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Iran in April 2024

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2024-4-1

Israel decisively targets Iran’s leadership in Syria, shifting its focus from Hezbollah in Lebanon. Over the last four days, the IDF has launched operations in Syria aimed at severing the supply lines fueling attacks on its civilians and dismantling Iran’s command structure. Today’s strikes significantly weaken Iran’s influence, further disrupting militia power in Syria.

  1. Decisive Israeli Airstrikes in Syria Target Iranian Commanders .Israel conducted its most significant operation against Iranian forces in Syria since the October 7 Hamas attacks. Utilizing F-35s, the Israeli air forces struck a facility associated with the Iranian embassy in Damascus with six precise missiles.
    The updated death toll stands at 11, including 8 Iranians, among them 7 leaders and a Revolutionary Guard member, a Lebanese Hezbollah member, and 2 Syrians. Notably killed were Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s commander for Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, his deputy, his office director, and several advisors, as well as Brigadier General Hussein Amir Allah, Chief of the General Staff for these regions.

2024-4-2

  1. Iran Vows Retribution for Israeli Strike on Damascus Consulate.Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, pledged retaliation after seven IRGC officers, including two top generals, were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus. Among the casualties was General Mohammad-Reza Zahedi, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force in Syria. Khamenei condemned the attack and promised to make Israel regret its actions. 
  2. Iran Accuses US After Israeli Attack on Embassy in Damascus.Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian conveyed a critical message to the US, implicating it in an Israeli missile strike on Iran’s embassy in Damascus, which resulted in the deaths of seven IRGC generals and military advisers. Following the attack, Iran summoned a Swiss embassy official—Switzerland represents US interests in Iran—to protest. Amirabdollahian emphasized that the US, as a backer of Israel, must be held accountable for this act, which Iran views as a terrorist attack.
  3. Iran Warned Russia of Moscow Terror Attack, Report Reveals.Iran reportedly alerted Russia to an imminent terror attack on a Moscow concert hall, which claimed 144 lives and was linked lto ISIS-K. Tehran’s warnings came days before the attack, based on intelligence gathered from interviews with ISIS operatives tied to earlier bombings in Iran. While Iran apprehended suspects after attacks in Kerman, communication lacked specifics. Both Iran and Russia disregarded US warnings.

2024-4-3

  1. White House Denies Role in Damascus Airstrike, Warns Tehran Against Retaliation.The White House stated it had no involvement in the recent airstrike on Iran’s embassy in Damascus, which resulted in the deaths of Iranian military personnel. National Security Spokesman John Kirby refuted Iran’s accusations of U.S. complicity, emphasizing the U.S. commitment to protecting its forces in the region and stating the US had no prior notification from Israel about the operation. The US firmly warned Iran against retaliating for the strike.
  2. Iranian Press Slams Israeli Attack on Consulate as ‘Madness’, Call for Retaliation Against Israeli Diplomatic Facilities. Following a two-week Nowruz break, Iranian newspapers reacted strongly to Israel’s unprecedented attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, which also killed senior Revolutionary Guard commanders. The papers criticized Israel’s blatant aggression, interpreting it as an attempt to deter Iran and end its presence in Syria, dismissing Iranian threats as ineffective. Iranian media, reflecting internal criticism of the regime’s hesitant response to Israel, described the attack as an act of unprecedented madness. Meanwhile, an editorial in “Kayhan” argued that Israeli embassies worldwide are legitimate targets for Iran in response.
  3. Iran’s Foreign Minister Discusses Israeli Attack on Syrian Consulate with UN Chief .The United Nations Secretary-General’s spokesperson, Stephen Dujarric, addressed efforts to prevent the Israeli strike on Iran’s Syrian consulate from escalating into a wider conflict. Iran’s Foreign Minister reached out to UN chief Antonio Guterres, emphasizing the need to curb tensions. The call preceded a UN Security Council emergency meeting on the Israeli attack in Damascus.

2024-4-16

  1. Iran Calls for Withdrawal of Support to Israel, Threatens Stronger Retaliation.Iran’s military spokesperson, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, has urged the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany to cease their support for Israel, describing it as a weakening and corrupt state. Following a recent Iranian missile and drone strike that breached Israel’s air defenses, Shekarchi warned that any further hostile actions from Israel’s allies would provoke a more forceful Iranian response. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baqeri issued a stern warning to Israel, promising an instantaneous and robust response to any future provocations. Baqeri said any repeated mistakes by Israel would be met with immediate consequences.
  • Iranian Officials Concerned by Israel’s Ability to Infiltrate Iran as Part of Retaliation .Iranian officials are anxious about Israel’s ability to infiltrate inside Iran and other potential retaliatory measures following Iran’s recent drone and missile attack. Iranian regime officials fear further isolation and economic fallout from any escalated conflict. A member of Iran’s parliament and former nuclear chief, Fereydoon Abbasi, cited past Israeli sabotage efforts and emphasized the need for heightened security to prevent further incidents. The Iranian public, already burdened by high inflation and economic sanctions, views the prospect of intensified conflict with apprehension.

2024-417

  1. Putin Applauds Iran’s “Tact and Rationality” in its Retaliation Against Israel.Russian President Vladimir Putin commended Iran’s tact and rationality in retaliating against Israel on April 14. In an exchange with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, Putin criticized U.S. and Western actions while saying Iran plays a pivotal role in regional stability. Raisi said Iran’s actions have been defensive but Tehran is ready to counter any further provocations. He also thanked Russia for countering Western agendas.
  2. US, EU Prepare Expanded Sanctions Against Iran After Israel Attack.The US and EU plan expanded sanctions on Iran over its recent attack on Israel. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced forthcoming sanctions on Iran’s missile and drone programs. The EU, in an emergency meeting, discussed sanctioning Iran’s support for proxies and its elite paramilitary, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, but EU member states remain wary of designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization.
  3. Iran’s President Raisi Warns Israel of Unrestricted Retaliation.President Raisi cautioned Israel, stating Iran’s next response to Israeli attacks won’t be limited. Speaking at Iran’s Army Day, he praised the army’s faith and patriotism and said Iran’s armed forces are a pillar of regional stability.

2024-4-18

  1. Iran Says it Informed the U.S. Before and After Strikes on Israel.Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian disclosed that the U.S. was notified prior to and following Tehran’s operation targeting Israeli sites in retaliation for attacks on its embassy in Syria. In New York for a UN Security Council meeting, Amirabdollahian said the strikes were a legal response to Israeli aggressions and aimed to avoid further regional escalation. He said that U.S. interests wouldn’t be targeted unless America supported Israeli military actions, communicating through Switzerland to clarify Iran’s stance.
  2. Iran Warns G7 Against Supporting Israel’s Actions.Ahead of a G7 foreign ministers’ meeting on Middle East issues, Iran’s Embassy in Rome issued a stern warning against Western support for Israeli actions, arguing it might provoke further regional and global instability. The embassy criticized recent decisions by Western nations that could embolden Israeli aggression, urging the G7, under Italian leadership, to uphold international law and encourage responsible behavior. 
  3. G7 Ministers Agree to Impose New Sanctions on Iran Following Attack on Israel.Following Iran’s severe assault on Israel, G7 finance ministers, convening at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C., unanimously condemned the action and committed to introducing new sanctions against Tehran. These measures aim to hinder Iran’s weapon capabilities and address regional destabilization efforts. The group emphasized the importance of preventing any further regional conflict, particularly the threat to international maritime routes. This stance aligns with the European Union’s additional sanctions targeting Iran’s missile and drone capabilities in response to the attack.
  4. Iranian Regime Uses “State of War” to Suppress Domestic Dissent.Observers suggest that Iran’s declared state of war” with Israel is being exploited to intensify domestic repression, notably through stringent enforcement of the hijab. This crackdown is viewed as a strategy to divert attention from Iran’s military actions against Israel and to suppress potential domestic unrest. Notably, the morality police have escalated actions against women, and the Iranian government has tightened controls on media and online expression, particularly regarding criticism of its foreign policy or military strategies.
  5. Iranian Spy Ship “Behshad” Potentially Targeted in Upcoming Israeli Response.The Iranian vesselBehshad,” described as an intelligence and logistics ship, is navigating the Red Sea towards Bandar Abbas port. Recently active near Yemen’s coast, “Behshad” might be a focus in Israel’s retaliatory strategies following Tehran’s missile strikes on Tel Aviv. Previously targeted by a U.S. cyberattack for allegedly aiding Houthi rebels, the ship resumed operations shortly after an Israeli attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus killed seven IRGC members. Iran braces for possible Israeli actions against its territory and regional proxies.

2024-4-22

  1. Iran Pressures European Nations to Halt Arms Sales to Israel.Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, called on European countries to stop arms sales to Israel to facilitate an end to the Gaza conflict. In discussions with Finland’s Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen, Amirabdollahian said that ending weapon supplies to Israel, which he accused of aggression in Gaza, is crucial for peace and could help mitigate regional tensions and protect civilians. Valtonen expressed Finland’s concerns over the humanitarian situation in Gaza and advocated an immediate, unconditional ceasefire.
  2. Iran-Backed Militants Attack US Bases in Syria.Missile and drone strikes have targeted two American military bases in northeastern Syria. Lebanese media sources reported that the Al-Omar Oil Field base was hit by four missiles, while the Kharab al-Jir base suffered attacks from three missiles and a drone. Explosions were confirmed at the Al-Omar site. These incidents are part of a series of attacks on US facilities in the region.
  3. Tehran University Students Protest Against Hijab Rules.Students at Tehran’s Amir Amirkabir University of Technology boycotted classes in protest against strict hijab enforcement that saw over 200 students barred from campus. The strike, announced via a student-run newsletter, highlights ongoing resistance to the Iranian government’s rigid dress code policies. This action follows a wider movement ignited by Mahsa Amini’s death in morality police custody, challenging the intense security measures and dress code impositions at universities, including the use of facial recognition technology to enforce compliance.

2024-4-23

  1. Human Right Watch Reports Iranian Forces Used Torture and Rape During 2022 Protests.Human Rights Watch (HRW) has unveiled harrowing details of rape, torture, and sexual assault committed by Iranian security forces against detainees during the 2022 national protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death. The report highlights systematic abuses, particularly against ethnic minorities, with victims recounting that Iranian authorities employed severe torture and sexual violence as tools for oppression and coercion.
  2. Iran and Pakistan Seek to Elevate Trade to $10 Billion.Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian announced a significant initiative to elevate trade with Pakistan to $10 billion during President Raisi’s visit to Pakistan. Discussions covered a broad range of issues, including trade, energy, science, and security. The visit concluded with the signing of eight joint cooperation documents across multiple sectors.
  3. Iranian Parliament Accuses Jordan of Collaboration with Israel, Calls for Accountability  .The head of the Iranian parliament’s defense and security committee, Vahid Jalalzadeh, accused Jordan of collaborating in Israel’s attack against Iranian territory and said Jordan must be held accountable for helping to threaten Iranian national interests. Jalalzadeh said Jordan must clarify its stance on Israel’s actions and warned of reciprocal actions against any state complicit in attacks against Iran. 

2024-4-24

  1. Iran International Says Long-Missing IRGC General Asgari is Living in USA. Ali-Reza Asgari, a former IRGC Major General and deputy minister of defense, has been residing in the United States under a new identity for the past 17 years, according to an investigation by Iran International. The media outlet says Asgari defected in 2006 during a trip to Turkey and has since lived under the protection of the CIA’s witness protection program. His intelligence contributions were pivotal in preventing potential US military actions against Iran over nuclear weapons concerns in 2007. He reportedly provided key details that influenced US foreign policy and has lived in multiple states since his defection. 
  2. Russian Credit Cards to be Integrated into Iran’s Banking System.The Iranian Embassy in Russia announced the upcoming integration of RussianMircredit cards into Iran’s banking infrastructure. The project, set to roll out within two months, aligns with efforts to strengthen economic ties between Iran and Russia, especially under the intensified Western sanctions against Moscow following its conflict with Ukraine. The adoption of Mir cards, a Russian initiative to replace Western payment systems like Visa and Mastercard, reflects a broader commitment to expand trade, which recently reached $4 billion annually, including potential growth in production and engineering technology.
  3. Russia Hosts Security Summit with Iran and China.Iran’s top security official, Ali Akbar Ahmadian, joined counterparts in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to discuss opposition to Western dominance in global security. The summit, which included discussions with Russian and Chinese security chiefs, focused on promoting multilateralism and addressing regional conflicts, notably the recent hostilities between Iran and Israel.
  4. Iranian President Raisi Faces Lukewarm Reception in Pakistan.During his visit to Islamabad, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi received a subdued welcome, greeted only by military leaders and the Minister for Housing, Riaz Hussain Pirzada. Critics highlight the contrast to the warm reception former President Hassan Rouhani received in 2016. This incident follows a pattern of perceived diplomatic slights during Raisi’s international engagements, including a controversial meeting incident in Russia.

2024-4-25

  1. U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Iran Following Cyber Attacks.The U.S. has announced fresh sanctions on Iran, targeting individuals and companies linked to cybercrimes. The sanctions include two firms, Dadeh Afzar Arman and Mehrsam Andisheh Saz Nik, believed to be fronts for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard cyber command. The targets, mainly defense contractors and other businesses in New York, were attacked through spear phishing and malware from 2016 to 2021, affecting over 202,000 accounts. The move comes as a response to Iran’s cyber operations against more than a dozen U.S. entities.
  2. Escalating Criticism in Iran Over Economic Mismanagement.In Iran, criticism is mounting from politicians, clerics, and media against the government’s handling of the economic crisis, with inflation set to exceed 50%. Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, a significant religious leader, expressed concern over the impact of economic struggles on faith. Reports highlight unaffordable housing and rising food costs unrelated to external factors, but due to poor governmental policies. This dissatisfaction extends to conflicts among Iranian leaders overseeing economic policies that experts and the public charge are ridden with corruption and inefficiency.
  3. Nuclear Weapons Debate Triggers Sharp Criticism in Iran.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, has compared U.S. pressures on Iran’s nuclear ambitions to the disarmament of Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya. Khamenei warned that if Iran disarms as Gadhafi did, the Islamic Republic could suffer the same consequences as Gadhafi. His statement comes at a time when Iranians are discussing the implications of developing nuclear weapons if cornered by the regime’s foreign enemies. Many in the Iranian political sphere have expressed opposition to developing nuclear weapons, which they believe would provide Western powers with grounds for increased sanctions. Khamenei criticized those within Iran advocating compliance with U.S. demands, emphasizing that the U.S. intentions are to dismantle Iran’s nuclear capabilities entirely and impose on Tehran the same fate imposed on Gadhafi.

2024-4-26

  1. Iran Appeals to BRICS for Intervention in Gaza.Iran has urged the BRICS nations to intervene and force a halt to Israeli actions in Gaza, emphasizing the need for sending humanitarian aid and supporting legal actions against Israel at the International Court of Justice. Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, stressed the importance of decisive measures beyond mere statements to ensure compliance with international demands, highlighting ongoing struggles and calling for comprehensive support for the Palestinian cause.
  2. Iranian Regime Sentences Rapper Toomaj to Death for “Corrupting Society”.Toomaj Salehi, a prominent Iranian rapper known for his anti-government lyrics, has been sentenced to death as part of Iran’s crackdown on dissent. Salehi, a key figure in the 2022 protests sparked by human rights concerns, was charged with crimes related to these events. His music, which critiques corruption and repression in Iran, has resonated with young Iranians and drawn international condemnation of his sentence. Advocates worldwide, including politicians and rights groups, are calling for his release and condemning the Iranian regime’s harsh tactics against its critics.
  3. Russian Defense Minister Shoigu Signals Expanded Military Collaboration with Iran.Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu expressed willingness to enhance military cooperation with Iran during talks with Iranian counterpart Gharaei Ashtiani. The meeting, held within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Kazakhstan, underscores growing ties between the two nations’ defense sectors.

2024-4-29

  1. Iranian Regime Arrests Former National Security Chief’s Nephew on Charges of Embezzling $2.1B.Mo’oud Shamkhani, former deputy head of Iran’s Arvand Free Zone and nephew to ex-SNSC Secretary Ali Shamkhani, has been detained in Abadan for his involvement in a $2.1 billion embezzlement case. The Shamkhani family, including his sons, brother, and son-in-law, has faced significant public scrutiny and criticism in Iran over their financial activities. Mo’oud Shamkhani also holds a background as an admiral in the Iranian navy and a former commander in the IRGC.
  2. Iranian Regime Embraces, Exploits U.S. Campus Protests.Iran is exploiting pro-Palestinian protests across U.S. campuses, according to Iranian state media. As domestic dissent grows over Iran’s own suppression of student voices, the U.S.-based protests are presented as a display of solidarity with Palestine, enhancing Iran’s stance as a defender of Palestinian rights. This regime strategy also serves as a distraction from Iran’s repressive actions at home. The situation reveals a stark hypocrisy, as Iranians on social media decry the regime’s celebration of U.S. academic freedom while curtailing their own.
  3. Iran Delivers Three Naval Vessels to Venezuela.Iran has successfully delivered three 90,000-ton vessels to Venezuela, fulfilling an order that highlights Iran’s growing capabilities in shipbuilding. Ali Akbar Safaei, head of the Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization, confirmed the delivery and emphasized Iran’s long-standing maritime relations with Venezuela. Safaei also mentioned ongoing discussions with Cuba about potential shipbuilding projects, reflecting Iran’s ambition to expand its maritime industry services to other Latin American nations.
  4. IRGC Unveils New Suicide Drone to Enhance Ground Operations.The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has introduced a new suicide drone, poised to significantly enhance its ground forces’ combat effectiveness. This loitering munition, similar in design to the Russian ZALA Lancet drone, is equipped with electro-optical systems and an integrated warhead, optimizing it for counter-ambush tasks and various military operations. Its compact size allows easy transport by troops, reflecting the IRGC’s continued investment in advanced drone technology to improve operational flexibility and capability.

2024-4-30

  1. Blinken Urges Gulf States to Strengthen Defense Against Iran.U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, attending a ministerial conference in Saudi Arabia, called for Persian Gulf states to collaborate on an integrated defense strategy to address threats from Iran. He emphasized the need for a unified approach in light of Iran’s recent attack on Israel, describing Iran as a significant threat to regional stability. Blinken’s remarks were made at a meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council Foreign Ministers, setting the stage for further U.S.-GCC defense cooperation against Iran’s actions in the region.
  2. Pakistan’s Dilemma: The Stalled Iran Gas Pipeline Project.Pakistan faces severe challenges with the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, known as the Peace Pipeline, intended to alleviate the country’s energy shortages. Despite Iran completing its section, Pakistan has been unable to finish its part of the pipeline due to sanctions and pressure from the U.S. The pipeline, which started over a decade ago, is stuck as Pakistan balances complex relationships with both Iran and the U.S., and faces significant financial penalties if the project remains incomplete.
  3. Leaked Iranian Document Exposes Alleged Abuse and Killing of Iranian Teen Protester by Security Forces.A leaked document reportedly from Iran’s security forces details the abuse and subsequent death of 16-year-old Nika Shakarami, who disappeared after participating in a 2022 anti-regime protest. The document, which the BBC verified through extensive checks, alleges that Nika was sexually assaulted and beaten in a security van, leading to her death. This contradicts the Iranian government’s claim that she committed suicide. Despite widespread outcry and evidence, the implicated security personnel have not been held accountable.
  4. Publisher Apologizes for Listing Khomeini Among “World’s Most Evil Men” in Indian Textbook.In India, a textbook publisher sparked outrage by listing Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, among themost evil men in the world.” This text led to strong protests from the Indian Shia Muslim community, who condemned it as promoting hate against Islam and demanded legal action against the publisher. The book compared Khomeini to dictators like Hirohito and Genghis Khan, attributing millions of deaths to his policies. Following the backlash, the publisher, Q Connects Book, issued an apology.
  5. IMF Forecasts Economic Slowdown for Iran.According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iran is expected to experience a deceleration in economic growth and oil export levels. While the nation’s GDP grew by 4.7% last year, it is projected to slow to 3.3% in 2024 and further to 3.1% in 2025. Oil production gains are also anticipated to be minimal in the upcoming years. This slowdown comes despite a temporary increase in oil exports, which face constraints from current global oil prices and Iran’s need for significantly higher prices to balance its budget.

 

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