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April 21 2019
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Iranians Push Back as Officials Threaten to Block Instagram in Retaliation for Banned IRGC Accounts

- Some Iranian officials have responded to Instagram's decision to remove accounts it has associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by pushing for a nationwide ban on the popular social media app. Many Iranians have responded by calling not only for Instagram to remain unblocked but also for the government to rescind bans on other widely used apps. -CHRI - 4/19/19

12 Conservationists Detained Without Counsel in Iran's Kurdistan Province

- Twelve of the 20 environmental conservationists arrested in Iran's Kurdistan Province in January and February 2019 remain in detention centers run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence in the city of Sanandaj, the provincial capital, without access to legal counsel. - 4/19/19

MPs Protest Iraqi Militia Commander's Presence in Iranian Crisis Management Meeting

- Two members of the Majlis (Iranian parliament) have bitterly protested the deployment of Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraq's Popular Mobilization Force or PMF) in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, southwest of the country. Foreign military forces may enter Iran only if the government or parliament issue an entry visa for them, the MPs have argued. - 4/19/19

No Visa Charge for Iranian Visitors To Iraqi Kurdistan, Says Official

- Iranian official news agency IRNA on Friday April 19 quoted the Iranian Consulate General in Sulaymaniyah as having announced that the "Iraqi Kurdistan Region has underlined its commitment to Baghdad decision to lift charges on visa for Iranian nationals." - 4/19/19

President Rouhani: Floods in Iran proved 'worst historic test' for U.S.

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the recent devastating floods in Iran have proven the "worst historic test" for the Trump administration. "The U.S. regime's rulers have revealed their nature. If they were wise, they would announce suspension of sanctions because of the flood incident. In that case, the Iranian people may have believed that they [the U.S. officials] are not against them (people) when 25 provinces of the country were hit by flood," Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting. - 4/18/19

Instant Ban For Iran's IRGC On Instagram: Social-Media Giant Blocks Commanders' Sites

- With some 800,000 followers, the Instagram page of the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force was among the most popular pages of Iranian officials on the photo-sharing website. The Instagram comments, public appearances, travels, and promotional posters of Qassem Soleimani -- who as head of Quds commands the vaunted Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) outside of Iran -- were shared on the Instagram page, which is one of the only major social-media sites that has not been blocked by Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 4/18/19

Iranian Hijab Protester Vida Movahedi Remains Detained Despite Eligibility for Release

- Vida Movahedi, the woman whose public display of peaceful protest against Iran's compulsory hijab law was captured in a viral photo, remains detained in Gharchak Prison for women south of Tehran despite being eligible for release. On April 14, 2019, her attorney, Payam Derafshan, told the state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that Branch 1091 of the Guidance Court in Tehran on March 2, 2019, had sentenced Movahedi to a year in prison for that action under the charge of "encouraging people to corruption and prostitution." -CHRI - 4/17/19

Iran's Parliament Votes to Allow Blind Candidates to Run for Seats

- After years of advocacy efforts by defenders of the rights of people with disabilities in Iran, the country's Parliament has voted to pass an amendment that, if approved by the Guardian Council, would allow blind people to run for Parliament. Mohammad Javad Kolivand, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Councils and Domestic Affairs, announced the news in an interview with the Iran Sepid daily on April 10, 2019. -CHRI - 4/17/19

Second Iranian Councilman Persecuted for Speaking up for Baha'i Rights

- A member of the Isfahan City Council, Mehdi Moghaddari, has been suspended from his seat for six months in part for supporting a fellow councilman who had sought the release of detained followers of the Baha'i faith and was consequently detained himself. -CHRI - 4/16/19

Iranian FM's reminder to E3: No prohibition on enrichment under JCPOA

- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reminded the Europeans that a 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, does not prohibit the country from enriching uranium. Zarif's reprimand in a Monday tweet came after French Ambassador to the US Gerard Araud said Tehran should not need to be "massively enriching uranium after the JCPOA." -Press TV - 4/15/19

Iran to retaliate any US move against IRGC in Persian Gulf: Envoy

- Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's envoy to the United Kingdom, has warned the United States that Tehran will "forcefully retaliate" any moves by the US military against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which was designated as a terrorist organization by US President Donald Trump earlier this week. - 4/12/19

Iranian University Student to be Flogged, Imprisoned for Insulting Supreme Leader

- Iranian university student Mojtaba Dadashi, 23, has been sentenced to three years in prison and 74 lashes for sharing a video on social media criticizing the Islamic Republic as "un-Islamic," the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 4/12/19

110,000 housing units destroyed in 3 flood-affected provinces of Iran

- Recent severe flooding damaged 110,000 houses in provinces of Lorestan, Golestan and Mazandaran, ISNA reported on Wednesday. Following heavy rainfalls in the country particularly in provinces of Golestan, Mazandaran, Lorestan, and Khuzestan as well as other provinces in western, southwestern, and northeastern Iran severe flood struck many cities and villages. - 4/11/19

Four Iranian Labor Affairs Reporters Remain Detained Three Months After Arrests

- Four staff members of Gam news, an independent Persian-language news channel on the Telegram messaging app, remain in detention three months after being arrested in connection with the channel's coverage of workers' rights protests in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan. - 4/11/19

Leonardo DiCaprio Again Appeals For Release Of Iranian Ecologists

- Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has once again defended eight Iranian environmentalists who have been in detention for more than a year, charged with vague accusations. Last February, DiCaprio called for international support and circulated a petition for the release of the Iranian environmentalists who were arrested by the intelligence organization of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC. -Radio Farda - 4/11/19

Iranian oil exports recover close to pre-sanction levels: S&P Global Platts

- Iranian exports of crude oil and condensate have surged to levels near before sanctions, surprising market observers and affording the country an important victory in a US "economic war" on Tehran. Iran exported 1.70 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in March, the highest since October when shipments fell to 1.08 million bpd, data from shipping sources compiled by S&P Global Platts showed. -Press TV - 4/10/19

Just Released From Prison, Iranian Civil Rights Activist Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi Faces More Time Behind Bars

- Newly released from prison, civil rights activist Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi may have to serve more time behind bars depending on the outcome of another case against her, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 4/10/19

Half dozen countries help Iran flood survivors as UN sets up channel for cash donation

- Three intense weeks have past since Iran has been hard hit by flash floods that have taken the lives of dozens of people and left a huge trail of destruction behind. International aid supplies have been sent from several countries but no cash donation has been received due to the US sanctions. - 4/9/19

Female Activist in "Very Poor" Health after Nine Months and Counting of Solitary Confinement in Iran

- Political activist Hengameh Shahidi is in poor health after a nine-month stint in solitary confinement, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has been informed. Arrested on June 26, 2018, Shahidi has since been held in isolation in Ward 241 under the control of the judiciary's Security and Intelligence Center in Tehran's Evin Prison. -CHRI - 4/8/19

Floods Continue To Inflict Damage In Iran As More Rains Expected

- Less precipitation in Iran's flood-hit parts in the past two days has enabled rescue workers to have access to some parts of Lorestan province, particularly in the cities of Pol-e Dokhtar and Mamoulan, where thousands of people are marooned. Meanwhile, Iran Meteorological Organization (IRMO) says a new wet front is going to hit Iran, save its southeastern parts, in the next 48 hours. - 4/5/19

The immorality of America's silence towards Iran

- On March 21, Iran faced its most devastating natural disaster since an earthquake that killed more than 500 people in November 2017. Flash floods caused by torrential downpours and overflowing rivers throughout the country have killed at least 24 people and left hundreds injured... Yet, reminiscent of the United States' response to the 2017 earthquake, in America we hear nothing of this humanitarian and natural catastrophe falling upon the Iranian people. -Kaveh Badrei, Daily Princetonian - 4/4/19

US, Iran and EU Must All Take Steps to Ensure International Aid Reaches Iran Floods Victims

- The US and EU should immediately take steps to ensure that Iran receives humanitarian aid to assist disaster relief efforts in the wake of devastating floods that have killed dozens and caused millions of dollars of damage to homes and infrastructure, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) said in a statement today. - 4/4/19

US blocking humanitarian aid to flood-hit Iranians: FM Spokesman

- Tehran says the United States has frozen the accounts of the Iranian Red Crescent Society as part of its cruel sanctions against the Iranian people, thus preventing other countries from sending humanitarian aid to people in Iran's flood-stricken areas. - 4/3/19

Iranian Official: State Bans on Social Media Apps Have Slowed Flood Relief

- State filters on social media apps have reduced the efficiency of relief operations in flood-hit regions of Iran, according to an official working for a state agency that publishes public awareness statements. "If filtering was not an obstacle, the rescue operations would have been more effective," tweeted Alireza Moezi, the secretary of the government's Information Council, on March 24, 2019. "Let's learn from experiences." -CHRI - 4/3/19

IAEA chief Amano reaffirms Iran's compliance with nuclear deal

- The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reaffirmed Iran's compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). "In my regular reports to the board I have stated that Iran is implementing those commitments," IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano stressed on Tuesday. "Since January 2016, the agency [IAEA] has been verifying and monitoring Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA," he added. -Press TV - 4/3/19

Maximum Pressure On Iran Still Isn't Working

- Almost a year after President Trump reneged on U.S. commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, there is not the slightest sign that this move is achieving the declared objective of Iran crawling back to the negotiating table to negotiate a "better deal." -Paul R. Pillar - 4/2/19

Germany to provide humanitarian aid to Iran's flood victims: Envoy

- Germany will provide humanitarian assistance to flood victims in Iran, says the German Ambassador to Tehran Michael Klor-Berchtold. In a Monday tweet, Klor-Berchtold wrote that German Foreign Ministry would provide humanitarian assistance to flood victims in Iran, adding that "40 boats and safety equipment will be delivered by German Red Cross to the Iranian Red Crescent." - 4/2/19

Foreign Minister Zarif says US is waging 'economic terrorism' against Iran

- Iran's foreign minister says the US is waging "economic terrorism" against the Islamic Republic by employing restrictive measures that are troubling the relief efforts targeting flood-stricken people across the country. - 4/2/19

Politician In Iran Says Banning Alcohol Is A 'Failed Policy'

- A prominent reformist politician and activist in Iran has asked the government to reconsider its policy towards consumption of alcohol, saying that the ban on drinking is a "failed" policy. - 4/1/19

Parliament Speaker Says Iraq Will Need To Buy Iranian Electricity For Three Years

- The speaker of Iraq's parliament wants the United States to extend a waiver that allows it to buy electricity from Iran for at least three years, saying it will take that long before the oil-rich country can manage on its own. "Hopefully, this waiver will be extended until Iraq can stand on its feet economically," speaker Muhammad al-Halbusi said on March 29 at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington. - 3/31/19

ICJ sets mid-May as deadline for US to explain measures on Iran sanctions removal

- Iran says the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has set May 15 as the deadline for the US to give detailed accounts of its measures to lift sanctions on humanitarian supplies to the country. The ICJ has informed the US of the deadline in a letter, Iranian legal representative at the ICJ Mohsen Mohebbi told IRNA on Saturday. - 3/31/19

Iran Bans Export Of Onions And Potatoes To Keep Prices Low

- The Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mining and Commerce has banned the export of onions and potatoes. The ban will become effective on April 4. Prices for for onions and potatoes have risen to unusual levels in the Iran in recent weeks. One kilogram of onions is now 160,000 rials (roughly $1.25), which is a high price as minimum wage earners make ends meet with around $100 per months. The ministry said the ban was imposed in order to regulate domestic markets. -Radio Farda - 3/31/19

Iran's President Rouhani In Oil-Rich Province As Two Dams And Cities Threatened By Floods

- Iranian officials have warned that two dams in southwestern Iran are reaching their limits and face a crisis, as several cities in the region can be inundated by floods on Friday. Water and electricity authority in the oil-rich Khuzestan province warned March 28 that 18 villages on the path of water near Dez dam, 33 villages and three cities in Karkheh dam region and 18 villages on the banks of the Karun river must be ready for emergency evacuation. -Radio Farda - 3/29/19

Peaceful Iranian Labor Activist Arasham Rezaee Sentenced to Prison Without Access to Counsel

- Labor activist Mahmoud Arasham Rezaee has been issued a lengthy prison sentence at a trial that unlawfully took place without prior notice or the presence of his lawyer, his mother Keshvar Rezaee informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 27, 2019. Rezaee was supporting his family at the time of his arrest and is now struggling to take on any job he can in the prison to continue supporting them. -CHRI - 3/29/19

Ahmad Reza Jalali, Scientist On Death Row In Iran, Speaks To Radio Farda On Floods

- While Iran is struggling with its flood crisis, a top expert who is on death row told Radio Farda from Iran's notorious Evin prison that authorities should strengthen the country's early warning system. Radio Farda interviewed Ahmad Reza Jalali (Djalali), a Swedish- Iranian dual national who is facing the death sentence on charges of "Enmity with God through espionage." - 3/28/19

Luxembourg court rejects US request to seize Iran assets over 9/11 attacks

- A Luxembourg court has rejected a US request to compensate victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks by seizing Iranian assets, seven years after a New York court claimed there was evidence of Iran's involvement in the incident. - 3/28/19

Flooding Across Iran Kills 25; Relief Efforts Continue

- Heavy downpours and flash floods continue to batter several provinces across Iran but the extreme weather conditions are forecasted to briefly subside later on Wednesday, before another major system brings further precipitation to the country in the next few days. - 3/27/19

Tulsi Gabbard's Norooz Message: The Tropical Winds Of Hawaii

- Ms. Tulsi Gabbard, a House member from the state of Hawaii, and a Democratic candidate for the Presidential election of 2020 has issued a delightful message for Norooz. In her message, she says, " the beginning of Spring is such a beautiful metaphor for a new start and beginnings." Her positive initiative and outreach should be welcomed and celebrated by the Iranian community anywhere in the world. -Farid Marjai - 3/27/19

Iran'a Ansar Bank dismisses new 'desperate' US sanctions

- The US government has imposed new sanctions on an Iranian bank and its subsidiaries, accusing them of using front companies in three countries to evade the previous sanctions -- allegations which the lender has dismissed as "sheer lies." The US Treasury said it had targeted 25 people and firms for allegedly helping Iran's Ansar Bank evade unilateral American sanctions on the Islamic Republic. -Press TV - 3/27/19

Iran VP Warns Of Flood Danger To Tehran, Urges Protecting The City 'With All Our Existence'

- Iran's Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri has announced that heavy rains are expected in the capital and "tonight we must protect Tehran with all our existence". At a meeting of Emergency Management Staff in the evening of March 25, Jahangiri said that weather forecast services have predicted strong rain in Tehran and he added it is better to prepare for the worst. - 3/26/19

Gender Equality Researcher Tried in Iran Under National Security Charge

- Gender equality advocate Rezvaneh Mohammadi was tried in absentia in Tehran under the unusual charge of "assembly and collusion against national security by seeking to normalize homosexual relations." "Rezvaneh's attendance at two conferences abroad on the subject of gender equality, as well as her studies for her thesis, which was also about gender equality, were included as evidence against her," the source said. -CHRI - 3/26/19

Turkey defies US with more imports of Iranian gas

- Iran is increasing its natural gas exports to a number of countries, including Turkey which plans to raise imports from its energy-rich neighbor, a senior official says. "Based on previous agreements, Iran is currently increasing gas exports to a number of countries including Turkey, Iraq, Armenia and Azerbaijan," head of the National Iranian Gas Company Hassan Montazer Torbati told IRNA. -PRESS TV - 3/26/19

Mandate Of The Special Rapporteur On The Situation Of Human Rights In Iran Extended For 1 Year

- In a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, adopted by a vote of 22 in favour, seven against and 18 abstentions, the Council decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran for a further period of one year, and requests the Special Rapporteur to submit a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Human Rights Council at its forty-third session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-fourth session. - 3/25/19

Peaceful Labor Activist Sentenced to Prison in 10-Minute Trial In Iran

- Labor activist As'ad Behnam Ebrahimzadeh has been sentenced to six years in prison (of which he must serve five, subject to appeal) and ordered to copy three books by hand for engaging in peaceful activities including attending protests by sugar mill workers in southwestern Iran. Ebrahimzadeh told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 16, 2019, that his trial lasted only 10 minutes, that he was not allowed time to prepare a defense and that he was denied access to a lawyer. -CHRI - 3/24/19

Latest Report Says Annual Inflation Close To 50 Percent In Iran

- At the end of the Iranian year on March 20, inflation figures heralded a tough time ahead for ordinary Iranians, as price rises neared 50 percent in the last 12 months. From March 2018 to March 2019, goods and services became 47.5 percent more expensive, in what is the worse inflation number in the past five years, Iran Statistical Center reported on March 21. - 3/22/19

Muslims countries hold emergency meeting, urge fight on Islamophobia and slam West after carnage in New Zealand

- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says certain countries in the West must be held accountable for an attack on two mosques in New Zealand, which left at least 50 worshipers dead. "The terrorist attack in New Zealand represents a very dangerous tide in the West that is Islamophobia," he said in Istanbul where the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held an emergency meeting Friday. - 3/22/19

Iran's Supreme Leader likens European financial mechanism to a 'bitter joke'

- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on Thursday likened the European financial mechanism for trade with Iran to a "bitter joke". "Europe's financial channel introduced recently is more like a bitter joke," the Khamenei remarked. -Tehran Times - 3/22/19

Iran: Harsh Sentence for Rights Lawyer Threatens Activism

- The prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh's draconian sentence for her peaceful activism shows the threat posed by Iran's revolutionary courts to human rights work, the Center for Human Rights in Iran and Human Rights Watch said today. Iran should immediately and unconditionally release Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders who are unjustly spending Nowruz, the Persian New Year, behind bars. -CHRI - 3/21/19

U.S. Extends Waiver To Allow Iraq To Buy Iranian Energy Supplies

- The United States is extending a waiver to allow Iraq to continue to buy electricity from Iran, despite sanctions imposed by Washington targeting Tehran's energy sector. The original waiver, issued in December 2017, expired on March 19. -RFE/RL - 3/20/19

Sotoudeh's Case Is Iran's Own Goal

- Last week, the European Parliament joined the international outcry over the sentencing of Iranian human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh to a long prison term by voting overwhelmingly for a resolution calling for her release... There are some flaws in the text too. No conversation on the topic is complete without acknowledging the devastating effects of U.S. economic sanctions, imposed in violation of the UN Security Council-endorsed resolution on the nuclear pact with Iran, on Iranian human rights. -Eldar Mamedov - 3/19/19

Iran To Drop Tattooed Players From National Football Team

- The Iranian tattooed players have reportedly no place in Iran national football team from now on. According to the reports, the Iranian football federation has been told it must prevent to invite the tattooed players to the national team. -Tehran Times - 3/19/19

Turkish President Claims Iran Joins Military Offensive Against Kurdish Separatists

- Turkey has repeated its claim that it and Iran are jointly carrying out a military operation against Kurdish separatists, although semiofficial Iranian media quoted the military as denying it was involved. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on March 18 said the operation was targeting militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), adding it was the first of its kind and that he hoped further missions would follow. -RFE/RL - 3/19/19

Iran ranked 13th most powerful country in the world

- Iran has been ranked 13th most powerful country in the world, according to an annual ranking by U.S. News and World Report that looked at a country's political and financial influences, as well as its international and alliances, its military strength and how it acts as an international leader. - 3/18/19

Defying US sanctions, Iran inaugurates new South Pars gas field phases

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has inaugurated four new phases of the huge offshore South Pars gas field in a move, which has been seen as a clear sign of the failure of US sanctions against the country. During an inaugural ceremony in the southern coastal city of Kangan on Sunday, Iran's president officially launched phases 13, 22, 23, and 24 of South Pars gas field, noting that despite all the US pressures on the Iranian nation, especially through the imposition of unilateral economic sanctions, Iranians remain steadfast and resistant and continue to progress. - 3/17/19

Good Iraqi-Iranian Relations Are Not A Reason To Worry

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been visiting Iraq this week-a friendly, extended visit that has yielded several bilateral agreements on trade and transportation. Such an event causes heartburn, of course, within the Trump administration and for others who believe that the only useful thing to do to Iran is to try to isolate and cripple it. -Paul Pillar - 3/17/19

U.S. Navy Veteran Sentenced By Iran To 10 Years In Prison, Lawyer Says

- The lawyer of a U.S. Navy veteran detained in Iran says his client has been given a 10-year prison sentence. Washington-based lawyer Mark Zaid told AP that Michael White was convicted of insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting private information online. -RFE/RL - 3/17/19

Iran: UN expert concerned by crackdown on protests and strikes

- Worrying patterns of intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, lawyers, and labour rights activists in Iran signal an increasingly severe State response to protests and strikes in the country, a UN expert said today. Javaid Rehman, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said rising inflation, difficult working conditions, late or unpaid wages, falling living standards, and increased challenges in accessing adequate work, food, health care, and water was making life harder for many Iranians. -OHCHR - 3/16/19

Veteran Iranian Lawmaker And Former Guards Commander Convicted Of Rape

- A veteran member of parliament and a former commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been convicted of rape, the head of the Justice Department, Gholamhossein Esmaeili, announced on March 15. Hours later, the IRGC-run Fars news agency reported that Esmaeili was referring to the MP for the city of Malekan, Salman Khodadadi, who is chairman of the legislative body's Committee for Social Affairs. -Radio Farda - 3/16/19

IRAN: Qoliyan and Bakhshi Held Without Bail or Access to Lawyers for Almost Two Months, Transferred to Prisons in Ahvaz

- Despite the apparent end of investigations by judicial authorities against labor activist Esmail Bakhshi and freelance reporter Sepideh Qoliyan, the two have not been offered bail and continue to be held, without access to a lawyer, for almost two months, awaiting trial. No date has been set for the trial. -CHRI - 3/15/19

Tehran Says Renault Will Resume Operations In Iran

- Following lengthy negotiations, giant French carmaker Renault will return to Iran, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mines, and Trade Farshad Moqimi (Moghimi) announced March 14. Moqimi was cited by state-run media as saying that a new "mechanism" had been devised for Renault, enabling it to resume manufacturing in Iran despite U.S. sanctions targeting companies doing business in Iran. Representatives of Renault have neither confirmed nor denied the minister's statements. -Radio Farda - 3/15/19

Iran Asking Canada For Extradition Of Marjan Sheikholeslami In A Financial Case

- Iran's General Prosecutor says that Tehran has referred to Interpol the case of a woman in Canada accused in his country's petrochemicals scandal and expects extradition. The news website of Iran's Judiciary quotes Mohammad Jaafar Montazeri as saying that an arrest warrant for Marjan Sheikholeslami has been issued and sent to Interpol, and he hopes "they will cooperate". -Radio Farda - 3/14/19

Widow of Dual National Who Died in Iranian Custody Sues Judiciary for Banning Her from Travel

- Maryam Mombeini, the widow of Iranian Canadian academic Kavous Seyed-Emami who died under suspicious circumstances in Tehran's Evin Prison, has sued a judicial official for extending a travel ban imposed on her a year ago, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. -CHRI - 3/14/19

U.S. Looks To Cut Iran Oil Exports '20 Percent' To Below 1 Million Barrels A Day

- Reuters on March 13 quoted two sources familiar with the matter in its report, quoting one as saying the "goal right now is to reduce Iranian oil exports to under 1 million barrels per day." The source added that the administration of President Donald Trump was concerned that if it pushed for a complete and immediate shutdown of Iran oil purchases, it would cause a large rise in prices on the world market. -RFE/RL - 3/14/19

Iran's President Rouhani meets Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf, Iraq

- President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday met with Iraq's top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in the holy city of Najaf on the last day of his historic visit to neighboring Iraq. Ayatollah Sistani welcomed any step toward expansion of Iraq's ties with its neighbors based on mutual interests, respect for the sovereignty and not interfering in the internal affairs of one another. -Tehran Times - 3/14/19

Billions Of Dollars Involved In Two Corruption Trials In Iran

- The court has brought charges against 14 individuals, three of whom who are living abroad and are represented by their lawyers, said the prosecutor. It is still not known if the lawyers have been appointed by the suspects or the court. Tehran prosecutor Dolatabadi added that a major part of the case is about a "runaway suspect" he has named as Marjan Sheikholeslami, who has been referred to in the indictment as the main partner of Reza Hamzehlou, the prime suspect. -Radio Farda - 3/14/19

Iranian Lawyers Join Global Backlash to Iran's Sentencing of Rights Defender

- A group of Iranian lawyers has added its voice to international criticism of Tehran for sentencing a female colleague to additional years in prison in relation to her work in defending Iranian rights activists. In an open letter to the Iranian people dated Tuesday and sent by one of the authors to VOA Persian, the group of 16 lawyers said the multiyear sentencing of lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, announced by Iranian state media Monday, violates the Iranian constitution's commitments to human rights and fair trials. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 3/13/19

Reformist Iranian Politician Abolfazl Ghadyani Ordered to Copy Out by Hand Supreme Leader's Book

- Veteran Iranian politician Abolfazl Ghadyani has been sentenced to two years in prison for the charge of "insulting the supreme leader" and one for the charge of "propaganda against the state," the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Ghadyani has also been ordered to copy out by hand three books including "Doshmanshenasi" (Enemy-ology), a collection of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's political views about his enemies. -CHRI - 3/13/19

Iran's President Rouhani meets with Grand Ayatollah Sistani on final day of Iraq visit

- In a historic meeting, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has held talks with Iraq's top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf on the final day of his landmark visit to the neighboring Arab state. Rouhani sat down with Ayatollah Sistani at his residence on Wednesday after visiting the shrine of Imam Ali, the first Imam of Shia Muslims. -Press TV - 3/13/19

Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Says She Has Been Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison

- Iranian defense attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh told her husband she has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Her statement follows media reports quoting the hardline judge overseeing her case who said she has been sentenced to seven years in prison. -CHRI - 3/12/19

Iran: Countering Extremism Through Inclusiveness

- The Iranian government has long accused some of its neighboring states of using terrorism and insurgency to destabilize the country. There may be some truth to these accusations. But Iran's treatment of minority groups has also contributed to the rise of militancy. -Fatemeh Aman - 3/12/19

Prime Suspect In Large Corruption Case Linked To Khamenei-Led Enterprise

- Reports from Tehran say the prime suspect in the financial corruption case involving Iran's petrochemical industry is linked to a body under the aegis of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - 3/12/19

Iran's President Rohani Kicks Off First Official Visit To Iraq, Hails 'Special Relations'

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has arrived in Baghdad for his first official visit to Iraq, state television reported, as Iraq is under pressure from the United States to limit ties with its neighbor. Iraq, which receives financial and military support from Washington, has attempted to balance its relations with the United States and Iran, which carries significant influence with members of Iraq's Shi'ite population. -RFE/RL - 3/11/19

Prisoners of Their Own Rebellion: The Cult-Like Group Fighting Iran

- Members of the Trump administration have been providing support to a political sect that aims to topple the Iranian regime in Tehran. Around 2,000 of its members live in a camp in Albania. Former members say it subjected followers to torture and psychological terror. -Luisa Hommerich, Spiegle - 3/11/19

Billionaire Iranian Football Sponsor On Trial For Financial Corruption

- The prosecutor in the corruption trial of a super-rich sponsor of major Iranian football (soccer) clubs, says one of the suspects in the case had opened 242 bank accounts within a day in his 8-year-old son's name, Iranian news agencies reported. -Radio Farda - 3/11/19

Thousands of Iranian Teachers Launch Third Strike Demanding Fair Pay, Universal Education

- Thousands of teachers went on throughout Iran for the third time in less than a year March 3-5, 2019, to demand fair pay, the release of their imprisoned colleagues and free, universal education. "The most important reason for the strike is that the government does not feel obligated to implement Article 30 of the Constitution," Javad La'l Mohammadi, an activist teacher based in the city of Mashhad, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 5. -CHRI - 3/10/19



The Quest for Democracy in Iran: A Century of Struggle against Authoritarian Rule

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