Insider news & Analysis in Iran

According to informed sources, which track executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, at least three inmates were hanged on Sunday alone, suggesting that the high rate of executions is continuing from the previous two months, during which approximately 200 people were put to death. Iran has long maintained the highest per-capita rate of executions in the world, but the monthly rates vary dramatically, often diminishing around the time of national elections and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan but then surging at other times. In total, it is estimated that approximately 3,500 inmates have been hanged since the supposedly moderate President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013.

On Monday, it was reported that the Islamic Republic of Iran had announced its first ever test of a long rank missile defense system. Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, the head of the country’s air defenses, boasted of the missile program in an interview with Iranian state media the previous day. In it he boasted that the Bavar 373 system was expected to be fully operational by March and that it would increase the Islamic Republic’s “combat capabilities.”

According to multiple reports that were published on Sunday and Monday, three American citizens and one person with permanent resident status in the United States have had their appeals rejected by the Islamic Republic of Iran, where each individual is serving a 10-year sentence on poorly substantiated charges of espionage.

On Monday, it was reported that Iran’s vice president for legal affairs, one of only three females appointed to serve in positions during President Hassan Rouhani’s second term, had begun to wear the full body covering chador, instead of the less conservative hijab, which covers only the hair and is legally required for all women. The change was widely regarded as further capitulation to hardline pressures, especially in light of the fact that the official, Laaya Joneidi, was responding to pressure coming directly from the supposedly moderate Rouhani.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Islamic Republic of Iran had once again voiced its rejection of American efforts to push for international inspections of the country’s military sites. The latest major example of this push came in the form of a visit by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, to the International Atomic Energy Agency. In that visit, Haley sought answers to American concerns regarding the extent of IAEA inspections regarding Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement. But the Iranian Foreign Ministry complained about the meeting and asserted that the US was attempting to sow doubt about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on an international scale.

The Iran Human Rights Monitor website reported on Tuesday that the hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison had continued to expand since its start nearly three weeks ago, and had come to encompass other prison facilities in the Islamic Republic.

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