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Iran Focus

London, 03 Feb - New York - A former consultant to Iran's mission to the United Nations was sentenced to three months in prison on Friday for evading taxes by concealing his income and helping family and friends make money transfers that violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, Reuters reported.

Ahmad Sheikhzadeh, an Iran-born U.S. citizen, made the unusual decision to take the witness stand at his sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn. He strongly denied accusations made by prosecutors in a court filing last year that he acted improperly by arranging contacts between a nuclear scientist and Iranian officials while Iran was negotiating a treaty with the U.S. over its nuclear program.

Iran Focus

London, 02 Feb - A child sexual abuse scandal that was dismissed by the Iranian judiciary because of the defendant’s ties to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is still being fought by the families of the victims.

The relatives of the victims, who filed a case teacher Saeed Toosi, wrote to 16 members of the Iranian Parliament to ask for help to seek justice after learning that a judge had secretly ruled in favour of Toosi, according to Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi.

Toosi is a close companion of Khamenei’s, his favourite Quran reciter, and even trained Khamenei’s son, the mid-ranking cleric Mojtaba.

Iran Focus

London, 26 Jan - When Donald Trump took office in 2017, he promised to strengthen old US alliances and create new ones, but there was one quasi-alliance that he couldn’t wait to get rid of: Iran.

Trump’s key policies in the Middle East are to limit Iranian influence in the region and to renegotiate or scrap the Iran nuclear deal of 2015, but how is he achieving this?

The Nuclear Deal

A long-time critic of the deal, Trump promised to fix it or rip it up whilst on the campaign trail. During his time in office, his administration has repeatedly cited violations of the deal by the Iranian Regime, which culminated in Trump declaring the Regime non-compliant in October 2017. In January, Trump stated that if the flaws of the nuclear pact are not fixed by May, he will pull the US out of the deal altogether.

Iran Focus

London, 02 Feb - Despite being the most repressive country in the Middle East and using absolute clerical rule to justify their medieval treatment of their citizens as the "will of God", the Iranian mullahs were simply unable to stop the people from protesting.

The protests, which began in late December over the release of a draft budget that would divert money away from the poor and into the military, quickly spread from the big cities to the smallest villages in every province and took on an anti-regime sentiment that none has matched since perhaps 1979. Millions took to the streets to call for an end to the Regime and the removal of the mullahs, explicitly calling out President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Iran Focus

London, 26 Jan - A group of Iranian politicians plan to visit the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, on Sunday, January 28, to inspect the conditions that dozens of political prisoners are living under, but we shouldn’t expect this to be anything more than a PR exercise on behalf of the Regime.

Allahyar Alishahi, the head of the parliamentary judiciary commission, announced the visit in the wake of calls for an investigation into five suspicious deaths in custody in January alone, as well as reports of mistreatment and torture of other political prisoners.

Iran Focus

London, 01 Feb - The widespread protests in Iran have largely dissipated after a violent crackdown by the Iranian authorities, but the underlying issues that caused the protests still exist, so we should be wary of seeing this as an end to the Iranian people’s uprising.

One of the issues raised by the protesters was Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and regional warfare (i.e. Syria, Lebanon and Yemen) and the money spent on this rather than on programmes to benefit the Iranian people (i.e. healthcare, education, employment). In response, the Ruling system pulled back some of its security forces from Syria, in order to suppress the protests.

Iran Focus

London, 26 Jan - The widespread anti-regime protests in Iran may have significantly decreased since early January, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the mullahs have won or that the protests weren’t significant.

The mullahs are terrified about what these protests represent for their continued rule and know that it represents the beginning of the end for their dictatorship.

These protests, fuelled by deep economic stress that is not going away anytime soon, spread like wildfire throughout Iran, even taking hold in the Regime’s traditional strongholds. They took on a life of their own, incorporating the many, many issues that the ordinary people have with the Regime, including corruption, human rights abuses, rigged elections, support for terrorism, and foreign warfare.

Iran Focus

London, 31 Jan - Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has recently ordered that the Regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its regular army must divest any commercial holdings not directly related to their mission.

At least, he did according to regime’s Defence Minister Amir Hatami. Many IRGC members have claimed that they’ve had no such orders, while also defending their control of at least one-third of the Iranian economy, and Khamenei’s office has not commented on the matter.

Iran Focus

London, 25 Jan - The article “We should listen closely to Iran” published on January 25 in Forbes is addressing an important issue that must not be ignored.

The article points out to a very important key question in the aftermath of the outburst of protests in Iran which is so called “Lack of Leadership” while the European governments are debating about what happened and are looking to see who was leading the protests if anyone? It should be noted that there is no doubt what so ever in the mind of top Iranian regime’s official who was guiding and managing the uprising as well as planning its roadmap and future outlooks.

Iran Focus

London, 31 Jan - At the end of last month, the people of Iran took to the streets in protest against the corrupt regime that has been putting its regional ambitions before the domestic needs of the country. The people initially protested against the economic problems that have worsened in recent weeks and months, but they soon turned into anti-government demonstrations and the people were calling for the Supreme Leader to leave Iran.

Iran Focus

London, 25 Jan - A number of senior Iranian Regime officials who are affiliated with former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have requested permission to hold a sit-in protest against the current problems in Iran, including a failing economy, in a letter to Iranian Interior Minister Abdul Ridha Rahmani Fadhli.

The letter, signed by seven officials, read: "The protest is a response to the performance of the three authorities (legislative, executive, and judicial) and some policies and behaviours, especially in terms of economic, legal and social affairs."

Iran Focus

London, 30 Jan - The Iranian Regime often uses a carrot and stick approach to foreign policy, promising minor reforms that mean very little, whilst threatening that major reforms would lead to instability in the Middle East.

This can be seen most recently in the disgusting visit of Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the Iranian Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security, to the European Parliament on 23-24 January.

The European Parliament didn’t hold Boroujerdi to account over the Iranian Regime’s policies- most notably their human rights policies in the wake of an ongoing violent crackdown to anti-regime protests- and allowed him instead to spread Iranian propaganda and use the favoured ‘carrot & stick’ policy.

Iran Focus

London, 25 Jan - One persistent myth about the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) is that it is unpopular amongst the Iranian people, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The MEK is the oldest, biggest, and most popular resistance movement in Iran, but it should also go without saying that it far outstrips the Regime’s popularity among the Iranian people.

It is impossible to get precise numbers on support for the MEK within Iran, as Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini declared them to be enemies of the Regime in 1980 and criminalised the pro-democracy movement soon after, but their signs can be seen during every election and at every protest.

Iran Focus

London, 30 Jan - The European Union has been roundly criticised for allowing a member of the despicable mullahs’ regime to visit their Parliament during a violent crackdown on protesters in Iran. The MEPs failed to hold Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the Iranian Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security, to account for the crackdown, the war in Syria, or any number of other problems during his two-day visit.

Instead, they allowed him to take control of the meeting, before bending over backwards to appease him, praise the Regime, and keep quiet about the issues that matter. But why would the EU do this?

Perhaps it’s time to revisit an op-ed written by Iranian-American political scientist Dr. Majid Rafizadeh in December 2016, called ‘Why is the EU defending Iran?’

Iran Focus

London, 30 Jan - It is no secret that since it stole power in 1979, the Iranian Regime continually attempts to discredit the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) both domestically and globally.

There are numerous accounts, by both the MEK and various Western institutions, of Iran’s so-called Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) targeting the MEK’s reputation in a “long-running and sophisticated information campaign”, “coordinated and financed by the Iranian intelligence services” to discredit the MEK.

Iran Focus

London, 24 Jan - The widespread anti-regime protests in Iran are going further than ever before, both in terms of geography and the forcefulness of their message.

The people can be heard chanting “Death to [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei!”, “Death to [President Hassan] Rouhani!”, and “We will die to get our Iran back!” all across Iran from the biggest cities to the most rural village, but importantly this is a revolt by the common people.

Iran Focus

London, 29 Jan - The widespread protests across Iran have now been suppressed by the Iranian Regime’s so-called security forces but it is far from over. As such, the international community should be wary of writing this off as an anomaly and preparing to condone the Regime again.

These anti-regime protests that so disturbed the Regime didn’t spring up out of nowhere. In fact, they are the continuation century-long struggle for democracy and freedom in Iran and it should be expected that the protests will occur again and again until democracy is realised in Iran.

Iran Focus

London, 22 Jan - The leader of the Iranian Resistance forces, Maryam Rajavi, met with a group of French politicians, supporters of the Iranian Resistance, and French citizens on Sunday, January 21 to discuss the protests in Iran and what it means.

In her address to the meeting, Rajavi described the ongoing anti-regime protests as a “breeze of freedom” which promised hope for regime change in Iran but they were, as always, being held down by the Regime.

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