Insider news & Analysis in Iran

On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations delivered testimony to the House panel on foreign operations, a subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee in the US House of Representatives. In that testimony, Haley addressed multiple issues relating to the Islamic Republic of Iran, thereby reasserting the Trump administration’s assertive policies toward the Iranian regime. By most accounts those policies are still emerging, but they have already come to include purposive outreach to other adversaries of the Islamic Republic and a program of expanded sanctions on matters such as Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Infuriated by MEK’s removal from US terrorist list, Iranian regime House Speaker Ali Larijni said in his Friday June-23 speech “now it’s you (the United States) who are sponsor of terrorism and even mother of terrorism, yet you accuse the Iranian regime of sponsoring terrorism. Your accusations are shameful …. Today the Americans removed MEK from their list of terrorist groups.”

In an article titled “(MEK’s) footsteps being heard”, the Revolutionary Guards’ Fars news agency reveals regime’s concerns over increased danger coming from MEK following their transfer from Camp Liberty to Europe, saying that June 20 is reminder of (MEK’s) declaring war against the regime.

This month the US Senate passed a bill that imposes new sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. The sanctions package targets the country’s ballistic missile program, which has continued to develop through several provocative tests in spite of the fact that the United Nations called upon Iran to avoid such work after the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The bill also extends terrorism-related sanctions to the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the hardline paramilitary that is responsible for close encounters with US Navy vessels, the growth of Shiite militant groups in Syria, and the massive crackdown on activists, journalists, and social progressives inside Iran itself.

During the summer of 1988 in Iran, some 30,000 political prisoners, the majority of whom were MEK members or sympathizers, were executed. The year is the 29th anniversary of the 1988 massacre.

Last summer, an audio tape was published by the son of Hossein-Ali Montazeri. August 9, 2016, the recording was heard for the first time, and on it Khomeini’s former heir can be heard telling a meeting of members of the “Death Committee” that they are carrying out a crime against humanity, 28 years ago, on August 15, 1988.

June 23 marked the last Friday of Ramadan, a date that is celebrated as Quds Day each year in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Los Angeles Times was among the news outlets that detailed the festivities, which are organized and carefully stage-managed by the Iranian government to showcase hardline sentiments against the Jewish state of Israel and its Western backers, while striving to organize regional Muslim sentiment around the cause of Palestine.

On Thursday, the Washington Post published an article detailing the escalating tensions between the United States and supporters of the Assad regime in Syria, as ISIL power in the region continues to diminish. The article reiterates that ISIL’s de facto capital of Raqqa seems to be on the verge of falling, and that this development will send the Syrian Civil War into a new phase, with US-backed and Iran-backed forces competing directly for strategically significant swaths of reclaimed territory.

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