Iran News and Discussions

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby ricky_v » 07 Mar 2019 19:53

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2019/03/us-government-no-longer-excludes-mek-alternatives-iran.html
Removed from a State Department list of terrorist organizations in 2012 after an expensive lobbying campaign, the MEK is understood to be widely reviled inside Iran as a leftist Islamist cult that sided with Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. The group advocates the overthrow of the Iranian government and the elevation of Maryam Rajavi, the wife of MEK founder Massoud Rajavi, as the new leader. She lives in exile outside Paris.

Top officials close to the Donald Trump administration — including national security adviser John Bolton and Rudolph Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer — have taken tens of thousands of dollars in fees from the MEK and its front organizations over the years to speak before rallies that promote Maryam Rajavi’s leadership ambitions. Just last month, Giuliani told a pro-MEK rally in Warsaw, Poland, on the sidelines of a US-organized Middle East conference that Iran’s leaders are “assassins” and “murderers” who should be overthrown and then replaced by Rajavi.

Newt Gingrich, a veteran Republican politician who is close to the Trump administration, sought guidance from the Justice Department last year about whether he needed to register as a lobbyist for a “foreign political party” that appears to be the France-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the name for the MEK’s political front. In January, the NCRI hired Robert Joseph, a former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, to lobby for it for $15,000 a month. Joseph replaced Bolton at the State Department under the George W. Bush administration.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 07 Mar 2019 20:41

ramana wrote:Also hug to MBS keeps Iran close.


iran cannot complain, because we send a lot of business their way when a whole lot of other countries don't do so.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 07 Mar 2019 20:45



this is taqiya, plain and simple.

they will never support us but they are very glad to take SDRE money.

and when push comes to shove, it will always be the ummah.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby syam » 08 Apr 2019 20:47

U.S. Designates Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps As a Terror Organization
Decision marks first time an element of a foreign state has been officially designated terrorist entity
WASHINGTON—The Trump administration on Monday designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, escalating the U.S. pressure campaign against Tehran and marking the first time an element of a foreign state has been officially designated a terrorist entity.

“This action will significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime,” President Trump said in a statement Monday. “If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.”

The designation aims to squeeze the IRGC’s financial resources and shrink its military presence in the Middle East, helping the U.S. crack down on businesses in Europe and elsewhere controlled by the organization. The designation also allows the U.S. to subject IRGC officials and those who provide support the organization to travel restrictions and lets U.S. prosecutors bring charges against those who provide “material support” to the IRGC.

U.S. officials had been divided over the move, with White House national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in favor of it and Pentagon officials—including Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—cautioning against it out of concern for a backlash against U.S. forces in the region, according to U.S. officials.

Plans to designate the IRGC a terrorist organization, reported by The Wall Street Journal on Friday, have already escalated tensions between the two countries, with top Iranian officials threatening retaliation against U.S. forces in the Middle East in response to the plan.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the move would lead to disaster for U.S. forces in the Middle East and charged it was intended to benefit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has a close relationship with the Trump administration.

The IRGC’s commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, was quoted as saying by the IRGC’s official news outlet: “If the Americans do such stupidity and put our national security at risk, the U.S. Army and security forces in the West Asia region will not enjoy today’s peace.”

On Sunday, 255 out of 290 Iranian parliamentarians condemned the planned U.S. move and warned of repercussions.

“We will answer any action taken against this force with a reciprocal action,” they said, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. “So the leaders of America, who themselves are the creators and supporters of terrorists in the region, will regret this inappropriate and idiotic action.”

The IRGC has a ground force of 100,000 for national defense and runs Tehran’s ballistic missile programs, according to a study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

The Quds Force, a specialized division of the IRGC, has arranged weapons deliveries and advised pro-regime militias in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

The Guard Corps has been involved in Iran’s nuclear program and has played a role in cracking down on dissent at home, while also playing an important role in the Iranian economy. As CIA director in 2017, Mr. Pompeo said companies overseen by the IRGC might control 20% of the nation’s economy, including important sectors like energy.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby mmasand » 08 Apr 2019 22:03

chetak wrote:


this is taqiya, plain and simple.

they will never support us but they are very glad to take SDRE money.

and when push comes to shove, it will always be the ummah.


When did Shias become part of the Ummah? :eek:

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby ricky_v » 08 Apr 2019 22:07

us is bringing the dance of democracy to many places simultaneously, first venezuela and now iran. Iran has already threatened us forces stationed in me of repercussions, which will snowball into a "legitimate" fight for the us with the braying of the chattel behind them ala operation fuk iraq.
The tempo of the dance seems frenzied though, too many seeds being sown openly and with varying accuracy, may all turn out to be a red herring.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chetak » 08 Apr 2019 23:05

mmasand wrote:
chetak wrote:
this is taqiya, plain and simple.

they will never support us but they are very glad to take SDRE money.

and when push comes to shove, it will always be the ummah.


When did Shias become part of the Ummah? :eek:


do they support us on the issue of cashmere?? or do they support the sunni pakis??

we are kaffir for all of them and against the Hindustani, they are all ummah.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby ricky_v » 23 Apr 2019 09:50

oy vey, the zog seems mad and has decided that any country purchasing Iranian crude would be sanctioned;iran has meanwhile threatened to close the strait of hormuz;price increase in the near future.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby siqir » 24 Apr 2019 09:15

re end of waivers mea says
we are adequately prepared to deal with the impact of this decision

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ind ... 015013.cms

hard to see this not escalating though since trump has made his modus operandi clear from his approach to north korean issue

if it does escalate to war like or actual war and we lose access to afghanistan delhi may just have decided we are ok with that if it is going to be overrun by the taliban anyway

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Vikas » 24 Apr 2019 12:15

Iran war will happen when KSA and Israel are ready. Bibi got busy with the elections and corruption scandal while MBS got embroiled in Khashoggi killing. DT will not leave Oval office without a small war of his own.
Of course If Iran meanwhile is able to test a Nuke, then its chai-biskoot meets once again.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 24 Apr 2019 20:33

Even with the exemptions ending Chavaharwill be exempted as it constitutes aid to Afghanistan.

The Unites States has excluded the development of the Chabahar Port in Iran from the “maximum-pressure” sanctions against Tehran reimposed on November 5.

The U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo granted the exception to the port development and the construction of an associated railway for the shipment of non-sanctionable goods through the port for Afghanistan’s use, as well as Afghanistan’s continued imports of Iranian petroleum products, a spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement.

The move is aimed at supporting “Afghanistan’s economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India,” the statement reads.


hope it will still stand.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 02 May 2019 13:58

Today the first bullet has been fired by Trump against Tehran. This will result in a dangerous escalation in the region including direct military confrontation. Later today, Trump is expected to announce a halt to the export of Iranian oil COMPLETELY (i.e. no exemptions and no oil will be exported at all!).

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby chanakyaa » 30 May 2019 05:30

INSTEX: Europe sets up transactions channel with Iran
Germany, France and the UK have set up a payment channel with Iran called INSTEX, to help continue trade and circumvent US sanctions. Washington has cautioned EU nations against such actions.
...
What is INSTEX?
- A "special purpose vehicle" that will allow European businesses to trade with Iran, despite strict US sanctions.
- According to media reports, INSTEX will be based in Paris and will be managed by German banking expert Per Fischer, a former manager at Commerzbank. The UK will head the supervisory board.
- The European side intends to use the channel initially only to sell food, medicine and medical devices in Iran. However, it will be possible to expand it in the future.


U.S. Warns Europe That Its Iran Workaround Could Face Sanctions

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 06 Jun 2019 13:46

If the US's NATO allies can find a way of trading with Iran, why must India bow sown to Trump's diktat? He is a temporary US pres. already under intense attack at homd by his political enemies and mah still face impeachment.Iran is crucial to India to outflank Pak, a route to Afgh. and Central Asia and Russia through Chahbahar.Our ties with Shiite Iran are also vital when the Q of Baluchi independence comes into play.India must show spine and resist US armtwisting.With a massive mandate, PM Modi is in a far stronger position than Trump. Should tge US try and sanction us on arms grom Russia too, there is nothing stopping India for forming a triumvirate with Russia and China too.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Singha » 13 Jun 2019 14:59

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... -Oman.html

two oil tankers hit in gulf of oman by mysterious explosives

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Karthik S » 13 Jun 2019 16:32

Last thing we need now is increase in oil prices due to such incidents.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 07 Oct 2019 04:55

Iran says Chinese state oil firm withdraws from $5B deal

China’s state oil company has pulled out of a $5 billion deal to develop a portion of Iran’s massive offshore natural gas field, the Islamic Republic’s oil minister said Sunday, an agreement from which France’s Total SA earlier withdrew over U.S. sanctions.

The South Pars field deal, struck in the wake of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, appears to be just the latest business casualty of America’s pressure campaign on Tehran following President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the deal.

It also comes as China and the U.S. engage in their own trade war, as Beijing and Washington levy billions of dollars of tariffs on each other’s goods.


Tehran-based political analyst Saeed Leilaz said he believes that despite China’s departure from the project, “China will remain Iran’s main trade partner.”

Leilaz said that’s because a large portion of past oil revenue from China has remained in the country, enabling Tehran to buy goods it needs from China without transferring money from Iran, thereby evading U.S. sanctions on Iran’s banking system.




Blow for Iran as Chinese oil group pulls out of flagship gas field project

Iranian analysts said CNPC abandoned the project because of US sanctions and concerns over its interests in America, but Iran’s oil ministry said it could not provide further details.


Last month it placed sanctions on two subsidiaries of China’s state-backed shipping giant Cosco for their alleged involvement in handling Iranian crude. It was one of the first US actions against a major state-backed Chinese entity. The move sent rates for chartering many oil tankers sharply higher, as international oil traders can no longer use the 40 or so tankers connected to the Cosco subsidiaries without risking falling foul of Washington.

Total of France quit the multi-billion-dollar South Pars scheme last year to escape US penalties.


Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards — which have developed a business empire over the past three decades including in oil and gas projects — has long shown interest in taking over South Pars projects. Hardline forces had opposed the French involvement in South Pars and argued that the guards’ companies could develop the Phase 11.

“Petropars definitely needs Iranian partners to implement the project which can include the guards’ companies,” said an Iranian analyst. “The guards is one of the few wealthy institutions which can finance the project.”

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 11 Oct 2019 13:58

..
Last edited by Philip on 11 Oct 2019 14:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 11 Oct 2019 14:01

An Iranian oil tanker has been reportedly hit by a missile in the Red Sea near Jeddah.Two tanks hit, oil leaking, but the vessel is stable with no human casualties.This appears to be a power with vested intetests in starting a war with Iran and the West. The timing coincidinv with the Turkish attacks in N.Syria may not be coincidental at all as the Saudis lick their wounds in the aftermath of thf refinery drone strikes. This may very well be Saudi retaliation for what it believes was the Iranian hand behind the refinery attacks even though no concrete evidence has been found as to those responsible.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 13 Oct 2019 10:31

Iranian women attend first soccer match in 40 years

Iranian women watched the country’s national soccer team for the first time in 40 years on Thursday, celebrating their long-awaited access to the national stadium but also paying tribute to the ‘Blue Girl’ fan who died last month.

Waving flags, blowing vuvuzela plastic horns and displaying the team colours of red, green and white, over 3,000 women watched from a special women-only section in the Azadi Stadium.

Women have been banned from watching men’s games in Iran since shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution with only a few exceptions made for small groups on rare occasions.

But under pressure from world soccer’s governing body FIFA and women’s rights campaigners, Iranian authorities earmarked tickets for women to watch Thursday’s game.

FIFA had sent a delegation to Tehran to ensure that women were allowed to attend the game following the death last month of Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire to protest against her arrest for trying to get into a match.

Dubbed “Blue Girl” online for her favorite team Esteghlal’s colors, Khodayari had feared being jailed for six months by the Islamic Revolutionary Court for trying to enter a stadium dressed as a man.

Campaigners also want to see women given access to all games, not just World Cup qualifiers which come under the direct responsibility of FIFA. Iranian women are not currently able to attend men’s games in their domestic club league.

While campaigners have welcomed women being granted access for Thursday’s game, it is unclear if such scenes will become the norm in Iran.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 17 Nov 2019 05:00

Protests erupt across Iran, burning banks, angry over gas prices

Iranian mobile networks appeared to go offline on Saturday night amid rising protests in Iran. Videos from across the country showed security forces firing tear gas, clashing protesters and also showed images of Iranian regime figures being burned and people angry that price hikes were allegedly being used to fund foreign wars.

Iran’s protests come after massive protests across the border in Iraq where more than 300 have been killed by security forces. They also come amid protests in Lebanon. Iran has major allies in southern Iraq and Lebanon and Iranians have learned about the protests abroad through their own media, potentially fueling local decisions to rise up.

Protests appeared to begin in Iran’s southwest province of Ahwaz that borders Iraq.

On Saturday protests spread to Tabriz in the north as snow blanketed Tehran. They had also spread to Mashhad, Bandar Abbas on the coast, Khorramshahr, Abadan, Shiraz and Sirjan.

Videos, which are difficult to confirm, showed protesters burning banks across the country. In Tehran a Maskan bank branch was allegedly burned. Behbahan in Khuzestan province in the south. A video from Shiraz, 320 km to the east of the burning bank, showed hundreds of men rioting. Protesters have shouted against Iranian involvement abroad, even condemning the regime for involvement in supporting Islamic Jihad in Gaza over the recent flare-up with Israel. Some protesters argue that the regime has increased prices to fund Hezbollah in Lebanon and other foreign adventures. They also shout “down with the dictator,” in Tehran. They also chant against paying 3,000 toman a liter, around one dollar, for gas. In Andishe, south of the Caspian sea, people took over a Basij militia headquarters. In Eslamshahr, a twenty minute drive south, people protested against wasting money on “Palestine.” In Chahardangeh, across the city of Tehran to the east of Eslamshahr, people came out in the rain. They did the same in Shahriar, also near Tehran. In the past the Basij has been responsible for suppressing protests. In some areas security forces retreated in the face of protests. In Urmia the Kurdish region people chanted “the enemy is here,” a reference to the regime. Posters of the supreme leader were torn down in other cities. In Isfahan a protester was reported killed.

Iran’s regime has called the protesters vandals. Large spontaneous protests like this have taken place across Iran over the last decade. In December 2017 widespread protests broke out. The regime has generally weathered the storm through using force in some places and letting them sputter out in others. The numerous protests near Tehran may be due to the access to media networks, while the protests in Ahwaz and the Kurdish region may be fueled by other discontent in minority and neglected regions.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 26 Nov 2019 03:25

These protests indicate that the US sanctions are inflicting serious pain

Amnesty reports 140+ Iranian protesters have been killed in last 5 days.

140+ Iranian protesters have been killed in 5 days. Iranian security forces shot unarmed people on streets, from rooftops & a helicopter. 1,000+ protesters have been arrested. The internet was blocked to stop the world from seeing this. Watch what's been happening in #Iran.



While anti-regime outlets put even higher casualties

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status ... 45696?s=20


Iranian opposition TV reports latest numbers of from #Iran:

Protests in 173 cities
Death toll: at least 400
Injuries: at least 4,000
Arrests: at least 10,000

#IranProtests

(Video from Shiraz - Nov 18)


https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status ... 69288?s=20

From Behbahan, SW #Iran
"Authorities are demanding $13,100 for each corpse. Locals threatened to level all admin buildings & launch armed attacks if their loved ones' corpse are not handed over. Authorities succumbed to the people's demands & delivered the bodies."




Meanwhile

‘Cross our red lines & be destroyed’: Iran’s elite IRGC chief warns US, Israel and Saudi Arabia at large pro-govt rally

Major General Hossein Salami addressed people in downtown Tehran on Monday. He said that the country’s rivals are “no longer capable of anything” in their attacks against the nation.Thousands have marched on the streets of the country’s capital and gathered on the Enqelan Square (Revolution Square). Calling themselves the ‘Supporters of the Leadership’, the demonstrators waved national flags, carried placards and chanted slogans in support for the Supreme Leader Ali Khanemei and the current government. Some were also seen burning American flags.The rally is meant to denounce “anyone who wants to create insecurity in the country,” one demonstrator told the state-run IRNA news agency. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said that the demonstration allows the foreign states “to see who the real people in Iran are and what they are saying.”

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 29 Nov 2019 02:28

Why economic hardships finally sparked Iranian protests

Maloney, Khaasteh, and Toossi all made it clear that while the numbers in street were substantial, this was not the kind of mass mobilization that shook the shah from his throne in 1979. Khaasteh said that reports of the “thugs” and “vandals” torching buildings and inciting violence kept many Iranians who were able to find out about the protests, despite a lack of internet, at home. Toossi characterized the expressions of dissatisfaction from the lower-income population as signs that they were fed up with their ruling class, but not enough to risk everything.

“The technocratic government represents a consensus among the people about order, but it’s barely stable,” Toossi said. “In Iran, I’d say the majority of people have deep grievances. Yet, with these scenes of violence, a lot of people are really scared, they don’t want to lose their relative stability.”

Maloney described the scenes of protest coming out of Iran since the internet revival as “unlike anything I could imagine.” In its current leaderless state, she doesn’t see the eruption of the current protests turning into a full-blown revolution — yet.

“I’m not sure where [leadership] will come from,” Maloney said. “But, we will see continuing episodes like this because the Iranian government has some tough decisions to make going forward, decisions that aren’t politically popular in this period of high pressure against them.”

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 30 Nov 2019 04:27

https://twitter.com/BabakTaghvaee/statu ... 08898?s=20

This video is claimed to be showing an #IRGC personnel who refused to suppress the #IranProtests. He is explaining about the financial corruption in the #IRGC's Generals. He is inviting other #IRGC members to join people & fight against #Iran's Islamic Regime

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 09 Dec 2019 21:10

Iran released Chinese-American Xiyue Wang who was imprisoned in Tehran for more than three years on suspicion of being a US spy. In exchange, the US released Iranian Massoud Soleimani who was arrested on charges of violating American trade sanctions against Iran. Negotiations for the prisoner swap were conducted through the Swiss.

Prisoner swap shows Iran may be eager to deal with US

Iran ready for full prisoner swap, "ball is in the US’ court" - Zarif

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 10 Dec 2019 08:51

"Islamic Republic of Iran" defending China's right to intern and persecute Uighur Muslims. But they will talk about Kashmir.

Tehran raps U.S. interference in China’s affairs

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Y. Kanan » 10 Dec 2019 09:02

chetak wrote:


this is taqiya, plain and simple.

they will never support us but they are very glad to take SDRE money.

and when push comes to shove, it will always be the ummah.


... but the Ummah is profoundly divided at the moment, between Sunni and Shia, and we should take advantage of that. Iran is useful; they;re a Shia state on Paki's border and they (Iran) oppose the same Sunni jihadists that we've been fighting since forever. Iran can help us keep an India-friendly govt in Afghanistan and continuing good relations helps ensure the Iranians don't become so desperate as to fully embrace China, which would by extension force Iran to fully make peace with Pakistan (I'd certainly prefer they didn't).

I get your point, and I agree. Muslims are muslims and we can't trust any Islamic country in the long run. But for now, Iran is useful.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 15 Dec 2019 10:02

The great danger with sanctions is that if they really hurt, then the affected nation might act militarily.Japan in WW2 the prime example and the rise of the Nazis and Hitler thanks to the Treaty of Versailles. Iran can cause immense chaos in the Gulf by attacking energy supplies transiting it.
In Pakistan Shiite shrines have been repeatedly bombed and attacked by Paki Sunnis. Iran ,ancient Persia and the Paki Punjabi elite have little in common and it is only natural that India and Iran separated by the epicentre of international terrorism, Pakistan, should be natural allies.We should not lose the opportunity.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Vikas » 15 Dec 2019 23:00

Philip wrote:The great danger with sanctions is that if they really hurt, then the affected nation might act militarily.Japan in WW2 the prime example and the rise of the Nazis and Hitler thanks to the Treaty of Versailles. Iran can cause immense chaos in the Gulf by attacking energy supplies transiting it.
In Pakistan Shiite shrines have been repeatedly bombed and attacked by Paki Sunnis. Iran ,ancient Persia and the Paki Punjabi elite have little in common and it is only natural that India and Iran separated by the epicentre of international terrorism, Pakistan, should be natural allies.We should not lose the opportunity.


Philip, Why should India and Iran be natural allies ? If Pakis don't have anything common with them, Then we have less common bonds with Iran than Pakis.
It isn't that Iran will destabilize Gulf and rest of the world would simply sit back and cower in fear. Once the bombing campaign begins in earnest, Iran will quickly realize that friends of convivence like Russia and China will issue only statements from the cosy comforts of security council.
We don't have any civilizational bonds with Iran in last 1000 years except for one of their looters came to India and massacred everyone in his path. Heck we have reference to Sheikh and Turk but not of Iranians in middle ages literature.
I personally would like India to have Arab countries under its protective wing.
Iran is not a player to be trusted till the re-establish their credibility notwithstanding that fact that crazy mullahs acting crazier every day. Trying to bomb Israeli diplomats in Delhi wasn't act of friendliness nor constant noise about Kashmir would be taken frivolously by current babudom in the North Block.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 19 Dec 2019 01:36

Iran's Imperial History Overshadows Its Future

When engaging with the Islamic Republic, the international community has tended to treat the country as a monolith, a consolidated political and ideological entity presided over by an entrenched clerical elite. That, however, is hardly the case. In truth, Iran is a complex and cosmopolitan melting pot made up of multiple, competing ethnic identities kept in check by a strong central authority—but just barely.

This state of affairs is a natural byproduct of Iran’s imperial history. At the height of its power in the late 1600s, the Safavid dynasty, the greatest of the Iranian empires that spanned more than half a millennia, covered a swathe of territory stretching from central Afghanistan to southeastern Turkey and encompassed millions of people and dozens of distinct ethnic groups. Over the years, as the contours of imperial Iran expanded and constricted, a multitude of cultures and ethnicities came under its sway. As the centuries wore on, migration and commerce merged these disparate communities into what we now know as modern-day Iran.

Exactly how ethnically diverse Iran actually is, however, is a matter of some debate. There are currently “no agreed-upon academic or governmental sources on Iran’s ethnic make-up,” says Brenda Shaffer of Georgetown University, one of the country’s leading experts on Iran’s ethnic minorities. And because there aren’t, U.S. government estimates—including the CIA’s vaunted World Factbook, which policy institutes and academia routinely rely on for figures—have tended to reflect official Iranian data regarding the population of its provinces.

That, Shaffer insists, is a mistake, because the Iranian regime has a vested interest in overrepresenting the country’s Persian majority—and underplaying the size and salience of other ethnic groups. By her estimates, “the most reliable estimates of what Iran actually looks like internally” can be extrapolated from earlier, and less political, sociological surveys carried out in the 1970s. Based on those figures, Shaffer projects that Iran’s current population of more than eighty-five million is made up of some forty-two million Persians, an estimated twenty-seven million Azerbaijanis, and roughly eight million Kurds, five million Arabs, two million Turkmen, and one-and-a-half million Baluch.

In other words, while Persians are indeed a majority within the Islamic Republic, their numbers are considerably more modest than generally advertised. The rest of the country, meanwhile, is comprised of a number of large and influential ethnic groups.


These groups are mostly concentrated in Iran’s various provinces, from East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan and Ardabil in the country’s northwest (home to the bulk of Iranian Azerbaijanis) to Sistan-Baluchistan in the southeast, where the preponderance of Iranian Baluch reside. Yet their influence is felt far beyond those places. Shaffer notes that, virtually without exception, Iran’s major urban centers are multi-ethnic affairs—the product of decades of intermarriage between urban dwellers from different parts of the country (and, before that, the empire). The most prominent example of this trend is none other than Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself, whose ethnic Azerbaijani heritage is common knowledge within the country.

Nevertheless, it is in Iran’s provinces where ethnic identity remains the strongest and most politically active, which is why those regions represent a threat to the country’s clerical regime.


Throughout Iranian history, Shaffer notes, “every time the center is weak, the periphery rises.” The situation is the same today. With the start of the current round of unrest in Iran in December 2017, Iran’s ethnic enclaves emerged as the most vibrant centers of resistance to clerical rule. In turn, the Iranian regime reserved some of its harshest repression—including mass arrests and state-sanctioned violence—for cities located in provinces where ethnic minorities predominate.

The brutality of the official response reflects just how deeply Iranian authorities fear the political activism and destabilizing potential of the country’s ethnic communities. They have good reason to do so; in recent years, radical ethnic movements in various provinces throughout the country have emerged as a major domestic security challenge for the regime in Tehran.

In Sistan-Baluchistan, which borders Pakistan, a low-grade insurgency has been simmering since the middle of the last decade. There, attacks carried out by militant Sunni Baluch groups like Jundullah and Jaish ul-Adl against regime targets have exacted a heavy toll. For instance, In October 2018, Baluch extremists abducted more than a dozen members of Iran’s clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in the province. A subsequent February 2019 attack on an IRGC convoy transiting the region left nearly thirty dead. Such violence, moreover, has persisted despite a 2014 understanding between Iran and Pakistan under which both countries committed to stepped-up counterterrorism cooperation along their common border.

Iran’s majority Kurdish regions of West Azerbaijan, Kordestan and Kermanshah are similarly restive. Over the years, Iranian soldiers have become regular targets of attacks in those places carried out by local radicals, often in cooperation with sympathetic elements across the border in Iraq.
The most prominent actor in this regard is the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), a Kurdish separatist group linked to Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party which waged a pitched military campaign against the Iranian regime elements in the region between 2004 and 2011. This group has sporadically clashed with regime forces since then.

Iran’s eastern province of Khuzestan, meanwhile, is the site of significant separatist activity on the part of the country’s Arab minority. The region has a long history of social activism dating back to the 1920s, but in recent years the situation has become more heated, in part as a result of the activities of an insurgent group known as the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA).

Between 2005 and 2015, large-scale civil unrest broke out in the province, mirroring the ethnic turmoil then occurring elsewhere in the Islamic Republic. While that ferment has abated somewhat since then the potential for large scale violence remains. In April of 2018, mass demonstrations erupted throughout Khuzestan, with the resulting clashes with authorities claiming scores of lives. And that September, a group of terrorists attacked a military parade in Ahvaz, killing nearly thirty soldiers and civilians in the most significant incident of its kind within Iran in recent memory. Shaffer points out that the instability in Khuzestan is particularly worrisome to the regime since it is located at the center of the country’s oil production.

It’s no wonder, then, that Iran’s leaders are distrustful of the country’s ethnic minorities, and all too eager to suppress them. Authorities have long applied more discriminatory policies and stricter security measures in heavily ethnic provinces than elsewhere in the country. In his most recent report, Javaid Rehman, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, laid out in damning detail precisely what form this persecution takes. The regime, Rehman outlined, is responsible for “the arbitrary deprivation of life and extrajudicial executions; a disproportionate number of executions on national security-related charges; a disproportionate number of political prisoners; arbitrary arrests and detention in connection with a range of peaceful activities such as advocacy for linguistic freedom, organizing or taking part in peaceful protests and being affiliated with opposition parties; incitement to hatred and violence; the forced closure of businesses and discriminatory practices and denial of employment; and restrictions on access to education and other basic services.”

Worries over ethnicity even permeate the regime’s internal organization. In much the same way the Soviet Communist Party in its day managed the inherent risk posed by the diverse ethnicities that had been drawn into the USSR, Shaffer says, great pains are taken today at the official level in Tehran to ensure that soldiers in Iran’s military do not serve in the province of their core ethnicity. In this way, the Iranian regime seeks to mute any residual identity that might supersede loyalty to the state, should push come to shove.

If it does, however, then Iranian authorities will have some unlikely allies: ordinary Iranians themselves. For most, national unity is a paramount concern, and many would prefer a united country—even one under clerical rule—to a fragmented post-theocratic nation. For this reason, ethnic politics represent something of a third rail in any discussion of Iran’s future. Even ardent opponents of the current regime make abundantly clear that they would back the existing status quo if the alternative was a breakup of the country along ethnic lines. Iran’s clerical regime, in turn, has exploited these fears, disseminating messages that emphasize that only it has the capability to prevent such a situation.

It is also the reason why Iran’s disparate opposition groups have spent so little time discussing the plight of the country’s ethnic minorities, beyond general promises of equal treatment in whatever order emerges after the Islamic Republic’s collapse. Underlying this laissez faire attitude is an uncomfortable reality: ensuring that Iran’s assorted ethnic groups are content, engaged and committed to keeping the country intact are among the most pressing tasks facing anyone who hopes to rule this nation of nations after the ayatollahs.

Rony
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 19 Dec 2019 01:40

Heavy Pollution in Iran Hospitalizes 1,500 People in 24 Hours

Authorities in Iran have shut down schools in eight provinces including the capital Tehran because of high levels of pollution, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.

Schools and universities in Iran’s third-largest city, Esfahan, and its wider province, have also been closed. Other regions affected are Alborz, Eastern Azerbaijan, Bushehr, Qazvin, Markazi and Qom, according to ISNA, which cited officials in each province.

In the past 24 hours, some 1,500 people have been hospitalized and received emergency care because of respiratory problems related to toxic air, ISNA reported, quoting Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesman for Iran’s National Emergency Organization. Khaledi advised children and the elderly to avoid going outside in the affected cities.

It’s the third time in less than a month that schools in Tehran have been shut due to toxic air and high levels of particulates. While seasonal smog and pollution levels in Iran affect the capital and other big cities every year during the winter months, it’s rare for dozens of cities to enforce school closures at the same time.

Rony
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 19 Dec 2019 01:46

Iran set to topple Russia as India's largest tea importer this year

Sources said owing to the US sanctions on Iran, other exporting countries like Sri Lanka have found it hard to sustain their shipments. After the sanctions were imposed, there was some uncertainty over how payments would be made, given that Iran did not have adequate foreign exchange. However, under the trade agreement between India and Iran, the West Asian country can pay India in rupees for its imports against oil exports to India, which New Delhi pays for in Iranian Rial.

“This trade agreement has not only helped India sustain the market but expand it as well. While exports from other countries faced uncertainty, Indian exporters were able to eat into the competition and gain market share,” a planter, who directly exports bulk tea to Iran, told Business Standard.

Philip
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 20 Dec 2019 05:30

Chai-bahar what? :rotfl:

Jokes apart it appears that the Great Governor of the planet, Uncle Sam has benovolently and most narrowly pardoned India for cohabiting at Chai-bahar with the hated evil Iranian empire of Shiite Islam and its grand Ayatollahs too-many!
The needs of the starving poppy- planters of Afghanistan and pleas from their knees of its Kabuli regime has touched the heart of the omnipotent Great Governor, who has spared vassal India his great rod of wrath and in his mercy allowed our loin-clothed countrymen to continue to toil in the heat and dust of Persia to build and operate a port at Chai- bahar, so that the hungry Afghans may get their daily gruel and rotis!
All hail the Great Governor ! Praise be to his name..( Trump-ets sound Trump-ara!Trump-ara!Trump-ara! ) that too in the season of joy, where he hath declared " peace on earth ( for a short period until someone gets bombed) goodwill to all men, including ayatollahs and Indians".

Rony
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 11 Jan 2020 19:59

Admitting to downing Ukraine jetliner will cost Iran regime dearly

It was a short-lived honeymoon for the Islamic Republic regime — a rare wave of popular support, drowned out by a bigger tide of government neglect and recklessness.

Much as Iran's authorities may hate admitting the destruction of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 to other governments, they are almost certainly more concerned about the reaction from their own people.

The regime's hopes of turning the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani into a moment of renewal for its flagging fortunes were destroyed along with Flight PS752.

From the point of view of the Ayatollahs' regime, this situation is a nightmare scenario of incompetence, hypocrisy and lost opportunity.


Remember the Vincennes

More than almost any other event, the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes in 1988 underpins the regime's narrative of American malignancy.

Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, makes a point of referencing the crash on every anniversary.

And when U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Iran with strikes over the weekend, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani immediately responded with a tweet about the 290 people killed on that flight.

But within 48 hours his own side would also shoot down a jetliner full of innocent civilians, 147 of whom were citizens of Iran, according to the country's head of emergency operations.

A public relations victory undone

Just weeks ago, the Iranian government faced yet another popular revolt on its streets.

The slogans of the protesters (such as "No to Gaza, no to Lebanon. We sacrifice our lives for Iran," or "We have no money or fuel, to hell with Palestine") linked their economic hardship directly to the costly military adventurism of the regime and the crippling sanctions it's brought.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which was the vanguard of that foreign military mission, also played a leading role at home in suppressing those protests, which saw hundreds of protesters shot in one of the most violent crackdowns since the early years of the Islamic Revolution.

The assassination of Gen. Soleimani gave the regime a golden opportunity to rehabilitate the IRGC in Iranian public opinion by focusing on its role in defeating Sunni jihadist organizations outside of Iran, such as ISIS and al-Nusra/al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.

Those brutally sectarian organizations, which murder Shia and destroy their shrines, are even more unpopular in Iran than the IRGC. Suddenly, the crowds on the street were celebrating an IRGC commander, in scenes reminiscent of the 1980s when the revolution was new.

But the honeymoon proved extremely short-lived. The Ayatollahs' regime began to blow their golden opportunity before Gen. Soleimani's body was in the ground.

A deadly stampede

One of the hallmarks of the Islamic Republic regime is its tragic indifference to life. This is the same regime that, during the Iran-Iraq War, sent human waves of school-age boys to clear landmines with their own bodies in advance of regular Iranian troops.

The youngsters were given metal keys to hang around their necks and told they would open the doors to paradise. Sometimes they were roped together to prevent them escaping. Their lives were wasted by the tens of thousands in futile offensives like the 1982 Operation Ramadan.

The regime's incompetence and indifference was evident on Tuesday morning as massive crowds gathered in Soleimani's hometown of Kerman. The government wanted the crowds to be as large and as emotional as possible. It appears that more thought was given to the design of the giant posters that overhung the event than to managing the crowds or keeping people safe.

The result was a deadly crush. About 60 people died in the stampede and more than 200 were injured.

The same reckless neglect was on display again 24 hours later, as Flight 752 fell from the sky.

It is a pattern in a country that has a record of preventable deaths on its roads, rails and in the sky.

The crash of Flight 752 is the fourteenth Iranian air crash since 2000 to have caused more than 25 fatalities.

IRGC admits to role

The one shoe yet to drop was the confirmation that the plane was brought down by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps itself, brutally reminding the Iranian people that the organization is more about killing Iranians than it is about killing Americans, Israelis or Sunni jihadists — although Iran's Mehr News quoted an IRGC official as claiming to have killed at least 80 US soldiers in the ballistic missile strikes on U.S. bases early Wednesday.

In its admission of responsibility, Iran stated that the plane was "in close proximity to a sensitive military centre of the IRGC and with the altitude and posture of a hostile aircraft. In these circumstances, the plane was accidentally hit by a human error, which unfortunately results in the martyrdom of dear compatriots and the death of a number of foreign nationals."

Iran's ballistic missile program is under IRGC control, and its "Shahid Tehrani-Moqaddam" Ballistic Missile Research Centre is near to the spot where Flight 752 fell, says Babak Taghvaee, an aviation expert who worked in Iran's military aerospace industry and is author of two books on Iranian military aviation.

"Only the IRGC has the Tor M1 missile system. They received them new from Russia almost 15 years ago to protect their ballistic missile bases," he told CBC News when reached by phone in Malta a few hours before the IRGC confessed to its role.

Dominic Raab, the UK's Foreign Minister, was asked during his Montreal news conference with his Canadian counterpart Francois-Philippe Champagne on Thursday what he hoped to learn from the investigation into the crash. He said he wanted to know what happened, why it happened and who was responsible.

A crash investigation, even one not hampered by an uncooperative Iranian regime, would only have been able to answer the first question.

With this confession, Iran answers all three. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps shot down the aircraft. They did it because it flew close to a sensitive base, almost certainly the Shahid Tehrani-Moqaddam Ballistic Missile Research Centre.

As far as responsibility goes, Taghvaee says two names immediately.

"Ali Abedzadeh, the head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization, should have grounded all flights, knowing that the air defences were all active. And Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the IRGC air defence commander, should have coordinated with them to make sure that happened."

hanumadu
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby hanumadu » 12 Jan 2020 22:09

According to SM, lot of student protests going against Iran and expressing happiness over killing of Soleimani. The protests are not just against the regime but also have an anti Islam element to it. I wonder how long this regime and Islam itself lasts in Iran now.

What will Indian shia muslims do when Iran leaves Islam? Will they become sunni, revert back to Hinduism, take up some other religion like christianity. How about shias in Sindh, Pakistan?

Ideally, I would have preferred this to happen in another 20 years time. When India is much stronger, has a better image, Hinduism would have a more favourable standing in the world and had controlled conversion activities. The natural choice for shias would have been Hinduism.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby kit » 12 Jan 2020 22:23

hanumadu wrote:According to SM, lot of student protests going against Iran and expressing happiness over killing of Soleimani. The protests are not just against the regime but also have an anti Islam element to it. I wonder how long this regime and Islam itself lasts in Iran now.

What will Indian shia muslims do when Iran leaves Islam? Will they become sunni, revert back to Hinduism, take up some other religion like christianity. How about shias in Sindh, Pakistan?

Ideally, I would have preferred this to happen in another 20 years time. When India is much stronger, has a better image, Hinduism would have a more favourable standing in the world and had controlled conversion activities. The natural choice for shias would have been Hinduism.



Not a bad thing to have a secular ( ! ) Islamic nation next door to the Pakis !!

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby sanjaykumar » 12 Jan 2020 22:25

There seem to be several closet Hindus among Muslims. By the very nature of the fact, it is difficult to estimate numbers.

Rony
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 13 Jan 2020 01:36

hanumadu wrote:According to SM, lot of student protests going against Iran and expressing happiness over killing of Soleimani. The protests are not just against the regime but also have an anti Islam element to it. I wonder how long this regime and Islam itself lasts in Iran now.


Islam is very strong in Iran. What ever protests you are seeing is against the regime and their semi-authoritarianism, not against their Islamic ideology. Most protester slogans against the regime are themselves very Islamic in nature. There is no evidence that Islam is loosening its grip in Iran, but the Islamic regime is certainly loosening its grip on the people.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Rony » 13 Jan 2020 01:38

Iran's sole female Olympic medallist defects

Iran's only female Olympic medallist Kimia Alizadeh announced Saturday she has permanently left her country, citing the "hypocrisy" of a system she claims humiliates athletes while using them for political ends.

Criticising Iran's political system for "hypocrisy", "lying", "injustice" and "flattery", she said she wanted nothing more than "taekwondo, security and a happy and healthy life".

"I am one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran with whom they have been playing for years," the 21-year-old wrote.

"I wore whatever they told me to wear," she said, referring to the Islamic veil, which is compulsory for all women in public in Iran.

"I repeated everything they told me to say," she wrote.

She continued: "None of us matter to them."

"No one invited me to Europe," she wrote, without saying where she was.

On Thursday, news of Alizadeh's disappearance shocked the country.

hanumadu
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby hanumadu » 13 Jan 2020 01:47

Rony wrote:
hanumadu wrote:According to SM, lot of student protests going against Iran and expressing happiness over killing of Soleimani. The protests are not just against the regime but also have an anti Islam element to it. I wonder how long this regime and Islam itself lasts in Iran now.


Islam is very strong in Iran. What ever protests you are seeing is against the regime and their semi-authoritarianism, not against their Islamic ideology. Most protester slogans against the regime are themselves very Islamic in nature. There is no evidence that Islam is loosening its grip in Iran, but the Islamic regime is certainly loosening its grip on the people.


The fight against hijab is definitely against a tenet of Islam though it might be against Islam itself. There have been instances of burning quran in those rallies.


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