Category Archives: Iran

President Trump Rolls Out a New Strategy on Iran, Here Are The Details

After nine months of deliberation, careful consideration and guidance from senior advisors, President Trump has a new, comprehensive strategy on how to deal with Iran.

Much of the focus in recent weeks has been on whether President Trump will recertify the Iran nuclear agreement. According to White House officials he will decline to recertify, technically keeping the U.S. in the deal. Congress will be responsible for either scrapping or decertifying the deal. If they fail to act within a given time period, the deal becomes invalid.

But President Trump’s Iran strategy goes well beyond the regime’s nuclear program and focuses on their broad, dangerous behavior and position as an enemy of the United States and the west.

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Iranian woman flogged 80 times for drinking alcohol #M103

An Iranian woman has been flogged 80 times upon return to Iran after Norway rejected her asylum application and deported her, rights groups have said.

Leila Bayat, 36, was sentenced to 80 lashes after she was caught drinking alcohol with some friends during a party in 2007. Consuming alcoholic beverages is forbidden in the Islamic Republic, which is governed by sharia law.

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‘Shameless, ignorant, new Hitler’: Iran & Venezuela fire back after Trump criticism at UN

Two of the most prominent targets of Donald Trump’s maiden UN speech, Iran and Venezuela, have responded to the US president’s condemnations with some of their own, arguing that Washington continues to be a destabilizing influence.
“Trump’s shameless and ignorant remarks, in which he ignored Iran’s fight against terrorism, display his lack of knowledge and unawareness,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, according to the official Fars news agency.

Trump called Iran a “depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” saying that it funds “terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors” and uses its oil wealth to “shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East.”

In turn, Zarif accused Washington of supporting “tyrannical regimes” in the region, and “the criminal Zionist state.”

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Report: Tech Companies Working with Iran to Block ‘Immoral Content’

The Independent reports that social media companies such as Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have come under criticism for appearing to collaborate with the Iranian government to remove “immoral” content from their platforms, content that defies the Iranian government’s strict religious codes. Many of these apps are blocked within Iran but can often be accessed through the use of proxies and VPN servers.

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Twitter, Instagram and YouTube urged to address ‘lack of transparency’ over relationship with the Islamic Republic

Several social media companies in the West have been criticised for a perceived lack of transparency in alleged talks with the Iranian authorities on censoring content to the approval of the country’s strict religious authorities.

Instagram, currently available in the country – as well as Twitter and YouTube, which are blocked but widely visited by Iranians using proxy servers – have all been reported by local media in recent weeks as as co-operating with the authorities to aid them in blocking or censoring “immoral” content.

Newly installed communications minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi has been clear that he intends to shake up the status quo, promising citizens easier access to the internet and app platforms.

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How to Get Out of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Although candidate Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement, his administration has twice decided to remain in the deal. It so certified to Congress, most recently in July, as required by law. Before the second certification, Trump asked repeatedly for alternatives to acquiescing yet again in a policy he clearly abhorred. But no such options were forthcoming, despite “a sharp series of exchanges” between the president and his advisers, as the New York Times and similar press reports characterized it.

Many outside the administration wondered how this was possible: Was Trump in control, or were his advisers? Defining a compelling rationale to exit Obama’s failed nuclear deal and elaborating a game plan to do so are quite easy. In fact, Steve Bannon asked me in late July to draw up just such a game plan for the president — the option he didn’t have — which I did.

Here it is.

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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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