Referring to Washington's new, additional sanctions on Tehran, the spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said on Monday that "these decisions and sanctions have caused serious monetary and financial damages to Iran." At his weekly press conference on Monday, Khatibzadeh announced, "We have been working for months to stop such shocks." However, he warned that "the United States must make up for all the damage it has done to Iran. Iranian people should not doubt that we will cash compensation for all damages cent by cent."
A "major" cyberattack targeted at least two government agencies in Iran recently, Iran's National Computer Emergency Response Team (Maher) announced on Wednesday, according to Iranian media. The announcement was made after reports of a large cyberattack spread on social media. The team stressed that the relevant authorities are investigating the incident. Some government agencies in Iran suspended some services and performed technical tests after receiving precautionary warnings about the attack, according to Iranian media.
“We must make the social environment unsafe for these people…We can’t let them simply break the norms in streets and parks,” said Ayatollah Yousef Tabatabai-Nejad in reference to Iranian women who violate the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code known as hijab. Tabatabai-Nejad is the Friday prayer imam of the central city of Esfahan and a de facto local governor, as is the case with all Friday prayer leaders across Iran. He and his colleagues hold their mandates from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Tuesday, Oct. 13, marks five years since my brother Siamak Namazi was taken hostage by the Iranian regime. He has had to endure five years of horrific conditions in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, including being beaten, Tasered, tortured and held in prolonged solitary confinement. For the rest of our family, it has been years of trying to navigate the nightmare of bringing him home, knowing that any letter or call we receive from him could be the last. Siamak, who was arrested in 2015, is now the longest detained American currently held by Iran.
Iran has moved a step closer to re-imprisoning a female human rights advocate for her peaceful expressions of opposition to the nation's Islamist rulers. A knowledgeable source told VOA the woman was sentenced to six years in prison for criticizing the nation’s Islamist rulers through street protests and social media. Speaking to VOA Persian from Iran earlier this month, a source close to activist Jila Karamzadeh Makvandi said she was sentenced to six years in prison for participating in anti-government streets protests and expressing anti-government views on social media.
In Iran's capital city of Tehran, a young teacher, Reza Nahzat, was sentenced to 45 lashes for "insulting" Iran's Minister of Education and his deputy. A photo of the verdict is widely circulating on the Iranian social media. Nahzat is accused of "insulting" the Minister, Mohsen Haj Mirzaei, and his Deputy, Allahyar Torkamanyar, in a satirical note on his Telegram channel. The Civil Servants Tribunal sentenced Nahzat for writing the note and republishing it on social media.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
More than 160 current and former United Nations officials have called on Iran to end the “horror and pain” for the family of a US-Iranian dual national who on Tuesday marked his fifth year in Tehran’s Evin jail. The Dubai family of Siamak Namazi believed he would be released within days of his arrest on October 13, 2015, but spent the “grim” anniversary calling on governments to help free the 49-year-old and other dual nationals held by Tehran.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
An 11-year-old Iranian schoolboy, Mohammad Mousavizadeh, has committed suicide by hanging from the kitchen of his family’s rented, humble house in the southern city of Dayyer, Bushehr province, leaving the Iranian society in yet another state of disbelief. The horrifying details were released by Mohammad’s mother, Fatemeh, who earns a living for her three other kids — one of them disabled — and her ailing husband, through cleaning houses as well as small donations from relatives.
An increased number of Iranian nurses are leaving the country due to lack of job security, delayed or unpaid wages and the COVID-19 overload. In comments carried by the state-run Ana news agency, the Head of the Tehran Board of the Iranian Nursing Organization said more than one thousand nurses and health care workers had requested to go abroad just in the past few months. “Since the start of the coronavirus, many European countries requested help from health care workers. They even opened their borders to those who don’t speak their language,” Armin Zareian added.
Iran’s novel coronavirus death toll rose by 254 to 29,070, the health ministry said on Tuesday, as the number of confirmed cases spiked to 508,389 in the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country. Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 4,108 new cases were identified in the past 24 hours.
IRAQ & IRAN
Iran’s central bank chief said on Monday an agreement has been reached with Iraqi officials to unlock Iranian funds. Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnaser Hemmati arrived in Baghdad on Monday for a one-day visit to develop banking and trade cooperation. His remarks were made following talks with Governor of Iraq's Central Bank Mustafa Ghalib Mukheef and Chief of the Trade Bank of Iraq Salem Jawad Abdul Hadi al-Jalabi.
AFGHANISTAN & IRAN
With an estimated 75 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water annually, Afghanistan is, on paper, a self-sufficient water country. However, the country also “has one of the lowest levels of water storage capacity in the world”. Most of the water from its major rivers such as the Amu, Helmand, Harirud-Murghab and Kabul flows to neighbouring countries – Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Lack of water infrastructure as well as the effects of climate change on agricultural output have had a role in forcing many farmers to move to urban centres to secure their livelihoods.