Azar 21 1398 - December 12 2019
"How Could They Shoot at a Kid?" Iranian Authorities Shirk Responsibility After Teen Killed on Way Home from School

Fifteen-year-old Mohammad Dastankhah was walking home from high school in the city of Shiraz, Fars Province when he was shot and killed by a bullet while local authorities were repressing street protests in his city. In an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), his sister Ghazal Dastankhah said the authorities had offered to pay his parents blood money, which according to Islamic law is paid as financial compensation to the victim or heirs of a victim in cases of murder, bodily harm, or property damage, but were vague about his cause of death to avoid responsibility. 12/12/19

After the Iran protests: How Europe can keep diplomacy alive

The Middle East is facing a wave of protests - with the latest unrest in Iran sweeping the country in November. For the moment, a swift government crackdown that reportedly left at least 208 dead has largely brought the protests to an end. An unprecedented internet shutdown during the unrest means that information and debate from inside Iran are now going viral, with observers seeking to take stock of what it could mean for the country. While much remains unclear, the episode has shaken a fragile Iranian nation, diminished the already dwindling popular support for the Rouhani administration, and further complicated European efforts to reduce tensions between the United States and Iran.-Ellie Geranmayeh, ECFR 12/12/19

Don't Mistake Iran's Exiled Pro-Trump Opposition with the Green Movement

On the 66th anniversary of what is known as the "Student Day" in Iran, university students in Tehran and some other cities held protest rallies to commemorate the killing of three students by security forces of the Pahlavi monarchy on December 7, 1953, amid demonstrations against then-U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon's visit to the country....This year's student protests received scant coverage in English-language outlets. Ironically, though, the protests were a target of massive social media vitriol by Iran's exiled pro-Trump "opposition" campaigning for regime change and restoration of monarchical reign in Iran under the leadership of Reza Pahlavi, the deceased Shah's eldest son. -Maysam Behravesh, Responsible Statecraft 12/12/19

Iran Protests: "My Brother Was a Passerby... We Want them to Tell Us Why They killed Him"

Reports of the shooting deaths of bystanders not involved in the recent protests in Iran in mid-November continue to grow, indicating the breadth of the indiscriminate firing of live ammunition into crowds of civilians by security forces intent on crushing the protests. Amirhossein Kabiri, was killed by a bullet, even though he was not a participant in a nearby protest. He was 33 years old. His death certificate states "weapons of war" as the cause of his death on November 19, 2019, in the Golshahr district of Karaj, west of Tehran, his sister informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on December 9. -CHRI 12/12/19

Swiss channel to ease humanitarian exports to Iran: Report

A Swiss channel for the export of food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods to Iran is to open "within months", officials have told Reuters, amid Europe's failure to launch its long-awaited Iran channel known as INSTEX. Senior Swiss and American officials have told Reuters that Bern is "working hard" to make its special humanitarian channel operational within the coming months. 12/12/19

Trump's Maximum Pressure Campaign Thwarted the Chance to Contain Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

The architects of the Trump administration's Iran policy expect that the "maximum pressure" strategy would force Iran to renegotiate the nuclear deal from a weaker position. Regardless of its impact on Iran's foreign policy behavior at this stage, this strategy had repercussions for domestic developments with implications for regional politics. Trump's policy tipped the domestic balance of power in a consequential way by undermining president Rouhani's ability to constrain the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) economic activities. -Loosineh Markarian, Responsible Statecraft 12/12/19

US Hopes Prisoner Exchange Will Lead to Broader Discussion with Iran

Top American officials say the U.S. is hopeful that the recent prisoner exchange will lead to a broader discussion on consular affairs between the U.S. and Iran. In an interview with VOA on Wednesday, Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, recalled some of the emotional moments of witnessing the release of Xiyue Wang, a Chinese American detained in Iran, and said Wang will be "working with us and doing everything we can to get out people like Bob Levinson and then the Namazis and others." -Nike Ching, VOA 12/12/19

U.S. quietly drops 2 more prosecutions linked to Trump Iran prisoner swap

Federal prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against two more individuals linked to a prisoner swap with Iran announced by the Trump administration on Saturday. An Atlanta-based federal judge on Wednesday dismissed the sanctions-violation cases against scientists Mahboobe Ghaedi and Maryam Jazayeri. -Politico 12/12/19

Outspoken Iranian Lawmaker Harshly Attacks Khamenei-Controlled Bodies

An outspoken lawmaker in Iran has attacked the entities under Khamenei's control for undermining the authority of the Parliament and warned that weakening the Majles can lead to the downfall of the regime. In a fiery speech in Majles on Tuesday Ali Motahari harshly criticized the involvement of entities appointed by Khamenei in legislation and called for the dissolution of the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) which consists of the President, Chief Justice and Majles Speaker. -Radio Farda 12/11/19

State Forces Buried Man Killed in Iran Protests Against Families Wishes

Hospital authorities in the city of Islamshahr, Tehran Province, transferred the body of Hamid Taheri to state security forces without his family's permission after he died from a bullet wound on November 16, 2019, his father-in-law, Rahim Ajari, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). The unnamed authorities buried Taheri, a 35-year-old carpenter who had recently become a father, in a cemetery against his relatives' preferences. His father and brother were also pressured to sign a "pledge" of silence, according to Ajari. -CHRI 12/11/19

IAPAC Proud to Endorse Sarah Beeson for Georgia State Senate

The Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the connected PAC of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), today proudly announces its endorsement of Sarah Beeson for Georgia State Senate District 56. Sarah Zibanejadrad Beeson is a businesswoman who runs her family's company that has been based in Georgia State Senate District 56 for more than two decades. If successful, she will be the second Iranian American elected to the Georgia State Senate. 12/11/19

Can The U.S. And Iran Capitalize on the Prisoner Swap and Move Toward Better Relations?

After months of confrontation, U.S.-Iran relations finally produced something positive, as both sides agreed to a swap of prisoners. Iran freed American student Xiyue Wang and the United States freed Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani. President Donald Trump thanked Iran for a fair exchange and added that it showed that the two states can deal with one another. Even Secretary of State Mike Pompeo characterized Iran's approach in this matter as "constructive." Later Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif declared Iran's readiness to exchange other remaining prisoners, adding that now the ball is in the United States' court. -Shireen Hunter, Responsible Statecraft 12/11/19

MEK defectors raise doubts over alleged Iranian 'terror cell' in Albania

Albanian police recently announced that they had discovered a terror ring, run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which had planned attacks on an exiled Iranian opposition group living in Albania. Hassan Heyrani, a former high-ranking MEK member who defected from the group in 2017, said he believes the story that the police presented is fabricated. "If it was true, why hasn't Interpol arrested them? Albania is a very poor country where corruption is rife, police can be bought," he said. -Middle East Eye 12/11/19

China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt are world's worst jailers of journalists

For the fourth consecutive year, at least 250 journalists are imprisoned globally... Iran, which also saw significant protests in 2019, increased the number of journalists in jail to 11. Prominent economic reporter Mohammad Mosaed was arrested after tweeting during an internet shutdown intended to suppress news of protests against high gas prices, "Hello Free World!" and that he was using "42 different proxies" to get online. -CPJ 12/11/19

EU Should Lead Calls for UN Commission of Inquiry Into Iran Protest Deaths

The EU should lead calls for the UN to investigate Iranian state forces' use of lethal means to repress the country's mid-November 2019 protests which resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests, said the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "As an important potential trade and investment partner with substantial leverage over Iran, the EU should take the lead in calling for the UN Human Rights Council to establish a commission of inquiry into the latest massacre," said CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi. -CHRI 12/11/19

If Iran Falls, ISIS May Rise Again

As disorder deepens in Iran amid widespread protests, fears are rising that the fall of Iran's revolutionary Shiite Islamic Republic could lead to disaster in the region and the re-emergence of an even greater foe of the United States--the Islamic State militant group known as ISIS...Iran has remained steadfast in the face of its foes foreign and domestic, and few expect the full demise of the government. But even those inside and outside Iran who support the rallies that continue day and night against the clerics running the nation fear the chaos alone could foster conditions for ISIS to breed. -Tom Oconnor, Newsweek 12/11/19

In A Letter To President Rouhani 160 Lawyers In Iran Ask For Investigation Into Protest Deaths

In a letter to the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani, 160 prominent Iranian lawyers have called for an investigation of the deadly mid-November protests in Iran and punishment of those responsible for killing protesters. Attributing the protests to "foreign plots", as well as "ignoring the causes and the objective reasons of people's dissatisfaction," would have no result other than recurrence of similar events in the future, the lawyers said in their open letter to Rouhani. -Radio Farda 12/10/19

Father Of Bystander Killed During Iran Protests Seeks Accountability

Farzad Ansarifar, a 27-year-old construction worker who was killed on November 16 in the city of Behbahan in Khuzestan Province, was struck by a bullet behind his head even though he was only a bystander at a protest against the increase in the price of gasoline, his father told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 12/10/19

Iran Lawmaker Parvaneh Salahshouri Says She Will Not Run Again As Protest To Brutal Suppression

The leader of women's faction in the Iranian parliament (Majles) has announced she will not run for a seat in the upcoming elections as protest to the bloody suppression of protests in November. Parvaneh Salahshouri, 54, representing Tehran districts says she also objects to policies that restrict the parliament's power and authority. -Radio Farda 12/10/19

Pentagon Report Undermines Hawks' Claims On Iranian Ballistic Missile Threat

Many argue that Iran's ballistic missile program should be a major focal point for U.S. policy... Wrong. Iran's missile force is indeed improving, and states with vital interests in the Persian Gulf are right to pay attention. But Iranian missiles shouldn't be the heart of our diplomacy. The reality is they're not very useful for going on offense. Quite the opposite: they're a primarily defensive tool--and an important one that Iran fears giving up. As the new Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report entitled "Iran Military Power" points out, "Iran's ballistic missiles constitute a primary component of its strategic deterrent. -John Allen Gay, Responsible Statecraft 12/10/19

Zarif: Iran fully ready for prisoner swap, ball in US court

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Tehran was "fully ready" for a full prisoner exchange with the United States. Zarif's comments on Monday came two days after the US and Iran swapped prisoners in a rare act of cooperation between the longtime foes. "After getting our hostage back this week, fully ready for comprehensive prisoner exchange," Zarif wrote on Twitter, while in Istanbul. "The ball is in the US' court," he added. -Al-Jazeera 12/10/19

U.S. Sanctions Are Driving Iran to Tighten Its Grip on Iraq

MASSIVE, SUSTAINED PROTESTS in Baghdad and Tehran that have been met with violent responses from security forces throughout the fall and winter have rapidly altered the political dynamics in both Iraq and Iran. But it is still uncertain whether the grassroots anger that has erupted will lead to significant change in either country -- or whether the United States will play a role in shaping the outcome. -James Risen, Intercept 12/10/19

Mother of Slain Iranian Protester: "Why Did They Shoot at My Son's Head?"

The family of Pouya Bakhtiari, a 27-year-old man shot and killed by security forces in the Mehrshahr district of Karaj, west of the capital Tehran, on November 16, 2019, during the recent protests that gripped Iran, will seek justice through domestic and international channels, his mother told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "They aimed at my son's head and deliberately killed him," Nahid Shirpisheh said in an interview on December 3. -CHRI 12/9/19

In Sympathy With Mourning Iranians Film Director Dariush Mehrjui Not Celebrating 80TH Birthday

Dariush Mehrjui, a prominent Iranian film director says he is not celebrating his 80th birthday today as a sign of sympathy with fellow Iranians who are mourning the victims of the November protests. "I'm sad and despondent because of the calamity that has befallen [our] people. They are in mourning; they are living in hard and unfitting conditions. In such circumstances celebrating birthdays is vain," he told the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Sunday. -Radio Farda 12/9/19

The Real Deal Behind the U.S.-Iran Prisoner Swap

Donald Trump celebrated a surprise prisoner exchange with Iran in a tweet on Saturday, just hours after a Princeton graduate student and an Iranian scientist were traded on the tarmac of Zurich's international airport. "Thank you to Iran on a very fair negotiation. See, we can make a deal together!" he wrote. The swap was a rare moment of detente following months of escalating hostilities, which came within minutes of a military confrontation in June, after Iran shot down a sophisticated U.S. drone. -Robin Wright, New Yorker 12/9/19

Teenager Killed in Isfahan During Iran Protests Delivered to Family in a Shroud

The body of teenager Mohammad Javad Abedi was delivered to his family wrapped in a shroud ready for burial several days after he was killed by security forces in the city of Isfahan during the recent protests that have swept through Iran over the increase in the price of gasoline, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Iran's security forces used lethal force to crush the protests, including the firing of live ammunition into crowns of unarmed protestors -CHRI 12/9/19

Mysterious Foul Odor In Tehran To Be Investigated But Jokes Abound

Tehran Mayor on Sunday said results of the investigation to find the source a foul odor periodically plaguing various areas of the capital since January have been sent to the Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization. In an interview with the state-run television (IRIB) last night the mayor Pirouz Hanachi said there is still no definite answer about the source of the obnoxious smell. -Radio Farda 12/9/19

US policy hinders positive 'regime change' in Iran

With the rare exception of a weekend prisoner swap, the record of US-Iran relations since the Trump administration came to office has been dismal both for the Iranian people and for US national interests. A policy of undermining and then quitting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOPA)--topped by an embargo on the export of Iranian oil--has punished the Iranian people and provoked their government to commit more aggressive acts. -Barbara Slavin, Atlantic Council 12/9/19

An Arrest for the 1988 Prison Massacres in Iran Puts Universal Jurisdiction to the Test

Sweden's detention of an Iranian allegedly involved in the 1988 prison massacres is both the latest attempt at universal jurisdiction and a reminder of what historian Ervand Abrahamian calls "the most despicable as well as the most bizarre event in modern Iran." The arrested man, named by campaigners and by London's Sunday Times as 58-year-old Hamid Nouri, is due to remain in custody until at least December 11 when prosecutors will decide whether to indict him. -Gareth Smyth, Responsible Statecraft 12/9/19

Iran unveils 'budget to resist US sanctions' with help from $5bn Russian loan

Iran's president has presented a draft state budget of about $39bn to parliament, saying it was designed to resist US sanctions by limiting dependence on oil exports. Officials have not given figures for the oil price and export volumes used in the calculations, although the International Monetary Fund has indicated Iran would need oil prices to be triple current levels to balance its budget as its crude exports have plunged. -Guardian 12/9/19

World Powers Urge Iran To Reverse Atomic Deal Violations

World powers pressed Tehran on December 6 to reverse recent actions that violate a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, a Chinese official said at the end of a meeting in Vienna that came amid heightened tensions between the West and Iran. The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been unraveling since the United States unilaterally withdrew last year and reimposed American sanctions that have further crippled Iran's struggling economy. -RFE/RL 12/7/19

US citizen Xiyue Wang released from Iranian jail in prisoner swap

A Chinese-born US citizen sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran on spying charges has been released as part of a prisoner swap. Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang, imprisoned since 2016, was exchanged for Masoud Soleimani, an Iranian scientist arrested at Chicago airport last year and convicted on charges of violating US trade sanctions. -Guardian 12/7/19

Cutting-edge combat UAV, destroyer delivered to Iran's Navy

A combat reconnaissance tactical drone and a modern destroyer were delivered to the Navy in a ceremony in southeastern Iran on Saturday. Simorq is a domestically-manufactured and multi-purpose drone with high range flight capability. The drone can be utilized in surveillance and combat operations. 12/7/19

If Tehran is pushed too far, it may hit out in ways that are disastrous

The crisis in the Persian Gulf, which took Iran and the US to the brink of war in June, was never resolved - and shows every sign of reigniting. Like antagonists in a school-yard fight who refuse to shake hands and make up, the two sides, backed by regional allies and proxies, are sullenly waiting for it all to kick off again. The next bout could be much worse. -Simon Tisdall, Guardian 12/7/19

Could Iran's Exit From The Nuclear Deal Create Space For Dialogue?

From all sides, the situation is in a deadlock. The French efforts to bring the U.S. and Iran to some kind of compromise seem to have subsided. There is still hope to see next year in the U.S. a political equation more favorable to Iran. But save for such a kind of miracle, the Islamic Republic is facing today a painful choice: continue bearing the deprivation and suffocation of its people, or take a game-changing initiative, such as pulling out of the JCPOA. -Francois Nicoullaud, Responsible Statecraft 12/7/19

Top UN Human Rights Official: "Clear Violations" of International Norms on Use of Force in Iran and "Serious" Human Rights Violations Against Protestors

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet issued statement on December 6, in which she "expressed alarm" over the Iranian government's violent response to the protests that broke out across the country after the government's November 15 announcement of a steep gas price hike, stating that there were "clear violations of international norms and standards on the use of force, and serious violations of human rights." -CHRI 12/6/19

Russia Halts Work At Iran's Fordow Nuclear Facility

Russian state nuclear company Rosatom has suspended work on modernizing a unit of Iran's Fordow nuclear complex due to an issue with uranium compatibility, Rosatom's nuclear fuel cycle unit TVEL said on December 5. -RFE/RL 12/6/19

Iran rejects EU powers' letter to UN as 'desperate falsehood'

Iran has said it is determined to proceed with its ballistic missile programme, as it rejected as a "desperate falsehood" the letter from three European countries accusing Tehran of developing missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads. -Al Jazeera 12/6/19

Foreign Minister Zarif condemns medicine embargo on Iran

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that those countries which seemingly support the 2015 nuclear deal are unfortunately preventing exports of medicines for special patients in Iran. "As the issue is necessary and important, I am telling to the Europeans once again that Iran does not expect a country which has voiced support for the JCPOAto prevent a pharmaceutical company from exporting medicines for patients suffering from special diseases," Zarif said 12/5/19

IRAN: Family of Slain Bystander Warned: "We Will Dig Up the Body and Take It Away If You Speak to the Media"

Iran's security officials have warned the family of Erfan Faeghi, a 21-year-old who died from a bullet wound to the heart on November 17 in south Tehran when he unintentionally drove near a street protest, that if they speak to the media, his body would be exhumed and moved to another location, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. 12/5/19

Iran's Currency Drops 8 Percent In Wake Of Protests, Fuel Hike

Iran's currency rial lost more value Wednesday against major currencies reaching a low of 130,100 against the U.S. dollar. One month ago, the rial was trading at around 120,000 to the dollar, but since an increase in gasoline prices and widespread anti-government protests in November, the currency has steadily lost about 8 percent of its value. 12/5/19

Iran's Leaders Soften Stance on Protesters

Faced with a simmering fury in the country, Iran's leaders on Wednesday abruptly softened their stance toward street protests that are believed to have left hundreds of civilians dead last month, the most lethal crackdown since the 1979 revolution. The change, led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, signaled that the hierarchy was scrambling to manage resentment worsened by a brutal suppression of protests throughout the country -New York Times 12/5/19

Trump Stuck Between Ending Endless Wars and his Hawkish Megadonors

President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to withdraw the United States from its ongoing wars in the Middle East, and avoid the kind of military adventurism, like the Iraq war, that has destabilized the region. Trump's track record, however, is largely detached from his promises - a disconnect perhaps at least partially explained by his largest campaign contributors' consistent advocacy for U.S. military action in the Middle East and support for starting a preventive war with Iran. -Eli Clifton, Responsible Statecraft 12/5/19

Axis of hope

In her new book, Axis of Hope: Iranian Women's Rights Activism across Borders (University of Washington Press, 2019), Catherine Sameh, assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of California, Irvine, shares the stories and practices of women's human rights activists both inside and outside of Iran. -UCI 12/5/19

Public Outrage Grows As Reports of Bloody Crackdown Emerge: "Every Corner of Iran is Mourning the Atrocities"

As reports of the unprecedented state violence against protesters in Iran begin to emerge now that the state-imposed internet shut-down has been lifted, the full extent of the state's brutal crackdown is being revealed and Iranians have been reacting with outrage and grief. Current estimates of the number killed are over two hundred, and perhaps significantly higher. Many more were injured and thousands arrested. -CHRI 12/4/19

Iran's President Rouhani Ready To Talk With Trump An Hour After Lifting Sanctions

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says If the President of United States agrees to lift all the sanctions imposed on Iran, he will be ready to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump within an hour. Rouhani who was speaking at a conference on "insurance and development" in Iran on Wednesday December 4, said that he made the same offer while he was in New York in September to take part at the UN General Assembly meeting. -Radio Farda 12/4/19

Reports of Bystanders Killed by Iran's Security Forces Firing Indiscriminately at Protesters Grow

Reports of bystanders who were killed by security forces in Iran because they happened to be near protestors continue to mount with the lifting of the state-imposed internet shutdown and news blackout in the country. Arsham Ebrahimi, age 21, died of a bullet wound on November 16 in the city of Isfahan, central Iran, Arsham's uncle, Navid Ebrahimi, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). -CHRI 12/4/19

Iran President Calls For Release Of 'Innocent' Unarmed Protesters

Iran's President Hassan Rohani has called for the release of protesters who were arrested in recent demonstrations against a sharp hike in gas prices if they were unarmed and simply voicing their opinion. "Religious and Islamic clemency should be shown and those innocent people who protested against petrol price hikes and were not armed...should be released," Rohani said in a televised speech on December 4. -RFE/RL 12/4/19

Is Iran on the Edge of a Precipice?

The widespread protests caused by the Iranian government's decision on November 15 to raise the price of gasoline by a whopping 50 percent have generated a flurry of speculation about their wider political implications for Iran's rulers. What does seem clear, as several Iran experts have noted, is that these protests were in some sense unprecedented. -Daniel Brumberg, Arab Center DC 12/4/19

IRAN: Housewife Killed by Bullet to Neck While Helping Wounded Protester; Family Forced To Pay to Take Body

An unarmed civilian and mother of three young children, Ameneh Shahbazi, was killed by a bullet as she was trying to help a person shot in the leg during a protest, her brother, Mohammad Shahbazi, said in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). Her death certificate indicated that she had died from a shattered skull but in fact a bullet had broken her neck, Mohammad said. The family was forced to pay in order to receive her body, and they were surrounded by security agents at her funeral. -CHRI 12/3/19

Iran Guards Official Says Khamenei Played Crucial Role In Suppressing Protests

A top official of Iran's revolutionary Guards has said that if it was not for the "timely intervention" of the Supreme Leader, it would not have been possible "to wrap up" the November protests in 48 hours. The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the protesters "thugs" on November 17, the third day of protests and called on "those responsible" to "discharge their duty...to preserve the country's security". This was a signal to an array of security and intelligence organs to use military means to quell the unrest. -Radio Farda 12/3/19

Shot to Heart Kills Iranian Protester in Security Forces' Lethal Attacks Against Unarmed Civilians

Hamid Rasouli, who died in the Golshahr district of Karaj, west of Tehran, on November 17, 2019, during the recent protests that swept through in Iran, was struck by bullets fired by security forces, one of his relatives told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on condition of anonymity. A 32-year-old married man, Rasouli was "critical of present conditions," said the relative. 12/3/19

Lawmaker Says Dissent In Iran Glows Like Fire Under Ashes

An outspoken reformist member of the Iranian Parliament (Majles) says security forces have "preemptively" arrested a number of students who have not taken part in recent protests in Iran. Mahmoud Sadeqi (Sadeghi) said in an interview with the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Monday, December 2 that the arrests have been made illegally and the authorities should investigate and explain the measure. -Radio Farda 12/3/19

Iran says still selling oil despite US sanctions; global traders agree

International energy news providers say Iran's announcement that the country is still selling its oil despite US sanctions is not without foundation. Since September, the United States has been working to bring Iran's oil exports down to zero as part of Washington's "maximum pressure" on Tehran. But Iran's Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri asserted on Monday that the policy has failed because the Islamic Republic continues to send its oil to the market. -Press TV 12/3/19

Background And Consequences Of Protests In Iran: A Look From Within

Two weeks after the eruption of protests in Iran due to the rise in petrol prices, the unrests may have subsided but discontent is still on the rise, like the clam before the storm which may erupt once more in the not so distant future.Based on official reports, 28 out of 31 Iranian provinces and over 100 cities were engulfed by protests. -Amir Delshad, LobeLog 12/3/19

Sanctions May Have Fueled Iran Protests, but Have Yet to Further U.S. Goals

President Trump likes to say that Iran is "a different country" after 18 months of punishing American sanctions, and the protests sweeping Iranian cities suggest he may be right. Even his most vociferous critics acknowledge that Mr. Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign helped fuel that unrest. But it is far from clear that what is unfolding on the streets today will make Iran more likely to renegotiate its nuclear deal or dial back its malign actions in the region, the two major American goals in dealing with the country. -David E. Sanger, New York Times 12/3/19

IRAN: Slain Protester's Father Will File Suit to Find Killer, Calls for Accountability for State Violence

Manouchehr Bakhtiari, the father of a young protestor who was shot to death as he participated in the recent protests in Iran, will file a complaint with judicial authorities demanding the identification of the person responsible for killing his son, he told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on November 28. 27-Year-Old Pouya Bakhtiari Died from Bullet to Head Amidst Violent State Assault on Protestors. -CHRI 12/2/19

Iran: Death toll from bloody crackdown on protests rises to 208

The number of people believed to have been killed during demonstrations in Iran that broke out on 15 November has risen to at least 208, said Amnesty International, based on credible reports received by the organization. The real figure is likely to be higher. Dozens of the deaths have been recorded in Shahriar city in Tehran province - one of the cities with the highest death tolls. -Amnesty International 12/2/19

Quds Governor Admits Ordering Police To Shoot At Iran Protesters

The governor of Qal'eh Hassan Khan (Qods township) has claimed responsibility for ordering the Islamic Republic security forces to open fire on protesters who had invaded the governor's building. Speaking to the government's official daily, Iran on Sunday, December 1 Layla (Leila) Vaseqi admitted that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces had been active in suppressing the protesters from day one of the anti-regime demonstrations in November. -Radio Farda 12/2/19

With Brutal Crackdown, Iran Is Convulsed by Worst Unrest in 40 Years

What started as a protest over a surprise increase in gasoline prices turned into widespread demonstrations met with a systematic repression that left at least 180 people dead. -Farnaz Fassihi and Rick Gladstone, New York Times 12/2/19

Will Iran's 50% gas price hike pay off for the economy?

On Nov. 15, Iran announced a shift in its gasoline subsidy policies that led to massive social protests and the unprecedented government response of a weeklong internet shutdown. Though it's too early to have a complete analysis of the recent wave of anti-government protests, it is valid to argue that the political, economic and social costs of the recent decision were very high. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor 12/2/19

U.S. Sanctions on Iran are Affecting Impoverished Iranians

Roughly a year ago, the United States Government decided to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. After leaving the agreement, the Trump administration decided to reimpose U.S. sanctions on Iran. This decision has had three main impacts on Iran with the brunt of the effects felt by impoverished Iranians. -Borgen Magazine 12/2/19

Iran Begins Registering Candidates For February 2020 Parliamentary Polls

Registration has begun for candidates running in Iran's parliamentary elections set for February 2020, Iranian media reported. The registration kicked off on December 1 and will continue until December 7, the official government news agency IRNA reported. 12/2/19

Lawmaker Says Some Embedded With Iran Protesters To Destroy Property

A female member of Iran's parliament has referred to "groups of people who were embedded with demonstrators" just to destroy property during recent anti-government protests. Paravaneh Salhashouri was replying to a tweet by Mohammad Ali Jafari, the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) who attempted to portray President Hassan Rouhani's administration as unresponsive to frustrations felt by ordinary Iranians. -Radio Farda 11/30/19

Iran opposition leader compares supreme leader to shah

A long-detained opposition leader in Iran on Saturday compared a bloody crackdown on those protesting government-set gasoline prices rising under its supreme leader to soldiers of the shah gunning down demonstrators in an event that led to the Islamic Revolution. -AP 11/30/19

CCBE Human Rights Award 2019 Granted To Four Imprisoned Iranian lawyers

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) grants its 2019 Human Rights Award to four Iranian lawyers currently in prison: Nasrin Sotoudeh, Abdolfattah Soltani, Mohammad Najafi and Amirsalar Davoudi. 11/29/19

Security Officials Announce Arrests Of More 'Rioters' In Iran

Two weeks after widespread anti-regime protests began in Iran, the security and intelligence forces of the Islamic Republic are still busy arresting more "suspects". The commander of security forces in the western part of Tehran Province announced on Thursday, November 28 that thirty more people have been arrested in towns west of Tehran. 11/29/19

Influential Iranian Politicians Criticize President Rohani For Remarks On Gasoline Price Hike

Two influential politicians in Iran have criticized President Hassan Rohani's statement November 27 that he did not know gasoline prices would be raised November 15. The price hike led to widespread protests across the country, with security forces killing at least 143 demonstrators. -Radio Farda 11/29/19

Six European countries join EU-Iran financial trading mechanism INSTEX

Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden will join the INSTEX mechanism for trade with Iran, the six countries declared in a joint statement on Friday (29 November) ahead of further talks between parties to the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna next week. -Alexandra Brzozowski, Euractiv 11/29/19

Did U.S. Billionaire Play Role in Iran Environmentalists' Imprisonment?

IN SEPTEMBER 2017, a group of Iranian environmentalists working on Asiatic cheetah preservation with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation felt a pang of alarm. Thomas S. Kaplan, a billionaire precious metals investor then best known for his fine art collection, had just made a surprise public appearance in New York at the annual conference of United Against Nuclear Iran. The Iranian environmentalists were concerned because their group had gotten aid from one of Kaplan's nonpolitical charities. Now, he was speaking before a group that was extremely hostile to their country. -Murtaza Hussain, Intercept 11/28/19

Mianeh-Bostan Abad Railway inaugurated by Iran's President Rohani

The Mianeh-Bostan Abad Railway officially started operation on Wednesday at the order of Iranian President Hassan Rohani during his visit to East Azerbaijan Province. The railway is 132km long and has been constructed at a cost of 5 trillion rials beginning from Mianeh Station and runs to Bostan Abad Station, passing through Torkamanchay and Tikmeh Dash towns. 11/28/19

Iraq Decries Torching Of Iran's Consulate In Southern Najaf

Iraq's Foreign Ministry has condemned an attack on Iran's consulate in the southern city of Najaf, the country's state news agency reported early on November 28, citing the ministry. The previous day's attack, during which protesters set the diplomatic building on fire, was "aimed at damaging the historical relations between Iraq and Iran and with rest of the countries," the ministry said. -RFE/RL 11/28/19

Can The Iran Crisis Be A Blessing In Disguise For Europe?

Popular protests in Iran came at a particularly delicate time for the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA). More than one year after the United States unilaterally withdrew and re-imposed extraterritorial sanctions against Iran, the JCPOA is hovering precariously on a brink of collapse. Currently, the only obvious path available for Iran and the U.S. to avoid a direct confrontation is the French President Emmanuel Macron's initiative to mediate between them, and to issue a $15 billion credit line to Iran to cover its basic needs. -Eldar Mamedov 11/27/19

Iran's Interior Minister Says Protests In Five Provinces Turned Into Intense Unrest

The Islamic Republic Minister of Interior says that the recent protests across Iran turned into "special" cases of intense unrest in five provinces of the country. One hundred spots in the capital city, Tehran, were also the scene of intense protests. -Radio Farda 11/27/19

Khamenei: Iran Protests Were Deep-Rooted, Widespread, And Very Dangerous

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says the November protests in Iran have been "deep-rooted, widespread and very dangerous". Khamenei was addressing the IRGC-linked Basij militia members and commanders who have played a substantial part in the violent suppression of the protests. -Radio Farda 11/27/19

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