At least 41 people have been killed and more than 1,200 people have been arrested as Iranians protest against the in-custody death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini as of Monday. Protesters are demanding an end to the compulsory wearing of the Hijab and other violations of women's rights in Iran. Exact statistics for casualties and arrests are available only to the Iranian government, but state media has offered a glimpse at the fallout of more than 10 days of unrest. The regime sought to quell the protests by cutting off access to social media in more than a dozen cities in recent days, a move that has precluded the widespread killing of protesters in previous instances of unrest.
The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said he met with his Iranian counterpart in Vienna for talks about an ongoing investigation into manmade uranium particles found at undeclared sites in Iran. “Dialogue has restarted with Iran on clarification of outstanding safeguards issues,” Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), tweeted Monday night. He said he had met with Mohammad Eslami, vice president and head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. Along with the statement, Grossi posted photos of himself, Eslami and other negotiators.
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday it had added a fourth Iranian cargo plane serving Russia to a list of aircraft believed to violate U.S. export controls under Biden administration sanctions. The department added three Iranian cargo planes to the list on Sept. 19. The fourth plane belongs to Iran's Saha Airlines, which is owned by Iran's air force, the department said in a statement. The plane added to the list on Monday has flown into Russia without proper Commerce Department authorization, the statement said.
UANI IN THE NEWS
…One of the tankers that arrived this month in Venezuelan waters is the Iran-flagged very large crude carrier (VLCC) Huge, operated by National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), according to the document. Non-profit organization United Against Nuclear Iran and monitoring service TankerTrackers.com confirmed its identity. For the second cargo, the PDVSA document used the name of a ship that was scrapped, according to ship registries. The Middle Eastern country has this year ramped up exports to u.s.-sanctioned venezuela, including South Pars condensate, mostly using its own tanker fleet.
…By contrast, Masih Alinejad, New York-based social-media influencer and Voice of America contributor, said Sunday no talks should take place with “these savages.” Addressing the advocacy group United Against A Nuclear Iran, Alinejad said history would “judge” President Joe Biden for “saving” Iran’s rulers. “Instead of getting a deal, stand up for your values,” she said. Alinejad told Fox News during Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi’s recent trip to the UN in New York that “Iranians” wanted to see Raisi meet the same fate as Qasem Soleimani, the general killed with ten others by a US drone strike in Baghdad in 2020 in what the UN deemed ‘unlawful killing.’
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Iran’s foreign minister said that his country is ready to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve questions about uranium found at three undeclared sites, as long as the agency addresses these questions “technically,” rather than politically. “The agency has questions about three alleged sites that they say they have found uranium, and we are ready to provide answers to those questions,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor on Sunday evening. The IAEA has accused Iran of stonewalling.
Iran has pressed charges against 14 people for their alleged role in the November 2020 assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, local media reported Sunday. Fakhrizadeh, who had been under US sanctions for his role in Iran’s nuclear program, was killed in an attack on his car outside Tehran that the Islamic republic has blamed on Israel. Tehran’s chief prosecutor Ali Salehi announced that “14 people were indicted” in the case, according to Tasnim news agency, without naming them.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
The EU and the US are considering further sanctions against Iran over the attempt to suppress demonstrations and strikes in universities over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in a police detention centre. Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, condemned Iran’s disproportionate use of force and said all options would be on the table at the next meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers. The main options are helping to prevent the internet being shut by Iran, and further economic sanctions.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that Canada will sanction "dozens" of Iranian individuals and entities, including the morality police, as security forces in Iran continue to crack down violently on protesters. Addressing the "women who are protesting in Iran and those who support them," Trudeau said: "We are with you." Trudeau said Canadians, along with millions of people around the world, want the government of the Islamic Republic to "listen to its people, end the suppression of their freedom and rights, and allow the women and all people of Iran to continue their lives freely and to comment in peace and tranquility."
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
The last time waves of protests swept Iran, after the killing of a young woman who was standing on the sidelines of an anti-government rally in 2009, Barack Obama hesitated to back the anti-government movement publicly for fear that Tehran would claim the C.I.A. was secretly sparking the unrest. Thirteen years later, under remarkably similar circumstances, President Biden has taken a dramatically different approach. He publicly sided with the protesters in his speech to the United Nations last week.
Iran’s nationwide crackdown on antigovernment protests has been especially severe against its Kurdish minority, with drone and artillery strikes against separatist groups and deadly clashes in Kurdish-dominated cities and towns where the unrest first arose, residents say. Iranian authorities have blamed Kurdish activists and separatists based in neighboring countries for fomenting protests that erupted in Iran’s Kurdish region following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd arrested in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code.
For Yasi, the news felt too close to ignore: A young woman, Mahsa Amini, had died in the custody of Iran’s morality police, days after being arrested for failing to cover her hair modestly enough. When protests broke out after Ms. Amini’s death, 20-year-old Yasi — the first woman in her immediate family to reject the hijab — ran into the streets, waving the thin shawl she usually wears over her blond hair in public, in a grudging concession to the law of the land.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
Iran faced more international criticism on Monday over the death of a woman in police custody that triggered nationwide protests after Tehran accused the United States of using the unrest to try to destabilise the country. Iran has cracked down on the biggest demonstrations since 2019, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16 after she was detained by morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic's strict restrictions on women's dress. The case has drawn widespread condemnation.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Ukraine's president and security chiefs met on Monday to plan ways to counteract Russia's use of "new types of weapons" after Moscow stepped up attacks in Odesa region using Iranian combat drones, the president's office and a regional official said. Russia carried out at least five attacks on targets in the region using unmanned Shahed-136 drones in the last few days, Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesperson for Odesa's regional administration, told a news briefing. One of the attacks hit an undisclosed military target in the southern region in the early hours of Monday, he said.
IRAQ & IRAN
Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard on Monday unleashed a wave of drone and artillery strikes targeting what Tehran says are bases of Iranian Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq, a semiofficial news agency reported. It was the second such cross-border assault since Saturday, at a time when Iran is convulsing with protests over the death of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who was detained by the nation’s morality police. A representative of one of the separatist groups in Iraq targeted in the attack — which struck the Sidikan area in the northern Kurdish-run region — said there were no casualties.
OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Germany summoned the Iranian ambassador in Berlin on Monday in order to urge Tehran to stop its violent crackdown on nationwide protests over the death of a woman in police custody, the German foreign ministry said. "We call on the Iranian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to not deploy further violence - in particular not fatal violence - against protesters," the ministry said on Twitter. "We also communicated that directly to the Iranian ambassador in Berlin today."
Albania’s landmark decision this month to sever diplomatic ties with Iran over a massive summer cyberattack began with a top-notch investigation, its prime minister told The Cybersecurity 202. The FBI and a team from Microsoft worked with Albanian experts and experts from elsewhere to pinpoint four separate hacking groups that the Iranian government is known to sponsor, particularly out of its Ministry of Intelligence. One of them, Prime Minister Edi Rama said this weekend in an interview, was “among the top-10 cyberterror groups, [whose] prints have been also detected behind the attacks on Saudi Arabia, Israel and so on.”