By Editors of The Free Iran Herald
Updates on events unfolding in Iran
Over the weekend, videos posted to social media from various Iranian provinces showed dead bodies being discovered as they washed up from rivers. Family members of the deceased identified the bodies as those of protestors who had not been seen since the demonstrations. Some of the corpses were reported as bearing signs of torture.
Few days after the suppression of protests in #Iran, a horrific released video shows some people pulling out the #IranianProtesters dead bodies from Karun River in Ahvaz. The prisoners who had been arrested and imprisoned by the Iran GOV oppressive forces during #IranProtests. pic.twitter.com/GaI23Sjohq
— Ahmad Batebi (@radiojibi) December 13, 2019
This is what’s happening to #IranProtests protesters:
1.Body found in Esfahan river
2.Body found in Hamedaan lake
3.Body found in Karaj river
4.Body found in Ahvaz river
5.Five bodies found at Sanandaj dam
— Ahura Mazda 👑 🦁☀️ (@Ahura3) December 14, 2019
Mullahs can’t hide their crimes for ever.👇
In the last few days, the bodies of missing protesters have been pulled out of the rivers, water reservoirs…. handcuffed with signs of torture.👇👇#IranProtests#IranMassacre#وعده_ما_پنجم_دی pic.twitter.com/dSy18i4oBp
— Iran Momentum (@IranMomentum) December 15, 2019
Death Toll from November’s Protests Now Estimated at 1,360
A detailed report published on the Persian-language section of the Al Arabiya news website has estimated the number of Iranians killed by the regime during the November demonstrations to be 1,360. The report, which is very detailed, and lists the date, time and location of each clash between regime forces and the crowds, also identifies the specific Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) units involved in suppressing the people. The information is said to come from clandestine sources inside the IRGC.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International, which can only rely on publicly accessible data, has raised its estimate of the death tell to 304.
Press Release – At least 304 people were killed in the bloody crackdown on protests in Iran in November. Thousands of others have been arrested and are at risk of torture #IranProtests https://t.co/BEcjPcb9FQ
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) December 16, 2019
US to Ship Medicine to Iran
US Ambassador to Switzerland Edward McMullen has offered to work with Tehran in setting up a channel for food and medicine to reach Iran from the US, bypassing the sanctions which don’t concern basic necessities. Reports from Tehran have confirmed that two American pharmaceutical companies have been granted permission to ship drugs to Iran.
Regime Spokesperson Confirms: Brian Hook is Right, Iranians Do Not Oppose Sanctions
On December 15th, Ali Rabiei, a spokesman for regime president Hassan Rouhani, admitted in an interview given to a regime newspaper that Brian Hook, the US State Department official responsible for Iranian affairs, was correct when he said that the Iranian people did not oppose US sanctions against the Khomeinist regime. “The people did not chant slogans against the sanctions. Instead they chanted slogans against our political system,” Rabiei was quoted as saying.
In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations on December 12th, Hook had said, “there were all sorts of pundits that were predicting that when we put our sanctions into place that everybody would rally around the flag. It is the exact opposite that has happened.”
“There was one video I saw of an Iranian woman climbing a pole that had a ‘death to America’ banner on it, and she pulled it down. Instead of seeing images of the American president burned, you saw videos of the supreme leader’s images being burned.”
However, the regime’s appeasers are still working to revive the failed JCPOA. This weekend, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who has served as an envoy during the Clinton and Obama administrations, met with Tehran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Doha, Qatar, at a regional security conference.
Hopefully you discussed the mass slaughter of #Iranians by @JZarif’s regime as well @GovRichardson. More than a 1,000 peaceful protesters were killed by the Khamenei regime with thousands more tortured, imprisoned, and facing execution. https://t.co/c9Kl8RowhP
— Alireza Nader (@AlirezaNader) December 15, 2019
Meanwhile, in Europe, Socialists in the European Parliament attempted to delay a resolution sponsored by Swedish MEP Charlie Weimars calling for a minute of silence to honor the memory of the Iranian protestors killed by regime forces.
Europe needs to stand in solidarity with the brave #Iranian people. I spoke to @bbcpersian about my initiative for a minute of silence in @Europarl_EN commemorating the victims of the Islamic Republic’s brutal crackdown of #Iranprotest #1Min4Iran #eplenary https://t.co/IizqH1NuVI
— Charlie Weimers ن (@weimers) December 16, 2019
A moment ago, my party group ECR askes for a debate and resolution ASAP in the European Parliament on the brutal crackdown on protesters in Iran this week. Socialists wanted no debate until January. Vote result: Majority voted in favor for our proposal. #IranProtests
— Charlie Weimers ن (@weimers) December 16, 2019
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Repeats His Denial of the Holocaust
Regime leader Ali Khamenei took to Twitter today to praise the deceased French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy. A former communist who converted to Islam, Garaudy was a major supporter of the Khomeinist regime.
#Khamanei shows his Antisemite face by praising the famous french holocaust denier #RogerGaraudy. Free speech does not allow denying massacres in France where many jews were persecuted/killed. His last month’s “we have jews in Iran/ we don’t have anything against jews” a bluff. https://t.co/Lt0J2einPy
— mina bai (@bai_mina) December 16, 2019
Teenagers Arrested at Party, Accused of Being Devil Worshippers
Regime judiciary officials announced on Thursday, December 12th, that 135 adolescents in Damavand, a wealthy of suburb of Tehran, had been arrested at a party and charged with wearing “devil worship symbols,” possessing drugs, and bearing knives. Some of the teenagers were also charged with having tattoos, which is illegal under Islamic law. The regime considers the rock, heavy metal, and Goth subcultures in Iran to be manifestations of “Satanism,” and parties are frequently raided by security forces.
Mass Arrests Continuing Across Iran
On December 13th, Heydar Abbaszadeh, a brigadier general in the IRGC and chief of police in Khuzestan province, announced that 136 people had been arrested in the province over the past five days, on charges of carrying illegal weapons. Gun possession is a common trope used by the IRGC when arresting Iranians, many of whom are simply activists who oppose the regime.
In Esfahan, the IRGC announced on the same day that four people had been arrested there on charges of supporting Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, the heir to the Iranian monarchy, and with planning further demonstrations against the regime.
The IRGC’s campaign of incarceration is also extending to elements within the regime. Several members of a group of 77 “reformist” journalists who had signed an open letter condemning the regime’s response to the protests have been summoned to court and charged with propaganda against the Islamic regime.
Khomeinist Regime Again Ranked as one of the Biggest Incarcerators of Journalists
On December 10th, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released its annual ranking of nations that imprison reporters. Iran came in at seven, with 11 journalists behind bars, behind only China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Eritrea, and Vietnam. (As always, when reading statistics, one must remember that numbers are usually underreported due to the regime’s censorship of news coming out of Iran.) The report particularly highlighted the case of Mohammad Mosaed, a journalist writing about economic issues who “was arrested after tweeting during an internet shutdown intended to suppress news of protests against high gas prices, ‘Hello Free World!”
Doctors Issue Statement Against the Regime
150 doctors inside Iran have signed an open letter critiquing the regime for its abuses against the protestors. “Regular and disguised military, law enforcement and security forces opened fire on the people and used the destruction and rioting of a few opportunists as an excuse to attribute the rightful protest of the people to foreign [powers]. Our country with God-given abundant resources should have enjoyed a much better situation than it does now. Unfortunately, our statesmen with costly and fruitless adventurism have repeatedly pushed the country to the brink of the abyss,” the statement read.