Insider news & Analysis in Iran

On Monday, just days after it was reported that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps had premiered the domestically-produced Khorramshahr ballistic missile in a military parade, the Associated Press reported that the IRGC also put the Russian-made S-300 missile defense system on public display in central Tehran. Both ceremonies were presented as part of Defense Week, the annual commemoration of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, which doubles as an annual outlet for anti-Western propaganda.

At the United Nations General Assembly yesterday in New York, thousands of people gathered outside the building to protest the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and to call for an end to the Iranian regime’s brutal rule.

They gathered to make it clear to the people of the United States that the people of Iran are not happy with the clerical rule of their country.

On Monday, Newsweek reported that the head of the Iranian army, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi had issued both general and specific threats against the Israel, via the Iranian Students News Agency. Mousavi reportedly declared that the Jewish state would likely not exist 25 years from now if its government continued along the current geopolitical path. This is reminiscent of a number of similar claims made by various Iranian officials over the years, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

On Friday, it was reported that Iran, Russia, and Turkey had finalized the framework of an agreement by which observers from each of the three nations will be positioned around Idlib Province in Syria, ostensibly to enforce de-escalation in the area that is still largely controlled by militant rebel groups. The details of this agreement have yet to be finalized, both with regard to Idlib itself and with regard to the three other deconfliction zones that will supposedly be set up by the three parties.

It was widely reported on Thursday that the United States had made two contrasting moves with regard to Iran sanctions and the 2015 nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. These come as the White House faced a deadline for reauthorizing the suspension of sanctions identified by the JCPOA. In absence of presidential reauthorization, those sanctions would be automatically retriggered at the end of any given 120 day period. The Trump administration elected to grant reauthorization in this case but also imposed new sanctions while it continues to wrestle with the prospect of withholding certification of Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal.

On Saturday, the Center for Human Rights in Iran published an update on the situation of hunger striking political prisoners in Rajai Shahr Prison, also known as Gohardasht Prison. The article indicates that 15 of the prisoners had by then been on the hunger strike for 40 days, having begun at the end of July, when dozens of inmates were stripped of their personal belongings and forcibly transferred to an area of the prison with upgraded repressive infrastructure, including 24/7 video surveillance.

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