Category Archives: Iran

Christian converts leave Iran for Turkey, claiming persecution

VAN, Turkey – Some 500 Christian converts from Iran have sought asylum in Turkey following what they say is persecution by the authorities. A man and his family who converted to Christianity from Islam say they used to practice their faith in secret.

Of those Rudaw talked to in Turkey’s Van, close to the Iranian border — all Kurds — none revealed their name and some chose not to appear on camera for fear of reprisals.

One young man who converted only after he arrived in Van said that he did not think he could be the person he wanted to be if he remained Muslim. He did not want to give his name or appear on camera.

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‘We hate the headscarf’: can women find freedom in Tehran’s female-only parks?

Parks exclusively for women are popping up in Iranian cities, but critics are divided over whether this is just another ploy to keep them hidden in public

“I love to take off my headscarf,” says Laleh, 47, a hairdresser from Tehran. She’s sitting with a group of friends around one of the many picnic tables in the Mother’s Paradise, a park in the Iranian capital. She’s wearing a fringed mint-green T-shirt through which you can see her bare stomach. “We can wear airy clothes here, and that’s a freedom I really enjoy.”

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Kissinger Warns: ‘Iranian Radical Empire’ Could Emerge in a Post-ISIS Middle East

The downfall of ISIS could be a boon for Iran, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger cautioned in an article published by CapX this week.

“Across large areas of Iraq and Syria, an ideologically radical religious army, Isis, has declared itself a relentless foe of modern civilisation, seeking violently to replace the international system’s multiplicity of states with a single Islamic empire governed by Sharia law,” the 94-year-old Kissinger wrote. “In these circumstances, the traditional adage that the enemy of your enemy can be regarded as your friend no longer applies. In the contemporary Middle East, the enemy of your enemy may also be your enemy. The Middle East affects the world by the volatility of its ideologies as much as by its specific actions.”

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Backlash over conservative Iranian television host

h/t – Iranian state television presenter Azadeh Namdari has faced accusations of hypocrisy on social media after a video emerged showing her drinking beer and not wearing her hijab while on holiday in Switzerland.

Alcoholic drinks are banned in Islam and in Iran, where it is the law for women to wear the headscarf.

Namdari is known in Iran as a proponent of the Islamic dress code.

A photo of her in full hijab was once published in the conservative Iranian newspaper Vatan-e Emruz under the headline: “Thank God, I wear the veil”.

…In response to the revelations, Namdari published another video of herself in which she offered reasons for not wearing a hijab…

This time wearing a hijab, she explained she was sitting with family members and “maharem” – close relatives among whom a woman does not need to wear a hijab – in a park. She said her scarf fell suddenly and the video was taken at that instant by an unknown person.

She gave no explanation about drinking beer in the video.

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Iran Announces New Missile Production Line

Oh, goody:

Iran announced the launch of a new missile production line on Saturday, according to state media, against a backdrop of tension between the United States and Tehran.

The Sayyad 3 missile can reach an altitude of 27 km (16 miles) and travel up to 120 km (74 miles), Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan said at a ceremony.

The missile can target fighter planes, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and helicopters, Dehghan said.

 

Also:

Lebanon’s Shi’ite militia Hezbollah and the Syrian army advanced against Sunni militants on Saturday, the second day of an assault to drive them from their last foothold along the Syria-Lebanon border, pro-Damascus media reported.

The operation has targeted Sunni Muslim insurgents from the former Nusra Front, a group that was aligned to al Qaeda and who have controlled the barren, mountainous zone of Juroud Arsal.

A military media unit run by Hezbollah said its forces captured a strategic hilltop area called Dhahr al-Huwa, previously a key Nusra Front base, which allowed them to overlook several border crossings in the area.

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US Adds New Sanctions on Iran

The United States on Tuesday unveiled new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program and for contributing to regional tensions and said it was deeply concerned about its “malign activities across the Middle East.

The announcements came a day after President Donald Trump’s administration warned Tehran that it was not following the spirit of its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

The U.S. Department of Treasury said in a statement it was targeting 16 entities and individuals for supporting what is said was “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.”

Those sanctioned had backed Iran’s military or Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components, it said. Others had “orchestrated the theft of U.S. and Western software programs” sold to Iran’s government, the Treasury Department said.

The U.S. State Department had also designated two Iranian organizations involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, according to the Treasury Department.

“The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity,” the State Department said in a statement.

It said the activities “undercut whatever ‘positive contributions’ to regional and international peace and security were intended to emerge” from the nuclear agreement.

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Iran Sentences Four Christians to Prison for Ten Years Each

As part of a series of raids by security service agents on Christian homes, Pastor Nadarkhani, along with Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie were arrested in their homes in largest city on Iran’s Caspian Sea coast, Rasht.

The men were summoned to the 26th Chamber of the Revolutionary Tribunal in June, where their church was accused by presiding Judge Ahmadzadeh, of receiving £500,000 per year from the British government, and that they would receive a verdict within 20 days.

Nadarkhani and the other non-Trinatarian defendants were accused of hosting house churches, promoting Zionist Christianity, unlawful gathering, propaganda against the regime, and violating national security by promoting Christianity.

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Iranian Doctor Denied U.S. Entry Accused Of Links To Basij Force

An Iranian medical researcher who was prevented from entering the United States to work at a Boston hospital is believed to have been an active member of the Basij force used in Iran as a tool of state repression.

Seyed Mohsen Dehnavi was the head of the Basiji at Tehran’s Sharif University, former students at the university and activists claim.

Several former Sharif University students who did not want to be identified because of fear of government harassment told RFE/RL that Dehnavi was involved in putting pressure on reformist students.

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The Great Muslim Civil War — and Us

A Shiite Crescent running from Iran through Syria and to the Mediterranean would be bad for Sunni powers and Western democracies.

The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on? It might appear a mindless mess, but the outlines are clear.

The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post–Islamic State phase. It’s the end of the beginning. The parties are maneuvering to shape what comes next.

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