Canada Imposes New Sanctions Against Iran Over Protests, Drones | Voice Of America
The Canadian government said on Monday it was targeting two entities and eight individuals as part of new sanctions against Iran over human rights violations and production of drones and ballistic missiles. Canada's latest round of sanctions against Iran, the 10th since October, targets individuals including senior officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) for "gross and systematic human rights violations" in Tehran and northwestern Iran, the Canadian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Sanctions also target senior Iranian officials involved in unmanned aerial vehicle and ballistic missile production, the ministry said.
Russia Supplies Iran With Cyber Weapons As Military Cooperation Grows | Wall Street Journal
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.
Iranian Workers' Group Strikes Over Wages As Inflation Continues To Soar | Radio Free Europe
Employees and retirees in the southwestern Iranian city of Shush have gone on strike to protest living standards and to push the government to approve wage and social payment increases in the Iranian New Year. Videos published on social media showed crowds gathering in front of the local governor's office while chanting, "Enough oppression! Our tablecloth is empty." The strike comes after several weeks of protests, dubbed Protest Sundays, in front of government agencies in Shush.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Russia’s Negotiator Blames West For Failure Of Iran Talks | Iran International
Russian chief negotiator in Iran nuclear talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, says the “Western partners” still refrain from announcing the "death" of negotiations to revive the JCPOA. Ulyanov said on Monday that the talks to restore the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic remains at an impasse, noting that chances of completing the negotiation process are very small. The volte-face comes despite Ulyanov usual optimism, as the only voice who kept vouching for the success of Vienna talks with tweets about the prospect of restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iranian nuclear program.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
Tugendhat Says UK Will Proscribe Iran’s IRGC But Gives No Time | The National
The UK will proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Security Minister said on Monday, but he did not give a time. Tom Tugendhat made the comments during a meeting with journalist and activist Vahid Beheshti, who is on the 33rd day of a hunger strike camped on the pavement opposite the UK’s Foreign Office. During Beneshti’s meeting with Mr Tugendhat, the minister expressed concerns for activist’s health.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Women To Be Fined Up To $60,000 For Hijab: Iran Lawmaker | Iran International
An ultra-hardliner has said that women could be fined as much as $60,000 for flouting hijab when a new law to enforce the Islamic dress code is passed by parliament. Speaking to the press in his constituency in Yazd Province, Hojjat ol-Eslam Hossein Jalali said Sunday that punishments for flouting the hijab, according to the planned legislation, will include cash fines from 5m to 30b rials (around $100 to $60,000) and that other penalties may include revocation of drivers’ licenses and passports, or a ban on the use of the internet for celebrities and social media influencers and bloggers.
Jailed Iranian Activist Mohammadi Calls For “End” Of The Islamic Republic | Iran Wire
Prominent Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi has reiterated that she is ready to testify "anytime" about the sexual abuse and acts of torture inflicted to women incarcerated in Tehran’s Evin prison. Mohammadi, who is serving a long-term sentence in Evin, said in a written message on March 27 that she is “not seeking amnesty” from the Iranian government. Instead, she called for the “end of the Islamic Republic.” The message was addressed to a meeting in Geneva organized by human rights organization that was attended by Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
Ukraine 'Drone Hunters' Show Weaponry As Shaheds Shot Down Over Kyiv | Newsweek
Ukrainian "drone hunters" have offered a glimpse into how Kyiv's military is studying the downed remnants of Iranian-made drones, as another wave of drone strikes hit the country overnight. Taking apart the drones in an undisclosed location, one Ukrainian intelligence officer said the Iranian-made Shahed-136 and -131 drones were "simple but effective" weapons in Russia's arsenal, according to a clip posted by the War Translated project on Twitter. Shahed-136 and the smaller -131 version have been extensively used by Russian forces in Ukraine. Tehran had denied supplying Moscow with the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), but then said it had sent a "small number of drones months before the Ukraine war."
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Iran's President Kept In Dark About Downing Of Airliner, Ex-Official Says | Iran International
Iran’s former presidential chief of staff says after the downing of a Ukrainian airliner in 2020, the President was not told it was shot down by IRGC missiles. Mahmoud Vaezi told Mashreq news in Tehran on Monday that “the night when we were informed the Americans had killed Qassem Soleimani in Iraq it was a very tough time. Then the downing of the Ukrainian plane was so hard to bear.” Flight PS 752 was hit with two surface-to-air missiles as it was taking off from Tehran on January 8, 2020, in the tense aftermath of Iran's missile attack on United States military bases in Iraq.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
US Concerned About Russia-Iran Partnership | Voice Of America
The United States expressed concern Monday about the strengthening of ties between Russia and Iran. “It should be a concern for countries not just neighboring Russia and Iran, but the world broadly,” deputy State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters at a briefing. “We have seen the havoc caused by Iranian-made drones that Russia has unleashed on Kyiv, targeting energy and civilian infrastructure, so of course this relationship is one that we are paying close attention to,” Patel added.