11182017Sat


Iran Focus

London, 20 Oct - Last week, Donald Trump turned US policy on Iran completely on its head with his speech addressing the Iranian Regime’s long history of aggressive behaviour towards America, starting with the 1979 US embassy seizure and hostage crisis.

It wasn’t just his decertification of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal but his acknowledgement of the dangers that the Iranian Regime posed to their own people and the world at large that made his speech quite so revolutionary.

Trump’s speech was designed to show the world the deep divide between the authoritarian, theocratic Regime and the secular, multiethnic and pro-Western people of Iran before he moved on to the threat posed by Iran in terms of its ballistic missile program, support of terrorism, and destabilisation of the Middle East.

Iran Focus

London, 19 Oct - The President-her of the Iranian Resistance Forces has made a statement for the Italian Senate arguing that support for the Resistance is key in the fight for global peace and security.

Maryam Rajavi, who leads the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which serves as a government-in-exile, expressed her gratitude that the Italian government had underscored the need to confront the Iranian Regime.

She said: “You have pinpointed an issue on which the world’s peace and security, the Middle East’s liberation from war, terrorism and instability, and the Iranian people’s freedom, all depend.”

Jubin Katiraie

On Friday October 13, After President Trump unveiled a new strategy against Iran that included decertifying the nuclear agreement negotiated under the Obama administration. The Pentagon said it is reviewing its “entire breadth” of methods to counter Iran.

The review includes security cooperation activities, force posture and plans, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway said in a statement.

Jubin Katiraie

Last week, United States President Donald Trump refused to re-certify Iran as compliant to the 2015 nuclear deal. Congress is now in the 60-day debate period during which it must decide if the crippling economic sanctions that were in place before the deal was signed are to be reimposed.

This is now the chance for Trump to really define the US foreign policy towards Iran. He has vowed to ensure that the Iranian regime does not continue on its destructive path.

One way that Trump can really make a difference is by supporting the people of Iran. They have struggled for years under the torturous regime and are desperate for freedom.

Iran Focus

London, 9 Oct - In London, vigils are held for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe outside the Iranian Embassy. When asked if the vigils help, Nazanin’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said, “It doesn’t matter. I know it’s what Nazanin wants. She needs to know that I’ve stood by her side.”

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian London resident in her thirties, is serving time for “non-specific charges” in a Tehran prison. She was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport by members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as she was boarding a flight home to London with her two-year-old daughter.

Iran Focus

London, 19 Oct - This week the US foreign policy team unveiled its new policy on Iran and measures to address the nuclear deal, formally known as the JCPOA. On October 13th, President Trump laid out the major points of this new policy, which include the decertification of the JCPOA, and designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) pursuant to the global terrorism Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, in his 20-minute speech that marks a major policy change.

After Trump’s speech, the EU expressed its concern over the US abandoning the JCPOA. However, Israel and Saudi Arabia welcomed the new policy toward Tehran.

Iran Focus

London, 7 Oct - The White House is preparing a series of tough measures targeting Iran and its affiliates. In the coming days the new action is expected to be announced that will focus on two entities: Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah.

Two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, and someone familiar with the unfolding policy on Iran, but not authorized to speak about private conversations, described the measures, which have not been officially announced. They said that financial sanctions on those doing business with the Revolutionary Guard are expected to be announced, as well as rewards for information leading to the arrest of two operatives of the Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Iran Focus

London, 18 Oct - There are four things in Iran that impact heavily on US foreign policy: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his personal terror squads (the Revolutionary Guards and its Quds Force unit), the Iranian Government led by so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani, and the Iranian people themselves whose views and values are incredibly different to that of their oppressive rulers.

The first, second, and third elements are hard to untangle.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is only answerable to Khamenei, controls much of the Iranian economy (often through illicit means), while the Quds Force (designated as a terrorist supporter by the US and Canada) seeks to destabilise the Middle East through proxy terror cells.

Iran Focus

London, 6 Oct - A team of Iranian hackers used Facebook to target Deloitte, one of the world’s biggest accounting firms, according to Forbes.

One Deloitte employee fell victim to the scam in late 2016 at roughly the same time as a separate hack which affected Deloitte data in Microsoft's Azure cloud-hosting service.

The hacking group known as OilRig, which as Forbes pointed out in July were believed to have been working for the Iranian Regime, created a fake Facebook profile for a beautiful, charming woman using the name Mia Ash.


Iran Focus

London, 17 Oct - Donald Trump believes that the Iranian Regime may be changing its tone, just days after he decertified their compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, but stressed that this shift may not be genuine because they are skilled negotiators.

He said: “They negotiated a phenomenal deal for themselves but a horrible deal for the United States, and we’re going to see what happens.”

On October 16, just days after decertifying them, Trump said: “This nation has been taken advantage of for many, many years—for many decades, frankly—and I’m tired of watching it.”

Iran Focus

London, 3 Oct - While regime change in a rogue state may be preferable to all (accept the dictators themselves, of course), there are numerous cases of it being forced upon a nation by the US and ending badly; so what can make regime change smoother?

The Cipher Brief analysts Levi Maxey and Fritz Lodge compiled a report into regime change, particularly in the now-pressing cases of the Iranian Regime, “which seeks to extend its growing influence throughout the Middle East and tug at the threads of its nuclear deal with the West by pushing its ballistic missile program forward”, and the North Korean Regime “and its nuclear weapons programme”.

Iran Focus

London, 17 Oct - According to the reports, an athlete has been under arrest since August 2017 in Iran. He has been arrested for receiving an invitation from the Bodybuilding Federation of Israel and expressing interest in participating in the tournament. The athlete Mohammad Kahkesh was shortly detained in the ward of the Ministry of Intelligence and is currently in the general ward of Evin Prison.

In a letter, Mohammad Kahkesh emphasizes his innocence writing that he is the official trainer of the Iranian Fitness Federation, the sports consultant for more than 10 sports clubs in Khuzestan Province, and sports coach and consultant of the Iran national junior football team.

Iran Focus

London, 30 Sep - In Iran, labor protests and strikes have increased across the country. Workers are demonstrating against layoffs and nonpayment of wages. Iran’s economy seems not to have recovered, even after economic sanctions were lifted after the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal. The Iranian peoples’ living conditions do not appear to have improved.

Iranian state is said to have attempted to halt protests by arresting workers and sentencing them to prison. Still, the increase in the number of labor protests in the past few months suggests that the Iranian labor movement is going to give more workers a voice to dissent.

Iran Focus

London, 16 Oct - America should clarify that Donald Trump’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal does not mean that sanctions will be swiftly reimposed, but that the Iranian Regime will be given a chance to properly curb their nuclear and military activities according to an expert in the Middle East.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, the former general manager of Al Arabiya news channel, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, wrote an op-ed for Arab News in which he said that America should lay out the terms before the Iranian Regime’s PR campaign has further painted the US as the Great Satan.

Iran Focus

London, 27 Sep - The Iranian Regime has filed charges against the CEO of the encrypted messaging app Telegram.

Tehran’s prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, claimed that Telegram is popular with the so-called Islamic State, child pornographers, human traffickers and drug smugglers, which is why they’ve levied charges against CEO Pavel Durov, who lives in Russia.

Durov tweeted his surprise at the charges.

He said: “We are actively blocking terrorist and pornographic content in Iran. I think the real reasons are different.”

Iran Focus

London, 14 Oct - On Friday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said he supports President Trump's newly unveiled strategy regarding Iran, following the president's announcement of his decision not to certify Tehran's compliance with the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal, which is an international agreement reached in Vienna in 2015, between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany, (the P5+1).

Iran Focus

London, 26 Sep - The US should definitely get tough on Iran for its violations of the 2015 nuclear accord, but the deal should not be removed without a proper strategy in place, according to two national security experts.

Vice Admiral John Bird (ret.), member of the board of advisors of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) and former commander of the US 7th Fleet, and Stephen Rademaker, a former assistant secretary of state for International Security and Nonproliferation, wrote an op-ed for The Hill in which they advised Donald Trump against allowing the Iran nuclear deal to collapse for fear that Iran would end up like North Korea.

Iran Focus

London, 14 Oct - A cyber-attack on the email accounts of dozens of MPs occurred in June, and according to an unpublished assessment by British intelligence, Iran is to blame.

Disclosure of the report comes at an awkward juncture, as Donald Trump made it clear on Friday that he wants to abandon the Iran nuclear deal. However, European leaders, including Theresa May, want to retain it.

Initial suspicion for the attack fell on Russia, but according to the intelligence assessment, the evidence amassed is pointing to Iran.

Iran Focus

London, 25 Sep - Following some absurd comments by the Supreme Leader of Iran about his and the Regime’s status in the Muslim world, one political scientist is telling the Regime to take their cues on peaceful co-existence from Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, wrote an op-ed for Arab News in which he dismissed claims on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s website in which he is described as the “leader of the Islamic World”.

Rafizadeh highlights that a leader of the Islamic world should at least show some qualities of Islam, like uniting the Shiite and Sunni worlds and building bridges between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.

He said that nothing in the Iranian Regime suggests that religion has been used to unify but everything suggests that it has been corrupted to divide.

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