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Wednesday’s Iran Mini Report – December 5, 2018

Wednesday's Iran Mini Report - December 5, 2018

• 2 Iranian men face new charges over Atlanta cyberattack

ATLANTA (AP) – Two Iranian men face new federal charges in a ransomware attack that caused havoc for the city of Atlanta earlier this year.

Federal prosecutors in Atlanta said the indictment returned Tuesday charges Faramarz Shahi Savandi and Mohammad Mehdi Shah Mansouri with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The two were already indicted last month in New Jersey in connection with a broad cybercrime and extortion scheme that included the Atlanta cyberattack.

The Department of Justice has said the two men remained fugitives and were believed to be in Iran. No attorney was listed for them in online court records.

U.S. Attorney Byung “BJay” Pak said in an emailed statement that the Atlanta indictment seeks to ensure that “those responsible for the attacks face justice here as well.”

• Cracks In Iran Deal Coalition? Europeans Fume Over Tehran Missile Test | Fox News
Diplomats from European countries on Tuesday blasted a recent Iranian missile test as “inconsistent” with a key U.N. Security Council resolution, as they struggle to keep the Iran deal intact amid U.S. pressure to get tough on the Islamic regime. Iran test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile on Saturday, which the U.S. said had the capability to strike parts of Europe and the Middle East.

• Study: Iran Runaway Spending On Defense

A study by the prestigious London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), an independent think tank, has revealed many hidden aspects of Iran’s defense spending and the shifting balances within the Islamic Republic’s military structures. One key finding is that the 2018-19 defense budget bill is much higher than what even the hawks within the Iranian establishment had sought.

• Iran: Students holding numerous protest rallies

A large number of students at Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology held a rally on Tuesday morning in solidarity with protesting and jailed workers, and students and teachers who are currently held behind bars.

The students, forming a long chain, were holding a variety of signs and chanting slogans:

“Cannons, tanks, guns, they are no longer effective”, “Workers, students, unite, unite”, “Jailed workers, students & teachers must be released”, “Victory is close. Down with this deceptive government.”

The Mullahs’ regime, deeply concerned of the expanding college students’ protests and the number of protesters in this rally, dispatched its repressive and plainclothes agents to the campus to hold an anti-rally.

Scenes posted on the internet show a large number of college students holding their lines and the regime’s Basij agents failing to encircle and/or silence them.

Students of Nooshirvani University in Babol, north of Iran, protested the regime’s repressive measures on their campus. They were holding signs reading: “Universities are alive”, “Stop the crackdown against students”, “Students will not live in shame”

In other reports, students of Sahand Industrial College in Tabriz, northwest Iran, also held a protest rally.

• 26th day of protests and demonstrations by the workers of Ahvaz Steel Company

On Wednesday Dec 5, the workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group started their demonstration in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province, where the steel factory is located. This is the 26th consecutive day of strikes and demonstrations by the steelworkers of Ahvaz, who have been demanding job security and their overdue wages for months.

The workers, who were marching in front of government institutions, were holding banners that read, “Workers are awake and fed up with being exploited.”

The workers were also chanting:

Neither ruler nor government care about people

If our problems are not solved Ahvaz will face the doomsday

We will not surrender to humiliation

• Iran “human rights” chief says recent protests are sedition and have to be crushed

In a recent exclusive interview with Mizan state-run website, Iran’s Secretary of the High Council for Human rights compared the recent protests to the economic situation in Iran with the 2009 protests that shook Iran calling them both “seditions.”

“We currently have an economic sedition that is similar to the 2009 sedition,” Mohammad-Javad Larijani said in the interview that was published on Monday.

• Young man and woman sentenced to 99 lashes for “illegitimate relationship” they deny

Iranian state media have reported that a young man and woman were each sentenced to 99 lashes for going out with each other despite the women’s marital status; charges they both denied but were sentenced to lashes anyway.

The judges sentenced each of them to 99 lashes which was confirmed by the 29th Branch of the Supreme Court.

• US to Iran’s Rouhani: We will ensure freedom of navigation in Strait of Hormuz

After its repeated threats of disrupting other countries’ oil shipment through the Gulf, if Washington presses ahead with efforts to halt Iranian oil export, the US administration responded on Tuesday to Iran, where it dismissed any possibility of disruption in the navigation movement and rejected Tehran’s provocations in the region.

Brian Hook, the US representative for Iran policy, dismissed Rouhani’s threat, noting that Iran does not control the Strait of Hormuz.

• US urges UN to condemn Iran missile test

The United States on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council to condemn Iran’s ballistic missile test, which it described as “dangerous and concerning” and a violation of a UN resolution.

“Iran’s recent ballistic missile test was dangerous and concerning, but not surprising,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.