families and friends of our fallen—and Americans across the country—in grieving the loss of these warriors in this despicable and wholly unjust attack.

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UPDATE: 8:00 AM

Iran: Workers in the steel and oil industry hold protest rallies as regime authorities ignore their demands

Workers of the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz held a large rally on Sunday, January 28, to reiterate their demands and protest the regime’s lack of attention to their needs.

The rally, which was held in front of the Khuzestan Governorate, Ahvaz Governorate, and the central building of the local branch of Bank-e Melli (National Bank) was the sixth consecutive day of the protests.

The protesters chanted, “If our problems are not solved, there will be upheaval in Ahvaz” and “We haven’t seen justice, we won’t vote anymore.” The protest rally comes as the regime is leading widespread efforts to encourage the population to vote in its sham parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 1, 2024.

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Iran’s regime is becoming increasingly desperate about its elections

empty ballot box

Throughout its history, Iran’s regime has maintained its hold on power through suppression and deceit. The regime has abused religion to impose its fundamentalistic ideology on the masses and massacre its opponents. However, the regime’s deceitful tactics in the name of Islam are becoming more hollow and less effective.

Even regime insiders have confessed to all the deceit of this regime.  On January 13, Khabar Online quoted journalist Abbas Abdi as saying, “These individuals are completely unfamiliar with the word ‘belief’ and for them, it has only been a game of words and nothing more… Wherever their interests lie, they deceitfully fabricate narratives that contradict the religious obligations that people believe in. Therefore, the issue is not about beliefs but about interests.”

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Iran regime’s officials warn about the security crisis and the prospect of collapse

ali khamenei basij nov 28112023 (1)

Iran’s regime officials are sounding alarms about a security crisis and the looming possibility of collapse. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s decision to cleanse the government of those not aligned with his policies has sparked a fierce internal factional dispute and an unprecedented scandal. In response to former President Hassan Rouhani’s request for an explanation for his disqualification, Hossein Shariatmadari, Khamenei’s representative at Kayhan (the official mouthpiece of the regime’s supreme leader), wrote:

“Rouhani questioned, ‘Why haven’t you disclosed the reasons for my disqualification?’ It is important to note that the Guardian Council is legally prohibited from divulging reasons, but candidates are free to request and publish them.”

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Alarming Rise in School Dropouts: A Closer Look at the Educational Landscape in Iran

The Systematic Erosion of Persian Culture in Irans Schools

Masoumeh Najafi Pazuki, the Deputy Minister of Education for Primary Education, highlighted a concerning trend on Friday, January 26, revealing that approximately 30,000 students with disabilities are unable to attend school due to prevailing restrictions. This issue underscores a broader challenge faced by children with physical and movement disabilities, particularly in smaller towns and remote areas, where inadequate school adaptations have led to denials and forced dropouts.

Over recent years, numerous reports have surfaced, shedding light on the plight of children with physical and movement disabilities abandoning their education due to school inadequacies. Ramek Heydari, CEO of the Association for the Support of Dystrophy Patients, recently disclosed that 80% of children with this condition have discontinued their education, underscoring the unsuitability of the country’s schools for individuals with disabilities.

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Unmasking the Malevolent Agenda of the Iranian Regime in Regional Affairs

Iranian Regime and Hezbollah Linked to Ecuadors Escalating Violence

In recent times, prominent Arab writers have shifted their focus to shed light on the pernicious role played by the Iranian regime in the region, marking unprecedented scrutiny. The consensus among these writers underscores that the root cause of the problems instigated by this regime lies squarely with the leadership in Tehran, contrary to the misconception that attributes these issues to its mercenaries.

The regime’s officials persist in claiming that their proxies operate independently, a declaration met with widespread skepticism and derision, even from those less versed in political intricacies. This assertion, asserting autonomy among mercenaries, fails to deceive even the most naive observers.

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Unveiling Iran’s Dire Economic Struggles

iran workers unemployment

Iran finds itself entangled in a multifaceted economic crisis, encapsulating livelihood challenges, exacerbated poverty, inequality, homelessness, hunger, unemployment, and a persistent environment of oppression and exploitation. Even the government-controlled media can no longer turn a blind eye to the severity of the situation.

On Saturday, January 27, state-run media issued a stark warning regarding the deepening economic crisis, revealing a startling statistic: over the last three months, a staggering 9 billion dollars in capital has fled the country.

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Iran’s Regime Launches Satellite Despite Warning from Europe

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One day after the three European signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) condemned the launch of the Soraya satellite using the Qaem 100 launcher through a joint statement, Iranian media reported the launch of three new satellites.

According to the regime’s Mehr News Agency, a light satellite from the Iranian Space Research Institute’s satellite series and the CubeSat nanosatellites Kayhan 2 and Hatef 1, developed by the Iranian company SA Iran, were launched into space.

On January 27, Britain, France, and Germany announced that the Qaem 100 launcher uses technology that is vital for the development of Iran’s long-range ballistic missile system, indicating Iran’s disregard for the restrictions imposed by the United Nations.

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Protest Gathering of Steel and Oil Industry Workers in Southern Iran

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Workers of the National Iranian Steel Group in Ahvaz (Southwest Iran) gathered for the sixth consecutive day of their protests. The workers of this company marched on the streets of the city on Sunday, January 28, after gathering in front of the Khuzestan Governorate, Ahvaz Governorate, and the central building of the National Bank of the province, chanting slogans.

“We haven’t seen justice; we won’t vote anymore” was one of the slogans chanted by the protesters. In the past year, the protests and strikes of Ahvaz Steel workers have seen a significant increase.

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Unraveling Deception of Khamenei in 2024: The Pervasive Culture of Lies in the Islamic Republic of Iran

iran nowruz message khamenei march 2023 1

Deception and falsehoods have woven an intricate web within the fabric of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its leader, Ali Khamenei, spearheading a culture of shameless lying among political, judicial, and governmental officials. This article delves into the roots of this pervasive dishonesty, drawing parallels with historical propaganda machines and shedding light on the far-reaching consequences of such deceit.

In Iran, authorities and religious figures are likened to Hitler’s propaganda machine during World War II, earning the moniker of a “lying machine.” This article explores how the scale of misinformation in the Islamic Republic spans from the highest-ranking officials to the smallest political, judicial, and military figures. The culture of shameless lying extends its reach into domestic, foreign, and religious issues without discrimination.

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Montreal, Canada—January 27, 2024: MEK Supporters Rally in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution, Condemning the Wave of Executions in Iran

Montreal, Canada—January 27, 2024: MEK Supporters Rally Condemning the Wave of Executions in Iran.

Montreal, Canada—January 27, 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized a rally in sub-zero freezing weather to express support for the Iranian Revolution. Iranians strongly condemned the execution of two political prisoners Mohammad Ghobadlou and Farhad Salimi, who were executed on January 23, 2024. They also expressed their distaste for the inhuman verdict of gouging the eyes of Mehdi Mousavian, who was arrested and detained during the 2018 Iran protests.

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Toronto, Canada—January 27, 2024: MEK Supporters Rally in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution, Condemning the Wave of Executions in Iran

Toronto, Canada—January 27, 2024: MEK Supporters Rally Condemning the Wave of Executions in Iran.

Toronto, Canada—January 27, 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized a rally in sub-zero freezing weather to express support for the Iranian Revolution. Iranians strongly condemned the execution of two political prisoners Mohammad Ghobadlou and Farhad Salimi, who were executed on January 23, 2024. They also expressed their distaste for the inhuman verdict of gouging the eyes of Mehdi Mousavian, who was arrested and detained during the 2018 Iran protests.

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Stockholm, Sweden—January 27, 2024: MEK Supporters Rally in Solidarity With the Iran Revolution, Condemning the Wave of Executions in Iran

Stockholm, Sweden—January 27, 2024: MEK Supporters Rally Condemning the Wave of Executions in Iran.

Stockholm, Sweden—January 27, 2024: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) organized a rally in front of the Swedish Parliament to express support for the Iranian Revolution. Iranians strongly condemned the execution of two political prisoners Mohammad Ghobadlou and Farhad Salimi, who were executed on January 23, 2024. They also expressed their distaste for the inhuman verdict of gouging the eyes of Mehdi Mousavian, who was arrested and detained during the 2018 Iran protests.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – January 28, 2023