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Iran News in Brief – May 16, 2023

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THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATE: 10:00 PM CET

Iran Protests at a Glance

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 – 8 PM GMT + 1

Protests and strikes continued in several cities across Iran on Tuesday as the economic crisis caused by the regime continues to push more segments of society into poverty and the systemic crackdown on all strata renders the nation’s rage toward dangerous heights.

Meanwhile, the clerical dictatorship has been increasing the number of brutal executions in a bid to postpone its downfall. Eight inmates in the cities of Bandar Abbas, Minab, Khorramabad, and Rasht were sent to the gallows. At least 90 inmates have been executed since April 21.

The Oil Contract Workers’ Organizational Council of Protests has issued a statement regarding the ongoing nationwide strike by the country’s oil, gas, petrochemical steel, and mine workers that has continued for about a month now: “During this period different contract workers from across the country have left their workshops and other job sites to join the nationwide strike. As a result, tens of thousands of workers are involved in this movement.”

Authorities are announcing the arrest of strike leaders in an initiative aimed at increasing crackdown measures against the thousands of South Pars workers who are on strike in southern Iran. A deputy governor of Bushehr Province has claimed that the South Pars workers’ strike is an organized movement with “support from foreign networks”.

People in the city of Karaj, west of the Iranian capital Tehran, the Shahrak-e Bagheri district and an area near Evin Prison of Tehran held anti-regime rallies on Monday night and chanted anti-regime slogans, including:
“Down with Khamenei!”
“This is the year Seyed Ali (Khamenei) is overthrown!”
“Down with the dictator!”
“Khamenei, you murderer! We will bury you!”
“We don’t want a child-killing regime!”
“We will stand to the end!”


Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Accused of Intentionally Downing Ukrainian Plane

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The grieving father of two individuals who tragically lost their lives in the Ukrainian plane crash, a harrowing incident that occurred near Tehran two years ago and was attributed to the actions of the Revolutionary Guards, has come forward with a troubling assertion. According to Mohsen Asadi-Lari, compelling evidence exists to support the claim that the intentional targeting of the aircraft took place.

Furthermore, he expressed his concern that the main suspect, in this case, might potentially be released without the knowledge or involvement of the grieving families who have suffered immeasurable loss.

Asadi-Lari, who lost both his children, Mohammad-Hossein and Zeinab, in the downing of the Ukrainian plane on January 8, 2020, told the Didbaniran website Sunday that, according to the law, any prisoner can be released under certain conditions if they have served one-third of their sentence.

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Chinese National Charged For Conspiring To Provide Materials For The Production Of Ballistic Missiles To Iran In Violation Of U.S. Sanctions

DOJ us attorney's office southern district of new yorkXiangjiang Qiao, an Employee of a Chinese Company Sanctioned for Its Role in the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Conspired to Provide Isostatic Graphite, a Material Used in the Production of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, to Iran
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Matthew S. Axelrod, Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement of the Commerce Department, announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging XIANGJIANG QIAO, a/k/a “Joe Hansen,” with sanctions evasion, money laundering, and bank fraud offenses based on QIAO’s alleged participation in a scheme to use a sanctioned Chinese company to provide materials used in the production of weapons of mass destruction (“WMDs”) to Iran, in exchange for payments made through the U.S. financial system. QIAO is at large in China.

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U.S. Attorney Announces Conviction Of Iranian Large-Scale Heroin Trafficker

Man Sentenced to Nearly 4 Years in Prison for Illegally Exporting Nuclear Materials to Iran

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that a jury returned a guilty verdict today against MALEK BALOUCHZEHI, a/k/a “Malek Khan,” on charges of conspiring to import heroin into the United States and distributing heroin for importation into the United States. U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman presided over the one-week trial. BALOUCHZEHI is scheduled to be sentenced on September 12, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Malek Balouchzehi sought to expand his significant drug trafficking operations by importing massive quantities of heroin into the United States and sending it right here, to New York. Balouchzehi has trafficked drugs around the world for at least a decade. Today, Balouchzehi stands convicted of his crimes and faces the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. We will continue to work diligently with the DEA to curb the importation of heroin, a lethal drug plaguing our communities.”

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UPDATE: 7:30 PM CET

Azerbaijan Makes Arrests Over Fresh Coup Plot Blamed On Iran

 AFP – Azerbaijan arrested at least nine of its nationals, suspected of being linked to Iranian secret services and of plotting a coup and assassinations, officials said on Tuesday.The latest round in tensions between Baku and Tehran, whose relations have traditionally been strained, came after the expulsion of diplomats from both countries.

On Tuesday, Azerbaijan’s law enforcement forces arrested people who “were working for Iranian secret services”, the interior ministry, security service, and the office of the prosecutor general said in a joint statement.

The statement gave nine names and said several other people had been arrested.

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UPDATE: 11:00 AM CET

Senators To Get Secret Iran Briefing

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Senior officials will brief Tuesday at the Biden administration’s first Iran-focused classified session for all senators, seven congressional staffers and U.S. officials said, coming at a time when relations with Tehran are spiraling and nuclear constraints are weakening. Outgoing Deputy Secretary of State WENDY SHERMAN, Undersecretary of Defense COLIN KAHL, Deputy Director of National Intelligence MORGAN MUIR, Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence BRIAN NELSON and Vice Adm. STEPHEN KOEHLER, the Joint Staff’s chief of strategy, policy and plans, will be on Capitol Hill at 4 p.m. for the classified briefing.

One person who won’t be there is ROB MALLEY, the special envoy for Iran deal talks, who we’re told is on leave by two people (they, like others, were granted anonymity to freely discuss details of a classified session). His deputy, ABRAM PALEY, will accompany Sherman in his stead.

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Russia Aims To Obtain More Attack Drones From Iran After Depleting Stockpile, White House Says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Monday said Russia is looking to buy additional advanced attack drones from Iran for use in its war against Ukraine after using up most of the 400 drones it had previously purchased from Tehran.

The Biden administration last year publicized satellite imagery and intelligence findings that it said indicated Iran sold hundreds of attack drones to Russia. And for months, officials have said the United States believed Iran was considering selling hundreds of ballistic missiles to Russia, but Washington did not have evidence a deal was consummated.

“Iran also continues to provide Russia with one-way attack UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Since August, Iran has provided Russia with more than 400 UAVs primarily of the Shahed variety,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

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UPDATE: 9:00 AM CET

Iranian Nurses Continue to Migrate Abroad, State-run Source Says

iran bahar news nurses migration

Reporting on the large-scale migration of nurses to other countries, the state-run Bahar News website wrote on May 13: “About 1,200 to 1,500 nurses migrate from Iran every year. Some of them go to Persian Gulf countries and others choose European countries as their immigration destination.”

“This is not the first time that the migration of nurses to neighboring countries and Europe becomes a topic,” the source added. “Now, due to the state of the economy, the lack of funds, and the demotivation of people, concerns have increased about the increase in their immigration and the shortage of nurses in the country. The circumstances in the countries of the immigrants’ origin become an opportunity for the destination countries. This is how they attract well-trained and skilled forces by spending less money. This is a program whereby developed countries attract medical staff.”

According to the source, the salary that Iran’s neighboring countries are paying to nurses is between 1,500 and 2,000 dollars whereas the salary of nurses in Iran is between 120 and 130 dollars.


Us, UK Don’t ‘Always Agree,’ but Must Remain United Against Russian, Iranian Nukes: British Foreign Minister

Fox-News

EXCLUSIVE: British Foreign Minister James Cleverly, in an interview with Fox News Digital, underscored the need for the U.K. and U.S. to remain united on key issues, including the potential nuclear threats of Russia and Iran.

“Preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon remains an absolute priority in U.K. foreign policy,” Cleverly said. “We’ve worked very, very closely with the members of the Quad, France, Germany, the United States … in imposing sanctions, and obviously we know very closely what we’re doing in conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

Cleverly stressed that it “will always be a U.K. foreign policy priority” to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” He also criticized Russia, insisting that “nobody is threatening nuclear weapons use against Russia” and that “the rhetoric is only coming from Vladimir Putin himself.”

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UPDATE: 7:30 AM CET

Retirees Lead New Protests Against Iran’s Regime as Mullahs Seek New Executions

Regime security forces fired tear gas at protesters in Isfahan central Iran

Retirees and pensioners of Iran’s different industries took to the streets in several cities on Sunday voicing their demands of the mullahs’ regime, leading the days’ anti-regime rallies across the country. People of several strata are holding gatherings, protesting, and launching strikes in response to the regime’s destructive economic policies that are making it nearly impossible to make ends meet. These brave protests are also continuing in the face of the regime’s recent surge in executions, with at least 81 inmates sent to the gallows since April 21. 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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Outcry Against Executions: Families of Prisoners Rally in Tehran, Bandar Abbas, and Isfahan

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In a powerful display of discontent, the families of prisoners sentenced to execution gathered on Monday, May 15, outside the Judiciary building on Keshavarz Street in Tehran. They vehemently protested the rising number of executions and demanded an immediate halt to the unjust execution orders imposed on their loved ones. Carrying heartfelt messages, the children of the prisoners held signs displaying phrases such as “Don’t execute my father” and “No to execution,” passionately urging an end to these acts of capital punishment. Meanwhile, the families of those convicted on drug-related charges chanted, “Don’t execute,” emphasizing their plea against the execution of their family members.

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Iran: Disciplinary Actions Taken Against Student Activists

Disciplinary actions against student activists min

In recent disciplinary actions at universities across Iran, several students have faced severe penalties for their alleged involvement in activities leading to expulsion or academic suspension. Here are the details of the cases:

Motahareh Gouneii, a dentistry student and the political secretary of the Students Association at Tehran University and its School of Medical Sciences, has been expelled from the university and prohibited from studying at any institution for the next five years. The decision was made by the Disciplinary Council based on allegations of creating chaos and unrest within the university. Gouneii was also among the detainees of the nationwide 2022-2023 Iran protests.

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Can Nonviolent Resistance Triumph in Iran in 2023? – Part Three

Is nonviolent resistance possible in Iran

Amidst the courageous uprising of the Iranian people in 2022, the theory of nonviolence resistance suddenly emerged as the only method for the collapse of the Iranian regime. In this series of talks, we attempt to answer this question by examining nonviolent resistance around the world: Is nonviolent resistance fundamentally possible in Iran? How did this theory arise amidst the Iranian people’s uprising, and what goal does it pursue? The passage of the Rowlatt Act, which aimed to try opponents and Indian rebels against colonial rule without trial or the right to defense, led Gandhi, who until then believed he could negotiate and reconcile with the oppressor, to initiate widespread popular struggles by calling for a national strike and fast.

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Copenhagen, Denmark—May 12, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution

Copenhagen, Denmark—May 12, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution

Copenhagen, Denmark—May 12, 2023: Supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and freedom-loving Iranians gathered to show their solidarity with the ongoing Iranian Revolution.

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Toronto, Canada—May 13, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution

Toronto—May 13, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution.

Toronto, Canada—May 13, 2023: Supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and freedom-loving Iranians gathered to show their solidarity with the ongoing Iranian Revolution.

Read more


Ottawa and Vancouver—May 13, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution

Ottawa and Vancouver—May 13, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution.

Ottawa and Vancouver—May 13, 2023: Supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and freedom-loving Iranians gathered to show their solidarity with the ongoing Iranian Revolution.

Read more


Aachen, Germany—May 13, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution

Aachen, Germany—May 13, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution.

Aachen, Germany—May 13, 2023: Supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and freedom-loving Iranians gathered to show their solidarity with the ongoing Iranian Revolution.

Read more


Heidelberg, Germany—May 13, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution

Heidelberg, Germany—May 13, 2023: MEK Supporters Rally to Support the Iran Revolution.

Heidelberg, Germany—May 13, 2023: Supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and freedom-loving Iranians gathered to show their solidarity with the ongoing Iranian Revolution.

Read more


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