Iran’s ‘moderation’ myth is coming to an end

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It has been proven time and again that evil prevails if the good remain quiet. We have witnessed this so atrociously in the brutality of Aleppo. But the first step in bringing stability to Syria, is to bring justice to Iran.

Iran is an evil regime. There is no freedom of the press. There is no freedom of religion. Human rights violations are extraordinary.

This regime rules with an iron fist and is highly active in destabilizing the region. And all the while, enjoying significant Western support amongst those who actually believe in change and “moderation” from within this regime.

This camp continues to revisit the notion of a potentially “moderate” regime changing its behavior and being more welcome in the broader global community. Advocates of such a mentality are wishfully thinking this regime will alter its conduct towards its citizens, neighbors and frankly the rest of the world.
We know this hasn’t happened. If Tehran truly bore the intent to not only embrace the nuclear agreement but the spirit of the accord with the West, they would not have test-fired missiles in March or October of this year.

If the mullahs are actually sensitive about the human rights of ordinary Iranian citizens, then this regime would not have executed over 3,000 people in the past four years alone, and nearly 1,000 in 2015.

This regime, if actually sensitive about its “moderate” image, would not be executing women and minors, and would not be sending opposition supporters to the gallows. This certainly doesn’t sound anything similar to “moderate” behavior, at least not in the democratic world.

Iran is also deeply involved in destabilizing the region and the neighborhood. The single, most significant destabilizing factor throughout the Middle East was, is and will be in the foreseeable future none other than the regime ruling Iran, its President Hassan Rouhani, the mullahs and so forth.

Every one of us now unfortunately has a very depict image in their minds of the horrific genocide taking place in Syria. The little boy facing down on the shores of Turkey continues to haunt us today, add to that the small child in the back of an ambulance, for the first time seeing his own blood. They were all attempting to escape the oppression, the violence, the agony and the pain in Syria.

We have before us a massive refugee crisis with nearly half a million killed in the country, more than half the country’s population displaced, and millions involved in one of the largest exoduses in the history of mankind.

And again, what is the primary destabilizing force supporting the ruthless regime of Bashar Assad in Syria? Iran. They have troops and foot soldiers across the Levant and the entire region, parallel to their vast arms provision and funding for such proxies. Ironically, these efforts have all been boosted by the very money released thanks to U.S. President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran.

This is alongside their measures in respect to Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and other parts of the region, leading to Tehran’s designation as the number one terrorist state in the world.

Continued human rights violations at unprecedented levels; massive destabilization in the region not only contrary to the interests of the region’s neighboring countries but to Western values and United States interests; and continued ballistic missile testing all prove there is nothing to be found “moderate” in Iranian regime.

There is, however, every reason to believe that President-elect Donald Trump and his foreign policy team bring a new set of eyes, a new attitude and a new approach toward this “moderate” theocracy.

While the West continues to weigh the various options available before Washington vis-à-vis Tehran, one practical opportunity lies in supporting the sole Iranian democratic opposition movement found in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a political and truly moderate umbrella group seeking peaceful regime change in Iran.

The NCRI, led by Maryam Rajavi, herself a Muslim women despising the Iranian regime’s fundamentalist nature, enjoys strong bipartisan and apolitical support across the globe, as personified by numerous seniorU.S. and European politicians.

A relentless commitment and faith to a certain cause is the epicenter needed to bring about the very necessary changes in Iran. This is most definitely a worthy cause set to render a domino effect across the region. With Iran’s mullahs out of the picture, rest assured the very root of all extremism, radicalism, terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East will be exterminated.

The status quo in our world demands good people and countries committed to human rights, freedom and democracy, do all we can to effectively spark change.

As the pro-appeasement drive to portray the Iranian regime as moderate has failed miserably, Iran represents the most important stage where a new pro-human rights initiative must launch.

Originally posted in The Hill

Trump administration should hold Iran accountable for executions

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

By Ali Safavi
Nearly a year after the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the ensuing fanfare regarding the possibility of an age of reform within a feeble theocracy, Tehran’s behavior has taken a turn for the worse. The most tangible evidence of this can be seen in its treatment of the Iranian people.  Continue reading “Trump administration should hold Iran accountable for executions”

The Need For A New Approach On Iran

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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani presents to the parliament his budget for 2017-2018, on December 4, 2016, in Tehran. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

As the world recently marked International Human Rights Day, it should be known that the regime in Iran considers its deplorable human rights dossier as its main weakness.

For years the international community has been forced to believe in the existence of “moderates” and “hardliners” in Iran. Those advocating such a point of view have been calling for support of “moderates” to improve the human rights situation in this country.

This accord with Iran was presented as the beginning of a new era which would lead to respect for human rights in Iran and an end to the mullahs’ meddling in the region. That assumption has been at the heart of Western policy vis-à-vis Iran for decades.

However, a very close look is needed at the record of the last three or so years during the tenure of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, dubbed as a “moderate.” More have been executed under his watch than during the entire eight years of firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reign. Rouhani has never expressed any criticism regarding these executions and indeed he defends the death sentence as the rule of God.

Religious and ethnic minorities in Iran are suppressed more than ever before, and Iran has increased its participation in supporting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, especially massacring innocent people of Aleppo and other cities. The world has been watching in horror scenes of women and children victimized to horrendous Iran-backed bombings and shelling.
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However, western policymakers have been completely ignoring these realities. Horrendously, more trade and business deals have been advocated with the Iranian regime. Let us not forget that most of Iran’s economy is run by the Revolutionary Guards, not by ordinary Iranian businessmen.
Therefore, Western policy has actually encouraged the mullahs’ regime to continue their domestic crackdown and carry on atrocious crimes in Syria without any concern of being held accountable.
Just one example is the international community’s complete failure in responding to the mass executions in Iran. In particular, the massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners back in the summer of 1988. Those responsible are still holding key government positions.

The current minister of justice in Rouhani’s cabinet was a member of the infamous “Death Commission” in charge of implementing that dreadful genocide. And he, Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, has actually boasted of being proud of his role in sending thousands of political dissidents to the gallows.

This frankly shames today’s free world in the 21st century. It is totally unacceptable for the West to remain silent and continue business as usual with the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

Iran’s past and present atrocities, inside the country and outside its borders, need to be condemned as crimes against humanity. The West must place firm conditions on future relations with Iran and take serious actions against this regime. One good start was the adoption of the Iran Sanctions Act by the U.S. Congress, sending a strong message to Tehran that the tides are changing.

The West must also demand a stoppage of the execution of minors, justice for women and respect for human rights in general. The people of Iran expect it from the West to stand up for them. U.S. President Barack Obama failed to do so back in 2009 and the Iranian people have paid the price heavily ever since.
The West has unfortunately sided with the brutal dictator in Tehran, and this must come to an end by standing shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people and not ignoring their suffering.
Iran should not be viewed in a similar perspective as the Soviet Union, as there is no Yeltsin-type dove in Tehran. Unlike the Soviet Union, the regime in Iran has been misrepresenting and taking advantage of a very powerful religion to pursue its devious policies.
An anti-fundamentalist movement believing in a democratic and tolerant version of Islam, delivering a secular perspective of this religion that has been wrongly attributed to various extremist groups, is needed to respond to the current crisis. This will provide free futures for all nations across the Middle East.
The first step in this regard is referring Iran’s human rights violations dossier to the United Nations Security Council for review. This would deliver a blow to Iran the mullahs’ will fail to recover from.
Originally posted in Forbes

News from inside Iran & reports on Syria

Numerous protest rallies in Tehran, Ilam

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Retired workers of the Baharestan Steel Co. rallying outside Iran’s parliament

People from all walks of life and different ethnicities staged numerous protest and rallies on Sunday in Tehran and Ilam, western Iran, making their voices heard for their demands.

In Tehran retired workers of the Tehran Baharestan Steel Company rallied outside the regime’s parliament. The protesters demand the privatization of this steel company, their paychecks to be delivered according to schedule and retirement medical care expenses be provided as pledged.

In yet another rally in Tehran more than 250 individuals who have lost money as a result of stock fraud by the regime’s Ministry of Agriculture rallied outside the regime’s parliament.

“We have purchased our land 30 years ago, paid the entire fees and received various pledges in this regard. However, no one is providing us any answers in this regard,” they said in relation to the confiscation of their lands.

Furthermore, another group of individuals who lost money in stocks related to the Padide Company, rallied outside the regime’s judiciary ministry in Tehran demanding their money being returned.

In Ilam a group of people who also suffered losses in stocks due to the negligence reported in the Arman Institute rallied outside the office building making their demands heard.

 

 

Mass execution of 10 inmates in prison west of Tehran

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Mass executions in Iran

The inhumane mullahs’ regime sent 10 inmates to the gallows early Sunday morning in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, west of Tehran.

State prison authorities had transferred these inmates to solitary confinement on Saturday in preparation for their executions. One of these victims was Abdullah Ghafari.

 

 

Female street vendor in Ahvaz remains under medical care

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State agents attacked an old woman with an electric shocker

The son of a female street vendor in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, who was attacked by state agents using electric shockers on Tuesday, December 6th, says he continues to take his mother to a hospital twice a day.

“On December 6th a group of 10 municipality agents, all armed with electric shockers, entered the Khansari Avenue and amongst the street vendors they attacked my 70-year-old mother who was selling her goods outside my store. They used electric shockers and she fell to the ground. She is still alive but is very ill. She was hospitalized for a few hours after that incident and I am still taking her to a hospital twice a day,” Samir, the woman’s son, said.

Despite the publication of scenes of this incident and attack on social media, and a huge wave of anger against the regime’s officials, the Ahvaz municipality continues to deny the incident.

“No attack on woman has been reported in the municipality. As head of the city council I do not confirm this issue,” the city council chief said.

 

 

Factional disputes amongst regime factions over currency shifts

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Iran changing official currency from rial to toman

The economic changes in Iran, with plans to change the official currency from the rial to toman proposed by the government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, has faced major opposition from members of the faction loyal to Iranian regime leader Ali Khamenei.

Media outlets linked to this faction have said the bill proposed in the parliament for this measure, at a time when the country’s economy is facing serious problems, is considered one of those unnatural decisions.

“This plan proposed by the government have shocked even the government’s own economic experts. Such a change would be proper for countries that are certain of having below 5% inflation for a long period. Otherwise, 10 years down the road we will have to backtrack these currently proposed changes,” a Khamenei-loyal outlet wrote.

“Even a government organization has issued a warning report in this regard saying changing the rial to the toman, without taking the necessary conditions into consideration, would only render worse economic conditions,” the report added.

 

 

Interior minister: we have 11 million living in city outskirts

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Iranian interior minister Rahmani Fazli

Iranian interior minister Rahmani Fazli expressed the regime’s concern of social damages inflicted to the Iranian population.

“Finally, five priorities have been specified by the leader. Drug addiction, people living in city outskirts, divorces, social corruption and crisis-launching regions, he said in remarks posted by the state-run E’temad daily on Saturday, December 10th.

“For the leader there is nothing more important than social damages,” he added.

“We have 11 million people living in city outskirts and the leader has issued a special order in this regard,” the Iranian interior minister added.

 

 

Two IRGC engineers injured in southeastern Iran

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Explosion rocked a town in southwestern Iran

As reported by the Tasnim news agency, known to be affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force, at around 6 am on Sunday morning an improvised explosive device detonated in the town Saravan in southeastern Iran, leaving two IRGC engineers wounded.

These individuals were immediately transferred to the Razi Hospital in Saravan. One is reported to be in dire conditions and the Iranian regime had sent a helicopter for his transfer.

 

 

Syria: 40 Iran IRGC members, militias killed in Aleppo

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IRGC armored personnel carrier burning in flames

Members of the Free Syrian Army defeated a horrendous attack launched Sunday morning by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Shiite militias and Russian troops in eastern Aleppo, Orient TV reported.
On Saturday FSA members were able to defend their positions and kill 25 other Shiite militias were killed in the Marje neighborhood, along with 15 others in the Ezae neighborhood. FSA rebels were also able to destroy two advanced Russian T90 main battle tanks in Ezae and Sanae.
Iran’s IRGC and Assad’s militia forces had attempted for the fourth consecutive day to make advances in Ezae and Sanae, all while enjoying heavy Russian air support. However, to this day they have faced a major defensive counterattack by the FSA rebels.

 

 


Iran MP: Above one million youths in line for Syria dispatching

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Hossein Biki, deputy chair of the Security Commission in Iran’s parliament

Hossein Biki, deputy chair of the Security Commission in Iran’s parliament, made startling and expansionist remarks recently.

“In the status quo we are in youths and even teenagers are more than eager to take part in the fronts of Syria and Iraq,” he said.

“At least more than one million youths are in line to be dispatched,” he said on Saturday, December 10th, in an interview with the state-run Mizan news agency, known to be linked to the regime’s judiciary branch.

“There are a significant number of youths and even teenagers amongst the massive wave of volunteers for Syria and Iraq,” this Iranian MP added.

“The Islamic republic has two missions in Syria and Iraq: advisory activities and training,” he added in contradictory remarks.

 

Exclusive report from Aleppo, Syria & executions in Iran

Iran: Mass execution of 10 inmates in a prison west of Tehran

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Mass execution of 10 prisoners in the city of Karaj, Iran

The inhumane mullahs’ regime sent 10 prisoners to the gallows early Sunday morning in Gohardasht Prison in the city of Karaj, west of Tehran.
State prison authorities had transferred these inmates to solitary confinement on Saturday in preparation for their executions. One of the victims has been identified as Abdullah Ghaffari.

 

 

Syria: 40 Iran IRGC members, militias killed in Aleppo

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Assad forces suffer major defeat from Syrian rebels in Aleppo

Members of the Free Syrian Army defeated a horrendous attack launched Sunday morning by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Shiite militias and Russian troops in eastern Aleppo, Orient TV reported.

On Saturday FSA members were able to defend their positions and kill 25 other Shiite militias were killed in the Marje neighborhood, along with 15 others in the Ezae neighborhood. FSA rebels were also able to destroy two advanced Russian T90 main battle tanks in Ezae and Sanae.

Iran’s IRGC and Assad’s militia forces had attempted for the fourth consecutive day to make advances in Ezae and Sanae, all while enjoying heavy Russian air support. However, to this day they have faced a major defensive counterattack by the FSA rebels.

 

 

 

 

Iran: imminent executions, harsh prisons & increasing protests

10 inmates face imminent execution in prison west of Tehran

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Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, west of Tehran

10 death row inmates in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, west of Tehran, were transferred to solitary confinement on the morning of Saturday, December 10th, in preparation for their executions.

One of these inmates is Abdullah Ghaffari from ward 2 of this jail. These ten inmates are scheduled to be executed soon.

 

 

Female political prisoner severely attacked in Kerman Prison, south-central Iran

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Political prisoner Afsane Baizadi in Kerman Prison

Political prisoner Afsane Baizadi was severely attacked by authorities in Kerman Prison, south-central Iran, after protesting the facility’s inhumane conditions.

“It has been around two weeks since the ward’s heating has been turned off and we have been deprived of any hot water and showers. We are serving our time under very harsh and isolated conditions. Political prisoner began protesting such conditions to the prison authorities and Ms. Baizadi began chanting ‘Death to Dictator’ and ‘Death to the Islamic republic.’ The authorities attacked and began severely beating her,” a prisoner in Baizadi’s ward reported.

Baizadi is a Kurdish Iranian college student who was condemned on June 20th of this year to four years behind bars and exiled to Kerman Prison. The charges raised against her include propaganda against the establishment, insulting Iranian regime leader Ali Khamenei and cooperating with a Kurdish party.

“I am the same Afsane who was tortured and placed under suffering for 90 days. During this period I was tortured in every possible way. During my first days in detention the torture reached a point that I couldn’t even walk. My legs and back were completely swollen black,” she had written in a previous letter shedding light on the medieval tortures imposed on her during her arrest.

She was summoned and interrogated time and again by the Iranian regime’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence. It is worth noting that the women’s ward in Kerman Prison has 92 inmates detained for different crimes, including 11 political prisoners who are kept in a completely isolated environment.

 

 

College students in northern Iran demand release of political prisoners

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Mazandaran University, northern Iran

A session was held to discuss the nuclear agreement between the international community and Iran, known as the JCPOA, on Saturday, December 10th, in Mazandaran University, in northern Iran.

Iranian MP Mohammad Ali Najafi took part in this session where the students taking part chanted slogans demanding the release of all political prisoners. The university is alive, they also said in their slogans.

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500 miners protest in Shahrood, east of Tehran

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Tarze workers holding protest gathering

More than 500 miners of the Tarze coal mine rallied on Saturday, December 10th outside the administrative office of this mine in the city of Shahrood, east of the capital, Tehran, demanding their delayed wages. These workers have not received their paychecks for the past 4 months.

The mine managers pledged last week in a similar rally held by the workers to respond to their demands and send them their paychecks. However, no such measure has been taken.

The miners are saying they are concerned that considering the fact that they are reaching the last months of the Iranian calendar the managers will also refrain from paying them their New Year bonuses.

 

 

Glass/gas workers stage rally outside regime parliament

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Gas & Glass Factory in Shoga

At 8 am on Saturday morning workers of the Shoga Gas and Glass Factory rallied in Tehran outside the Iranian regime’s parliament demanding to return to work, reports from inside the country indicate.

The protesters raised placards written, “We are a group of fired workers of the Gas and Glass Factory despite having 20 years of experience in this work. We demand to be able to return to work.”

 

 

IRGC members kill a Kurdish load-carrier, injuring another

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Systematic killing of load-carriers in the mullahs’ dictatorship

Members of the Iranian regime’s notorious Revolutionary Guards opened fire and killed Kurdish load-carrier in a village near the city of Maku, northwestern Iran. This incident took place on Thursday, December 8th, reports indicate.

Majid Dadkhah, the victim, was taken by IRGC members to their outpost station.

On this same day other IRGC members opened fire on another such load-carrier in the village of Ezgele near Babajani, northwestern Iran, leaving him injured as a result.

These crimes against the deprived load-carriers are taking place under the pretext of confronting smuggling of goods. However, according to the remarks made by the regime’s own officials, billions of dollars of goods are being smuggled into the country through the IRGC’s exclusive transits and ports, without any hurdles throughout the entire process.

Iran: executions, suicides & meddling in Syria

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Inmate executed in Kermanshah, west of Iran

A prisoner by the name of Ali Akbar Karami was executed on Tuesday, December 6th at Kermanshah’s Diesel Abad Prison in western Iran.

This inmate, from the city of Kangavar, had been held behind bars since 2013.

 

Prisoner hanged in Salmas, northwest Iran

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Inmate hanged in Salmas, Iran

The mullahs’ regime in Iran hanged a prisoner in the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 7th in Salmas Prison, located in northwest Iran. The inmate’s name was Ali Chartagh.

The death sentence for this prisoner was carried out while his case had been appealed at the regime’s supreme court.

“My brother was innocent and they convicted him based on confessions obtained by force. However, according to those very confessions, he should have received a lower sentence, such as life in prison,” the inmate’s brother said.

 

Suicide rates increase due to poverty

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College student commits suicide in Chabahar, southern Iran

A student in his third year at Chabahar Maritime and Marine University in southern Iran committed suicide early Wednesday morning in the college dormitory.

College officials have said they are not aware of the motive behind this suicide.

Unfortunately, suicide rates in Iran are increasing day by day. Poverty and enormous pressures imposed by the mullahs’ rule are the increasing reason behind this phenomenon, making it an epidemic.

On Monday, an inmate in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, west of Tehran, committed suicide due to the inhumane pressures imposed prison authorities.

An individual committed suicide outside the regime’s prosecutor’s office in Tabriz, northwest Iran.

A local of Iran’s Azerbaijan region committed suicide on Sunday, December 4th.

In Urmia, northwest Iran, a mid-aged man threw himself off a 10-story building and lost his life on his way to the hospital. This incident took place on November 30th.

A 14-year-old girl in Momaseni committed suicide on Tuesday, November 29th by shooting herself.

Suicide rates in Iran under the mullahs’ rule have increased. These cases are only a tip of the iceberg of the actual number of suicides due to poverty.

 

50 paramilitary Bassij members killed in Syria

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Funeral for state Bassij members killed in Syria

50 members of Iran’s paramilitary Bassij members have been killed in Syria, said Gudarzi, head of this organization’s college branch, during a speech on Tuesday, December 6th.

They were dispatched from the “College Bassij Organization” to Syria, he said.

It is worth noting that the Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a statement on November 29th citing reports obtained by the Iranian opposition from inside the country stating over 10,000 members of the Revolutionary Guards and their foot-soldiers from Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other countries have been killed in Syria.

Based on reports from inside the IRGC most of the bodies of Afghan, Pakistani and Iraqi mercenaries killed in Syria are not returned to Iran to prevent any social unrest in this regard.

 

College students protest Iranian regime killing Syrian people

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Tehran Polytechnic University

According to reports received from inside Iran, on Tuesday, December 6th as universities marked Students Day across the country, a student disrupted a speech being delivered by Iranian deputy parliament speaker Ali Mottahari at Tehran Polytechnic University.

“Mr. Mottahari, we will be condemned by history as we remained silent in the face of what is taking place in Syria and the massacre of its innocent people,” he said.

Other students welcomed these remarks.

 

 

 

Trump and U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Iran

00By Shahriar Kia

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has wreaked havoc among the regime in Iran. Iran’s lobbying groups in Washington are going the distance to influence Trump’s foreign policy vis-à-vis the mullahs in Tehran. Continue reading “Trump and U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Iran”

Iran executes 11 inmates in 48 hours

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Iran continuously executing more inmates

The inhumane mullahs’ regime has executed 11 inmates in a span of 48 hours. This killing spree began when four prisoners were hanged Wednesday, November 23rd, in public in the town of Qeshem in southern Iran. Continue reading “Iran executes 11 inmates in 48 hours”

Mullahs’ version of Christmas: 16 executions in 3 days

 

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Rising executions in Iran

 

Originally posted in Ground Report

On the Eve of Christmas and following the 62nd condemnation over its gross human rights violations by the United Nations, Iran decided to respond as expected: 16 prisoners in 4 cities were executed in the span of merely 3 days. Despite the fact that such condemnations over the atrocious human rights conditions are quite necessary in reference to the regime ruling Iran, as long as the mullahs sitting on the throne sense the weak appeasement policy adopted by the West, there will be no backing down on such horrific numbers of execution. Many countries in the West have correctly abolished capital punishment altogether. It is high time to make the regime in Iran understand the price for such abhorring measures of mass executions. Continue reading “Mullahs’ version of Christmas: 16 executions in 3 days”