Iran in December 2022

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Iran in December 2022

10 December 2022

  1. Iranian Regime Eying Venezuela As Sanctuary For Leaders (Iran International).  Western diplomatic sources told Iran International that the Islamic Republic has started negotiations with its Venezuelan allies to ensure they’d offer asylum to regime officials and their families should the situation worsen, and the possibility of a regime change increases.
  2. Iran’s Top Sunni Cleric Says Hanging Protesters Is Un-Islamic (Iran International).  A secret file revealed by hackers in November showed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered his security people not to arrest Abdolhamid but to disgrace him, after the Sunni cleric directly criticized the autocratic ruler.

11 December 2022

  1. Iran Criticizes Chinese President’s Remarks During His Visit to Saudi Arabia (Alalam TV).  [The office of Iranian President Raisi] said that the Chinese colleagues should remember that when Saudi Arabia and America supported the “ISIS” and al-Qaeda organizations in Syria and destroyed Yemen with brutal military aggression, it was Iran that fought against the terrorists to establish stability and security in the region and [ensure] that terrorism does not spread.
  2. Iran Summons China’s Envoy Over Joint Statement With GCC (Iran International).
    Iran summoned China’s envoy in Tehran to express unhappiness over a joint statement issued at a meeting between President Xi Jinping and regional Arab states.
    China’s Xi visited Saudi Arabia this week and also met members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, followed by a joint statement in which the issue of three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf was mentioned as a claim pursued by the United Arab Emirates.
  3. Iran’s Battered Currency Drops To A New Historic Low (Iran International).
    The Iranian currency rial dropped to a new historic low Saturday amid popular protests, strikes and a government determination to use force against all opposition.
  4. Amnesty:  Protest Deaths Of Under-18s Mainly In Iran’s Sunni Regions (Iran International). Forty-four under-18s–children and teenagers–had been killed either as protestors or bystanders, [Amnesty International] said Friday.

12 DECEMBER 2022

  1. One Million Sign Petition To Expel Iranian Envoys From G7 Countries (Iran International). Nearly one million people have so far signed a petition to expel Iran’s ambassadors from the G7 countries in protest to the heavy crackdown on demonstrators.
  2. Lawdan Barzargan:  Iran On Verge Of ‘Renaissance’ And Its Women Need Support (Iran International). November was a good month for democracy-seeking Iranians who have been on the streets since September, chanting “Woman, Life, Liberty,” and “Death to Dictator.”

13 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Iranian Regime Publicly Executes a Second Protester (Aljazeera).  Iran has publicly executed a second man who was arrested during unrest linked with the country’s ongoing protests.
  2. EU imposes new Iran sanctions; no deal yet on new Russia package (Reuters). European Union foreign ministers on Monday imposed new sanctions on Iran over its crackdown of anti-government protests and its drone deliveries to Russia, but pushed the adoption of a new package of measures against Moscow to later this week.

14 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Iran Attempts to Save Its Seat at UN Women Commission (Iran International) The Iranian regime is exerting pressure on academic figures to send letters to numerous global bodies urging them to vote against Iran being expelled from the UN Women Commission.
  2. FBI Operation Reveals IRGC Plan to Assassinate John Bolton and Mike Pompeo (Al Hadath) According to sources, the failed plan called for recruiting a non-Iranian agent to carry out the assassination, so that the role of the regime’s elements would not be revealed, but it appeared later that the person who lured those in charge of the operation was a member of the FBI, and thus the Iranian plan failed.

15 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Iranian-Made Drones Attack Kyiv As US Set To Supply Patriots (Iran International). Kyiv’s air defense systems shot down 10 Iranian-made drones Wednesday, while the United States is closer to sending its Patriot air defense system to Ukraine…. The United States warned about Iran planning to deliver Shahed Kamikaze drones to Russia in July, something Iran has repeatedly denied, only conceding that it gave “some drones” to Russia before the Ukraine war began.

16 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Leaked Info Reveals Details About John Bolton Terror Plot (Iran International). A Syria-based commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Qods (Quds) extraterritorial force was behind a failed operation to assassinate two former US officials.
  2. Mahan Air – Smuggling Weapons into Syria and Lebanon in Service of the Iranian Quds Force (Israel Alma). Mahan Air’s planes and crews serve as a central civilian cover platform for smuggling weapons into Syria and Lebanon for the IRGC Quds Force.

21 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Khamenei Blames US for October Terrorist Attack in Shiraz (Tehran Times). During a meeting with the families of the victims of the Shiraz explosion, Khameni said that “the terrorist attack has disgraced those who were working behind the scenes of this evil act, referring to the spiteful Americans who are the creators of the Daesh terrorist group.”
  2. No Word of Any Meeting Between Iran and Saudi Arabia During The Baghdad-2 Conference In Jordan (Iran International). As Amir-Abollahian was reading his statement at the conference, Soleimani’s successor Esmail Ghaani-speaking in Tehran- referred to Saudi Arabia as a “scum and not worthy of being an enemy.”

22 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Iranian Foreign Minister Denounces France’s “Interference in Iran’s Internal Affairs” and Claims France Will Change Its Position (Tasnim News Agency).  Amirabdollahian made the statement after meeting his French counterpart Catherine Colonna at the Baghdad Conference in Jordan. He claimed he and Colonna discussed the reconsideration of France’s position concerning the Iranian protests, and that both sides agreed the path of dialogue and diplomacy is preferable.
  2. Ambiguity About the Fate of the American Hostages in Iran (Al Hadath Channel). During a White House Press Conference, Al Hadath’s correspondent asked White House Spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre about the fate of Iranian-American prisoners currently held in Iran, and why the White House had not met with any of their families. Ms. Pierre replied that she had no information on the particular family the correspondent asked about and referred her to the State Department. Four American prisoners are still hostages in Iranian custody:  Simak Namazi (13 October 2015), Murad Tahbaz (January 2018), Shihab Dalili (2016), and Imad Sharqi (24 April 2018). 

28 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Detained Victims In Iran Share Harrowing Stories Of Sexual Assault (Iran International). Armita Abbasi was reportedly raped brutally after being arrested on October 10, 2022. There are some reports of much worse violence. Armita Abbasi, a young woman of 20, was reportedly raped brutally after being arrested on October 10. She was taken to a hospital in Karaj on October 18 by security forces with multiple injuries including internal bleeding, a shaved head, and evidence of repeated rape. Reportedly, they tried to pressure the doctors to attribute the rape trauma evidence to a time prior to her arrest. Her trial, according to her mother, has been scheduled for January 26.
  2. Iranian Student Drowns Himself In Rhone To Draw Attention To Regime Crimes (Iran International). Before drowning himself in the Rhone River in Lyon, Moradi, 38, posted a video on social media in which with the river in the background he said his suicide was not prompted by personal issues. He had taken the decision to take his own life in protest because life meant nothing to him when the clerical regime continued to suppress his people.The video in which he also said farewell to the people of Lyon where he used to live with his wife has shocked many. The video message says: “Now in my country there is a very big movement against government violence. We have an Islamic regime that tries to drill things into people’s heads. The police attack people very violently during the demonstrations. Sadly, we have lost many young daughters, sons, teenagers and even kids. We have to do something. It’s like a challenge to show that the Iranians are so tired of this situation. We want to change our country to a democratic country with equal rights for women and men. When you watch this video, I will be dead. But I am happy because I chose this path without any stress. I’m not sad. I decided to do this to show everyone that we Iranians need help.”
  3. Iran is the Reason for the Fuel Shortage in Syria (Al Sharq Al Awsat). The economic crisis in Damascus is exacerbating, and the Iranian “procrastination” in fuel deliveries continues…During preparations for the visit of Iranian President Raisi to Damascus, the Syrian side was surprised by a series of requests and draft agreements…relating to the Iranians being treated in hospitals, scientific institutions, property… and so on, as the Syrians are treated. And if Iranians commit a crime, they are to be tried before the Iranian judiciary, not the Syrian judiciary…“Tehran wants to obtain major sovereign concessions at the height of Damascus’ need for them now and Russia’s preoccupation with the Ukraine war, to pay the costs it paid during the war, which amounted to about $ 20 billion during the past decade, and to establish its influence for a long time in the face of the escalation of Israeli military pressure in Syria.”

29 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Iranian Regime Seeks to Expand in Syria (Asharq Al-Awsat). Iran intends to do so by scaling up its purchase of homes and establishing new camps in areas adjacent to the zones of influence of Russia, which is currently preoccupied with its war in Ukraine. On Wednesday, Israel’s defense minister said Israel could attack Iranian nuclear sites in two or three years, in unusually explicit comments about a possible timeline.
  2. Dozens of Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter Jets to Be Delivered to Iran by Russia Soon (Tasnim Agency). The development is likely to further anger the West as Tehran and Moscow strengthen their defense and economic cooperation in defiance of broad sanctions and coercive measures. According to media reports citing military experts, Iran will soon receive 24 of the fourth-generation twin-engine, super-maneuverable fighter jets that are primarily used for air superiority missions.
  3. Iran-Oman Annual Trade Expected to Hit $2 Billion (Tasnim Agency). Highlighting the growing relations between Iran and Oman, the Iranian ambassador to Muscat said the volume of trade exchanges between the two neighbors during the past eight months has risen by 73 percent. The value of trade between Iran and Oman is projected to hit $2 billion by March 20, 2023, the envoy noted, adding that such an extent of economic relations will be unprecedented.
  4. Four Countries Demand Arbitration In Iran’s Downing Of Airliner (Iran International). Nearly three years after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down Flight PS752 shortly after takeoff from Tehran with two surface-to-air missiles, the UK, Canada, Sweden, and Ukraine have urged Iran to agree to arbitration as Tehran has stonewalled over an independent investigation and proper compensation.

30 DECEMBER 2022

  1. Iran Makes Clandestine Purchase of Four Airliners to Evade U.S. Sanctions (Iran International). The planes started their journeys out of South Africa apparently headed for Uzbekistan but ended up in Iran. The A340s were all produced between 1996 and 2000, so they are 22-26 years old, as are most of the Islamic Republic’s dilapidated passenger fleet, because Iran is not allowed to buy any aircraft due to the US sanctions, which have prohibited companies from selling planes that include US-made parts.
  2. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Slams the Iranian Regime for Repressing Protestors (Iran International). “What is happening today in Iran is unacceptable for us, Italy can no longer tolerate it,” she told an end-of-year press conference. If the Iranian regime does not change its stance, Rome will consult with its allies to take more effective action against the Islamic Republic, added Meloni.
  3. Friday Protests in Iran’s Sunni Provinces Resemble Sunni Demonstrations in Arab Countries (Iran International). A group of Sunni and Shia youths in the city have called for a protest rally on Friday. In the statement, another group of religious leaders in Taybad said the uprising of Iranians is due to “tyranny and discrimination, inequality and injustice, embezzlement and overwhelming political and economic pressures at various levels.” The call for these Friday demonstrations and rallies came after several Sunni clerical leaders were detained and taken to unknown locations. 
  4. Iran Blames Saudi Arabia for Killing Thousands of Yemenis; Amirabdollahian Meets Top Houthi Official in Oman (Tasnim Agency). An IRGC-associated media outlet claimed Saudi airstrikes have killed 2909 lives without mentioning if those killed were civilians or fighters killed in battle. The Houthi government’s top negotiator Mohammad Abdul Salam met with Iran’s foreign minister in the Omani capital of Muscat on Wednesday to brief him on the latest development in Yemen. The top Iranian diplomat called for the lifting of the Saudi-led “siege” on Yemen for humanitarian reasons while stressing the need to find a negotiated solution to the Yemen crisis–though Iran regards political talks between Yemeni factions as an internal Yemeni issue.
  5. Iran’s deteriorating economic conditions could inflame further anti-regime demonstrations throughout the country (American Enterprise Institute Critical Threats Project).The Iranian rial has depreciated by approximately 25 percent against the US dollar since protests began on September 16, hitting another historic low on December 28 at 422,000 rials per dollar on the black market. Half of the currency’s losses have occurred in the last three weeks, indicating the downward trend is accelerating. 

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