Thousands Attend Funeral For Slain Guard Colonel In Iran

TOP STORIES 

Thousands Attend Funeral For Slain Guard Colonel In Iran | Associated Press 

Thousands of mourners poured into the streets of Tehran on Tuesday to pay their respects to a senior Revolutionary Guard member fatally shot by two gunmen on a motorcycle earlier this week, punching the air with their fists and chanting “Death to Israel.” The killing on Sunday of Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei bore the hallmarks of previous deadly shooting attacks in Iran blamed on Israel, such as those targeting the country’s nuclear scientists. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack. Iranian officials have blamed “global arrogance,” which is code for the United States and Israel, for Khodaei’s killing.

Tanker Arrives In Venezuelan Waters To Discharge Iranian Crude -Document, Data | Reuters 

A tanker carrying about 1 million barrels on Iranian heavy crude arrived in recent days in Venezuelan waters for delivery to the country's largest refinery, according to a shipping report seen by Reuters on Monday and vessel tracking data. Iran and Venezuela have recently expanded a swap agreement signed last year, adding the supply of Iranian heavy crude to Venezuela's El Palito refinery and Paraguana Refining Center (CRP), part of an effort to revamp the dilapidated facilities.  

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Says Iran Made Her Confess As Condition Of Release | BBC 

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe told the BBC a UK official was there when she signed the statement "under duress" before Iranian authorities would let her fly home. Her lawyers accuse the UK government of "apparent complicity" in Iran forcing her to sign the false confession. She was released in March, six years after being arrested on spying charges. Speaking to the BBC's Emma Barnett for Woman's Hour, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe questioned why the UK did not challenge Iran over forcing her to admit to crimes she did not commit as a condition of her release. She said she was taken away by Iranian Revolutionary Guards without seeing her parents and "made to sign the forced confession at the airport in the presence of the British government".  

UANI IN THE NEWS 

US Seizes Iranian Crude From Russian Tanker Arrested In Greece | Lloyd’s List 

…On Monday afternoon a Dynacom-owned tanker Ice Energy (IMO: 9301732) started a ship-to-ship transfer with the Lana in Greek waters four miles off the coast of Karistos. The operation, first reported by US lobby group United Against Iran on Twitter, was verified using Lloyd's List Intelligence data. Lloyd’s List understands that the George Procopiou-controlled tanker has been chartered by the US Department of Justice to transfer the oil to the US. The US Department of Justice was not available to comment on the operation. The US practice of seizing sanctioned cargos from vessels has proved controversial inside the maritime insurance community and sparked several legal challenges in similar cases.  

NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM 

Qatar Says Tehran Ready For Quasi Nuclear Deal: Iran Snapshot | Bloomberg

Qatar’s foreign minister said Iranian leaders are “ready for a middle-ground solution” toward restoring the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. While there were no further details on the plan, Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in a statement that additional quantities of Iranian oil would help stabilize crude prices and ease inflation. Negotiations between Iran and world powers have stalled in recent months and Qatar has said it can mediate. Diplomats have warned that a return to the agreement looks increasingly difficult. Still, European Union officials said that a trip to Tehran earlier this month by the bloc’s main Iran negotiator had “reopened” talks.  

Assassinations Won’t Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program | Haaretz 

Those who assassinated Hassan Sayyad Khodaei waited for his return a few days ago from a mission in Syria. The information about his movements was up-to-date and accurate. His address was known, as was his routine. The reason for his elimination could be deduced from the reports in Iran's media outlets. 

PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS 

Why Iranians Are Taking To The Streets Again | CNN 

The Iranian government mobilized tens of thousands of supporters on Friday in a domestic show of force after weeks of price protests turned violent, leading to nationwide arrests and injuries. Thousands of pro-government supporters rallied outside Tehran, including 50,000 Revolutionary Guards and Basij militia members, according to state media. The anti-government protests, reported in at least 40 cities and towns across Iran, started over economic matters but have turned political, with demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans and calling for the fall of the regime, social media videos posted by activists showed.  

Iran Films Show 'Parallel Reality' On Women: Director At Cannes | AFP 

An Iranian director, who unsettled Cannes with a film about a serial killer "cleansing" the holy city of Mashhad of prostitutes, on Monday criticised the way women are represented in Iranian films. Ali Abbasi, whose film "Holy Spider" is in the race for the Palme d'Or at the French Riviera film fest, said any serious movie that manages to get made in the Islamic Republic "is a miracle". But the country's film-makers "have been presenting a parallel reality of Iran in the past 50 years", he told reporters. "In this parallel reality, women sleep with all their clothes on. They always have five metres of cloth around their head... They never fart or have sex or touch anyone. They barely walk. A kiss on the cheek -- you cut to a flower in the wind.  

Executions Surge 20 Percent In 2021 Led By China, Iran: Amnesty | Al Jazeera 

The number of executions globally rose 20 percent in 2021, while the number of death sentences handed down increased by 40 percent, rights group Amnesty International has said. Its annual report, Death Sentences and Executions, said at least 579 people were killed by states that retain capital punishment while at least 2,052 had a death sentence passed against them. “The increase in executions was primarily driven by rises in the yearly figure for Iran (from at least 246 in 2020 to at least 314 in 2021, a 28% increase), which was the highest figure on record since 2017,” the report said.  

IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS

Iran Building Collapse Kills 11 As Mayor And Others Detained | Associated Press 

Rescuers dug through debris Tuesday of a building collapse in southwestern Iran that killed at least 11 people, fearful that many more could still be trapped beneath the rubble as authorities arrested the city’s mayor in a widening probe of the disaster. The collapse Monday of an under-construction 10-story tower at the Metropol Building exposed its cement blocks and steel beams while also underscoring an ongoing crisis in Iranian construction projects that has seen other disasters in this earthquake-prone nation.  

RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN 

Jordan Says Iran-Linked Groups In Syria Wage Drug War Along Border | Reuters

Jordan said on Monday pro-Iranian Syrian army units and militias loyal to Tehran are stepping up their attempts to smuggle hundreds of millions of dollars worth of drugs across the Jordanian border to wealthy Gulf markets. The army said it was bracing for an escalation in confrontations with armed smugglers trying to drop large amounts of drugs along the rugged border terrain with Syria. "We are facing a war along the borders, a drugs war and led by organisations supported by foreign parties.

Abraham Accords Best Answer To Iran - Israeli Ambassador To The US | The Jerusalem Post 

The Abraham Accords offer a better future for the Middle East and are “one of the best answers” to Iran, Israeli Ambassador to the US Mike Herzog said on Sunday. Speaking at the opening of the first Zionist Rabbinic Coalition conference, held at the Bible Museum in Washington, Herzog said that the agreement’s potential is “huge.” “We are now in the process of building a civilian architecture with our new partners and a security architecture with those partners,” he said. “We would like to deepen what we have and we are doing it every day.

 GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN 

Oman, Iran Sign Trade Deals During President Visit | AFP 

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Oman on Monday as the two countries signed a string of trade deals and as international talks on Tehran's nuclear programme hang in the balance, leaving the Islamic republic under sanctions. Raisi, on his second Gulf visit since taking office in August, was greeted by Sultan Haitham bin Tareq at the airport and received a 21-gun salute at the royal palace, an Omani statement said. Raisi's one-day trip comes at a time when renewed talks on restoring a 2015 nuclear deal are at a stalemate. Oman played a mediating role between Tehran and Washington in the build-up to the original agreement.