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Hassan Rouhani President of Iran

Iran Focus

London, 26 Nov - Iran has faced international condemnation for likening Israel to a “cancerous tumour”, which has led many leaders around the world to criticize Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for making anti-Semitic remarks.

On Saturday, Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumour” in the Middle East during a speech.

He said: "One of the ominous results of World War Two was the formation of a cancerous tumour in the region.”

Trump and Obama

Iran Focus

London, 26 Nov - Many have criticised current U.S. President Donald Trump for his foreign policy decisions with regards to Iran. Many have slammed his decision to exit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or 2015 Iran nuclear deal as it is known. Many have also criticised him for the crippling economic sanctions that are currently being implemented.

Iranian Teachers

Iran Focus

London, 18 Nov - As protests and demonstrations rage across Iran, involving people from all walks of life, according to a statement by Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates in Iran (CCTSI) on November 15th, teachers in the country have been arrested or summoned to courts. “At least thirty teachers' rights activists have been summoned and interrogated and more than fifty others have received threatening text messages, so far," CCTSI disclosed.

Chabahar is a port city in southeast Iran

Iran Focus

London, 16 Nov - On November 6, the US government reimposed sanctions against Iran, but bizarrely excluded Iran’s Chabahar port, something that Iran has seized on as a victory.

Iran claims that the US was forced to exempt Chabahar port from the sanctions, after issuing waivers to several countries, because it is helping the economy of Afghanistan, but what are the real reasons?

Nickolay Mladenov

Iran Focus

London, 22 Nov - Iran is trying to violate the terms of the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas in order to reignite a war in the Gaza strip, according to Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

Speaking on Wednesday at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem, he said: “There are forces out there that want to push us all into the abyss of a confrontation.”

Iran executes two for financial crimes

Iran Focus

London, 15 Nov - Two Iranians were executed on Wednesday after being convicted of financial crimes in a grossly unfair “TV show” trial.

Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi were convicted of illegal currency trading during the country’s ongoing economic crisis and the vague charge of "spreading corruption on Earth” in late September. It was part of the mullahs’ crackdown on alleged financial crimes as US sanctions started to take effect and further damage the economy.

irans-christians

Iran Focus

London, 22 Nov - Two Christian converts in Iran, who were planning to meet in a northern city of the Shiite-run country, were detained on Friday, November 16, in what some human rights activists are calling a rash of arrests in the area.

Behnam Ersali and Davood Rasooli, both converts from Islam who live in Karaj, had arranged to meet in Mashhad, according to advocacy organization Middle East Concern (MEC), but their calls are believed to have been intercepted by the Iranian intelligence.

Mike Pompeo

Iran Focus

London, 14 Nov - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Newsweek on Monday of helping" Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spread "lies" that the US is preparing to sanction food being imported into Iran.

Pompeo tweeted: "Shame on #FakeNewsweek for helping @JZarif spread lies. The truth is: The U.S. does not, and never did, sanction food and medicine. They are exempt from sanctions, as are financial transactions related to humanitarian needs."

EU Sanctions

Iran Focus

London, 21 Nov - According to Reuters, on Monday European diplomats agreed to consider targeted sanctions on Iranians after representatives from France and Denmark traveled to Brussels this week to brief foreign ministers on foiled attacks by the hardline regime in France and Denmark. This meeting could set the course for a more unified West-ern policy toward Tehran's non-nuclear threats, according to a regional expert.

The US exposes Iran-Syria-Russia plot to evade sanctions

Iran Focus

London, 21 Nov - The US has placed sanctions on six people and three entities involved in smuggling Iranian oil shipments to Syria to evade US sanctions, according to the Treasury Department on Tuesday.

The individuals listed include two Iranian nationals, a Russian, a Syrian, an Iraqi and a Lebanese person, while two of the entities are based in Russia and one in Iran.

US officials reported that Iranian officials had been working with Russian companies to ship "millions of barrels of oil to Syria”, something that violates recently imposed US sanctions on Iran and benefits the Bashar al-Assad Government in Syria.

John Bolton

Iran Focus

London, 13 Nov - Another set of crippling economic sanctions on Iran have kicked in. The Trump administration has reaffirmed its goal to ensure all foreign countries reduce their imports of Iranian oil to zero. Time and time again, the Trump administration has said that it will not ignore Iran’s meddling, belligerence, extremism and terrorist activities.

His National Security Advisor John Bolton has said that the United States will continue to put pressure on Iran and that sanctions will be strictly enforced. He also said that there is the potential for further sanctions to be put in place.

Brian Hook, the US Special Representative for Iran

Iran Focus

London, 21 Nov - A senior US official has said that US sanctions on Iran, reimposed on November 5, have been effective and have received "almost entire compliance" from the world at large.

During an interview with VOA's Arabic-language sister network Alhurra in Dubai on Monday, Brian Hook, the US Special Representative for Iran, said: "We have seen almost entire compliance with our sanctions regime. And we don't anticipate having to sanction any major companies, because we haven't seen any evidence that these companies want to choose the Iranian market over the United States market."

Putin and Rouhani

Iran Focus

London, 12 Nov - Russia’s relationship with the Iranian Regime following the reimbursement of US sanctions is “not strategic”, according to the chair of the comparative politics department at Russia’s MGIMO University.

On Sunday, during the fifth Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate, Dr Oxana Gaman-Golutvina said that Russia remains committed to strengthening relations with Saudi Arabia and ensuring regional stability.

Iran’s nurse

Iran Focus

London, 20 Nov - Hospitals in Iran are currently dealing with a shortage of nearly 100,000 nurses, according to Parliament’s Health Commission Speaker Heidarali Abedi, which is having disastrous impacts on patient health.

On Sunday, Abedi told the commission that healthcare management experts recommend a nurse-to-bed ration of 2.5, but Iran’s current ratio is closer to 1.7.

Foreign Minister of Iran

Iran Focus

London, 12 Nov - Last week, the United States re-imposed further crippling economic sanctions that were in place before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or 2015 Iran nuclear deal, was agreed. Former U.S. President Barack Obama lifted the sanctions in exchange for Iran abandoning its nuclear activities.

Sugar Mill Workers in Iran

Iran Focus

London, 19 Nov - Protests at the Haft Tappeh (Tapeh) sugar mill, once a source of national pride that has been struggling financially since it was privatized in 2015, continued as workers stayed with their strike on Saturday, according to reports by labor rights groups in Iran. Periodic strikes and workers’ demonstrations have become a fixture of life at the mill. Workers say they are often not paid their salaries for months at a time and their wages and benefits have been cut since privatization.

Families accompanied the workers as they marched in Shush, southwestern Iran, to draw attention to their demands, ending the march near the governor's office.

Iran oil tankers

Iran Focus

London, 8 Nov - The United States has issued a stark warning to the rest of the world: do not allow Iranian oil tankers to enter your territorial waters or dock in your ports or you’ll be risk harsh US penalties and potential "environmental disaster”.

On Wednesday, November 7, the State Department warned global shipping and insurance industries that they would risk being cut off from the US financial system or massive fines if they continued to transport or insure Iranian oil, after sanctions were reinstated on Monday as part of the US’s "maximum pressure campaign" to get Iran to change its behaviour.

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