Iran Focus

London, 3 August - Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, passed a new financial policy on Wednesday that will effectively bar the transfer of nearly $400 million in cash to Iran.

The German daily newspaper, BILD, reported in July that Iran wanted to use the European-Iranian trade bank to transfer the nearly $400 million in cash to circumvent pending US sanctions. Now it has reported that the bank expanded its business conditions to include a section on "cash payment transfers" in order to reject financial transfers of partners of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

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Iran Focus

London, 3 August - The Trump administration has put high-level corruption in Iran under the spotlight as they increase their efforts to undermine the mullahs’ rule in Tehran.

US Secretary Mike Pompeo recently called the mullahs “hypocritical holy men” in front of an Iranian-American audience in California, who applauded his assessment.

On July 22, he said: “The Iranian economy is going great but only if you’re a politically connected member of the elite.”

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Iran Focus

London, 22 July - In 2012 as part of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act, the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), sanctions were imposed that designated IRIB for perpetrating serious human rights abuses and enforced secondary sanctions against any company connected to it. During negotiations for the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), those sanctions were waived. This week, President Trump must decide whether the State Department will continue waiving the sanctions.

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Iran Focus

London, 2 August - Donald Trump suggested on Tuesday that diplomatic talks with the leaders of Iran were imminent, but the Iranian Regime has dismissed and criticised the idea, with one lawmaker calling the proposed negotiations a "humiliation".

Trump, who has previously said that he would meet the Iranian leaders at "any time" with no preconditions, told a rally in Tampa, Florida, that he had a feeling that the talks would occur “pretty soon”, but that even if they didn’t, that was still okay.

Trump then addressed the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which he withdrew from in May, due to concerns that Iran had been cheating on the deal and that it did not address all of Iran’s malign behaviour.

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Iran Focus

London, 19 July - Iranian teachers have launched a protest movement over their low salaries, which has gained momentum in recent days, according to social media reports.

The campaign, which has the slogan “No! to Payslips and Salaries”, was launched by several teachers’ rights activists following an announcement by the Ministry of Education that they would be increasing teachers’ salaries six to ten per cent for the 2018-19 school year, according to local news website Khabar Online.

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Iran Focus

London, 2 August - While campaigning for the American presidency, Donald Trump made a bold pledge on Iran’s prisoner taking, “This doesn't happen if I'm president!”

Still, over a year into his presidency, Iran holds at least five U.S. citizens and permanent residents’ prisoner, including one taken during Trump’s tenure.

Although the White House declined to comment, the State Department claimed that the United States works “tirelessly” to free Americans held in Iran.

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Iran Focus

London, 18 July - The re-imposition of sanctions by the US, following President Trump’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal, will likely make it impossible to purchase any form of Iran insurance using a Lloyd’s of London platform. This will only worsen struggles for European insurers that have been providing Iranian coverage.

In May, President Trump announced that the US would be leaving the Iran nuclear deal. The other members of the P5+1 world powers that originally joined the United States in the Iran accord chose to keep their promise. They have also offered Iran the economic support to help the country to overcome the loss of income that will follow the sanctions that the United States reinstates.

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Iran Focus

London, 31 July - Every day, Iranian farmers drove their tractors to the entrance of Varzaneh town, stopping their vehicles next to the canal that once watered their crops, but has been dry for years, and protests against the government’s mismanagement of the water shortages.

One farmer, Mostafa Benvidi, chanted: “We are the people. Help the people. At night they go to bed hungry!”

Many demonstrators hold up signs with the names of officials that they blame for the crisis during their protest.

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Iran Focus

London, 18 July - The recent crackdown on Iranian students has been heavily criticised by university professors and others who are calling on President Hassan Rouhani, who they believe is responsible for the pressure, to take action.

More than 100 university professors have signed an open letter to Rouhani criticizing the arrests and pointing out that it seems like the government is "trying to silence dissenting voices in the universities".

The letter read: "It seems that most of the detainees are individuals involved in legal activities, and perhaps some had criticized your government's work on campuses. We want you to act upon your promises to defend the rights of the people, support a [safe] space for students for criticism, and protect [them].”

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Iran Focus

London, 27 July - US-Iran relations are at an all-time low after their presidents’ war of words last weekend, but could this really lead to Iran cutting off a key oil shipping strait?

On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened the US with “to the mother of all wars”, to which Donald Trump responded with an all-caps tweet warning Iran not to threaten the US ever again.

Their exchanges have only intensified since the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May and promised extensive sanctions against Iran, the first of which come into place next week.

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Iran Focus

London, 16 July - Since 2003, Persian-speaking satellite channels have been periodically subjected to jamming in Iran. Despite warnings about the health risks of exposure to jamming signals from the Health Ministry, and Shiraz's representatives to the Iranian parliament, the Information and Ccommunications Technology Minister says that equipment for monitoring “jamming signals” has been installed in the city of Shiraz and several other cities across the country.

A jamming technique that sends counter beams to the satellite cannot target just one or two specific programs. Instead, it blocks many adjacent satellite channels, leading to international backlash.

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Iran Focus

London, 26 July - A state-run newspaper in Iran with close ties to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has quoted a warning from the spokesman for the Yemeni Houthi rebels stating that Western companies should leave Riyadh, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi because "missiles are on their way."

The Kayhan wrote on July 25, under the frontpage headline "Missiles On Their Way, Evacuate Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh", that this spokesman warned Western companies not to invest in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

These are two countries who are supporting the legitimate Yemeni government in their quest to take back control of the country from the Iran-backed Houthi rebels; a conflict that has been raging since 2014.

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Iran Focus

London, 15 July - Beginning last December, widespread protests began in Iran, that have now reached unprecedented levels due to dire economic and living circumstances. Today, the Iranian government appears to be ready to implode at any time, unless it handles the current issues with transparency.

The Iranian system under new American and international economic sanctions does not seem to be sustainable.

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Iran Focus

London, 25 July - It appears that Donald Trump has decided that he must get tough on Iran on Twitter, as well as through traditional diplomatic measures, in the same way that he did with North Korea.

Following a threat by Iranian president Hassan Rouhani about the US heading for “the mother of all wars” with Iran, Trump hit back with an all-caps warning about the consequences that Iran would likely suffer if they continued to push the US.

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Iran Focus

London, 15 July - Internal disputes among officials in Iran are becoming more and more publicised. Previously, Iran’s state media omitted to report honestly about the goings-on and disputes among officials and the different factions, but it is becoming more challenging to hide.

Mahmoud Sadeghi is a very outspoken official. He is a representative to Iran’s parliament and he recently accused his colleagues of succumbing to bribes to that a parliamentary motion should be shelved.

The motion in question is regarding legal violations that take place at Tehran’s municipality.

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Iran Focus

London, 24 July - Relations between the United States and Iran heated up over the weekend. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that war with Iran would be “the mother of all wars”. He said: “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

U.S. President Donald Trump warned Iran that he will not allow such threats to be made. His anger was evident in his message on social media that he posted in block capitals. His message on Twitter read: “To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”

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Iran Focus

London, 13 July - US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Peek said in an interview during his visit to Bahrain as part of his regional tour, that Washington is committed to halting Iran’s regional aggression.

The US is working with its Gulf allies to bring Iran to the negotiating table, stop it from supporting military proxies, terrorism, and proliferation of missiles, according to Peek.

He said, “The discussion in particular highlighted the ways in which Iran attempts to destabilize and provoke conflict in Bahrain through proxies that have their headquarters abroad, other key personnel abroad, and that work to cause cleavages in Bahraini society.”

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Iran Focus

London, 23 July - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf and cut off a large section of the world’s oil supply in retaliation for sanctions levied against them by the US.

Rouhani, often wrongly described as a moderate by the US, was praised for these comments by General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, who is under sanctions from the US, the EU, and the UN.

Soleimani said: “I kiss your hands for these wise statements, and I am at your service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic.”

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Iran Focus

London, 12 July - Iran recently announced that they planned to circumvent US sanctions on Iranian oil by offering their crude oil to buyers through the national stock exchange.

Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran’s first vice-president said: "We have friendly countries to which we sell our oil, and we’ve started negotiations with them. The private sector can openly buy oil and export it."

However, this plan has its own limitations according to Senior Fellow at the OCP Policy Francis Perrin, who explained that this is not an efficient and effective way to evade sanctions on Iranian oil and that this would not become a significant method of trade as the US would still impose sanctions on it, no matter how the purchaser came across it.

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#Iran - April 10 - Bojnurd, North Khorasan Province, Northeast

April 10 - Shadegan, Khuzestan Province, SW #Iran

#IranFloods- Kut Abdullah, Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, SW #Iran

Seems to be Lorestan Province, western #Iran Horrifying footage of a road literally collapsing

#IranFloods-April 4, Poledokhtar,Lorestan province W #Iran

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’