ANALYSIS: How Iran views Pompeo’s entry into Trump administration

The not so unexpected firing of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson comes at a shock for Iran’s regime. US President Donald Trump is very precise about having differences of opinion.

“When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible,” Trump said. “I guess [Tillerson] thought it was okay. So we were not really thinking the same. With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process. I think it’s going to go very well.”

Most analysts now believe Trump will sack the JCPOA at the May 12th deadline, bringing about an utter catastrophe for Iran’s regime as officials scramble to contain an increasingly restive nation.

Uncertain future

While Tehran may attempt to save face by threatening to leave the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), if Washington goes down this path, rest assured the mullahs’ regime have serious concerns regarding their uncertain future.

Iranian state TV cites the country’s top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif describing Trump as unpredictable and unreliable. The semi-officials Fars news agency, known for its affiliation to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), describes the JCPOA’s fate as “obscure more than ever before.”

“Pompeo is America’s JCPOA-exit agent,” writes the Tabnak website, affiliated to former IRGC chief Mohsen Rezai, said to be close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. And there are doubts, to say the least, about the future as the regime faces a historical impasse.

‘Uncontrollable phase’

According to the Sharq daily, “These developments must be taken seriously. Measures are necessary to decrease tension with the US If the status quo continues, it may reach an uncontrollable phase.”

“Do the state’s senior decision makers have enough knowledge about this very sensitive matter, or will they continue the same policies of the past regarding differences between Iran and the West?” asks Bahardaily.

The question now is if Tehran had provided positively during the visit of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, would Tillerson still be set aside? Certain is the fact that prior to his sacking Tillerson was in Europe’s camp, believing they were able to compel Tehran to significantly curb its ballistic missile program and Middle East meddling, in return for keeping the JCPOA intact.

French President Emmanuelle Macron, seen as representing Europe on the JCPOA, could also be considered onboard with this roadmap. This was most likely Le Drian’s message to Tehran, even warning beforehand more sanctions are coming – meaning the end of the JCPOA and its consequences – if Tehran refused his proposed talks.

One immediate sign of sanctions is the recent Resolution 4744 adopted by the US House of Representatives targeting Iran’s human rights violations.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gestures during a news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (not pictured) in Amman, Jordan February 14, 2018. (Reuters)

No more opportunities

We can now assume the first impact of Tehran’s negative response to Le Drian is the failure of Tillerson and his viewpoint. It is only natural that such a setback paves the path to his exit. It is safe to say those in Trump’s camp from day one in their position against the JCPOA now have the upper hand.

The question now is with the doomed fate of the JCPOA nearly certain, will Tehran decide to stand firm on its position? This deadlock will unquestionably result in even further dilemmas for Iran, meaning no more opportunities to kick the can down the road.

For starters, this is a message for Khamenei to brace for harsh times ahead and increasing international isolation. While sanctions may be the first step, Tehran understands the fact that sweeping changes in the Trump administration spell measures of more drastic proportions.

Increasing demands

Can Tehran tolerate trekking into such an intolerable path? Logically no. On the other hand, however, Iran knows the West’s demands are likely to increase significantly regarding its ballistic missile ambitions and Middle East influence.

Tehran lost the chance of gaining any meaningful incentives by sending Le Drian back empty-handed. It is highly probable that Washington, now with Europe on its side completely, will be placing far more expensive demands before Tehran.

It is in such circumstances that we witness Khamenei admitting his regime is facing “a difficult struggle and war, politically, economically, socially, culturally and security wise.” These remarks came in a recent meeting with members of Iran’s Assembly of Experts. Khamenei is ill with cancer and this body has the authority to select his successor.

‘Chalice of poison’

This lower’s Tehran’s position in the delicate balance of power against the Iranian people’s ongoing protests. More defections and deepening rifts are very likely. In finally succumbing to a ceasefire agreement ending the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, Khamenei’s predecessor Ayatollah Khomeini said he is drinking from a “chalice of poison.”

Khamenei is now facing numerous such hurdles. Iran curbing its ballistic missile program and Middle East malevolence will most likely result in the West stating demands on its human rights dossier. And with Iran’s protests gaining momentum, there is no light at the end of this tunnel for Khamenei and his regime.


Iranians protest again: Is the regime going down a slippery slope?

The scenes of protests and rallies in cities across Iran on Tuesday night are a major reminder. This regime is on thin ice.

Many cities became scenes of people using the national “Fire Festival” to stage anti-government protests. Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Rasht, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Sanandaj and many others became witness to such major acts of protests.

This proves Iran’s nation will not rest until they realize their ultimate objective of regime change.

State measures

Very telling is how state security forces remain on high alert in cities across the country, including Qom, central Iran, known as the Iranian regime’s hub where numerous seminaries are located.

Protests are continuing daily across the country. Marking International Women’s Day, several protesters outside the Labor Ministry in Tehran were demanding equal rights for women. Marginalized farmers east of Isfahan continue to protest authorities’ rerouting of river waters and destroying their agriculture products as a result. All the while strikes and protests continue to mushroom across the country.

Understanding the nation will continuously discover new methods to express their protests, Iran’s authorities have taken numerous precautions.

“State police is using 5,000 officers, 10 million accomplices, 1,100 traffic police vehicles, 27,000 special police patrols, installing 1,330 police trailers, 3,770 patrol vehicles, 2010 motorcycle patrols, 2,900 on-foot patrols, 1,700 temporary inspection centers, 104 permanent inspection centers and 30 helicopters,” according to Iran’s state police spokesperson in an interview with state TV.

The Supreme National Security Council, chaired by the so-called “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, most certainly adopts and approves such actions.

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani depicts the road ahead best by indicating challenges lay ahead for the clerical regime.

Driving force

What superficially began as a protest over poor living conditions quickly swelled into an uprising growing nationwide aiming to overthrow the Iranian regime in its entirety.

As proven again on Tuesday night, these protests can no longer classify as isolated incidents of unorganized nature. This grassroot movement is proving conditions will never be same following the uprising born on December 28th.

The driving force behind these protests, rapidly spreading to over 140 cities and towns through Iran, are women and the deprived social sectors.

Protesters have been chanting and writing in graffiti, ‘Death to Khamenei’ and ‘Death to Rouhani,’ formally referring to the regime’s supreme leader.

“Despite any ups and downs, the uprising will move on. The regime is incapable of stopping it. There are signs of alarm and concern even inside the IRGC and Bassij militia. The wall of fear has been cracked, and nothing including arrests, killings and torture can prevent the advancement of the protests to overthrow the regime,” Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said back at a February session in Paris held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

The stakes at hand are grave, to say the least. The West has finally begun to acknowledge the threats Iran poses for its Middle East neighbors through ballistic missiles and regional meddling.

It is time the entire international community realizes the undeniable fact that the Iranian people are demanding sweeping regime change.

Tuesday night’s protests also prove a direct link between the protests and the Iranian resistance movement, following a call made by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the largest member of the NCRI coalition.

The NCRI is pioneering the struggle to realize regime change in Iran and that is what the people of Iran want. It is high time for the West to realize appeasement vis-à-vis Tehran is not welcome as protesters express their abhorrence of this clerical rule.

Known for blowing the whistle on Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program, the PMOI/MEK is the spearheading protest organization inside the country. Khamenei went public on January 9 acknowledging the PMOI’s leading role behind these protests.

Effective measures

The European Union and each member state should not only recognize the Iranian people’s legitimate demand for regime change, but to adopt effective measures aimed at compelling Tehran to release all recently arrested protesters, guarantee freedom of speech and assembly, end suppression targeting women and abolish laws imposing compulsory veil.

Iran’s regime is currently on shaky grounds.

As a result, the EU should refrain from any deals with companies and individuals affiliated to Iran’s crackdown apparatus, most specifically the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

As the people voice their demands ever so clearly, the future of political and economic relations with Tehran should hinge on the release of all political prisoners and an end to executions.

In line, it would be quite encouraging to witness the United Nations launch a commission missioned to investigate the arrests, disappearances and mysterious suicides of Iranian protestors while in custody.

Europe should jump on board with its Middle East allies and the United States in adopting a firm Iran policy. Silence in regards to Tehran’s unrestrained quelling of protestors simply seeking their God-given right of freedom is unacceptable.

New Round In Iran’s Nationwide Protests?

Celebrating fire festivities marking the last week of Iran’s calendar year, people in many cities across the country took to streets staging yet another round of protests challenging the mullahs’ rule.

People transformed this national celebration into a major act of protest. This followed a recent call issued by a network based inside the country associated to the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) encouraging people to take advantage of this opportunity to stage nationwide demonstrations. People from all walks of life have also issued letters and statements supporting this new initiative.

Prior to this event Tehran’s concerns focused on such an occasion providing the people an opportunity to stage a large number of pocket, hit-and-run protests throughout various areas of all cities and towns.

Fox News interviewed a protester inside the country saying, “We are like a wave — we come back even stronger, and the Iranian people want regime change… There is no going back.”

Following the Dec 2017/Jan 2018 nationwide uprising that caught the regime by surprise, Iran has witnessed a surge in over 8,000 arrests and more than 50 protesters killed in custody, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Greater Tehran police chief Hossein Rahimi emphasized all measures are being taken in regards to a variety of possibility forecasted for such an occasion, adding all forces are on full alert. Tehran’s main concern focuses on such protests avalanching into sweeping and uncontrollable storms.

Authorities insist people can uphold their traditional ceremonies on the condition of not disrupting public order. Interesting is how this regime hangs people and carries out lashings in public, yet now is thumping its chest about “public order.” Based on the Iranian regime’s terminology, “public order” is tantamount to the mullahs’ rule.

One should ask why such authorities are taking no measures to provide decent education, create jobs and the needed recreation needed for the country’s younger generation.

While claiming many people were killed and injured in such celebrations held in previous years, there is no action taken to resolve increasing air pollution across the country that is sending thousands of people to hospitals. Why are no measures blueprinted to prevent thousands of road accidents each year?

Iran has the highest number of deaths caused by road accidents in the world, according to the World Health Organisation’s most recent report on road safety.

Iran’s authorities are facing a crackdown impasse, extremely concerned of opening fire on such increasing protests across the country. There was a time, however, that Iran’s mullahs severely quelled any dissent, such as the 1994 Qazvin uprising where authorities even launched rockets at protesters, according to former senior intelligence officer Saeed Hajjarian.

This year, however, protesters across the country are chanting “Death to (Ali) Khamenei” and “Death to (Hassan) Rouhani” targeting the regime’s supreme leader and president, respectively.

IRGC chief Mohammad Ali Jafari specifically said, “the PMOI prevented us from taking measures to silence the recent Dervish Gonabadi protests in the northeast suburbs of Tehran.”

If authorities order forces to open fire, the uprisings will flare in an uncontrollable manner. If they refuse to open fire, the protests will spread gradually expand and engulf the entire country.

Tehran cannot deny the undeniable. Iran’s 80-million+ population is demanding change. Regime change.

Washington has realized the changing times and the Trump administration has been showing signs of intending to stand alongside the people. Further measures targeting the regime’s Central Bank and the Revolutionary Guards are necessary to support Iran’s uprising nation.

In line, Europe should build upon its recent pressures on Iran to significantly curb its ballistic missile program and meddling across the Middle East. These demands must expand and also place the crosshairs on Tehran’s atrocious human rights record.

This is how the West can stand alongside the Iranian people and their organized resistance in the face of a malevolent regime.

نتيجه سفر وزير خارجه فرانسه به ايران چيست؟

سفر روز دوشنبه وزير خارجه فرانسه ژان ايو لودريان واكنشهاي مختلفي را، بطور خاص از داخل ايران، برانگيخته است.

روزنامه کیهان، كه به عنوان ارگان علي خامنه اي، ولي فقيه ايران شناخته ميشود، با تیتر «وزیر خارجه فرانسه در راه تهران با کلاه برجام ۲» مدعی تلاش فرانسه برای اعمال جامهای زهر بعدی است.

سایت رویداد ۲۴نوشت: ۳ موضوع برجام، موشک و نقش ایران در منطقه، از مهمترین چالشهای پیش‌روی ایران، اروپا و آمریکا و کشورهای منطقه است.»

اين موضوعي است كه تهران را بيش از هرچيز ديگر نگران ميكند، چرا كه بسيار روشن است اروپاييها هرگز بجاي آمريكا طرف ايران را نمي گيرند.

در تلاشي براي بالا بردن قيمت قبل از سفر لودريان، تهران روز دوشنبه اعلام كرد در صورتي كه واشينگتن از برجام خارج شود از توانايي توليد اورانيوم غنيشده غلظت بالا ظرف دو روز برخوردار است.

بهروز كمالوند، سخنگوي سازمان انرژي اتمي ايران به تلويزيون العالم گفت، «اگر آمريكا از توافق خارج شود… ايران ميتواند ظرف كمتر از 48 ساعت غني سازي اورانيوم 20 درصد خود را از سر گيرد.»

قاسمی، سخنگوی وزارت‌خارجه رژیم گفت لودريان تنها وارد رایزنی خواهد شد و مذاکره‌یی در کار نیست. اما مواضع رسمی فرانسه چیز دیگری را بیان می‌کند.

لودریان وزیر خارجه فرانسه روزنامه فرانسوی «ژورنال دو دیمانش» گفت: «برنامه موشکهای بالستیک ایران که چند هزار کیلومتر برد دارند، با قطعنامه‌های شورای امنیت سازگار نیستند و فراتر از نیاز ایران برای دفاع از مرزهایش هستند… در صورتی که این مشکل مستقیماً حل نشود، ایران با خطر تحریم‌های جدید مواجه خواهد شد.»

در حال حاضر فرانسه نقش رهبری اروپا در مذاکرات با رژیم را برعهده دارد. لودریان در سفر به تهران در مورد شروط ترامپ برای تغییر برجام و موضوعات منطقه‌یی با مقامات رژیم صحبت می‌کند.

خبرگزاری فارس نوشت آمریکا به فرانسه وکالت داده است شروط ترامپ را روی میز رژیم بگذارد و کشورهای اروپایی هم با تأیید همان شروط همراهی خودشان را با آمریکا نشان دادند.

در ديدار خود با لودريان، اظهارات حسن روحاني، رئيس جمهوري ايران بطور روشن نگرانيهاي عميق تهران در مورد آينده برجام را فاش ساخت.

روحاني گفت، «برجام آزمايشي براي همه طرفها است و لغو آن منجر به پشيماني همگان خواهد شد.»

بايد موضوع زمانبندی این سفر را هم در نظر داشته باشيم چرا كه درست پیش از سفر نخست‌وزیر اسراییل به آمریکا طراحی شده است. سفری که موضوع اصلی آن ایران بود.

دو هفته بعد هم ولیعهد عربستان به آمریکا می‌رود که این سفر هم در رابطه با دخالتهای منطقه‌یی رژیم انجام می‌شود. نقش تهران در سوريه نگرانيهايي را ايجاد كرده است.

سناتور ليندزي گراهام اخيراً در مصاحبه يي گفت، «… اگر ما ايران را اخراج نكنيم و در ژنو به توافقي دست نيابيم كه سوريه را به سوريها بدهد، اين جنگ هرگز تمام نخواهد شد. بنابراين، آقاي رئيس جمهوري، مسأله فقط شكست داعش نيست. اگر سوريه را در دستان روسيه و ايرانيان رها كنيد، اين جنگ هرگز تمام نخواهد شد.»

 و سرانجام ماه آینده هم، زمان دیدار ماکرون ـ از موضع رهبری اروپا در بحث برجام ـ با ترامپ است.

در نتيجه، هدف سفر لودريان به ايران را ميتوان اعمال فشار جدي از طرف ترامپ و شروط او توصيف كرد. تهران به شدت نگران خواهد بود، با اشراف به اينكه همه ملاقاتها در گفتگوهاي ماكرون در واشينگتن به بلوغ خواهند رسيد. دو هفته بعد از آن ترامپ تصميم خود در مورد برجام را اعلام خواهد كرد.

اين مسأله تهران را در برابر يك مشكل جدي قرار ميدهد. تن دادن به شروط جديد جهت حفظ برجام منجر به ضربه يي استراتژيك خواهد شد، كه حداقل آن كاهش برنامه موشكهاي بالستيك و نفوذ خود در خاورميانه است. ايران اين دو ركن را افتخار و عمق استراتژيك منطقه يي خود ميداند.

اما تصميم براي رد شروط واشينگتن يقيناً باعث بازگشت تحريمهاي فلج كننده براي تهران خواهد بود.

علاوه بر اين مسأله ادامه اعتراضات توسط ايرانيان در سراسر كشور است. اين در كنار فراخوانهايي است جهت برپايي اعتراضات سراسري بيشتر به مناسبت چهارشنبه سوري ميباشد.

اپوزيسيون ايران، سازمان مجاهدين خلق ايران، فراخواني براي قيام سراسري در اين روز داده است. مقامات ارشد ايراني گفته اند مجاهدين سازماندهنده آخرين موج از اعتراضات سراسر كشور بودند.

بحرانهاي تهران تازه آغاز شده است.

What Comes After French FM’s Iran Visit

Monday’s Tehran visit by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is startling a wide variety of responses, especially from inside Iran.

Kayhan daily, known as the mouthpiece of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, ran a piece titled “French Foreign Minister heading to Tehran with a JCPOA-2 hat,” using the acronym for the Iran nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, while describing Paris’ efforts to impose further setbacks upon Iran’s regime.

The semi-official Ruydad 24 website in Iran writes, “The JCPOA, ballistic missile program and Iran’s role in the region are of the most important challenges before Iran, Europe, the United States and Middle East countries.”

This is what concerns Tehran the most, being crystal clear the Europeans would never side with Iran over the U.S.

Seeking to raise the stakes prior Le Drian’s visit, Tehran on Monday announced it enjoys the capability of producing higher enriched uranium within two days if Washington’s abandons ship on the 2015 nuclear deal between.

“If America pulls out of the deal … Iran could resume its 20 percent uranium enrichment in less than 48 hours,” Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told al-Alam TV.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Le Drian will be merely involved in discussions and there are no negotiations involved. France’s official position says otherwise.

“Iran’s ballistic missile program, with a range of a few thousand kilometers, is definitely non-consistent with United Nations Security Council resolutions and goes beyond Iran’s need to defend its borders,” Le Drian said in an interview with the French daily Le Journal du Dimanche.

“If this dilemma is not resolved directly, Iran will be facing the threat of new sanctions,” he added.

France is leading Europe in talks with Iran and it is very likely Le Drian discussed with Iran’s officials the conditions raised by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“The U.S. has asked France to lay Trump’s conditions before Iran. European countries have confirmed these conditions,” according to the semi-officials Fars news agency, said to be linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

In his meeting with Le Drian, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s remarks vividly displayed Tehran’s deep concerns about the JCPOA’s future.

“The JCPOA is a litmus test for all parties and its dismantling will bring disappointment for everyone,” Rouhani said.

We must also take into consideration the timing of Le Drian’s visit, coming prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, in which Iran was the main issue of talks.

Two weeks later Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to Washington where Iran’s regional meddling will most likely be discussed. Tehran’s role in Syria has raised major concerns.

“…if we don’t push Iran out and come up with an agreement in Geneva that gives Syria back to the Syrians. This war never ends. So, Mr. President it’s just not about defeating ISIL. If you leave Syria in the hands of Russia and the Iranians this war never ends,” said Senator Lindsey Graham in a recent interview.

Finally, Trump will be hosting his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, as the leader of Europe in regards to the JCPOA.

As a result, the objective of Le Drian’s visit to Iran can be described as placing Trump’s significant pressures and imposing his conditions. Tehran will most definitely be concerned, knowing all meetings will evolve in Trump’s talks with Macron in Washington. Two weeks later Trump will announce his decision on the JCPOA.

This leaves Tehran before a particular dilemma. Succumbing to the new conditions set to preserve the JCPOA will deliver a strategic setback, being, to say the least, significantly curbing its ballistic missile program and Middle East influence. Iran considers these two pillars its pride and regional strategy depth.

Choosing to reject Washington’s conditions, however, will most certainly lead to the return of crippling sanctions for Tehran.

Add to this dilemma the ongoing protest staged by Iranians across the country. This goes alongside calls for further nationwide protests next Tuesday, marking the country’s annual “Fire Festivities” held on the last Tuesday night of the Iranian calendar before inviting in the new year.

Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has issued a call for a nationwide uprising to mark this celebration. Senior Iranian officials have acknowledged how the PMOI/MEK organized the recent flare of protests across the country.

Tehran’s troubles are only beginning.

A Close Look At Iran’s Budget

A country’s budget is the government’s fiscal plan for that state for a period of 12 months. All the country’s revenue and resources to provide credit are forecasted, placed alongside anticipated costs and expenses. The intention of this piece is to provide a much-needed close examination of Iran’s budget.

Iran’s next fiscal budget (from March 2018 to March 2019) is equal to around $350 billion. How is this money provided for? In general, Iran’s budget is funded through oil, taxes, increasing bonds and eliminating cash handouts or subsidies.

Oil, a natural resource belonging to the Iranian people, is currently being plundered by the ruling mullahs for foreign expenditures.

The second source of Iran’s budget is taxes. The government of President Hassan Rouhani has decided to increase taxes by 11%, equaling to $55 billion. This means Rouhani intends to take $55 billion out of the people’s pockets and use it for the government’s expenses. For a better understanding, we should compare these numbers to that of oil revenues.

Iran will have sold $50 billion of oil from March 2017 to March 2018, according to Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamani. This means Iran’s regime seeks to extract $5 billion dollars more than their oil revenue in taxes from the people.

This is not an ordinary government with a live economy asking for people to pay their taxes. This is “Plundering 101” by Iran’s mullahs.

This is also something to think about for those European companies seeking to economic contracts with Iran, despite senior U.S. officials warning this being tantamount to sending a check to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Moscow should also take this into consideration, especially after providing a major concession to Tehran this week.

These taxes are being demanded from the Iranian people when the economy is already suffering under heavy recession. The country’s industry is literally nearing a complete halt.

In any other country undergoing such conditions taxes are relieved and the industry/production branch is provided necessary loans. Rouhani, however, is raising taxes.

Bonds are another source of providing for a government’s budget and Rouhani’s cabinet intends to escalate this amount by at least $45 billion.

Bonds, however, are only applicable in a popular government, last experienced in Iran under Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh back in the early 1950s. This is not the case in today’s Iran where protesters are heard chanting, “Death to Rouhani” and “Death to Khamenei,” in reference to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Another source from which Rouhani seeks to provide for his budget is through slashing cash handouts/subsidies. This “moderate” figure intends to deprive 30 million people, providing an additional $5 billion to his budget. This is tantamount to taxes, being nothing but plundering millions of Iranians already living in poverty.

The question now is where the oil revenue, being the main source of Iran’s budget, is actually allocated?

The semi-official ILNA news agency wrote Rouhani’s cabinet has significantly increased the IRGC’s suggested budget by 42%, parallel to a 33% elevation of the defense budget. All the while the country’s construction budget will witness a nosedive.

The IRGC will receive $8 billion from Iran’s fiscal budget. This is equal to cash handouts for 49 million people a year. If Rouhani had not increased the IRGC’s budget by 42%, at least 21 million people would be receiving subsidies.

In a country where its rulers consider ballistic missiles more important than the people having something to eat, it’s only natural that the nation’s money is poured into the pockets of IRGC members and other security personnel.

Now that we’re here, it’s good to take a look at the budget allocated to Iran’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). These spies are being provided a $1 billion budget from the Iranian people’s pockets, only to focus mainly on spying on the Iranian people. The irony.

This amount should be compared to a number of entities, intended to serve the people, yet apparently are of lesser importance for the ruling state: The Social Security Organization, the Environment Protection Organization and the Organization for Research, Education & Agriculture Promotion.

The budget of all these entities combined are no match to the money provided to the MOIS. It is crystal clear that the security of Tehran’s mullahs are far more important for Rouhani than the drying Lake Urmia and Zayande River, retirees’ pensions, employees’ insurance and ….

Iran’s semi-official Jahan-e San’at daily analyzed the country’s next fiscal budget as: “Iran’s oil revenue is being allocated to foreign obligations and our presence in regional developments. Even the National Development Fund, intended for future generations, is not provided its share. In such circumstances when no money is coming from abroad to manage the country, the officials have seen no solution other than placing their hands into people’s pockets…”

To make a long story short, if up to now people were managing to make ends meet, with prices skyrocketing across the board, all families throughout the country will be facing major challenges.

This is the end result of Rouhani strengthening the IRGC at the price of the poor becoming poorer and the very few rich becoming richer. This will keep the fire burning beneath the ashes, igniting again and again until the people overthrow this regime.

While Washington has reversed Obama’s destructive appeasement policy vis-à-vis Iran, Europe must understand that investing in Iran is not only betting on the wrong horse, but standing alongside the murderous mullahs’ regime against the will of the Iranian people.

نگاه دقيقي به بودجه ايران

بودجه كل كشور درواقع برنامه مالي دولت يك كشور است. برنامه اي كه براي يك سال مالي تهيه شده و در آن هم درآمدها و هم منابع تأمين اعتبار پيش بيني شده و بعد هم برآورد هزينه صورت مي گيرد. در نهايت خرجِ پروژه هاي اجرايي يك كشور ميشود. با اين مقدمه قصد داريم به بررسي بودجه سال 97 كشور ايران بپردازيم.

بودجه سال ۱۳۹۷ بر روی کاغذ،  مبلغ  (۱۱,۹۴۹,۳۵۴,۶۷۴,۰۰۰,۰۰۰) ، اما نكته جالب اينجاست كه در بودجه سال 97 هزينه ها و مصارف با درآمد مو نميزند. اين مبلغ هنگفت از كجا تأمين ميشود؟ به طور كلي منابع بودجه عبارتند از: نفت، ماليات، افزايش اوراق مشاركت و حذف بخشي از يارانه نقدي.

نفت يا همون طلاي سياه كه متعلق به همه مردم ايران است ولي آخوندها آن را براي پروژههاي خارجي خود استخراج كرده و ميفروشند.

دومين منبع بودجه  97، ماليات است. دولت روحاني تصميم گرفته است مالياتها را 11 درصد افزايش دهد. اين يعني يه چيزي معادل 193 هزار ميليارد تومان كه با نرخ ارز 3500 تومني كه در بودجه قيد شده، معادل 55 ميليارد دلار است. معنيش اين است كه روحاني ميخواهد 55 ميليارد دلار از جيب مردم خارج كرده و در ظرف بودجه قرار دهد.

امير حسين زماني نيا كه معاون وزير نفت گفت در سال گذشته 40 ميليارد يورو نفت فروختيم. اين يعني 50 ميليارد دلار. يعني اينها ميخواهند درآمد مالياتي 5 ميليارد دلار بيشتر از درآمد نفتي باشد. اين اسمش اخذ ماليات از طرف يه دولت معمولي و يك اقتصاد زنده و پويا نيست. اين اسمش غارت است. اسمش چپاول است.

اين موضوعي است كه با وجود هشدارهاي مقامات ارشد آمريكايي در مورد معادل بودن اين مسأله با ارسال چك مستقيم به سپاه پاسداران، شركتهاي اروپايي كه بدنبال قراردادهاي اقتصادي با ايران هستند بايد به اين مسأله خوب فكر كنند.

اين ماليات 55 ميلياردي در حالي ميخواهد از مردم ايران گرفته شود كه بر اقتصاد ايران ركود سنگيني حاكم است. صنايع ايران در حالت تعطيل و نيمه تعطيل است. در همه جاي دنيا وقتي كشوري در حال ركود اقتصادي است، ماليات را ميبخشند، به بخش صنعت و توليد وام ميدهند. اما روحاني به جاي اين كارها ميخواهد ماليات را افزايش بدهد.

يكي ديگه از منابع تأمين بودجه استفاده از اوراق مشاركته كه دولت روحاني ميخواد اون را به 194 هزار ميليارد تومن افزايش بده. اوراق مشاركت در يك دولت ملي و مردمي كاربرد داره. اوراق مشاركت در دولتي مثل دولت دكتر مصدق كاربرد دارد، نه در ايران فعلي كه مردم شعار مرگ بر روحاني و مرگ بر خامنه اي ميدهند.

يكي ديگه از منابع بودجه، يارانه نقدي است. يعني ميخواهند يارانه 30 ميليون نفر را حذف كنند كه ميشود مبلغي معادل 5 ميليارد دلار. اين هم مانند ماليات دوباره معنايي جز دزديدن از جيب مردم ندارد و با حساب و كتاب ساده ميشود  فهميد حكومت ميخواهد 60 ميليارد دلار از جيب مردم بدزدد.

سئوال اينجاست درآمد نفتي دولت كه منبعِ نقد بودجه سال نود و هفت است در كجا خرج ميشود و چه مصارفي دارد.

خبرگزاري ايلنا در روز 19 آذر نوشت دولت دوازدهم امسال به ميزان چشمگيري بودجه پيشنهادي سپاه پاسداران را افزايش داده است. بودجه سپاه پاسداران را 42 درصد و بودجه دفاعي را 33 درصد افزايش دادند. در عوض، بودجه عمراني را كم كردند.

سهم سپاه از بودجه سال 97، 8 ميليارد دلار است. اين پول، معادل یارانه 49 میلیون نفر در یک سال است. یعنی اگر بودجه سپاه را روحانی ۴۲درصد افزایش نمیداد یارانه حداقل ۲۱میلیون نفر را میشد تامین کرد.

تو سرزميني كه حاكمانش، موشكي را واجب تر از نان شب ميدانند،طبيعيه كه پول مردم هم سرازير ميشود در جیب پاسداران و نيروهاي امنيتي.

حالا یه نگاه هم میکنیم به بودجه وزارت اطلاعات یا همان سربازان گمنام خامنه ای که رسالت جاسوسی از مردم شریف ایران را به عهده دارند. برای این وزارت خانه چیزی بیش از یک میلیارد دلار اختصاص دادند.

حالا همین رقم را مقایسه کنید با چند نهاد و سازمان دیگه که ظاهرا اهمیت چندانی برای حکومت ندارند ولی قرار بوده که مسائل زیادی را از مردم حل کنند: سازمان تامین اجتماعی، سازمان حفاظت از محیط زیست و سازمان تحقیقات، آموزش و ترویج کشاورزی.

بودجه همه این نهادها با همدیگر به بودجه وزارت اطلاعات نمیرسند. یعنی پرواضحه که امنیت آخوندهاي حاكم از خشک شدن دریاچه ارومیه، زاینده رود، حقوق بازنشستگان و بیمه کارمندان و غيره مهمتر است.

روزنامة جهان صنعت هم بودجه  97 را در يك كلام اينطور جمعبندي كرده است: «درآمد نفتی ایران هم که صرف تعهدات خارجی و حضور ایران در تحولات منطقه‌ای می‌شود و حتی سهم صندوق توسعه ملی هم که قرار است برای نسل‌های آینده بماند، پرداخت نمی‌شود. در این شرایط و در حالی که برای اداره کشور پولی از خارج وارد نمی‌شود، مقامات دولتی ناگزیر از دست کردن در جیب مردم هستند تا پول اداره کشور را از جیب مردم درآورند».

خلاصه اينكه  اگر تا دیروز يه لقمه  نون بخور و نمیر در سفره‌ها پیدا می‌شد، با افزایش قیمت نون و دارو و بنزین ، حالا ديگه تهيه همان هم براي بسياري از خانواده ها به يه چالش تبديل شده است. اينها همه محصول تقویت سپاه پاسداران است که جامعه را به دو قطب فقیر فقیر و غنی غنی تبدیل می‌کند. این موضوع یکی از عواملي است که باعث شعله ور ماندن قیام خواهد بود و تا نابودي حكومت  ادامه دارد.

در حاليكه واشينگتن سياست مخرب مماشات اوباما در قبال ايران را تغيير داده است، اروپا بايد درك كند كه سرمايه گذاري در ايران نه تنها شرط بندي روي اسب مرده است، بلكه قرار گرفتن در كنار رژيم ملايان قاتل عليه خواسته مردم ايران است.

چرا ايران بهاي حضور خود را در سوريه افزايش ميدهد؟

در حاليكه جهان در متوقف كردن  خونريزي مردم بيگناه سوريه شكست ميخورد، ايران بدنبال دو هدف اصلي حفظ موقعيت خود در داخل كشور و افزايش قيمت هر گونه توافق احتمالي در آينده ميباشد كه رفته رفته احتمال آن بيشتر ميشود.

رژيم اسد بطور مكرر مردم بيگناه در قوطه شرقي در نزديكي دمشق را بمباران كرده و حداقل 500 تن را به كشتن ميدهد. تيمهاي امدادي بطور مستمر در حال بيرون كشيدن اجساد شهروندان از زير آوار هستند.

در حاليكه شوراي امنيت ملل متحد يك قطعنامه آتش بس 30 روزه براي سوريه تصويب كرد، چنين خواسته هايي بايد با اقدامات قوي دنبال شوند.

در حاليكه كشتارها اسفناك هستند، بايد در نظر داشته باشيم تهران نيروي محرك حفظ سوريه به عنوان يك امپراتوري شيعه-ايراني آرزوشده ميباشد. در حاليكه ايران به گسترش جايگاه خود در سوريه ادامه ميدهد، كشورهاي عرب سراسر خليج، آلمان و فرانسه همچنين خواسته هاي قوي طرح كرده اند.

اتحاديه اروپا در تماميت خود بايد همچنين ايران را به اين اشراف برساند كه چنين تخاصماتي غير قابل قبول هستند.

«ارتش نيابتي»

از زماني كه اسد در 2011 بر عليه مردم سوريه اعلام جنگ كرد، ايران بطور تمام عيار از ديكتاتوري او حمايت كرده و در 2015 از روسيه خواستار پشتيباني هوايي جهت تضمين بقاي اين رژيم شد. تهران به خوبي درك ميكند در صورت از دست دادن دمشق حاكميت خود در خطر خواهد بود.

بعد از سقوط حلب و شكست داعش در رقه، و بطور خاص بعد از سود بردن از رويكرد مماشات اوباما، اتحاد تهران-مسكو-دمشق اكنون مناطق باقي مانده تحت كنترل اپوزيسيون سوريه را هدف قرار داده است.

اين اتحاد سپس از طريق صلح مورد حمايت روسيه بدنبال برقراري مجدد كنترل اسد بر سوريه خواهد بود. بدين طريق يك تلاش ضعيف ملل متحد را بيش از پيش زير سئوال ميبرند. روسيه خواستار حفظ پايگاههاي نظامي خود خواهد شد و ايران بدنبال محقق ساختن آرزوي ديرينه خود مبني بر تشكيل نفوذ معني دار در سراسر منطقه تا درياي مديترانه خواهد بود.

همانطور كه بطور گسترده گزارش شده، در مناطقي كه اكنون تحت كنترل اسد هستند، ايران در تلاش براي تشكيل استقرار دراز مدت سپاه پاسداران، حزب الله لبنان، مزدوران استخدام شده از پاكستان، عراق و افغانستان، و همچنين نيروهاي نيابتي محلي سوريه ميباشد.

ژنرال مك مستر، مشاور امنيت ملي آمريكا در دسامبر نگرانيهايي مبني بر «احتمال تشكيل يك ارتش نيابتي توسط ايران» طرح كرد.

تخمينها نشان ميدهند حزب الله در حال تشكيل ناوگاني از 100 هزار موشك مستقر در لبنان و شايد هم سوريه ميباشد. چنين استقرار ايراني در سوريه داراي پتانسيل يك جنگ ديگر در خاورميانه ميباشد، هر چند تهران به احتمال خيلي قوي عقب نشيني خواهد كرد چرا كه اشراف دارد ظرفيت لازمه را ندارد.


در حاليكه ايران ممكن است همانطور كه قاسم سليماني، فرمانده نيروي قدس سپاه پاسداران، بطور علني هدف نهايي خود را «نابودي اسرائيل» طرح كند، هدف اصلي آن دوگانه ميباشد.

نياز تهران به افزايش تخاصمات در خارج از مرزهايش شدت يافته است چرا كه اعتراضات در داخل كشور رو به تشديد است. اوائل اين ماه تنشها در سراسر منطقه شعله گرفت. نيروهاي نظامي اسرائيل يك پهباد نيروهاي مورد حمايت ايران را كه از شهر حمس سوريه به پرواز در آمده بود سرنگون كردند. جتهاي جنگنده همچنين اعزام شدند تا پايگاه كنترل كننده پهباد و چند مقر ديگر را هدف قرار دهند.

اين افزايش تحريكها از اين ديگاه ايران نشأت ميگيرد كه اتخاذ مواضعي قوي در خارج از كشور الزام حفظ نفوذ ميان پايگاه اجتماعي رو به زوال خود ميباشد. شرايط امروزي علي خامنه اي، ولي فقيه ايران را مجبور به اعتراف كرده كه مردم در حال انتقاد به حاكميت و موضع او هستند.

در چنين شرايط فوق العاده يي براي آخوندهاي ايران، قدرتنمايي در مورد يك موضع قوي در خارج از كشور عليه دشمنان خارجي همچنين زمينه يي براي تهران فراهم ميكند تا مخالفت داخلي را سركوب كند.

همكاري جهاني

براي ايران واكنش جامعه جهاني نسبت به تخاصمات آن بسيار مهم است. تهران درك ميكند چه زماني بايد اين موارد را كاهش داده و چه زماني مناسب است آنها را افزايش دهد.

عادل الجبير، وزير خارجه عربستان در يك سخنراني اخير در پارلمان اروپا بر الزام همكاري بين المللي براي جلوگيري از دخالت ايران در خارج از مرزهايش تأكيد نموده و افزود تهران بايد به تلاشهاي خود پايان داده و فهم كند «انقلاب به پايان رسيده است.»

در آن طرف اقيانوس آرام، مايك پنس، معاون رياست جمهوري آمريكا بر اين واقعيت تأكيد كرد كه تهران هنوز اصليترين كشور حاكم تروريسم است و هشدار داد واشينگتن ديگر فعاليتهاي بي ثبات كننده ايران در سراسر منطقه را تحمل نخواهد كرد.

و بعد از بازگشت از سفر خود به خاورميانه، اد رويس، رئيس كميته روابط خارجي مجلس نمايندگان آمريكا در اطلاعيه يي بر تهديدي كه ايران براي كل منطقه ايجاد ميكند تأكيد نمود. به گفته اطلاعيه يي، تدابير اقتصادي و ديپلوماتيك عليه برنامه موشكي ايران و حمايت آن از تروريسم در ديدارهاي او مورد بحث قرار گرفت.

باز ميگرديم به قاره سبز، جايي كه آنگلا مركل، صدر اعظم آلمان خواستار فشار از جانب اتحاديه اروپا بر روسيه و ايران شده تا منجر به پاياني بر خشونت در سوريه گردد. مركل از اين فرصت و نفوذ برخوردار است كه اروپا در پايان دادن به سياست مماشات در قبال ايران و ايستادن در طرف درست تاريخ رهبري كند.

با درك اين وضعيت، ايران در حال افزايش قيمت در سوريه است – مانند بمباران وحشتناك قوطه شرقي – تا به عنوان اهرمي در گفتگوهاي احتمالي آينده در مورد برنامه موشكهاي بالستيك و دخالت در امورات دخالي كشورها استفاده كند.

افكار آخر

جامعه بين المللي، و بطور خاص اتحاديه اروپا، بايد نگران موج جديدي از تنشهاي خطرناك در خاورميانه باشد. رئيس جمهوري آمريكا دونالد ترامپ در اكتبر وعده داد تا با «فعاليتهاي بي ثبات كننده و حمايت از نيروهاي نيابتي تروريستي در منطقه» توسط ايران مقابله كند.

زمان آن فرا رسيده كه درك كنيم ايران نياز دارد قيمتها را در سوريه افزايش دهد تا در آن واحد سركوبي داخلي را ادامه داده و قدرت نمايي در برابر طرف حسابهايش را تجديد كند.

پاسخ آن در حمايت از قيام مردم ايران بر عليه آخوندهاي حاكم و افزايش چشمگير قيمت نقش مخرب تهران در خارج از مرزهايش ميباشد. اين از طريق مطرح كردن تهديد بازگشت تحريمهاي فلج كننده عليه نهادهاي رژيم ميباشد.

ANALYSIS: Why is Iran raising the stakes in Syria?

As the world continues to fail in stopping the bloodshed of innocent people in Syria, Iran seeks two main objectives of saving face back home & raising the price any possible deal in the future that is becoming more and more likely now.

The Assad regime is continuously bombing innocent people in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, killing at least 500. Rescue workers are continuously pulling dead civilians from the rubble. As the United Nations Security Council has adopted a 30-day ceasefire resolution, it has become crystal clear that strong actions need to back-up such demands.

As the killings are appalling, we must keep in mind how Tehran is the driving force to maintain Syria as part of a dreamed Shiite-Persian empire. Iran continues to expand its foothold in Syria, while Arab countries across the Gulf, Germany and France are also being heard making strong demands. The European Union as a whole should also be making Iran understand such hostilities are unacceptable.

‘Proxy army’

Ever since the Assad waged war on the Syrian people back in 2011 Iran has placed its entire weight behind his dictatorship, and pleading Russia’s air support in 2015 to ensure the regime’s survival, knowing its own rule would be threatened in the case of losing Damascus.

Following the fall of Aleppo and ISIS being routed from Raqqa, and especially after enjoying Obama’s appeasement approach, this Tehran-Moscow-Damascus axis now has its crosshairs focused on the Syrian opposition’s remaining strongholds.

This alliance will thus seek to re-establish Assad’s control over Syria through Russia-sponsored peace, degrading an already weak UN-backed effort in this regard. Russia will demand to maintain its military bases, and Iran seeks to achieve its long desire of establishing meaningful influence across the region to the Mediterranean.

As widely reported, in areas now controlled by Assad, Iran is in the effort of establishing a lasting military presence for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Lebanese Hezbollah, hired mercenaries from Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, and local Syrian proxies.

US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster expressed concerns back in December about “the prospect of Iran having a proxy army.” Estimates indicate Hezbollah building an armada of 100,000 rockets based in Lebanon and possibly Syria. Such an Iranian fortification in Syria bears the potential of another Middle East war, although Tehran will most definitely back down knowing its apparatus lacks such a capacity.

Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan meet in Sochi, Russia, on November 22, 2017. (Reuters)


While Iran may publicly boast the ultimate goal of seeking “the eradication of Israel,” as the leader of the IRGC’s Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, said recently, its main intention is twofold.

Tehran’s need for growing belligerence abroad is increasing as recent protests flare at home. Earlier this month tensions sparked across the region as the Israeli military shot down a drone launched by Iran-backed forces from the Syrian city of Homs. Fighter jets were also deployed to target the base controlling the drone, parallel to other military targets.

This escalation in provocation stems from Iran’s mentality of showing a strong stance abroad to maintain influence among an already dwindling social base at home. Today’s circumstances are forcing Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to publicly admit people are criticizing the ruling state and his position.

At such an extraordinary situation for Iran’s clerics, boasting a powerful position abroad against foreign enemies also provides a pretext for Tehran to quell domestic dissent.

Global collaboration

For Iran it is highly important how the global community responds to its bellicosity, understanding when is the time to dial down and when the timing is proper to further hostilities.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in a European Parliament speech emphasized the necessity for global collaboration to prevent Iran’s interference abroad, adding Tehran should end its efforts and the “revolution is over.” Across the Atlantic, US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated the fact that Tehran remains the main state supporter of terrorism, warning Washington will no longer tolerate Iran’s destabilizing activities across the region.

And returning from his Middle East tour, Ed Royce, Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee issued a statement emphasizing the threat Iran poses for the entire region. Financial and diplomatic measures against Iran’s missile program and its support for terrorism were discussed in his meetings, according to a statement.

Moving back to the Green Continent, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on the European Union to increase pressure on Russia and Iran to end Syria’s violence. Merkel enjoys the opportunity and influence to lead Europe into putting aside its appeasement policy vis-à-vis Iran and stand on the right side of history.

Understanding the situation at hand, Iran is raising the price in Syria – such as the horrendous bombing campaign of East Ghouta – to use as a lever in possible future talks over its ballistic missile program and meddling in other states’ internal affairs.

Final thoughts

The international community, and especially the European Union, should be concerned over the Middle East experiencing a new wave of dangerous tension. US President Donald Trump promised last October to counter Iran’s “destabilizing activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region.”

It is high time to realize how Iran needs to escalate the stakes in Syria to both continue quelling dissent at home and renew saber-rattling for its correspondents.

The answer lies in supporting the Iranian people’s uprising against the ruling clerics and significantly elevating the price of Tehran’s destructive role outside its borders by threatening a return of crippling sanctions targeting the regime’s entities.

Digging Into Iran’s Latest Plane Crash

On Sunday, February 18th, Flight No. 3704 of Aseman Airlines, Iran’s 3rd airline company with a fleet of 29 planes, left Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport at 8:03 am local time, heading for Yasuj. The plane, with 66 aboard, including six crew, never reached its destination, crashing into a mountainous region near the town of Semirom, close to Isfahan, south-central Iran.

All on board were confirmed perished as rescuers reached the site on foot at an altitude of around 4,000 meters (4,375 yards) after authorities failed to land a helicopter failed on the snowy mountain.

While such an incident in any ordinary country is followed with the government taking measures to quickly find the crash site in an attempt to save even one passenger, the Iranian regime is no such entity.

Many questions and concerns are circling since the crash, especially since Iran’s regime is not known for its transparency.

1) Why did authorities rush to announce all passengers dead before the crash site was found?

One family member of a crash victim was seen weeping and saying she was at the mountain and no rescue team was sent. They called from the crash site and said we are alive, she added.

2) If weather conditions grounded helicopters and prevented search and rescue teams to rush to the scene instantly, why was the flight given a green light?

Bad weather disrupted several Tehran flights on Sunday, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

Authorities at Abadan International Airport in southwestern Iran were also forced to ground two domestic flights due to pollution that severely reduced visibility to literally two meters.

Iranian MP Mohammad Damadi has reportedly said mismanagement in Aseman Airlines can be one of the reasons behind the crash, adding the Weather Forecast Organization had warned of dangerous conditions around the mountainous area.

Damadi adds many Aseman Airlines pilots had filed complaints & more than 30 very capable pilots had resigned due to mismanagement.

3) Human error is also ruled out. The flight pilot, Hojatollah Fooled, successfully landed a similar plane despite an engine problem in 2013, according to an Aseman Airline Instagram post, adding Fooled was “very experienced.”

“On a previous flight from Yasuj to Tehran in 2013 he had an issue where the second engine of the ATR72 went out,” the post adds. “But he managed to land the plane safely at Yasuj airport.”

4) The translation of this Farsi tweet reads: “Aseman Airlines did not provide the budget needed for the ELT system on this plane. The system went inactive. Only a few planes flying abroad have the ELT system active. ILNA”

This text is citing the state-run Iran Labor news agency.

ELTs are emergency transmitters carried aboard most general aviation aircraft in the world today. These devices are designed to transmit a distress signal in the event of an aircraft incident.

5) Only one drone was deployed in the aftermath of the crash, according to CNN. This raises concerns as Iran is currently in the middle of a regional crisis of a drone being downed by Israeli air force after flying from Syria into that country’s airspace. How is it that Tehran has the budget to provide capable drones to take on such sensitive missions abroad and yet its rescue teams lack the means to carry out their duties?

6) This plane was grounded for seven years to undergo repairs and overhaul, according to the The Guardian. Furthermore, Aseman Airlines flights are banned to enter the European Union due to safety reasons. Why was this plane suddenly allowed into service only months ago?

To add insult to injury, Iranian news website Roozarooz reported the aircraft suffered “technical problems midair during a recent flight a few weeks ago” and had to make an emergency landing, according to The New York Post.

Questions regarding the ATR-72 planes’ suitability to fly over mountainous regions are already raised in various reports.

In an interview with EuroNews on Wednesday, ATR spokesman David Vargas said Iran has not purchased this company’s new generation planes available since 2011. The Tehran-Yasuj plane was an old generation plane, he added.

7) Iranian MP Mohammad Reza Tabesh, linked to the parliament’s environment faction, made remarks indicating a number of environment/natural resources experts, who in recent weeks had defended the work of such activists, lost their lives in this crash.

This follows the mysterious death of Iranian-Canadian environment expert Kavoos Seyed Emami.

Moreover, from 1989 to this day Iran has been home to 31 air incidents, 17 being severely fatal accidents where at least a dozen passengers lost their lives. By comparison, in the same timeframe UK airlines witnessed only two air crashes resulting in 12 or more fatalities.

In 2009, a Caspian Airlines Tupolev TM-154 experienced a bird strike and crashed, killing 168 on board.

In 2011, an Iran Air Boeing 727 crashed in north-western Iran en route to Armenia, killing 78 people.

Iran’s most recent case was in 2014, when a Sepahan Airlines flight crashed near Tehran minutes after taking off, killing 40 passengers.

Iran also has a long history of such disasters and failing to take necessary measures, including the February 2004 Neishabur train crash in northeast Iran; the January 2017 Plasco building fire in Tehran; the November 2017 Kermanshah earthquake and the January 2018 Sanchi oil tanker sinking in the East China Sea.

More disturbing is how Iran’s regime takes advantage of such disasters to divert attention from its own calamites. The recent Aseman Airline crash came just in time to cloak reports about the Dervish Gonabadi protest in Tehran and the mysterious “suicide” of Prof. Emami while in detention.

This entire crisis is arriving as internal feuds are flaring with former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his deputy, Hamid Baghai, daring to make strong remarks against the country’s judiciary, known to be highly influenced by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The regime leader has also been forced to acknowledge increasing criticism from the people targeting his ruling apparatus, and even him personally. This is a significant turn of events in Iranian politics.

Parallel to all this is the brewing friction Tehran is experiencing in the region, especially as its future interests in Syria seem threatened.

The United Nations has recently filed a damning report about Iran’s involvement in the Yemen and providing ballistic missiles to the Houthi militia. And Iraq, another country where Iran has invested billions in, will be entering parliamentary elections in three months. The result of this poll will prove crucial for Iran’s future in the region, especially considering that Obama is gone and President Donald Trump is in office in Washington.

The end result looks very grim for Tehran, both domestically & on the world stage.