Insider news & Analysis in Iran

Looming Political Execution 

Through its sources inside the country, the National Council of Resistance of Iran learned on Wednesday that Gholamreza Khossravi was transferred out of his cell in Ward 350 of Tehran’s Evin Prison, and moved onto death row, from whence he could be taken to be hanged at any time. The NCRI has since issued appeals to the United Nations and to various governments in hopes that the international community will intercede to save Khossravi’s life.

The 49-year old political prisoner was not given advanced notice of an execution date, as is typical of executions in Iran’s notorious prisons. Many inmates are made to simply listen to the reading of a kill-list each week in order to find out whether they are slated to die. In addition to being taken by surprise with his Wednesday transfer, Khossravi’s original death sentence was similarly unexpected, coming as it did when he was in the middle of serving a six year prison term that had formerly been handed down. 

That prison sentence came in 2007, but after serving four years, Khossravi was accused of continuing to support the opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran through financial donations. He was returned to court on that basis to face a charge of “enmity towards God,” for which he received his death sentence.

Khossravi was one of several political prisoners attacked and beaten in an April 17 raid on Evin Prison, and then subsequently denied medical treatment. He was placed in solitary confinement and engaged in a hunger strike with other victims of the raid, until being returned do his cell after 23 days. Sources inside the prison report that in the midst of the ordeal, an agent of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry privately threatened to see that Khossravi’s death sentence be carried out. 

Internet Crackdown 

The international media is increasingly giving coverage to the story of the eight women who have been sentenced to long prison terms for posting critical comments about the Iranian government on Facebook. The specific charges included blasphemy, propaganda against the ruling system, spreading lies, and insulting the Supreme Leader. The women’s sentences range from just over seven years to a full 20 years. 

According to Gissou Nia, executive director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, “the case was reviewed by Judge Moghiseh, a notorious Revolutionary Court judge who has had a long history of handing down extremely harsh sentences to activists, lawyers and journalists.” Furthermore, Moghiseh took this opportunity to apply new legal provisions that allow for even longer sentences than would have previously been customary in cases like these. Together with rising capital punishment figures, this change is indicative of a possible worsening of repression against political dissenters, internet users, and others. 

Indeed, some commentators have interpreted these latest sentences as examples of a broader crackdown on internet usage and attempts to express personal freedom. This narrative is especially apparent in context with other recent actions by the government, including the arrest of seven young Iranians who made a video of themselves dancing to a popular Western song. 

Backpedaling the Zuckerberg Summons 

Another example of an internet crackdown was the announcement on Tuesday that a judge in southern Iran had called upon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in the country and answer charges that his internet applications are responsible for privacy violations. The announcement was carried by the semi-official ISNA news agency, but on Wednesday it was softened by the official IRNA news agency, which said that Zuckerberg is not yet required to appear to answer questions, but that the government’s internet authorities are conducting a review of the Facebook-owned Whats App and Instagram applications.

The reason for the backpedaling is not clear, although it is possible that the regime did not intend for the original story to spread as far as it did into the international media. An attempt to temper the story may provide the regime with more cover to portray a less hardline image to the West, while still being able to claim, in domestic circles, that it is being continually aggressive towards the United States and “Zionists,” as officials have described Zuckerberg. 

US Congress Still Seeking a Voice

Iran’s duplicity in alternating between displays of aggression and apparent cooperation illustrate why so many elements in the United States are still highly distrustful of the Iranian regime’s foreign policy and its sincerity at the nuclear talks in Geneva and Vienna. The US Congress has been far less optimistic about those talks than President Obama, and it has pushed for a harder stance on the issue.

The Tower reports that Obama is still facing significant pressure to consult with Congress on any future deal, and that he will ultimately have to do so. If Congress is ignored, its unaddressed concerns may weaken the credibility of any deal that is struck between Iran and American executive. This perspective has been expressed in the American media by veteran diplomats and analysts from both sides of the political aisle.

 

 

Iranian Opposition

Maryam Rajavi: Iranian People Forging Ahead Towards Certain Victory: Part 3

During the Free Iran conference in Ashraf 3, Albania, last month, Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, gave a speech a...

Maryam Rajavi: Iranian People Forging Ahead Towards Certain Victory: Part 2

During the Free Iran conference in Ashraf 3, Albania, last month, Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, gave a speech a...

Infightings

Iran's Expediency Council Undecided About FATF Bills

Iran's Expediency Council Undecided About FATF Bills

By INU Staff INU - Ahmad Tavakoli, member of Iran’s Expediency Council, warned about imminent "strategic political and security t...

Iranian Theorist Predicts End of Regime

Iranian Theorist Predicts End of Regime

By INU Staff INU - A well-known Iranian hardline theorist has predicted the fall of the regime, explicitly telling the government...

Nuclear

Is Iran getting ready to launch a new satellite?

The Iranian Regime seems to be getting ready to launch another satellite into orbit, following two failed attempts this year, even...

Iran Continues to Exceed JCPOA Limits

Iran Continues to Exceed JCPOA Limits

By INU Staff INU - The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or 2015 Iran nuclear as it is more commonly known, has limits ...

Human rights

40 people given flogging sentences in Iran

Forty people in Iran’s northwestern Ardabil province have been given flogging sentences, according to a judicial official, most of...

UN report condemns executions in Iran

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said that there were increased restrictions on freedom of expression...

Women

Iran labor activist sentenced to 7 years and 74 lashes

A female Iranian labor activist has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 74 lashes after her trial at the Revolutionary Cou...

Maryam Rajavi Says “No to Compulsory Veiling”

Maryam Rajavi Says “No to Compulsory Veiling”

By Mahmoud Hakamian Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, has been very vocal about her opinions on the forced vei...

Economy

German Exports to Iran Take a Nosedive as Sanctions Take Effect

German Exports to Iran Take a Nosedive as Sanctions Take Effect

By INU Staff INU - Last year, US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comp...

Corruption in Iran’s Oil and Health Ministries Revealed

Corruption in Iran’s Oil and Health Ministries Revealed

By INU Staff INU - The Iranian Regime is facing intense unrelenting pressure under the twin forces of the Iranian people and thei...

Sanctions

Europe must cancel Zarif’s visit

The Iranian Regime’s state-run news agencies are reporting that Mohammad Javad Zarif, the mullahs’ Minister of State for Foreign A...

Iran Regime Officials Scared of US Sanctions

Iran Regime Officials Scared of US Sanctions

By INU Staff INU - After the US imposed sanctions on Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, regime officials began to vo...

Middle East

Release of Iranian Tanker Creates New Uncertainties about Persian Gulf Tensions

It was reported on Monday that a tanker laden with Iranian oil, which was ordered released by authorities in Gibraltar last week, ...

Iran: British Government Sends Further Reinforcements to Gulf to Guarantee Safety

Iran: British Government Sends Further Reinforcements to Gulf to Guarantee Safet…

By INU Staff INU - Following the arrival of a second British warship in the Gulf, the United Kingdom is set to send further milit...

Terrorism

Iranian Supreme Leader Pledges Support for Houthi Rebels in Yemen

Iranian Supreme Leader Pledges Support for Houthi Rebels in Yemen

By INU Staff INU - Earlier this week, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Houthi ...

Iran’s Terrorist Training Camps Exposed

Iran’s Terrorist Training Camps Exposed

By INU Staff INU -  The Iranian opposition has been warning the international community about a number of threats that the Irania...

#IranProtests

#FreeIran 2019

latest INU tweet

GETTING TO KNOW IRAN'S REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS

THE STORY OF THE 1988 MASSACRE IN IRAN

Copyright © 2018 Iran News Update