Iran Focus

London, 06 April - In Iran, everyone is looking for somebody to blame for the recent inclement weather that was unplanned for — the floods and the ensuing disasters — while the most important and powerful figure in Iran, the Supreme Leader, has thus far failed to help the people who are suffering from the damage.

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Iran Focus

London, 03 April - During his Nowruz (Persian New Year) speech just over a week ago, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke about the effect of the U.S. sanctions on Iran and about the ways the country can overcome its economic hurdles. He said that domestic production must be increased, meaning that the levels of imports must be drastically reduced.

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Iran Focus

London, 25 Mar - On Sunday, the United States made a strategic port deal with Oman that will provide the US military with better access to the Gulf region and reduce the need to send ships through the narrow Strait of Hormuz, according to US officials.

This is important because, in the wake of the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement and imposing sanctions on Iran’s oil, Iran threatened to shut off the Strait of Hormuz, which is just off Iran’s coast. Given that 20% of the world’s oil supply travels through the waterway, this could mean huge delays or shortages as tankers find an alternative route, which would only increase oil prices.

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By Jubin Katiraie

According to local officials across Iran, severe losses have been sustained due to the floods that hit 28 of the country’s 31 provinces during the past week. While no comprehensive reports regarding the economic impact of the floods is available yet, reports have surfaced saying a terrible blow has been dealt to housing, roads, farmlands, animal husbandry farms, and fish farms. As well, officials who deal with agriculture announced a preliminary estimate of $200 million worth of destruction to that sector.

In Kerman Province in the southeast, it is reported that some 1,600 kilometers of rural roads have been washed away by the floods. There are no reports about extent of damage in the city of Shiraz, as people dig out of the mud that is clogging the streets.

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By Mehdi

In a warning to Berlin, the Trump administration announced that it may scale back intelligence sharing if Germany allows the Chinese technology company, Huawei, to build Germany’s new 5G infrastructure.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel immediately shot back, saying that Germany would “set its own security standards.”

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Iran Focus

London, 01 April - Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), or 2015 Iran nuclear deal as it is known. Crippling economic sanctions were re-imposed and the U.S. State Department said that all countries must reduce their imports of Iranian oil to zero.

Initially, waivers were not to be granted, but as the deadline got closer, it was not feasible for some of Iran’s biggest oil importers to cut their imports to zero. Waivers were granted to a certain number of countries and strict conditions were applied.

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By Jubin Katiraie

A top Treasury Department official told a Congressional subcommittee on Tuesday that the US has been very clear with Europe about the “significant risks” of providing Iran with a special mechanism to facilitate trade.

US Treasury undersecretary Sigal Mandelker, the head of Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services that the government continues “to maximize economic pressure on Iran to combat its weapons proliferation, terrorism, and regionally destabilizing activities”.

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Iran Focus

London, 29 March - Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has been on a campaign to curb the Iran threat. He has quite rightly identified Iran as the number one threat to peace and security in the Middle East and the number one state sponsor of terrorism.

His administration is in the midst of pursuing a maximum pressure campaign that has the aim of cutting the government off from the extensive revenue that it uses to fund terrorist activities and its militias and proxy groups that are scattered across the region. Some of Iran’s main allies in the region include the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and the Shiite militias in Iraq.

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By Pooya Stone

A powerful Iranian cleric close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei publically opposed any attempt to pass the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) bills, which are needed in order to avoid being blacklisted by the global anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing body.

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Iran Focus

London, 29 March - Large parts of Iran have been affected by major flooding in the past few days. A large number of people have lost their lives and an even bigger number of people have been injured or have lost their homes to severe damage.

The people have not been given any support by their local authorities and the regime has tried to cover up the extent of the devastation. It has been reported that journalists have been blocked from entering hospitals so that they cannot write or speak about the number of killed or injured.Tehran, the nation’s capital, is about to face a crisis because of the rising water levels. The city, which is home to 9 million people, is being spoken about widely on social media.

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Iran Focus

London, 9 Mar - U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to Iran is very different to the approach his predecessor took. Trump is adamant that the Iran threat will be dealt with in its entirety during his time in office. This includes its nuclear program, its ballistic missile program, its malign meddling and interference in the affairs of its neighbours, its support of proxy groups and militias across the Middle East, its export of terrorism, its corruption, its disregard of human rights, and so on.

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Iran Focus

London, 28 March - Domestic unrest has reached unprecedented levels in Iran, to the point where the totalitarian leader Ali Khamenei is strengthening his position on his policies of persecution, power projection, and terror by appointing hard-liner loyalists to critical positions in state institutions to ensure that they remain faithful to the "principles" of the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

In fact, Khamenei recently appointed Ebrahim Raisi to head Iran’s judiciary. Raisi ran against, and lost to, Hassan Rouhani in the presidential elections of 2018. His loss was largely due to the fact that Raisi is known to the Iranian people as a violator of human rights. He played a leading role in "the summer of blood" — the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.

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By Jubin Katiraie

The nationwide teachers’ strike in Iran entered its third day on Tuesday, with teachers holding sit-ins in their principals’ offices to demand basic rights, like better pay, the right to form unions, and the freeing of all jailed teachers’ rights activists, as well as an adequate response to their demands from the government.

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Iran Focus

London, 28 March - On Nowruz, the first day of the Persian new year as well as the vernal equinox, the Supreme Leader’s annual address focused on foreign policy, and a call for Iran to develop its non-oil economy.

This speech, delivered in Mashhad, is believed to carry more significance than any other. This year, it offered little hope regarding the country’s economic suffering.

Because of its Zoroastrian roots, the clerical orthodoxy is historically hostile to the Nowruz festival. Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founding leader, never so much as used the word “Nowruz” in his annual address.

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By Mehdi

The Netherlands recalled its ambassador to Iran and summoned the Iranian ambassador to its Foreign Ministry for talks after Tehran expelled two Dutch diplomats in a dispute over an alleged plot to assassinate Iran’s political opponents in the European country.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said: "The government has decided to recall the Dutch ambassador in Tehran for consultations."

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By Jubin Katiraie

Donald Trump’s national security team is divided over whether to extend the sanctions waivers on Iranian oil that they granted after reimposing sanctions on the country last November. The waivers are due to expire in May, but it is unclear whether they will be renewed and with his advisors divided, it may be up to Trump to make the final call.

John Bolton and National Security Council favour dropping the waivers and getting even tougher on Iran and removing the waivers, highlighting that oil prices are considerably low at the moment and are unlikely to rise too much. A spokesman said that agencies are coordinating to increase the pressure on Iran, which could include by removing sanctions waivers. The Energy Department also believe that it is time to turn up the heat on Iran.

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Iran Focus

London, 26 Mar - The Hamburg Regional Court banned weekly German Magazine Der Spiegel from spreading lies about the Iranian opposition last week.

This decision was reached following the injunction application made by the German representative office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) after Der Spiegel published a defamatory article in February about the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and its members in their settlement in Albania.

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By Pooya Stone

Iran has always been an oil-rich country, yet gasoline has always been a scarcity on the domestic energy market. But why is this?

Well, it is basically down to the illegal smuggling of oil out of the country. Official estimates for the amount of oil smuggled out of Iran per day ranges from between 4 million and 40 million litres, depending on who you ask and the import needs of neighbouring countries.

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#Iran - April 10 - Bojnurd, North Khorasan Province, Northeast

April 10 - Shadegan, Khuzestan Province, SW #Iran

#IranFloods- Kut Abdullah, Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, SW #Iran

Seems to be Lorestan Province, western #Iran Horrifying footage of a road literally collapsing

#IranFloods-April 4, Poledokhtar,Lorestan province W #Iran

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