Iran's Anti-American Rhetoric Continues With Jail Sentences, Naval Propaganda

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Iran had upheld the sentence of another person targeted for links with the United States. The Iranian judiciary announced the sentencing via its own news website. Identifying the individual only as “Alireza,” the judiciary said that he had been sentenced to two years in prison for “collaborating with a hostile government.” This charge has been used in a number of instances of political imprisonment in recent years, and its legal veracity has been challenged based on the inherent vagueness of both the word “hostile” and the word “collaborating.”

As Tehran's Nuclear Rhetoric Intensifies, US Action on JCPOA Remains Unclear

On Thursday, Fox News published an editorial that was critical both of the 2015 nuclear agreement and US President Donald Trump’s handling of it. Although Trump has repeatedly described the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as one of the worst deals ever negotiated and has recently indicated that he expects to decertify Iran’s compliance with it in October, the editorial accuses him of failing to make Iran’s nuclear program a priority as he has done with the nuclear threats coming from North Korea.

Routine Pardons Contribute to Dubious Public Relations Campaign on Human Rights

On Thursday, The Iran Project reported that the clerical regime’s Supreme Leader had pardoned or commuted the sentences of 1,166 prisoners following a traditional request from the judiciary which marks the Muslim festivals of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Ghadeer. The first of these is celebrated by all Muslims and represents the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage; the other is a Shiite-specific festival that commemorates the passage of Islamic leadership to Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad.

Women's Rights Activists Exploit Ticketing "Glitch" to Protest Stadium Ban

On Monday, it was reported that a technical glitch on a ticketing website had apparently led to an unknown number of women being allowed to purchase tickets for a soccer match at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. Iranian authorities quickly responded to the incident by saying that there were no plans to honor the tickets, which would be cancelled and have their purchase price refunded. And according to Newsweek, some women acknowledged that they were well aware of the fact that they would not be allowed into the stadium, but elected to purchase tickets anyway, as a symbolic gesture.

In New Betrayal of Reformist Image, Rouhani Urges "Unity" Behind Supreme Leader

At the end of August media released a brief video that effectively mocked Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for presenting an overwhelmingly positive image of his presidency and the state of Iranian society now that his second term in office has begun. Rouhani plainly declared in an interview with state media that “everyone is happy,” leading media to respond by saying that “political prisoners, jailed journalists, women's rights activists, and many others might not agree.”

Disregarding Iranian Threats, White House Keeps up Pressure on Nuclear Deal

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley visited the American Enterprise Institute in order to continue a campaign aimed at facilitating global discussion of American concerns about the Iran nuclear agreement, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Her speech before the conservative think tank reportedly laid out the White House’s case for declaring Iran out of compliance with the agreement, thereby effectively cancelling it. According to the Associated Press, Haley indicated that President Donald Trump would have a solid foundation for such cancellation, although she also reiterated her earlier claim that he has not yet committed to a course of action.

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