IRAN ROUNDUP for January 23rd thru 30th: US House of Representatives UNANIMOUSLY Approves Resolution Supporting the Iranian Protestors

By Editors of The Free Iran Herald 

Updates on events unfolding in Iran

Bipartisan hit: US Congress unanimously passed House Resolution 752, co-sponsored by Reps. Theodore Deutsch (D-FL) and Joe Wilson (R-SC)

On the evening of January 28th, the lower chamber of the US Congress unanimously passed House Resolution 752, “Supporting the rights of the people of Iran to free expression, condemning the Iranian regime for its crackdown on legitimate protests, and for other purposes.” Co-sponsored by Reps. Theodore Deutsch (D-FL) and Joe Wilson (R-SC), the resolution affirms that the US legislative body “stands with the people of Iran that are engaged in legitimate and peaceful protests against an oppressive, corrupt regime,” “urges the (Trump) Administration to work to convene emergency sessions of the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Iranian regime,” and “urges the President and the Secretary of State to work with the international community to ensure that violations of human rights are part of all formal and informal multilateral or bilateral discussions with and regarding Iran.”

The resolution passed only after Iranian-Americans took to the phones to express their disappointment and anger towards House Democrats, who had blocked an earlier resolution supporting the Iranian protestors proposed by Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy.

Khomeinist Regime Threatens to Leave Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, as Enriched Uranium Stockpiles Continue to Increase

On Saturday, January 25th, Seyed Ali Asghar Zarean, assistant to the head of the regime’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced that Tehran now had 2,645 lbs (1,200kg) of enriched uranium. He did not announce how pure the enriched uranium was. This was the first statistical briefing Tehran has given since declaring it would no longer abide by the JCPOA-imposed limitations on uranium enrichment on January 5th.  Zarean added that 1,044 centrifuges are currently operational in Iran, and more will be coming online in April.

Additionally, Zarein mentioned that under the terms of the JCPOA, Tehran had shipped 17,000lbs of enriched uranium to Russia in 2015, less than the 25,000lbs the regime had claimed at that time. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had cited the 25,000lb figure in US Congressional testimony, in what now seems to be yet another example of the lies used to sell the JCPOA.

Meanwhile, several members of the Islamic Parliament (Majles) proposed a bill on Tuesday, January 28th, that would withdraw Iran from the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Tehran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, had said last week that the regime would renege on the NPT if the European Union refers Tehran to the UN Security Council for violating the terms of the JCPOA. True to their history of appeasement, EU foreign policy representative Josep Borell had responded to Zarif’s threat by stating that the EU would delay the referral to the UN, and instead once again try negotiating to “save” the JCPOA.

For the US’s part, on January 30th, Brian Hook, the State Department Representative for Iranian Affairs, announced new sanctions against the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization. 

Top IRGC Strategist Admits: We Make Money from Taking Hostages

Hassan Abbasi, a well-known international strategist of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), admitted in a public speech that the IRGC imprisons foreign nationals visiting Iran as a plot to extort ransom money from foreign governments. Abbasi particularly boasted of the 2016 case, when the Obama administration paid the regime $1.7 billion in cash to obtain the release of seven detained Americans. He then claimed that Qatar had paid Tehran $3 billion in the aftermath of Qassem Soleimani’s assassination. While that assertion has been publicly denied by both Tehran and Doha, there were unconfirmed reports stating that the Qatari Emir, who is known to be close to the Khomeinists, had given the Tehran regime $3 billion earlier this month.


Abbasi then further expounded that the IRGC could escape from the sanctions-imposed financial constraints by taking more Americans prisoner, bizarrely claiming that Tehran could earn $50 billion annually from ransoms.

Khomeinist Regime-Supporting British Newspaper, The Guardian, Again Reprints Tehran’s Propaganda 

The Manchester, UK-based newspaper The Guardian, known around the world for its leftist bias, and to Iranians and as stalwart supporter of the Islamic regime since the 1970s, has once again reprinted the regime’s propaganda without bothering to add any disclaimers. The paper ran a story on Thursday claiming that Iran’s largest flag-making facility, in Khomein (the hometown of the regime’s founder, Ruhollah Khomeini) is selling 2,000 American and Israeli flags a month for people to burn in the streets. The Guardian forgot to add, however, that the only people buying these flags and going to the anti-US and anti-Israel staged demonstrations are the regime officials themselves – the clerics, IRGC/Basij militia personnel, and police officers. Average Iranians, on the other hand, have of late being making it a point to walk around images of the US and Israeli flags that the regime has had drawn on floors to be stomped on. They do this to publicly show that they do not share their regime’s xenophobia and belligerent policies.

Now, even if the average Iranian wanted to purchase a flag, any flag, he or she could almost certainly not afford to do in the Iran of today, where the mass majority of Iranians cannot afford basic foods and other necessities. Meat is now being rationed in Iran.  As just one example of this fact, the sign below posted outside a food cooperative for teachers and professors reads, “In order to buy meat, you must have a copy of your national i.d. card, a photocopy of your birth certificate and your pay stub. It is a necessity.”

 

National ID Cards Now Being Used to Oppress Religious Minorities

A regulation in Iran, promulgated a few months ago, has ordained that only members of the four faiths recognized by the Islamic Regime, Muslims (in practice meaning only Shi’a Muslims), Jews, (Catholic and Orthodox) Christians, and Zoroastrians will be able to obtain a national ID card. Iranians are required to have an ID card in order to obtain a passport, birth certificate, or to conduct any other legal business. This new regulation will, thus, lead to further deprivations and isolation from civil society for members of other religious communities, such as the Ba’hai’s, Yezidis, Mandeans, Evangelical Christians, and Yarsanis. This is very much reminiscent of the Yellow Star of David that Jews were forced to wear in Germany during WWII. 

Regime Foreign Ministry Hypocritically Accuses France of Repressing Dissent

On January 29th, in the midst of lingering demonstrations and unrest in France, the Khomeinists took it upon themselves to intervene in the matter, and issued a statement on Twitter (though only in Persian!) stating “we call on the French government and police, in the face of ‘legal, peaceful and unarmed demonstrations by their own people,” to refrain from using brute force and have respect for their rights.” The statement was accompanied by a video from Russia Today, the propaganda network of Tehran’s ally and protector, the regime of Vladimir Putin.

The Khomeinist regimes’ own outrageous human rights violations and the fact that the regime brass has always asserted its ‘right’ to oppress the Iranian people in international dialogues by using the principle of “non-intervention in other countries’ affairs,” exposes this tweet as the ultimate act of hypocrisy. Yet, Tehran again has shown itself to be self-contradictory.

This tweet is a standard example of “Whataboutism,” a propaganda technique first employed by the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War, of deflecting criticism against one’s own human rights abuses by bombastically accusing others of doing the same. Tehran has used this technique repeatedly, by highlighting causes as diverse as the alleged plight of Black Americans, the Palestinians, the Northern Irish, and the Spanish Basques. In the present day, as France seems to be belatedly toughening its stance towards the regime, the regime may also be perhaps looking to court support amongst the French president Emmanuel Macron’s populist opponents.

FAKE NEWS: Regime Lies and Reports that it Killed Hundreds of American Soldiers in Missile Strikes on Iraqi Bases  

After the IRGC attacked American forces in Iraq, launching 15 missiles at two bases early on January 8th, in an incident that resulted in no casualties, the Khomeinist regime’s media began falsely claiming that it killed “hundreds” of American troops in revenge for the death of Qassem Soleimani. IRIB TV (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting), for instance, claimed on January 9th that 270 Americans had been. Other claims of multiple dead Americans, with no one figure agreeing with another, were printed in regime-controlled newspapers, and widely disseminated over social media.

These easily-verifiable falsehoods angered Iranians, who protested in the ensuing days that “our state television is our disgrace.”

Then, in a hilarious attempt to provide “evidence” for their propaganda claims, on January 16th, a man with a heavy Iranian accent called in to the US government-devoted TV channel C-SPAN. Identifying himself as “Alan,” the man claimed to be the father of a US serviceperson who hadn’t been heard from since the missile strike in Iraq, before chanting “God damn Trump!” The call was immediately identified as an IRGC “prank” and received much ridicule on social media.

Despite the fact that few believe the lies, the Khomeinist regime never stops creating them. Today, a day after a US Air Force jet crashed in Afghanistan, the regime claimed that the plane was a secret CIA jet, and that Michael D’Andrea, a CIA officer who’s been head of the agency’s Iran desk since 2017, and the target of many Tehran-originated conspiracy theories, was killed in the crash.

Britain’s Prince Charles Wants to Visit Iran: The UK- Shi’a Clerical Alliance Remains 

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper, Prince Charles, heir to the British Crown, said that “I would like to go to Iran…I have always been fascinated by Islamic culture….for a long time.” He said this despite Tehran’s having recently and illegally detained the UK ambassador there. By uttering sympathetic remarks for the Islamic regime, Prince Charles was only reconfirming the historic support Britain has given to Khomeiniism.

Historically, the Shi’a clerics were agents for British colonialism in Iran. Later on, the British supported the Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power, hoping to obtain a hold on the Iranian economy that the Pahlavi Dynasty had driven them out of, and sustained the regime via trade deals and loans.

Iranians have responded to this news by launching the hashtag #ShameOnYouCharles

 

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