Insider news & Analysis in Iran
Minority Persecution Increases as Iran Copes With Both Foreign and Domestic Pressure

On Thursday, the Assyrian International News Agency reported upon legal appeals that had been filed in the cases of four Iranian Christians who were arrested for their participation in the same at-home worship services, as part of a larger movement to facilitate the expression of Christian faith in a country where converting from Islam is considered illegal and potentially punishable by death.

Iran Welcomes Conflict, Continues Blaming Foreign Enemies for Domestic Unrest

The Iranian parliament voted on Sunday to remove Finance Minister Masoud Karbasian from his post, following months of economic decline that have helped to fuel ongoing protests against the clerical regime, its endemic corruption, and its misplaced priorities. In reporting on the ouster, the Associated Press described it as representing the government’s recognition of the public anger, though it also pointed out that the change in leadership of the Finance Ministry is unlikely to make any real difference in absence of a broader change in the regime’s behavior, just as the prior removal of the Minister of Labor failed to have any meaningful impact.

Iran’s Options Moving Forward

The Obama administration lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran when the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was agreed. Trump made the decision to pull out of the deal in May and on 6th August he signed an executive order for the first round of sanctions to take effect. These sanctions are to increase economic pressure on Iran and will impact the trade of precious metals including gold, steel and aluminium. Furthermore, the sanctions are related to Iran’s purchases using the dollar and the trade of coal and commercial passenger aircrafts.

Iran Continues to Respond to Pressure With Internal Feuds and Foreign Belligerence

On Monday, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty called attention to an apparent death threat against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in order to highlight the internal conflicts that have been proliferating within the regime amidst eight months of anti-government protests and rising levels of foreign pressure spearheaded by the Trump White House.

Tensions Between Iran and Its Allies Threaten Plans to Resist US Sanctions

Iran’s emerging efforts to focus on its own region and on Asian partners in an effort to defray the impact of re-imposed US sanctions are likely to face difficulties and multiple complicating factors. As things currently stand, some of the would-be targets of that strategy are prone to contentious relationships with the Islamic Republic, whereby both sides recognize the benefits of mutual cooperation against Western interests but also struggle to let go of their own unique grievances and self-serving ambitions.

US special working group for the development and implementation of Iran policy in the wake of the re-imposition of sanctions

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had created a special working group for the development and implementation of Iran policy in the wake of the re-imposition of sanctions that had been suspended under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

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