U.S. president

Iran Focus

London, 28 August - Pro-Iranian governments and Hezbollah media outlets are gloating over the news that Donald Trump’s days in office may soon be ending, which reflects entirely how much of a threat he posed to their continued existence and how his policy on Iran constantly thwarted the mullahs.

Trump is going through a significant political crisis, but he has not yet been impeached or otherwise forced out of office. Therefore, any errant speculation by the media of a country or by officials themselves will not help these countries if Trump remains in power until the end of his first term.

Iran: Social Media

Iran Focus

London, 27 August - Anyone using social media to incite people to “insult sanctities” or “damage public property” will be punished, warned Iranian Police Commander Hossein Ashtari when he spoke at a ceremony in Yazdel, in Isfahan Province. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Brigadier General said, “People behind social media call-ups should leave the illusion aside that people will follow them.”

“anyone who insults Islamic sanctities or any of the Great Prophets or [12] Shi’ite imams or the Holy Fatima shall be executed if the insult is considered saab ul-nabi (insulting Prophet Muhammad); otherwise, they shall be sentenced to one to five years’ imprisonment,” stipulates Article 513 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code. Iran’s security and intelligence forces have always aggressively confronted what they call “insulting sanctities” and “blasphemy” in speeches, essays, books, and media.

EU and US conflicted over Iran sanctions

Iran Focus

London, 16 August - Last week, US sanctions on Iran came back into force, fulfilling a promise that Donald Trump made in May when he pulled the US out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump tweeted: “Anyone doing business with Iran will not be doing business with the United States.”

On the same day, the EU instituted a “blocking statute”, which was supposed to protect any European firms doing business with Iran from current and future US sanctions. In fact, it bars any EU individual or company from complying with US secondary sanctions, which means that European firms who still wish to trade with the US are being penalised. It also allows EU firms affected by the sanctions to sue the US, but there is no method in place to reclaim any settlement.

Google bans Iran linked accounts

Iran Focus

London, 27 August - Tech giant Google announced on Thursday that it had uncovered a "state-sponsored phishing attack" connected to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which is the first time that the company found a direct link between the state-run media outlet and misinformation attacks from Iran.

A blog post from Google stated that a number of YouTube channels, blogs and Google+ accounts linked to the IRIB that had disguised their relationship whilst sharing English-language political content in the US had been “identified and terminated”.

Iran Protests

Iran Focus

London, 14 August - The Trump administration is keen to put an end to the Iran threat. Before even becoming president, Trump had criticised the weak Iran nuclear deal and said that he would scrap it. Although it took a while to do, Trump finally announced in May that the United States was exiting the one-sided deal. And since then the administration has been putting the Iranian regime under intense pressure.

It has been two years since the sanctions were lifted and now they have been re-applied. Iran had a real chance to get back into the global arena and Western companies certainly took the opportunity to make some money in Iran.

Iran's 'New' Fighter Jet

Iran Focus

London, 24 August - On Tuesday, at a ceremony in Tehran to mark Defense Industry Day, the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) displayed what it claimed was its first domestically-designed and manufactured fighter jet.

While the unveiling garnered local media attention, observers have pointed out that the twin-seater Kowsar bears a striking resemblance to the F-5 designed by Northrop in the 1950s, which was used by US forces in the 1960s.

The event was attended by President Hassan Rouhani, defense minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami, and several other officials. Rouhani was photographed in the cockpit of the aircraft at the launch.

Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran

Iran Focus

London, 14 August - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, delivered a speech on Monday 13th August. It was clear to see that he does not see any way out of the desperate situation.

For the past few weeks, the country’s national currency – the rial – has been sharply falling. The more its value decreases, it seems that the people’s anger increases. Protests have been continuing and the uprising and unrest is getting stronger.

The Supreme Leader has been silent over the past few weeks, but he finally broke it by trying to encourage and persuade the country’s leadership that the situation is not as desperate as it appears. He said: “They are propagating viciously that the country has reached a deadlock and it has no way out other than to seek refuge from this Satan or Great Satan. Whoever states that we have reached a deadlock, he is either ignorant or his words are treacherous.”

Facebook and Twitter Remove Accounts Linked to Iran Propaganda Campaign

By Pooya Stone

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter announced on Tuesday that they had removed hundreds of fake accounts used in a covert Iranian influence campaign.

The Iranian propaganda campaign pushed posts that criticised Donald Trump and Israel, while promoting the Iran nuclear deal, according to an investigation by cyber security firm FireEye, who discovered the malign operation.


Iran Focus

London, 13 August - Protesters in Iran have taken to the streets yet again to voice their anger at the government’s “widespread corruption, crippling inflation, and injustice”, which have caused the current crises in the country and reject the mullahs’ claims that the US is to blame for Iran’s economic woes.

Murad, an electrician from Tehran, bravely told the Daily Telegraph that Iranians are no longer “blaming the president of a foreign country” and are directing their anger solely at the government. He did not give his last name, due to the dangers associated with speaking to the foreign press.

Iran Propaganda Campaign on Facebook Impersonated

Iran Focus

London, 23 August - On Tuesday, in a press release, Facebook announced that an Iranian propaganda campaign created fake Bernie Sanders supporters online.

The Facebook Newsroom website said that it had removed 652 pages associated with political influence campaigns traced to Iran from its social media platform, “including coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Iran and targeted people across multiple internet services in the Middle East, Latin America, UK and US.”

Iran: Ahmadinejad says Rouhani must go

Iran Focus

London, 11 August - Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said publically that he thinks current President Hassan Rouhani must leave office.

After days of increased protest by the people of Iran, Ahmadinejad posted a video on his Telegram social media account on Thursday, where he explained that Rouhani is unfit for public office.

He said: “Your continued presence is at the expense of the country.”

Iran cyber attacks target social media

Iran Focus

London, 22 August - Facebook and Twitter announced on Tuesday night that they’ve thwarted a network of suspicious accounts that appear to come from Iran.

First, Facebook reported that it had removed over 650 pages, groups, and accounts for "coordinated inauthentic behaviour”. Then, less than an hour later, Twitter tweeted that it had taken down nearly 300 accounts, many from Iran.

This is an important reminder not just that Iran is now one of the adversaries targeting American tech companies, but also that the Silicon Valley businesses are prepared to work together and proactively share these details with their competitors to remove malign influences from their social media sites.

Religious School Attacked During Iran Protests

Iran Focus

London, 10 August - A religious school in northern Iran was attacked on Friday, as the popular people’s protest continued to grow in size and scale in Iran.

About 500 protesters attacked the seminary in the province of Alborz by hurling stones at the building, which led to several arrests by the state security forces, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency on Saturday.

Protests rocked major cities across Iran this weekend, including Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Mashhad, as the people continue to express their anger at the failing economy and corrupt politicians.

MEK/PMOI reveals Iran’s recruiting Islamic extremists during Hajj pilgrimage

Iran Focus

London, 21 August - The special forces branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is seeking to “wreak havoc” at the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia by recruiting Islamic extremists at the ritual pilgrimage, according to Iranian dissident group, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

MEK representative Shahin Gobadi warned that the Iranian Regime was attempting to “exploit the Hajj situation” by deploying Revolutionary Guards and cautioned the over two million Muslims visiting Mecca to be wary of the Regime’s attempts to carry out terrorist activity abroad.

European commission

Iran Focus

London, 10 August - On Tuesday, the European commission used to maintain trade with Tehran and convince it to abide by the 2015 nuclear deal despite US withdrawal. In response to US President Trump’s sanctions on Iran, it is using a “blocking statute” that shields EU businesses from the effects of US sanctions and gives any firm hit by them the right to claim compensation.

The commission declared that it “forbids EU persons from complying with those sanctions, unless exceptionally authorized to do so.”

According to Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, firms “should comply with European legislation rather than with American ones.”

Brian Hook and Mike Pompeo

Iran Focus

London, 17 August - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo named senior policy adviser Brian Hook as Washington's special representative for Iran on Thursday.

This announcement came as the Trump administration is increasing economic pressure on Iran by restoring sanctions last week, which are designed to get Iran to close down its nuclear weapons programme and end its support for militant groups in the Middle East, where Iran is exacerbating several conflicts.


Iran Focus

London, 9 August - August 6th was the deadline for the first round of U.S. sanctions that target companies who continue to do business in Iran following the U.S. exit from the nuclear deal with Iran.

U.S. President Trump announced that the U.S. would exit the Iran Nuclear Deal, also known as the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) in May 2018. He also issued a National Security Memorandum ordering several government institutions, including the Treasury Department, to prepare the framework for reimposing sanctions on both U.S. and international companies operating in Iran.

Iran minister

Iran Focus

London, 17 August - The Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Business has said that fluctuations in the local forex market over the past four months has tripled the number of applications for import licenses, which have now risen to $250 billion.

Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari described the figure as “unbelievable” and described those seeking licences as profiteering individuals who are trying to “fish in troubled waters”, which is believed to be a reference to the current economic crisis facing Iran.

The $250 billion figure is also triple that of Iran's annual oil income.

Iranians continuing to take to the street

Iran Focus

London, 7 August - The people of Iran are deeply concerned about the economic future of Iran. They are suffering from the rising prices that are making the essentials unaffordable to many. The value of the rial – Iran’s national currency – has fallen sharply in the past few weeks.

Reports from inside Iran indicate that the protests are turning violent, with police cars and tyres being burned in the street. There were also reports highlighting that at least one protester has been killed in recent days. Details, however, are very hard to come by as the state media is heavily controlled and prevented from publicising information that shows the government in a negative light.


Iran: Ahvaz Steel Workers on Strike for 5th Day

Iran Sugarcane Workers Protest Unpaid Wages on 10th Day of Strike

Iran. November, 2018. Eleventh Day of Truckers’ Nationwide Strike

Iran. July 24, 2018. New Round of Truck Drivers’ Nationwide Strike

Iran. November, 2018. Protest Gathering of Ahvaz Alloyed Steel National Group Workers

Yasuj, Iran. July 23, 2018. New Round of Truck Drivers’ Nationwide Strike

Torbat-E Jam, Iran. July 23, 2018. New Round of Truck Drivers’ Nationwide Strike

Yazd, Iran. July 23, 2018. New Round of Truck Drivers’ Nationwide Strike

Iran, Tehran – Anti-Regime Chants in Protest, June 25

Iran, Tehran – Major Protest With Chants of ‘We Will Fight, We Will Die, but We’ll Take Back Iran’

Iran, Tehran – Chants of ‘Death to the Dictator’, June 25

Iran, Tehran – Clashes Between People and Security Forces, June 25

Iran, Tehran – People Defend Themselves in Protest, June 25

North Khorasan Province, Iran. May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Yazd, Iran. May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Bandar Abbas, Iran. May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Pasargadae, Iran. May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Iran-Bandar Lengeh, May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Iran-Isfahan, May 22, 2018, the Nationwide Strike of Heavy Truck Drivers

Iran,Isfahan, Apr. 10, 2018. Farmers' Protest Rally Continues

Iran,Isfahan, Apr. 10, 2018. Farmers Stage Major Protest Gathering in Khourasgan Square

Iran – the Portrait of Khamenei and Khomeini Was Set on Fire