Insider news & Analysis in Iran

On Wednesday, Agence France Presse reported upon some of the European responses to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s recent announcement that his country was preparing for an expansion of its uranium enrichment activities, in anticipation of a collapse of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal last month.

Syrian democratic opposition had urged the US and its allies to increase pressure on the Iranian regime

Thursday, Reuters reported that the Syrian democratic opposition had urged the US and its allies to increase pressure on the Iranian regime to cease its interference in the Syrian Civil War and its support of the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. Specifically, Nasr Hariri of the Syrian Negotiation Commission spoke at a meeting in Brussels to suggest that US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal could open the door to just such an increase in pressure.

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.

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