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The JCPOA in a Political Whirlwind

Iran's regime claimed that its nuclear program is peaceful. But traces found at its nuclear sites indicate that the regime has a secret nuclear weapons program.
Iran's regime claimed that its nuclear program is peaceful. But traces found at its nuclear sites indicate that the regime has a secret nuclear weapons program.

With the end of the sixth round of the Vienna talks over Iran’s nuclear program, the date of a new round of talks and the return of the P4 + 1 and Iran-United States political delegations to Austria remains unclear, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell told EuroNews that Iran has said it will not return to talks until the president (Ebrahim Raisi) takes office in August.

The stalling of the Vienna talks has fueled skepticism and pessimism about the revival of the JCPOA, especially the remarks made by Russia’s permanent representative, Mikhail Ulyanov, who until then had always made hopeful remarks, added to the negative possibilities for a nuclear deal. He warned last week that postponing the talks could weaken the resolve of the parties to the agreement.

This is even though after the start of the Vienna talks and the initial agreement of the members and the announcement of the start of writing the final text of the agreement, optimism about an early understanding increased so that some believed that the sixth round of negotiations would reach a final agreement.

There are different reactions as to why the agreement could not be reached after six rounds of negotiations and an indefinite postponement of its continuation.

In general, the differences between the negotiating parties can be assessed at two technical-legal and political levels. At the technical-legal level, which seems to be the shell of the negotiations, some agreements have been reached so that the lifting of substantive sanctions has not been significantly challenged in the face of Iran’s nuclear retreat.

Some regime experts estimate that lifting sanctions on banking, oil, petrochemicals, insurance, and shipping would free at least 80 percent of Iran’s economy from the sanctions shadow.

But what the regime is searching for is the lifting of the sanctions imposed on a real and legal person which are mainly the regime’s IRGC and the supreme leader Ali Khamenei. But the US has said it cannot lift non-nuclear sanctions imposed under Trump’s administration.

On the other hand, the US and the European Troika are insisting that the new generation centrifuges be either destroyed or removed from Iran due to the reduction of Iran’s nuclear ‘escape point’, which has not been approved by the regime.

Another thing that the regime wants is the reliance of the US government on fact-checking which the US government did not accept, fearing that the US would leave a new agreement based on its desire.

Therefore, in the technical-legal aspects, some agreements have been reached but the main subject remains left, which is a JCPOA+ which is requested by the world powers which included the regime’s missile project and its regional policies, and its human rights case.

A JCPOA+ that the regime can and will not accept, and a withdrawal from nuclear progress would be costly for Tehran if it exceeded the limits set by the regime’s supreme leader as many of its experts said. Such fear can only translate into the regime’s fear of a collapse and more protests because more withdrawals will weaken the IRGC.

On the other hand, US President Joe Biden is facing serious opposition from both parties in the process of reviving the JCPOA, which has manacled his hands and has faced serious restrictions. Biden needs congressional support to lift non-nuclear sanctions, something that is not possible in the current context.

According to the tradition of US presidents, Biden does not want to jeopardize his party’s position in internal factional rivalries in the first round and the first year of his term by using challenging executive orders.

Therefore, the main stalemate must be sought in the political components. And the regime has no other way than to make crucial and effective decisions in the coming days, otherwise, the principle of the agreement will be threatened, because of the erosion of the negotiations and opposing voices in the United States which are becoming louder day after day will hinder the formation of the final understanding, which is a danger for the Iranian regime.

Iran’s regime must accept that to revive the JCPOA, there is no choice but to relinquish some concessions and withdraw from some positions because any win-win agreement requires mutual benefit, otherwise, even if one side wins the agreement, its stability will be challenged.

So, what the regime has started in the recent months, which is decreasing its nuclear escape point, is becoming a trap killing a new JCPOA agreement and will face the regime with more challenges because all the world powers expressed many times that they will not accept a nuclear regime in Iran.

Iran Regime’s Failed War on the Internet

The Iranian regime’s new repressive plan, “Protecting the rights of users in cyberspace.”
The Iranian regime’s new repressive plan, “Protecting the rights of users in cyberspace.”

Finally, after a long debate on the plan to protect the rights of users in cyberspace and the organization of social messengers, on July 29, 2021, the Iranian regime’s parliament approved that this plan is considered through a joint commission.

After several weeks of controversy, with 121 votes in favor, 74 against, and nine abstentions from a total of 209 MPs present, the regime’s MPs approved that the plan to protect the rights of users in cyberspace and organize social media be considered as the eighty-fifth principle of the Constitution. The plan has been on Parliament’s weekly agenda for the past few weeks.

According to Article 85 of the regime’s Constitution, “the position of a representative is independent of the person and cannot be delegated to another. The Parliament may not delegate legislative authority to a person or body, but may, if necessary, delegate the power to make certain laws to its internal commissions following Article Seventy-two. In this case, these laws will be implemented on a trial basis for a period to be determined by the parliament, and their final approval will be with the parliament.”

In other words, with the permission of the parliament, a joint commission is formed to review the plan for organizing social messengers, whose task is to review and approve the materials of this plan. The approvals of this commission are considered as the approvals of the parliament, but another permission must be obtained from the parliament to set a probationary period. After that, all the approvals of the joint commission will be referred to the Guardian Council for comment.

A draft of the plan has been published, according to which foreign messengers must establish an office inside the country. Many people and even elements of this regime have called the issue, and the plan in general, harmful to businesses and society, a point that was also made by lawmakers opposed to the plan.

In this regard, Hossein Mohammadyari, a lawmaker from Tavalesh, said: “If we, as members of the Islamic Parliament, seek to protect the rights of the people, we must respect their concerns. People are the best discerns in cyberspace. With the introduction of this plan, many people came to us and expressed their concerns. Today, cyberspace is an important platform for businesses. Many of the restrictions imposed on the scheme affect people’s small businesses.”

Jalal Mahmoudzadeh, a lawmaker from Mahabad, expressed these words differently and said: “According to this plan, foreign virtual networks must establish an office within four months inside the country. We know that this is not practically possible and will lead to their closure of businesses.”

Massoud Pezeshkian MP from Tabriz wrote on his Twitter page: “As I said at the beginning of the so-called cyberspace protection plan, I am against it, and I believe that the parliament plan will not be successful in society. Not only will this plan not succeed in achieving its goals, but it will lead to a widening gap between the people and the government.”

Massoud Pezeshkian

Hamid Aboutalebi, a former Rouhani adviser, wrote in a tweet: Cyberspace is one of the most important economic, political, social, cultural issues and related to the fate of more than 50 million Iranians and is an example of Article 59; Therefore, its fate was determined following Article 85 and by a group of 15 people with the vote of 121 people out of 290 representatives, which means a violation of Article 59 of the Constitution and destroying the rights of the nation and the fate of the people.”

Ahmad Zeidabadi, journalist and political analyst, said about the regime’s inability to block the internet: “It has been said many times that fighting technology is useless and is like fighting a windmill! The world will soon see the development of satellite internet; A phenomenon that is neither controllable nor limitable. Therefore, the bitter and harmful experience of dealing with cassette tapes, video devices, satellite dishes, etc. And finally, accepting all of them, after imposing heavy psychological and cultural costs on society and provoking public anger about the Internet, is nothing but a continuation of stubbornness to destroy the nation’s nerves!” (State-run daily Arman)

Ahmad Zeidabadi

The regime’s Minister of Culture and Guidance, Seyed Abbas Salehi, wrote in a tweet warning about the “Protection of the Rights of Social Network Users” plan: “A polarized society is a road to death, and unfortunately, every day there is a new polarization. And Today: We are splitting the body of the society into two parts with a chopper. The vultures are waiting! Beware of Iran.”

Seyed Abbas Salehi

The reason for such a decision by the regime’s parliament even while many of the regime’s officials and elements are criticizing it is easily declarable:

Ensuring the regime’s domination in Iran by turning it into a large, isolated village. A village with the social and economic relations of the feudal era in which cultural backwardness is institutionalized in addition to an economic regression.

The people should only be busy with their work and be held captive by the daily life struggle so that the regime’s officials can freely loot and destroy this country. While the Internet and the free flow of information have blown up such a dream over the past years and made this caliphate perforated and ineffective.

Social networks have become a means of expressing public opinion and sympathy. People expose themselves in this way and stay up to date with the latest uncensored news.

This free flow of information is dangerous for the Velayat-e-Faqih system; Because in times of need, it is an effective coordinating tool for organizing and directing protest movements.

With the existence of smartphones, each Iranian has become a mobile and independent reporter. News in the form of text and media is quickly transmitted to the world. News of uprisings and social protests have a special place in this. By posting them on the Internet, the regime’s options are limited for repression.

In a situation where Iran is burning because of various crises, the priority of the regime’s parliament is not the people’s pains, but also to protect the regime and prevent its overthrow.

This vicious priority is pursued under the guise of a repressive plan: “Protecting the rights of users in cyberspace.”

 

Safavi on Rubin’s Attacks on the MEK

Iran regime propaganda
AEI’s self-proclaimed “scholar” Michael Rubin parrots the same scurrilous allegations, cheaply copied from Iranian intelligence service (MOIS), and already debunked in 2006 and 2011.

Whenever Iran’s resistance movement, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), gets closer to its goal of overthrowing the mullahs’ regime, the self-proclaimed “scholar” Michael Rubin of the AEI, begins to parrot the debunked and libelous allegations of the Iranian intelligence service (MOIS), according to Ali Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in a recent op-ed.

Of course, he said, Rubin and his fellow “analysts” can complain at length about the MEK, but they aren’t able to change the fact that the MEK’s support is only growing inside and outside of Iran. This is probably what led to the ridiculous claims that the MEK rules its followers “with an iron fist”, even though Rubin has already written that the MEK fell into oblivion.

The truth is that the MEK doesn’t control its followers and all are free to come and go as they please, while the MEK remains a major power player on the Iranian political scene, even if the mullahs have shut them out of the official power structure all the way back in 1981.

Safavi wrote: “Interestingly, Rubin took his latest cue from the Iranian regime, whose Foreign Ministry launched a frantic attack against the hundreds of foreign dignitaries attending the Free Iran World Summit 2021. Just read the Ayatollahs’ desperate head-bashing on July 10: “Bought western politicians (incl #LyingCheatingStealing Pompeo) sell themselves cheap for a Europe-hosted circus arranged by a once Saddam-backed terrorist cult with Iranian blood on its hands.”

Rubin could be accused of plagiarism as his recent writings make the same claims, almost word for word. His claims were then reprinted by Iran’s state-controlled media outlets, creating a vicious cycle.

Safavi said that Rubin was “morally abhorrent” for siding with the mullahs and their crimes against humanity, however, he assessed that the reason for doing this was probably that the regime is terrified of how the international community (and especially Iranians) will react to new president Ebrahim Raisi, who played a major role in the 1988 massacre.

Rubin lived in Iran during the 1990s and it’s not known exactly what he did there, aside from the vague “studying” claims, but Safavi suggests that he is an example of an Iranian agent sent undercover in the West to work as a reporter, as a former Intelligence Minister admitted was a common occurrence.

In January, the US arrested Kaveh Afrasiabi, who has for years lobbied officials and published various literature in support of the mullahs’ political agenda, as an “unregistered agent of the Iranian government”.

Safavi wrote: “Once the mullahs are toppled, and MOIS archives become public, more will come to light as to who else the Ayatollahs had hired as ghostwriters… The MOIS has routinely instructed its propagandists to speak out against the theocracy 80% of the time but to bash the main opposition in the remaining 20%. Many exposed pro-regime writers criticize the mullahs more than Rubin does in a bid to lend credibility to their attacks on the MEK.”

Silent Crime Against Iran’s Nature and People

In Iran, government and IRGC fill their pockets at the expense of people's health and lives. Drying of Hour ol-Azim marshes is a mere instance.
In Iran, government and IRGC fill their pockets at the expense of people's health and lives. Drying of Hour ol-Azim marshes is a mere instance.

Every year, environmental activists and organizations mark July 28, reminding the imperative of preserving the principle of resource use and allocation and protecting the health of the natural world. They also highlight the importance of ensuring both renewable and non-renewable energy.

Systematic neglect of natural resources in Iran has prompted many citizens across the country, particularly in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, to come onto the streets and blame officials’ failure to save these national assets. Today, on World Nature Conservation Day, the people of Khuzestan continue their protests for the 14th consecutive day.

Environmental experts and officials underline the government’s financial incentives as the main reason for the recent natural crises in Khuzestan. Particularly, they implicitly mention the role of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in drying the Hour ol-Azim or Hawizeh Marshes.

Hour ol-Azim Dried in Favor of IRGC and Chinese Companies

According to evidence and officials’ comments, plundering policies of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) led to annihilating Hawizeh Marshes during Ahmadinejad’s era as President. The IRGC, indeed, dried the marshes based on a deal with a Chinese company.

Today, the province suffers from a chronic water shortage while it possesses several major rivers such as Karun, Karkheh, Dez, Maroun (Jarrahi), Shavur, Zohreh (Hendijan), Bahmanshir, and Arvandroud. The people not only witness severe water shortages for agricultural lands and livestock farms, but they lack water for drinking or hygienic needs.

The disaster, however, is not limited to shortages in potable water. Khuzestan’s residents also face constant sandstorms, the issue of dry particulates such as dust and smoke, ongoing power outages, the eruption of sewage in the streets and people’s homes, lack of basic infrastructures, which leads to flash floods following any rainfall.

Khuzestan Lost its Health with Drying Hour ol-Azim

Many experts describe Hawizeh Marshes as a nature credit for Khuzestan. In other words, these marshes were ensuring citizens’ health and wellbeing in the oil-rich and most industrial province of Iran.

Since the 2000s, the government began to sear the Hour ol-Azim gradually due to economic reasons. It was a starting point for many natural catastrophes in this province. The IRGC’s projects continue as today; it is no longer marshes. Indeed, the government has turned the Hour ol-Azim into a desert, which is the origin of dust and other dry particulates.

Security Council Ordered to Dry Hour ol-Azim

Recently, Ahmad Reza Lahijanzadeh, the deputy for the maritime ecosystem of the Environment Organization, shed light on some details. “In the 2000s, the Hour ol-Azim was dried according to the license issued by a high-ranking security council in favor of a Chinese company for extracting petroleum,” he said, avoiding mentioning the name of the mysterious ‘high-ranking security council.’

“The Japanese were ready to employ modern technology for extracting petroleum from Azadegan and Yadavaran oilfields. They wanted to use technology such as extracting petroleum from the sea,” Lahijanzadeh explained, adding, “A Japanese company has performed expanded studies, and it was supposed to install maritime equipment and build relevant facilities to extract petroleum without drying of the marshes.”

“However, the Chinese refused to use such technology. To ease the project’s expenditures, they suggested drying the Hour ol-Azim. A high-ranking security council accepted the plan, and therefore, they created the current ominous destiny for these marshes,” Lahijanzadeh continued.

“In the 2000s, the circumstances were changed, and the projects were afforded to Chinese companies. Eventually, in 2018, another unpleasant event occurred, and [Chinese] companies received the licenses for working in non-aqueous places,” he continued.

Silent Crime Against Iran’s Nature and People

Notably, all of the above-mentioned events took place during the presidency of ‘reformist’ President Mohammad Khatami and his ‘principlist’ successor Ahmadinejad, whose government was known as the IRGC cabinet. “My opinion is closer to [Ahmadinejad]’s opinion,” Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had said at the time, as full support for him.

Furthermore, the mysterious ‘high-ranking security council’ is genuinely the Supreme National Security Council, which oversees almost all affairs inside the country and abroad. The President is in charge of this council, and Khamenei appoints the members.

IRGC Government’s Profiteering Policies in Drying Hour ol-Azim

Previously, Mohammad Darvish, an environmental activist, had declared that the Oil Company and the Oil Ministry are the most responsible for destroying the Hawizeh Marshes. They dried the marshes in favor of a Chinese contractor to extract petroleum,” he said.

“The Chinese contractor had told the Ahmadinejad government that it would decrease prices by 20 percent if the marshes were dried. Then, they decided to dry the marshes,” Darvish added.

Local citizens and dissidents image the government’s decision about the Hour ol-Azim marches as a crime against the regional environment, as well as the people. They say that state-backed companies, particularly the IRGC, have lined their pockets at the expense of residents’ health and lives.

Drying of Hawizeh marshes is only one instance of the ayatollahs’ treacherous deals with their ‘international allies’—China, Russia, Qatar, India, and Venezuela.

Recently, the Iranian government signed a 25-year deal with China, which contributed generous privileges to the Chinese government. Experts say that the ayatollahs practically allocated the country’s natural resources in many aspects for free.

According to their assessment, the deal’s clauses are far more humiliated than drying of the Hour ol-Azim, including trawl fishing in the Persian Gulf, using low-price electricity for mining cryptocurrencies, receiving low-priced petroleum, and paying its cost with soft money, dispatching 5,000 Chinese security forces for guarding their facilities, and many other privileges.

On the other hand, China is not the sole beneficiary of Iran’s natural resources and a weak ruling system. During recent years, the Russian government has won the lion’s share of the Caspian Sea, India won the privileges of the strategic harbor of Chabahar for years, and Venezuela received gasoline from the Iranian government for free while the government carried out a bloody crackdown on protests over gas price hikes in November 2019 and killed at least 1,500 peaceful demonstrators.

In a nutshell, the people of Iran have nothing more to lose. They see protests as the primary solution to gain their inherent rights and share of the country’s natural resources. Therefore, despite a cruel crackdown on defenseless protesters in Khuzestan and other cities, not only have the protests yet to be extinguished, but also they extended to other provinces rapidly.

Indictment of Iran Agent in Sweden

The Swedish prosecutor's office issued an indictment against Hamid Nouri, accused of complicity in the 1988 massacre
The Swedish prosecutor's office issued an indictment against Hamid Nouri, accused of complicity in the 1988 massacre

The Swedish Prosecutor Authority has published the indictment and documents related to the case of Iranian agent Hamid Nouri regarding his role in the 1988 massacre. Here we will go over the background to the criminal charges and the massacre.

The Massacre of Political Prisoners in 1988

In 1988, Iranian Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering the execution of all those held in Iranian prisons who were members or supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Thus, the prisons began to assemble death commissions, which held show trials for 30,000 MEK supporters and executed them in quick succession.

Nouri, a retired Revolutionary Guards officer, was one of the agents in this massacre, responsible for 444 deaths, by selecting the prisoners that would go before the death commissions, transferring prisoners to the trial and to their execution, and even taking part in the hangings. His name was included in the MEK book “Massacre of Political Prisoners” and he was also mentioned in the memoirs of many political prisoners at the time.

The indictment states: “During the period August 27, 1988 – September 6, 1988, Hamid Nouri in the Gohardasht (Rajaei Shahr) prison in Karaj, Iran, as an assistant to the Deputy Prosecutor or in another similar position/role, together and in concert/consultation with other perpetrators, intentionally deprived the lives of a very large number of prisoners whose ideological/religious beliefs were found to be in conflict with the theocratic state of Iran.”

The indictment advises that the massacre was committed after the MEK forced Khomeini to accept the ceasefire in the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq, which he considered a significant embarrassment. This, the prosecutor said violates Articles 75, 85, and 147 of the Geneva Convention IV relating to civilians with special protection under international humanitarian law

The indictment read: “The violation of international law is to be regarded as serious because a very large number of people have been executed, tortured, and subjected to inhuman treatment in extremely cruel forms.”

The Arrest of Hamid Nouri

His ex-stepson-in-law, Heresh Sadegh Ayoubi, told the Swedish police and judiciary when Nouri was due to visit Sweden, saying that the IRGC agent would stay at his house. This resulted in Nouri being stopped briefly in 2018, but he evaded the officers’ questions. However, he was arrested on a trip in November 2019 by the War Crimes Unit (WCU) of the National Operations Department (NOA) of the Swedish Police.

To read more about the indictment and relevant documents, as explained by the Judiciary Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), click here.

How Protests Are Targeting the Iranian Regime

Iran's youths set fire to the banners of the regime's supreme leader Ali Khamenei
Iran's youths set fire to the banners of the regime's supreme leader Ali Khamenei

Protests are spreading across Iran centering on power outages, and water shortages, but as they’ve grown in size and scale over the past 12 days, they also take on a political bent with protesters calling for regime change.

One state-run newspaper wrote on Sunday that, even if the protests began over the issues mentioned above, the roots of unrest go much deeper, touching on growing poverty and increased livelihood problems. Even according to the regime’s engineered statistics, the inflation rate for basic goods and services was 44% in July 2021, compared with July 2020.

The Resalat daily advised that, while the average annual inflation rate globally was 5% over the past 10 years, while it was 20% in Iran.

The paper wrote: “Increasing the cost of living is the most important factor of psychological pressure on people. The increasing cost of housing and rent is the second factor doubling the pressure on people. The first effect of inflation on people’s lives is a reduction in their purchasing power, which in many cases causes a lot of damage and can negatively affect the economy, business, production, and people’s lives.”

The economic issues in Iran are not caused by sanctions, but rather by the mullahs’ policies, which include spending the country’s resources on terrorism, warmongering, and lining their own pockets. To compensate for the budget shortfall, the regime has resorted to banknote printing, which only increased liquidity and inflation, thereby making the situation much worse for the Iranian people.

The Keyhan daily wrote: “Unbridled cost of goods and services needed by the people, auction of public revenue sources and closure of hundreds of factories and production centers, the declining value of the national currency, giving 30 billion dollars of currency and 60 tons of gold to the corrupted [regime officials] and increasing the price of housing eight times.”

The factions of the regime try to shift the blame to each other, but the reality is that this sort of institutionalized corruption cannot possibly survive unless all members of the regime are taking part. Indeed, the regime has far too much control over the economy and is unable to solve the economic problems, without hastening their own demise. Still, as the regime refuses to help the people, more people are shoved below the poverty line.

The Eghtesad-e Pouya daily wrote: “For workers and retirees, we can say they are either below the poverty line, or absolute poverty, or just alive. In our society, we see people only alive and not living.”

No wonder the people have been targeting the regime as a whole in their protests.

Khuzestan’s Protests Extend to Tehran and Across Iran

Protesters said early Monday that despite the regime's efforts to crack down the protests, which began in southwestern Iran, it spread to the capital, Tehran.
Protesters said early Monday that despite the regime's efforts to crack down the protests, which began in southwestern Iran, it spread to the capital, Tehran.

On Monday, July 26, hundreds of residents of Tehran flooded onto the streets, protesting constant power outages. However, the slogans immediately turned into anti-establishment ones, including, “Cannons, tanks, and firecrackers, the mullahs must get lost,” “Death to the dictator,” and “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life for Iran.”

Protesters also stepped further and expressed their hatred against the entire ruling system by chanting against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. “Khamenei, shame on you, let go of the state” and “Death to Khamenei” were chanted by fed-up people.

Merchants in Alaeddin Mall initially stopped working and came onto the streets, venting their anger over the government’s mismanagement in the energy sector. For hours, protesters remain in the streets and chanted anti-establishment slogans in broad daylight, which is a turning point in protests.

The protests in Tehran took place on the twelfth day of protests in Khuzestan. Tehrani residents also declared their solidarity with the protesters in different cities of Khuzestan. “Tehran, Khuzestan, unity, unity,” chanted Tehrani protesters.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), praised the protesters for standing up to the regime despite the mullahs’ repressive measures. “The young protesters in Tehran display the Iranian people’s firm resolve to establish democracy and national sovereignty,” she tweeted.

According to local reports, the government had faced a shortage of anti-riot forces to quell protests. Regarding the protests in Khuzestan, authorities had dispatched many forces and equipment to the southwestern provinces, including Khuzestan, Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari, and Bushehr.

In this respect, the government initially avoided using lethal force against protesters. On the other hand, the protests were taken place in broad daylight, which was considered another barrier for cruel suppression due to potential international reactions and reports provided by mainstream media. Particularly, many people have been filming and protests and posting it on social media.

The protests in Tehran practically showed the Islamic Republic’s weakness despite officials’ baseless claims about the state’s stability. During the past 30 days, the judiciary implemented at least 44 death penalties to create an atmosphere of fear. Activists believe that the government had intensified oppressive measures in fear of sparking another round of protests.

However, recent protests in Khuzestan, Alborz, Isfahan, Bushehr, Tehran, and other provinces were rendered as an obvious failure for the ayatollahs’ oppressive and intelligence apparatuses.

Furthermore, the continuation and the expansion of demonstrations and anti-establishment activities display a public desire for fundamental changes. The social movements might ignite ordinary difficulties; however, they rapidly turn into political movements against the current ruling system.

In this respect, the government in Iran faces a volcanic situation. On the one hand, it cannot solve the people’s grievances and ease public crises. On the other hand, brutal responses to people’s demands no longer disappoint citizens. In such circumstances, the ayatollahs face a growing rate of protests and anti-establishment activities across the country.

Iran: Khuzestan’s Uprising, Reaction to Looting and Repression

Iran’s people in the southwestern Khuzestan province have protested for 10 days because of water scarcity in this province which has damaged their lives.
Iran’s people in the southwestern Khuzestan province have protested for 10 days because of water scarcity in this province which has damaged their lives.

The protests of Iran’s people in the southwestern Khuzestan province, which have continued for 10 consecutive nights, have scared the regime’s officials. Many of them are trying to connect the problems of the people in this province to, “the inefficiency of some policies and politicians in Khuzestan.”

But the reality is that the entire rule is responsible for the injustice on the people of this province and the entire country. The problem of Khuzestan this the same problem in all other provinces because of 40 years of rule of looting and corruption.

Ali Rabii, the head of the regime’s Center for Strategic Studies, counted five subjects as the big issues which could become crises for the regime and declared one of them which he called “trust crisis” and said:

“Social trust is damaged and social capital is declining from individual, group, and institutional levels to the macro level. According to the report of the Center for Presidential Studies and a documentary review of national survey data conducted in 2015 and 2016, the situation of social capital indicators at the macro, medium, and micro levels in Khuzestan province, ranked 18th, which is not appropriate.” (state-run daily Iran, July 24, 2021)

The state-run daily Setareh-e-Sobh in a different way shows the people’s hate of the government and turning away from it and about Khuzestan people wrote:

“People remember the slogans and teachings of the revolution and ask themselves why their lives have not improved. People were supposed to achieve “prosperity” and “justice”, not to witness “corruption”, “discrimination” and “injustice” in society, and that some abuse the power.” (Setareh-e-Sobh, July 24, 2021)

The state-run daily Etemad pointed to the reason for this situation which is the “idiotism” of the officials and wrote: “They are sitting in a chair of responsibility, they do not know much about the pain of the people, the intensity of the pain that is inflicted on the body of the people, and they are more worried about losing management positions than worrying about their responsibilities.” (Etemad, July 24, 2021)

It becomes clear from such expressions that the problems of the people with this regime are not just subjects like water and they are deeper rooted and widespread. And these crises are not only related to Khuzestan province.

This was visible with the beginning of the protests in the cities of Khuzestan, the people of other places such as Yazdanshahr and Shahinshahr in Isfahan, Karaj, Robat Karim, Saveh, Khorramabad, Aligudarz, and Tabriz also came to the streets to support the people of Khuzestan.

While the Iranian people are suffering from economic and livelihood problems, many countries of the world have just annual inflation of 5% and even lower, but “according to the Statistics Center of Iran, at the end of June the annual inflation rate reached 43% and food items 51.6%.” (Kayhan, July 25, 2021)

Therefore, the reaction of the people of Khuzestan and other cities of Iran is due to common pain, and that is the ominous domination of the clerical rule over their destiny.

The situation has reached a stage that even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who served as the sixth president of this regime warned and said: “Now most of the people are dissatisfied with the situation in the country, make reform and change, you may not have a chance for compensation tomorrow.” (Dolat-e-Bahar website, July 20, 2021)

The Khamenei-affiliated Resalat newspaper also acknowledged the high pressure on the people and wrote: “Livelihood and legal protests should not become security issues. We should not get used that the people reach the last straw and getting involved in security issues again.” (Resalat, July 20, 2021)

However, the people are thinking in other ways and seeing the regime itself as the main problem, therefore they turn any issue into a security challenge for the regime.

It is not unreasonable that the water crisis would convert into a security issue and overpass the borders of this province. People in other provinces showed and expressed their solidarity with slogans such as “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to the dictator.”

It was such reactions that caused the regime’s Friday prayers Imams to express concern over the people’s subversive slogans.

Iran: Names of Protesters Killed or Detained in Khuzestan

Youths killed by the Iranian regime’s security forces during the ongoing 10-day water protests in the Khuzestan province
Youths killed by the Iranian regime’s security forces during the ongoing 10-day water protests in the Khuzestan province

So far, at least twelve people have been shot dead by security forces in protests in Iran over the severe water shortage in Khuzestan Province. During the uprising in Iran’s Khuzestan Province, many young people were killed and injured, and many are among the detainees.

As we passed the tenth day of the protests, government officials are still trying to quell the uprising by adding security measures and militarizing the cities in the south of the country, but contrary to their expectations, other cities are on fire, too.

The names of the killed that have been confirmed so far are as follows:

According to a statement issued by Amnesty International, at least eight people have been killed by the Revolutionary Guards during peaceful protests.

“Identified victims

“According to information obtained from informed sources, security forces have killed at least eight protesters and bystanders, including a teenage boy, since the latest round of protests began.

“They include Mostafa Asakereh (Naimavi) in Shadegan, Ghassem Naseri (Khozeiri) in Kut-e Abdollah, Isa Baledi and Meysam Achrash in Taleghani, Hamzeh (Farzad) Fereisat in Ahvaz, Mehdi Chanani in Shoush, Hamid Mojadam (Jokari) in Chamran, and a teenage boy, Hadi Bahmani, in Izeh. The deaths resulted from incidents on 16, 19, 20 and 21 July.” (Amnesty International, 23 July 2021)

On Sunday, July 25, 2021, the Iranian opposition MEK/PMOI, published the names of 12 killed protesters of the Khuzestan protests and other cities. The names of the killed are as follows:

  • Mostafa Naimavi, 30-year-old, from Shadegan, place of death, Ahvaz, date of death 16 July 2021
  • Ghassem Naseri (Khozairi) 17-year-old from Kut Abdullah, place of death Kut Abdollah, date of death 17 July 2021
  • Mohammad Chanani, place of death Susa, date of death 20 July 2021
  • Isa Baledi, 27-year-old, from Mahshahr, place of death Mahshahr, date of death 20 July 2021
  • Mohammad Kroshat from Ahvaz, place of death Ahvaz (Shelangabad), date of death 20 July 2021
  • Omid Azarkhosh 20-year-old from Aligudarz, date of death July 21, 2021
  • Hadi Bahmani, 17-year-old, from Susan village, Izeh, place of death Izeh, date of death 20 July 2021
  • Farzad Fereisat (Hamzeh Al-Farisawi), 24-year-old, place of death Ahvaz (Shelangabad), date of death 21 July 2021
  • Meysam Achrash (Akrash), 20-year-old, place of death Mahshahr (Taleghani town), date of death 21 July 2021
  • Hamid Mojadam (Jokari), place of death Chamran
  • Mohammad Abdollahi, place death Izeh
  • Amir Moshari Ebadi, injured, died in the hospital on July 23, 2021

Khuzestan uprising detainees

We want to emphasize, according to experience, any torture, disappearance and execution of the arrested Arab compatriots is the responsibility of the regime, and the Iranian people will not tolerate it anymore.

Reports indicate that hundreds of people have been arrested during the Khuzestan uprising. According to some reports, at least 350 young people have been detained by security forces. The names of some of these detainees are as follows:

  1. Ahmad Asli arrested on July 21, 2021 (Ramshir)
  2. Ahmad Savari, son of Abdul Ali Shamil, Alavi alley (Hay al-Thawra) (Ahwaz)
  3. Ahmad Mujaddam, son of Isa, July 21, (Chamran)
  4. Ismail Jalali, son of Hassan, 40, (Susangerd)
  5. Omid Tusi was arrested on July 20, 1400. (Ramshir)
  6. Amir Alhaei, son of Khalaf, 28 years old, married and with children, (Elahi)
  7. Ahura Mohammadi July 21 (Lordegan)
  8. Ayad Abiat, son of Rahim, born in 1990 (Susangerd)
  9. Ayub Abboud Al-Namnum a 12-year-old child (Shavur)
  10. Bassem Heydari, 20 years old, resident of Goldasht Alley, Ahvaz
  11. Bassem Soleimani, son of Nasser (Khorramshahr)
  12. Bassam Zargani, son of Hamidan, 30, from Zargan region, (Ahvaz)
  13. Behnam Hassani July 20, (Lordegan)
  14. Jasem Chaldavi, 35, (Bostan)
  15. Jassem Tusi, (Ramshir)
  16. Jamil Obaidawi (Shavur)
  17. Javad Jaberi (Ramshir)
  18. Hamed Hassani July 21, (Lordegan)
  19. Hamed Khaledi (Ramshir)
  20. Hassan Saeedi, 30 years old, resident of Goldasht Alley, Ahvaz
  21. Hassan Amori (Ramshir)
  22. Hassan Mohsen Zidan (Shavur)
  23. Hossein Shumli (Shavur)
  24. Hossein Manshadavi, 22-year-old, son of Abdolreza
  25. Hamzeh Afravi, 26-year-old son of Majid (Susangerd)
  26. Hamoud Chenani, 19, son of Salem, from the Ein 2 area of ​​Ahvaz
  27. Hamoud Shamousi 18-year-old, from Ein 2 area of ​​Ahvaz
  28. Haider Al-Bushoka (Ramshir)
  29. Khalid Amori (Ramshir)
  30. Khalid Mazrae son of Noir (Shavur)
  31. Khalid Amouri arrested on July 20 (Ramshir)
  32. Darem Soleimani, son of Hasoud, a resident of Al-Jadeeda, was arrested on July 18th. (Khorramshahr)
  33. Razi Dahimavi, son of Abdul Zahra arrested with his son (Hamidiyeh)
  34. Rasool Sawadi (Hamidiyeh)
  35. Reza Afravi, son of Abbas, 24 years old (Susangerd)
  36. Raad Heydari, son of Rahim Alavi valley (Hay Al-Thawra) (Ahvaz)
  37. Sajjad Mousavi arrested on July 20 (Ramshir)
  38. Sayed Hassoun Iraqi (Shavur)
  39. Sadegh Saedi (Hamidiyeh)
  40. Sadegh Abiat (Hamidieh)
  41. Saleh Obaidawi (Shavur)
  42. Salah Khaledi (Ramshir)
  43. Tayban Saedi (Hamidiyeh)
  44. Adel Naderi 40 years old (Susangerd)
  45. Amer Zuhairi, 18 years old, son of Khalaf from Ein 2 area of ​​Ahvaz city
  46. Abbas Alhaei, son of Malik, 19 years old
  47. Abbas Khoin Vahid 30 years old (Alhaei)
  48. Abbas Zargani, 27-year-old son of Sham from Zargan region (Ahvaz)
  49. Abbas Saedi (Hamidiyeh)
  50. Abbas Savari, son of Naji, residents of Goldasht alley, Ahvaz
  51. Abdul Amir Jalali 45 years old (Abu Yahya) (Susangerd)
  52. Abdul Razzaq Vahid, 36 years old, married (Elhayi)
  53. Abdolreza Soleimani, son of Yaber, a resident of Al-Jadeeda (Khorramshahr)
  54. Abdullah Obaidawi, son of Mardav (Shavur)
  55. Ali Khosraji (Shavur)
  56. Ali Soleimani Tamimi (Khorramshahr)
  57. Ali Soleimani, son of Yarullah, a resident of Al-Jadeeda area (Khorramshahr)
  58. Ali Abdul Hussein Gatafa, a resident of Al-Jadeeda district (Khorramshahr)
  59. Ali Agbi from Beit Khalaf village (Shavar)
  60. Ali Amori (Ramshir)
  61. Ali Kaab Al-Hai, 50, from Alavi alley (Hay al-Thawra), Ahvaz
  62. Ali Kaabi, son of Haidar (Shavur)
  63. Ali Kaabi, son of Khidr
  64. Ali Mujaddam, son of Isa, (Chamran)
  65. Ali Mohsen Zidan (Shavur)
  66. Ali Mazraeh, son of Shi’i (Shavur)
  67. Emad Abiat, son of Rahim, born in 1993 (Susangerd)
  68. Isa Mazraeh, son of Abdolsadeh, from Zoyeh alley, Ahvaz
  69. Faraj Obaidai, 40 years old (Bostan)
  70. Farzad Atabi (Ramshir)
  71. Fallah Chaldavi, 20, son of Hassan, married, resident of Alavi alley (Hay al-Thawra) (Ahvaz)
  72. Falak Amouri arrested on July 22 (Ramshir)
  73. Fahd Heydari, son of Alavi Alley (Hay Al-Thawra) (Ahvaz)
  74. Faisal Mazrae (Shavur)
  75. Qasem Saedi (Hamidiyeh)
  76. Qasem Mazraeh, son of Amer (Shavur)
  77. Majed Hamidi, 30, from Melleh Thani (Ahvaz)
  78. Malek Chaldavi, 28-year-old (Bostan)
  79. Mubarak Al-Hai, son of Vahid, 45 years old, married and has three children (Elahi)
  80. Mojtaba Salehi, son of Mohammad, 18 years old (Susangerd)
  81. Majid Mousavi (Ramshir)
  82. Mohammad al-Bushoka (Ramshir)
  83. Mohammad Harizavi, 24-year-old son of Badr (Susangerd)
  84. Mohammad Sakhravi, 23 years old, resident of Goldasht Alley, Ahvaz
  85. Mohammad Askari, son of Ali, 29, from Zargan region (Ahvaz)
  86. Mohammad Kroshat, a resident of Alavi alley (Hay al-Thawra) (Ahvaz), he is injured
  87. Mohammad Kaabi, son of Fakher (Shavur)
  88. Mohammad Mujaddam son of Isa (Chamran)
  89. Mohammad Amuri (Ramshir)
  90. Mahmoud Saedi (Hamidiyeh)
  91. Moslem Acharsh (Ramshir)
  92. Mansour Jalali, son Mohammad, 17-year-old (Susangerd)
  93. Mansour Soleimani son of Yaber (Khorramshahr)
  94. Mehdi Hamid arrested on July 19. (Ramshir)
  95. Mehdi Khosraji, son of Majid (Shavur)
  96. Mehdi Zaghibi (Ramshir)
  97. Meysam Savari, Alavi valley (Hay Al-Thawra) (Ahwaz)
  98. Milad Savari Shab, Alavi alley (Hay al-Thawra) (Ahvaz)
  99. Milad Obaidavi, 14-year-old (Bostan)
  100. Nader Abiat (Susangerd)
  101. Nasser Zargani, son of Shalan, 27, from Zargan region (Ahvaz)
  102. Yarullah Soleimani from the area of ​​Al-Jadeeda (Khorramshahr)

Iran’s Economy Will Soon Become the Next Venezuela

Iran Inflation
While the Iranian regime’s President Hassan Rouhani says that they have inflation under control and the country will not become another Venezuela, the latest report by the Statistics Center of Iran on inflation of imported items indicates 558 percent inflation. This is while the US dollar rose more than 60 percent to the rial last year.

Late last week, Ebrahim Raisi, who will take over as President next month, held a meeting with the regime’s economists, from which economist Massoud Nili’s short speech was the most alarming.

He drew the attention of the participants to the imminent formation of hyperinflation in Iran and said that uncontrollable inflation is on the way.

A few days after the meeting, the Central Bank published a report on the state of monetary indicators in 2020, which focused on the unprecedented growth of liquidity.

It was after this report that Massoud Khansari, the head of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, tweeted about the growth of liquidity and wrote: “According to the statistics of the Central Bank, the amount of liquidity has exceeded 3700 trillion tomans and has doubled compared to two years ago.”

He warned: “However, in recent months, has been warned of the consequences of rising liquidity on the economy and inflation, but nothing happened. With this trend, the government will face inflation in the coming months that has never been experienced in the country.

The story was not limited to this, and this time another warning report was published which showed that, contrary to what Hassan Rouhani imagined, Iran is now closer to the situation in Venezuela than ever before.

On March 17 last year, Rouhani said that the prediction of many experts, including economists, in 2018 was that Iran’s inflation would reach three digits by the end of the year.

He continued: “They interviewed about this and wrote in the newspapers and said that Iran’s inflation will be in triple digits and becomes Venezuelan.

“If we did not work hard, we might have faced such a situation, but what the government did in 2018, when we entered 2019, was to control inflation almost from the end of spring and start reducing it.”

He attributed the cessation of this trend in late 2019 due to the expansion of the coronavirus and said that if it were not the coronavirus, we would definitely have had better conditions.

Meanwhile, Abdul Nasser Hemmati, the former head of the Central Bank, who had entered the race for the presidency, repeatedly mentioned in his propaganda interviews that he had prevented Iran from becoming another Venezuelan.

Now, however, the reports of 2020 reveal frightening facts. Following the release of the unprecedented growth of liquidity, the Statistics Center has published a report showing that the inflation of imported items in the winter of 2020 was recorded in triple digits and 558 percent.

This is in a situation where the US dollar rose more than 60 percent last year against the Iranian rial. Simply put, the price of items imported from abroad has increased 6.5 times in one year.

According to Trading Economics, Venezuela with inflation of 2719.50%, Sudan with inflation of 363.1%, and Zimbabwe with inflation of 194.07% in April is now the three most inflationary countries in the world.

Meanwhile, Venezuela, once known as Latin America’s Kuwait, became current Venezuela in a few years.

Venezuela was sanctioned by the United States despite its vast oil resources, fell into the Venezuelan cycle due to a heavy budget deficit, and then borrowing from foreign countries, especially China.

In 2015, Venezuela recorded the highest inflation rate in the world with an inflation rate of more than 100%, and then in 2016 the country’s inflation rate reached 700% and in 2017 it reached nearly 2000%.

The main cause of hyperinflation in the country has been the government’s budget deficit due to declining oil revenues and unplanned support schemes, which have forced the government to print more money to cover its expenses.

Although inflation was initially limited to between 10 and 30 percent, it was not long before Venezuela’s economy collapsed.

Khuzestan, Iran’s Richest Province Is Also the Most Miserable Province

Iran’s Khuzestan province has become one of the most miserable regions in Iran due to the regime’s discriminatory policies.
Iran’s Khuzestan province has become one of the most miserable regions in Iran due to the regime’s discriminatory policies.

There is no doubt that Khuzestan province alone is the richest province in Iran in terms of natural resources. But in terms of indicators of misery, it can be said that Khuzestan ranks at the top of the country’s provinces.

A province with many miseries created by the regime. One day the people must experience power cuts. The other day they must experience devastating floods. Another day they must experience drought in a region which is one of the most watered regions in Iran. Another day they must experience darken sky caused by dust and sandstorms caused by the destruction of wetlands and finally, they must experience the overflow of the municipal sewage system to the streets of their cities.

Of course, the poverty and misery of Khuzestan do not end here. On a sea of ​​oil and next to the rivers that were once the wettest in the country, these days the people of the cities of Khuzestan are experiencing another misery due to the lack of drinking water and lack of access to safe water.

But the poverty and misery of Khuzestan are not only related to environmental issues. The government has done everything possible to discriminate against the citizens in this province.

Khuzestan province is the 18th province in terms of social capital, which a low result is because of the double discrimination by the government, lack of care for the affairs of the province, lack of social freedoms, and lack of close ties with the capital.

According to some reports, 75% of the citizens of Khuzestan believe that the government discriminates against this province.

71% of Khuzestan Arabs believe that they are living in poverty and another 81% believe that unemployment is higher among them than in other provinces. Khuzestan province currently has the highest unemployment rate among the 31 provinces of the country.

In terms of employment, Khuzestan province has the last employment rank in terms of population among the provinces of the country.

The combination of these discriminatory factors along with recent droughts, poverty, extreme heat, the presence of respiratory pollution caused by fine dust and pollutants of industrial plants, unemployment, and inefficient management has made Khuzestan province with about 200,000 migrants rank first in the country in the past few years.

In terms of education, Khuzestan province has the worst rank in the country. This province ranks first for children who have dropped out of school in the country.

Government statistics show that there are 11,000 school dropouts in the province. Different mother tongues and not studying in it, which is obvious discrimination, are the reasons for children not attending school in this province.

Khuzestan also ranks third in the country in terms of illiteracy and this province is facing a shortage of more than 14,000 teachers.

Khuzestan ranks second in the country in terms of marginalization with a 400,000 marginalized population. Of the total area of the province, about 6,000 hectares, equivalent to 13% of this province, is considered urban blight.

Khuzestan is the second province in terms of social harms and in terms of the total number of lawsuits in proportion to the population of the province, which the main reason for this situation is poverty and other social problems in the province.

Khuzestan is not in a good position in terms of women’s employment, which is one of the indicators of development in modern societies. This province is ranked 24th among 31 provinces of the country.

In the field of municipal wastewater, about 35% of the cities in the province do not have environmental permits for municipal wastewater disposal.

This means a catastrophe in the urban environment. Evidence in recent years shows that with every rain, even a small amount, sewage flows into the streets and houses of people in Khuzestan.

In recent decades, illegal dams, drying marshes, and wetlands for oil extraction have turned one million hectares of land in Khuzestan province into deserts, which plays a major role in creating dust storms that endanger the health of the province’s citizens.

Currently, in this province, three critical centers for creating dust have been created in the cities of Ahvaz, Mahshahr, and Hendijan.

Air pollution is another problem in Khuzestan province. In Khuzestan, 11 million tons of carbon dioxide are produced from industrial activities and 38 million tons from the energy sector, which together becomes 49 million tons of air pollutants or 5.7% of total greenhouse gas emissions of the country are produced in this province.

Iran and the Vienna Stalemate

There is no chance the Vienna talks will rescue the JCPOA
There is no chance the Vienna talks will rescue the JCPOA

It becomes clear that the Vienna talks with the Iranian regime’s current government have failed. And the Iranian government announced that Iran’s nuclear negotiations with world powers should wait until the formation of the new government. This made clear that the negotiations are not implemented by Hassan Rouhani’s government, but by the highest-ranking official in this regime, the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who has decided to move the negotiation process to the next government to gain the regime’s desired goals.

Many analysts of the regime claimed that the so-called current reformist government will prevent any future attacks by Ebrahim Raisi’s principled government therefore they decided to leave the work to them, whether it is a success or a failure.

But other regime analysts claimed that the negotiations have reached the agreement point and only its signature has been left, therefore Khamenei wants that this happens in the next government, to introduce the creator of this opening and write its psychological and political interests at the expense of the future government.

But the reality is something else, and the main factor goes back to the stalemate in the negotiations themselves, and Rouhani’s statement that they take away the opportunity to reach an agreement with the current government does not mean that it was to give this opportunity to the next government, because the regime (Khamenei) has not the upper hand in the negotiations.

Despite some little progress that all sides of the table speaking of, especially Tehran, the truth is that this regime has not reached its main goal which is the complete lifting of the sanctions. Ironically, the regime claimed that about 90 percent of the disputes have been resolved and only 10 percent has been left. And it seems that the left 10 percent is the main part of the disputes, and the deadlock is exactly at this point.

And in this 10 percent, both sides are fighting about the fact-checking of the rival, but the main deadlock is because the US government will put regional and missile policies in the negotiations something that the regime wants to prevent.

Having no other way to get rid of this deadlock, many regime’s analysts and figures especially belonging to the principlist faction said that Tehran has decided to increase the regime’s nuclear activities with the start of the negotiations, to put pressure on the EU and the US to accept the wills of the regime. Activities like the law on Strategic Action of the Parliament, such as the establishment of a metal uranium plant in Isfahan.

But the reality is that the United States and Europe are unlikely to be willing to make concessions under the pressure of these measures, if they were prepared to do something, they would do something to prevent such regime’s measures by reaching an agreement, even before Iran enters the 60% enrichment phase.

It seems that the EU and the US do not fear or show any interest that the regime put all its nuclear cards on the table, without being willing to give Tehran the concessions it wants without meeting their demands, to prevent Tehran from getting as close as possible to the nuclear breakaway point.

Therefore, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources in the Biden administration, that intensification of sanctions and sanctions on the sale of Iranian oil to China is intending to send a message to Iran that if a new approach is to be adopted if an agreement is not reached following the US and European demands in none JCPOA cases, sanctions will be intensified, and their approach will be different.