Iran Roundup for December 5th: Khomeinist Regime Jailers Flog 80-year-old Woman, Mother of Deceased Political Prisoner
By Editors of The Free Iran Herald
Updates on events unfolding in Iran
Salbi Marandi, an 80-year-old woman, and mother of a deceased political prisoner, was whipped 70 times on November 28th in the northwestern city of Khoi’s Prison, as part of her prison sentence. After the whipping, Marandi was unable to move her body.
Marandi’s son was Behrouz Zinalnejad, a political prisoner who died last year in Khoi Prison, five days after he went on hunger strike. The regime claimed he committed suicide – a typical regime tactic. His mother and sister however knew better, and openly announced that he had been murdered, vehemently arguing with a regime judge and Khoi prison warden. As a result, both Salbi Marandi and her daughter Atefeh were sentenced to eight months of imprisonment and 70 lashes, each.
Flogging is considered a form of torture under international law.
Parents of Protestor Killed by IRGC Refuse Compensation from the Regime, Praise Reza Pahlavi
Iranians, and others, worldwide were stunned by the video showing the graphic killing of 27-year old Pouya Bakhtiari by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) soldiers, while standing with his mother and sister at a protest in Karaj on November 17th. Now, after regime leader Khamenei has authorized the payment of compensation funds to the families of “nonviolent offenders” killed during the protests, Bakhtiari’s family has refused to accept the money.
“Every drop of my son’s blood was worth millions,” Bakhtiari’s mother, who works as a schoolteacher, stated. She also described her son Pouya as a “national hero, who sought freedom, justice and truth.” Pouya’s father, Manouchehr Bakhtiari, a decorated combat veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, went further, and posted a photo of Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, heir of the Iranian monarchy, on his Instagram, thanking Pahlavi for contacting his family and offering condolences.
The father of Pouya Bakhtiari, a protester whom authorities shot in the head, thanks Reza Pahlavi for calling to express condolences. pic.twitter.com/uk5OVyJUt3
— Amir Toumaj (@AmirToumaj) December 5, 2019
Just before being shot during protests in #Iran, Pouya Bakhtiari made this video.
Keep his memory alive. pic.twitter.com/YplD0D5KcN
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) December 2, 2019
Brian Hook Concurs: Khomeinist Regime Killed More Than 1,000 Protestors
At a State Department briefing today in Washington, D.C., Brian Hook, US special representative on Iranian affairs, said, “as the truth is trickling out of Iran, it appears the regime could have murdered over a thousand Iranian citizens since the protests began.” Hook added that among the dead were at least one dozen children. The regime has not publicly disclosed its own death toll, nor allowed outside observers to investigate, and thus any knowledge of the full amount of causalities from Tehran’s repression of the protests is speculative and not complete.
As a result, Hook noted that sanctions will be imposed on the Greater Tehran Central Penitentiary (aka Fashafuyeh Prison) and Qarchak Prison; two Iranian prisons are responsible for gross human-rights violations, arbitrary detention, torture, rape and so on.
— Department of State (@StateDept) December 5, 2019
Labor Unions Declare Days of Mourning for Protestors Slain by the Regime
A joint statement was issued today calling on Iranians to observe today, Thursday the 5th, and Saturday, the 7th, as days of public mourning for those killed during the protests. The statement was signed by the Committee for Founding Iranian Labor Unions, the Haft Tappeh Sugar Industry Union, and several other trade unions, teachers’ unions, and pensioners unions, all groups that have engaged in their own struggles with the Islamic regime for the past two years over withheld pay and benefits, as well as corruption issues. The statement asked Iranians to visit the graves of protestors on Thursday afternoon, and to turn off their lights at 9:00PM and observe a moment of silence. On Saturday, which is Students Day in Iran, the unions ask Iranian students to wear black clothes and observe another moment in silence inside their classrooms. The regime is already preparing for any new protests that break out on Students Day, which for many years has been an occasion for anti-Khomeinist demonstrations.
Currency Losing Value Again, Inflation Increasing
Iran’s currency, the rial, lost 8% of its value in November, according to economists, and is now trading at 130,100 to the dollar. At the beginning of last month, the rial was traded at 120,000 to the dollar. The protests and increasing regime instability, as well as the effects of US sanctions, are said to be the main causes of the currency value decline. The most immediate effect of it will be to further increase the prices of basic necessities in Iran. A majority of Iranians have already been suffering from malnourishment and other deprivations due to the heavy inflation of the past two years. Although inflation has accelerated in recent years, a high level of it has been a constant in the four decades of the Khomeinist regime. Before 1979, the rial had held a steady value of 70 to the dollar.
UK, France, and Germany Admit: Iran has violated the JCPOA and Built Nuclear-Capable Missiles
The British, French, and German ambassadors to the United Nations sent a joint letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres today, stating that Tehran has violated key provisions of the 2015 JCPOA (the Iran Nuclear Deal) concerning missile development. The deal banned Tehran from building or testing nuclear weapon-capable ballistic missiles. The actions cited by the three countries as violating the deal are:
- The test of a Shahab-3 missile on April 22nd of this year.
- Another Shahab-3 test on July 24th
- The use of an Iranian-made Bokran medium range missile by the Tehran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen on August 2nd
- The failed Safir satellite launch on August 29th
It seems as if the Europeans are learning, belatedly, that negotiating with the Khomeinist clerics was not going to accomplish anything except further empower them. However, as reported on December 2nd by the Free Iran Herald, European leaders, led by French president, Emanuel Macron, continue to press on with the implementation of INSTEX.
Russians Stop Work at Iranian Nuclear Site
Rosatom, the state-owned Russian nuclear energy corporation, announced on December 5th that it had stopped its operations at Iran’s Fordow nuclear research center in Qom. The stated cause was the incompatibility of various Russian and Iranian uranium enrichment technologies, but outside observers believe Rosatom might be leaving Iran in order to avoid being hit by US sanctions. Last month, the US Treasury Department declared that as of December 15th, it would not issue any more sanctions waivers for the Fordow facility, due to Tehran’s having recommenced uranium enrichment to levels above those permitted by the JCPOA.