06202018Wed

By Pooya Stone

During his campaign for election, US President Trump promised that his “number one priority” would be to “dismantle the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran”. So far, he has refrained from doing that. In fact, Trump certified to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the deal two times. He has also continued to waive the economic sanctions on Iran that the US agreed to lift as part of the agreement.

Iran Focus

London, 12 Sep - As the US reviews its policy towards Iran and imposes tougher sanctions on the Iranian Regime and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), some Regime apologists have been taken it upon themselves to categorise any support of regime change in Iran to mean that all-out war is on the horizon.

This is total nonsense as human rights activist and Iranian Resistance member, Ali Safavi, point out in the op-ed for The Hill.

Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), wrote: “Let us be clear: The real issue is not war. There has never been any suggestion of military intervention.”

Iran Focus

London, 23 Aug - As Hassan Rouhani begins his second term, he has made some significant changes in his Cabinet, mainly increasing the members who are responsible in some ways for the murder and repressions of Iranians.

The new Cabinet line-up, which was announced on Sunday, includes sixteen members who are linked to or worked in the Iranian Regime’s personal terror squad, the Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) and more still who were involved in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners or who are noted torturers.

The IRGC is the main force responsible for repression and killings of Iranians and for exporting terrorism around the Middle East and yet Rouhani has appointed 16 of them to his cabinet.

Iran Focus

London, 11 Sep - If Donald Trump really wants to challenge the Iranian Regime, then he must support the Resistance, bring the Regime back to the negotiating table and end the destabilisation of the Middle East, according to a human rights activist.

Hamid Bahrami, a former political prisoner from Iran, wrote an op-ed for the American Thinker, in which he laid out how Trump and the US could challenge the Regime, rather than bow to their manipulations.

He wrote: “It is crucial to point out that as history reveals, the Iranian regime has consistently forced the West into submission and offering concessions by taking international security as a hostage. For example, the seizure of U.S. Embassy in 1979, the protraction of nuclear negotiations for nearly 10 years, and now by the [nuclear deal].”

Iran Focus

London, 23 Aug - Twitter is blocked in Iran because it poses a risk to national security, not because it threatens the morals or culture of the country, according to the newly appointed Iranian Minister of Information Technology and Communication (ITC), Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi.

Jahromi, 36, the youngest member of Rouhani’s new cabinet, also said: “ITC has not been behind filtering Twitter, therefore it is not up to the ministry to unblock it. It is not right to say that we can end filtering Twitter since the entity behind the decision has done it for [its own] considerations.”

This statement does not really make sense of course. Twitter is blocked in Iran because it threatens national security but at the same time the Regime is not blocking Twitter.

Iran Focus

London, 7 Sep - Five protesters in Iran have been wounded as the security forces used tear gas to disperse them on Tuesday September 5.

Activists in Baneh and Mariwan had shut their shops and taken to the streets in protest at the extrajudicial killings of two Kurdish porters (kolbars) by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

They stormed the Mayor’s Building and set several rooms and vehicles on fire.

The kolbars, Heydar Faraji, 21, and Qader Bahrami, 45, had been carrying goods across the Iran-Kurdistan Region border.

Iran Focus

London, 21 Aug - The Iranian Regime has denied the appeal of a Princeton doctoral student accused of espionage, according to a statement from Princeton University.

Back in July, Xiyue Wang, a Chinese American graduate student, was sentenced to 10 years in jail on charges of spying for the US and the UK whilst doing historical research for his degree.

According to the Regime, Wang, 37, had accessed 4,500 pages from Iran’s confidential archives for US and British institutions including the US State Department, Princeton University, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the British Institute of Persian Studies.

Iran Focus

London, 6 Sep - Iran’s human rights violations are the key to bringing down Iran, according to a human rights activist.

Heshmat Alavi wrote an op-ed for Forbes, entitled “New Light On Iran's Human Rights Violations”, in which he assessed that although Iran’s terrorist links and nuclear weapons programme gets more media attention, their egregious attacks on the rights of the Iranian people are the reason that they will be brought down.

Iran Focus

London, 18 Aug - During the presidential campaign, newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to appoint female ministers to his Cabinet. However, he has failed to do so and is facing harsh criticism from critics and supporters alike.

Earlier this week, he encouraged support for his list of proposed members of Parliament. He said that he wanted women and young people to occupy high-level position and had kept a place for at least three female ministers. However, he said that this “didn’t happen” without providing further explanation.

Iran Focus

London, 4 Sep - The Iranian Regime has upheld its 10-year jail sentences on four men imprisoned on bogus national security charges including spying on behalf of a foreign government and collaboration against the state.

On Sunday, Tehran's Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi confirmed that the appeal of the four men (Princeton University student Xiyue Wang, Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his elderly father Baquer, and Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen with permanent US residency) had been rejected.

Iran Focus

London, 16 Aug - The BBC has criticised the Iranian Regime for its asset freeze on BBC Persian staff resident in London; the latest attack from the Regime on the BBC’s Iranian correspondents.

The Iranian judiciary issued a court order that imposed sanctions against more than 150 BBC Persian journalists and former journalists. The sanctions prevent the people listed from conducting financial transactions (including selling their homes) in Iran because of their ties to the BBC.

Iran Focus

London, 2 Sep - Several Western social media companies have been criticised for allegedly engaging in talks with the Iranian Regime in order to censor content within the country in accordance with the mullah’s strict laws.

The sites Instagram (which is available in Iran), Twitter and YouTube (which are officially blocked by widely accessed via proxy servers) have all been cooperating with the Regime in order to censor content which disparages the Regime or goes against their strict “moral” codes, according to the state-affiliated media outlets.

Iran Focus

London, 16 Aug - The Iranian Regime, like so many other authoritarian regimes, has recruited a popular music star to spread Islamic values to the youth as part of its propaganda machine against Western values, but this has backfired completely with many Iranians now boycotting the star.

Amir-Hossein Maghsoud¬loo, a 33-year-old rapper better known as “Tataloo”, was twice imprisoned by the Regime for "encouraging [moral] corruption" with his music videos but now produces music and related content with nationalist and reli¬gious themes.

Iran Focus

London, 29 Aug - In Iran, nurses do not have official employment, but instead work on temporary contracts. They are paid a small salary, but even this is not paid regularly.

On August 24th, 2017, nurses protested in Boushehr over non-payment of salaries, past due for eight months. On July 16th and 17th, 2017, nurses in Semnan staged protests outside the Governor's Office to demand 11 months of past due salaries. On May 30, 2017, the nurses and staff of a hospital in Yasouj staged a protest demanding six months of non-paid salaries. Over this past year, similar protests have been staged across the country.

Iran Focus

London, 15 Aug - The Iranian Regime has once again chosen to conduct an unsafe manoeuvre with an Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), coming within 1,000 ft of US forces in the Arabian Gulf, the US Navy has reported.

On Sunday, an Iranian QOM-1/Sadegh-1 UAV conducted a series of unsafe and unprofessional actions near to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz during fixed wing flight operations, aimed at making the crew feel unsafe, according to a US Naval Central Command representative.

Iran Focus

London, 28 Aug - Russia is going to take advantage of the “confusion” of Western Governments in order to gain a stronger influence over the Middle East, according to analysts.

Russia’s strategy in the Middle East is short-term and poses Russia as an alternative to the West, according to Rand, an American think-tank based in Washington, D.C, in a recent research paper.

Other political analysts have argued that Russia is not reacting to Western policies but rather protecting its own interests.

Norhan Al Shaikh, a political scientist at Cairo University, said: “Syria was the only left foot for Russia (in the region).”

Iran Focus

London, 15 Aug - The US’s robust policy on the Iranian Regime is a step in the right direction but should be coupled with support for the Iranian Resistance, according to a human rights advocate.

Heshmat Alavi penned an op-ed titled “Congress is taking the lead on Iran policy” in which he praised the US for imposing more sanctions against the Iranian Regime but urged them to go further by support the Iranian people’s democratic and organised resistance forces, particularly the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

Iran Focus

London, 26 Aug - Iran has attempted to restore its crude oil exports to a pre-sanction level, once they were lifted per the JCPOA last year, and some European, Russian, and Asian firms have signed preliminary agreements or letters of intent with Iran that have the potential to turn into billions of dollars of investments. Some of the largest European and Chinese oil companies made preliminary deals with Iran’s energy sector.

Sanctions were slapped on Iranian companies in response to a ballistic missile program, and President Trump recently signed an act imposing more new sanctions on Iran. Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have intensified. Tehran has warned that it could quit the nuclear deal and begin enriching uranium “within hours” if the United States imposes further sanctions.

Iran Focus

London, 14 Aug - The US Congress is taking the lead on a stronger policy against the Iranian Regime but what does that mean?

Human rights activist Heshmat Alavi wrote an analysis for Al Arabiya in which he praised the US Congress for new sanctions against the Iranian Regime and assessed that the mullahs were on their last legs but stressed that Congress’ new policy should also publicly support the Iranian people’s democratic resistance.

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