Iran Shuts Down Reformist Outlet Entekhab As Crackdown Intensifies


Iran Shuts Down Reformist Outlet Entekhab As Crackdown Intensifies | Al Monitor

Iranian authorities closed down the pro-reform news agency Entekhab late Monday after it published a video clip criticizing the foreign policy agenda of hard-line 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."   

US, Iran, Turkey And Russia Compete For Influence In Eastern Syria – Analysis | Jerusalem Post 

Iran’s foreign minister was in Syria last week. During meetings with the Syrian regime, the Iranians said that the US should “go home” from Syria. This coincided with clashes between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and tribes who live near the Euphrates river valley. Since then, there have been competing claims about whether outside influence fueled the clashes, or whether they were merely brought about by local grievances. What may have begun as local grievances now has much larger implications. Turkish-backed Syrian rebel and proxy groups have mobilized to fight the SDF. The tribes continue to fight. There is intensive coverage by pro-Iran media such as Al-Mayadeen, and it is clear that all eyes are on central and eastern Syria. What might happen next?  

Reports: Iran Arrests Uncle Of Mahsa Amini Ahead Of Death Anniversary | Voice Of America 

News reports from Iran say authorities have arrested the uncle of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian woman whose death in police custody last year sparked months of anti-government protests. Safa Aeli was detained Tuesday at his residence in Saqqez and taken to an undisclosed location, the reports said. Sources cited by Kurdish news agency Kurdpa said security forces entered the home without presenting a judicial order. The arrest comes ahead of the September 16 anniversary of the death of Amini, who had been detained by the morality police for allegedly wearing her headscarf too loosely. Iran saw months of anti-government protests after her death. Activists allege that Iranian authorities have been carrying out an increasing number of arrests as the anniversary approaches.  


China Gobbles Record Amounts Of Iranian Oil As Tehran’s Exports Reach New Highs | Lloyd's List 

…According to UANI, six tankers joined the sanctions trade in August, bringing the total of ships spotted lifting Iranian cargoes since November 2020 to 350. “The key to understanding this oil export surge lies in the relaxation of sanctions enforcement by the Biden administration, particularly to China,” UANI’s chief of staff Claire Jungman and research director Daniel Roth said in a report. “This approach has opened avenues for Iran to revive and significantly increase its exports.”  

The Suez Rajan: The Odyssey Of An Oil Tanker Caught In US-Iran Tensions | World Today News 

…In February 2022, the American organization United Against Nuclear Iran accuse le Suez Rajan, a ship flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, of having used “multiple deceptive maneuvers to transport Iranian crude”. The tanker would have recovered its cargo via a transhipment from the Virgo, a tanker which had filled its tanks a few days earlier at an oil terminal on the island of Kharg, the main export channel for Iranian oil, in the Persian Gulf. 


E.U. Vows To Secure Release Of Swedish Official Held In Iran For More Than A Year | NBC News 

A Swedish E.U. official has been imprisoned “illegally” in Iran for more than a year, the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Tuesday, marking an escalation in Iran’s detention of foreign nationals. Borrell said Johan Floderus, a member of the E.U.’s diplomatic corps, has been held in Iran for the last 500 days and that the European Union was working around the clock to secure his release. “I want to say something — if you allow me — about a specific case, which is the case of Mr. Floderus, who is a Swedish citizen who works for the European Union, [who] has been detained illegally by Iran for the last 500 days,” Borrell told reporters during a visit to the Spanish city of Cadiz.

Pop Singer Arrested By Iran's Regime After Releasing Track Dedicated To Women | ABC News 

Mehdi Yarrahi, a prominent Iranian pop singer, was arrested by Iranian authorities on Monday after releasing a song celebrating the anniversary of the Mahsa Amini protests coming up next month. Iran said the "illegal song" was the reason for his arrest, according to the Mizan News Agency affiliated to the Islamic Republic judiciary stated on Monday. “Take off your scarf, the sun is sinking,” the opening lyrics to the song reads. “Don’t be afraid, my love, laugh, protest against tears.” Yarrahi’s lawyer, Mostafa Nili, confirmed the arrest in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. In an interview with Sharq Daily, Nili added that he did not know the charges nor the whereabouts of his client.  

Israeli Social-Media Campaign Supports Iranian Protesters | Israel 21C 

Grassroots pro-Israel female activists have launched a social media campaign, dubbed #IsraelisLoveIranians, to show support for Iranian protesters marking the one-year anniversary of the killing of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian Mahsa Amini. Amini’s death at the hands of Iran’s infamous morality police kicked off continuous human-rights protests across Iran that have continued sporadically for a year. The campaign will enjoy the participation of dozens of Israeli organizations and public figures throughout the month of September. Among those participating: Olympic judoka Sagi Muki; MMA fighter Natan Levy; models Orin Julie and Nataly Dadon; actress Swell Ariel Or of The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem; Fauda co-creator Avi Issacharoff, Arab Israeli social activist Yoseph Haddad, businesswoman Ashley Waxman Bakshi, and Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan.  


Obstacles Persist As Iran Seeks Top Fighter Jets From Russia | Iran International  

Iran's pursuit of advanced warplanes from its ally Russia to modernize its aging fleet has faced numerous hurdles, plunging the regime into a state of uncertainty. While Iran recently took delivery of a batch of Russian-made Yakovlev Yak-130 pilot training aircraft, these light jet trainers fall far short of the twin-engine, supermaneuverable air superiority Russian fighters, like the Sukhoi Su-35, which Iran had been seeking for years. For a considerable time, Iran had been making announcements about the "imminent" delivery of Su-35 fighter jets. However, the hopes of acquiring these advanced aircraft were dashed when Iran's Defense Minister confirmed in July that the deal had collapsed.  


Same-Sex Video Of Ex-Parliamentary Guard Stirs Controversy In Iran | Iran International  

Another startling revelation has emerged, implicating officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran in a series of explicit sexual videos. Among the individuals named in these videos is Mohammad Bagher Bazrafshan, the commander of the Basij base in Tehran's Evin district, whose alleged involvement has sparked considerable public concern and outrage. The Telegram channel Radio Gilan, known for disseminating such materials, reported on Saturday, supported by visual evidence, that the head of the Crisis Management Supervisory Committee sent a confidential letter to the Director-General of the Tehran Municipality's Inspection Department. The letter detailed an incident in which Mohammad Bagher Bazrafshan purportedly brought young men to his office after regular office hours, where they remained behind closed doors until the early morning hours.  


Saudi And Iran Exchange Ambassadors After Rapprochement | Al-Jazeera 

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Iran has arrived in the country, and his counterpart has landed in Saudi, cementing a restoration of ties between the Gulf rivals after a seven-year rupture. Last March, China brokered a rapprochement between Riyadh and Tehran, leading to a resumption of full diplomatic relations. Riyadh and Tehran severed ties in 2016 after Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran were attacked during protests over Riyadh’s execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Saudi Arabia’s leadership recognises the “importance of strengthening ties, increasing engagement … and taking the [relationship] to broader horizons”, Ambassador Abdullah Alanazi said upon his arrival in Tehran on Tuesday to take up his duties, according to a Saudi Foreign Ministry statement.  

Bahrain Condemns Iran’s ‘False’ Statements On Prisoners’ Hunger Strike | The National 

Bahrain called on Iranian officials “not to be misled by false information that harms relations” following statements from Tehran on the conditions of prisoners in the kingdom, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its strong condemnation of the statements made by the spokesperson of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the conditions of prisoners in the kingdom of Bahrain, which are a clear interference in the internal affairs of the kingdom,” Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Monday that Iran is extremely concerned about the hunger strike over “unfavourable” jail conditions in Bahrain.  

Saudi Soccer Clubs To Play In Iran For The First Time In Seven Years | CNN

Iranian and Saudi soccer clubs will be facing off on a home-and-away basis for the first time since 2016, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement Monday. Iranian fans could now potentially get a chance to watch soccer superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Neymar live on the pitch in Iran after two clubs from the respective countries drew against one another in the Asian Champions League group stage. Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr is set to play Iranian giant Persepolis FC in Tehran on September 19.


Iran Fears Israel Could Soon Normalize Ties With More Muslim Countries | Jerusalem Post 

Iran’s foreign ministry is concerned that it is unable to prevent more countries from normalizing ties with Israel. This appeared to be the main thrust of the comments by Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson and reports in Iranian pro-regime media on Tuesday. The reports said that Iran slammed Israel’s foreign minister for his trip to Bahrain this week.   Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that “the failed fate of numerous plans for reconciliation and normalization of the relations of some countries in the region with the Zionist regime can be a lesson for others.” In a second report in Iran’s Fars News, which is considered pro-regime and close to the IRGC, the Iranians also expressed concern over reports that Israel has contacts with other Muslim countries around the world. The report mentioned Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and others.