Insider news & Analysis in Iran

On Monday morning, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered his first foreign policy speech since being sworn in about three weeks earlier. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., he outlined the strategy to be adopted by the White House in the aftermath of the President Donald Trump pulling the US out of the 2015 nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Since taking office in 2013, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been subject to near-constant criticism regarding the mismatch between his public statements and his administration’s actual actions with regard to human rights and freedom of speech.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump simultaneously upheld the expectations and undercut the optimism of proponents of the Iran nuclear deal when he announced that the US would be pulling out of the agreement and re-imposing economic sanctions “at the highest level.”

A controversy surrounding the Freedom of Speech Award given out by the Germany international broadcasting company Deutsche Welle last week. Was called to attention on Monday by Iran human rights sources. The recipient, Sadegh Zibakalam, is considered a so called advocate of reform and was sentenced to prison in March for the crime of speaking to international media about the nationwide uprising that began in late December. But Zibakalam is also a staunch defender of the existing regime, having gone as far as saying that he would stop talking about a given topic if ordered by intelligence services, and would even take up arms to defend the Islamic Republic.

Turk Activist Naser Alirezaie was arrested on Friday, April 27, for revealing the death of an 18-year-old girl after the car she was in crashed while being pursued by the so-called Guidance Patrol (Gasht-e Ershad).

By Edward Carney

On Sunday, Iran Human Rights Monitor reported that an activist by the name of Naser Alirezaie had been arrested and charged with “spreading lies” after he revealed information about the death of an unnamed young woman and the injury of her male companion in a traffic accident involving members of the Guidance Patrol, or morality police.

On Friday, the human right sources reported that over 100 Iranian activists had been indicted for their roles in the mass protests that took place throughout the country in late December and January. Some of those indictments represent national security charges, meaning that the arrestees could face long prison sentences or even execution. Indeed, judiciary officials previously warned that death sentences were likely for people deemed leaders of the protest movement, which gave rise to unusually provocative, anti-government slogans such as “death to the dictator.”

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