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Iran News in Brief – June 16, 2023

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Iran Protests at a Glance

Based partially on reporting by PMOI (MEK) Network in Iran

Friday, June 16, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1

Brave Baluchis in Zahedan, the provincial capital of Sistan & Baluchestan in southeast Iran, once again took to the streets on Friday in new anti-regime protests and rejection of dictatorship. Despite extensive security measures and internet restrictions imposed by the regime, these protests continued.

Early reports on Friday indicated that the regime had deployed large forces to Sistan and Baluchestan in order to prevent protests from occurring after the weekly Friday prayers. Other reports mentioned the deployment of repressive forces near the Great Makki Mosque in Zahedan, a location where people gather for prayers and subsequent protest rallies. Activists also reported significant disruptions to internet access in Zahedan at approximately 10:00 am local time.

Footage from Zahedan revealed that helicopters were flown over the city during Friday prayers, likely in anticipation of protests. Despite these measures, the people of Zahedan still held their weekly protest rallies after the prayers. Protesters chanted slogans against the regime and carried placards condemning its brutal response to protests.

Protesters chanted slogans including:

I will kill those who killed my brother!”

“My martyred brother, I will avenge your blood!”

“We will fight! We will die! We will take back Iran!”

Kurds, Baluch, Azeris, freedom and equality!”

“Political prisoners must be freed!”

“Iranians! Unity, revolution, freedom!”

One placard read, “Evin [Prison] has become university, the universities have become prisons,” highlighting the repression faced by students throughout the country. Another placard condemned the regime’s discrimination against the Baluch people, stating, “The Baluch people deserve respect, not repression and execution.”

Friday also marked the birthday of Majidreza Rahnavard, a young protester who was executed by the regime in December for participating in nationwide protests. Rahnavard was subjected to severe torture and forced to make incriminating confessions before being hanged. People in various cities commemorated Majidreza, with protesters in Tehran displaying a banner that read, “We will remove all nooses and gallows from Iran.”

In Mashhad, Majidreza’s hometown, the regime implemented stringent security measures to prevent protests on his birthday. Security forces were deployed to block roads leading to Behesht-e Reza, the cemetery where Majidreza is buried, in order to prevent any form of assembly or protest.

On Thursday, May 15, in a resolute joint statement of solidarity and support, the majority of Italy’s parliament, consisting of 204 parliamentary representatives, rallied behind the aspirations of the Iranian people, advocating for the establishment of a democratic republic grounded in the separation of religion and state.


Iran Battles Severe Floods and Water Scarcity Amid Government Negligence

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Iran is currently facing a dual crisis as severe floods ravage provinces while cities in other parts of the country grapple with water scarcity. The floods, unfolding one by one, and the alarming threat of water shortage paint a grim picture of government negligence. Recent headlines showcased the destructive force of floods in the north and near Tehran, sounding the alarm for the capital’s vulnerability. In Eastern Azerbaijan province, floods have wreaked havoc, breaking bridges and disrupting communication. Meanwhile, certain areas in Tehran, such as Sattarkhan and Sadeghieh, face water cutoffs, prompting the deployment of tankers for supply. The Iranian government’s inaction and failure to address these pressing issues have amplified the suffering of its people. Urgent intervention and leadership are needed to mitigate the crises and alleviate the burden on the affected population.


IRGC Start Admitting Women To Work in Non-Combat Sectors in Deir Ezzor City

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Deir Ezzor province: SOHR sources have reported that the Iranian cultural centre in Deir Ezzor City announced the start of admitting female volunteers to join the ranks of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), where they will be assigned non-combat tasks. According to SOHR sources, IRGC has informed the Iranian cultural centre and some affiliated militiamen that it needs female volunteers to work in different sectors, such as supervising kindergartens and nursing courses, for monthly salaries ranging from 700,000 SYP to one million Syrian pounds. Despite the relatively high salaries, the announcement has not attracted the expected large number of the region’s residents.

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Argentine Judge Requests Interpol To Detain 4 Lebanese Citizens In Connection With 1994 AMIA Bombing

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A federal judge in Argentina has called on Interpol to detain four Lebanese citizens, so they can be questioned for their suspected role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center that killed 85 people.

“Regarding these individuals, there are well-founded suspicions that they are collaborators or operational agents of the … armed wing of Hezbollah,” judge Daniel Rafecas wrote in a resolution dated June 13 that the Associated Press obtained Thursday. Argentine prosecutors have long alleged that Iranian officials used the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah to carry out the deadly attack. Iran has long denied any involvement in the incident. Both the United States and Argentina have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

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Serious Water Shortages Reported in Iran’s Capital


For over 5 days, various areas of Tehran have been experiencing water outages or severe pressure reduction. On Wednesday, June 14, the following areas were still grappling with the crisis: Rudaki, Jannatabad, Fatemi, Marzdaran, Gholhak, Taleghani, Dampazhak, Karun, Jihun, Eskandari, and Navvab.

Ramazan Ali Sangdovini, a member of the Parliament, stated on June 13, “The drinking water situation in Golestan Province and Gorgan City is very critical. I will provide you with some statistics. In the year 1401 (2022-2023), 1,630 billion tomans of the budget were allocated, and in the year 1402 (2023-2024), 3,891 billion tomans were allocated, totaling 3,231 billion tomans spent. But the drinking water situation is still in bad shape. Mr. Governor, what are you doing about it?”

In the past 72 hours, residents of various areas of Tehran, including Marzdaran, Ferdows West, Satarkhan, Vanak, and Motahhari Street, especially Turkmenistan, and Gholhak, have been facing a water shortage crisis.

Land Subsidence in Iran is 100 Times the International Standard, Official Says


In an interview with Mehr News Agency, a local official in Yazd province expressed grave concerns about the record-breaking land subsidence in some regions of Iran, which is more than 100 times the international standards.  Mohammad Ali Fahimi, The head of the groundwater studies department of the regional water company of Yazd province noted the critical situation in many provinces and the devastating impact of land subsidence on infrastructure and people’s lives, with sinkholes reaching even a few hundred meters from homes.

Fahimi highlighted that land subsidence is a consequence of excessive groundwater extraction, causing a continuous decline in groundwater levels. He warned that if the trend persists, areas with declining water levels will experience land subsidence phenomena.

Land subsidence irreversibly closes off natural groundwater reservoirs, leading to soil compaction and loss of permeability. Experts refer to this as the “death of aquifers.” In regions like Yazd, where aquifers are the main water source due to the warm, dry climate, their destruction would eliminate the possibility of human life in those areas. Systemic mismanagement and decades-long exploitation of Iran’s underground water resources by huge water-consuming industries that have fatten the regime’s military forces are the main cause of this national catastrophe.

Iran’s Crumbling Economy Pushes More People Into Anti-Regime Protests

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Retirees and pensioners across Iran are protesting poor living conditions as the country’s economy sinks further into crisis. The situation has become so drastic that even areas in the country’s capital Tehran, with a population of at least nine million people and rising, have been experiencing severe water shortages in the past week. These issues are all thanks to the mullahs’ devastating economic policies, or lack thereof, that have left the country in shambles while the ruling elite continues their plundering. More regime officials are inevitably warning about escalating protests as a result of these dire circumstances. People throughout Iran continue to specifically hold the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei responsible for their miseries, while also condemning the oppressive Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and paramilitary Basij units, alongside other security units that are on the ground suppressing the peaceful demonstrators.

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Students of Tehran University of Art Harshly Beaten for Refusing the Mandatory Hijab

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Following the students of Tehran University of Art’s protest against the obligation for female students to wear the Maghna’eh, a black cloth covering their head, forehead, chin, and chest, the head of the university’s security subjected the protesting students to harsh beatings, as a result of which some students were injured. On June 14, 2023, the National Students Council announced that around 50 students of Tehran University of Art, starting from 5 pm on Thursday, June 15, 2023, gathered at the university’s Bagh-e Melli campus to protest against the obligation for female students to wear the Maghna’eh.

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Examining the Commitment of the Iranian Resistance to Freedom and Democracy

Examining the Commitment of the Iranian Resistance to freedom and democracy

The question of who will succeed the mullahs’ regime in Iran is a matter of great concern for many Iranians. After decades of living under the rule of a brutal and inhuman regime, which has been led by religious clerics, there is a natural curiosity about what the future holds for the country. But this question also reflects the political maturity of the people who, having been deeply wounded by Khomeini and his accomplices’ profound betrayal after the anti-monarchy revolution, now harbor concerns and despondency. These concerns signify that after enduring the dark and bloody experience under Khomeini’s rule, one can no longer trust any charlatan adorned with a crown or turban, or anyone associated with them.

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Zurich, Switzerland—June 14, 2023: MEK Supporters Held a Photo Exhibition in Support of the Iran Revolution

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Zurich, Switzerland—June 14, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held a photo exhibition of the Iranian uprising’s martyrs in solidarity with the Iran RevolutionMEK supporters in Zurich condemned the wave of brutal executions in Iran by the religious dictatorship. The Iranian community in Zurich emphasized the Iranian people seeking a democratic republic and rejecting any kind of dictatorship, be it the mullahs or a return to that of Shah’s regime. Swiss citizens visited the photo exhibition and expressed their solidarity by signing a petition in support of the Iranian Revolution.

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Berlin and Cologne—June 14, 2023: MEK Supporters Held Rallies and Exhibitions in Support of the Iran Revolution

Berlin, Germany—June 14, 2023: MEK Supporters Held a Photo Exhibition to Support the Iran Revolution

Berlin and Cologne—June 14, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held rallies and photo exhibitions of the Iranian uprising martyrs in solidarity with the Iran Revolution.

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Stockholm, Sweden—June 14, 2023: MEK Supporters Held a Rally in Support of the Iran Revolution

Stockholm—June 14, 2023:MEK Supporters Held a Rally & Book Exhibition to Support the Iran Revolution

Stockholm, Sweden—June 14, 2023: Freedom-loving Iranians and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) held a rally, book, and photo exhibition of the Iranian uprising’s martyrs in solidarity with the Iran Revolution.

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Also, read Iran News in Brief – June 15, 2023