Iran's Malign Behavior Tracker

Iran’s Escalating Intransigence Since the JCPOA

Since the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers on July 14, 2015, also known as the Iran Deal, UANI has been monitoring the day-to-day actions of the Iranian regime to determine if Tehran is abiding by its commitments and moderating its aggressive and threatening behavior.

A key benefit of the Iran Deal, proponents of the agreement argued, would be that it would contribute to the moderation of the Iranian regime. By tracking developments in Iran’s nuclear program, human rights situation, destabilizing regional activities, sponsorship of terrorism, and relations with the U.S., UANI’s Moderation Mythbuster clearly shows that the Iranian regime failed to moderate despite the sanctions relief and prospect of further economic engagement with the West that resulted from the JCPOA. In fact, Iran adopted a more hardline approach both in its domestic and foreign policy, even during the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, who was touted in the West as a supposed moderate. Iran’s aggression has only grown since hardliner Ebrahim Raisi assumed the presidency in September 2021.

The regime has pursued the path of increased intransigence in order to compel the U.S. to relent and rejoin the JCPOA, a deal that does not permanently prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability. As comprehensively cataloged in this resource, Iran's failure to moderate highlights why the U.S. should refrain from providing up-front sanctions relief until the regime changes course.

To see daily Iran-related developments prior to the JCPOA, view UANI’s Rouhani Accountability Tracker.

Date Theme Event
03-25-2024
Terrorism

The Shin Bet security agency reveals that it recently foiled attempts by Iran to smuggle large shipments of advanced weapons to terror operatives in the West Bank to be used to carry out attacks on Israeli targets.

The Shin Bet security agency reveals that it recently foiled attempts by Iran to smuggle large shipments of advanced weapons to terror operatives in the West Bank to be used to carry out attacks on Israeli targets. According to the Shin Bet, behind the plot was Iran’s unit 4000, the Special Operations Division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Intelligence Organization, headed by Jawad Ghafari, and the special operations unit of the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria, known as unit 18840, which is subordinate to the head of Iran’s unit 840, Asghar Bakri. (Times of Israel)

03-24-2024
Politics

Mohammad Faker Meybodi, a faculty member at the Center for Islamic Sciences, has sparked controversy with his recent remarks advocating for the possession of nuclear arms.

Mohammad Faker Meybodi, a faculty member at the Center for Islamic Sciences, has sparked controversy with his recent remarks advocating for the possession of nuclear arms. Speaking on the historical context of military weaponry as outlined in the Quran, Meybodi emphasized the need for contemporary armaments to deter adversaries effectively. "At the time when the verse related to military weapons was revealed in the Quran, the weapon of that era was the swords and spears... Today, it may be necessary for us to possess nuclear weapons to intimidate the enemy. We must equip ourselves with modern weapons," Meybodi stated. (Iran International)

03-24-2024
Nuclear Program

The Islamic Republic covered up an alleged Israeli sabotage operation on a secret atomic weapons workshop in Tehran’s Shadabad neighborhood.

The Islamic Republic covered up an alleged Israeli sabotage operation on a secret atomic weapons workshop in Tehran’s Shadabad neighborhood that was set ablaze in 2020. The independent Iran International news organization disclosed the stunning revelations via a trove of documents it recently obtained from a hacker group. The incident appears to have taken place in July 2020 by a group of nine individuals. The apparent ringleader, Masoud Rahimi, was said to be contracted by an anonymous individual claiming to seek revenge against the owner of the nondescript workshop. He offered $10,000 plus a bonus if Rahimi would set it ablaze, destroy property, and film the event. (i24 News)

03-23-2024
Military

Iran has made it no secret that it plans to invest heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) to help better its military capabilities.

Iran has made it no secret that it plans to invest heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) to help better its military capabilities, but Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is now turning to Iran’s private sector in a move he thinks will boost his crippling economy. Raisi met with private sector companies to announce Tehran’s intent to invest in digital businesses. Raisi claimed the move would not only help develop Iran’s AI capabilities, but help achieve his goal to grow the economy by 8%, reported pro-government media outlet Tasnim News Agency. (Fox News)

03-23-2024
Anti-Americanism

Iran’s Supreme Leader believes the U.S. is in decline in its influence in the Middle East.

Iran’s Supreme Leader believes the U.S. is in decline in its influence in the Middle East. According to a statement last week, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed that the current war against Israel, which Iran launched using proxies in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack, has “disrupted” the U.S. goals in the region. The October 7 attack can be read as a turning point in the world order, in which Iran, Russia, Turkey, China, and others see the attack as a major shift that is taking place and seek to exploit it to achieve their goals. The Iranian leader believes the “United States’ long-standing ambition to dominate the region has been undermined by the resilience of the Axis of Resistance,” an article in Iran’s Fars News noted. “The United States is now left with no option but to withdraw from the region,” the leader added, according to the article. He openly boasted of how Iran backs attacks against Israel from “resistance factions” in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq. This is the multi-front war that Iran has sought to launch. (Jerusalem Post)

03-23-2024
Nuclear Program

Iran is seeking to expand cooperation with Russia and China on nuclear energy issues, according to a report.

Iran is seeking to expand cooperation with Russia and China on nuclear energy issues, according to a report. The Iranian spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, in an interview with Iran’s IRGC-linked Tasnim News that was published on Friday, said Iran is seeking to “mobilize our facilities so that we can also use foreign resources and technologies. Countries like Russia and China are our main targets and we have had negotiations with them. We have the necessary legal infrastructure and we will act according to the protocols we have already agreed with them.” (Jerusalem Post)

03-19-2024
Anti-Americanism

Iran is poised to attack U.S. drinking water supplies, the Biden administration has warned.

Iran is poised to attack U.S. drinking water supplies, the Biden administration has warned, amid rising tensions in the Middle East. Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden’s national security adviser, sent a warning to state governors asking them to be on guard for potential cyberattacks on their critical infrastructure systems. The warning letter was co-authored by Michael Regan, the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency and made public. In it, they cited ongoing threats from hackers linked to the governments of Iran and China and warned hackers associated with both states have previously attacked water systems. “Disabling cyberattacks are striking water and waste water systems throughout the United States,” the pair wrote. They warned that drinking water and waste water systems were “an attractive target” for hackers because while they are “lifeline-critical” they “often lack the resources and technical capacity” to protect themselves from potential attacks. “We need your support to ensure that all water systems in your state comprehensively assess their current cyber security practices to identify any significant vulnerabilities,” they told state governors. (Telegraph)

03-18-2024
Human Rights

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the International Fact-Finding Mission on Iran said that Mahsa Amini’s death in September 2022 was “unlawful and caused by physical violence” for which the State is responsible.

Addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the International Fact-Finding Mission on Iran – a group of Council-appointed independent experts – said that Mahsa Amini’s death in September 2022 was “unlawful and caused by physical violence” for which the State is responsible. Chairperson Sara Hossain told the forum’s 47 Member States that after Ms. Amini’s death, young women and schoolchildren “were at the forefront” of nationwide protests. “The entire State apparatus was mobilized with security forces using firearms, including AK-47s and Uzis as we documented in some areas, resulting in injuries and deaths,” she said. There are “credible figures” that indicate there were 551 deaths, at least 49 women and 68 children, “and we found that those occurred in 26 out of the 31 provinces of Iran over multiple months”, the Mission found. Ms. Hossain explained that many protesters “removed their hijab in public places as an act of defiance against long-standing discriminatory laws and practices.” (United Nations)

03-17-2024
Military

Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiani says that Iran is “self-sufficient” in the field of designing and manufacturing drone engines.

Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiani said recently that Iran is “designing and manufacturing airplane and drone engines; the country is self-sufficient in this field,” according to reports in pro-government Iranian Fars News media. He also praised Qatar and noted Iran’s ongoing talks with Doha about potential cooperation. One of the links between them is Hamas: Doha hosts the terrorist group’s leaders, while Tehran backs it. After October 7, Ashtiani met Hamas members in the Qatari capital. According to the report, the defense minister said that Iran’s defense exports are growing, which has resulted in a major increase over the last two years. He did not mention Russia, but Tehran has been exporting Shahed 136 drones to Moscow, which uses drones against Ukraine, in a war that is becoming more and more deadly. (Jerusalem Post)

03-17-2024
Nuclear Program

Senior U.S. officials accused Niger's ruling junta of secretly exploring a deal to allow Iran access to its uranium reserves, Nigerien and U.S. officials say.

Niger’s decision to end its counterterrorism alliance with Washington came after senior U.S. officials accused the country’s ruling junta of secretly exploring a deal to allow Iran access to its uranium reserves, Nigerien and U.S. officials say. The decision to end military cooperation with the U.S. was announced by a spokesman for the Nigerien junta. It deals a serious blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to contain a sprawling Islamist insurgency in the Sahel, the semiarid region south of the Sahara. It could affect a $110 million base that was built by the U.S. and is used to fly surveillance drones over West Africa. It could also possibly force the withdrawal of more than 600 American troops still stationed in Niger. (Wall Street Journal)

03-15-2024
Human Rights

Documents apparently hacked from an Iranian government database and published exclusively by VOA's Persian Service have shed new light on how Iran's Islamist rulers covered up casualties from violent crackdowns on mostly peaceful mass protests.

Documents apparently hacked from an Iranian government database and published exclusively by VOA's Persian Service have shed new light on how Iran's Islamist rulers covered up casualties from violent crackdowns on mostly peaceful mass protests and falsely labeled them as riots in recent years. VOA received the documents on March 6 from the hacking group Edalat-e Ali, which last month began exposing what it said were confidential Iranian governmental records that it obtained from breaching the judiciary's computer system. VOA Persian reviewed the documents and deemed them authentic but could not verify their veracity independently because it is barred from operating in Iran. (Voice of America)

03-14-2024
Terrorism

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim to have a new, hypersonic missile in their arsenal, Russia’s state media reported.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claim to have a new, hypersonic missile in their arsenal, Russia’s state media reported, potentially raising the stakes in their attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and surrounding waterways against the backdrop of Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The report by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited an unidentified official but provided no evidence for the claim. It comes as Moscow maintains an aggressively counter-Western foreign policy amid its grinding war on Ukraine. However, the Houthis have for weeks hinted about “surprises” they plan for the battles at sea to counter the United States and its allies, which have so far been able to down any missile or bomb-carrying drone that comes near their warships in Mideast waters. (Associated Press)

03-14-2024
Terrorism

Iran is using European ports to provide cover for shipments of weapons to Hezbollah, The Telegraph can reveal.

Iran is using European ports to provide cover for shipments of weapons to Hezbollah, The Telegraph can reveal. The Lebanese terror group has received missiles and bombs on ships that go on to dock in ports in Belgium, Spain and Italy, sources said. Hezbollah and Israel are close to all-out war amid daily exchanges of cross-border fire, causing border regions to be evacuated. Iran has switched to shipping weapons by sea after Israel’s air force began to target consignments coming in by land into northern Syria via Iraq, the source said. (The Telegraph)

03-13-2024
Military

Iran has increased arms exports four to five times in the past two years, Minister of Defense Mohammad Reza Ashtiani was quoted as saying by media in Tehran.

Iran has increased arms exports four to five times in the past two years, Minister of Defense Mohammad Reza Ashtiani was quoted as saying by media in Tehran. “Certainly, in the future, these exports will increase even more, considering the innovations being made and the new armaments we are pursuing and unveiling,” Ashtiani was quoted as saying by ILNA news website. A U.N. Security Council embargo on Iran’s conventional arms trade expired in October 2020, when the United States failed to garner support to extend the restrictions, amid the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. European allies were not supportive of the administration’s Iran policies, while Russia and China were firmly siding with their ally. (Iran International)

03-12-2024
Terrorism

Italian authorities detain three Palestinian men suspected of planning assaults on civilian and military targets in Europe.

European security agencies have thwarted multiple terror plots by Iran-backed extremists, spurred on by the war in Gaza, the latest of which in Italy. Italian authorities have detained three Palestinians believed to be affiliated with the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a designated terror group by the U.S. and E.U., for allegedly planning assaults on civilian and military targets in Europe. In October, Israeli intelligence chief David Barnea revealed that Mossad and intelligence agencies abroad had foiled 27 attacks on Jewish and Israeli figures over the last year. In an undisclosed investigation last December, authorities in Austria and Bosnia apprehended two groups of Afghan and Syrian refugees in possession of weapons, including Kalashnikov assault rifles and pistols. Investigators found images of Jewish and Israeli targets in Europe on the suspects’ phones, the latest in a series of Iran-backed plots against Jewish and Israeli targets abroad. (Iran International)

03-12-2024
Terrorism

The United States imposed sanctions on four individuals in Iran for aiding the Bahrain-based, U.S.-designated terrorist group al-Ashtar Brigades.

The United States imposed sanctions on four individuals in Iran for aiding the Bahrain-based, U.S.-designated terrorist group al-Ashtar Brigades, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. The sanctions were imposed in coordination with Bahrain's government and allege that the targeted individuals "materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of" al-Ashtar Brigades. The U.S. action "underscores our collective commitment to disrupting Iran's destabilizing forces and threats, particularly those which threaten our partners in the region and around the world," Brian Nelson, U.S. undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. (Reuters)

03-11-2024
Military

Iran held joint naval exercises with China and Russia near the Gulf of Oman.

China, Russia, and Iran are holding joint naval exercises near the Gulf of Oman, according to the Chinese defense ministry. According to a ministry statement, the exercises, dubbed “Security Bond-2024,” will take place from Monday to Friday and aims to “strengthen maritime cooperation” and “jointly safeguard regional maritime security.” A similar round of drills was held last year in the same area between the three countries. According to Iran’s state news agency, IRNA, the drills are set to start with naval representatives from Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Oman, India, and South Africa also set to observe the exercises. Iranian state media added that the purpose of the drills is to “consolidate security and its foundations in the region and expand multilateral cooperation among the participating countries.” (Voice of America)

03-10-2024
Nuclear Program

Iran’s largely unmonitored nuclear program and the destabilization caused by the Gaza conflict are strengthening the hand of Iranian factions that back the development of nuclear weapons, U.S. and European diplomats fear.

There are growing fears among diplomats in the U.S. and Europe that Iran’s largely unmonitored nuclear program and the destabilization caused by the Gaza conflict are strengthening the hand of Iranian factions that back the development of nuclear weapons. The Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, has reiterated in recent days that his country is pursuing a civilian nuclear program for now. (The Guardian)

03-09-2024
Military

Iran was among several hostile foreign powers attending Qatar’s bi-annual defense exhibition in Doha, known by the acronym DIMDEX.

Iran turned up at a Qatari weapons exposition this week, providing a high-profile platform for Tehran to tout its military capabilities even as Doha continues to affirm defensive and strategic partnerships with the United States. The Islamist nation was among several attending nations hostile to the U.S., raising concerns Qatar could be helping America's enemies arm up. But one expert told Fox News Digital such events often bring together strange bedfellows. (Fox News)

03-09-2024
Military

An Iranian Mohajer-6 surveillance and attack drone has been identified at Russia’s Saky Airfield in occupied Crimea, Britain’s Ministry of Defense announced.

Britain's Ministry of Defense announced that an Iranian Mohajer-6 surveillance and attack drone has been identified at Russia’s Saky Airfield in occupied Crimea. “The continued presence of the system in western Crimea is likely evidence of Russia trying to identify threats to Russian ports and vessels following recent Ukrainian successes,” read the statement issued by the ministry on X. The ministry also shared a satellite image which proved the presence of the Iran-made drone right beside a UAV ground control station in the airfield. The image was taken by an Airbus satellite on February 23. (Iran International)

03-09-2024
Human Rights

The Canadian government announced that it would be imposing new sanctions on two Iranian individuals accused of participating in the repression of women.

The Canadian government announced that it would be imposing new sanctions on two Iranian individuals accused of participating in the repression of women. Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly made the announcement on the International Women's Day, targeting Masoud Dorosti, the chief executive of Tehran's metro system, and Zohreh Elahian, a conservative parliamentarian. Dorosti is responsible for enforcing Iran's mandatory hijab law on public transit, and Elahian, a vocal supporter of measures including the death penalty for protesters, have been accused of leveraging their positions to enforce increasingly repressive measures against women and girls in Iran. (Iran International)

03-08-2024
Terrorism

Police in Peru announced the arrest of an Iranian citizen who was purportedly a member of the IRGC-Quds Force and allegedly planning to kill an Israeli citizen in the South American country.

Police in Peru announced the arrest of an Iranian citizen who was purportedly a member of the IRGC-Quds Force and allegedly planning to kill an Israeli citizen in the South American country. Gen. Óscar Arriola, Peru’s police chief, said in a press conference that Majid Azizi, 56, was arrested Thursday in Lima, along with two Peruvian citizens. Arriola said authorities thwarted the attack against the Israeli. He did not identify the intended target for security reasons. Police are still looking for a third Peruvian they think was in charge of the plot to kill the Israeli man, he said. (Associated Press)

03-07-2024
Terrorism

IRGC Quds Force Commander Esmail Qaani threatened Israel, saying that the “regional resistance” is threatening Israel as a “front.”

It is the latest threat by the Iranian regime and follows messaging from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that threaten to try to inflame tensions in the region in the next weeks. Qaani directed his threats at Israel and other countries linked to Israel, a reference to the US apparently. The IRGC Quds Force commander “stressed that the resistance front has yet to exhibit the maximum of its capabilities in terms of military and deterrent power,” Iranian pre-government Fars News media said. Qaani also openly bragged that this is already a regional war in which the “regional resistance” is threatening Israel as a “front.” Iran has operationalized numerous fronts, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. He spoke about an “integrated set that has a lot of capabilities and capacities.” (Jerusalem Post)

03-06-2024
Politics

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hailed Iran’s elections as "great and epic,” despite the boycott by a large majority of voters and the lowest turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hailed Iran’s elections as "great and epic," despite the boycott by a large majority of voters and the lowest turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic. “The Iranian nation did a jihad and fulfilled their social and civil duties,” he said, and as usual, accused “enemies” of trying to dissuade Iranians from voting. However, he claimed that they were defeated by the people’s “epic turnout and jihad.” “Don’t the sixty percent who did not vote count as Iranians?”, former reformist lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi tweeted after Khamenei’s remarks. According to official figures, 61.1 million Iranians were eligible to vote, and 41 percent turned out at polling stations including at least 5 percent who cast void and blank votes. However, they were so many electoral gimmicks before and during the election day that few believe even the modest turnout numbers claimed by the government. Blank and void votes are usually cast by those who may have been rounded up and forced to vote against their wish such as government employees, soldiers, and athletes, and could be interpreted as “protest votes." (Iran International)

03-06-2024
Human Rights

Iranian authorities are subjecting women to widespread surveillance to enforce the obligatory headscarf.

Iranian authorities are subjecting women to widespread surveillance to enforce the obligatory headscarf, even inside cars, and then imposing punishments including the confiscation of vehicles, Amnesty International said. The Islamic republic's leadership was shaken in 2022 by mass protests that saw women denounce the dress code but has made clear it has no plan to abandon the obligatory hijab imposed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Amnesty said in a report, based on “a review of official documents” and the testimony from more than 40 women inside Iran published ahead of the March 8 International Women's Day, that women were being targeted with "widespread surveillance" in public spaces and "mass police checks" targeting women drivers. It said pictures captured by surveillance cameras or reports from plain clothes agents using the police app Nazer identify license plates of vehicles with female drivers or passengers deemed to have violated the rule. (AFP)

03-06-2024
Syria Conflict

Iranian military advisor Yahya Safavi said that Iran is seeking to create “strategic depth” in the Mediterranean.

In an interesting speech recently, Iranian military advisor Yahya Safavi said that Iran is seeking to create “strategic depth” in the Mediterranean. This appears to admit Iran’s larger ambitions in the region. Iran has already taken over swaths of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon using proxies and has operationalized the Houthis in Yemen to attack ships in the Red Sea. Iran also backs Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Now, it appears to have even larger ambitions. Safavi is a former Iranian military commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He also works as a military advisor now to the Iranian regime and has an academic role at several universities. As such, he is very much central to the Iranian security apparatus and its strategic thinking in the region. According to an article in Iran’s Tasnim News about his recent comments, he was speaking at a conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Imam Hossein University. He was discussing the university’s important role in Iran. Founded in 1986 by a commander of the IRGC, the university has thousands of students and is an important institution for the state. (Jerusalem Post)

03-05-2024
Extremism

In addressing a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi city of Jeddah, Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called on Islamic leaders to adopt "practical, decisive, and effective measures" against Israel.

Iran's foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, called on Islamic leaders to adopt "practical, decisive, and effective measures" against Israel and in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as he addressed a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi city of Jeddah. In a speech aired live by Iran's state broadcaster, Amir-Abdollahian reminded the OIC of the "immediate necessity to avert a catastrophe against the Palestinian nation." The meeting was held as a result of a formal request from Tehran, which has been pursuing a diplomatic campaign against Israel after the latter unleashed a deadly war on Gaza in response to an attack by Iran-backed Hamas militants on southern Israeli communities in October. According to Amir-Abdollahian, leaders of Islamic nations ought to move beyond "mere condemnations" in this "historical test" and meet the "minimum" obligation in response to expectations from Palestinians by cutting off all economic, trade and diplomatic relations with Israel. (Al-Monitor)

03-05-2024
Extremism

In a video interview with Al Jazeera’s News Hour on January 7, 2023, government mouthpiece Mohammad Marandi defended the executions of Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini.

The UK's media regulator, Ofcom, has upheld a complaint by Iran International against Al Jazeera over allegations made against Iran International by a Tehran-based “analyst,” who is considered a regime insider. In a video interview with Al Jazeera’s News Hour on January 7, 2023, government mouthpiece Mohammad Marandi defended the executions of Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini, both accused of participating in anti-government protests and allegedly being involved in the killing of Basij member, Ruhollah Ajamian. A figure close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Marandi accused London-based Persian networks such as Iran International, of provoking unrest in Iran during the Woman, Life, Freedom movement, further claiming these media “have repeatedly called, … have legitimized and praised beating police officers, burning them alive and murdering them.” Following Marandi’s remarks, Iran International filed a complaint with Ofcom about Al Jazeera, arguing that “it was treated unjustly or unfairly in the program as broadcast.” (Iran International)

 

03-05-2024
Politics

The former Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif (2013-21) has criticized what he describes as “disorder” in Iran’s foreign policy.

Stepping into the limelight after a longer period of relative silence, former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2013-21) has criticized what he describes as “disorder” in Iran’s foreign policy. The ex-chief diplomat has also lamented the claimed weakening of the official diplomatic apparatus within the Iranian state bureaucracy – adding to a chorus of concerns about the foreign ministry losing its authority under Zarif’s successor, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. In an interview with the Payame Ma newspaper published on Mar. 4, Zarif asserted that there is “disorder” in the decision-making process and leadership of Iran’s foreign policy. Zarif charged that no state entity “is prepared to coordinate” with the foreign ministry when it comes to conducting foreign relations – “particularly in regard to [our] neighbors.” The latter appears to refer to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which greatly shapes policy towards countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. (Amwaj Media)

03-05-2024
Military

The U.K. believes Iran has supplied Russia with ballistic missiles, Defense Secretary Grant Shapps indicated.

The U.K. believes Iran has supplied Russia with ballistic missiles, Defense Secretary Grant Shapps indicated. In an interview with the House Magazine, the senior minister confirmed that Britain has information on the reported provision of surface-to-surface missiles from Iran to Russia — but declined to get into the details. The Reuters news agency reported in February that the Iranian regime had supplied Russia with a large number of ballistic missiles — a report that sparked a swift warning from the U.S. that, if true, Iran would be greeted with a "severe" response from the international community. Iran publicly denied supplying Russia with the missiles. Speaking this week, Shapps suggested Britain has intelligence backing up the claim. "I do. I can't go into it," Shapps told the House Magazine when asked if he had any information on Iran's provision of ballistic missiles to Russia. "But whether it's ballistic missiles, or the Shahed drones that they supplied Russia with, we've seen that if there's struggle in the world, often Iran are egging it on, or helping to supply the food chain in this case," he said. (Politico EU)

03-05-2024
Military

Iran is showcasing its growing arsenal of weaponry, some of which is being used in Russia's war in Ukraine, at a major maritime defense exhibition in Qatar.

Iran is showcasing its growing arsenal of weaponry, some of which is being used in Russia's war in Ukraine, at a major maritime defense exhibition in Qatar. Officials from Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and other countries in the region are participating in the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX), which began on Monday and will conclude Wednesday. The event was inaugurated by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. More than 150 companies and government entities were listed by DIMDEX as exhibitors. The companies work in a variety of sectors, including defense, engineering, aerospace, energy and technology. Russia, Italy, Oman, Pakistan and the United Kingdom sent warships to DIMDEX, according to the event’s website. (Al-Monitor)

03-05-2024
Human Rights

In the first 11 months of 2023, Iran had executed 746 people, prompting United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to observe that Iran was carrying them out “at an alarming rate.”

In the first 11 months of 2023, Iran had executed 746 people, prompting United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to observe that Iran was carrying them out “at an alarming rate.” So far in 2024, Iran has executed at least eight Kurdish political prisoners, including four on Jan. 29, 2024, who were convicted on dubious charges such as waging war against God and corruption on Earth. As a Kurdish-born scholar and a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Central Florida, I have previously written about the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement and the Kurdish female fighters who focus on the protection of women’s rights and protests by the Iranian people against their government. (The Conversation)

03-04-2024
Military

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been re-elected to the Assembly of Experts in the country’s elections, state-run media outlets have reported.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been re-elected to the Assembly of Experts in the country’s elections, state-run media outlets have reported. The 88-member legislative body, which comprises male Islamic scholars, has a remit of appointing, supervising and, if needed, dismissing the country’s supreme leader – who has the final say in all matters of state in Iran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who turns 85 this year, has been in his post since 1989. Raisi, who took office in 2021, has been touted as a possible future supreme leader. Iranian news agency Tasnim, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, on Sunday reported Raisi had won 82 per cent of the valid votes in South Khorasan province, an 8 per cent increase from the last elections. (The National)

03-04-2024
Anti-Americanism

The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that an Iranian intelligence operative has been plotting to assassinate current and former American officials.

The U.S. government is intensifying a manhunt for an Iranian intelligence operative who the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes has been plotting to assassinate current and former American officials, including one-time Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The FBI’s Miami field office issued a public alert seeking information on Majid Dastjani Farahani, a suspected member of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, who the Bureau alleged has been recruiting “individuals for operations in the U.S., to include lethal targeting of current/former USG officials.” It’s unclear why the FBI issued its warning in Florida. But the U.S. government warned in a Most Wanted notice that Farahani speaks Spanish and frequently moves between Iran and Venezuela. The U.S.’s Department of Justice convicted an alleged Iranian operative in 2011 of working with Mexican drug cartels to attempt to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, while he dined at a Georgetown restaurant. In January, the DoJ indicted an Iranian gang leader for allegedly working with members of the Hells Angels to kill Iranian dissidents living in Maryland. (Semafor)

03-04-2024
Nuclear Program

IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi told the IAEA Board of Governors that “the agency has lost continuity of knowledge” into Iran’s nuclear program.

IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi told the IAEA Board of Governors, concerning Iran’s nuclear advancement, that “the agency has lost continuity of knowledge about the production and inventory of centrifuges, rotors and bellows, heavy water and uranium ore concentrate.” “It is three years since Iran stopped provisionally applying its additional protocol and therefore it is also three years since the agency was able to conduct complementary access in Iran,” Grossi said, describing large gaps in nuclear inspections. Next, he referred to a recent Iranian nuclear official who said that all aspects of the nuclear weapons cycle are complete and that the only obstacle to Tehran producing a nuclear weapon is the political decision to do so. (Jerusalem Post)

03-03-2024
Politics

Turnout in Iran’s parliamentary election fell to historic lows, according to preliminary results from a race that underscored how hardliners have consolidated power in the Islamic Republic.

Turnout in Iran’s parliamentary election fell to historic lows, according to preliminary results from a race that underscored how hardliners have consolidated power in the Islamic Republic. Overall turnout in the election, which included Tehran and more than a dozen other constituencies, dropped to as low as 41 per cent, according to state news agency IRNA, continuing a trend of disengagement in elections. A run-off vote will be held in Tehran, where about half of the 30 parliamentary candidates did not reach the required threshold. Local media reports put turnout in Tehran at about 24 per cent. Iran’s interior ministry has yet to publish official results. The rate of participation is a setback for Iranian authorities, who have traditionally pointed to high voter turnout as proof of the Islamic republic’s legitimacy. (Financial Times)

03-03-2024
Human Rights

Iran’s Christian minority endures whippings, arrests, imprisonment, surveillance and harassment, according to a report by the religious freedom non-governmental organization, Article 18.

Iran claims to allow the country’s Christian minority to practice its faith in peace. The reality for many Iranian Christians, however, is plagued by whippings, arrests, imprisonment, surveillance and harassment, according to a February report from the religious freedom NGO Article 18. One shocking finding of the Article 18 40-page study, titled "Faceless Victims: Rights Violations Against Christians in Iran," states, "By the end of 2023, at least 17 of the Christians arrested during the summer had received prison sentences of between three months and five years, or non-custodial punishments such as fines, flogging, and in one case the community-service of digging graves." The report noted, "Despite a comparable number of Christians being arrested in 2023 as in previous years—166 arrests were documented in 2023, compared to 134 in 2022—fewer names and faces could be publicized." (Fox News)

03-03-2024
Syria Conflict

Iran unsuccessfully pressed Sudan to let it build a permanent naval base on the African country’s Red Sea coast.

Iran unsuccessfully pressed Sudan to let it build a permanent naval base on the African country’s Red Sea coast, something that would have allowed Tehran to monitor maritime traffic to and from the Suez Canal and Israel, according to a senior Sudanese intelligence official. Iran has supplied Sudan’s military with explosive drones to use in its fight with a rebel warlord and offered to provide a helicopter-carrying warship if Sudan had granted permission for the base, said Ahmad Hasan Mohamed, an intelligence adviser to Sudan’s military leader. “The Iranians said they wanted to use the base for intelligence gathering,” Mohamed said in an interview. “They also wanted to station warships there.” He said Khartoum turned down Iran’s proposal to avoid alienating the U.S. and Israel. A spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York declined to comment. (Wall Street Journal)

03-01-2024
Human Rights

An Iranian singer who won a Grammy presented by U.S. first lady Jill Biden has been sentenced to more than three years in prison over his anthem supporting the 2022 Woman, Life, Freedom protests.

An Iranian singer who won a Grammy presented by U.S. first lady Jill Biden has been sentenced to more than three years in prison over his anthem supporting the 2022 protests over the death of Mahsa Amini. Shervin Hajipour posted on Instagram on the same day that Iran held its parliamentary election, what appeared to be part of the judgment against him. It said Hajipour received a three-year, eight-month sentence on charges of “propaganda against the system” and “encouraging people to protest.” The court issued its sentence in part because it found he hadn't properly expressed regret over publishing the song. It also imposed a two-year travel ban and ordered him to create a song about “U.S. crimes," as well as make posts about those crimes online. Hajipour already had served some prison time, but was out on bail pending the court's decision. It was unclear if he had already reported to serve his sentence. (Associated Press)

02-29-2024
Military

Russia launched into space an Iranian research satellite which will scan Iran's topography from an orbit of 500 km (310 miles), Iran's state media reported.

Russia launched into space an Iranian research satellite which will scan Iran's topography from an orbit of 500 km (310 miles), Iran's state media reported. The remote Pars 1 research-sensing satellite, launched by a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, weighs 134 kg (295 pounds) and is equipped with three cameras. The cosmodrome, which came into service in 2016, is in the Amur region of Russia's Far East, not far from the Russian border with China and about 1,500 km (930 miles) from the port of Vladivostok. (Reuters)

02-29-2024
Terrorism

Iran has given Hezbollah the go-ahead to escalate attacks along Israel's northern border, according to reports.

Iran has given Hezbollah the go-ahead to escalate attacks along Israel's northern border, according to reports. The proxy militia in Lebanon backed by Iran is said to be poised to increase its cross-border assaults should it become certain Israel will invade the city of Rafah in the south of Gaza. Hezbollah and Israeli forces have exchanged fire repeatedly in the months since the Gaza war began following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. (Iran International)

02-28-2024
Human Rights

The United States deplores the decision by the Iranian regime to ban the use of virtual private network, or VPN, services.

The United States deplores the decision by the Iranian regime to ban the use of virtual private network, or VPN, services. The Iranian Supreme Council of Cyberspace has criminalized the use of VPNs without a legal license, a decision that has reportedly been approved by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Last year the sale and distribution of VPNs were criminalized in Iran. Now their use in general is prohibited. In a country like Iran, where the internet is already severely filtered, VPNs, which encrypt internet connections or spoof the IP address of users and allow access to censored sites with some anonymity, have been crucial lifelines to vital information and ideas. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said the ban on the use of VPNs in Iran “is just the latest reminder of how much the Iranian regime fears its people and what they are capable of when given unfettered access to the internet and unfettered access to information.” (Voice of America)

02-27-2024
Anti-Americanism

John Bolton and Robert O'Brien, two former national security advisers who served in the Trump administration, require ongoing U.S. Secret Service protection due to potential threats from Iran.

John Bolton and Robert O'Brien, two former national security advisers who served in the Trump administration, require ongoing U.S. Secret Service protection long after they left their positions due to potential threats from Iran. Newly released documents reveal the cost to taxpayers of that security. For nearly one year of protection, the total for both individuals was $12,280,324. The cost of the security details was disclosed in a series of Department of Homeland Security reports to Congress, signed by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The reports were obtained by "60 Minutes" through a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Secret Service, as part of a report about Iran's escalating threats against former Trump officials. (CBS News)

02-27-2024
Terrorism

Iran continues to allow al-Qaeda to facilitate a key communication channel to transfer funds and fighters to South Asia, Syria, and elsewhere, the U.S. State Department said to Iran International.

Iran continues to allow al-Qaeda to facilitate its terrorist activities, a key communication channel to transfer funds and fighters to South Asia, Syria, and elsewhere, the U.S. State Department told Iran International. The State Department said that “Iran continues to deny al-Qaeda’s presence in the country, despite their knowledge of al-Qaeda leadership figures’ activities there," the relationship dating back to as early as 2009. The State Department also confirmed remarks by James Rubin, the U.S. special coordinator for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, who recently talked of “a new partnership between Iran and al-Qaeda" in a briefing in London, saying that Iran is harboring al-Qaeda leaders inside its soil. (Iran International)

02-26-2024
Nuclear Program

Iran has further increased its total stockpile of uranium, according to a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog seen by The Associated Press.

Iran has further increased its total stockpile of uranium, according to a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog seen by The Associated Press, and it continues to bar the agency’s most seasoned inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency also said in a second confidential report, distributed to member states, that Tehran made no progress in explaining the presence of manmade uranium particles found at two locations. The IAEA estimated in its quarterly report that as of Feb. 10, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was at 5,525.5 kilograms (about 12,182 pounds), an increase of 1,038.7 kilograms (2,289 pounds) since the last quarterly report in November 2023. (Associated Press)

02-25-2024
Anti-Americanism

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei called Western civilization “crooked.”

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei called Western civilization “crooked” and said, “The right culture and correct logic of Islam will overcome it,” Iranian state media reported. In the same speech at a meeting in the Khuzestan province of Iran, on the southern border with Iraq and the Gulf states, he said: “This is the real face of Western culture and civilization and liberal democracy, which on the outside are ironed politicians with smiles on their faces. But on the inside, it is a rabid dog and a bloodthirsty wolf.” Regarding the war in Gaza, Khamenei condemned what he said was Western hypocrisy. (Jerusalem Post)

02-24-2024
Terrorism

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned that Iran has accelerated its shipments of weapons to Hezbollah through Syria since the war in Gaza began.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned that Iran has accelerated its shipments of weapons to Hezbollah through Syria since the war in Gaza began, stressing that Israel has an "inherent right...to defend its territory and its citizens" in a letter to the United Nations Security Council. Katz stated that Iran was committing "gross violations" of UNSC resolution 1701, as well as violations of UNSC resolutions 2231 and 1540. "Over the past months, while Israel is engaged in an ongoing armed conflict on numerous fronts, Iran is accelerating the pace of its weapons transfers to Hezbollah," wrote the foreign minister. "Iran is doing so by ground, using the porous Syrian-Lebanese border, as well as by air and sea, in violation of UNSCR 1701." (Jerusalem Post)

02-23-2024
Terrorism

A Spanish former politician who survived a shooting attack said he believed Iran's government had hired hitmen to assassinate him over his links to an Iranian dissident group.

A Spanish former politician who survived a shooting attack said he believed Iran's government had hired hitmen to assassinate him over his links to an Iranian dissident group. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, who was shot outside his Madrid residence last Nov. 9, provided no evidence for the assertion. Iran's foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment, and police have not released details of an investigation under way into the attack. Vidal-Quadras headed the conservative People's Party in the Catalonia region in the 1990s, co-founded the far-right party Vox and was a vice-president of the European Parliament between 1999 and 2014. At his first press conference since the shooting, he said he believed "the Iranian regime" ordered the attack because of his support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a Paris-based coalition of dissidents that calls for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. (Reuters)

02-22-2024
Military

Iran is participating in a major Indian naval exercise as India seeks to boost security near the Red Sea.

Iran is participating in a major Indian naval exercise as India seeks to boost security near the Red Sea. The Indian naval exercise Milan 2024 began on February 19. The sea phase starts on February 24, during which participating countries will conduct air defense, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare drills. The exercise will conclude on Feb. 27, the Indian Navy said in a statement. The Iranian navy sent its Dena destroyer ship to participate in the exercise. Adm. Jalil Moqaddam said that the Islamic Republic’s participation in Milan 2024 demonstrates “very good and growing relations” between the two countries’ naval forces, the semiofficial Tasnim News Agency reported. The list of participating countries also includes the United States, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Japan and Iraq, according to a series of posts by the Indian Navy on X. (Al-Monitor)

02-21-2024
Terrorism

A man charged with participating in a plot hatched in Iran to assassinate Masih Alinejad, an Iranian American human rights activist, has been extradited to the United States.

A man charged with participating in a plot hatched in Iran to assassinate Masih Alinejad, an Iranian American human rights activist and a sharp critic of Iran’s repression of women, has been extradited to the United States, American authorities said. The man, Polad Omarov, 39, was turned over to representatives of the U.S. government at Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Czech Justice Ministry. He was arrested in the Czech Republic in January 2023. A federal indictment unsealed in New York last year said Mr. Omarov and three co-conspirators were part of an Eastern European criminal organization known by its members as Thieves-in-Law, which has ties to Iran and in 2022 was given the assignment to kill Ms. Alinejad, a journalist in Brooklyn. (New York Times)

02-21-2024
Nuclear Program

A leader of a Japan-based crime syndicate conspired to traffic uranium and plutonium from Myanmar in the belief that Iran would use it to make nuclear weapons, U.S. prosecutors alleged.

A leader of a Japan-based crime syndicate conspired to traffic uranium and plutonium from Myanmar in the belief that Iran would use it to make nuclear weapons, U.S. prosecutors alleged. Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, and his confederates showed samples of nuclear materials that had been transported from Myanmar to Thailand to an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent posing as a narcotics and weapons trafficker who had access to an Iranian general, according to federal officials. The nuclear material was seized and samples were later found to contain uranium and weapons-grade plutonium. “As alleged, the defendants in this case trafficked in drugs, weapons, and nuclear material — going so far as to offer uranium and weapons-grade plutonium fully expecting that Iran would use it for nuclear weapons," DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement. “This is an extraordinary example of the depravity of drug traffickers who operate with total disregard for human life.” (Associated Press)

02-14-2024
Military

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) conducted naval drills, including missile maneuvers simulating an attack on an air base in Israel.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) conducted naval drills, including missile maneuvers simulating an attack on an air base in Israel. IRGC Commander Hossein Salami warned against attacking Iranian ships, threatening double attacks in response to any attack. Iranian media quoted Salami as saying that the IRGC would win any war it enters, whether military or electronic. He assured that the force stands prepared for potential conflict, underscoring the IRGC's cyberspace prowess and ability to counter enemy actions in this domain. Salami said, "In the event of a naval conflict and our ships being targeted, we will respond with equal or greater force." (Asharq Al-Awsat)

02-11-2024
Extremism

At a ceremony marking the 45th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi condemned arch foe Israel over the Gaza war and demanded it be expelled from the United Nations.

Iran marked 45 years since its Islamic Revolution with a ceremony in which President Ebrahim Raisi condemned arch foe Israel over the Gaza war and demanded it be expelled from the United Nations. Since Iran's 1979 revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the region's main Shiite Muslim power has had deeply hostile relations with Israel, the U.S., and Britain. Tensions have spiraled further since the bloodiest ever Gaza war erupted on October 7 with the Palestinian militant group Hamas' attack on Israel, in turn sparking violence between Iran-backed militant groups and U.S. forces. (AFP)

02-11-2024
Anti-Americanism

Iraq's parliament—dominated by Iran-aligned political parties that are attached to the militias—is pushing for a law to force the departure of U.S. troops.

Iraq's parliament is pushing for a law to force the departure of U.S. troops from the country following a series of attacks against Iran-backed militias, accused by Washington of attacking its troops in Iraq and Syria. In recent weeks, tensions have escalated between U.S. troops and Iran-backed militias in Iraq after a series of retaliatory attacks in the country and over the border in Syria. Last month, the escalation reached new levels with a drone attack hitting a U.S. base in Jordan, killing three U.S. service members and wounding more than 30 others. (The National)

02-10-2024
Terrorism

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is recruiting British Muslims on pilgrimages to Iran and Iraq to spy on Jews and Jewish targets in the United Kingdom.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is recruiting British Muslims on pilgrimages to Iran and Iraq to spy on Jews and Jewish targets in the United Kingdom, according to a report citing Israeli and UK officials. According to the report in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, IRGC recruiters have been approaching Shiite Muslims visiting religious sites in the Middle East and asking them to “gather information on prominent British Jews or targets such as synagogues.” The agents are also reportedly asked to spy on Iranian dissidents based in the UK. (Times of Israel)

02-09-2024
Terrorism

Swiss police say a 32-year-old Iranian asylum-seeker was killed by police after he used an axe and a knife to seize more than a dozen hostages for several hours on a train in western Switzerland.

Swiss police say a 32-year-old Iranian asylum-seeker was killed by police after he used an axe and a knife to seize more than a dozen hostages for several hours on a train in western Switzerland. No passengers were injured. The man took the hostages and police, alerted by passengers, sealed off the area while the train was stopped in the town of Essert-sous-Champvert, police in the French-speaking Vaud region said. (Associated Press)

02-08-2024
Extremism

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has reiterated his calls for a blockade of Israel while Tehran separately denies its role in the Gaza war.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has reiterated his calls for a blockade of Israel while Tehran separately denies its role in the Gaza war. “It is the duty of the governments to cut off political, propaganda, and arms aid and not to send consumer goods to the Zionist regime,” Khamenei said. Back in November, Khamenei urged Muslim states to cease oil, food, and goods exports to Israel to force Israel into a ceasefire amid its war on Gaza sparked by the October 7 Hamas attacks. At least 1,200 mostly civilians were killed and at least 250 more taken hostage in the single most deadly day for Jews since the Holocaust. (Iran International)

02-08-2024
Terrorism

A senior member of the Swedish security police said that Iran has planned attacks on the country, days after local media reported two Iranians had been deported for a murder plot targeting Jews in Sweden.

A senior member of the Swedish security police said that Iran has planned attacks on the country, days after local media reported that two Iranians were deported for a plot to kill three Swedish Jews several years ago. Earlier this week, Swedish broadcast SR reported that two Iranians had been suspected of planning to kill members of the Swedish Jewish community. They were arrested in 2021 and were expelled from Sweden in 2022 without charges, according to Swedish radio. Daniel Stenling, counterespionage head at Sweden’s domestic security agency, told SR on Thursday that Iran “has been preparing and conducted activities aimed at carrying out a so-called physical attack against someone or something in Sweden.” He added, "we have worked on a number of such cases where we have, as we gauge it, thwarted such preparations.” He declined to give specifics. (ABC News)

02-07-2024
Syria Conflict

Ebrahim Raisi's special envoy for Afghanistan claimed that Iran commands fighters from Afghanistan that are ready to support the war in Gaza.

Ebrahim Raisi's special envoy for Afghanistan has claimed that Iran commands fighters from Afghanistan that are ready to support the war in Gaza amid Iran’s regional proxy war against Israel and the U.S. In an interview with the Afkar Network, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi said, "Although Afghanistan is farther from Gaza, if necessary, more than one brigade from this country will go to support Gaza." Kazemi-Qomi's statement comes after the Iranian regime launched a multi-platform campaign to recruit fighters for the Hamas conflict against Israel. Despite Iranians branding it as a propaganda stunt, the regime initiated the campaign through various outlets including websites affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the state broadcaster. (Iran International)

02-07-2024
Nuclear Program

The Institute for Science and International Security, an Iran watchdog group based in Washington D.C., says the country has enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear weapon in one week.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), an Iran watchdog group based in Washington D.C., says the country has enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear weapon in one week. ISIS published the findings in a report, saying Tehran could produce a total of six bombs in a month. "The volatile situation in the region is providing Iran with a unique opportunity and increased internal justification for building nuclear weapons while the United States and Israel’s resources to detect and deter Iran from succeeding are stretched thin," the report states. "Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities are more dangerous than they have ever been, while its relations with the West are at a low point." (Fox News)

02-06-2024
Terrorism

Israeli forces located documents proving direct cooperation and communication between Iran and Hamas's leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

Israeli forces located documents proving direct cooperation and communication between Iran and Hamas's leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announced. The documents, dating to 2020, detailed funds transferred from Iran to Hamas from 2014-2020, according to the IDF. The sum of the funds transferred is upwards of $150 million, Hagari said. Images of the documents subsequently published by the IDF suggest the figure is, in total, $154 million. (Jerusalem Post)

02-05-2024
Human Rights

Over 430 civil and political activists in Iran have slammed Iran's execution spree which goes against the country's own legal system.

Over 430 civil and political activists in Iran have slammed Iran's execution spree which goes against the country's own legal system. The executions of Mohammad Ghobadlou, a protester from the 2022 demonstrations, and Farhad Salimi, a Kurdish political prisoner accused of murder, have sparked widespread condemnation from both domestic and international human rights organizations. Prominent critics of the Islamic Republic, such as Hamed Esmaeilion, Nazanin Boniadi, Prince Reza Pahlavi, and Masih Alinejad, have called on the international community to address the ongoing execution surge. (Iran International)

02-05-2024
Terrorism

An Iran-backed militia group in Iraq claimed responsibility for a drone strike against a base in eastern Syria used by U.S. troops that killed six American-allied Kurdish fighters.

An Iran-backed militia group in Iraq claimed responsibility for a drone strike against a base in eastern Syria used by U.S. troops that killed six American-allied Kurdish fighters. The attack, which caused no American casualties, appeared to be the first significant response from what the U.S. calls Iran's proxy groups to U.S. airstrikes against the militias in the region. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that a drone struck a training ground the previous night at the al-Omar base in Syria's eastern province of Deir Ezzor. The SDF trains commandos there, and some of the roughly 900 U.S. troops deployed in Syria as part of the ongoing mission against ISIS have been based there. (CBS News)

02-01-2024
Nuclear Program

Iran has begun construction on four more nuclear power plants in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan, Iran state-linked media reported.

Iran has begun construction on four more nuclear power plants in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan, with an expected total capacity of 5,000 megawatts, the state-backed IRNA news agency reported. Quoting Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), IRNA said that the construction of the new plants is expected to take around nine years. The plants will be built in the port town of Sirik, which is around 1,150 kilometers (715 miles) south of the capital, Tehran. Nasser Shariflou, who will head the project, told IRNA that construction efforts will cost $20 billion and create 4,000 jobs. Each plant is expected to use 35 tons of nuclear fuel per year. (Al-Monitor)

01-31-2024
Terrorism

The United States attributed the drone attack that killed three U.S. service members in Jordan to the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias.

The United States attributed the drone attack that killed three U.S. service members in Jordan to the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group of Iran-backed militias, as President Joe Biden weighs his options to respond to the strike. Iran threatened to “decisively respond” to any U.S. attack on the Islamic Republic after the U.S. said it held Tehran responsible. The U.S. has signaled it is preparing for retaliatory strikes in the Middle East in the wake of the drone attack that also wounded more than 40 troops at Tower 22, a secretive base in northeastern Jordan that’s been crucial to the American presence in neighboring Syria. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. believes the attack was planned, resourced, and facilitated by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella group that includes the militant group Kataib Hezbollah. (Associated Press)

01-29-2024
Human Rights

Four men Iran claimed were linked to Israeli spy agency Mossad were executed, Iranian state media reported.

Four men Iran claimed were linked to Israeli spy agency Mossad were executed, Iranian state media reported, amid escalating tensions between the longtime foes and concerns of a widening conflict in the Middle East as the Israel-Hamas war rages on. The state-controlled Islamic Republic News Agency described the four people—who were presumably hanged (Iran’s default method of execution) and who have been previously identified as Mohsen Mazloum, Pejman Fatehi, Vafa Azarbar, and Hajir Faramarzi—as “terrorists.” Iranian security forces arrested the four men in mid-2022, claiming that they were suspected of a plot to bomb a factory that was affiliated with the defense ministry in the city of Najafabad. (TIME)

01-29-2024
Terrorism

The U.S. Justice Department announced charges against an Iranian national and two Canadians for allegedly plotting to assassinate an Iranian defector living in Maryland.

The U.S. Justice Department announced charges against an Iranian national and two Canadians, including a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, for allegedly plotting to assassinate an Iranian defector living in Maryland. The indictment unsealed in federal court in Minnesota is at least the third Iran-based murder-for-hire plot prosecuted by the Justice Department since 2022. The targets in the previous cases were former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton and a New York-based Iranian-American journalist. Prosecutors say the latest alleged plot was orchestrated by an Iranian national, Naji Sharifi Zindashti, but the indictment does not accuse the Iranian government of directing the scheme. However, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against Zindashti, and described him as a drug trafficker who leads a network that targets Iranian dissidents for assassination and kidnapping at the behest of the Iranian government. (NPR)

01-28-2024
Military

Iran said it successfully launched three satellites into space with a rocket that had multiple failures in the past.

Iran said it successfully launched three satellites into space with a rocket that had multiple failures in the past, the latest for a program that the West says improves Tehran's ballistic missiles. The launch comes as heightened tensions grip the wider Middle East over Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, sparking fears of a regional conflict. Meanwhile, Western nations remain worried about Iran's rapidly expanding nuclear program. Footage released by Iranian state television showed a nighttime launch for the Simorgh rocket. An Associated Press analysis of the footage showed that it took place at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran's rural Semnan. (NPR)

01-24-2024
Politics

Iran's hardline election watchdog, the Guardian Council, has banned former President Hassan Rouhani from standing again in an election in March for the Assembly of Experts.

Iran's hardline election watchdog, the Guardian Council, has banned former pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani from standing again in an election in March for the Assembly of Experts, which appoints and can dismiss the supreme leader, state media said. The 88-member assembly, founded in 1982, supervises the most powerful authority but has rarely intervened directly in policy-making. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is 84, so the new assembly is expected to play a significant role in choosing his successor since its members are only elected every eight years. (Reuters)

01-23-2024
Military

Iran has announced the integration of a significant number of combat, reconnaissance, and radar drones into its army.

Iran has announced the integration of a significant number of combat, reconnaissance, and radar drones into its army. According to the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency, the ceremony marking the integration was attended by Army Commander-in-Chief Abdol-Rahim Mousavi and Defense Minister Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani. The report detailed the integration of various multipurpose strategic drones, including Ababil-4 and Ababil-5, designed for a range of missions such as reconnaissance, surveillance, electronic warfare, and combat operations. Additionally, “the Arash and Bavar drones, known for their long-range and precision strike capabilities, along with the jet drone Karrar, capable of performing various interception missions,” were also added to the army's arsenal. (Iran International)

01-23-2024
Human Rights

An Iranian protester with a mental health condition has been executed over the death of a local official during mass demonstrations that rocked the country in 2022.

An Iranian protester with a mental health condition has been executed over the death of a local official during mass demonstrations that rocked the country in 2022, the Iranian judiciary’s news agency reported. “The death sentence of Mohammad Ghobadlou for the crime of intentional murder of Farid Karampour Hassanvand was executed this morning after 487 days of judicial review of the case,” the Mizan news agency said. Iranian authorities allege Ghobadlou ran over the official during a protest in Robat Karim, Tehran province, in September 2022, according to rights group Amnesty International. He was sentenced to death by judge Abolqasem Salavati – who has been sanctioned by the United States for the notoriously harsh sentences he issued to activists, journalists and political prisoners, CNN previously reported. (CNN)

01-17-2024
Military

Iran conducts missile strikes in Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan.

With its strikes on Iraqi, Syrian, and Pakistani territory, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) is showing it has become a major regional military power. The IRGC openly states that US bases in the Middle East, as well as Israeli bases in Tel Aviv and Haifa, are within range of its ballistic missiles. In the space of only 24 hours, it gave a stark demonstration of its capabilities, launching missiles and drones at targets in three different countries. The IRGC attacked two targets inside neighboring Pakistan, with media close to the force reporting that the strikes destroyed two bases of the militant group Jaish al-Adl in retaliation for the killing of Iranian border guards in recent weeks. Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni group that says it is fighting for the rights of ethnic Baloch people in south-eastern Iran, said two houses where the families of its members were living were hit. (BBC News)

01-02-2024
Anti-Americanism

An Iranian with terrorist ties was caught after illegally entering the U.S. near Niagara Falls, New York.

An Iranian with terrorist ties was caught after illegally entering the U.S. near Niagara Falls, New York, as a record number of known, suspected terrorists (KSTs) were apprehended in the first three months of fiscal 2024 at the northern border. After the Iranian was apprehended, agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations-Buffalo office removed him on Dec. 21. The Iranian national first attempted to enter the U.S. on Oct. 10 by presenting himself to American immigration authorities at the Rainbow Bridge Pedestrian Walkway in Niagara Falls, New York. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers denied him entry and returned him to the Canada Border Services Agency the same day. (Washington Examiner)

12-28-2023
Terrorism

Iran-backed proxies in Iraq claimed an attack in the occupied Golan Heights.

Iran-backed proxies in Iraq claimed an attack in the occupied Golan Heights in a new escalation in the Israel-Gaza war. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a loose formation of Tehran-allied Shiite militias, said it had hit a “vital target in our occupied lands" to the south of the Elad settlement. It did not specify whether the attack was carried out using missiles or drones, but said it used "appropriate weaponry" without giving further details. The Israeli army told AFP a drone that was probably carrying explosives crashed near Elad after being shot down. (The National)

12-27-2023
Extremism

Mourners chanted “death to America, death to Israel” during the funeral service for IRGC’s Quds Force’s Unit 2250 Commander Razi Mousavi, who was killed in an Israeli strike in Syria.

Mourners chanted “death to America, death to Israel” during the funeral service for a senior advisor in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was killed in a strike in Syria. The IRGC said in a statement that Brig. Gen. Seyed Razi Mousavi, a “senior IRGC advisor in Syria,” was killed in an Israeli “missile attack” in Damascus. (Al Arabiya)

12-27-2023
Terrorism

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force Unit 400 is recruiting Afghans for suicide attacks and working with Al Qaeda to target Israelis.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force Unit 400 is recruiting Afghans for suicide attacks and working with al Qaeda to target Israelis. The Quds Force team responsible for recruiting Afghans includes Hossein Rahmani, Hossein Rahban, Hamed Abdollahi, and Alireza Tajik who was implicated in a plot to assassinate an Israeli businessman in Tbilisi, Georgia, Iran International can reveal. Iran's use of Afghans for targeting Israelis was first reported by The Israeli weblog Intellitimes. (Iran International)

12-27-2023
Terrorism

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened Israel that it or its allied groups would take “direct” action to avenge the killing of senior Quds Force commander Razi Moussavi.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps threatened Israel that it or its allied groups would take “direct” action to avenge the killing of senior Quds Force commander Razi Moussavi. The IRGC general was killed in an Israeli missile strike near the Syrian capital, according to state media, at a time of heightened regional tensions around the war raging in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces, which has allegedly launched hundreds of strikes on Iran-linked targets in war-torn Syria in recent years, said only that it does not comment on foreign media reports. (Times of Israel)

12-26-2023
Military

Albania's Parliament has reported a cyberattack in which Iran-based hackers attempted access to its data server, seeking to erase critical information.

Albania's Parliament has reported a cyberattack in which Iran-based hackers attempted access to its data server, seeking to erase critical information. A statement said the cyberattack, which temporarily halted parliament’s operations, had not “touched the data of the system.” The Associated Press cited local media as reporting that a cellphone provider and an air flight company were also targeted by cyberattacks from “Iranian-based hackers called Homeland Justice.” In the announcement published on the Telegram account of the group, 'Homeland Justice' claims to have deleted more than 2 petabytes of data from the telecommunications network and the internal network of all connected companies. (Iran International)

12-26-2023
Terrorism

U.S. Central Command said that Houthi rebels fired 12 one-way attack drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles, and two land-based cruise missiles into the Red Sea over a 10-hour period.

The U.S. Navy says it racked up another victory over Iran-backed Houthi rebels who have been harassing cargo ships in the Red Sea. U.S. Central Command said in a statement posted on X that the Houthi rebels fired 12 one-way attack drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles, and two land-based cruise missiles over a 10-hour period. US military assets — including the destroyer USS Laboon and F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group — shot down every one of those attempts, CENTCOM said. (Business Insider)

12-26-2023
Nuclear Program

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Ian has boosted its production of highly enriched uranium after a slowdown earlier this year.

Iran has boosted its production of highly enriched uranium after a slowdown earlier this year, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a report, according to Reuters and the Associated Press. Iran is currently enriching uranium up to 60%, which is reaching the 90% needed for weapons, at its Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) in the Natanz complex and at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP). Rafael Mariano Grossi, the Director General of the IAEA, said in the report that Iran had "increased its production of highly enriched uranium, reversing a previous output reduction from mid-2023." (Fox News)

12-24-2023
Military

Iran’s Navy added domestically produced cruise missiles to its arsenal, Iranian state TV reported.

Iran’s Navy added domestically produced sophisticated cruise missiles to its arsenal, Iranian state TV reported. The TV said both Talaeieh and Nasir cruise missiles have arrived at a naval base near the Indian Ocean in the southern Iranian port of Konarak, some 1,400 kilometers (850 miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran. Navy chief Admiral Shahram Irani said the Talaeieh has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and called it “fully smart.” Irani said the cruise missile is capable of changing targets during travel. (Washington Post)

12-21-2023
Terrorism

Iranian spies offered a people-smuggler $200,000 to assassinate two news presenters codenamed “the bride and the groom” outside their London studio, to show critics of the regime they “could do harm to them at any time.”

Iranian spies offered a people-smuggler $200,000 (around £158,290) to assassinate two news presenters codenamed “the bride and the groom” outside their London studio, to show critics of the regime they “could do harm to them at any time.” The organizers can be named, and their plans laid bare, thanks to an ITV News investigation, which obtained video recordings and text messages exchanged as part of the plot. Last autumn, the spies made plans to strike the studios of Persian language news channel Iran International, based in a business park in West London, with a car bomb. (ITV News)

12-20-2023
Human Rights

Samira Sabzian, who had been in prison for the past decade, was executed at dawn in Ghezel Hesar prison in the Tehran satellite city of Karaj, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights group said.

Samira Sabzian, who had been in prison for the past decade, was executed at dawn in Ghezel Hesar prison in the Tehran satellite city of Karaj, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group said. Her execution comes as concern grows over the numbers of people this year executed by Iran, where hundreds of people have been hanged mainly on drugs and murder charges, including more than a dozen women. IHR said Sabzian was a "child bride" who had married her husband at the age of 15 and had been a victim of domestic violence, according to relatives. The Hengaw rights group also confirmed the execution of the woman, now believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s, saying that she was originally from the city of Khorramabad in the western Lorestan province. (France 24)

12-20-2023
Terrorism

An Austrian national was found guilty at a UK court of spying for a group that may have been preparing to attack an independent Iranian TV station in London.

An Austrian national was found guilty at a UK court of spying for a group that may have been preparing to attack an independent Iranian TV station in London. Magomed-Husejn Dovtaev, who is originally from Chechnya, was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey court in central London following a short trial. The 31-year-old had pled not guilty to possession of records containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. He was detained by counter-terrorism officers in west London on February 11. Prosecutors told his trial that Dovtaev boarded a plane from Vienna to London to gather "hostile reconnaissance" on a building occupied by the Persian-language channel Iran International. (AFP)

12-20-2023
Terrorism

Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador to Tehran in protest against a ruling that implicated the Islamic Republic in a plan to attack a synagogue in Germany last year, the Iranian state-run IRNA news agency said.

Iran’s foreign ministry summoned the German ambassador to Tehran in protest against a ruling that implicated the Islamic Republic in a plan to attack a synagogue in Germany last year, the Iranian state-run IRNA news agency said. The report said the ministry summoned German Ambassador Hans-Udo Muzel to deliver the protest after the Duesseldorf state court convicted a 36-year-old German-Iranian man of attempted arson and agreeing to commit arson and sentenced him to two years and nine months in prison. Judges found that the man threw an incendiary device at a school in the western city of Bochum in November 2022 because the neighboring synagogue appeared too well secured. The defendant denied planning to attack the synagogue. The school reportedly sustained minor damage. (Associated Press)

12-19-2023
Military

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy commander Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri announced that the Navy force is being expanded with the addition of an "ocean-navigating mobilization unit" of over 55,000 men, Iranian media reported.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy commander Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri announced that the IRGC’s Navy force is being expanded with the addition of an "ocean-navigating mobilization unit" of over 55,000 men, Iranian media reported. Tangsiri said the new naval "Basij" unit is backed up by a wide range of 33,000 rocket-equipped vessels that are capable of conducting ocean missions, traveling as far as East Africa, according to the hardline, IRGC-linked Tasnim news agency. He noted that volunteer forces from the rural population in Iran's impoverished south are also joining the force as a "shadow" sub-unit. "These individuals are operating the vessels and the 107-millimeter rockets mounted on them, and will fire them when need be."  Iran's Basij — or the Organization for the Mobilization of the Oppressed — is a branch of the IRGC involved in diverse missions such as cracking down on street protests and engaging in overseas combat operations. (Al-Monitor)

12-19-2023
Military

The United States has charged an Iranian and a Chinese national with allegedly supplying microelectronics to Iran for use in the drone program of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The United States has charged an Iranian and a Chinese national with allegedly supplying microelectronics to Iran for use in the drone program of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Hossein Hatefi Ardakani and Gary Lam, also known as Lin Jinghe, are accused in an unsealed September 2020 indictment with conspiring to illegally purchase and export U.S.-made dual-use microelectronics to Iran. According to the indictment, Ardakani and his co-conspirators used foreign companies to evade U.S. export controls on sensitive equipment. (Al-Monitor)

12-19-2023
Terrorism

In a joint operation with Israel’s foreign intelligence service, the Mossad, Cyprus has arrested two Iranian asylum-seekers who were in contact with another Iranian associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, disrupting an Iranian plot.

Cyprus has disrupted an alleged Iranian plot to target Israeli businessmen with the arrest of two Iranian asylum-seekers who were in contact with another Iranian associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a Cypriot official said. The official told The Associated Press the two Iranian men have been in police custody since November 3 and procedures were underway to deport them. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he’s not allowed to speak publicly about national security matters, said the suspects’ detention was the culmination of a joint operation between Cypriot security services and Israel’s Mossad foreign intelligence agency. Cypriot security services had been surveilling the two Iranian men for several weeks and detained them just before what authorities believe would have been the arrival of a squad to carry out killings, the official said. The targeted individuals were primarily Israeli businessmen, the official said. (Associated Press)

12-18-2023
Military

Israel National Cyber Directorate announced that a cyberattack conducted by Iran and Hezbollah on an Israeli medical center in the north of the country was thwarted.

Israel National Cyber Directorate announced that a cyberattack conducted by Iran and Hezbollah on an Israeli medical center in the north of the country was thwarted. The hackers, belonging to Iran and Hezbollah, had attempted to disrupt the hospital's operations. Following the attack on the Ziv Hospital in Safed three weeks ago, the National Cyber System along with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Shin Bet internal security agency investigated the incident, determining the involvement of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and Hezbollah's cyber team. The attack had been stopped through a joint effort from the Israeli security forces and the medical center's staff. The hackers, acting within the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’s AGRIUS cyberattack group, were not able to achieve the goal of disrupting the hospital's operations and harming the medical treatment of civilians. (Israel Hayom)

12-18-2023
Military

The Western powers remaining in the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran accused Tehran of several serious violations of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear deal.

The Western powers in the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran accused Tehran of developing and testing ballistic missiles, transferring hundreds of drones to Russia, and enriching uranium to an unprecedented 60% level for a country without a nuclear weapons program — all in violation of a U.N. resolution endorsing the deal. Iran and its ally, Russia, dismissed the charges by Britain, France, and Germany, who remain in the nuclear deal. These European countries have the strong support of the United States, which pulled out of the agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018. The six-party agreement was aimed at ensuring that Iran could not develop atomic weapons. Under the accord, Tehran agreed to limit enrichment of uranium to 3.67 percent, ostensibly the level necessary for the peaceful use of nuclear power, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. The sharp accusations and Iran’s and Russia’s dismissal came at the Security Council’s semi-annual meeting on the implementation of its resolution endorsing the 2015 nuclear deal. (Associated Press)

12-18-2023
Anti-Americanism

The U.S. intelligence community concluded that Iran sought to exploit perceived social divisions and undermine confidence in U.S. democratic institutions.

The assessment detailed Iran’s influence activities during the midterms, finding that Tehran sought to exploit perceived social divisions and undermine confidence in U.S. democratic institutions – but that its efforts were limited by competing priorities, including the need to manage internal unrest. Broadly, intelligence officials found, foreign actors shied away from technically challenging efforts to change literal votes and instead sought to influence U.S. elections by damaging the public perception of the integrity of their results. The assessment did not study the impact the influence campaigns may have had on the outcome of the 2022 elections. (CNN)

12-18-2023
Syria Conflict

Jordan's army said it foiled a plot by dozens of infiltrators from Syria linked to pro-Iranian militias, who crossed its border with rocket launchers, anti-personnel mines, and explosives.

Jordan's army said it foiled a plot by dozens of infiltrators from Syria linked to pro-Iranian militias, who crossed its border with rocket launchers, anti-personnel mines, and explosives. State broadcaster al Mamlaka said the army blew up a vehicle laden with explosives in an effort to thwart the biggest armed cross-border operation to smuggle weapons and drugs in recent years. The army earlier said the infiltrators had fled back across the border after injuring several army personnel in the latest of several major incursions since the start of the month that has left one Jordanian soldier and at least a dozen smugglers dead. (Reuters)

12-17-2023
Military

One of Iran’s cyber espionage tactics to support Hamas is using Hebrew-speaking women to gather intelligence from Israeli soldiers, Iran International has learned.

One of Iran’s cyber espionage tactics to support Hamas is using Hebrew-speaking women to gather intelligence from Israeli soldiers, Iran International has learned. According to our sources, several of these women are based in the religious city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran and use social media to seduce Israeli soldiers by sending nude images or provocative footage of themselves in an effort to gather military intelligence. While the screen names and details of these women are presumably fake, the explicit photos and videos they shared with Israeli soldiers appear to be genuine. To entice their victims, these cyber operatives sent photos and videos of themselves wearing revealing clothing, heavy makeup, and, in some cases, nude photos. According to Iran International's investigations, members of this IRGC-run catfishing cell use a wide range of fake profiles across various online platforms, managing at least 22 different avatars in some instances. (Iran International)

12-14-2023
Extremism

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander-in-chief Hossein Salami said the State of Israel's collapse is imminent.

The State of Israel's collapse is imminent, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps chief Hossein Salami said in a public address. Salami was quoted by Islamic Republic state media as claiming that Zionists "are so weak that they cannot bear the existence of Palestinian women and children," a "clear sign" of the "collapse of the fake Israeli regime," he added. The IRGC chief continued, saying that Israel's war in Gaza had triggered a global aversion to Israel. "The world’s hatred of Zionists is not confined to Muslims anymore," Salami was quoted as saying. "People have rallied against Zionists even next to the White House and in the streets of London and Europe," referencing anti-Zionist marches that have taken place across the globe following Hamas's October 7 massacre of Israelis. (Jerusalem Post)

12-14-2023
Military

A cyber-espionage group linked to the Iranian government developed several new malware downloaders over the past two years and has recently been using them to target organizations in Israel.

A cyber-espionage group linked to the Iranian government developed several new malware downloaders over the past two years and has recently been using them to target organizations in Israel. Researchers at the Slovakia-based company ESET attributed the newly discovered downloaders to the Iranian advanced persistent threat group OilRig, also known as APT34. Previous reports said the group primarily targeted organizations in the Middle East this year, especially focusing on Israel during its ongoing war with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. ESET researchers labeled the three new malware downloaders as ODAgent, OilCheck and OilBooster. The hackers also released an updated version of their previous downloader, dubbed SampleCheck5000. (The Record)

12-12-2023
Military

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) held a large-scale military drill on the country's western border with Iraq, in what it described as an exercise to counter "terrorist" threats coming from Sunni extremist groups.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) held a large-scale military drill on the country's western border with Iraq, in what it described as an exercise to counter "terrorist" threats coming from Sunni extremist groups, particularly the Islamic State (ISIS). Held near the border town of Qasr-e Shirin, the drill covered "operational planning, command and control" using a wide range of "novel" military equipment, electronic warfare, radar and reconnaissance systems, drones, helicopters, artillery, and armored vehicles, according to the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim news agency. (Al-Monitor)

12-12-2023
Military

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Mohammad Reza Ashtiani visited a base where Iran’s new locally-made Yasin training jet is preparing to play a greater role in Iran’s air force.

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Mohammad Reza Ashtiani visited a base where Iran’s new locally-made Yasin training jet is preparing to play a greater role in Iran’s air force. The jet was unveiled earlier this year, part of a long-term project by Iran to create more locally-produced aircraft. Iran already produces a plethora of drones and missiles. Producing aircraft is more complex. Iran’s aircraft industrial production was harmed during the 1979 revolution. However, Iran did inherit several advanced factories, linked to Western companies, from the Shah’s regime. Ashtiani has focused on the success of the locally made Yasin fighter jet trainer. Unveiled as an idea in 2019, the first jet was then produced and wheeled out in March 2023. (Jerusalem Post)

12-12-2023
Human Rights

A dental surgeon in Iran who refused to wear a hijab at an honorary ceremony has been expelled from her medical university.

A dental surgeon in Iran who refused to wear a hijab at an honorary ceremony has been expelled from her medical university. Fatemeh Rajaei-Rad revealed she had received an expulsion order from Amol University of Medical Sciences in a post on her Instagram account. She had come to public attention earlier this year when she declined to wear a hijab in attending a ceremony at which she was awarded the title of Exemplary Surgeon. The video of her attendance without a hijab circulated widely on social media, eliciting praise for her courage from many Iranians. However, it also drew condemnation from government officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's representative in Mazandaran province and the Friday Prayer Imam of Amol, who called for "severe action" against her. (Iran International)

12-11-2023
Military

Iran unveiled dozens of drones mounted with air-to-air missiles to be added to the army’s arsenal, Iranian state media said.

Iran unveiled dozens of drones mounted with air-to-air missiles to be added to the army’s arsenal, Iranian state media said. The locally made Karrar drone has been equipped with the Majid thermal missile with a range of 8 kilometers (5 miles). The Karrar drone, which was first introduced in 2010, has an operational range of up to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). The drones will join the air defense in all border areas of the country allowing it to intercept and destroy aerial targets at a much lower cost than manned jet fighters, according to Tasnim news agency. The unveiling came during a ceremony at a military academy in Tehran, attended by the commander-in-chief of Iran's army, Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi. “The enemies will now have to rethink their strategies” because the Iranian forces have “become more powerful,” IRNA cited Mousavi as saying. (Al-Monitor)

12-11-2023
Human Rights

Iran has put a European Union official from Sweden on trial for allegations that include spying for Israel and a charge that could carry the death penalty, according to Iranian state media.

Iran has put a European Union official from Sweden on trial for allegations that include spying for Israel and a charge that could carry the death penalty, according to Iranian state media, prompting renewed calls for his release. The official, Johan Floderus, has been detained in Iran for about 600 days at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison in what appeared to be another case of Iran taking hostages to pressure the West for concessions. Mr. Floderus turned 33 in Iran’s custody, and his family has cited brutal prison conditions in campaigning for his release. The Mizan news agency, which is overseen by Iran’s judiciary, published photos of Mr. Floderus — including some of him in handcuffs — and said that he had appeared in court to hear the charges against him. It reported that prosecutors accused Mr. Floderus of “extensive intelligence cooperation” with Israel and of “corruption on Earth” — a broad, vaguely described charge that constitutes one of Iran’s most serious crimes and can be punishable by death. (New York Times)

12-08-2023
Anti-Americanism

Mexico’s immigration agency said its agents have detained two Iranians who they say were under observation by the U.S.’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Mexico’s immigration agency said its agents have detained two Iranians who they say were under observation by the U.S.’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The National Immigration Institute did not say what the supposed FBI investigation was about. The agency said a total of five Iranians were detained along with their Haitian driver, who was apparently acting as their guide on a highway between the Baja California border cities of Tijuana and Tecate. It said their car was stopped at a toll booth because agents suspected they were going to try to cross into the United States. (Associated Press)

12-08-2023
Anti-Americanism

Approximately seven mortar rounds landed in the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad during an attack, a U.S. military official told Reuters.

Approximately seven mortar rounds landed in the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad during an attack, a U.S. military official told Reuters, in what appeared to be the largest attack of its kind in recent memory. U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria were also targeted with rockets and drones at least five more times; three times at separate bases in Syria, and twice at the Ain al-Asad airbase west of Baghdad, a different U.S. defense official said. The attacks were the most recorded against U.S. forces in the region in a single day since mid-October, when Iran-aligned militias started targeting U.S. assets in Iraq and Syria over Washington's backing of Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza. (Reuters)

12-06-2023
Human Rights

Amnesty International said in a report that Iranian protesters detained during months of nationwide protests as part of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement were raped and subjected to other forms of sexual violence.

Iranian protesters detained during months of nationwide protests as part of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement that emerged after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini were raped and subjected to other forms of sexual violence by Tehran’s intelligence and security forces, Amnesty International said in a report documenting the ordeals of 45 survivors. The report gathered testimonies from 26 men, 12 women, and seven children as young as 12 who were subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence and torture. In a violent crackdown on the protests sparked by her death, Iranian law enforcement officers arrested tens of thousands of activists and demonstrators and subjected them to torture and other ill treatment, the 120-page report said. (France 24)

12-03-2023
Terrorism

An American warship and several commercial ships came under attack in the Red Sea, the Pentagon said, potentially marking a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Middle East linked to the Israel-Gaza war.

An American warship and several commercial ships came under attack in the Red Sea, the Pentagon said, potentially marking a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Middle East linked to the Israel-Gaza war. “We’re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and will provide information as it becomes available,” the Pentagon said. In a statement, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed there were four attacks by the Houthis against three separate commercial vessels connected to 14 separate nations. CENTCOM said in a statement, the American destroyer USS CARNEY responded to the distress calls from the ships and shot down three drones that were heading for the warship during the day. The US military said they have "every reason to believe" that these attacks were "fully enabled" by Iran and represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. (The National)

12-02-2023
Terrorism

A small western Pennsylvania water authority was just one of multiple organizations breached in the United States by Iran-affiliated hackers who targeted a specific industrial control device because it is Israeli-made.

A small western Pennsylvania water authority was just one of multiple organizations breached in the United States by Iran-affiliated hackers who targeted a specific industrial control device because it is Israeli-made, U.S. and Israeli authorities say. “The victims span multiple U.S. states,” the FBI, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, as well as Israel’s National Cyber Directorate said in an advisory emailed to The Associated Press. They did not say how many organizations were hacked or otherwise describe them. Matthew Mottes, the chairman of the Municipal Water Authority of Aliquippa, which discovered it had been hacked on November 25, said that federal officials had told him the same group also breached four other utilities and an aquarium. (Associated Press)

12-01-2023
Terrorism

The Belgian police are beefing up security measures to protect Darya Safai, an Iranian-born member of parliament, following death threats she received on social media.

The Belgian police are beefing up security measures to protect Darya Safai, an Iranian-born member of parliament, following death threats she received on social media. In an interview with Iran International, Safai said that the death threats against her have increased following the Israel-Hamas conflict. “I should be careful and report any suspicious events around me” to the police, the lawmaker wrote on X. The police have launched a probe into the nature and sources of the threats. Safai blamed Islamists for the threats, vowing that she will continue to stand up for freedom. “It’s incomprehensible that people should make serious threats … instead of responding with substantive arguments. But that is just how Islamists operate,” read her post on X. (Iran International)

11-29-2023
Military

Iran has finalized arrangements for the delivery of Russian made Sukhoi su-35 fighter jets and helicopters, Iran’s deputy defense minister told Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

The arms trade between Tehran and Moscow has grown in scope since Russia invaded Ukraine. Iran has finalized arrangements for the delivery of Russian made Sukhoi su-35 fighter jets and helicopters, Iran’s deputy defense minister, Mehdi Farahi, told Iran’s Tasnim news agency, as Tehran and Moscow forge closer relations in military field. (i24 News)

11-29-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran-backed militias have launched more than 70 rocket and drone attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria since Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack against Israel.

Iran-backed militias have launched more than 70 rocket and drone attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria. The Pentagon, for its part, has responded with four rounds of airstrikes, killing as many as 15 people, U.S. officials say. (New York Times)

11-27-2023
Politics

Iran’s parliament has voted to exempt the armed forces, intelligence ministry, and the nuclear energy organization from coordinating their international engagements with the foreign ministry.

Iran’s parliament has voted to exempt the armed forces, intelligence ministry, and the nuclear energy organization from coordinating their international engagements with the foreign ministry. The move has been strongly criticized by Reformists, who accuse the conservative-dominated legislature of trying to weaken the ministry. If the legislation becomes law, it could indicate a further strengthening of the intelligence and security apparatus—especially since conservative President Ebrahim Raisi took office in 2021. (Amwaj Media)

11-27-2023
Military

Iran’s Navy unveiled a domestically produced destroyer it said is capable of launching cruise missiles and detecting a variety of military objects.

Iran’s Navy unveiled a domestically produced destroyer it said is capable of launching cruise missiles and detecting a variety of military objects, including vessels, drones, helicopters, submarines, and aircraft. The new Iranian warship, dubbed the Deylaman, is 95 meters (312 feet) long and 11 meters (36 feet) wide. It is reportedly capable of reaching 30 knots (56 kilometers or 35 miles per hour) while repelling air, surface, and subsurface threats. It will join Iran's Caspian Sea fleet, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. (Al-Monitor)

11-27-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran-backed forces in Yemen fired two ballistic missiles at a U.S. warship after the Navy responded to a distress call from an Israel-linked commercial tanker.

Iran-backed forces in Yemen fired two ballistic missiles at a U.S. warship after the Navy responded to a distress call from an Israel-linked commercial tanker that had been seized by Somali pirates, the Pentagon said. The commercial tanker, known as the Central Park, issued a distress call stating its crew was “under attack by an unknown entity” after five gunmen boarded the vessel in the Gulf of Aden, according to a U.S. Central Command statement. The USS Mason guided-missile destroyer responded to the call, along with an accompanying U.S. helicopter gunship and a Japanese destroyer, while Central Park crew members sealed themself inside the ship’s Citadel safe room. (New York Post)

11-25-2023
Terrorism

A container ship managed by an Israeli-controlled company was hit by a suspected Iranian drone in the Indian Ocean.

A container ship managed by an Israeli-controlled company was hit by a suspected Iranian drone in the Indian Ocean, causing minor damage to the vessel but no injuries, a U.S. defense official said. The Malta-flagged CMA CGM SYMI, recently renamed Mayet, was struck by an unmanned aerial vehicle, which appeared to be an Iranian Shahed-136 drone, in the northeast portion of the Indian Ocean, the official said, asking not to be named. Iran has supplied Shahed-136 "kamikaze" drones to Russia for use in Ukraine. They carry a small warhead that explodes on impact. (Reuters)

11-23-2023
Human Rights

Iran has secretly executed a man sentenced to death in connection with last year's anti-government protests, sources have told BBC Persian.

Iran has secretly executed a man sentenced to death in connection with last year's anti-government protests, sources have told BBC Persian. Milad Zohrevand, 21, was put to death at a prison in the western city of Hamadan, the sources said. Human rights group Hengaw also said it had received reports of the execution. There was no confirmation from Iran's judiciary, which convicted Zohrevand of murdering a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during a demonstration. The sources said he was denied a lawyer throughout his detention and trial. If confirmed, Zohrevand would be the eighth protester to be executed after last year's rallies. (BBC News)

11-22-2023
Anti-Americanism

Several U.S. service members were injured in a ballistic missile attack by Iran-backed militias on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq, Pentagon officials said.

Several U.S. service members were injured in a ballistic missile attack by Iran-backed militias on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq, Pentagon officials said. The attack on U.S. and coalition forces involved a close-range ballistic missile and resulted in eight injuries and minor infrastructural damage, Brigadier General Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson, said in a statement. The U.S. military responded with a retaliatory strike, which was not pre-planned, killing several Iranian-backed militia personnel, CBS News learned. "Immediately following the attack, a U.S. military AC-130 aircraft in the area conducted a self-defense strike against an Iranian-backed militia vehicle and a number of Iranian-backed militia personnel involved in this attack," Ryder said in his statement. (CBS News)

11-22-2023
Terrorism

The Spanish politician shot in Madrid earlier this month accused Iran of being behind his attempted murder in a message delivered to a conference organized by Iranian opposition supporters.

The Spanish politician shot in Madrid earlier this month accused Iran of being behind his attempted murder in a message delivered to a conference organized by Iranian opposition supporters. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a founder of Spain's far-right Vox party and former head of its center-right People's Party in Catalonia, was shot in the face in broad daylight on a pavement in the wealthy Salamanca neighborhood of central Madrid on November 9 by a motorbike pillion passenger. The 78-year-old politician, who was European Parliament vice-president between 2009 and 2014, was described shortly after the shooting as a "staunch supporter" of Iran's opposition movement and the campaign for human rights in Iran over 25 years. (Reuters)

11-20-2023
Military

Iran unveiled a newer version of what it claims is a hypersonic missile capable of maneuvering at high speeds to evade air defense systems.

Iran unveiled a newer version of what it claims is a hypersonic missile capable of maneuvering at high speeds to evade air defense systems. The Fattah II missile was put on display at Ashura Aerospace Science and Technology University, a division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei visited the site to review an exhibition of new weapons systems, among them the Fattah II. The display came as Israel has recently intercepted a number of ballistic missiles fired at it by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Israel Defense Forces said the long-range Arrow air defense system had been used to shoot down some of the missiles. (Times of Israel)

11-20-2023
Human Rights

The University of Tehran's President Mohammad Moghimi has officially confirmed the increased presence of hijab enforcers on campus.

The University of Tehran's President Mohammad Moghimi has officially confirmed the increased presence of hijab enforcers on campus. He said women, "with seminary education," organized into "monitoring groups for students' hijab," are now on the university campus. Moghimi disclosed the development during a session of the Council for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice at the university. He explained that the groups, comprised of women focused on “improving compliance with behavioral codes, are tasked with monitoring and enhancing the adherence to dress codes in alignment with religious rules, university regulations, and standards across all campuses of the University of Tehran.” (Iran International)

11-19-2023
Terrorism

Israel said that a cargo ship was hijacked in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi rebels on Iran's orders.

Israel said that a cargo ship was hijacked in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi rebels on Iran's orders. The cargo ship, Galaxy Leader, was traveling from Turkey to India and sailing under the flag of the Bahamas when the incident occurred, the IDF wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter. The ship was registered under a British company but operated by a Japanese firm, and at some point, it seems to have been partly owned by Israeli billionaire Rami Ungar, The New York Times reported. The rebels used a helicopter raid to hijack the ship at around 1 p.m. local time, three U.S. officials told NBC News. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu's office released a statement saying that the boat was "hijacked on an Iranian whim by the Houthi militia in Yemen," The Times of Israel reported. (Business Insider)

11-16-2023
Extremism

The top commander of Iran's Quds force said the resistance front supported the Tehran-backed Hamas militant group in its war with Israel in Gaza.

The top commander of Iran's Quds force said the ‘Axis of Resistance’ supported the Tehran-backed Hamas militant group in its war with Israel in Gaza. “Your brothers in the Axis of Resistance stand united with you … the resistance will not allow the enemy to achieve its dirty goals in Gaza and Palestine,” Esmail Qaani said in a message to the commanders of the Tehran-backed group on Thursday, Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. Iran, which refers to its aligned armed groups around the Middle East as being part of the "Resistance Axis," has warned Israel of escalation if it failed to end aggressions in the Gaza Strip. The Quds Force is the arm of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that controls its allied militia in the region, from Lebanon to Iraq and Yemen to Syria. (Reuters)

11-16-2023
Nuclear Program

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iranian stockpiles of highly enriched uranium of up to 60% purity had increased by 6.7 kilograms to 128.3 kilograms since the last quarterly report on September 4.

The IAEA reported that Iranian stockpiles of highly enriched uranium of up to 60% purity had increased by 6.7 kilograms to 128.3 kilograms since the last quarterly report on September 4, Reuters reported on November 15. Iran has slowed the rate at which it is increasing supplies of highly enriched uranium from early 2023, indicating that Tehran has not accelerated its nuclear program. As a result, the West is unlikely to pursue punitive measures against Tehran to avoid escalation in the Israel-Hamas war, despite tension between Tehran and the IAEA. However, if Tehran accelerates its nuclear program by enriching uranium to weapons-grade 90% purity, the West would be more likely to take direct action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. (Stratfor)

11-15-2023
Military

Iran had “almost $1 billion” in military exports in the past year, according to Mehdi Farahi, the deputy defense minister of the Iranian regime.

In a speech at Tehran’s Rajaei University on November 13, Mehdi Farahi, the deputy defense minister of the Iranian regime, claimed that Iran had “almost $1 billion” in military exports in the past year. Without referring to the details of the military export items, Farahi stated that the Ministry of Defense uses “knowledge-based companies, industrial towns, universities, and science and technology parks,” and that “7,000 companies” and over “100,000 individuals” collaborate with this ministry. The United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran’s missile program, based on the nuclear agreement, the JCPOA, ended in October. (Iran Focus)

11-15-2023
Human Rights

Iranian authorities have arrested 300 men and women for participating in a mixed-gender party in the northeastern city of Shahrud.

Iranian authorities have arrested 300 men and women for participating in a mixed-gender party in the northeastern city of Shahrud. The deputy police commander of Semnan province, Ali Mirahmadi, said that security forces raided a party venue on the outskirts of the city on November 14 and found that the participants engaged in "rule-breaking behavior." Mirahmadi also stated that the venue had been sealed due to "rules violation."  Islamic Republic laws forbid men and women who are not related from mingling together. It is also prohibited to dance with the opposite gender. (Iran Wire)

11-15-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to nearly weapons-grade levels, according to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.

Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to nearly weapons-grade levels, according to a report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog seen by The Associated Press. The IAEA also said that Iran has pushed back against the agency’s objections to Tehran’s ban on some of its inspectors designated to monitor the country’s nuclear program. Uranium enriched at 60% purity is just a short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%. The IAEA report also estimated that as of October 28, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was at 4,486.8 kilograms, an increase of 691.3 kilograms since the last quarterly report in September 2023. (Associated Press)

11-14-2023
Terrorism

Documents show that a Hamas military commander requested scholarships for Hamas operatives to study engineering, physics, and technology at universities in Iran, for the sake of producing weapons.

A document recovered from a computer found inside a Hamas pickup truck outside Gaza, obtained by CNN from Israeli officials, shows a Hamas military commander requesting a scholarship for Hamas operatives to study engineering, physics, and technology at universities in Iran. While it is widely known that Iran provides financial and military support to Hamas, Israeli officials and some former U.S. intelligence officials say the document is evidence that in the run up to the October 7 attack on southern Israel, Iran was seeking to provide technical training that would help Hamas produce its own weaponry. The Israeli government declined to comment on the document, though sources in the government confirmed its authenticity on background. (CNN)

11-13-2023
Military

Satellite imagery shows progress in the construction in Russia of a plant that will mass produce Iranian-designed kamikaze drones for Moscow.

Satellite imagery shows progress in the construction in Russia of a plant that will mass produce Iranian-designed kamikaze drones that Moscow is expected to target against Ukrainian energy facilities, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington D.C.-based research organization, said. Despite the headway, neither the United States nor its allies have imposed sanctions on the plant's owner, JSC Alabuga, or its associated companies, said the ISIS report. The White House, the Russian embassy, and Iran's U.N. mission did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The report said a mid-September satellite image showed that new construction at the plant "directly" correlated with a leaked building floor plan that the Washington Post shared with the institute earlier this year. (Reuters)

11-12-2023
Human Rights

Narges Mohammadi, one of the best-known human rights activists in Iran, was transferred to the hospital for a brief examination before being immediately transferred back to her prison cell in Tehran's notorious Evin prison.

Narges Mohammadi, one of the best-known human rights activists in Iran, is incarcerated in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. Earlier this year, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her ongoing fight against the oppression of women in Iran, as well as for her advocacy for human rights and freedom for all. "On November 6, she went on hunger strike, for health reasons, because the prison authorities refused to take her to hospital without a headscarf," her husband, Taghi Rahmani, told DW. "Narges refused to wear the mandatory headscarf." Seven other political prisoners in the women's section of Evin prison joined the hunger strike in solidarity. The 51-year-old human rights activist informed her family: "I was admitted to hospital after all, under strict security measures, without a headscarf. I have therefore ended my hunger strike." Following a brief examination, she was taken back to prison. (DW News)

11-11-2023
Extremism

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that the time had come for action over the conflict in Gaza.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that the time had come for action over the conflict in Gaza rather than talk as he headed to Saudi Arabia to attend a summit on the war between Israel and Hamas militants. "Gaza is not an arena for words. It should be for action," Raisi said at Tehran airport before departing for the summit of Arab and Islamic nations in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. "Today, the unity of the Islamic countries is very important," he added. It is the first visit to Saudi Arabia by an Iranian head of state since Tehran and Riyadh ended years of hostility under a China-brokered deal in March. (Reuters)

11-11-2023
Politics

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi hailed the Palestinian group Hamas for its war against Israel and urged Islamic countries to launch sanctions against Israel.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi hailed the Palestinian group Hamas for its war against Israel and urged Islamic countries to launch sanctions against Israel. "There is no other way but to resist Israel, we kiss the hands of Hamas for its resistance against Israel," Raisi said in his address to a joint Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh. He also called on Islamic countries to impose oil and goods sanctions on Israel. The summit called for an immediate end to hostilities in Gaza, declaring that Israel is responsible for "crimes" against Palestinians. (Iran International)

11-11-2023
Terrorism

Iranian Canadians, legal experts, and security and intelligence sources say Canada has an especially big problem with hundreds, maybe thousands, of potentially dangerous Iranian regime-connected officials on Canadian soil.

The New Reality heard from Iranian Canadians, legal experts, and security and intelligence sources who say Canada has an especially big problem with hundreds, maybe thousands, of potentially dangerous regime-connected officials on Canadian soil. “Islamic Republic agents are everywhere in this country,” Esmaeilion says. Prominent Iranian American journalist and human rights activist Masih Alinejad tells The New Reality she was given a bone-chilling warning from the FBI: don’t travel to Canada. “That’s heartbreaking. Canada should be safe,” Alinejad says. (Global News)

11-08-2023
Extremism

Mohsen Rafighdoust, the first IRGC minister, said that in the event on an attack against Iran, “The Islamic Republic has the capability to eliminate the hostages [it holds] within a mere half-hour.”

Mohsen Rafighdoust, the first IRGC minister, has claimed that Iran possesses hostages from major world powers. In an interview in local media, he said in the event of an attack on Iran, “The Islamic Republic has the capability to eliminate the hostages within a mere half-hour.” Given that he has no current official role, Iranian officials may deny or distance themselves from his remarks. Iran has recently exchanged five U.S. hostages in exchange for the release of $6 billion of frozen Iranian funds in South Korea. However, the regime consistently claims that it does not take or hold hostages. It is unknown how many diplomatic hostages are being held in Iran but high-profile cases have revealed the systematic policy of the regime to detain dual-nationals in return for political leverage. (Iran International)

11-08-2023
Politics

Ultraconservative hardliners in Iran plan on consolidating their power in parliament in the March 2024 parliamentary elections.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his ultraconservative allies are likely to present three different lists of candidates for the parliamentary elections in March. This move seems aimed at creating an overwhelming propaganda push to secure a parliament dominated by Raisi's supporters, ensuring minimal opposition to their complete takeover of the executive and legislative powers. Some social media reports also suggest an effort to replace Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei with an ultraconservative figure, further consolidating power. A “political purification” push has already begun, with all regime loyalists outside the circle of hardliners being purged from managerial and even teaching positions. (Iran International)

11-08-2023
Anti-Americanism

An analysis by Microsoft found that Iran is likely to engage in election interference efforts ahead of the 2024 U.S. presidential elections.

Russia, Iran, and China are likely to engage in newly sophisticated influence and interference efforts ahead of the 2024 U.S. presidential election and in other pivotal elections worldwide, a new analysis by Microsoft has found. All three countries are expected to seek to shape geopolitical outcomes in their favor amid major ongoing or potential regional conflicts, though Russia remains "the most committed and capable threat" to the upcoming American federal election, it said. Microsoft's analysis also suggested that the 2024 presidential election could be the first in which "multiple authoritarian actors simultaneously attempt to interfere with and influence an election outcome." (CBS News)

11-08-2023
Anti-Americanism

An unmanned U.S. military drone was shot down off the coast of Yemen by Houthi forces.

An unmanned U.S. military drone was shot down off the coast of Yemen by Houthi forces, a defense official told CNN. The official said the MQ-9 Reaper drone was operating in international airspace and over international waters when it was shot down. U.S. Central Command is investigating the incident, the official said. The shootdown, for which the Iran-backed Houthi militants took responsibility, comes several weeks after a U.S. Navy warship, the USS Carney, intercepted multiple missiles and drones fired by the Houthis as they were heading north along the Red Sea. The ship shot down four cruise missiles and 15 drones over a period of nine hours, CNN previously reported, and their trajectory left little doubt that the projectiles were headed for Israel. (CNN)

11-05-2023
Extremism

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently met with Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh in Tehran.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently met with Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh in Tehran, Khamenei confirmed. Haniyeh updated Khamenei on “the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and the crimes of the Zionist regime in Gaza, as well as the developments in the West Bank,” Khamenei said on X (formerly Twitter). According to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency, “Ayatollah Khamenei praised the steadfastness and resilience of the people of Gaza and expressed strong regret over the crimes of the Zionist regime, supported directly by Washington and some Western countries.” (JNS)

11-05-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran said that the United States would "be hit hard" if Washington did not implement a ceasefire in Gaza.

Iran said that the United States would "be hit hard" if Washington did not implement a ceasefire in Gaza, the country's Minister of Defense was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency. "Our advice to the Americans is to immediately stop the war in Gaza and implement a ceasefire, otherwise they will be hit hard," Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani said. After a surprise attack by Hamas against Israel on October 7, the Israelis have sought to defeat the militant group. Iran considers the U.S. to be "militarily-involved" in the conflict. (Reuters)

11-03-2023
Extremism

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose country is a leading supporter of Hamas and other fiercely anti-Israel terror groups, rants at Israel in a Hebrew-language tweet.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose country is a leading supporter of Hamas and other fiercely anti-Israel terror groups, rants at Israel in a Hebrew-language tweet. “The Zionist entity is lying to you,” he writes on the social media platform X. “The Zionist entity is helpless and confused right now, and without American support, will be paralyzed within days.” (Times of Israel)

11-03-2023
Human Rights

More than 600 people have been executed by Iran so far this year, already the highest figure in eight years with two months of 2023 to go.

More than 600 people have been executed by Iran so far this year, already the highest figure in eight years with two months of 2023 to go, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group said. There were nine executions in a single day in a prison outside Tehran this week, while two people face execution after being convicted of adultery, IHR said. IHR and others have accused Iran of using capital punishment to instill fear in the wake of women-led protests that swept the country for several months from September last year. "The international community must react to more than 600 executions in 10 months — that's two state murders a day," said IHR Director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam. (AFP)

11-02-2023
Extremism

The Iranian regime has pushed Iranian Jews to cut ties with Israel-based friends and relatives.

Amid Iran’s unequivocal support for its proxy, Hamas, the regime has pushed Iranian Jews to cut ties with Israel-based friends and relatives. Sources told Iran International Wednesday that an unknown number of members of the community were forced to block their relatives' phone numbers in Israel, and some have left family and group chats on messaging apps, including WhatsApp. The sources did not specify how the authorities pressured them, but there are other reports about unknown people – presumably intelligence or Revolutionary Guard agents -- calling the Jewish people in Shiraz and pushing them into cutting relations with their Israeli relatives. Clearly organized by the regime, Iranian Jews have held ceremonies in synagogues across various cities over the past few days to express support for Hamas, which killed 1,400, mostly civilians, on October 7 and took over 230 hostages in Gaza. (Iran International)

11-02-2023
Terrorism

An elite Iran-backed unit has arrived in Lebanon to participate in attacks on Israel amid an ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli military official has told Newsweek that an elite Iran-backed unit has arrived in Lebanon to participate in attacks on Israel amid an ongoing war in the Gaza Strip that has already begun to escalate on other fronts. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said that the "Imam Hossein Division," whose activities in Syria were previously reported on by Newsweek in July, "has come to the aid of Hezbollah and has arrived in southern Lebanon." Intelligence shared with Newsweek in July described the Imam Hossein Division as a product of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, constituting its "most elite fighting force in Syria." It was said to have been established in 2016 to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government against rebels and jihadis, including the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), in the midst of the country's civil war. (Newsweek)

11-02-2023
Terrorism

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, visited Lebanon to coordinate with Hezbollah concerning the conflict with Israel.

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, visited Lebanon to coordinate with Hezbollah concerning the conflict with Israel on Wednesday, the Lebanese al-Jadeed news reported on Wednesday. In early October, just a day after Hamas’s October 7 assault on Israel, Syrian media reported that Qaani was on a visit to Lebanon as well. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Iranian media on Wednesday that Qaani is “working for peace and security in the region and fighting terrorism” and that Iran is not giving direct orders to its proxies in the region. “They make decisions according to their interests and developments,” said Amir-Abdollahian. Qaani’s latest reported visit to Lebanon comes just two days before Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is set to make his first public comments since the war between Israel and Hamas began. (Jerusalem Post)

11-02-2023
Terrorism

The U.S. has intelligence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to provide the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah with a Russian-made missile defense system.

The U.S. has intelligence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to provide the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah with a Russian-made missile defense system, according to two people familiar with the intelligence. The Russian mercenary organization Wagner Group, which operates in Syria, has been tasked with carrying out the delivery of the surface-to-air SA-22 missile system, the people said. It is not clear whether it has already been delivered or how close it is to delivery. The system was originally provided by Russia for use by the Syrian government, the sources said. (CNN)

10-31-2023
Extremism

Israel will face annihilation if the war against Hamas “expands,” a senior Iranian official warned.

Israel will face annihilation if the war against Hamas “expands,” a senior Iranian official warned as Israel Defense Forces attack the terrorist group by land and air in Gaza. "If the war expands [any further], we cannot say that Israel would lose because nothing will remain of Israel to be described as loser or winner,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani said, per Iran’s Fars News Agency. Kani, whose diplomatic portfolio includes a role as Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, offered that prediction just days after meeting with a senior Hamas official during a trip to Russia. Iranian proxy forces around the Middle East have launched various strikes targeting Israeli positions, as Iran and Hamas demand that Israel halt its bombardment of Gaza, the headquarters of Hamas. (Washington Examiner)

10-31-2023
Anti-Americanism

Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy group operating in Iraq and Syria, claims to have attacked the US-operated Ain al-Assad military base in western Iraq.

Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy group operating in Iraq and Syria, claims to have attacked the US-operated Ain al-Assad military base in western Iraq. The group says it sent two drones “which scored direct hits on their targets.” On Monday, security sources told Reuters that four Katyusha rockets had been fired at the base. As of Monday, American and allied forces in Iraq and Syria had been attacked with drones and rockets 23 times this month, according to a senior US defense official. “From October 17 to October 30, US and coalition forces have been attacked at least 14 separate times in Iraq and nine separate times in Syria,” the official said Monday. “Most failed to reach their targets thanks to our robust defenses.” (AFP)

10-31-2023
Terrorism

The Foreign Minister of Iran has met with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political office of the Hamas Islamist militia group, in the Qatari capital Doha.

Iran's Foreign Minister has met with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political office of the Hamas Islamist militia group, in the Qatari capital Doha. The meeting followed separate talks that Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had with the Emir and the Prime Minister of Qatar on Tuesday. It was the second official meeting between Iran and Hamas since the group, designated as a terrorist group by the US and several other countries, declared war against Israel. Hamas launched the assault on October 7 with a barrage of at least 3,000 rockets launched at Israel and vehicle-transported incursions into its territory. Palestinian militants breached the Gaza–Israel barrier, targeting both military and civilian populations in neighboring Israeli communities. (Iran International)

10-31-2023
Terrorism

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, for the first time, claimed missile and drone attacks targeting Israel.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, for the first time, claimed missile and drone attacks targeting Israel, drawing their main sponsor Iran closer into the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip and further raising the risks of a regional conflict erupting. The Houthis had been suspected of an attack earlier this month targeting Israel by sending missiles and drones over the crucial shipping lane of the Red Sea, an assault that saw the U.S. Navy shoot down the projectiles. This time on Tuesday, however, Israel said its own fighter jets and its new Arrow missile defense system shot down two salvos of incoming fire hours apart as it approached the country’s key Red Sea shipping port of Eilat. (Associated Press)

10-30-2023
Extremism

Esmail Khatib, the Minister of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic, made statements regarding Hamas' October 7 attack, describing it as a "new historical beginning for the eradication of Israel."

As tensions continue to rise in the region following the recent Hamas attack on Israel, Iranian officials have intensified their rhetoric against the Jewish state. Esmail Khatib, the Minister of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic, made statements regarding Hamas' October 7 attack, describing it as a "new historical beginning for the eradication of Israel," claiming it would lead to the collapse of the entire Israeli government. Khatib's comments reiterate the Iranian regime's long-standing opposition to its archenemy Israel, which he called a "fabricated Zionist regime that had crafted a legendary narrative and a Hollywood image over the years.” His comments come as Israel's troops on the ground in Gaza rescued its first of the more than 230 hostages held by the group designated by countries including the US, UK, and EU. (Iran International)

10-30-2023
Politics

In the upcoming Iranian Parliamentary elections in March, a mere 2 percent of the 24,000 registered candidates are former lawmakers, while just 13 percent are women.

In the upcoming Iranian Parliamentary elections in March, a mere 2 percent of the 24,000 registered candidates are former lawmakers, while just 13 percent are women. As per the latest figures, over 24,000 Iranians have registered their candidacy for the Majles election, down from the initial 50,000 who registered unofficially in August. This decline in interest may be attributed to the Majles' unpopularity and the government's perceived failure in economic and foreign policy. Concurrently, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's political rivals have shown sensitivity towards his silence on the domestic front and the unfolding conflict in the Middle East. Recent reports have indicated that politicians from across the Iranian political spectrum keenly observe Ahmadinejad's silence before the March 1 elections. (Iran International)

10-30-2023
Human Rights

A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested and severely beaten, her husband said.

A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested and severely beaten, her husband said — one of several activists taken into custody at the funeral in Tehran of a girl who was fatally injured in a reported confrontation with the enforcers of Iran’s strict dress code for women. The activists were arrested at the funeral of Armita Geravand, a 16-year-old who died last week after a suspected altercation with enforcement officers in Tehran’s subway over wearing her hair uncovered in defiance of the law imposed by the Shiite Islamic government. Ms. Sotoudeh, 60, is renowned for representing women who have not worn a hijab, the traditional head scarf, while in public, and for refusing to wear one herself. She has been imprisoned several times, and most recently had been convicted at a secret trial in 2019 of security-related crimes, but was released in 2021 because she suffers from heart disease and other ailments. (New York Times)

10-28-2023
Human Rights

An Iranian teenage girl injured weeks ago in an incident on Tehran’s Metro while not wearing a headscarf has died.

An Iranian teenage girl injured weeks ago in a mysterious incident on Tehran’s Metro while not wearing a headscarf has died, state media reported. The death of Armita Geravand comes after her being in a coma for weeks in Tehran and after the one-year anniversary of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, which sparked nationwide protests at the time. Geravand’s Oct. 1 injury and now her death threaten to reignite that popular anger, particularly as women in Tehran and elsewhere still defy Iran’s mandatory headscarf, or hijab, law as a sign of their discontent with Iran’s theocracy. “Armita’s voice has been forever silenced, preventing us from hearing her story,” wrote the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran. “Yet we do know that in a climate where Iranian authorities severely penalize women and girls for not adhering to the state’s forced-hijab law, Armita courageously appeared in public without one.” (Associated Press)

10-27-2023
Extremism

Iranian agents are creating unrest in Britain by stoking Gaza protests, senior police have said as they prepared for a fresh round of demonstrations.

Iranian agents are creating unrest in Britain by stoking Gaza protests, senior police have said as they prepared for a fresh round of demonstrations. The Times has learned that counterterrorism officers have privately said that Tehran is trying to heighten tensions at rallies over Israel’s bombing of Gaza. They have warned of increased hostile-state activity in Britain. It is directly linked to the Iranian regime and includes a campaign of online disinformation and Iranian operatives being physically present at protests. The revelation came as the Israeli military said ground forces were “expanding operations” in the Gaza Strip before an expected full ground invasion. It was also reported that internet and mobile services in Gaza had been cut off. (The Times)

10-27-2023
Military

State television reported that Iran’s ground forces launched two days of exercises on October 27 to test the flight readiness of more than 200 helicopters.

Iran’s ground forces launched two days of exercises on October 27 to test the flight readiness of more than 200 helicopters, state television reported. The drills, which had been planned earlier, are aimed at “confronting possible threats” facing the Islamic Republic, spokesperson Amir Cheshak said. He did not elaborate. He said troops and military equipment had been transferred from seven of Iran’s provinces for the drills in Nasr Abad in the central Isfahan Province. (Reuters)

10-27-2023
Terrorism

A senior Iranian envoy met with Hamas representatives in Moscow following talks with Russian diplomats.

A senior Iranian envoy met with Hamas representatives in Moscow following talks with Russian diplomats that underscored Moscow’s efforts to expand its clout as a power broker in the latest Israel-Hamas war, Russian and Iranian media said Friday. During the meeting with Hamas’ representative Moussa Abu Marzouk, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, emphasized the need for a cease-fire, lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip and providing humanitarian assistance, according to a statement Friday by the Iranian Embassy in Moscow. The statement was carried out by Russian state news agencies. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said Abu Marzouk told Bagheri Khani that he appreciated Iran’s support for the Palestinian people. (Associated Press)

10-26-2023
Terrorism

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched an online recruitment campaign after Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack against Israel, hoping to convince young Iranian men and boys to join the Palestinian armed group in its war efforts.

Shortly after Hamas conducted its bloody “Al-Aqsa Flood” terrorist operation in Israel on October 7, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched an online recruitment campaign with the same name, hoping to convince young Iranian men and boys to join the Palestinian armed group in its war efforts. The campaign, taken up by Iranian state TV and radio, and several websites affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard, has already garnered more than 3 million ready-to-be-deployed volunteers, Iranian television reported. The “Al-Aqsa Flood” campaign features a young boy in his pre-pubescent teens wearing military fatigues in front of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque. The child also has the symbolic pro-Palestine keffiyeh scarf wrapped around his neck, and wears a pin with General Qassem Soleimani’s portrait on his jacket. Soleimani, who long headed the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Al-Quds unit, was killed by American forces in Baghdad in 2020. (France 24)

10-26-2023
Terrorism

The Israeli military displayed a variety of Iran-made weapons recovered from communities in southern Israel that the Hamas militants attacked on October 7.

The military made the statement during an official media tour in which it displayed a variety of weapons recovered from communities in southern Israel attacked by the militants. A range of landmines, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and homemade drones were part of the haul displayed. Part of the arsenal included Iranian-made mortar rounds and North Korean RPGs. "I think about five to 10 percent of the weapons here [were] made in Iran," said an Israeli military official, who helped oversee the clearance of munitions from areas that came under attack. "And 10 percent [are] North Korean. The rest of it was made inside the Gaza Strip," the official added, speaking anonymously. Hamas is believed to rely on extensive smuggling networks to bring weapons into the besieged Gaza Strip. (AFP)

10-25-2023
Politics

Iran's Guardian Council has returned a chastity and hijab bill to parliament due to "ambiguities" in the legislation.

Iran's Guardian Council has returned a chastity and hijab bill to parliament due to "ambiguities" in the legislation, which has drawn criticism both inside and abroad. Hadi Tahan Nazif, the council's spokesman, echoed arguments made by the Expediency Discernment Council that parts of the bill are inconsistent with the "general policies of the legislative system." The bill, which proposes extensive penalties for those opposing wearing the mandatory hijab, was returned for having “unclear boundaries in some cases, a lack of definitions for certain terms, ambiguities in relation to the resolutions of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, and some articles conflicting with the constitution due to increased public expenses or reduced public revenues without providing a way to compensate for it,” Nazif said. The Iranian regime is planning to hand over the oil industry to the “private sector,” which will effectively place the national wealth in the hands of insiders. (Radio Free Europe)

10-25-2023
Terrorism

In the weeks leading up to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, hundreds of the Palestinian Islamist militant group’s fighters received specialized combat training in Iran.

In the weeks leading up to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, hundreds of the Palestinian Islamist militant group’s fighters received specialized combat training in Iran, according to people familiar with intelligence related to the assault. Roughly 500 militants from Hamas and an allied group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, participated in the exercises in September, which were led by officers of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the people said. Senior Palestinian officials and Iranian Brig. Gen. Esmail Qaani, the head of Quds Force, also attended, they said. More than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed Oct. 7 by Hamas fighters who poured across the border from the Gaza Strip. Scores of others were kidnapped and taken back to Gaza, where they are being held hostage. (Wall Street Journal)

10-25-2023
Nuclear Program

Recent efforts to de-escalate tensions between the West and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program have been set back by the recent Hamas terror attack on Israel.

Recent efforts to de-escalate tensions between the West and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program have been set back by the recent Hamas terror attack on Israel, and Iran could seek to use the atomic program as leverage, according to analysts. Western powers accuse Iran of supporting Hamas as a proxy militant group in the region, although they have not accused Tehran of direct involvement in the group’s October 7 cross-border terror attack on Israel, which killed more than 1,400 Israeli soldiers and civilians. Hamas is also holding more than 200 people hostage. Israel’s subsequent bombing of Hamas targets in Gaza had killed almost 6,500 people as of Wednesday, according to Palestinian health officials, including more than 2,700 children. (Voice of America)

10-24-2023
Terrorism

Two dozen American military personnel were wounded in a series of drone attacks at American bases in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Central Command told NBC News.

Two dozen American military personnel were wounded in a series of drone attacks at American bases in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Central Command told NBC News. The Pentagon confirmed the attacks last week, but the number of U.S. casualties has not been previously disclosed. Twenty American personnel sustained minor injuries on Oct. 18 when at least two one-way attack drones targeted the al-Tanf military base in southern Syria, CENTCOM said. One of the drones was shot down. All of the wounded personnel were returned to duty, CENTCOM said, and there was no damage to any military installations. On that same day, another four American personnel suffered minor injuries during two separate drone attacks against U.S. and coalition forces stationed at al-Asad base in western Iraq, CENTCOM said. (NBC News)

10-24-2023
Terrorism

Iran has unleashed the regional militias it has spent years arming to strike back at the U.S. for its support of Israel.

Iran has unleashed the regional militias it has spent years arming to strike back at the U.S. for its support of Israel, raising the risks of a larger conflict in the region. For more than six months, these Iranian-backed militia groups refrained from launching drones or rockets against American troops in Iraq and Syria, as part of what appeared to be an undeclared truce between Tehran and Washington. That came to an abrupt end last week when U.S. officials said that Iran-backed groups launched at least a half dozen military drone and rocket attacks against bases that U.S. troops use in southeast Syria and in western and northern Iraq. In Yemen, the Iranian-backed Houthis also fired five Iranian-provided cruise missiles and launched about 30 drones toward Israel in an attack that was larger than initially described by the Pentagon, U.S. officials said. (Wall Street Journal)

10-23-2023
Military

Iran’s military chief warned the U.S. against sending weapons to Israel, saying it would further complicate the situation in Gaza.

Iran’s military chief warned the U.S. against sending weapons to Israel, saying it would further complicate the situation in Gaza. U.S. support for Israel "is considered as participation by the American government in the Zionist regime’s crimes,” Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, said in remarks published by Iranian state media. Bagheri has been calling on his counterparts in Qatar, Russia, and Turkey not to allow the U.S. to use American bases in the Middle East for the transfer of arms to Israel. (Wall Street Journal)

10-20-2023
Extremism

To defend Palestine is a Quranic command, Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, a firebrand senior cleric, told worshippers.

To defend Palestine is a Quranic command, Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda, a firebrand senior cleric, told worshippers, as tensions remain high in and around Gaza. God commanded Muslims to defend and protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the hardliner cleric said, and that means keeping “infidels” away from Jerusalem. Alamolhoda is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in one of the most important Shiite cities, Mashhad, where a revered imam is buried. He is also the father-in-law of Ebrahim Raisi, whom Khamenei handpicked to become president in 2021, simply by barring all other serious candidates from running, in what turned out to be a selection rather than an election. One of the special characteristics of Palestine, he said, is that God defeats all infidels in the blessed land. “The Holy Essence proclaims that divine signs are manifest in the land of Palestine.” (Iran International)

10-19-2023
Military

Iran believes it can boost its missile program now that sanctions have expired.

Iran believes it can boost its missile program now that sanctions have expired. However, the US indicated that it would take steps to continue some restrictions on Iran’s missiles. “Russia said on Tuesday that transfers of missile technology to Iran no longer needed Security Council approval as of Wednesday, when the UN sanctions lapse, without saying whether it now planned to support Tehran's missile development,” Reuters noted.  The expiration of the sanctions was part of the 2015 nuclear. The missile issue is important. Iran supports Hamas and Hezbollah. Hamas fired thousands of missiles at Israel during the war that began on October 7 with a massacre of Israelis. Hezbollah also continues to carry out attacks. (Jerusalem Post)

10-19-2023
Syria Conflict

Iran-backed groups blew up a gas pipeline in Syria's Kurdish-controlled northeast near a U.S. base.

Iran-backed groups blew up a gas pipeline in Syria's Kurdish-controlled northeast near a U.S. base, a war monitor said, as regional tensions grew following Israel's war with Gaza-based militants. Iran-backed groups "blew up the gas pipeline near the Conoco gas facility," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory's director, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP the blast had gone off close to a U.S. base. U.S.-led coalition forces, which entered Syria in 2014 to fight the Islamic State group, have set up several bases in Syria including in the Al-Omar oil field, the country's largest. They are also deployed at the Conoco gas field, and both are in Kurdish-controlled territory. (AFP)

10-10-2023
Military

Iran plans to hold talks with Russia over assistance to build a new Khayyam remote-sensing satellite.

Iran plans to hold talks with Russia over assistance to build a new Khayyam remote-sensing satellite. Discussions will cover developing technical specifications for new Khayyam satellites and plans for a small geostationary satellite and a telecommunications satellite, Russia's TASS news agency reported, citing the Iranian Mehr News Agency. Russia launched a Khayyam satellite for Iran on a Soyuz rocket in August last year. The spacecraft is a Russian-built Kanopus-V Earth-observation satellite with a resolution of 3.9 feet (1.2 meters). Khayyam satellites are named after the famed Persian poet and mathematician Omar Khayyam. (Space.com)

10-05-2023
Military

The Islamic Republic of Iran Army unveiled a new drone they developed in a drill, Brigadier General Alireza Sheikh announced via state media.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Army unveiled a new drone they developed in a drill, Brigadier General Alireza Sheikh announced via state media. The “Kaman-19,” named after the Farsi word for “bow,” successfully disrupted the communication between foreign drones and their ground base. The new drone was also able to disrupt foreign attacking drones electronically, highlighting the scope of Iran’s drone technology as the Islamic Republic continues to develop its drone program. Iran has been criticized internationally for the development of drones – most notably after providing Russia’s military with so-called “kamikaze” drones in 2022. (Jerusalem Post)

10-04-2023
Politics

A new report by the World Bank has put Iran among the worst countries in the world in terms of Worldwide Governance Indicators.

A new report by the World Bank has put Iran among the worst countries in the world in terms of Worldwide Governance Indicators. The international financial institution collected data from over 30 think tanks, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and private firms worldwide to encompass a wide range of perspectives on governance. However, in Iran's secretive regime, even its latest ranking, though low, begs questions as to the accuracy of the data provided, scoring suspiciously in areas such as the rule of law. Governance, defined as the traditions and institutions through which authority in a country is exercised, encompasses aspects such as the process of government selection, monitoring, and replacement, the government's ability to formulate and implement effective policies, and the level of respect shown by citizens and the state towards the institutions that oversee economic and social interactions among them. (Iran International)

10-04-2023
Human Rights

Activists have accused Iran's morality police of beating a girl for not wearing a hijab and posted a photo purportedly showing her in a coma.

Activists have accused Iran's morality police of beating a girl for not wearing a hijab and posted a photo purportedly showing her in a coma. Armita Geravand, 16, collapsed after boarding a Tehran metro train at Shohada station on Sunday. Officials said she fainted and released CCTV footage in which she is seen being pulled unconscious from the train. Human rights group Hengaw alleged that she was subjected to "a severe physical assault" by morality police officers. It said Armita was being treated at Tehran's Fajr hospital under tight security, and that the phones of all members of her family had been confiscated. On Monday, authorities briefly detained a female journalist for the Sharq newspaper who went to the hospital to report on the case. (BBC News)

10-04-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran says the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors banned from its nuclear sites were political "extremists" as it tried to justify its standing in the way of vital work.

Iran says the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors banned from its nuclear sites were political "extremists" as it tried to justify its standing in the way of vital work. Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Mohammad Eslami, justified Tehran's recent decision to ban what Director General of the IAEA, Raphael Grossi, said was around one-third of the international inspection team, claiming those expelled had a history of "extremist political behavior". Downplaying the scale, he said it was an "insignificant" number expelled, contradicting the statement by Grossi in which he made a rare public criticism of the regime for its obstructive behavior last month.  “With today’s decision, Iran has effectively removed about one third of the core group of the Agency’s most experienced inspectors designated for Iran,” Grossi said in a statement, adding that the move "affects in a direct and severe way the ability of the IAEA to effectively conduct its inspections in Iran.” (Iran International)

10-03-2023
Politics

Two sons of Iran's first deputy head of the Judiciary are involved in a $400 million money laundering and corruption case.

Two sons of Iran's first deputy head of the Judiciary are involved in a $400 million money laundering and corruption case. The sons of Mohammad Mosaddegh are facing a range of allegations, including the formation of a corruption network, money laundering, forgery of documents, and interference in judicial cases. The news of the detention of his two sons, who have been confirmed as participants in this network, has recently come to light. Their apprehension follows the arrest of an individual approximately eight months ago, charged with smuggling, money laundering, and other infractions. According to the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency, under the directive of the Chief Justice, an investigation was initiated, leading to the detention of eight individuals connected to the case so far. (Iran International)

10-02-2023
Human Rights

The repression against professors and university students deemed as critical to the Islamic Republic continues unabated in Iran.

The repression against professors and university students deemed as critical to the Islamic Republic continues unabated in Iran. During the first week of the new academic year, at least nine male students and three female students were barred from entering Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology, according to Amirkabir News Telegram Channel. A number of these students had previously been arrested by security agencies during nationwide protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody in September last year. Amirkabir News Telegram Channel said that the university's security forces played a significant role in building a case against Alireza Baradaran Shoraka that led to his "unlawful" expulsion despite the student's "excellent academic record. (Iran Wire)

10-02-2023
Terrorism

An extraordinary article in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida has claimed that Iran is seeking to create a complex deal in Syria, to transfer weapons from Hezbollah to Syrian regime-backed Arab tribes, as well as to send arms to Moscow.

An extraordinary article in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida has claimed that Iran is seeking to create a complex deal in Syria, to transfer weapons from Hezbollah to Syrian regime-backed Arab tribes, as well as to send arms to Moscow. Maariv described this as a four-way deal, one that threatens both Israel and Ukraine. The interplay between Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria has always been complex, with any movement benefitting Hezbollah or Iran-backed proxies seen as a threat. If true, the move could result in a concerning weapons flow, especially new Iranian weapons to Hezbollah. While moving weapons away from Hezbollah and to the tribes or to Russia appears counterintuitive – since Hezbollah tends to stockpile weapons – this could take the older munitions off of Hezbollah’s hands, setting it up to get the newer ones while earning it gratitude from Moscow. (Jerusalem Post)

10-02-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran has the capacity to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear device in a matter of weeks, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Iranian leaders are not pursuing a nuclear weapons program but have the capacity to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear device in a matter of weeks, according to the Department of Defense. The department's analysis is laid out in its Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, released late last week, though the estimation remains consistent with previous ones. "It is assessed that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program at this time, but has the capacity to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear device in less than two weeks. Further, the United States assesses Iran to be noncompliant with its [Chemical Weapons Convention] obligations," it states. "For example, Iran has not submitted a complete chemical weapons production facility declaration to comply with CWC processes.” (Washington Examiner)

09-29-2023
Terrorism

A fourth Bahraini serviceman died following a Houthi drone attack against forces of the Saudi-led coalition in Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen, the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) said.

A fourth Bahraini serviceman died following a Houthi drone attack against forces of the Saudi-led coalition in Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen, the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) said. The officer died of his wounds, BDF said in a statement. Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement has battled the Saudi-led coalition since 2015 in a conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands and left 80% of the population dependent on aid. (Reuters)

09-29-2023
Terrorism

An Iranian hacker group known as OilRig hijacked legitimate websites in order to target Israeli organizations, including a healthcare organization, in two separate cyberattack campaigns in 2021 and 2022.

An Iranian hacker group known as OilRig hijacked legitimate websites in order to target Israeli organizations, including a healthcare organization, in two separate cyberattack campaigns in 2021 and 2022, the Slovak ESET cybersecurity company reported. The two cyberattack campaigns were labeled "Outer Space" and "Juicy Mix" by ESET. The two campaigns collected browsing history, cookies, usernames, and passwords stored on targeted devices. The Outer Space campaign, launched in 2021, was conducted after OilRig compromised an Israeli human resources site. The hacker group used the site as a server to extract information from targeted devices. (Jerusalem Post)

09-28-2023
Military

Iran and Russia may conclude a drone and missile sale agreement following the expiration of UN missile restrictions on October 18.

Senior Iranian and Russian military officials reviewed Iranian advanced conventional weapons, and may conclude a drone and missile sale agreement following the expiration of UN missile restrictions on October 18, Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) reported. On September 19, Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu made a trip to Tehran, where discussions were held regarding the enhancement of defense and military collaboration between Russia and Iran. During the visit, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajji Zadeh gave Shoigu a tour of Iran’s drone, missile, and air defense arsenal at the IRGC Aerospace Force headquarters in Tehran. (Al-Arabiya)

09-28-2023
Military

Iran is planning to build a naval base at the South Pole, its naval chief said.

Iran is planning to build a naval base at the South Pole, its naval chief said. "Our plan in the future is to raise the proud flag of Iran in Antarctica," navy chief Adm Shahram Irani said during Iran's "sacred defense" week. Tehran hopes to conduct "military and scientific" work at the South Pole, he added, addressing the 86th flotilla, which returned in June from voyages to prepare an Antarctic expedition. In May, Iran said it hoped to send warships to Antarctica in the "near future" and had sent the flotilla on a round-the-world expedition to prepare for the mission. Adm Irani said the flotilla "broke the hegemony of world powers," state-run Irna reported. (The National)

09-28-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iranian vessels pointed lasers against a U.S. attack helicopter operating in the Persian Gulf, in what the U.S. military is calling “unsafe, unprofessional, and irresponsible” actions.

Iranian vessels pointed lasers against a U.S. attack helicopter operating in the Persian Gulf, in what the U.S. military is calling “unsafe, unprofessional, and irresponsible.” According to a U.S. Navy statement, personnel aboard vessels belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy pointed lasers at a U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter while in flight. No one aboard was injured and the helicopter, which was operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, was not damaged, the statement said. The helicopter was operating in international airspace and Iran’s actions were inappropriate, the statement said. (Politico)

09-28-2023
Human Rights

Handwritten notes from Javad Rouhi, who died in Nowshahr prison due to medical neglect, show the brutal torture he endured in the hands of state security.

Handwritten notes from Javad Rouhi, who died in Nowshahr prison due to medical neglect, show the brutal torture he endured in the hands of state security. Atena Daemi, a human rights activist, has since his recent death, made the notes public, drawing attention to the dire plight of inmates in Iran's penitentiaries. Rouhi, who was apprehended during the nationwide protests, died under suspicious circumstances while in custody on August 31. He had been sentenced to death alongside two other teenagers, on charges of allegedly setting fire to a police station. The notes written by Rouhi reveal that during his 44 days of incarceration at the Intelligence Department of Mazandaran Province facility, he was subjected to repeated instances of interrogation torture including electric shock and beatings. (Iran International)

09-27-2023
Military

Iran claimed it successfully launched an imaging satellite into space.

Iran claimed it successfully launched an imaging satellite into space, which could further ratchet up tensions with Western nations that fear its space technology could be used to develop nuclear weapons. Iran's Communication Minister Isa Zarepour said the Noor-3 satellite had been put in an orbit 450 kilometers (280 miles) above the Earth's surface, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. It was not clear when exactly the launch took place. There was no immediate acknowledgment from Western officials of the launch or of the satellite being put into orbit. The U.S. military did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (CBS News)

09-27-2023
Military

Iranian state television revealed a new jet-powered version of the Shahed series drone.

Iranian state television has revealed the existence of a new one-way attack drone: a jet-powered version of the Shahed series, the drones which Russia has used to pound Ukraine. The current Shahed-136 is driven by a propeller, with a puttering piston engine earning it the nickname “flying moped.” The new version will be far faster and more difficult to intercept. (Forbes)

09-27-2023
Terrorism

Israel arrested five Palestinians in a plot allegedly hatched in Iran to target and spy on senior Israeli politicians.

Israel arrested five Palestinians in a plot allegedly hatched in Iran to target and spy on senior Israeli politicians, including Israel’s far-right national security minister, the country’s internal security agency. The Shin Bet security service alleged that an Iranian security official living in neighboring Jordan had recruited three Palestinian men in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and another two Palestinian citizens of Israel to gather intelligence about several high-profile Israeli politicians. The targets included National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir — a firebrand Israeli settler leader who oversees the country’s police force in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultranationalist government — as well as Yehuda Glick, an American-born far-right Israeli activist and former member of parliament. (Associated Press)

09-26-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran's judiciary announced that its prosecutors had issued indictments against U.S. President Joe Biden and over 50 other American officials over their supporting and hosting of a U.S.-based exiled opposition group.

Iran's judiciary announced that its prosecutors had issued indictments against U.S. President Joe Biden and over 50 other American officials over their supporting and hosting of a U.S.-based exiled opposition group. At a press briefing in Tehran, judiciary spokesperson Masoud Setayeshi said the list also included former presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush as well as secretaries of state Mike Pompeo, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. Setayeshi argued that the sitting and former officials had long supported the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, also known as Tondar, "a dissident group which promotes the restoration of the monarchy to Iran to replace the theocratic Islamic Republic." (Al-Monitor

09-26-2023
Nuclear Program

In the spring of 2014, senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials initiated a quiet effort to bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues — particularly its nuclear program — by building ties with a network of influential overseas academ

In the spring of 2014, senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials initiated a quiet effort to bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues — particularly its nuclear program — by building ties with a network of influential overseas academics and researchers. They called it the Iran Experts Initiative. The scope and scale of the IEI project has emerged in a large cache of Iranian government correspondence and emails reported for the first time by Semafor and Iran International. The officials, working under the moderate President Hassan Rouhani, congratulated themselves on the impact of the initiative: At least three of the people on the Foreign Ministry’s list were, or became, top aides to Robert Malley, the Biden administration’s special envoy on Iran, who was placed on leave this June following the suspension of his security clearance. (Semafor)

09-25-2023
Politics

A member of the Iranian parliament says the Expediency Council has exempted the executive and judicial branches from the transparency law.

A member of the Iranian parliament says the Expediency Council has exempted the executive and judicial branches from the transparency law. The "Transparency of the Three Branches" draft law was presented by a group of parliament members in April 2022. After several debates between the parliament and the Guardian Council, the Expediency Council ultimately took responsibility for the final decision. The Expediency Discernment Council is an administrative assembly appointed by the supreme leader with supervisory powers over all branches of the government. The Guardian Council is a 12-member body – half of whom were directly appointed by Khamenei – that also has veto power over legislation passed by the parliament. (Iran International)

09-25-2023
Human Rights

An American-Iranian dual national died in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison due to lack of medical attention, according to reports.

An American-Iranian dual national died in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison due to lack of medical attention, according to reports. An anonymous source told BBC Persian that Faramarz Javidzad, 60, was taken to hospital after he suffered stomach bleeding, but he was later returned to the prison in the Iranian capital where he later died due to lack of medical care. He was returned purportedly at the behest of the prison authorities, Iran Wire reported. Faramarz's physical condition reportedly had been deteriorating for several days. Javidzad lived in the United States for two decades before returning to Iran a few years ago, where he ended up facing charges relating to “the transfer of illicit funds, involvement in the formation of a counterfeit and fraudulent network,” Iran International reported. (Al-Monitor)

09-25-2023
Terrorism

The spokesperson for Iran's Revolutionary Guards has threatened a vigorous response to counter the “hostile activities of the enemy in the media sphere.”

The spokesperson for Iran's Revolutionary Guards has threatened a vigorous response to counter the “hostile activities of the enemy in the media sphere.” Ramezan Sharif called for launching an offensive against anti-regime media as the revolutionary tide continues to deepen and threaten the Islamic Republic's stability. Iranian regime authorities, including commanders from the Revolutionary Guard, have frequently issued threats against media outlets operating abroad, such as Iran International. During his address, Sharif alleged that media outlets globally are under the control of individuals who shape the narrative for their respective organizations while pursuing their own vested interests. (Iran International)

09-25-2023
Nuclear Program

The head of UN's nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, says “significant safeguards issues remain outstanding” in Iran’s nuclear program.

The head of UN's nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, says “significant safeguards issues remain outstanding” in Iran’s nuclear program. Speaking at the IAEA General Conference, Grossi admitted that there has been no progress in “implementing the activities outlined in the most recent joint statement he made with Iran in March 2023.” Back in March, a few days before a quarterly meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, Grossi visited Iran to reach an agreement that would avert yet another resolution requiring Tehran to cooperate to resolve long-standing disputes. Out of that trip came a Joint Statement in which the Islamic Republic of Iran expressed readiness “to provide further information and access to address the outstanding safeguards issues.” (Iran International)

09-22-2023
Extremism

A journalist was attacked in New York City by an official who was part of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s camp.

A journalist was attacked in New York City by an official who was part of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s camp, a news channel has alleged. Iran International correspondent Kian Amani was filming outside the Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza Hotel and reporting on Raisi’s “entourage” leaving when the incident happened, the Iran International news channel said in a statement. “The entourage of Iran’s president attacked, harassed, and insulted Iran International journalists covering Ebrahim Raisi’s stay in New York,” Iran International alleged. (CNN)

09-22-2023
Military

Brigadier General Esmail Qaani held discussions with senior Syrian officials in Damascus on ways to "confront the military and security challenges facing Syria" and supervised a joint Iran-Syria military exercise, Iranian state-linked media said.

Qaani, appointed Quds Force commander after a U.S. drone strike on Baghdad killed its revered leader Qassem Soleimani in 2020, met senior Syrian officials in Damascus, Tasnim news agency reported. They held discussions on ways to "confront the military and security challenges facing Syria" and supervised a joint Iran-Syria military exercise, Tasnim said. Qaani also praised Syria and Iran's "brotherly relations." He added Iran "will stand by the Syrian people and leadership in facing its challenges.” The Quds Force is the foreign operations arm of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (France 24)

09-22-2023
Terrorism

Iran and its agents appear to be orchestrating a Europe-wide campaign of harassment, surveillance, kidnap plots, and death threats targeting political activists who are protesting against the regime.

Iran and its agents appear to be orchestrating a Europe-wide campaign of harassment, surveillance, kidnap plots, and death threats targeting political activists who are protesting against the regime. The Guardian has spoken to 15 Iranian campaigners who have been targeted in similar acts of repression across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden. In most of the cases, the activists have been warned by western police or security agencies that Iran is behind credible threats to their life in retribution for their activism on European soil. The attacks include hacking, cyber-attacks, and online harassment that can include thousands of death threats sent over a week, and real-world threats. (The Guardian)

09-20-2023
Extremism

A leader of a government vigilante mob who carried out the 2011 storming of the British embassy in Tehran accompanied Iran's president during his visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

A leader of a government vigilante mob who carried out the 2011 storming of the British embassy in Tehran accompanied Iran's president during his visit to the United States. Mojtaba Amini is also the producer of a TV series that has been criticized for glorifying the imprisonment of dual nationals and journalists. Amini's producing of the Gando TV series was aimed to undermine the administration of former President Hassan Rouhani while receiving praise from supporters of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Members of President Hassan Rouhani's administration, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, protested the series and even wrote a letter of complaint to Khamenei, requesting its cancellation. (Iran International)

09-20-2023
Politics

Iran’s parliament passed a new “hijab and chastity” bill that lays out punishment for people, especially women, who violate the country’s mandatory dress code rules.

Iran’s parliament passed a new “hijab and chastity” bill that lays out punishment for people, especially women, who violate the country’s mandatory dress code rules. Lawmakers approved the three-year duration of the legislation on a trial basis, with 152 voting in favor, 34 against, and seven abstaining. The Guardian Council, a powerful oversight body consisting of clerics and legal experts, would need to approve the bill before it can be implemented. The implementation of the legislation, which had been in the works for months, was not put to a parliament vote. It was approved last month by a special committee consisting of 10 lawmakers. (Al-Jazeera)

09-20-2023
Human Rights

Mass arrests in Iran are reported on the anniversary of the Woman, Life, Freedom movement, which was sparked by Mahsa Amini’s murder at the hands of the “Morality Police” in Iran.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi expressed no regrets about how his government handled widespread protests in the country last year, even as reports of mass arrests being made in the country as the anniversary of the protests in response to the death of Mahsa Amini approaches. "Those who carried out terror, who have killed individuals, who have attacked police and security forces, who had made some destruction in the country, of course we did not have mercy upon them," Raisi told NBC News' Lester Holt last week in his first interview with a Western news organization since Amini's controversial death in police custody last year. (Fox News)

09-15-2023
Military

Iran has seized two foreign oil tankers, its state media reported, as tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic in the Gulf continue.

Iran has seized two foreign oil tankers, its state media reported, as tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic in the Gulf continue. The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported that the navy of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced it had captured two foreign oil tankers in the Persian Gulf that were carrying 400,000 gallons of smuggled fuel. The tankers, the Steven and the Crown, were flying under the flags of Panama and Tanzania, IRNA reported. Both ships' crews, 37 people in total, were arrested. Al-Monitor was unable to find ships matching their description in shipping databases. (Al-Monitor)

09-14-2023
Nuclear Program

Britain, Germany, France and the United States told the International Atomic Energy Agency further action would be needed on Iran if the country did not fulfill legal obligations and clarify issues over nuclear material.

Britain, Germany, France and the United States told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) further action would be needed on Iran if the country did not fulfill legal obligations and clarify issues over nuclear material. "Iran needs to provide, without further delay, technically credible information on the current location(s) of nuclear material and contaminated equipment in relation to Turquzabad and Varamin," the four countries said in a statement to the IAEA board on September 13. (Reuters)

09-12-2023
Human Rights

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said his government will decide how it will spend $6 billion in previously frozen funds due to be released in a prisoner exchange agreement with the U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said his government will decide how it will spend $6 billion in previously frozen funds due to be released in a prisoner exchange agreement with the U.S., telling NBC News’ Lester Holt that the money will be spent "wherever we need it." In an exclusive interview in Tehran, Raisi suggested that the Americans held in Iran would be coming home soon, saying that the U.S.-Iran prisoner exchange deal would be completed in “due time” and that the American detainees were “very healthy.” Under the arrangement, Tehran will be granted access to the roughly $6 billion in Iranian oil revenues that were blocked in South Korean banks because of U.S. sanctions. But U.S. officials say Qatar’s central bank will oversee the funds and Iran will be permitted to use the money only for humanitarian purposes in accordance with U.S. sanctions. (NBC News)

09-12-2023
Human Rights

Iran's theocracy institutes snap checkpoints, internet disruptions, and university purges as the anniversary of the Woman, Life, Freedom movement approaches.

Iran's theocracy is trying hard to both ignore the upcoming anniversary of nationwide protests over the country's mandatory headscarf law and tamp down on any possibility of more unrest. Yet the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini still reverberates across Iran. Some women are choosing to go without the headscarf, or hijab, despite an increasing crackdown by authorities. Graffiti, likely against Iran's government, is rapidly painted over in black by Tehran's municipal workers. University professors have been fired over their apparent support for demonstrators. (Associated Press)

09-12-2023
Terrorism

Israel accused Iran of building an airport in southern Lebanon to be used as a launchpad for attacks against Israelis across the border.

Israel accused Iran of building an airport in southern Lebanon to be used as a launchpad for attacks against Israelis across the border, signaling a possible escalation in tensions between the regional foes. Speaking at a high-profile security conference hosted by Reichman University near Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claimed Iran has been building a runway that slices through forested mountains just 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Israel’s northern border. Gallant displayed satellite photographs that he said showed the site, where the Iranian national flag and the flag of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group could be seen. Gallant alleged that Iran “is planning to act against the citizens of Israel,” using the runway as a base. (Associated Press)

09-11-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran has the resources and technical know-how to produce multiple nuclear weapons in months, according to the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).

Iran has the resources and technical know-how to "produce enough [weapons-grade uranium] for six nuclear weapons in one month, eight in two months, nine in three months, and ten in four months," according to the Institute for Science and International Security, a think tank that reviewed the latest disclosures about Tehran’s atomic stockpile from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This is significantly faster than the three-to-four months it would have taken Iran to build just one nuclear weapon in 2020 when economic sanctions were at their strictest before the Biden administration took office. Now, it would take Iran just 12 days to produce the fuel needed for its first nuclear warhead and a total of six by the end of one month. (Washington Free Beacon)

09-10-2023
Military

Iranian pro-regime media praises the “Tactical Sayyad” air-defense system.

Multiple articles in Iranian pro-regime media have been hyping the “Tactical Sayyad” air-defense system. Iran claims this system, which is launched from a military-style truck, can detect up to 24 targets at a time at a distance of around 180 km. It can then engage up to 12 of those targets. Iran claims this is an indigenous system, built and developed in Iran. This would be in contrast to other systems that Iran may have developed by modeling them on foreign air-defense missiles, such as S-200s. (Jerusalem Post)

09-10-2023
Terrorism

The head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, David Barnea, revealed at a security conference that Israel and its allies had foiled 27 attacks over the past year in Europe, Africa, southeast Asia, and South America.

The head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency said that Israel is prepared to strike “in the heart of Tehran” to track down the perpetrators of what he said were over two dozen Iranian attempts to hit Israeli and Jewish targets around the world. Speaking at a security conference, David Barnea said that Israel and its allies had foiled 27 attacks over the past year in Europe, Africa, southeast Asia, and South America. “The plots being pursued by these teams were orchestrated, masterminded, and directed by Iran,” Barnea told the conference at Reichman University. He added that “as we speak” Iran is trying to carry out additional attacks. (Associated Press)  

09-09-2023
Politics

A few dozen hardliners in parliament and in President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration have increasingly resorted to eliminating others from the government bureaucracy and even universities, accusing some of insufficient “revolutionary” credentials.

Mansur Haqiqatpur, the former deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security Committee, stated in an interview with Rouydad24 in Tehran, "Despite their small numbers, these ultraconservatives have seized control of all government institutions." Referring to their widespread influence and their “irresponsible behavior,” Haqiqatpur emphasized that the nation, the media, and politicians should hold the ultraconservatives accountable for their destructive performance. A few dozen hardliners in parliament and in President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration have increasingly resorted to eliminating others from the government bureaucracy and even universities, accusing some of insufficient “revolutionary” credentials. (Iran International)

09-07-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran claims the U.S. State Department funded and supported an anti-regime network, which Iran’s Intelligence Ministry (MOIS) and the IRGC allegedly uncovered and disrupted.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry, in cooperation with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps intelligence unit, busted "a foreign-affiliated network" that it says was planning to renew a protest movement that erupted across the Islamic Republic following the brutal murder of a young woman at the hands of Tehran's morality police. Iran claims the U.S. State Department funded and supported the anti-regime network. But the claims, which were presented by Iran's state-controlled media without evidence, indicate the Iranian regime may be seeking to use the U.S. government as a scapegoat before the ongoing protest movement launches a new wave of demonstrations to bring down the hardline Islamic government, according to one former Pentagon adviser. (Washington Free Beacon)

09-05-2023
Human Rights

Iranian authorities closed down the pro-reform news agency Entekhab after it published a video clip criticizing the foreign policy agenda of hardline President Ebrahim Raisi.

Iranian authorities closed down the pro-reform news agency Entekhab after it published a video clip criticizing the foreign policy agenda of hardline President Ebrahim Raisi. The decision was announced by the state regulatory body, known as the Press Supervisory Board, after it found the news agency to be "acting against Iran's national interests and the Islamic Republic's fundamental foreign policies," according to a report by the government-funded Tasnim news agency. The ban was specifically prompted by a five-minute clip posted on Entekhab's various digital platforms. The report dug into Raisi's foreign policy, describing it as a failure. Titled "The Iranian brand put up for sale," it argued that the overall trajectory of Raisi's foreign policy is placing Iran in a "weaker" position, particularly with its "look to the East" approach, and that the reliance on Russia and China "will leave such damage upon Iran that cannot be repaired for years to come."  (Al-Monitor)

09-05-2023
Terrorism

A court in Germany levied accusations against a dual Iranian-German individual in connection with an arson attack targeting a synagogue in the Ruhr region of Germany. The defendant is alleged to have received directives from the Iranian government.

A court in Germany levied accusations against an individual in connection with a fire that occurred in November 2022 at a school in the city of Bochum. The defendant is alleged to have received directives from the Iranian government, with the primary target being a synagogue situated adjacent to the school. The 36-year-old defendant, a dual Iranian-German citizen, is set to face trial on September 12th in the regional high court of Dusseldorf, as indicated by the official indictment. He has been charged with orchestrating an arson attack under the orders of Iranian government authorities, targeting a synagogue in the Ruhr region of western Germany. (Iran International)

09-05-2023
Terrorism

The European Union's top diplomat confirmed that Johan Floderus, a Swedish diplomat working for the EU, has been held captive in Iran for more than 500 days.

The European Union's top diplomat confirmed that Johan Floderus, a Swedish diplomat working for the EU, has been held captive in Iran for more than 500 days. Arriving at a meeting on development in the Spanish city of Cadiz, EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell told reporters that Brussels was pushing "relentlessly" for the 33-year-old's release. Sweden partially confirmed a New York Times report on the detention, announcing that a Swedish citizen in his thirties had been held in Iran since April 2022. But Borrell went further, confirming the prisoner's name and that he works for the EU diplomatic corps. (AFP)

09-04-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran's stock of uranium enriched to up to 60% purity, close to weapons grade, continues to grow and there has been no progress in talks with Tehran.

Iran's stock of uranium enriched to up to 60% purity, close to weapons grade, continues to grow and there has been no progress in talks with Tehran on sensitive issues such as explaining uranium traces at undeclared sites, two reports by the U.N. nuclear watchdog seen by Reuters said on Monday. According to one of the confidential quarterly reports to member states, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran's stockpile of uranium enriched to up to 60% purity, close to the roughly 90% of weapons grade, continued to increase albeit at a slower pace, despite some of it having been diluted. (Reuters)

09-02-2023
Military

Iran’s news agencies are reporting that a Russian-made YAK-130 combat trainer aircraft is in the country and has joined the Air Force.

Iran’s news agencies are reporting that a Russian-made YAK-130 combat trainer aircraft is in the country and has joined the Air Force. The report by ISNA said the advanced combat trainer aircraft is able to meet the training needs of pilots to learn to fly 4th-generation fighters. In April, Iran announced that it had finalized a deal to buy Su-35 fighter jets from Russia. Iran and Russia have a close relationship, especially in military equipment. Iranian drones have been a key element of Russia’s continued war on Ukraine. (Associated Press)

08-31-2023
Nuclear Program

The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will focus on Iran’s near bomb-grade uranium stockpile at its upcoming September 11 board meeting.

Iran is slowing the rate at which it’s stockpiling near weapons-grade uranium, the U.N. nuclear watchdog is expected to conclude next month, adding to an easing of Persian Gulf tensions that’s already seen Tehran and Washington discuss the release of prisoners and more oil pour onto global markets. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are preparing to circulate their quarterly Iran safeguards report ahead of the Vienna-based agency’s September 11 board meeting. Some nuclear officials predict the IAEA data will show Iran is moderating its production of highly-enriched uranium, a key component of an atomic bomb. Iran says its program is peaceful. (Bloomberg)

08-30-2023
Human Rights

The trial of the lawyer for Mahsa Amini has begun in Iran. Saleh Nikbakht has been charged with "propaganda against the system."

The trial has begun in Iran of the lawyer for Mahsa Amini, the young Iranian Kurdish woman whose death last September triggered a widespread protest movement, a media report said. Saleh Nikbakht is charged with "propaganda against the system," the daily Etemad reported. “He was notified of the charge of propaganda activity against the regime for having spoken to foreign and local media, concerning the Mahsa Amini affair in particular," it said. Nikbakht's trial begins nearly a year after the death in custody last September 16 of 22-year-old Amini, after she was arrested for allegedly violating the Islamic republic's strict dress rules for women. (AFP)

08-29-2023
Human Rights

A student group says officials at Ferdowsi University in the city of Mashhad have decided to segregate classes by gender for the upcoming school year.

A student group says officials at Ferdowsi University in the city of Mashhad have decided to segregate classes by gender for the upcoming school year. The Student Guild Councils of Iran published photos on August 28 showing an internal memo approved by Abolfazl Ghaffari, the school's vice president for cultural, social, and student affairs, that outlines the implementation of the plan, which was sent to the dean of the Mathematics Department and will be issued to other department heads as well. In the directive, Ghaffari references a decision by Iran’s Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, which mandates the observance of Islamic guidelines in educational settings, endorsing the separation of male and female students in classes. Gender segregation has long been a contentious issue at Iranian universities. (Radio Free Europe)

08-29-2023
Human Rights

Iranian authorities have dismissed at least 10 university professors who supported the nationwide protests that began last September.

Iranian authorities have dismissed at least 10 university professors who supported the nationwide protests that began last September following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. Just weeks ahead of the anniversary of her demise, reports on social media showed that Hamideh Khademi and Ameneh Aali, two professors from Allameh University in Tehran, were dismissed via phone call, while the Student Guild Council of Iran reported the dismissal of seven professors from the Faculty of Literature at the University of Tehran. Universities and students have long been at the forefront of the struggle for greater social and political freedoms in Iran. In 1999, students protested the closure of a reformist daily, prompting a brutal raid on the dorms of Tehran University that left one student dead. (Radio Free Europe)

08-29-2023
Terrorism

Iran is pressing its proxy group, Hezbollah, to attack Israel along its northern border, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told the United Nations Secretary-General.

Iran is pressing its proxy group, Hezbollah, to attack Israel along its northern border, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told the United Nations Secretary-General as he urged him to ensure that the organization’s peacekeeping force is empowered to monitor the situation. "The potential for escalation on the northern border is increasing following a blatant violation of Lebanon's sovereignty by Hezbollah’s military build-up,” Gallant said. “The U.N. must urgently intervene to reduce tensions by strengthening the freedom of movement of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon in the region, and implementing its mandate on the northern border,” Gallant told Guterres. (Jerusalem Post)

08-28-2023
Politics

The administration of President Ebrahim Raisi is falsifying statistics pertaining to the government of Hassan Rouhani to pretend there has been growth under his stewardship.

Despite pervasive poverty in society, the Iranian government boasts about its performance but based on apparently fabricated data, a former official says. To justify its inept handling of the economic situation, manifested in devaluation of the national currency and runaway inflation, the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi is falsifying statistics pertaining to the government of Hassan Rouhani to pretend there has been growth under his stewardship. The sheer volume of inaccurate information has prompted Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, a vice president under Rouhani and the former head of the Planning and Budget Organization, to write an open letter to the incumbent, providing what he described as the correct data. (Iran International)

08-28-2023
Terrorism

The Jordanian army said it downed a drone heading from Syria in the third such incident this month, linked to Iran-backed militias.

The Jordanian army said it downed a drone heading from Syria in the third such incident this month, linked to Iran-backed militias. Meanwhile, officials said an increase in weapons being smuggled across the border was raising concerns about a new Iranian-instigated threat beyond drugs. The army said in a statement that the drone was brought down in its territory but did not say what it was carrying. Officials have recently revealed weapons were being smuggled as well as narcotics by drone. Jordanian officials said the increasing use of drones carrying explosives was adding a new dimension in a relentless cross-border billion-dollar drug war the staunch U.S. ally has long blamed on Iranian-backed militias that hold sway in southern Syria. (Iran International)

08-27-2023
Terrorism

Iran-backed Houthi rebels killed 10 Yemen army soldiers from a southern separatist faction in a "surprise attack" after more than a year of relative calm, military sources said.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels killed 10 Yemen army soldiers from a southern separatist faction in a "surprise attack" after more than a year of relative calm, military sources said. Twelve others were wounded in the attack by the Houthis in the border area between the southern provinces of Lahj and Al-Bayda, the sources told AFP on the condition of anonymity. Four Houthi fighters were also killed, and several were wounded, the sources said. There was no immediate comment from the rebels. The attack targeted a site manned by the separatists, who aspire to create an independent state in southern Yemen such as the one that existed until 1990, the military sources said. (AFP)

08-27-2023
Terrorism

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) cleared for publication that security forces foiled an attempt to smuggle Iranian-made explosives into Israel from Jordan last month.

The Israel Defense Forces cleared for publication that security forces foiled an attempt to smuggle Iranian-made explosives into Israel from Jordan last month. The smuggling attempt was thwarted by troops of the IDF’s 417th Regional Brigade and members of the Matilan Border Police counterterrorism unit on July 24 in the Jordan Valley just south of the Sea of Galilee, near the Ashdot Ya’akov kibbutz. Initially, few details were permitted for publication by the Military Censor, including the type of contraband seized by the forces, and its origins. Later, the censor allowed for media to publish that troops had seized Iranian-made explosives. (Times of Israel)

08-27-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran's enrichment of uranium continues based on a framework established by the country's parliament, Iranian nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said.

Iran's enrichment of uranium continues based on a framework established by the country's parliament, nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said when asked about reports regarding Tehran slowing down its 60% enrichment. "Our nuclear enrichment continues based on the strategic framework law," Eslami said, referring to a related legislation. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran had significantly slowed the pace at which it was accumulating near-weapons-grade enriched uranium and diluted some of its stockpile, moves that could help ease tensions with the U.S. and revive broader talks over Iran's nuclear work. (Reuters)

08-26-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi told a summit of the BRICS group of nations that Tehran is determined to help member states ditch the U.S. dollar in their economic dealings.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi told a summit of the BRICS group of nations that Tehran is determined to help member states ditch the U.S. dollar in their economic dealings. Raisi was delivering his speech in Johannesburg, South Africa, only a day after BRICS — currently formed by Brazil, Russia, India and China — sent out invitations to Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Ethiopia and Argentina to become new members as of 2024. "Iran decisively backs up BRICS' efforts toward de-dollarization … using national currencies and strengthening the bloc's mechanisms for payment and financial interactions," Raisi said in comments aired live by Iran's state TV. Sanctioned by the United States and squeezed by banking restrictions, Iran has long been knocking on doors to try to remove the dollar from its foreign business and restore payments for its vital oil sales. (Al-Monitor)

08-25-2023
Military

Iran launched exercises to test its “electronic warfare” capabilities against mock enemy drones, fighter jets and helicopters, state television reported.

Iran launched exercises to test its “electronic warfare” capabilities against mock enemy drones, fighter jets and helicopters, state television reported. It said units from the military's navy, ground, and air forces as well as air defenses took part in the drills in the central, largely desert region of the Islamic Republic. The exercises featured domestically manufactured radars, drones, manned and unmanned fighter jets, micro aerial vehicles and other military equipment, state TV said. (Reuters)  

08-25-2023
Human Rights

Iranian authorities are arresting activists and pressuring citizens not to resume antigovernment protests, seeking to head off a new outbreak of civil disobedience around the anniversary of last year’s nationwide demonstrations.

Iranian authorities are arresting activists and pressuring citizens not to resume antigovernment protests, seeking to head off a new outbreak of civil disobedience around the anniversary of last year’s nationwide demonstrations. The tactics signaled deepening concerns among Iran’s clerical leadership that the grievances that sparked protests last year haven’t abated, and that a resumption of clashes that brought parts of the country to a near standstill remains possible, even though calm has reigned for months. Last year’s protests began in mid-September. Demands for greater freedom quickly escalated into calls for the overthrow of the clerical leadership, in one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its founding four decades ago. (Wall Street Journal)

08-23-2023
Military

Iran and Russia have entered discussions about the prospects of further military cooperation.

As Russia and Iran are both hit by economic sanctions from the West, the allied nations have entered discussions about the prospect of military cooperation. Russia’s deputy defense minister and the Iranian ground forces commander were in talks this week during an Iranian military delegation's visit to Moscow, Interfax reports. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine 18 months ago, the two nations have drawn closer in diplomatic and military exchanges, which has caused concern in the West. In August 2022, Iran’s supply of lethal drones to Russia sparked international interest and alarm. And the alleged transfer of drones from Iran to Russia for use against Ukraine triggered further concern. (Iran International)

08-22-2023
Politics

A former senior official of Iran’s Foreign Ministry and a lawmaker have warned that "infiltrators" in the upper echelons of the government pose a threat to national interests.

A former senior official of Iran’s Foreign Ministry and a lawmaker have warned that "infiltrators" in the upper echelons of the government pose a threat to national interests. A former Director General for the Middle East, Mohammad Ali Sobhani, has said in an interview with Entekhab website last week that "a radical group of infiltrators are furthering measures that prevents the Iranian government from normalizing its relations with other countries." In April 2021, former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had said that Russia interfered in Iran's domestic affairs particularly by dictating ideas to the top-level commanders of the revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Zarif said that Russia summoned former IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani to Moscow on a few occasions. (Iran International)

08-22-2023
Military

Iran’s Defense Ministry unveiled a drone resembling America’s armed MQ-9 Reaper.

Iran’s Defense Ministry unveiled a drone resembling America’s armed MQ-9 Reaper, claiming that the aircraft is capable of staying airborne for 24 hours and has the range to reach the country’s archenemy Israel. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency published a photograph of the drone, called the Mohajer-10, on display at a conference marking Defense Industry Day with what appeared to be smoke-machine fog underneath it. “Mohajer” means “immigrant” in Farsi and has been a drone line manufactured by the Islamic Republic since 1985. (Associated Press)

08-21-2023
Human Rights

Iran has executed at least eight individuals – most of whom were incarcerated for drug offenses – in a span of three days, local activists said.

Iran, which Amnesty International recently slammed for turning its prisons into "killing fields," has executed at least eight individuals – most of whom were incarcerated for drug offenses – in a span of three days, local activists said. The Baluch Activists Campaign said on August 21 that four executions – all linked to drug-related offences – took place at the Zahedan prison. The group identified the victims as Abdulsamad Khadem, a 29-year-old from Zahak; Yaqub Ejbari, a father of eight from Qarqaruk village; Mohammad Anwar Barahui and an individual with the surname Qanbarzehi, both of whom were from Zahedan, which is located in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. (Radio Free Europe)

08-21-2023
Terrorism

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a series of recent deadly attacks against Israelis has been funded and encouraged by Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that a series of recent deadly attacks against Israelis has been funded and encouraged by Iran. "We are in the midst of a terror attack. This terror attack is encouraged, guided, funded by Iran and its satellite states," Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks. He spoke in the occupied West Bank at a site where hours earlier an Israeli woman was shot dead by suspected Palestinian gunmen. (Reuters)

08-20-2023
Politics

Hardliners hold such a strong sway within Iran's regime that media discuss their intentions to seize control of the political system for the upcoming decade.

Hardliners hold such a strong sway within Iran's regime that media discuss their intentions to seize control of the political system for the upcoming decade. They have almost been in total control of the presidential administration since 2021, while also holding the majority of seats in the parliament (Majles) following the controversial elections of 2020, when no moderate or reformist regime loyalists were allowed to run. The ultraconservatives' near-monopoly of power is already strong enough so that traditional conservatives such as the elderly members of the Islamic Coalition Party find it hard to consider themselves as players in the upcoming parliamentary election in March. (Iran International)

08-20-2023
Military

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps released footage showing Iranian forces confronting U.S. naval forces in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps released footage showing Iranian forces confronting U.S. naval forces in the Strait of Hormuz. The incident comes as U.S. warships entered the gateway to the Persian Gulf for the first time since 2021, responding to Iranian seizures and harassment of oil tankers. IRGC speed boats were seen in the video trailing the USS Bataan, which was carrying thousands of Marines as part of larger reinforcements to the area. “Your helicopter is in the vicinity of my vessels,” Iranian forces radioed to the American warship, “sometimes going to Iranian territorial waters. Advised to take them on your boat and do not enter … Iranian territorial waters. If you do not obey my orders, we will open fire on your helicopters, over.” (i24 News)

08-17-2023
Military

An Iranian scientific network led by a regime loyalist who has links to Iran’s brutal Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is trying to engage U.K.-based academics with expertise in dual-use technologies.

An Iranian scientific network led by a regime loyalist who has links to Iran’s brutal Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is trying to engage U.K.-based academics with expertise in dual-use technologies. Mohammad Hussain Ataee Dolat Abadi, director of International Conference of Research in Europe (ICRE), has persuaded leading scientists and engineers from universities including Cambridge, Birmingham, Glasgow Caledonian, and University College London to share their ideas and address conferences in Tehran. The network was personally backed by the former Iranian minister of science and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is an official partner of the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, which has been subject to U.K. and E.U. sanctions due to its involvement with Iran’s nuclear weapons program since 2012. (Jewish Chronicle)

08-17-2023
Military

Iran and Russia are said to be running a month behind schedule on a drone manufacturing facility in Russia. The site at Alabuga is unlikely to meet its target date for 6,000 drones.

Although Western officials have revealed the existence of the facility and Moscow’s partnership with Tehran, documents leaked from the program and obtained by The Washington Post provide new information about the effort by two self-proclaimed enemies of the United States — under some of the world’s heaviest sanctions — to expand the Kremlin’s drone program. Altogether, the documents indicate that, despite delays and a production process that is deeply reliant on foreign-produced electronic components, Moscow has made steady progress toward its goal of manufacturing a variant of the Iranian Shahed-136, an attack drone capable of traveling more than 1,000 miles. (Washington Post)

08-14-2023
Anti-Americanism

Russian officials have said that the volume of trade between Russia and Iran will reach $7.5 billion by 2025.

The intensification of international sanctions against Russia has made Iran a potentially major trade partner for Moscow, a website in Tehran said. According to Rouydad24, Iranian officials have started to think of Russia as a $100 billion market for Iranian goods. This, however, is an outlandish expectation given Iran’s own isolation due to sanctions, its crippled economy, and the need for technology and raw materials hard for Iran to acquire. The volume of trade between Moscow and Tehran reached $4 billion between January and October 2022, a far cry from the $100 billion figure. Russian officials have said that the volume of trade will reach $7.5 billion by 2025. (Iran International)

08-13-2023
Extremism

Iranian authorities arrested nine followers of the Bahai faith— over a host of corruption charges — including money laundering and tax evasion, the intelligence ministry said.

Iranian authorities arrested nine followers of the Bahai faith— over a host of corruption charges — including money laundering and tax evasion, the intelligence ministry said. The Bahais, Iran's largest non-Muslim minority, are branded by the Islamic republic as "heretics" and are often targeted over alleged ties to Israel, home to their most important shrines and world headquarters. The arrests targeted members of the group in the capital Tehran, said to own "20 pharmacies, three cosmetic companies, and multiple unauthorized warehouses," according to the ministry. (Associated Press)

08-09-2023
Military

Iran announced that it has achieved the ability to produce supersonic cruise missiles.

Iran announced that it has achieved the ability to produce supersonic cruise missiles, a potentially significant military achievement at a time of heightened tensions with the United States. Iranian military scientists said they gained the “technical know-how” to manufacture cruise missiles that can travel at supersonic speeds and that the homegrown missile is currently in the testing stage. The development will “open a new chapter in Iran’s defense technologies,” the semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported. (Al-Monitor)

08-08-2023
Military

Iran warned that it could capture American vessels after the Pentagon beefed up its presence in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

In a message of defiance and apparent preparedness for escalation, Iran warned that it could capture American vessels after the Pentagon beefed up its presence in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. "The Islamic Republic is capable of reciprocating any mischief by the Americans … including through seizure of their vessels in reciprocation," said Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif, spokesman for Iran's hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in comments covered by Fars News Agency. The reaction came one day after the United States sent a 3,000-strong contingent of U.S. Marines and personnel to the Red Sea. Earlier last month, the U.S. military also dispatched F-35, F-16 and A-10 warplanes along with Navy destroyers to the Persian Gulf. The reinforcement, according to US officials, is meant to conduct joint patrols in the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow waterway of utmost vitality to the global oil trade. (Al-Monitor)

08-08-2023
Terrorism

The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' elite Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, arrived in Beirut ahead of a meeting with Hezbollah's Nasrallah, according to Walla News.

The head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' elite Quds Force, Esmail Qaani, arrived in Beirut ahead of a meeting with Hezbollah's Nasrallah, according to Walla News. Citing reports, the Israeli news outlet noted this comes after a visit to Syria. The Quds Force is responsible for clandestine missions outside of Iran, aiding proxies hostile to Israel in the region, most notably the Hezbollah terrorist organization. Iranian activity has also come under scrutiny in the West Bank by Jerusalem's defense establishment for fomenting terrorism against Israelis. (i24 News)

08-06-2023
Politics

Iran appointed Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, who is under U.S. and British sanctions, to head the Islamic Republic’s top court.

Iran appointed Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, who is under U.S. and British sanctions, to head the Islamic Republic’s top court. Montazeri was named the supreme court chief after the “opinions of all the court judges” were taken into consideration, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said. The 75-year-old, who had served as prosecutor general since 2016, would be succeeded in his former post by Mohammad Kazem Movahedi Azad, the chief of the High Disciplinary Court of Judges which investigates judicial conduct, Mizan added. Montazeri was placed under U.S. sanctions in December, with Washington identifying him as having a role in “overseeing the prosecution of protesters” during mass demonstrations in Iran last year. (Times of Israel)

08-03-2023
Military

Tehran is using partnerships between universities in Iran and the U.K. to develop their arms industry, an Iranian government document has reportedly shown.

Tehran is using partnerships between universities in Iran and the U.K. to develop their arms industry, an Iranian government document has reportedly shown. The document, discovered by Kasra Aarabi who heads the Iran Programme at the Tony Blair Institute, allows Iran's military access to sensitive research conducted by Iranian universities and their international partners that could be used to expand its capabilities. The document, which was issued by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, also gives the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), amongst other security services, powers to obtain the research, prompting Aarabi to state that research between the U.K. and Iranian universities is "being utilized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and will end up in their hands." (The New Arab)

08-02-2023
Military

Iran's Revolutionary Guards' navy has unveiled new vessels equipped with 600-km range missiles.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards' navy has unveiled new vessels equipped with 600-km range missiles at a time of rising tensions with the U.S. in the Gulf, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. The announcement was made during a military exercise off the coast of Abu Musa Island, one of three Gulf islands under Iranian control but disputed by the United Arab Emirates. The news agency gave no details about the missiles but cited a commander on the need to defend the islands. (Reuters)

07-25-2023
Military

Iran's Defense Ministry said it had mass-produced the country's first long-range naval ballistic missile with a host of new combat features.

Iran's Defense Ministry said it had mass-produced the country's first long-range naval ballistic missile with a host of new combat features, designed to "completely destroy" enemy carriers, state media outlets reported. "We have employed artificial intelligence within the software of the naval missile's trajectory planning," Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani announced at a televised ceremony in Tehran. The ceremony marked the delivery of dozens of the projectiles to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran's regular army, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. The missile is dubbed Abu Mahdi after Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraqi's Tehran-backed Popular Mobilization Units. (Al-Monitor)

07-25-2023
Military

U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Russia is building a drone-manufacturing facility in country with Iran’s help that could have a significant impact on the war in Ukraine.

U.S. intelligence officials have warned that Russia is building a drone-manufacturing facility in country with Iran’s help that could have a significant impact on the war in Ukraine once it is completed. Analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency told a small group of reporters during a briefing that the drone-manufacturing facility now under construction is expected to provide Russia with a new drone stockpile that is “orders of magnitude larger” than what it has been able to procure from Iran to date. When the facility is completed, likely by early next year, the new drones could have a significant impact on the conflict, the analysts warned. In April, the U.S. released a satellite image of the planned location of the purported drone manufacturing plant, inside Russia’s Alabuga Special Economic Zone about 600 miles east of Moscow. (CNN)

07-25-2023
Military

Bolivia is interested in obtaining Iranian drone technology to protect its borders and combat smuggling and drug trafficking, the Andean country’s defense minister confirmed.

Bolivia is interested in obtaining Iranian drone technology to protect its borders and combat smuggling and drug trafficking, the Andean country’s defense minister confirmed a day after Argentina demanded information on an agreement reached by Iran and Bolivia that has raised security concerns in the region. Edmundo Novillo dismissed those concerns, saying they were “exaggerated” and came from an Argentine lawmaker “who, I understand, has Israeli origins,” whom he did not name. (Associated Press)

07-25-2023
Human Rights

Iran topped the list of countries that imposed the highest number of internet restrictions in the first half of this year.

Iran topped the list of countries that imposed the highest number of internet restrictions in the first half of this year. Much of the disruption happens during protests, according to new data. According to figures from cyber security company Surfshark, Iran took the lead globally with 14 new restrictions, followed by India with nine and Pakistan with three. Protests were identified as the main driver of the shutdowns. Surfshark spokesperson Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske said that it was "deeply concerning" to see Iran's surge in internet restrictions, particularly following the death of Mahsa Amini and the Zahedan massacre. (Al-Monitor)

07-23-2023
Military

Iran began an annual air force drill in the central part of the country, state media reported.

Iran began an annual air force drill in the central part of the country, state media reported, as the United States sends more fighter planes to the region to deter the Islamic Republic from seizing commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf area. The official IRNA news agency said 11 Iranian air force bases participated in the drill, dubbed Fadaeian Velyat-11, or Devotees of the Supreme Leader-11. It said an air base at the southern port of Bandar Abbas at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz is active in the drill. The Strait of Hormuz is the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20 percent of all crude oil passes. (Associated Press)

07-21-2023
Anti-Americanism

A fourth U.S. citizen has been detained in Iran, several sources confirmed to Al-Monitor.

A fourth U.S. citizen has been detained in Iran, several sources confirmed to Al-Monitor, potentially complicating the Biden administration’s pursuit of a prisoner exchange with Tehran. More than two years after the United States and Iran began indirect talks over a prisoner swap, Tehran was known to be holding three Iranian-Americans — Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi and Morad Tahbaz — on charges U.S. officials say are baseless. Five sources with knowledge of the situation told Al-Monitor that the United States was seeking the release of a fourth individual detained by Tehran. Multiple sources said the detainee is a male dual U.S.-Iranian national, with one source saying he was arrested in late 2022. (Al-Monitor)

07-21-2023
Terrorism

Iran has assembled a heavily armed unit comprised of thousands of fighters from across the region capable of conducting attacks on U.S. troops in Syria as well as against neighboring Israel.

Iran has assembled a heavily armed unit comprised of thousands of fighters from across the region capable of conducting attacks on U.S. troops in Syria as well as against neighboring Israel, according to a document shared with Newsweek by a member of an intelligence agency of a nation allied with the United States. The intelligence official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the information, told Newsweek that U.S. officials had been briefed on the contents of the document, which covered the existence of the "Imam Hossein Division," said to be linked to the expeditionary Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). (Newsweek)

07-20-2023
Military

Iran would retaliate against any oil company unloading Iranian oil from a seized tanker, the Revolutionary Guards' navy commander Alireza Tangsiri said, according to state media.

Iran would retaliate against any oil company unloading Iranian oil from a seized tanker, the Revolutionary Guards' navy commander Alireza Tangsiri said, according to state media. In April, the U.S. confiscated Iranian oil on a tanker at sea in a sanctions enforcement operation, according to a maritime security firm. Tangsiri added that Tehran would hold Washington responsible for allowing the unloading of the tanker's content. Sources familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue, had said Washington took control of the oil cargo aboard the Marshall Islands tanker Suez Rajan after securing an earlier court order. (Reuters)

07-18-2023
Politics

In public messaging, Iran’s leaders have sought to deflect blame for water shortages.

From Tehran to rural regions, people are posting videos to social media complaining of days on end in the heat without running water, their faucets emitting nothing but murky drops. The water shortages, which experts say are driven in large part by decades of mismanagement, are a long-standing problem. But they have grown more severe as climate change accelerates — and are an increasing driver of discontent, sparking protests and confrontations in recent years.  In public messaging, Iran’s leaders have sought to deflect blame to the Taliban, which rules in neighboring Afghanistan, for restricting water flow in the Helmand River. Officials have also blamed floods and fallen rocks, for disrupting the operation of dams around Tehran, and ordinary citizens, for their consumption of water and electricity. (Washington Post)

07-18-2023
Military

The Iranian president is focusing on securing drone sales in return for food during his latest trip to Africa.

The Iranian president is focusing on securing drone sales in return for food during his latest trip to Africa. According to Kayhan newspaper, affiliated with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's office, President Raisi is working on “extraterritorial cultivation, export of products such as drones and cars, petrochemical products, as well as technical exports." The latest revelations will come as no shock, the barter deals of the heavily sanctioned regime the only way it can muddle through its current crisis, calling in favors from its dictatorial allies around the world from South America to Africa. Iran has been providing drones to guerrilla groups across the Middle East for decades, and most recently, has supported Russia's invasion of Ukraine with hundreds of Shahed drones used in large scale missile attacks. (Iran International)

07-18-2023
Military

Iran's top military officer said that his country has gained sufficient military prowess to make its foes forego the option of a military strike against the Islamic Republic.

Iran's top military officer said that his country has gained sufficient military prowess to make its foes forego the option of a military strike against the Islamic Republic. "It's been years since they have stopped talking about the military option," said the chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, in an interview with Tasnim news agency. Enumerating "criminal" foes, including the United States and Israel, Bagheri said they have also come to the conclusion that "a ground battle against the Islamic Republic will be doomed in failure." Despite engaging in on-and-off diplomacy with Tehran over the past decade, the United States has warned that "everything remains on the table" in its treatment of threats posed by the Islamic Republic's nuclear and missile programs. (Al-Monitor)

07-18-2023
Human Rights

Iran's clerical rulers are clamping down on dissent ahead of the anniversary of the death of a young woman in morality police custody.

Iran's clerical rulers are clamping down on dissent ahead of the anniversary of the death of a young woman in morality police custody, fearing a revival of nationwide protests that rocked the Islamic Republic for months. Journalists, lawyers, activists, human rights advocates and students have been arrested, summoned or faced other measures in a campaign that one activist described as "instilling fear and intimidation." (Reuters)

07-17-2023
Politics

President Ebrahim Raisi has sacked the head of Iran's Statistics Center and the Social Security Organization, as hardliners purge officials outside their circle.

President Ebrahim Raisi has sacked the head of Iran's Statistics Center and the Social Security Organization, as hardliners purge officials outside their circle. Javad Hossein-Zadeh was removed from his position as the head of the only government institution issuing statistics on the struggling economy, which somewhat differed from frequent rosy claims and predictions by the president and his immediate aides. He was replaced by Daryush Abouhamzeh, who will serve as the interim head for the moment. Although Iran's Statistics Center is administered and funded by the government and operates under the umbrella of Planning and Budget Organization, it maintained a veneer of credibility as one of the very scarce sources of data – both economic and social. (Iran International)

07-17-2023
Human Rights

Iranian police are resuming controversial patrols to ensure women obey dress codes and cover their hair in public, state media reports.

Iranian police are resuming controversial patrols to ensure women obey dress codes and cover their hair in public, state media reports. The "morality police" will return to the streets to enforce Iran's hijab laws, a spokesman said. It comes 10 months after a young woman, Mahsa Amini, died in custody following her arrest in Tehran for allegedly breaking the dress code. (BBC)

07-17-2023
Terrorism

An article at the pro-Iran Al-Mayadeen claimed that the “Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announced that its fighters in Jenin have developed an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP), or a self-forming warhead in Jenin.”

An article at the pro-Iran Al-Mayadeen media highlighted the presence of new weapons among Hamas members, especially since it was translated to English to reach a broader audience. The claim of new weapons, then, should be viewed in the context of Israel’s operation in Jenin earlier this month and Iran’s attempts to increase threats in the West Bank. The report claimed that the “Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announces that its fighters in Jenin have developed an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP), or a self-forming warhead in Jenin.” (Jerusalem Post)

07-14-2023
Human Rights

A group of 54 Iranian lawyers who expressed support for the family of Mahsa Amini after she died in police custody have been summoned by judicial authorities.

A group of 54 Iranian lawyers who expressed support for the family of Mahsa Amini after she died in police custody have been summoned by judicial authorities to explain social media posts, a move activists say is part of a campaign by officials to pressure them amid continued unrest over the suppression of women's rights by the Islamic regime. (Radio Free Europe)

07-13-2023
Human Rights

Iranian media reported that two other men were publicly hanged in Fouladshahr, Esfahan province, on charges of moharebeh (enmity against God) and corruption on earth.

Iranian media reported that two other men were publicly hanged in Fouladshahr, Esfahan province, on charges of moharebeh (enmity against God) and corruption on earth. According to the Judiciary's Mizan website, the two men identified as Mohammad Ghaedi Nasab, 35, and Sadegh Mahmoudi Baram, 25, were publicly hanged after a criminal court sentenced them to death for participation in murder. It is alleged that the two defendants fought and disarmed officers, killing one and causing another to lose a finger on November 18, 2021. The executions bring this week's total of public hangings to four. (Iran International)

07-13-2023
Terrorism

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Iran was responsible for a foiled plot to attack the Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Iran was responsible for a foiled plot to attack the Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan. “Tehran stands behind the attempt,” Cohen said in a statement during an official visit to Serbia. “Iranian terror is a global threat, as we saw in the past few days in Azerbaijan in an attempted attack against the Israeli Embassy in Baku, as well as in recent months in Cyprus and Greece in attempted attacks against Israelis and Jews,” Cohen said, adding Iran had funded and issued instructions to the terror cell that attempted the attack. Cohen called for the international community to come together to oppose Iran’s terror activities. (Times of Israel)

07-13-2023
Terrorism

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant revealed that Israel and other intelligence partners thwarted more than 50 attempts to attack Jewish and Israeli targets worldwide, all orchestrated by Iran.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant revealed that Israel and other intelligence partners thwarted more than 50 attempts to attack Jewish and Israeli targets worldwide, all orchestrated by Iran. Most of them were at the last stages of execution and were stopped at the "last moment." In his visit to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, Iran's northern neighbor, Gallant accused Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of overseeing a terrorist campaign "of unprecedented measure" targeting Israelis and Jews. (Fox News)

07-12-2023
Anti-Americanism

Despite evidence of the use of Iranian drones by the Russian army, Iran’s Supreme Leader holds American arms companies responsible for the continued war in Ukraine.

Despite evidence of the use of Iranian drones by the Russian army, Iran’s Supreme Leader holds American arms companies responsible for the continued war in Ukraine. Despite Iran’s denials, numerous reports show that the Russian army has used hundreds of Iranian-made drones to bomb Ukraine's infrastructure and civilians. However, in his meeting with seminary students and religious missionaries on Wednesday, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said: "They [the US] are ready to victimize a nation like the poor homeless nation of Ukraine, so that the pockets of the American arms companies will be filled," he said. (Iran International)

07-12-2023
Human Rights

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on July 12 launched into a condemnation of Western attitudes on homosexuality during a visit to Uganda.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on July 12 launched into a condemnation of Western attitudes on homosexuality during a visit to Uganda, which has just introduced some of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world. "The West today is trying to promote the idea of homosexuality and by promoting homosexuality they are trying to end the generation of human beings," Raisi said. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a law in May making "aggravated homosexuality" a capital offense and same-sex relations punishable by life in prison, triggering outrage among human rights groups, the United Nations, LGBT activists, and Western powers. (Radio Free Europe)

07-11-2023
Human Rights

The father of one of the victims of Iran's recent protests was tried on charges of "assembly and collusion with the intention of disrupting national security."

The father of one of the victims of Iran's recent protests was tried on charges of "assembly and collusion with the intention of disrupting national security." Ali Rouhi's court session was held at Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court. He is the father of Hamidreza Rouhi, a university student who was shot dead near his home in Shahr-e Ziba neighborhood in the west of the capital on November 18. Ali Rouhi was arrested on April 6 after he invited people to attend the birthday of his murdered son. He was released from Evin prison on bail on April 9. Rouhi's family has been under pressure for attempts to keep their son’s memory alive. (Iran International)

07-11-2023
Terrorism

Azerbaijan's security agencies thwarted a terrorist attack on the Israeli embassy in Baku, the latest in a wave of Iranian plots against Israeli targets abroad.

Azerbaijan's security agencies thwarted a terrorist attack on the Israeli embassy in Baku, the latest in a wave of Iranian plots against Israeli targets abroad. According to media reports, an Afghan citizen, Fawzan Mosa Khan, has been arrested. In a video released by Azerbaijan's State Security Service, Khan discussed how he would monitor the target of the attack. Photographs suggested Musa Khan had been surveilling the Hyatt Regency hotel complex in Baku, where the Israeli embassy is located. (Iran International)

07-11-2023
Nuclear Program

A new assessment released by U.S. intelligence revealed that Iran is boosting its nuclear capabilities but is not pursuing the development of nuclear weapons.

A new assessment released by U.S. intelligence revealed that Iran is boosting its nuclear capabilities but is not pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s assessment said Iran has “undertaken research and development activities that would bring it closer to producing the fissile material needed” to produce a nuclear weapon. However, the report noted that while Iran has accelerated its nuclear program since 2020, it is still not yet capable of producing a weapon. “Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities that would be necessary to produce a testable nuclear device,” the assessment reads. (The Hill)

07-10-2023
Extremism

Iran accused an Iraqi man who recently burned a copy of the Quran in Sweden of being an agent of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

Iran accused an Iraqi man who recently burned a copy of the Quran in Sweden of being an agent of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi citizen living in Sweden, stomped on the Quran and set several pages alight outside a Stockholm mosque on June 28, triggering widespread anger among Muslims around the world. Swedish police had granted Momika a permit for the demonstration, citing free speech protections. (Al-Arabiya News)

07-10-2023
Human Rights

At least 60 female students in Iran have reportedly been barred from university for flouting the country’s mandatory hijab law.

At least 60 female students in Iran have reportedly been barred from university for flouting the country’s mandatory hijab law. Videos recently shared by citizen journalists show the harassment of women and girls in subways, streets, and university campuses by disciplinary committees and pro-regime civilians. In defiance, female university students across the country have been recording themselves without headscarves. Several female activists have told the Guardian that detentions and arrests of young women are on rise. They said they have been warned of serious consequences if they fail to adhere to the mandatory hijab law. (The Guardian)

07-10-2023
Human Rights

Iran has sentenced a popular rapper to six years and three months in prison over his participation in protests that rocked the country last year, his supporters said.

Iran has sentenced a popular rapper to six years and three months in prison over his participation in protests that rocked the country last year, his supporters said. A social media account run by supporters of Toomaj Salehi announced the sentence, as did Ye-One Rhie, a member of the German parliament who has campaigned on his behalf. There was no immediate word from Iranian authorities. (Associated Press)

07-10-2023
Terrorism

National production of bitumen is largely distributed to the IRGC for construction and infrastructure projects. In turn, it is often smuggled or sold out of Iran to neighboring countries, enriching IRGC-linked middlemen.

With an annual production of several million tons, Iran is among the world’s top producers of bitumen, a fuel grade that is typically used in applications such as road surfacing, roofing and certain types of paint. As Iran Open Data reported on July 10, most of the national production is distributed free of charge to state-owned entities and affiliates of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be used for construction and infrastructure projects. However, available data suggest that most of this free bitumen is smuggled or sold out of Iran to neighboring countries, enriching IRGC-linked middlemen, the collaborative initiative said. (Iran Wire)

07-09-2023
Terrorism

Israel says Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia in southern Lebanon, has set up more than two dozen military outposts along the countries’ border in violation of international agreements.

Israel says Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia in southern Lebanon, has set up more than two dozen military outposts along the countries’ border in violation of international agreements, a development it says risks increasing confrontation. Under a United Nations Security Council resolution following the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, armed fighters from Hezbollah are not permitted to enter the border area. Troops from the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon — or UNIFIL — are stationed there to make sure both sides keep to the rules. Yet in the past year, Israeli military officials say, those outposts have sprung up along the Blue Line, the boundary set by the U.N. (Bloomberg)

07-09-2023
Nuclear Program

A fresh batch of damning European intelligence reports reveal that the Islamic Republic of Iran sought to bypass U.S. and E.U. sanctions to secure technology for its nuclear weapons program with a view toward testing an atomic bomb.

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first published translations of the intelligence documents on its website, the security agencies of Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany revealed sensitive data during the first six months of 2023 on the Iranian regime's illicit nuclear weapons proliferation activities. The reports mainly cover Iran’s alleged illegal conduct in 2022. The most shocking revelation in the trove of intelligence data was from the Netherlands General and Intelligence Security Service (AVID) that determined Iran’s astonishingly fast development of weapons-grade uranium "brings the option of a possible [Iranian] first nuclear test closer." (Fox News)

07-08-2023
Nuclear Program

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed dissatisfaction with Iran's level of cooperation with the nuclear watchdog.

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed dissatisfaction with Iran's level of cooperation with the nuclear watchdog. Rafael Grossi made these remarks during a press conference after visiting the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station in Japan. "The situation is difficult. Efforts related to the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] have currently stalled, so there is not much progress on that front. Cooperation with Iran is ongoing, but it is not at the level that I would prefer. I have conveyed this to my Iranian counterparts. We have several unresolved issues," Grossi stated. He further mentioned that he had visited Iran in March, where he agreed on a joint statement and certain necessary steps to resolve existing disagreements. (Iran International)

07-07-2023
Terrorism

The U.S. Justice Department filed a forfeiture complaint this week to take control over thousands of weapons seized by the U.S. Navy that Iran had sent to terrorist groups in Yemen, including the Iran-backed Houthis.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a forfeiture complaint this week to take control over thousands of weapons seized by the U.S. Navy from Iran to terrorist groups in Yemen, including the Iran-backed Houthis. More than 9,000 rifles, 284 machine guns, approximately 194 rocket launchers, over 70 anti-tank guided missiles and over 700,000 rounds of ammunition were seized by the U.S. Navy during four interdictions of stateless vessels: two from 2021 and another two from 2023. (Al-Arabiya News)

07-06-2023
Military

Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized a tanker holding 900 metric tons of "smuggled fuel" and 12 crew members based on a court order, a report by the semi-official Fars news agency said.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized a tanker holding 900 metric tons of "smuggled fuel" and 12 crew members based on a court order, a report by the semi-official Fars news agency said. "A vessel carrying 900 tons of smuggled fuel with 12 crew members was seized by the Revolutionary Guards' Navy patrol vessels in the Persian Gulf with a court order," Fars news reported from Iran's southern port of Bandar Abbas. (Reuters)

07-06-2023
Nuclear Program

The U.N. expressed “serious concern” over Iran's steadily growing stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

The U.N. expressed “serious concern” over Iran's steadily growing stockpile of highly enriched uranium. Rosemary Di Carlo, undersecretary general for political and peacebuilding affairs, also noted that the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog remains unable to directly verify stockpiles of enriched uranium in the country. Ms. Di Carlo told the Security Council that the International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has grown to more than 20 times the limit set in the 2015 nuclear deal and includes increased quantities of uranium enriched by up to 60 percent. (The National)

07-05-2023
Military

Iran tried to seize two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, firing shots at one of them, the U.S. Navy said.

Iran tried to seize two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, firing shots at one of them, the U.S. Navy said. It said that in both cases, the Iranian naval vessels backed off after the U.S. Navy responded, and that both commercial ships continued their voyages. "The Iranian navy did make attempts to seize commercial tankers lawfully transiting international waters," said Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. "The U.S. Navy responded immediately and prevented those seizures." He said the gunfire directed at the second vessel did not cause casualties or major damage. (Associated Press)

07-05-2023
Terrorism

An Israeli researcher missing for months in Iraq is being held by a Shiite militia, according to a statement from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

An Israeli researcher missing for months in Iraq is being held by a Shiite militia, according to a statement from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Elizabeth Tsurkov, 36, a doctoral student at Princeton University, was kidnapped and held by the group Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraqi militia linked to Iran, after leaving a cafe in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, in late March, according to her family and people with knowledge of her case. She holds both Israeli and Russian passports and entered the country using her Russian passport, according to the Israeli government. Israel and Iraq do not have diplomatic relations, so she would not have been allowed to enter with an Israeli passport. (New York Times)

07-04-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during the group’s virtual summit, representing a foreign policy achievement amid its isolation.

Iran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during the group’s virtual summit, representing a foreign policy achievement amid its isolation. This is the first time Tehran joins a regional pact since the 1979 revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic. The SCO also known as the Shanghai Pact is a Eurasian political, economic and security alliance formed in 2001 with Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, with one of its goals being cooperation against extremism. India and Pakistan joined the pact in 2017 and Belarus is also slated to become a member. (Iran International)

07-03-2023
Human Rights

Iran executed at least 354 people in the first half of 2023, a human rights group said.

Iran executed at least 354 people in the first half of 2023, a human rights group said as they renewed calls for action against Tehran. The majority of people – 206 – were put to death for drug-related offences, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights said. Among those put to death were six women and five protesters. At least 122 others were executed on murder charges, the organization said. Iran is notorious for its use of the death penalty, coming second only to China for its use of capital punishment in 2020. (The National)

07-01-2023
Terrorism

Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief Ziad Nakhaleh said in an interview that his Iran-backed terror group was working to establish cells of fighters throughout the West Bank.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief Ziad Nakhaleh said in an interview that his Iran-backed terror group was working to establish cells of fighters throughout the West Bank. Speaking with Iranian Arabic-language newspaper Al-Vefagh, Nakhaleh said Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — with whom he met two weeks ago in Tehran — was supportive of “moving from a state of calm to one of resistance” in the West Bank, while reiterating his support for arming Palestinians there. “The most important thing is that we strengthen the resistance,” the Damascus-based Nakhaleh said. (Times of Israel)

06-29-2023
Terrorism

Israel said its Mossad intelligence service carried out an operation in Iran to capture the suspected leader of an Iranian plot to attack Israeli businesspeople in Cyprus and thwart the attack.

Israel said its Mossad intelligence service carried out an operation in Iran to capture the suspected leader of an Iranian plot to attack Israeli businesspeople in Cyprus and thwart the attack. "In a unique operation on Iranian soil, the Mossad captured the head of the cell, who, during an investigation, gave a detailed confession that led to the exposure and dismantlement of the terrorist cell behind the Cyprus attack," the Mossad said in a statement. Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment. The Israeli agency identified the suspect as Yousef Shahabazi Abbasalilu and said he "received detailed instructions and weapons from senior (officials) in Iran's Revolutionary Guards" to carry out such an attack. (Reuters)

06-25-2023
Military

Iran’s Damavand destroyer, located on the land-locked Caspian Sea, has been outfitted with new missiles and a gun, Iranian media reported.

Iran’s Damavand destroyer, located on the land-locked Caspian Sea, has been outfitted with new missiles and a gun, Iranian media reported. Iran’s main warship on the Caspian Sea was ordered back in 2006 and completed in 2013. Iran can use this sea to expand its strategies in Central Asia and protect shipments of weapon systems, such as drones, to Russia. Iran reportedly ships drones and items for a drone factory via the Caspian Sea, according to a June 9 report at CNN. (Jerusalem Post)

06-25-2023
Terrorism

Israel formally acknowledged that an Iranian-planned terror attack targeting Israeli and Jewish targets in Cyprus was foiled.

Israel formally acknowledged that an Iranian-planned terror attack targeting Israeli and Jewish targets in Cyprus was foiled, and warned that its operatives would continue thwarting “Iranian terrorism wherever it raises its head,” including in Iran. Cypriot media reported the suspected terror plot, believed to be linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian army that is considered a terror organization by several countries, including the United States. The Phile News website said the plot was thwarted by Cypriot intelligence services, in cooperation with other foreign agencies, said to be from Israel and the U.S. (Times of Israel)  

06-22-2023
Politics

An Iranian member of parliament urged modesty rules for men as well.

As women en-masse defy the mandatory hijab in Iran, an Iranian member of parliament urged modesty rules for men as well. Alireza Pak-Fetrat said that men with tattoos must keep them covered, so as not to break Islam, which forbids tattoos as an unholy and unnecessary body ornament, defacing the sacred physical body. He also stressed that men must ensure their clothing appropriately covers their bodies, such as when riding bikes or sitting in public places, so as not to tempt women by revealing bare skin. Heated debates over a new bill about how to deal with women who refuse to observe compulsory hijab continues inside and outside the Iranian parliament. (Iran International)

06-21-2023
Politics

Iran has intensified its diplomatic activity, engaging with friends and foes alike as it seeks to reduce its isolation, improve its economy, and project strength.

Iran has intensified its diplomatic activity, engaging with friends and foes alike as it seeks to reduce its isolation, improve its economy, and project strength. Iran's ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi has led the way, swinging through China, Syria and Venezuela, hosting Saudi Arabia's top diplomat, and reaching out to other long-time regional rivals such as Egypt. And his foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, has travelled to Oman, the mediator in indirect talks between Iran and its sworn enemy the United States over its suspect nuclear program and a possible prisoner swap. Sanam Vakil, director of Chatham House's Middle East and North Africa program, said Iran was seeking to show it can overcome its adversaries. (AFP)

06-21-2023
Human Rights

A group of hackers has reportedly leaked government documents suggesting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi approved the use of at least 100 trillion Iranian rials ($200 million) to put down protests during the recent nationwide unrest.

A group of hackers has reportedly leaked government documents suggesting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi approved the use of at least 100 trillion Iranian rials ($200 million) to put down protests during the recent nationwide unrest sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in September while she was in police custody for an alleged head-scarf offense. The hackers, known as Uprising Until Overthrow and affiliated with the exiled opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq organization (MKO), reportedly hacked and released the highly confidential correspondence between the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Thar Allah Headquarters in Tehran, and Raisi's office. (Radio Free Europe)

06-21-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran’s vice president claims the country is planning to produce 20,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear power.

Iran’s vice president claims the country is planning to produce 20,000 megawatts of electricity using nuclear power. Mohammad Mokhber said that the use of fossil fuel is losing its place and the importance of nuclear energy is doubling. He also ordered the Minister of Energy and the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) to compile a plan for the construction of a 20,000-megawatt nuclear power plant and provide the necessary resources for the implementation of this plan in the next year’s budget. (Iran International)

06-20-2023
Military

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) received at least $6 billion from the Iranian government, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi pushed to provide them with even more amid the protests that swept Iran last year, according to leaked documents.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) received at least $6 billion from the Iranian government, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi pushed to provide them with even more amid the protests that swept Iran last year, according to documents leaked by the Ghyam Sarnegouni ("Rise to Overthrow") dissident hacker group this week. The leaked documents included a letter from the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, to Raisi noting that, because of the nationwide protests, the IRGC and police needed at least 10 trillion tomans (equivalent to about $2.4 billion) in immediate funding, including funds for vehicles, military equipment, clothing and operational costs. (Jerusalem Post)

06-20-2023
Human Rights

The Iranian hacktivist group Edalat-e Ali has published documents that it says show that a top Iranian prosecutor confirmed that a “full naked body inspection” of a female political prisoner had taken place at a police detention center.

The Iranian hacktivist group Edalat-e Ali has published documents that it says show that a top Iranian prosecutor confirmed that a “full naked body inspection” of a female political prisoner had taken place at a police detention center. The information, which Edalat-e Ali said it obtained by hacking into Iran’s judiciary, came to light amid multiple complaints from women who have been subjected to such intrusive searches in Iranian prisons. Edalat-e Ali, which claims to work inside Iran to expose the "true face of the regime," said that the confidential documents reveal that Ahmad Rahmaniyan, first deputy of the public and revolutionary prosecutor, last year wrote to the head of the judiciary's Protection and Information Office confirming that the inspection of political prisoner Mojgan Kavousi was conducted in October 2021 in several stages at the Karaj Information and Security Police Detention Center. (Radio Free Europe)

06-20-2023
Terrorism

Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution claims the Iranian regime employs “state terrorism” to intimidate and eliminate opposition members in Germany.

Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution claims the Iranian regime employs “state terrorism” to intimidate and eliminate opposition members. It cautioned that Iranians residing in Germany could be targeted by Iranian intelligence and security services for abduction and espionage operations. “Fighting opposition groups and individuals at home and abroad is the focus of Iranian intelligence activities,” reads the Constitutional Protection Report 2022, which has just been released. The report further claimed that spying activities against (pro-)Israel and (pro-)Jewish targets in Germany are still part of Iran's field of espionage. (Iran International)

06-19-2023
Anti-Americanism

An Iranian intelligence officer has claimed that the United States and France are among some 20 countries involved in nationwide protests last year sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.

An Iranian intelligence officer has claimed that the United States and France are among some 20 countries involved in nationwide protests last year sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. The demonstrations erupted following the September 16 death in custody of Kurdish-Iranian Amini, 22, after her arrest for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women. Hundreds of people were killed, including dozens of security personnel, and thousands were arrested in connection with what officials labeled “riots” which they said were fomented by foreign countries after Amini’s death. (AFP)

06-19-2023
Human Rights

Five more teachers who supported anti-government protests in Iran have been summoned to the Revolutionary Court.

Five more teachers who supported anti-government protests in Iran have been summoned to the Revolutionary Court, the latest in a series of similar moves, including trials, of teachers in other cities across the country. The Iranian Teachers' Union's Coordination Council has confirmed the collective summons of teachers and cultural rights activists in the central Iranian city of Yazd. Three of the teachers, Ahmad Changizi, Mehdi Kalantari, and Hamideh Zare, were previously arrested following a nationwide teachers' rally in May 2022, which coincided with Teacher's Day in Yazd. The other two are Mansor Mirzaei and Mohammad Fakhralhosseini. (Radio Free Europe)

06-19-2023
Terrorism

France has banned an upcoming Iranian opposition rally over the risk of an attack.

France has banned an upcoming Iranian opposition rally over the risk of an attack, according to a letter sent to the organizers and seen by Reuters, after the release of an Iranian diplomat convicted of masterminding a plot to bomb the group in 2018. The ban comes as Western powers seek to defuse tensions with Iran and a few weeks after Tehran released several Europeans from prison, including two French nationals. French President Emmanuel Macron held a 90-minute call with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on June 10. The Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), political arm of the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI), has held frequent rallies in the French capital over the years, often attended by high profile former U.S., European and Arab officials critical of the Islamic Republic. (Reuters)

06-19-2023
Terrorism

The leaders of Palestinian militant groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas held talks with top Iranian officials in Tehran as deadly violence flared in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The leaders of Palestinian militant groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas held talks with top Iranian officials in Tehran as deadly violence flared in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi received Islamic Jihad chief Ziad al-Nakhalah while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh held talks with Ali Akbar Ahmadian, the newly appointed secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), ahead of meeting with other top officials. "The most efficient way to end the more than 75 years of occupation of Palestine is resistance," Ahmadian told Haniyeh, according to the Nournews website close to the SNSC. (AFP)

06-18-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi concluded his first Latin American tour, strengthening ties with communist dictators in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi concluded his first Latin American tour, strengthening ties with communist dictators in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. The Iranian head of state, against whom the U.S. has imposed sanctions, reinforced his geopolitical partnerships against the U.S., the common enemy of these four human rights violators. Raisi, a judge and religious fanatic responsible for the execution of 580 Iranians last year, reiterated to the tyrants of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela that this is not a “normal but rather a strategic” relationship against foreign interference. (The Hill)

06-15-2023
Military

Iran tested a suicide drone against a practice vessel in the Gulf and fired one other missile or drone without warning ships in the area, a U.S. official in the region said.

Iran tested a suicide drone against a practice vessel in the Gulf and fired one other missile or drone without warning ships in the area, a U.S. official in the region said. The one-way drone was launched from the Jask area of Iran 8-9 miles out to sea - within Iran's territorial waters - against a practice barge, the official said, citing U.S. intelligence data. "Essentially practicing hitting merchant vessels. That's the only reason why you would do that in the Gulf of Oman," the official said. (Reuters)

06-13-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, is signaling a willingness to make a new nuclear deal with the West, but on terms that would allow the Islamic Republic to maintain its nuclear threat.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, is signaling a willingness to make a new nuclear deal with the West, but on terms that would allow the Islamic Republic to maintain its nuclear threat. The U.S. shouldn’t fall for the trap. Rather, President Joe Biden’s administration should step up implementation of existing economic sanctions, and rally European allies to impose even tighter restraints on the regime in Tehran. Over the weekend, state media reported Khamenei as saying, “There is nothing wrong with the agreement [with the West], but the infrastructure of our nuclear industry should not be touched.” (Washington Post)

06-08-2023
Military

Universities in the United Kingdom have aided the Iranian regime in developing and improving military weapons including drones and fighter jets, according to a report from the Jewish Chronicle.

Universities in the United Kingdom have aided the Iranian regime in developing and improving military weapons including drones and fighter jets, according to a report from the Jewish Chronicle. Eleven British schools, including the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London, conducted at least 16 studies with connections to the Iranian regime's use of military technology. The technology that U.K. scientists have developed has likely been used in Iranian weapons deployed in Ukraine as Russia leans on the Iranians for military aid. (Washington Free Beacon)

06-06-2023
Extremism

The Telegram channel for “Islam World Resistance”—a group affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—announced that it seeks to murder Israeli LGBTQ community members.

The Telegram channel for “Islam World Resistance”—a group affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—announced that it seeks to murder Israeli LGBTQ community members in response to the annual LGBTQ parade in Jerusalem. The IRGC-linked group wrote on Telegram: "March of homosexuals in the occupied holy Al Quds city. After killing these impure [homosexuals], where should we bury them on the earth to not make the earth dirty?” (Jerusalem Post)

06-06-2023
Politics

An Iranian draft law that would set new penalties for women not wearing a headscarf in public has sparked heated debate within the Islamic Republic's leadership.

An Iranian draft law that would set new penalties for women not wearing a headscarf in public has sparked heated debate within the Islamic Republic's leadership as more women flout the country's strict dress code. Iran's conservatives, who dominate the country's parliament and leadership, have passionately defended the dress code and believe relaxing rules would begin a process leading to profound shifts in "social norms." But with many Iranians demanding change, in May the judiciary and the government proposed a "Support for the Culture of Hijab and Chastity" bill to "protect society" and "strengthen family life." The text proposes increased fines for "any person removing their veil in public places or on the internet" but withdraws the threat of a prison sentence. (AFP)

06-06-2023
Military

Iran claimed that it had created a hypersonic missile capable of traveling at 15 times the speed of sound.

Iran claimed that it had created a hypersonic missile capable of traveling at 15 times the speed of sound, adding a new weapon to its arsenal as tensions remain high with the United States over Tehran’s nuclear program. The new missile — called Fattah, or “Conqueror” in Farsi — was unveiled even as Iran said it would reopen its diplomatic posts in Saudi Arabia after reaching a détente with Riyadh following years of conflict. The tightly choreographed segment on Iranian state television apparently sought to show that Tehran’s hardline government can still deploy arms against its enemies across much of the Middle East. (Associated Press)

06-06-2023
Military

Tehran is shipping arms to Moscow via the Caspian Sea, reportedly beyond the reach of U.S. and NATO naval power.

American officials told Semafor that Tehran has stepped up its movement of arms to Moscow via the landlocked body of water, the Caspian Sea, which has prevented interdiction efforts by putting shipments beyond the reach of U.S. and NATO naval power. The U.S. has successfully intercepted seabound shipments of Iranian weapons to other war zones, such as Yemen. (Semafor)

06-06-2023
Terrorism

A new unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been revealed. Unit 700 will be responsible for transferring military equipment to pro-Iranian militias, notably in Syria and to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

A new unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been revealed. According to Israel's public broadcaster Kan, Unit 700 is headed by Gal Farsat, a former Al-Quds Force official with extensive connections to senior officials in Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Unit 700 was reported to be in charge of smuggling supplies and logistics for the Al-Quds Force. In particular, it will be responsible for transferring military equipment to pro-Iranian militias, notably in Syria and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. (i24 News)

06-05-2023
Military

The U.S. Navy said its sailors and the United Kingdom Royal Navy came to the aid of a ship in the crucial Strait of Hormuz after Iran's Revolutionary Guard "harassed" it.

The U.S. Navy said its sailors and the United Kingdom Royal Navy came to the aid of a ship in the crucial Strait of Hormuz after Iran's Revolutionary Guard "harassed" it. Three fast-attack Guard vessels with armed troops aboard approached the merchant ship at a close distance, the U.S. Navy said in a statement. It offered black-and-white images it said came from a U.S. Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidon overhead, which showed three small ships close to the commercial ship. The U.S. Navy's guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul and the Royal Navy's frigate HMS Lancaster responded to the incident, with the Lancaster launching a helicopter. (Associated Press)

06-05-2023
Military

A purported arms contract seen by Sky News offers the first hard evidence that Iran has sold ammunition to Russia for its war in Ukraine, an informed security source has claimed.

A purported arms contract seen by Sky News offers the first hard evidence that Iran has sold ammunition to Russia for its war in Ukraine, an informed security source has claimed. If authentic, the 16-page document, dated 14 September 2022, appears to be for samples of varying sizes of artillery, tank shells and rockets worth just over $1m (£800,000). It was shared by the source along with five pages of an allegedly linked contract that includes barrels of a T72 tank and barrels of a Howitzer artillery piece, as well as ammunition shells. That deal was worth about $740,000 (£590,000). (Sky News)

06-05-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran is only allowing a “fraction” of the monitoring equipment at its nuclear sites that the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog expects, the organization's head said.

Iran is only allowing a “fraction” of the monitoring equipment at its nuclear sites that the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog expects, the organization's head said. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, revealed Iran has for the first time allowed devices at two plants to detect uranium enrichment levels. Earlier this year, Mr. Grossi visited Iran and met President Ebrahim Raisi, after which a Joint Statement was issued stating Tehran “will allow the IAEA to implement further appropriate verification and monitoring activities.” The director general said for the first time the IAEA has installed an enrichment monitoring device at two uranium enrichment sites, at Fordow and Natanz. (The National)

06-04-2023
Extremism

Iran’s supreme leader defended his tough approach to the West, saying compromise would only invite further hostility from Iran’s enemies and blaming recent anti-government protests on “thugs and villains.”

Iran’s supreme leader defended his tough approach to the West, saying compromise would only invite further hostility from Iran’s enemies and blaming recent anti-government protests on “thugs and villains.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks come amid an intensifying standoff with Western countries over Iran’s nuclear program, which has made major advances in the five years since then-President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from an international accord that restricted it. (Associated Press)

06-02-2023
Human Rights

An Iranian man, Vahid Afkari, spent his 1,000th day in solitary confinement in jail.

Amnesty International is calling for the release of an Iranian man who is spending his 1,000th day in solitary confinement in jail. Vahid Afkari, 37, was convicted, along with his two brothers, of murdering a security officer during protests over the cost of living five years ago. One of the brothers, champion wrestler Navid, was executed. The other brother, Habib, was released last year amid international pressure. (BBC)

06-02-2023
Human Rights

Iranian security forces opened fire on a protest sparked by the death of a student recently released from custody, rights groups and monitors said.

Iranian security forces opened fire on a protest sparked by the death of a student recently released from custody, rights groups and monitors said, with several people reported wounded. The protests erupted in the town of Abdanan, in the Kurdish-populated western province of Ilam, prompted by the death late last month of Bamshad Soleimankhani, 21, just days after his release from prison. The Norway-based Hengaw group published images reported to be of protesters showing wounds from birdshot pellets, along with footage showing people in the streets with gunshots audible. (Al-Arabiya)

06-02-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran is developing an underground uranium-enrichment site, integral to the construction of a nuclear missile, so deep that it could evade the United States purpose-built “bunker buster” bomb, according to satellite pictures.

Iran is developing an underground uranium-enrichment site, integral to the construction of a nuclear missile, so deep that it could evade the United States purpose-built “bunker buster” bomb, according to satellite pictures. The Natanz enrichment site is 80-100 meters deep, according to analysis by the James Martin Centre for Non-proliferation Studies, and has four entrances dug into the mountainside, each six meters wide by eight meters high. Experts exclusively told Express.co.uk that as Iran’s relationship with Russia continues to be “cemented” by a hatred of the West and an alliance over the war in Ukraine, the theocratic regime could prepare to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons. (Daily Express)

06-01-2023
Anti-Americanism

The U.S. imposed sanctions on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard official and others it says took part in wide-ranging plots to kill former national security adviser John Bolton and others around the world.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard official and others it says took part in wide-ranging plots to kill former national security adviser John Bolton and others around the world, including at least one additional U.S. government official. The alleged 2021 plot against Bolton, one of the best-documented of the alleged assassination efforts, is part of what U.S. prosecutors and former government officials describe as ongoing efforts by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to kill Trump-era officials behind a 2020 U.S. airstrike that killed the head of the Iranian guard’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani. (Associated Press)

06-01-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran is arming militants in Syria for a new phase of lethal attacks against U.S. troops in the country.

Iran is arming militants in Syria for a new phase of lethal attacks against U.S. troops in the country, while also working with Russia on a broader strategy to drive Americans from the region, intelligence officials and leaked classified documents say. Iran and its allies are building and training forces to use more powerful armor-piercing roadside bombs intended specifically to target U.S. military vehicles and kill U.S. personnel, according to classified intelligence reports obtained by The Washington Post. Such attacks would constitute an escalation of Iran’s long-running campaign of using proxy militias to launch rocket and drone strikes on U.S. forces in Syria. (Washington Post)

05-31-2023
Military

The defense minister of Mali went to Iran for meetings that could see Iran sending arms to Mali in North Africa.

The defense minister of Mali went to Iran for meetings that could see Iran sending arms to Mali in North Africa. Malian Defense Minister Colonel Sadio Camara had meetings with Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani. Iran’s pro-regime Tasnim media reported that “the defense minister of Iran expressed the country’s readiness to provide Mali with military equipment and experiences in the fight against terrorism.” Ashtiani said Iran is prepared to share equipment, experiences and capabilities in training with Mali. “The Islamic Republic of Iran will spare no effort to strengthen Mali’s defense power against the threats posed by terrorist groups,” the Iranian general who is also the defense minister added. (Jerusalem Post)

05-31-2023
Military

Iran plans to ramp up its exportation of weapons and other military equipment in the coming months, one of the country's top generals said.

Iran plans to ramp up its exportation of weapons and other military equipment in the coming months, one of the country's top generals said. The chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Baqeri, said Iran plans to share both its equipment and military expertise with friendly countries in the region and around the world. "Introducing the Islamic Republic’s defense and military capabilities and sharing them [with friendly countries] can expand the country’s defense relations and strengthen deterrence," Baqeri said at a Wednesday press conference, according to Iranian state-run Press TV. (Fox News)

05-31-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium grew by over a quarter in the three months to May, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported.

Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium grew by over a quarter in the three months to May, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported, adding to concerns over the speed with which Tehran is accumulating 60% highly enriched uranium that can be quickly converted into weapons-grade material for nuclear weapons. U.S. officials have said it could take Iran as little as 12 days to have enough fuel for a bomb. But the Islamic Republic has also taken its first steps in several years to improve the United Nations atomic agency’s oversight of its nuclear work, the IAEA said. (Wall Street Journal)

05-30-2023
Nuclear Program

Iranian media reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has resolved nuclear issues with Iran relating to one of three sites being investigated over the presence of uranium particles.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has resolved nuclear issues with Iran relating to one of three sites being investigated over the presence of uranium particles, Iranian media reported. The agency’s alleged case regarding the findings of uranium particles with 83.7 purity has also been closed, a source told the semi-official Mehr news agency. (Reuters)

05-29-2023
Military

Iran wants to boost Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military by upgrading the country's air-defense system, the Fars news agency reported.

Iran wants to boost Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military by upgrading the country's air-defense system, the Fars news agency reported on May 29. In an interview with the news agency, Iranian General Said Hamzah Kalandari said that although Syria had its air-defense capabilities, the "Syrian brothers" will be supported with equipment and tactical upgrades. The general, who is active in the Defense Ministry, said the aim was to contain Israeli attacks. Along with Russia, Iran is Assad's most important ally. Iran has been expanding its political and military relations in the region since the 1990s. (Radio Free Europe)

05-29-2023
Military

Iran is preparing to unveil a hypersonic missile in the near future, a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander said.

Iran is preparing to unveil a hypersonic missile in the near future, a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander said. This comes after Iran last week unveiled a new ballistic missile capable of reaching a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) and carrying warheads weighing over a ton. “The hypersonic missile has passed its tests and will be unveiled soon,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC’s aerospace unit, as saying. “This new missile is capable of passing through all missile defense systems. It targets the enemy’s anti-missile systems and is a big leap in the field of missiles,” he added. (Al-Arabiya)

05-29-2023
Human Rights

An Iranian journalist went on trial behind closed doors on charges linked to her coverage of the funeral of a Kurdish-Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini.

An Iranian journalist went on trial behind closed doors on charges linked to her coverage of the funeral of a Kurdish-Iranian woman whose death in custody last year triggered months of unrest, her lawyer told ILNA news agency. The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody of the morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic dress code unleashed a wave of mass protests across Iran for months, marking the biggest challenge to Iran's clerical leaders in decades. Elaheh Mohammadi covered Amini's funeral in her Kurdish hometown Saqez, where the protests began. The Islamic Republic accused its foreign foes of igniting the protests to destabilize the country. (Reuters)

05-27-2023
Military

Iranian media highlighted its use of drones in anti-submarine warfare.

Iranian media highlighted its use of drones in anti-submarine warfare. The article at Fars News didn’t elaborate a lot on Iran’s new capabilities but did say that Iran’s navy commander Shahram Irani has discussed the use of anti-submarine drones for operations. Iran claims it can use these drones out to a distance of 1,000 kilometers. Iran says it uses a weapon known as the Mark 46 torpedo which can be mounted on a drone. The drone can carry several types of torpedoes, the article claims. It is not clear if it can carry more than one at a time. “In addition to the anti-submarine torpedo, the anti-submarine drone can also carry an anti-ship torpedo,” the report said. (Jerusalem Post)

05-26-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran Urges Asian Partners to Drop the Dollar from Bilateral Trade.

Members of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) – a nine-strong group of central banks including those of India, Pakistan and Iran – are to launch a new cross-border financial messaging system in the coming weeks, as an alternative to the main existing international network Swift. According to officials from Iran – which currently chairs the body – the members of the bloc agreed at a meeting in the Iranian capital Tehran on May 24 that they would set up the new system within a month. (Forbes)

05-25-2023
Military

Iran unveiled what it called the latest iteration of its liquid-fueled Khorramshahr ballistic missile, the Khorramshahr-4, amid wider tensions with the West over its nuclear program.

Authorities showed off the Khorramshahr-4 to journalists at an event in Tehran, with the missile on a truck-mounted launcher. Defense Minister Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said the missile could be prepared for launch in a short period. “One of the prominent characteristics of this missile is its ability to evade radar detection and penetrate enemy air defense systems, thanks to its low radar signature,” the general told journalists. (Associated Press)

05-24-2023
Nuclear Program

Former MP Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh claims the country's nuclear dossier will now move to the Foreign Ministry, meaning the end of the JCPOA.

Former MP Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh claims the country's nuclear dossier will now move to the Foreign Ministry, meaning the end of the JCPOA. Speaking to Setareh-e Sobh newspaper, he said: “It seems likely that foreign policy cases will be transferred from the Council to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which means issues like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will be archived,” he claimed, referring to the recent change to the leadership of the Supreme National Security Council. Iran's Security Chief Ali Shamkhani stepped down with President Ebrahim Raisi appointing a heavily sanctioned Revolutionary Guards commander as his replacement. (Iran International)

05-23-2023
Extremism

A British-Iranian hunger striker calling for the U.K. to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) is to resume his public protest this week after a fatwa was allegedly issued against him.

A British-Iranian hunger striker calling for the U.K. to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) is to resume his public protest this week after a fatwa was allegedly issued against him. Vahid Beheshti, 46, was recently discharged from hospital after spending two months on hunger strike in a tent outside London’s Foreign Office and is believed to be recovering in a 'safehouse'. He told the JC that “nothing” would stop him from returning to Whitehall to protest, despite being “strongly advised” not to by counterterrorism operatives. (Jewish Chronicle)

05-23-2023
Politics

A moderate conservative politician says the ultraconservative Paydari Party has occupied most power centers including the parliament and the state television.

A moderate conservative politician says the ultraconservative Paydari Party has occupied most power centers including the parliament and the state television. Former lawmaker Mansour Haghighatpour told Etemad Onlinethat the "audacious Paydari Party" has a lot of money, controls several powerful institutions and has seized and occupied the state television silently. Haghighatpour is close to Iran’s former conservative parliament (Majles) speaker Ali Larijani who recently had a public run-in with ultraconservatives or hardliners. (Iran International)

05-22-2023
Military

Israel accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) of turning commercial ships into platforms for launching missiles, drones and commandos.

Israel accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) of turning commercial ships into platforms for launching missiles, drones and commandos, saying the objective was to spread Tehran's clandestine naval clout well beyond the Gulf. Showing images of six purportedly repurposed Iranian vessels, five of them named, Gallant told the Herzliya Conference security forum that these were "floating terror bases" and that one had recently sailed toward the Gulf of Aden. (Reuters)

05-22-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran is building a nuclear facility in the Zagros Mountains so deep in the earth that it is likely beyond the range of a last-ditch U.S. weapon.

Near a peak of the Zagros Mountains in central Iran, workers are building a nuclear facility so deep in the earth that it is likely beyond the range of a last-ditch U.S. weapon designed to destroy such sites, according to experts and satellite imagery analyzed by The Associated Press. The photos and videos from Planet Labs PBC show Iran has been digging tunnels in the mountain near the Natanz nuclear site, which has come under repeated sabotage attacks amid Tehran’s standoff with the West over its atomic program. (The Independent)

05-20-2023
Politics

The current ultraconservative-dominated parliament is working hard in extraordinary sessions to pass an amendment to Iran's Election Law to serve the hardliners by giving even more power to the conservative-dominated Guardian Council.

Iranian lawmaker Gholamreza Nouri Ghezeljeh told Khabar Online website that the current ultraconservative-dominated parliament is working hard in extraordinary sessions to pass an amendment to Iran's Election Law to serve the hardliners by giving even more power to the conservative-dominated Guardian Council to disqualify any candidate who does not belong to the ultraconservative camp. (Iran International)

05-20-2023
Anti-Americanism

An Iranian military commander threatened the U.S. over the killing of Iran’s top general over three years ago, vowing to drive American forces out of the Middle East.

An Iranian military commander threatened the U.S. over the killing of Iran’s top general over three years ago, vowing to drive American forces out of the Middle East. Iran has repeatedly vowed vengeance since a U.S. airstrike killed General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020. “Although the Americans martyred Haj Qassem Soleimani, they received the first blow and now are receiving the second blow, which is nothing but their gradual withdrawal from the region,” Iranian general Hossein Salami, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said. (Times of Israel)

05-19-2023
Human Rights

Iran has executed three men detained during anti-government protests.

Iran has executed three men detained during anti-government protests despite a public outcry over their convictions and objections by rights groups and several governments who say authorities held rushed trials, forced "confessions," and denied the accused due process. According to a report published by the Mizan News Agency, affiliated with Iran's judiciary, Saleh Mirehashemi, Majid Kazemi, and Saeed Yaqoubi were executed at dawn on May 19 in a prison in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. (Radio Free Europe)

05-16-2023
Human Rights

Iran's Cyber-Police (FATA) has threatened women fashion businesses, surgery clinics and gyms with closure over unveiled photos in their social media content.

Iran's Cyber-Police (FATA) has threatened women fashion businesses, surgery clinics and gyms with closure over unveiled photos in their social media content. Ramin Pashaei, deputy chief of FATA, said Cyber Police aims at “clearing the [Persian language] cyberspace of immoral content” and warned that any social media content considered “outside norms and against moral standards” would bring about prosecution. Authorities accuse boutiques, beauty salons, modelling agencies, gyms and plastic surgery establishments of encouraging women not to wear the hijab by their “immoral” content. (Iran International)

05-14-2023
Anti-Americanism

An Iranian-backed militia in northern Iraq was behind the drone attack that killed a U.S. military contractor in northeast Syria on March 23 and wounded more than two dozen American civilian and military personnel, according to U.S. officials.

An Iranian-backed militia in northern Iraq was behind the drone attack that killed a U.S. military contractor in northeast Syria on March 23 and wounded more than two dozen American civilian and military personnel, according to U.S. officials. The Iraqi origin of that attack has not been previously reported but was acknowledged by a senior U.S. military official in response to questions from The Wall Street Journal.  It was one of four attempted drone attacks launched from Iraqi territory by Iranian-backed militias against U.S. forces outside the country since August. (Wall Street Journal)

05-11-2023
Politics

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran (IRGC) stands to take control of Iran’s economy by gaining full power over the "economic arteries" of the country, according to an anti-regime group.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran (IRGC) stands to take control of Iran’s economy by gaining full power over the "economic arteries" of the country, according to an anti-regime group. "The documents unveiled by the MEK unequivocally demonstrate that regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has granted the IRGC complete authority over Iran's economy," Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told Fox News Digital. (Fox News)

05-11-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran has stressed its right to retaliate against any Israeli action on the country’s nuclear program, threatening to hold the U.S. accountable.

Iran has stressed its right to retaliate against any Israeli action on the country’s nuclear program, threatening to hold the U.S. accountable. In a letter, Iran's permanent representative to the U.N., Saeid Iravani, made the comments to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council's president. The ambassador's threats came after U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washington stood ready to do whatever it could to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and that "freedom of action" was given to Israel. (Iran International)

05-11-2023
Human Rights

Iran executed seven people on rape and drug-related charges in one day, bringing the total to at least 10 confirmed cases of prisoners hanged this week.

Iran executed seven people on rape and drug-related charges in one day, bringing the total to at least 10 confirmed cases of prisoners hanged this week, as rights groups sound the alarm over the “chilling” execution spree in the Islamic Republic. Iran Human Rights (IHR) said in a report that four people convicted of rape were hanged at the Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, 36 kilometers (22 miles) west of Tehran. The Oslo-based group could not identify the identity of the men. It said that in most rape cases, confessions are obtained under torture and defendants do not have access to a lawyer. Iranian authorities did not confirm the rape-related executions. (Al-Monitor)

05-11-2023
Terrorism

U.K. Metropolitan police received credible threats to the life of Masih Alinejad, a leading Iranian dissent based in the U.S.

Masih Alinejad, a leading Iranian dissident based in the U.S., has been put under 24-hour police protection in the U.K. after the Metropolitan police received credible threats to her life. Alinejad has become one of the main amplifiers of the protests inside Iran, appearing at the U.N. and meeting European leaders such as France’s Emmanuel Macron and the Netherland’s Mark Rutte. The Met, Alinejad said, told her “‘because of the level of the threats we are going to be with you and protect you everywhere you go. So give us your schedules, we have to know everything in advance to prepare close protection.’” (The Guardian)

05-11-2023
Terrorism

German prosecutors charged a German-Iranian dual national for an attempted arson attack near a synagogue on the orders of the government in Tehran.

German prosecutors charged a German-Iranian dual national for an attempted arson attack near a synagogue on the orders of the government in Tehran. Babak J. was instructed by an intermediary “acting on behalf of unknown Iranian state agencies” in November 2022 to carry out an arson attack on a synagogue in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Subsequently, the accused is said to have sought to convince an acquaintance to set fire to a synagogue in Dortmund using a Molotov cocktail but was refused.  (Al-Arabiya)

05-11-2023
Terrorism

A source in the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group told i24NEWS that the Boraq 85 rocket that hit the central Israeli city of Rehovot, killing one person, was Iranian-made.

The Boraq 85 is a relatively new weapon system fielded by Gaza's Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A source in the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group told i24NEWS that the rocket that hit the central Israeli city of Rehovot, killing one person, was Iranian-made. Police said four others were also wounded, and six people were being treated for anxiety. The same source also said that the rocket intercepted the day before by Israel's David's Sling air defense system was the Iranian Boraq 85 model.  (i24 News)

05-11-2023
Syria Conflict

Iran has continued supplying weapons and drugs that fuel the Yemen war despite its agreement to restore diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia, U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking said.

Iran has continued supplying weapons and drugs that fuel the Yemen war despite its agreement to restore diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia, U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking said. The Chinese-brokered accord reached in March, talks between Saudi Arabia and Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis, and a cease-fire that largely has held despite expiring in October have boosted prospects for an end to the conflict. But Lenderking told reporters in an online briefing on his latest visit to the region that Iran is still supplying arms and drugs that help fuel the war, which erupted in 2014 and has created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. (Reuters)

05-10-2023
Terrorism

Named only as Lebanese national Hassan M. and German-Lebanese dual citizen Abdul-Latif W., the pair were detained in northern Germany, suspected of recruiting and organizing activities for the Iran-backed group.

German federal prosecutors announced the arrest of two alleged members of Hezbollah suspected of recruiting and organizing activities for the Iran-backed group. Named only as Lebanese national Hassan M. and German-Lebanese dual citizen Abdul-Latif W., the pair were detained in northern Germany, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement. It said Abdul-Latif W. joined the organization “at the latest” in 2004 and Hassan M. in 2016. They are both now facing charges of “membership of a foreign terrorist organization.” (Al-Arabiya)

05-10-2023
Syria Conflict

Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian predicted during a Russia-hosted summit that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad will provide a launchpad for new attacks against Israel.

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad will provide a launchpad for new attacks against Israel, a senior Iranian official predicted during a Russia-hosted summit. "We are sure that the Syrian Army will respond to the Israeli raids at a proper time,” Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian said. “All the signs and variables testify to the transition process in the world order, the decline of the U.S. power, and the strengthening of regionalism.” Israeli officials have conducted airstrikes in Syria for years, with the stated goal of preventing Iranian forces, which have fought in tandem with Russia to preserve the Assad regime, from establishing military outposts on Israeli borders. (Washington Examiner)

05-09-2023
Extremism

The Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU), which the IRGC uses to coordinate the activities of its proxies and partners’ media activities and spread extremist views and ideology, allegedly launders money through the broadcasting of football matches t

According to Iran International's Mojtaba Pourmohsen, the head of Iraq’s section of the Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU), Hamid al-Husseini, has managed to get the right to broadcast football (soccer) matches in Iraq for the Popular Mobilization Forces, an Iranian controlled Shia umbrella organization of more than 60 different armed factions, with around 128,000 fighters. According to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering watchdog, the cash-rich sport is among the most vulnerable to money laundering, with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimating that about $140 billion is laundered globally through soccer each year. (Iran International)

05-07-2023
Syria Conflict

Iran and its proxies are enabling attacks on U.S. troops in Syria through clandestine weapons shipments hidden within humanitarian aid.

Iran and its proxies are enabling attacks on U.S. troops in Syria through clandestine weapons shipments hidden within humanitarian aid that has flowed into the region after a catastrophic earthquake killed tens of thousands earlier this year, according to classified U.S. intelligence and an Israeli military official familiar with the matter. The findings, outlined in a leak of U.S. secrets circulated on the Discord messaging platform and obtained by The Washington Post, raise dire questions about the ability of the United States and its allies to intercept Iranian-sourced arms used routinely to target American personnel, partner forces and civilians in the Middle East. (Washington Post)

05-05-2023
Extremism

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with anti-Israel groups during his two-day visit to Syria, Tehran's close ally, where he also signed several agreements.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with anti-Israel groups during his two-day visit to Syria, Tehran's close ally, where he also signed several agreements. Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Raisi arrived in Damascus. The visit was the first by an Iranian president since the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. (Iran International)

05-05-2023
Human Rights

Iran has embraced artificial intelligence (AI) as a way to significantly improve its state surveillance networks, allowing the repressive regime to further crack down on perceived offenses.

Iran has embraced artificial intelligence (AI) as a way to significantly improve its state surveillance networks, allowing the repressive regime to further crack down on perceived offenses. "The Iran regime is certainly joining rogue leaders of the world in redefining and modernizing their modes of suppression," Lisa Daftari, a Middle East expert and editor-in-chief of The Foreign Desk, told Fox News Digital. "Unfortunately, just as the Iranian people are finding innovative ways of using social media, streaming and VPNs to get their message out, the regime is also taking advantage of technological advances to continue their reign of brutality."  (Fox News)

05-04-2023
Extremism

Iran has humiliated Israel by organizing “Islamic resistance,” commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, Esmail Qaani said in Tehran. “At this point, Israel has reached a level of humiliation that it has surrounded itself with barbed wire and rad

Iran is using a state-controlled media group to spread antisemitic messaging to English-speaking audiences online, according to a report. Iran’s Press TV, an English-language government mouthpiece, uses social media to evade broadcast bans and disseminate propaganda, said the report by the Anti-Defamation League and the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a U.K.-based nonprofit. Press TV was founded by the regime in 2007 to “break the global media stranglehold of Western outlets.” (Times of Israel)

05-04-2023
Extremism

Iran has humiliated Israel by organizing “Islamic resistance,” commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, Esmail Qaani said in Tehran.

Iran has humiliated Israel by organizing “Islamic resistance,” commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, Esmail Qaani said in Tehran. “At this point, Israel has reached a level of humiliation that it has surrounded itself with barbed wire and radars to prevent infiltration,” Qaani told a gathering of young clerics. (Iran International)

05-03-2023
Extremism

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi bashed Israel, saying that Israel "cannot defend itself" because of what he called "the new world order."

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi bashed Israel, saying that Israel "cannot defend itself" because of what he called "the new world order." "The Zionist entity cannot supply itself with security because the conditions are significantly different from the past," he said, "Today, it's clear to everyone that the Sharm al-Sheikh, Camp David and Oslo agreements cannot supply Israel with security. The Zionist entity knows very well that it can never clash with Iran." (Jerusalem Post)

05-03-2023
Military

Iran has seized a second oil tanker in a week in Gulf waters, the U.S. Navy said, the latest escalation in a series of seizures or attacks on commercial vessels in Gulf waters since 2019.

Iran has seized a second oil tanker in a week in Gulf waters, the U.S. Navy said, the latest escalation in a series of seizures or attacks on commercial vessels in Gulf waters since 2019. The Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet of the U.S. Navy said the Panama-flagged oil tanker Niovi was seized by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) at 6:20 a.m. (0220 GMT) while passing through the narrow Strait of Hormuz. The incident comes after Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman called the Advantage Sweet. (Reuters)

04-29-2023
Extremism

The Islamic Republic of Iran organized an exhibition in Afghanistan’s third-largest city of Herat that advocated the “nuclear extinction” of Israel in April as part of the month-long Al-Quds Day celebrations.

The Islamic Republic of Iran organized an exhibition in Afghanistan’s third-largest city of Herat that advocated the “nuclear extinction” of Israel in April as part of the month-long Al-Quds Day celebrations. “This exhibition is an example of the Iranian regime's exporting of its antisemitic ideology. There is a permissive environment in Afghanistan for the Iranian system to do so now, especially with the Taliban in charge, and there are natural linkages to the Hazara community, which have a significant presence in Herat," Jason Brodsky, policy director for the US-based United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), told The Jerusalem Post. The Herat exhibit that urged the nuclear obliteration of the Jewish state coincided with the antisemitic Al-Quds Day event. (Jerusalem Post)

04-29-2023
Terrorism

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is expected to visit Iran soon to discuss “political and field developments,” Hamas announced.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is expected to visit Iran soon to discuss “political and field developments,” Hamas announced. The planned visit is seen by Palestinians as another sign of improved relations between Hamas and Iran after the tensions that erupted between the two sides over the civil war in Syria. Relations between Hamas and Iran were strained when the Palestinian group refused to come out in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a key ally of the Iranian regime in the Middle East. (Jerusalem Post)

04-27-2023
Military

Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman in international waters, the U.S. Navy said.

Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman in international waters, the U.S. Navy said, the latest in a series of seizures or attacks on commercial vessels in sensitive Gulf waters since 2019. According to the International Maritime Organization shipping database, the Advantage Sweet is owned by a China-registered company called SPDBFL No One Hundred & Eighty-Seven (Tianjin) Ship Leasing Co Ltd. (Reuters)

04-26-2023
Military

The unrest following the 2021 coup in Myanmar has increased demand for Chinese drones and for their spare parts, especially engines, which are widely believed to have been purchased from Iran.

Chinese drones have been used by the Myanmar military since 2015 to support counterinsurgency operations in the country’s restive north. But the unrest following the 2021 coup has increased demand for their use and for their spare parts, especially engines, which are widely believed to have been purchased from Iran. The Washington DC-based Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control and the U.S. watchdog United Against Nuclear Iran believe [the MD550 engine] is produced by Iranian manufacturer Oje Parvaz Mado Nafar Company or MADO. (Iran International)

04-26-2023
Human Rights

Iran's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of Iranian-German dual national Jamshid Sharmahd on charges of "corruption on earth,” a judiciary spokesperson said.

Iran's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of Iranian-German dual national Jamshid Sharmahd on charges of "corruption on earth," a judiciary spokesperson said. The Islamic Republic's hardline judiciary handed down the death penalty against Sharmahd in February after convicting him of heading a pro-monarchist group accused of a deadly 2008 bombing and planning other attacks in the country. (Reuters)

04-26-2023
Human Rights

Iranian authorities have been shutting down a large number of shops and businesses around the country they say are not observing the mandatory hijab law.

Iranian authorities have been shutting down a large number of shops and businesses around the country they say are not observing the mandatory hijab law. According to reports from Iran, Ali Akbar Javidan, the police commander of Kermanshah Province, said the Public Places' Supervision Department, in cooperation with "other responsible agencies," has begun "the implementation of the chastity and hijab plan." Javidan said 45 businesses were closed after ignoring warnings they were not abiding by the compulsory hijab rule. (Voice of America)

04-24-2023
Military

Russian ships are ferrying large quantities of Iranian artillery shells and other ammunition across the Caspian Sea to resupply troops fighting in Ukraine, Middle East officials said.

Russian ships are ferrying large quantities of Iranian artillery shells and other ammunition across the Caspian Sea to resupply troops fighting in Ukraine, Middle East officials said. Over the past six months, cargo ships have carried more than 300,000 artillery shells and a million rounds of ammunition from Iran to Russia, according to the officials and documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal. (The Wall Street Journal)

04-23-2023
Politics

Iran's state TV has been taken over by hardline figures who use it to transmit ideological and hardline views targeting the Reformists and opposition, including in entertainment shows.

State TV has long been recognized as one of the most powerful and influential institutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, in the past two years, Vahid Jalili, a hardline figure, has taken the helm causing concern even among conservatives, with his primary goal to promote the Islamic Republic's ideology in the most hardline and extreme way. In 2021, a power struggle ensued between two like-minded groups of hard liners and conservatives vying for control of state TV. The state TV network holds a complete monopoly over domestic radio and television services, leaving no room for alternative channels in Iran. (Al-Monitor)

04-20-2023
Military

Iran’s defense ministry has delivered the army with more than 200 new drones equipped with missile capabilities and electronic warfare systems, state media reported.

Iran’s defense ministry has delivered the army with more than 200 new drones equipped with missile capabilities and electronic warfare systems, state media reported. In a ceremony broadcast on television, Defense Minister Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani handed over “more than 200 long-range strategic drones” to army chief Abdolrahim Mousavi, the official news agency IRNA said. Produced by the Iranian defense ministry, the drones are designed for reconnaissance and strike missions, and can carry air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, IRNA said. (AFP)

04-20-2023
Terrorism

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told reporters in a briefing that Iran funds the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon with $700 million a year, as well as “knowledge and strategic weaponry,” such as precision-guided munitions.

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Iran was the “driving force” of a recent multi-front escalation, while detailing the funding the Islamic Republic provides to its proxies across the region. Gallant told reporters in a briefing that Iran funds the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon with $700 million a year, as well as “knowledge and strategic weaponry,” such as precision-guided munitions. The Hamas terror group that rules the Gaza Strip is funded by Iran with $100 million annually, with additional funding worth tens of millions of dollars going to the second largest terror group in the Palestinian enclave, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Gallant said. (Times of Israel)

04-19-2023
Terrorism

Iranian hackers known as "Mint Sandstorm" have been refining their tactics and targeting energy and transportation infrastructure in the U.S.

Iranian hackers known as "Mint Sandstorm" have been refining their tactics and targeting energy and transportation infrastructure in the U.S., including ports, energy companies and transit systems, Microsoft Threat Intelligence reported. Mint Sandstorm is the new name used by Microsoft to track the activity of the collection of hacker groups formerly known as Phosphorus, a collection of threat actors assessed to be associated with an intelligence arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The groups included under Mint Sandstorm have also been referred to as APT35, APT42, Charming Kitten, and TA453. (Jerusalem Post)

04-19-2023
Nuclear Program

Iran's nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami says Tehran and U.N. atomic watchdog, the IAEA, are in constant contact and talks between the two sides are progressing.

Iran's nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami says Tehran and U.N. atomic watchdog, the IAEA, are in constant contact and talks between the two sides are progressing. Eslami said that the talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency are pursued and experts report daily on the progress. During a trip to Tehran in early March, IAEA's director Rafael Grossi said he reached an agreement to ensure Iran's full cooperation and said more meetings would take place soon. (Iran International)

04-18-2023
Extremism

Iran’s president reiterated threats against Israel while marking the country’s annual Army Day.

Iran’s president reiterated threats against Israel while marking the country’s annual Army Day, though he stayed away from criticizing Saudi Arabia as Tehran seeks a détente with the kingdom. The comments by Ebrahim Raisi came as fighter jets and helicopters flew overhead in Tehran, and as Iranian submarines sailed across its waters during a ceremony carried live by state television. The day celebrates Iran’s regular military, not its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, whose expeditionary forces operate across the wider Mideast and aid Iranian-allied militia groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah. (Associated Press)

04-17-2023
Terrorism

Indictments were filed against two Palestinian West Bank residents after they had been recruited to conduct operations on behalf of Hezbollah and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Indictments were filed against two Palestinian West Bank residents after they had been recruited to conduct operations on behalf of Hezbollah and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced. Yusuf Mansour and Maarsil Mansour allegedly agreed to smuggle and traffic military equipment in Israel for operatives who had identified themselves as representatives of Hezbollah. Yusuf is accused of gathering intelligence with assistance from Maarsil on IDF operations in the West Bank on behalf of the Lebanon-based terrorist organization. (Jerusalem Post)

04-16-2023
Politics

Iran’s parliament speaker helped oust the country’s chief banker in December because he resisted giving more money to the IRGC’s Quds extraterritorial force.

Iran’s parliament speaker helped oust the country’s chief banker in December because he resisted giving more money to the IRGC’s Quds extraterritorial force. Iran International has obtained information that Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf and his aide Jamaleddin Aberoumand pushed former governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Ali Salehabadi, out of office to pave the way for stepping up financial support for proxy forces under the command of IRGC’s Quds force (Qods) Force—a division responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. Both Ghalibaf and Aberoumand were senior officers in the Revolutionary Guard. (Iran International)

04-16-2023
Military

General Ali Kouhestani, the head of the Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization of the IRGC Ground Force, announced that there is a development of a powerful anti-tank guided missile called the Sadid-365.

General Ali Kouhestani, the head of the Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization of the IRGC Ground Force, announced during an interview with Tasnim news agency that there is a development of a powerful anti-tank guided missile called the Sadid-365. With a range of 8 km, the missile is capable of obliterating any armored equipment that it targets, according to Mehr news. "This optically guided missile is highly accurate in hitting the target and with the ability to attack from above, it can also pass through the active defense systems and destroy them," Kouhestani said. (Jerusalem Post)

04-14-2023
Extremism

Tens of thousands of Iranians, some chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” marched in the capital of Tehran to mark Jerusalem Day, an annual show of support for the Palestinians.

Tens of thousands of Iranians, some chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” marched in the capital of Tehran to mark Jerusalem Day, an annual show of support for the Palestinians. Senior Iranian officials attended the rally, including President Ebrahim Raisi. Since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, the rallies marking what is also known as al-Quds Day have typically been typically held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (Associated Press)

04-14-2023
Extremism

Iran’s president delivered an unprecedented speech to an annual pro-Palestinian rally in the Gaza Strip.

Iran’s president delivered an unprecedented speech to an annual pro-Palestinian rally in the Gaza Strip, a display of Iran’s importance to the Hamas militant group that rules the territory. In a virtual address to hundreds of supporters of Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad group gathered at a soccer field, Ebrahim Raisi urged Palestinians to press on with their struggle against Israel. “The initiative to self-determination is today in the hands of the Palestinian fighters,” Raisi said, dismissing Hamas’ domestic political rival, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which has long sought to win Palestinian statehood through negotiations with Israel. (Associated Press)

04-14-2023
Terrorism

Iran is recruiting militant allies to launch attacks against Israel.

The long shadow war between Iran and Israel is moving into an unpredictable new phase after one of the Islamic Republic’s most powerful military commanders began rallying allies across the Middle East to launch a fresh wave of attacks on Israeli targets. People familiar with the discussions said Esmail Qaani, who leads the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, has held a series of clandestine meetings with militant leaders across the region in recent weeks, including some operating in Syria and Iraq. (Wall Street Journal)

04-12-2023
Military

China and Russia are in advanced secret talks with Iran to replenish the Islamic Republic’s supply of a key chemical compound used to propel ballistic missiles: ammonium perchlorate.

China and Russia are in advanced secret talks with Iran to replenish the Islamic Republic’s supply of a key chemical compound used to propel ballistic missiles, diplomats familiar with the matter say, a move that would mark a clear violation of United Nations sanctions and possibly help Moscow replenish its depleted stock of rockets. Tehran has held concurrent negotiations with officials and government-controlled entities from both countries, including the state-owned Russian chemical maker FKP Anozit, to acquire large amounts of ammonium perchlorate, or AP, the main ingredient in solid propellants used to power missiles, said the diplomats, who requested anonymity in order to discuss confidential information. (Politico)

04-12-2023
Terrorism

Iran has used earthquake relief flights to bring weapons and military equipment into its strategic ally Syria.

Iran has used earthquake relief flights to bring weapons and military equipment into its strategic ally Syria, nine Syrian, Iranian, Israeli and Western sources said. The sources told Reuters that the goal was to buttress Iran's defenses against Israel in Syria and to strengthen Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters is the first to report this development. After the February 6 earthquake in northern Syria and Turkey, hundreds of flights from Iran began landing in Syria's Aleppo, Damascus and Latakia airports bringing supplies, and this went on for seven weeks, the sources said. (Reuters)

04-10-2023
Politics

A website in Tehran says that former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, and his brother who is programming chief at state TV plan to win control of the next parliament.

A website in Tehran says that former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, and his brother who is programming chief at state TV plan to win control of the next parliament. Khabar Online, wrote in an April 9 report that the Jalili brothers are determined to go from where they are in positions of power to the Iranian parliament (Majles) next year. Khabar Online added that all those who were in charge of the state television before were also political activists linked to major political groups. (Iran International)

04-10-2023
Anti-Americanism

A rocket attack targeted a base in eastern Syria where U.S. troops are based causing no injuries or damage, the U.S. military said.

A rocket attack Monday targeted a base in eastern Syria where U.S. troops are based causing no injuries or damage, the U.S. military said. The military said in a statement that one rocket struck the Mission Support Site Conoco in eastern Syria on Monday evening and another rocket was found at the attack point of origin. No one claimed responsibility for the attack. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said that Iran-backed fighters based in eastern Syria might have been behind the attack. (Associated Press)  

04-10-2023
Human Rights

As schools in Iran reopen after the new year holiday, female students are again being targeted by chemical attacks.

As schools in Iran reopen after the new year holiday, female students are again being targeted by chemical attacks. It is not immediately clear who is responsible for the poisonings, but some Iranians suspect that their own government is the likely culprit. The attacks have targeted schools across the country and students are poisoned by unknown substances that spread through the buildings, according to media reports. Some of the victims have been admitted to hospitals with shortness of breath and other respiratory symptoms. (Voice of America)

04-09-2023
Military

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has claimed it has developed its latest suicide drone: the Meraj 532.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has claimed it has developed its latest suicide drone as the regime steps up military drone production. Known as the Meraj 532, it will be used by the IRGC ground force with a one-way range of 450km. Spokesperson Ali Kouhestani said the easy-setup drone can fly up to a height of 12,000 feet for 3 hours after taking off from a vehicle, adding that with its 50 kg warhead, it has high accuracy. (Iran International)

04-09-2023
Terrorism

The Israeli military said that three rockets were launched from Syria toward Israeli territory, a rare attack from the country's northeastern neighbor.

The Israeli military said that three rockets were launched from Syria toward Israeli territory, a rare attack from the country's northeastern neighbor that comes after days of escalating violence on multiple fronts. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket launches, which caused no damage or casualties. Only one rocket managed to cross into Israeli territory and landed in a field in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, the Israeli military said. Fragments of another destroyed missile fell into Jordanian territory near the Syrian border, Jordan's military reported. (CBS)

04-06-2023
Terrorism

Thirty-four rockets were fired from southern Lebanon, with 25 intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system over northern Israel.

Thirty-four rockets were fired from southern Lebanon, with 25 intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system over northern Israel, the military said. At least three people were injured and several buildings were damaged. In the evening several mortar shells impacted near the northern town of Metula, not causing any injuries or damage. Israel blamed Lebanon-based Hamas forces for the afternoon attacks, with Israeli official sources saying it would not have been carried out without Hezbollah’s consent. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is currently in Lebanon. (Times of Israel)

04-06-2023
Syria Conflict

Azerbaijan’s security services arrested six people accused of being recruited by Iran in order to overthrow Baku’s secular government and install a pro-Iranian religious regime.

Azerbaijan’s security services arrested six people accused of being recruited by Iran in order to overthrow Baku’s secular government and install a pro-Iranian religious regime. Those detained are all Azerbaijani nationals and are accused of being members of a group that’s received funding and instructions from Iran’s theocratic government to “undermine stability and start armed riots” in Azerbaijan, the State Security Service, the Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a joint statement.  Dozens of Azerbaijani nationals have reportedly been arrested in the past few weeks for alleged links to Iran amid escalating tensions between the two countries over a range of issues including Israel and Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia. (Bloomberg)

04-05-2023
Terrorism

A senior Israeli security official revealed the alleged identity of a handler in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who recruited a pair of Pakistani nationals accused of planning to attack a Chabad house in Athens.

A senior Israeli security official revealed the alleged identity of a handler in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who recruited a pair of Pakistani nationals accused of planning to attack a Chabad house in Athens. The handler’s name is Mohammad Mohsen Reza, a 65-year-old Pakistani national living in the Iranian city of Qom, the security official told reporters. The official said that Reza has been running a network of fellow Pakistani nationals that has been planning attacks on targets of the IRGC around the globe. (Times of Israel)

04-03-2023
Human Rights

Universities in Iran will bar female students who refuse to wear the hijab from education services.

Universities in Iran will bar female students who refuse to wear the hijab from education services. The Ministry of Science, Research and Technology said all universities and higher education centers under its supervision will be able to bar female students who do not wear a hijab from educational and welfare services, according to a statement carried by the judiciary's Mizan news agency. An education official from the health ministry said medical schools "are prohibited from providing any services to students without the Islamic hijab." (The National)

04-03-2023
Terrorism

Reports allege that three out of four of the suspects in the shooting of Azerbaijani MP Fazil Mustafa were working on the order of Iranian security forces.

The identity of four of the suspects in the shooting of Azerbaijani MP Fazil Mustafa was published by Azerbaijani media, with the reports alleging that the three were working on the order of Iranian security forces. The four were identified as Azer Sarijanov, Sabuhi Shirinov, Elshad Askerov and Emin Aliyev, according to the Azerbaijani Turan news site. According to Azerbaijani reports, the suspects visited Iran often and Sarijanov is a religious activist known as "Haji Azer" who posts speeches on YouTube. (Jerusalem Post)

04-01-2023
Human Rights

Iran’s judiciary chief has threatened to prosecute “without mercy” women who appear in public unveiled.

Iran’s judiciary chief has threatened to prosecute “without mercy” women who appear in public unveiled, Iranian media reported. Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei’s warning comes on the heels of an interior ministry statement that reinforced the government’s mandatory hijab law. “Unveiling is tantamount to enmity with [our] values,” Ejei was quoted as saying by several news sites. (The Guardian)

03-31-2023
Military

China's Da-Jiang Innovations Science & Technology Co. (DJI)—a global leader in drone technology with a large presence in America—has been marketing its equipment in Iran.

China's Da-Jiang Innovations Science & Technology Co. (DJI)—a global leader in drone technology with a large presence in America—has been marketing its equipment in Iran, according to evidence collected by United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), a research and advocacy organization. UANI researchers discovered "multiple and explicit examples of DJI products being sold in Iran," according to a March 28 letter sent from the watchdog group to DJI's North American office in Los Angeles. (Washington Free Beacon)

03-29-2023
Politics

Hard-line lawmakers in Iran have proposed new tougher measures to enforce the country's hijab law.

Hard-line lawmakers in Iran have proposed new tougher measures to enforce the country's hijab law. The proposed measures would impose fines of up to $60,000 on women who violate the law as well as the confiscation of their passports and driver's licenses, according to lawmaker Hossein Jalali. Another member of parliament, Bijan Nobaveh, said the proposed measures also include using surveillance cameras to monitor if women in public are wearing the compulsory hijab. As punishment, offenders would be denied mobile phone and Internet services, he said. (Radio Free Europe)

03-28-2023
Terrorism

Greek police arrested two Pakistani nationals who were allegedly planning mass-casualty terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in the country.

Greek police arrested two Pakistani nationals who were allegedly planning mass-casualty terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in the country. Israel’s Mossad spy agency, which aided the Greek investigation, said in a statement that the two were part of an Iranian terror network. The Iran-born pair, aged 27 and 29, were being held at police headquarters in central Athens, Greek authorities said. A third man, who is not in Greece, was wanted for questioning and charged in absentia. (Times of Israel)

03-27-2023
Military

Russia is helping Iran gain advanced digital-surveillance capabilities as Tehran seeks deeper cooperation on cyberwarfare.

Russia is helping Iran gain advanced digital-surveillance capabilities as Tehran seeks deeper cooperation on cyberwarfare, people familiar with the matter said, adding another layer to a burgeoning military alliance that the U.S. sees as a threat. The potential for cyberwarfare collaboration comes after Iran has, according to U.S. and Iranian officials, sold Russia drones for use in Ukraine, agreed to provide short-range missiles to Moscow and shipped tank and artillery rounds to the battlefield. Tehran is seeking the cyber help along with what U.S. and Iranian officials have said are requests for dozens of elite Russian attack helicopters and jet fighters and aid with its long-range missile program. (Wall Street Journal)

03-24-2023
Anti-Americanism

A strike by a suspected Iranian-made drone killed a U.S. contractor and wounded five American troops and another contractor in northeast Syria, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon said a drone attack on a U.S. base killed a contractor and injured five U.S. troops and another contractor. That was followed by two simultaneous attacks on U.S. forces in Syria, according to U.S. officials. The officials said that based on preliminary information, there was a rocket attack at a Conoco plant, and one U.S. service member was injured but is in stable condition. At about the same time, several drones were launched at Green Village, where U.S. troops are also based. One official said all but one of the drones were shot down, and there were no U.S. injuries there. (Associated Press)

03-23-2023
Military

Two networks of alleged Iranian operatives were indicted for attempts to procure and export U.S. weapons technology to Tehran, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Two networks of alleged Iranian operatives were indicted for attempts to procure and export U.S. weapons technology to Tehran, the U.S. Department of Justice announced, and four connected companies were designated for sanctioning by the U.S. Treasury Department. The schemes would have supported Iran's ballistic missile, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and weapons programs, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Between 2012 and 2013, Iranian citizen Amanallah Paidar and Turkish citizen Murat Bükey conspired to secure a device to test fuel cells and a bio-detection system that has application in weapons of mass destruction research. (Jerusalem Post)

03-23-2023
Human Rights

An assistant coach with Iran's national soccer team has been fired amid a campaign by hard-liners to oust him over social media posts he made criticizing the government's response to protests.

An assistant coach with Iran's national soccer team has been fired amid a campaign by hard-liners to oust him over social media posts he made criticizing the government's response to protests sparked by the death of a young woman while in police custody. Rahman Rezaei, a former star player on the Iranian men's national soccer team, had come increasingly under fire after being named last week as an assistant coach for his comments online about the regime's crackdown on demonstrators, including one last October where he said, "Enough is enough. You should be tried in the nation's courts." (Radio Free Europe)

03-18-2023
Human Rights

A human rights group says nearly 30,000 people were arrested for staging protests, political activities, or the expression of their opinions in the Iranian year ending on March 20.

A human rights group says nearly 30,000 people were arrested for staging protests, political activities, or the expression of their opinions in the Iranian year ending on March 20. The report by the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) states that during the 12 months, 29,688 people were arrested in Iran, of which 28,419 were detained for exercising their rights free expression. 328 women's rights activists, 258 trade union activists, 235 ethnic minorities and 169 people of religious minorities were also among the detainees, according to the report. (Iran International)

03-17-2023
Human Rights

Iran hanged a Kurdish man viewed as a political prisoner by activists.

Iran hanged a Kurdish man viewed as a political prisoner by activists, rights groups said, amplifying alarm over the soaring number of executions in the country this year. Mohayyedin Ebrahimi, 43, was hanged at dawn at Urmia prison in northwestern Iran, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and Hengaw rights groups said in separate statements. Five other men were also executed on drug-related charges at Urmia on Friday morning, the groups added. (AFP)

03-17-2023
Terrorism

The Islamic Republic has opened an office in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province to recruit young locals to join its proxies.

The Islamic Republic has opened an office in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province to recruit young locals to join its proxies. Offering vulnerable young men a monthly salary of $200, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Islamic Republic is on a new drive to recruit militants from one of the region’s poorest countries. It claimed that 80 men are working voluntarily in the office, part of the Islamic Republic's efforts to expand its military and political influence in Syria. (Iran International)

03-13-2023
Military

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) naval arm claims that it has put “laser-guided missiles” and “air defense” on its fast attack boats.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) naval arm claims that it has put “laser-guided missiles” and “air defense” on its fast attack boats. This comes after a series of recent claims by the IRGC about upgrading its navy. The IRGC has its own naval ships while Iran has an official navy as well. The two compete for resources from the regime although the two also have different missions. The IRGC Navy carries out the harassment of foreign navies and is also involved in developing new weapons while the regular navy has larger ships and conducts longer-range missions. In recent years, the IRGC navy has sought to improve its fast attack boats, of which it has several types and hundreds of boats. (Jerusalem Post)

03-13-2023
Human Rights

Prominent reformist politician Mostafa Tajzadeh, who is currently being held at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, says he and his cell mates were attacked by guards.

Prominent reformist politician Mostafa Tajzadeh, who is currently being held at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, says he and his cell mates were attacked by guards for their support of recent comments made by opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi on regime change. Tajzadeh, 65, said in a letter that he and fellow prisoners Saeed Madani and Hossein Razzaq were attacked after they were subjected to an "unusual and long search" of their cell over the weekend. (Radio Free Europe)

03-12-2023
Military

Iran has reached a deal to buy advanced Su-35 fighter planes from Russia.

Iran has reached a deal to buy advanced Su-35 fighter planes from Russia, Iranian state media said, expanding a relationship that has seen Iranian-built drones used in Russia's war on Ukraine. "The Sukhoi-35 fighter planes are technically acceptable to Iran and Iran has finalized a contract for their purchase," the broadcaster IRIB quoted Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York as saying. IRIB's report did not carry any Russian confirmation of the deal, details of which were not disclosed. The mission said Iran had also inquired about buying military aircraft from several other unnamed countries, IRIB reported. (Reuters)

03-10-2023
Military

Russia has been capturing some of the U.S. and NATO-provided weapons and equipment left on the battlefield in Ukraine and sending them to Iran.

Russia has been capturing some of the U.S. and NATO-provided weapons and equipment left on the battlefield in Ukraine and sending them to Iran, where the U.S. believes Tehran will try to reverse-engineer the systems, four sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Over the last year, U.S., NATO and other Western officials have seen several instances of Russian forces seizing smaller, shoulder-fired weapons equipment including Javelin anti-tank and Stinger anti-aircraft systems that Ukrainian forces have at times been forced to leave behind on the battlefield, the sources told CNN. Russia believes that continuing to provide captured Western weapons to Iran will incentivize Tehran to maintain its support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, the sources said. (CNN)

03-08-2023
Human Rights

Iran has sentenced Franco-Irish citizen Bernard Phelan to 6.5 years in prison for "providing information to another country."

Iran has sentenced Franco-Irish citizen Bernard Phelan to 6.5 years in prison for "providing information to another country," his sister said in a statement, adding that her 64-year-old brother was at risk of dying in custody. Ties between France and Iran have deteriorated in recent months with Tehran detaining seven French nationals in what Paris has said are arbitrary arrests that are equivalent to state hostage taking. One of those, Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah, was released, but it is still unclear how much longer she will have to stay in Iran before returning to France. (Reuters)

03-08-2023
Nuclear Program

The U.S. and Europe's top powers expressed alarm at Iran having produced a tiny amount of uranium enriched to 84% purity.

The U.S. and Europe's top powers expressed alarm at Iran having produced a tiny amount of uranium enriched to 84% purity, very close to weapons grade, and said Iran must explain how it happened. The U.N. nuclear watchdog found uranium particles enriched to up to 83.7% at Fordow, a site dug into a mountain and the second place where it is continuously enriching uranium to up to 60%. Weapons grade is around 90%. (Reuters)

03-07-2023
Politics

A new ultraconservative political coalition in Iran is taking shape, indicating jostling for next year’s parliamentary elections.

News broke March 2 of the emergence of a new ultraconservative political coalition in Iran, indicating jostling for next year’s parliamentary elections. Iranian journalist Saleh Meftah reported on Twitter two days later that a new coalition has emerged among members of the ultraconservative Paydari Party, which has the upper hand in the Iranian parliament. According to the report some 500 ultraconservative politicians took part in a meeting in Velenjak at a building where former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meets his aides. The meeting was called by Roads and Housing Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash, a leading member of Paydari and at least two other Paydari leaders, firebrand cleric Mahmoud Nabavian who is known for his opposition to the 2015 nuclear deal and former populist presidential candidate Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi. (Iran International)

03-07-2023
Military

The head of Iran's army has said it has become one of the three countries to produce ballistic missiles capable of destroying mobile naval units.

The head of Iran's army has said it has become one of the three countries to produce ballistic missiles capable of destroying mobile naval units. Tehran has begun mass producing the missiles, which will create "significant security" in its waters, Maj Gen Mohammed Bagheri told news agency Tasnim, affiliated to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The missiles will be able to operate at a distance of 1,000 km, he said. Iran's naval activity is often the source of tension with the US, including in the Gulf of Oman, where Iran attacked an Israeli commercial vessel in November with a Shahed-136 missile. (The National)

03-07-2023
Terrorism

Hackers linked to the Iranian government were behind a cyberattack last month that shut down the operating systems of an Israeli university.

Hackers linked to the Iranian government were behind a cyberattack last month that shut down the operating systems of an Israeli university, Israel’s cyber authority said. The group responsible for the hack was identified as MuddyWater, which is affiliated with Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the National Cyber Directorate said in a statement. The Feb. 12 attack on the Israel Institute of Technology, also known as Technion, used malware to encrypt the operating systems, the Israeli investigation found. (Bloomberg)

03-06-2023
Terrorism

The alleged orchestrator of a shooting at a synagogue in Germany is suspected of directing attacks from Tehran through his criminal networks in Germany, allegedly at the behest of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The alleged orchestrator of a shooting of a synagogue in Germany, according to five German security officials and two Western intelligence officials, was Ramin Yektaparast: a muscled Hells Angels leader wanted in the case of a gruesome biker gang murder in Germany. Yektaparast is suspected of directing attacks from Tehran through his criminal networks in Germany, allegedly at the behest of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the officials say. (Washington Post)

03-02-2023
Human Rights

Reports of Iranian schoolgirls being poisoned at school continue to stream in from across Iran, with over 1,000 students in more than 50 schools impacted so far.

Reports of Iranian schoolgirls being poisoned at school continue to stream in from across Iran, with over 1,000 students in more than 50 schools impacted so far, according to opposition reports this week. The poisonings were first reported in late November, with the pace of reports rising in recent weeks. At least eight schools throughout Iran reported poisoning incidents in one day, according to opposition media. (Jerusalem Post)

03-02-2023
Syria Conflict

The British navy seized anti-tank missiles and fins for ballistic missile assemblies during a raid on a small boat heading from Iran likely to Yemen.

The British navy seized anti-tank missiles and fins for ballistic missile assemblies during a raid on a small boat heading from Iran likely to Yemen, authorities said, the latest such seizure in the Gulf of Oman. The raid took place February 23 after an American aircraft detected a small motorboat with cargo covered by a gray tarp heading from Iran, with a helicopter from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster chasing the vessel as it ignored being hailed by radio, the British Defense Ministry said. The boat tried to reenter Iranian territorial water, but was stopped before it could.  (Associated Press)

03-01-2023
Military

Iran’s parliament has approved legislation to allow the government to allocate 3 billion euros to the Armed Forces “to strengthen the country's defense infrastructure.”

Iran’s parliament has approved legislation to allow the government to allocate 3 billion euros to the Armed Forces “to strengthen the country's defense infrastructure.” Based on the approved legislation, the General Staff of the Armed Forces is allowed to export three billion euros worth of crude oil and oil products through small private refineries after the approval of the country's budget organization. In the budget bill for the next Iranian year, starting March 21, the government had granted new permits to some departments such as the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic to sell oil on behalf of the government and earn some of the income. (Iran International)

02-28-2023
Military

Iran has shown off what it claims are underground tunnels used for air defense systems.

Iran has shown off what it claims are underground tunnels used for air defense systems. Iran showed off the tunnels during air defense drills this week. The drills are called “Guardians of Velayat Sky-1401.” The footage was released by Iran showing a 3rd Khordad air defense system apparently being driven out of a tunnel.  This is an advanced air defense system Iran used to shoot down a U.S. Global Hawk drone in 2020. According to the report the air defense system was operated by the IRGC’s Aerospace unit. The systems are kept in “subterranean tunnels” and can be easily moved out to ground level “when needed.” (Jerusalem Post)

02-28-2023
Military

Iranian media sources say a "defensive" joint exercise by the Revolutionary Guard and the Islamic Republic Army will be held to counter "enemy aerial threats."

Iranian media sources say a "defensive" joint exercise by the Revolutionary Guard and the Islamic Republic Army will be held to counter "enemy aerial threats." Brigadier General Abbas Farajpour, the spokesman for the "joint air defense exercise", said that the drills will be conducted in "two-thirds of the country's skies." This comes after the National Security Committee of Iranian Parliament held a meeting with the officials of the ministry of intelligence regarding "recent events in Isfahan and Karaj." Residents near Karaj, west of Tehran, published videos of explosions and anti-aircraft fire, which the government media described as military drills by the IRGC. One of these videos showed anti-aircraft tracer rounds soaring into the sky while an explosion can also be seen on the ground. There was no prior public notification of planned military exercises. (Iran International)

02-28-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran has renewed threats to target former President Donald Trump and top members of his former Cabinet.

Iran has renewed threats to target former President Donald Trump and top members of his former cabinet, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for the 2020 killing of its top military commander, Qasem Soleimani. "God willing, we are looking to kill Trump [and] Pompeo … and military commanders who issued the order should be killed," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps aerospace force, told Iranian state television. The threats are nothing new, though this time they came as Tehran was announcing a new long-range cruise missile capable of flying more than 1,000 miles, which could give it additional striking capabilities to U.S. forces in the Middle East. (Fox News)

02-27-2023
Military

Two Iranian warships docked in Rio de Janeiro after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's government granted permission despite pressure from the United States to bar them.

Two Iranian warships docked in Rio de Janeiro after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's government granted permission despite pressure from the United States to bar them. The IRIS Makran and IRIS Dena warships both arrived at the port, Rio's port authority said in a statement. Reuters earlier this month reported that Brazil had bowed to U.S. pressure and declined Iran's request for the vessels to dock in Rio in late January, in a gesture from Lula as he flew to Washington to meet U.S. President Joe Biden. (Reuters)

02-27-2023
Terrorism

A smuggling operation involves the illegal trade of Iranian oil to Venezuela in return for gold bullion, which is used to fund the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Israel's minister of defense issued an order indicating that an Iranian smuggling operation uncovered last May continues to be a concern. The smuggling operation involves the illegal trade of Iranian oil to Venezuela in return for gold bullion, which is used to fund the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorist organization. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant signed a document revealing that dozens of kilograms of gold were smuggled from Venezuela to Europe and Syria. The gold was transported from Caracas to Tehran via Mahan Air, a privately-owned Iranian airline based in Tehran. The profits from the smuggled gold were then transferred to Hezbollah, according to the findings. (All Israel News)

02-26-2023
Military

Iran is openly talking about upgrading Syrian air defenses to help Damascus fend off continued Israeli airstrikes.

Iran is openly talking about upgrading Syrian air defenses to help Damascus fend off continued Israeli airstrikes. However, as has been the case for a decade now, Israel will undoubtedly take preemptive military action if Tehran takes any serious steps toward implementing this stated objective. On Feb. 24, Iranian state television reported Tehran's intent to supply its advanced, long-range indigenous air defense missile systems to Damascus. Any deployment of the Khordad 15 would almost certainly incur immediate Israeli strikes. The indigenous Iranian system carries Sayyad-3 missiles with a purported 120-mile range, which could potentially constrain Israel's Syria air campaign if successfully deployed. (Forbes)

02-26-2023
Human Rights

Iran’s deputy education minister says the serial poisoning of female students in the religious city of Qom and other cities have been "intentional."

Iran’s deputy education minister says the serial poisoning of female students in the religious city of Qom and other cities have been "intentional." Younes Panahi said that "it was found that some people wanted all schools, especially girls' schools, to be closed." "It has been revealed that the chemical compounds used to poison students are not war chemicals, and the poisoned students do not need aggressive treatment, and a large percentage of the chemical agents used are treatable," he told a press conference. (Iran International)

02-25-2023
Extremism

The news organization controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urged that the Iranian authorities seize and prosecute German diplomats in Tehran.

The news organization controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei urged that the Iranian authorities seize and prosecute German diplomats in Tehran in response to Berlin's expulsion of two Iranian diplomats. Kayhan, the news outlet that serves as Khamenei's mouthpiece, demanded that German embassy staff not be allowed to leave Iran in response to Berlin's eviction of two Iranian diplomats due to the clerical regime imposing the death penalty on the German citizen Jamshid Sharmahd, who is also a legal resident of California. (The Jerusalem Post)

02-25-2023
Nuclear Program

Iranian state television has offered a defense against an accusation attributed to International Atomic Agency Organization inspectors that it enriched uranium to 84% purity.

Iranian state television has offered a defense against an accusation attributed to International Atomic Agency Organization inspectors that it enriched uranium to 84% purity. An Iranian official implicitly accepted the accusation, telling state television's English-language arm, Press T.V. that the allegation is a part of a “conspiracy” against Tehran amid tensions over its nuclear program. Iran’s Nuclear Agency Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that finding highly-enriched uranium particles in the pipes connecting centrifuges was a “normal issue.” (Iran International)  

02-24-2023
Military

Iran has developed a cruise missile with a range of 1,650 km (1,025 miles), a top Revolutionary Guards commander said.

Iran has developed a cruise missile with a range of 1,650 km (1,025 miles), a top Revolutionary Guards commander said, in a move likely to raise Western concerns after Russia's use of Iranian drones in the Ukraine war. Separately, Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace force, also spoke of Iran's often repeated threat to avenge the U.S. killing of a top Iranian commander, saying "We are looking to kill (former U.S. President Donald) Trump." (Reuters)

02-24-2023
Human Rights

After long airing forced televised “confessions” of dissidents, Iran's regime is increasingly coercing individuals to post dictated statements on social media.

After long airing forced televised “confessions” of dissidents, Iran's regime is increasingly coercing individuals to post dictated statements on social media. A video of a woman unveiling at an official event in Tehran went viral on social media. Then, the same woman posted a video of herself apologizing for her “rash” behavior. (Iran International)

02-23-2023
Politics

The Islamic Republic’s Assembly of Experts, the deliberative body empowered to appoint the Supreme Leader, has renewed its loyalty to Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei.

The Islamic Republic’s Assembly of Experts, the deliberative body empowered to appoint the Supreme Leader, has renewed its loyalty to Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei. The Secretariat of the Assembly – also translated as the Assembly of Experts of the Leadership or as the Council of Experts – issued a statement, reiterating obsequious remarks about Khamenei. In their statement, the members of the assembly described Khamenei as a force of “solidarity and national unity," and decried the slogans and slurs that are chanted against him during popular protests for over five months. Members of the Assembly are elected from the inner circle of the regime and people very close to the Khamenei, which explains their full loyalty. The assembly is in charge of supervising, dismissing and electing the Supreme Leader. (Iran International)

02-23-2023
Terrorism

Iran is hiring organized criminals to spy on Britain’s Jews in preparation for a potential assassination campaign against prominent members of the community.

Iran is hiring organized criminals to spy on Britain’s Jews in preparation for a potential assassination campaign against prominent members of the community, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat told the JC. The regime is “mapping” Jews in the diaspora to lay the ground for high-profile revenge murders should Israel launch a military attack against the theocracy. In response, the minister, who is responsible for MI5, said: “You were right. We have very clear intelligence about the activities of hostile regimes in the U.K. and we keep a very close eye on what their agents and those close to them are doing. We know that the Iranians are using non-traditional sources to carry out these operations, including organized criminal gangs.” (Jewish Chronicle)  

02-22-2023
Military

Iran might soon receive advanced Su-35 Flanker-E multirole fighter jets from Russia and possibly other military equipment, including S-400 air defense missile systems.

Iran might soon receive advanced Su-35 Flanker-E multirole fighter jets from Russia and possibly other military equipment, including S-400 air defense missile systems. How substantially these acquisitions could ultimately affect the power balance in the Middle East remains to be seen. A mockup of a Su-35 recently photographed by satellite outside Iran's southern underground Eagle 44 airbase further fueled speculation that Iran expects to receive that aircraft as part of its most substantive fighter order in over 30 years. (Forbes)

02-21-2023
Terrorism

The Iranian government has been behind 15 credible threats to kill or kidnap British citizens or U.K.-based people in just over a year.

The Iranian government has been behind 15 credible threats to kill or kidnap British citizens or U.K.-based people in just over a year, security minister Tom Tugendhat has told parliament following intimidation that forced the closure of a Persian-language television station. Tehran had also tried to gather information on U.K.-based Jewish and Israeli individuals as “a preparation for future lethal operations”, the minister told the House of Commons in a statement. Tugendhat was speaking after Iran International, viewed by many Iranians as an opposition TV channel, temporarily ceased broadcasting from the U.K. over the weekend as a result of what Tugendhat called “very real and specific threats” towards members of its staff. (Financial Times)

02-19-2023
Terrorism

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran was responsible for a reported attack on an oil tanker.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran was responsible for a reported attack on an oil tanker. An attack on the Liberian-flagged Campo Square was confirmed by the ship's captain, who said it was lightly damaged by an airborne object on Feb. 10 while sailing through the Arabian Sea. Shipping databases linked the tanker to Zodiac Maritime, which is controlled by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer. "Last week Iran again attacked an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf and harmed the international freedom of navigation," Netanyahu said at a weekly cabinet meeting.  (Reuters)

02-19-2023
Nuclear Program

United Nations atomic agency inspectors have detected uranium that has been enriched to near weapons-grade in Iran.

United Nations atomic agency inspectors have detected uranium that has been enriched to near weapons-grade in Iran in recent weeks, three senior diplomats said, a finding that will deepen concerns about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Iran has been producing highly enriched, weapons-grade material of 60% purity since early 2021, but the material found was of 84% purity, according to the diplomats. Weapons-grade enriched uranium is generally considered to be from around 90%-enriched uranium. The diplomats said they had been informed that Iran doesn’t appear to be accumulating a stockpile of the 84% material. (The Wall Street Journal)

02-17-2023
Military

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant delivered a speech at the opening of the 59th Security Conference in Munich, Germany, where he denounced Iran's efforts to export lethal weapons despite the embargo imposed on it.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant delivered a speech at the opening of the 59th Security Conference in Munich, Germany, where he denounced Iran's efforts to export lethal weapons despite the embargo imposed on it. The minister called on the international community to unite against the Islamic Republic's efforts and work on regulating an alternative mechanism to the embargo on ground-to-ground missiles and drones that is set to expire at the end of this year. "Below and above the surface, Iran is relentlessly working to destroy the State of Israel. It does so both directly and through its proxies - the terrorist armies that operate near Israel's borders. Iran threatens not only Israel but also the security and stability of Europe and the world at large," said Gallant. (i24 News)

02-16-2023
Military

Recent reports indicate that Iran and Turkey are pushing ahead with their respective projects to build enormous factories in Russia and Ukraine for manufacturing large numbers of their homegrown Shahed and Bayraktar drones.

Recent reports indicate that Iran and Turkey are pushing ahead with their respective projects to build enormous factories in Russia and Ukraine for manufacturing large numbers of their homegrown Shahed and Bayraktar drones. On Jan. 5, a high-level Iranian delegation visited the Russian town of Yelabuga, about 600 miles east of Moscow. Iran and Russia have ambitious plans to build a large factory there that will manufacture at least 6,000 drones based on Iranian designs. Iran has already supplied Russia with hundreds of Shahed-131/136 loitering munitions – single-use, self-detonating drones – for the war against Ukraine. (Forbes)

02-15-2023
Military

U.S. forces shot down an Iranian-made reconnaissance drone flying over a base housing American troops in northeastern Syria.

U.S. forces shot down an Iranian-made drone flying over a base housing American troops in northeastern Syria, the U.S. military said. The incident comes more than a week after a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria, followed by a significant de-escalation of violence across the war-torn country. U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the reconnaissance drone flew over Mission Support Site Conoco before American forces shot it down. (Associated Press)

02-15-2023
Terrorism

Seif al-Adel, the apparent new leader of al Qaeda is in Iran, a United Nations report has said and the United States confirmed the information.

Seif al-Adel, the apparent new leader of al Qaeda is in Iran, a United Nations report has said and the United States confirmed the information. State Department spokesperson Ned Price was asked during his daily press briefing to comment on the UN report. He said: “Our assessment aligns with that of the UN…offering safe haven to al Qaeda is another example of Iran’s wide-ranging support for terrorism, its destabilizing activities in the Middle East and beyond.” Asked by a reporter what the United States is ready to do if Adel is in Iran, Price said that the Biden administration is determined not to allow threats to emerge. (Iran International)

02-14-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran warned it would firmly respond to any move threatening its security, saying the U.S. was responsible for any action taken by its ally Israel.

Iran warned it would firmly respond to any move threatening its security, saying the U.S. was responsible for any action taken by its ally Israel. The Israeli army said its Defense Forces and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) launched Juniper Oak, a joint drill focused on air defense, cyber security, intelligence, and logistics. Some 6,400 US and over 1,500 Israeli troops, over 140 aircraft, 12 naval vessels, and artillery systems are taking part, making it the nations' largest-ever joint drill. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

02-14-2023
Terrorism

The number of cyberattacks by Iran on targets in Israel has doubled in the past year.

The number of cyberattacks by Iran on targets in Israel has doubled in the past year, the director general of the Israeli Nation Cyber Directorate (INCD) has told Tech Monitor. Speaking to Tech Monitor at the Cybertech Conference in Tel Aviv, Portnoy said his organization has thwarted 1,000 potential cyberattacks over the past year, far outstripping its neighbors. Iran’s cyberattacks against Israel doubled in the past year, explains Portnoy. Other countries in the region have felt the same pressure, from cyber espionage to ransomware and attacks on critical national infrastructure (CNI). (Tech Monitor)

02-13-2023
Terrorism

Australian security agencies have disrupted a foreign interference plot by Iran that was targeting an Iranian-Australian on Australian soil.

Australian security agencies have disrupted a foreign interference plot by Iran that was targeting an Iranian-Australian on Australian soil, the government has said. The plot allegedly included individuals monitoring the home of a critic of the Iranian regime and extensively researching the person and their family. The home affairs minister, Clare O’Neil, revealed the incident in a speech to the Australian National University on Tuesday while also describing foreign interference as “one of the core threats our democracy faces.” (The Guardian)

02-13-2023
Syria Conflict

Britain says it has for the first time presented evidence that Iran is supplying advanced weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Britain says it has for the first time presented evidence that Iran is supplying advanced weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, after finding images of tests conducted at the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran on the hard drive of an unmanned aircraft seized by the Royal Navy. Personnel from the British ship HMS Montrose seized the unmanned quadcopter along with a shipment of missiles and missile parts in February last year when they stopped and searched a number of fast-moving skiffs in the Gulf of Oman. The weapons and other evidence were presented to the United Nations as linking Iran to violations of Security Council resolutions barring weapons shipments to the Houthis, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Monday in London.  (Associated Press)

02-12-2023
Politics

A new budget bill proposed cuts in the health and public sectors, and granted an increase in the budget of military and security forces.

As Iranians struggle to survive years of an unrelenting economic crisis, a new budget bill proposed cuts in the health and public sectors, and granted an increase in the budget of military and security forces. Lawmakers on 22 January approved the outlines of the budget bill, submitted by conservative President Ebrahim Raisi, for the Iranian year beginning on 21 March. (Middle East Eye)

02-12-2023
Military

Iran has reportedly used the country's state-owned airline and boats to smuggle high-end drones to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine.

Iran has reportedly used the country's state-owned airline and boats to smuggle high-end drones to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine. Sources within Iran told The Guardian that at least 18 advanced drones have been delivered to Russia's military since November, including six Mohajer-6 drones plus 12 Shahed 191 and 129 drones. Iran has also provided 54 technicians – about three per drone – to help the Russian military put the aircraft into service, according to the report. (Fox News)

02-09-2023
Military

Iran appears to be modifying the attack drones it’s providing to Russia so that the explosive warheads can inflict maximum damage on infrastructure targets inside Ukraine.

Iran appears to be modifying the attack drones it’s providing to Russia so that the explosive warheads can inflict maximum damage on infrastructure targets inside Ukraine, according to a new investigative report obtained exclusively by CNN. An unexploded warhead from an Iranian Shahed-131 drone found in the Southern Ukrainian region of Odesa in October 2022 was examined last month by the UK-based investigative organization Conflict Armament Research, along with the Ukrainian military. CAR provided its findings first to CNN. The composition of the warhead helps explain how Russia’s onslaught on Ukrainian energy infrastructure over the last several months has proven so effective. (CNN)

02-09-2023
Military

A large shipment of drones is set to be sent from Tehran to Beijing.

The adviser to Iran’s minister of intelligence has claimed that 90 countries are "customers" of Iranian drones, and China is in the "queue" to receive 15,000 of these drones. (Iran International)

02-09-2023
Human Rights

Documents show that Iran had access to the private data of Facebook users.

Released documents show that Iran, along with Russia, China and some other authoritarian governments had access to the private data of Facebook users. Internal documents in a related privacy litigation that emerged late last month have trigged the chairs of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Mark Warner and Marco Rubio, to write a letter to Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg asking fresh questions about what he and his company knew about how much user data the platform was leaking in previous years. “It appears from these documents that Facebook has known, since at least September 2018, that hundreds of thousands of developers in countries Facebook characterized as “high-risk,” including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), had access to significant amounts of sensitive user data,” they write. (Iran International)

02-08-2023
Military

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps displayed an apparent ballistic missile with the words “Death to Israel” emblazoned in Hebrew down the side.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps displayed an apparent ballistic missile with the words “Death to Israel” emblazoned in Hebrew down the side, at an exhibition in the central city of Isfahan. Pictures posted by the Tasnim news agency show what appears to be a surface-to-surface missile in a launcher with elaborate Hebrew script running down its side. It was not clear if it was an actual missile or a mockup. (Times of Israel)

02-07-2023
Military

Iran's army unveiled its first underground base for fighter jets designed to withstand possible strikes by U.S. bunker-busting bombs.

Iran's army unveiled its first underground base for fighter jets designed to withstand possible strikes by U.S. bunker-busting bombs, state media reported. The base, named Oghab 44 (Persian for eagle), can accommodate "all types of fighter jets and bombers, in addition to drones," the official news agency IRNA said, releasing images and videos from inside the base. The exact location of the base was not revealed, but state media said it was "at the depth of hundreds of meters under the mountains," and capable of withstanding "bombs by strategic U.S. bombers." (AFP)

02-07-2023
Human Rights

A teenager arrested during protests has attempted suicide in Zahedan prison, southeast of Iran, due to severe physical, sexual and mental torture.

Baluch Activists Campaign say a teenager arrested during protests has attempted suicide in Zahedan prison, southeast of Iran, due to severe physical, sexual and mental torture. According to the human rights organization, the teenager was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard intelligence in Zahedan on January 3, but he tried to take his own life after being severely tortured. The 16-year-old has been identified as Benyamin Kouhkan, a citizen of Zahedan, the provincial capital of the largely Sistan-Baluchestan province largely populated by Sunnis of Baluch ethnicity. (Iran International)

02-06-2023
Human Rights

The Guardian spoke to 11 protesters, women and men, who claim that they were subjected to rape, sexual violence, beatings and torture while being detained by security forces.

The Guardian spoke to 11 protesters, women and men, who claim that they were also subjected to rape, sexual violence, beatings and torture while being detained by security forces. Some say they were assaulted in a police van or on the streets; others while in custody in police stations or prisons. A nurse from a hospital in Gilan says she has encountered several women in the past few months who showed signs of sexual assault and rape. “I’ve treated at least five female protesters under 30 who came in with vaginal infections and told me they were assaulted in police custody. Some of them were bleeding from their genitals,” she says. (The Guardian)

02-05-2023
Military

Moscow and Tehran are moving ahead with plans to build a new factory in Russia that could make at least 6,000 Iranian-designed drones for the war in Ukraine.

Moscow and Tehran are moving ahead with plans to build a new factory in Russia that could make at least 6,000 Iranian-designed drones for the war in Ukraine, the latest sign of deepening cooperation between the two nations, said officials from a country aligned with the U.S. As part of their emerging military alliance, the officials said, a high-level Iranian delegation flew to Russia in early January to visit the planned site for the factory and hammer out details to get the project up-and-running. The two countries are aiming to build a faster drone that could pose new challenges for Ukrainian air defenses, the officials said. (The Wall Street Journal)

02-04-2023
Extremism

The Iranian regime-controlled Channel 4 ran a series of broadcasts with British and American Holocaust deniers in January shortly before International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

The Iranian regime-controlled Channel 4 ran a series of broadcasts with British and American Holocaust deniers in January shortly before International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. British Holocaust denier Nicholas Kollerstrom told the Iranian regime outlet it is time to put the "nightmare hallucination narrative" of the Holocaust "to bed," and that the aim of "this holo-hoax tale" was to crush Germany's spirit, according to a translation by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). (The Jerusalem Post)

02-03-2023
Extremism

Iranian media responded to cooperation between Israeli and Azeri defense ministers by publishing antisemitic cartoons targeting Azerbaijan’s president.

Iranian media responded to cooperation between Israeli and Azeri defense ministers by publishing antisemitic cartoons targeting Azerbaijan’s president. Iranian newspaper Javan, owned by the son of Ayatollah Hossein Mazakheri from Iran's central city of Isfahan, published on its frontpage a cartoon depicting Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev as a stereotypical Jew with a huge hooked nose, with the Israeli prime minister standing behind his back. The cartoon illustrated the article "Tel Aviv’s Trap for Baku" comes as Iran's reaction to the phone conversation between the defense ministers of Israel and Azerbaijan. (i24 News)

02-03-2023
Politics

Iran's ultra-hardliners have been pushing for further restrictions on social freedoms and freedom of expression.

Iran's ultra-hardliners have been pushing for further restrictions on social freedoms and freedom of expression. Commenting on the issue of hijab, lawmaker Hossein-Ali Haji-Deligani said in an interview with Entekhab news website recently that he believes the country should have an entity dedicated to “promotion of virtue and prevention of vice” as a completely independent organization to enforce hijab. “Our society and religion do not accept today’s kind of [lenient] hijab,” he said. (Iran International)

02-03-2023
Terrorism

An Iranian government-backed hacking team allegedly stole and leaked private customer data belonging to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

An Iranian government-backed hacking team allegedly stole and leaked private customer data belonging to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, security researchers at Microsoft said. The magazine was hacked in early January after it published a series of cartoons that negatively depicted Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The caricatures were part of a media campaign that Charlie Hebdo said was intended to support anti-government protests in the Islamic nation. (Reuters)

02-03-2023
Nuclear Program

A U.N. watchdog report shows Iran is being inconsistent in meeting its nuclear obligations, the United States, Britain, France and Germany said in a joint statement.

A U.N. watchdog report shows Iran is being inconsistent in meeting its nuclear obligations, the United States, Britain, France and Germany said in a joint statement. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criticized Iran for making an undeclared change to the interconnection between the two clusters of advanced machines enriching uranium to up to 60% purity, close to weapons grade, at its Fordow plant. Iran said the IAEA's position on Tehran's nuclear work was not correct. (Reuters)

02-02-2023
Terrorism

The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) threatened punishment for those behind the desecration of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, in Europe.

The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) threatened punishment for those behind the desecration of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, in Europe. “Today, we are the guardians of Islam and the Quran … We say to those who burned the Quran, this fire will catch your bodies and turn them into corpses,” state news agency IRNA quoted Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami as saying. “Live in secret from today and have nightmares every night, Muslims will not leave you even if decades pass,” added Salami. (Al Arabiya)

02-01-2023
Extremism

Azerbaijan's Interior Ministry has detained around 40 people it suspects of being part of an Iranian spy network that used religion to push pro-Iranian propaganda.

Azerbaijan's Interior Ministry has detained around 40 people it suspects of being part of an Iranian spy network that used religion to push pro-Iranian propaganda. Local media reported on February 1 that the suspects were arrested in Baku and other regions of the country as a result of the operation conducted by the ministry. Some reports a day earlier put the number of people detained at seven. Law enforcement bodies have neither confirmed nor rejected the reports. (Radio Free Europe)

02-01-2023
Politics

The Iranian parliament is planning to introduce new articles to the Islamic Penal Code which would criminalize "expressing opinions on social networks."

The Iranian parliament is planning to introduce new articles to the Islamic Penal Code which would criminalize "expressing opinions on social networks." If approved, this will further limit freedom of speech in the Islamic Republic. According to Iran's reformist daily newspaper Etemad in an article headlined "Be careful with your comments; If it is against the official reading, you will be punished!" (Middle East Monitor)

02-01-2023
Military

Iran shows off its “Saqr” missile.

Iranian pro-government media reported extensively about the Saqr missile, noting that it had been used in Yemen by the Iran-backed Houthi group, as well as in Iraq, to target U.S. forces and also in Syria. This links Iran to all these attacks, without explicitly taking credit for them. The Tasnim report noted that this “mysterious” missile has been used in many places, all of them linked to pro-Iran forces around the Middle East. It explains how the missile behaves like a cruise missile and a “loitering” munition, that it can detect targets with optical and thermal systems. (The Jerusalem Post)

02-01-2023
Terrorism

Iran International has obtained information that unravels some details about the inner workings of a Revolutionary Guard’s Quds force unit tasked with smuggling money from Iraq to Iran.

Iran International has obtained information that unravels some details about the inner workings of a Revolutionary Guard’s Quds force unit tasked with smuggling money from Iraq to Iran. According to the information, the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Iraq is also involved in the money laundering operations that aim to funnel the regime’s revenues from oil and gas exports to Iran. As per a repeatedly extended sanctions’ waiver by Washington, Tehran is only allowed to import medicine and some essential goods in exchange for its export to its neighboring country. (Iran International)

02-01-2023
Syria Conflict

French special forces discovered more than 3,000 Iranian-supplied assault rifles, at least a half million rounds of ammunition and over 20 antitank guided missiles, in route to the Houthis in Yemen.

Elite French special forces seized a boatload of Iranian-supplied weapons and ammunition bound for militants in Yemen as part of a deepening effort to contain Tehran, according to officials familiar with the operation. On Jan. 15, the officials said, a French warship stopped a suspected smuggling ship off the Yemeni coast where the specially trained French team boarded the boat. On board, the officials said, the French military discovered more than 3,000 assault rifles, at least a half million rounds of ammunition and over 20 antitank guided missiles. (The Wall Street Journal)

01-30-2023
Military

Iranian Navy Commander Shahram Irani said Iran is looking to expand operations on the coast of the Makran region in the Sistan and Baluchistan province.

Iranian Navy Commander Shahram Irani said Iran is looking to expand operations on the coast of the Makran region in the Sistan and Baluchistan province. According to Irani, the navy and army want to focus on various fields such as fisheries and shipbuilding and providing facilities to repair ships. While these may be purely mundane discussions about improving Iran’s facilities along the coast, they could also be important, as this is the same area where Iran holds weapons – including drones – that have been used in naval drills. (The Jerusalem Post)

01-27-2023
Military

Iran's biggest warship and one of its frigates are sailing across the Pacific in a first-of-its-kind journey likely meant to show off Tehran's growing naval force to friends and foes alike.

Iran's biggest warship and one of its frigates are sailing across the Pacific in a first-of-its-kind journey likely meant to show off Tehran's growing naval force to friends and foes alike. The two ships appear to be the frigate IRIS Dena and the forward base ship IRINS Makran. They were spotted by the French and Australian navies in early January as they sailed through the South Pacific. The ships have been granted permission to dock in Rio de Janeiro, reportedly arriving on January 23. (Business Insider)

01-27-2023
Human Rights

A newspaper in Iran says the parliament's plan to add two new articles to the “Islamic Penal Code” could further restrict civil liberties and freedom of speech.

A newspaper in Iran says the parliament's plan to add two new articles to the “Islamic Penal Code” could further restrict civil liberties and freedom of speech. According to Etemad newspaper, based on the new legislation, making any comment about the state of affairs in the country can land people in trouble, particularly politicians, political activists and celebrities. The newspaper said that lawmakers at the Judiciary Committee wish to make sure that all public comments are identical with official version of developments. (Iran International)

01-27-2023
Terrorism

The Department of Justice has charged three members of an Eastern European criminal group with ties to Iran with attempting to assassinate a prominent U.S. journalist and activist critical of the Iranian regime.

The Department of Justice has charged three members of an Eastern European criminal group with ties to Iran with attempting to assassinate a prominent U.S. journalist and activist critical of the Iranian regime. In a 25-page indictment unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Department of Justice said the three men were enlisted last year to murder an American citizen of Iranian origin on U.S. soil. The indictment did not identify the victim by name but said the person wrote critically about Iran’s treatment of women, protesters and other issues. (NBC)

01-26-2023
Human Rights

Iran has sentenced an ethnic Iranian-Kurdish pregnant woman being held in Urmia Central Prison to death.

Iran has sentenced an ethnic Iranian-Kurdish pregnant woman being held in Urmia Central Prison to death, according to a report by Iran Wire. Shahla Abdi, from the north-western province of West Azerbaijan and said to be in her early 20s, was initially arrested in Urmia in mid-October at the peak of mass protests that were triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody. Ms. Abdi is said to have received the death sentence after being accused of setting fire to a portrait of former Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. (The National)

01-26-2023
Terrorism

Iranian and Russian hackers are targeting British politicians and journalists with espionage attacks.

Iranian and Russian hackers are targeting British politicians and journalists with espionage attacks, officials have warned. The National Cyber Security Centre has issued a fresh alert about increasing attempts to steal information from specific groups and individuals. NCSC said the hackers usually target those doing research and work about Iran and Russia. (BBC)

01-25-2023
Nuclear Program

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi warned that Tehran has amassed enough material for “several nuclear weapons.”

Diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon should restart, said International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi, who warned that Tehran has amassed enough material for “several nuclear weapons.” Speaking ahead of a planned visit to Tehran, Grossi told a European Parliament subcommittee in Brussels that Iran has not yet built a nuclear weapon and the West should redouble efforts to stop it from doing so. Uranium enriched to more than 90% can be weaponized. Iran has 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of uranium enriched to 60% purity and 1,000 kilograms to 20% purity, according to Grossi. (CNN)

01-24-2023
Human Rights

An activist group says sixteen young people arrested in Urumieh in November, including several minors, have been tortured and threatened with rape to incriminate each other.

An activist group says sixteen young people arrested in Urumieh in November, including several minors, have been tortured and threatened with rape to incriminate each other. Follow Up Iran (komite-ye Peygiri-ye Bazdashtshodegan) which on its twitter account introduces itself as a group of activists said in a brief report on its Telegram page that the IRGC’s intelligence organization in West Azarbaijan Province has been torturing these young people to “confess” against each other and say their group was in contact with foreign intelligence services. State media reported in November that intelligence bodies had arrested 25 members of Youth of Urumieh Neighborhoods and accused them of trying “to deceive young people and incite them [to riot].” (Iran International)    

01-23-2023
Military

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is ramping up Syria’s air defense system, despite rampant poverty in Iran.

Amid new sanctions by Western countries on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard for human rights violations and other mischiefs, the multi-role organization is ramping up Syria’s air defense system, despite rampant poverty in Iran. According to a report by the Newsweek earlier in the month, the Islamic Republic has invested tens of millions of dollars from the country's public budget for the deployment of a comprehensive aerial defense network in Syria. Newsweek cited an unnamed intelligence source from a nation allied with the United States that the IRGC over the past two years has been “promoting the deployment of aerial defense capabilities on its behalf in Syria at a cost of tens of millions of dollars in order to deal with the Israeli airstrikes.” (Iran International)

01-23-2023
Human Rights

Iranian authorities have arrested three female journalists in the past two days, local media said.

Iranian authorities have arrested three female journalists in the past two days, local media said, amid months of protests triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini. "In the past 48 hours, at least three female journalists, namely Melika Hashemi, Saideh Shafiei and Mehrnoush Zarei, have been arrested in Tehran," reformist newspaper Etemad quoted the Tehran journalists' union as saying. The paper said the three women had been transferred to Evin prison, where many of those arrested in connection with the protests are being held. (AFP)

01-22-2023
Military

In addition to the 24 Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets Tehran expects to receive from Russia as soon as March 21, the Persian New Year, Tehran also claims it has ordered helicopters and missile systems.

Iran expects to receive the first of the 24 Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets it ordered from Russia as soon as March 21, the Persian New Year. Tehran also claims it has ordered helicopters and missile systems. Shahriar Heidari, a member of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Iranian state media that Iran has ordered other Russian military equipment, including helicopters, air defense systems, and other missile systems, and expects to receive them soon. While the specific equipment Iran expects in addition to Su-35s remains unclear, the seemingly imminent delivery of those two dozen air superiority fighters, originally built for Egypt, has dominated discussions and headlines. (Forbes)

01-22-2023
Anti-Americanism

Islamic Republic’s education minister says parts of the documents obtained during the US embassy takeover in 1979 will be included in school textbooks as of next year.

Islamic Republic’s education minister says parts of the documents obtained during the US embassy takeover in 1979 will be included in school textbooks as of next year. [Education Minister] Yousef Nouri said that the move was done upon a call by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the materials will be included in textbooks in all levels from the elementary school to the end of high school according to the level of understanding of the students. (Iran International)

01-20-2023
Anti-Americanism

Three drones targeted a U.S. base in Syria's Al-Tanf region but no American troops were injured, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Three drones targeted a U.S. base in Syria's Al-Tanf region but no American troops were injured, the U.S. military said in a statement. U.S. Central Command said two of the drones were shot down while the remaining drone hit the compound, injuring two members of the Syrian Free Army forces. (Reuters)

01-18-2023
Human Rights

Sources have told BBC Persian that Mohammad Mehdi Karami—a 22-year-old karate champion hanged by Iran—had less than 15 minutes to defend himself in court.

Four young men have been executed in connection with the nationwide protests that erupted in Iran four months ago, while 18 other people have been sentenced to death. Human rights groups have said they were convicted after grossly unfair sham trials. Mohammad Mehdi Karami, a 22-year-old karate champion, was hanged on 7 January, just 65 days after his arrest. Sources have told BBC Persian that he had less than 15 minutes to defend himself in court. (BBC)

01-18-2023
Syria Conflict

In a recent lengthy interview, the deputy commander of the Iranian Army for Training Affairs Brig.-Gen. Alireza Sheikh discussed how Iran’s regime views its military doctrine.

The recent interview [with the deputy commander of the Iranian Army for Training Affairs Brig.-Gen. Alireza Sheikh] reveals how Iran is following Russia’s military doctrine and also learning from Pakistan and how it is focusing on missiles and drones. Tehran is also warning its adversaries that it is practicing conducting raids that could destabilize the Gulf if Iran were confronted with a larger conflict. (The Jerusalem Post)

01-17-2023
Human Rights

A Kurdish rights group says during the first 15 days of 2023, at least 96 Kurdish citizens have been arrested by Islamic Republic government forces.

A Kurdish rights group says during the first 15 days of 2023, at least 96 Kurdish citizens have been arrested by Islamic Republic government forces. Hengaw Human Rights Organization announced in a tweet that 13 children, five university students, four teachers, and five women are among the detainees. Iranian security forces used excessive and lethal force against protesters in Kurdish regions since the beginning of nationwide protests following the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody in mid-September. (Iran International)   

01-17-2023
Human Rights

Iran has sought to develop an “unprecedented” mobile surveillance system.

Iran has sought to develop an “unprecedented” mobile surveillance system, and discussed setting up the program with a pair of Western companies, according to research from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab. Based on hacked documents that Citizen Lab verified were authentic, Iran’s ambitions focused on deeply integrating into mobile business systems. (Washington Post)

01-15-2023
Extremism

The Islamic Republic has announced its intention to change the content of textbooks in foreign language schools after criticism by Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei.

The Islamic Republic has announced its intention to change the content of textbooks in foreign language schools after criticism by Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei. Head of Non-Governmental Schools and Centers Ahmad Mahmoudzadeh told ILNA Sunday that “We will have a call to produce content of language books for schools, which will be implemented in line with the order of the Supreme Leader.” Changing the content of textbooks based on the government's propaganda policies has been implemented in the last few years upon the order of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. However, this is the first time that these changes will be applied to the language teaching books of private institutes. (Iran International)

01-15-2023
Military

Iran will receive Russian Su-35 fighter jets within three months under an agreement with Moscow.

Iran will receive Russian Su-35 fighter jets within three months under an agreement with Moscow, an Iranian parliamentarian said, Anadolu reports. Shahriar Heidari, a member of the parliament's National Security Committee, told Tasnim News Agency that the jets will arrive in Iran in the coming Iranian year, which begins March 21. According to the MP, Tehran has also ordered a number of other military equipment from Russia, including air defense systems, missile systems and helicopters, most of which will arrive soon. According to media reports, Iran will receive 24 twin-engine, highly maneuverable fourth-generation fighter jets that will be used primarily for air superiority missions. (Middle East Monitor)

01-13-2023
Terrorism

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian traveled to Beirut to meet with senior Lebanese officials and political figures such as Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian traveled to Beirut to meet with senior Lebanese officials and political figures such as Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah said in a statement that Nasrallah and Amir-Abdollahian discussed Israel’s new, hardline government and regional developments. He also held a meeting with Secretary-General of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Ziyad al-Nakhalah during his trip to Lebanon. (Iran International)

01-12-2023
Human Rights

Iranian authorities may be using new technology to help enforce the country's strict dress code for women.

Iranian authorities may be using new technology to help enforce the country's strict dress code for women, expanding the use of facial recognition technology to issue fines and other penalties for those breaking the rules. "Many people haven't been arrested in the streets," Shaparak Shajarizadeh, who fled from Iran to Canada in 2018 after multiple violations of Iran's strict laws and became an activist, told Wired in a report. "They were arrested at their homes one or two days later." (Fox News)

01-11-2023
Military

Iran's navy is set to station warships for the first time in the Panama Canal.

Iran's navy is set to station warships for the first time in the Panama Canal. Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, the commander of Iran's navy, said that his forces will establish a presence in the Panama Canal later this year, marking the first time Iran's military has entered the Pacific Ocean. Iran in recent years has placed a greater focus on moving its military into Latin American territories as it strengthens relations with anti-American dictators in the region, most notably in Venezuela. (Washington Free Beacon)

01-10-2023
Terrorism

The US intercepted a shipment of more than 2,000 Iranian assault rifles destined for Yemen.

The US intercepted a shipment of more than 2,000 Iranian assault rifles destined for Yemen, according to a statement from the US military. The interception took place in international waters in the Gulf of Oman, US Central Command said. A team from the USS Chinook, a patrol coastal vessel, boarded the other ship along a route historically used to smuggle weapons from Iran to the Houthis in Yemen. A photo from the USS The Sullivans shows the 2,116 assault rifles covering the deck of the guided missile destroyer. (CNN)

01-10-2023
Syria Conflict

Over the last two years, Iran has shifted its strategy in Syria toward prioritizing the “deployment of aerial defense capabilities," an intelligence source told Newsweek.

Iran has pursued the establishment of a comprehensive aerial defense network in Syria by sending equipment and personnel to the war-ravaged Arab nation in a project Israel has sought to thwart through repeated airstrikes, an intelligence source from a nation allied with the United States told Newsweek. However, the source told Newsweek that over the course of "the last two years" Iran has shifted its strategy, "promoting the deployment of aerial defense capabilities on its behalf in Syria at a cost of tens of millions of dollars in order to deal with the Israeli airstrikes." (Newsweek)

01-08-2023
Terrorism

German police have taken into custody a 32-year-old Iranian citizen suspected of having procured deadly poisons cyanide and ricin to commit an "Islamist-motivated" attack.

German police have taken into custody a 32-year-old Iranian citizen suspected of having procured deadly poisons cyanide and ricin to commit an "Islamist-motivated" attack, authorities in western Germany said. The residence of the suspect in the city of Castrop-Rauxel was searched as part of the investigation, according to a joint press release from the Duesseldorf public prosecutor's office and police in the cities of Recklinghausen and Muenster. Police said the Iranian was suspected of having planned a "serious act of violence endangering the state" by allegedly procuring cyanide and ricin to commit an Islamist-motivated attack. This carries a prison sentence of between 6 months to 10 years. (Reuters)

01-07-2023
Politics

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Ahmad Reza Radan as the country's new police chief.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Ahmad Reza Radan as the country's new police chief. Radan replaced outgoing Hossein Ashtari after his eight-year term of service ended, state media reported. Radan, who served as acting commander of police from 2008-2014, is known for his violent crackdown on the 2009 mass protests over a disputed presidential election. He also imposed tough measures against women who don't fully observe the hijab law. (Radio Free Europe)

01-07-2023
Human Rights

Two protesters who allegedly took part in anti-regime protests last year, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini, were hanged.

The executions of two young men in Iran, one a karate champion, the other a volunteer children’s coach, in connection with nationwide protests have sparked outrage around the world. Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Seyed Mohammad Hosseini were hanged, state-affiliated Fars News reported. The pair, who allegedly took part in anti-regime protests last year, were convicted of killing Seyed Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the country’s Basij paramilitary force, in Karaj on November 3, according to the Iran’s judiciary news agency Mizan. (CNN)

01-07-2023
Terrorism

An audio file shared on social media has revealed that the regime threatens Iranians abroad for taking part in anti-government protests and expressing opposition.

An audio file shared on social media has revealed that the regime threatens Iranians abroad for taking part in anti-government protests and expressing opposition. In the audio file published by the VOA Farsi service, a security agent of the Islamic Republic, who introduces himself as an agent of the intelligence ministry, threatens "Massi Kamri", an Iranian activist living in France, saying if she does not stop acting against the regime, they will imprison her parents and family members in Iran. Apparently, she participated in rallies against the Islamic Republic’s bloody crackdown on anti-government protests that have engulfed Iran following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. (Iran International)

01-04-2023
Anti-Americanism

Two rockets struck a base housing American troops in eastern Syria without causing any human or material losses, the U.S. military said.

Two rockets struck a base housing American troops in eastern Syria without causing any human or material losses, the U.S. military said. The morning attack on Mission Support Site Conoco came as Iran and its allies in the region marked the third anniversary of the killing of Iran’s elite Quds force chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad. No one claimed responsibility for the attack in east Syria, where it is not uncommon for bases housing U.S. troops to come under rocket fire or mortar attacks. Iran-backed militia are based nearby as are sleeper cells of the Islamic State group that was defeated in Syria in March 2019. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the rockets were fired by Arab tribesmen in the region who are armed by Iran. (Associated Press)

01-03-2023
Anti-Americanism

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi vows revenge for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking on the third anniversary of the US killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, said that revenge for the slain commander was “certain.” “We have not forgotten and will not forget the blood of martyr Soleimani, and let them know that revenge for the blood of martyr Soleimani is certain,” Raisi said in a televised speech. (Al Arabiya News)

01-02-2023
Human Rights

Iranian police have resumed warnings that women must wear mandatory headscarves even in cars.

Iranian police resumed warnings that women must wear mandatory headscarves even in cars, Iranian state media reported, as unrest continues following the death of Mahsa Amini. "The removal of hijab has been observed in your vehicle: It is necessary to respect the norms of the society and make sure this action is not repeated," read a message reportedly sent by police and posted on social media. Iran's morality police — known as Gasht-e Ershad, or "Guidance Patrol" — have a mandate to enter public areas to check on the implementation of the strict dress code. (AFP)

01-02-2023
Terrorism

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei celebrated the new year by praising slain Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was directly responsible for the deaths of over 603 U.S. serviceman and women.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei celebrated the new year by praising slain Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. airstrike nearly three years ago and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. service members and allies. Khamenei also lauded Esmail Qaani, Soleimani's replacement as head of the U.S.-designated terrorist organization the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, which was designated by the U.S. as a foreign terrorist organization in 2019. (Fox News)

12-30-2022
Military

Iran held top military drills in a joint effort involving air, sea and land forces in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran held top military drills in a joint effort involving air, sea and land forces, in what one major general referred to as "the war before the war" while he spoke against the threat Israel and the U.S. pose. The drills, held in the Strait of Hormuz which sees roughly 25% of the world's oil transported through it, were dubbed "Zolfaghar-1401" and involved commandos, airborne infantry, drones, various aircraft and submarines, according to local reports. The drills were held to "improve readiness in confronting foreign threats and any possible invasion.” (Fox News)

12-27-2022
Human Rights

At least 100 detainees identified by an Oslo-based human rights NGO face capital punishment, including at least 11 already sentenced to death.

At least 100 Iranians arrested over more than 100 days of nationwide protests face charges punishable by death, Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) has said. The NGO published a report that said many of them had limited access to legal representation. “By issuing death sentences and executing some of them, [the authorities] want to make people go home,” said IHR director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam. “It has some effect … [but] what we’ve observed in general is more anger against the authorities. Their strategy of spreading fear through executions has failed.” (AFP)

12-25-2022
Terrorism

Iran brags about how it exports missiles to Palestinians and Hezbollah.

Iranian pro-government media published an article on Sunday bragging about its “integrated missile network” and how it has armed the “resistance” in the Middle East. By “resistance,” the report was referring to a network of pro-Iranian groups and proxy groups it supports, particularly Hezbollah, the Palestinians and Yemen. (Jerusalem Post)

12-21-2022
Terrorism

A member of an Iranian intelligence network (Kiya Sadeghi) attempted to hire a private investigator in Canada to conduct surveillance on anti-regime activists.

A member of an Iranian intelligence network (Kiya Sadeghi) attempted to hire a private investigator in Canada to conduct surveillance on anti-regime activists, The Fifth Estate has learned. Kiya Sadeghi is wanted by the FBI in the United States along with three other Iranian intelligence operatives for allegedly plotting to kidnap exiled Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad from her home in New York City. According to a June 2021 indictment filed in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Sadeghi used false pretenses to hire private investigators in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to conduct surveillance on Alinejad and other dissidents. (CBC)

12-20-2022
Human Rights

Hard-line Iranian lawmakers have proposed a plan to impose tougher penalties against those who publish news that is deemed to have "negative social consequences."

Hard-line Iranian lawmakers have proposed a plan to impose tougher penalties against those who publish news that is deemed to have "negative social consequences." According to the plan, those who publish "fake news" in the media will be responsible for the negative social consequences resulting from it. The rules would "apply to any type of news." Mohammad Taghi Naqdali, a member of the Legal and Judicial Commission of the Iranian Parliament, said prosecution and punishment are not only limited to those who publish news with negative consequences, but "punishment has also been determined for individuals or media outlets that exaggerate the news." (Radio Free Europe)

12-19-2022
Human Rights

A 14-year-old girl in Iran was reportedly raped and killed for removing her hijab in school in amid ongoing protests rocking the Islamic Republic.

A 14-year-old girl in Iran was reportedly raped and killed for removing her hijab in school in amid ongoing protests rocking the Islamic Republic. The New York Times reports that the teen, identified as Masoomeh, was from a poor neighborhood in Tehran and took her headscarf off at school in protest.  School cameras identified the girl and she was arrested. She was later treated at a hospital for "severe vaginal tears," The Times reported, citing the Center for Human Rights in Iran, a New York-based watchdog organization. (Fox News)

12-19-2022
Human Rights

Iran’s government accesses the social media accounts of those it detains in search of incriminating information regarding the protests.

As protests spread in the country, much of the attention has focused on the Iranian government’s efforts to shut down the internet. But behind the scenes, some worry the government is using technology in another way: accessing mobile applications to surveil and suppress dissent. Human rights activists inside and outside of Iran have been warning for years about the Iranian regime’s ability to remotely access and manipulate protesters’ cell phones. And tech companies may not be well equipped to handle such incidents, experts say. (CNN)

12-18-2022
Human Rights

A prominent Iranian actress was arrested by the local authorities after she posted messages on social media expressing solidarity with antigovernment protests.

Taraneh Alidoosti, a prominent Iranian actress, was arrested by the local authorities after she posted messages on social media expressing solidarity with antigovernment protests that have rocked Iran for nearly three months. Ms. Alidoosti, 38, was arrested in connection with what state news media described as “unsubstantiated comments about recent events” and “the publication of provocative material.” It is one of the highest-profile detentions the Iranian authorities have made in their effort to crack down on a women-led uprising that started in September. (New York Times)

12-17-2022
Human Rights

Iran arrested the lawyer of two female journalists detained after reporting the death of a woman in custody, which sparked three months of protests, the Ham Mihan newspaper said.

Iran arrested the lawyer (Mohammad Ali Kamfirouzi) of two female journalists detained after reporting the death of a woman in custody, which sparked three months of protests, the Ham Mihan newspaper said. The arrest brings to 25 the number of lawyers detained in connection with the protests, the reformist daily said. (AFP)

12-17-2022
Nuclear Program

Iran said that its uranium enrichment capacity has increased to record levels, a day before U.N. nuclear monitors are set to visit the country.

Iran said that its uranium enrichment capacity has increased to record levels, a day before U.N. nuclear monitors are set to visit the country. “Currently, the enrichment capacity of the country has reached more than twice the entire history of this industry,” Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. “Nuclear energy and atomic power production have great economic savings for the country and are effective in reducing fossil and non-renewable fuel consumption and environmental problems,” he added. (Times of Israel)

12-15-2022
Human Rights