Welcome again to The Farda Briefing, an RFE/RL publication that tracks the important thing points in Iran and explains why they matter. To subscribe, click on right here.
I am Hannah Kaviani, a senior broadcaster and editor at RFE/RL’s Radio Farda. This is what I have been following and what I am watching out for within the days forward.
The Large Problem
Iran has publicly executed two younger males over their involvement within the ongoing antiestablishment protests which have rocked the nation since September. Mohsen Shekari and Majidreza Rahnavard have been each convicted of “waging warfare in opposition to God” and “corruption on Earth.”
Shekari, who was hanged on December 8, was accused of “deliberately injuring” a safety officer with a weapon and blocking a road in Tehran.
Rahnavard was hanged within the holy Shi’ite metropolis of Mashhad on December 12. He was accused of killing two members of the Basij paramilitary drive. Rights teams have mentioned the boys have been tortured and compelled to admit.
Why It Issues: Iran is without doubt one of the world’s high executioners. However the latest hangings have triggered extra anger and outrage than standard. Iranians have taken to social media and the streets to vent their fury. Some road protesters have chanted, “We are going to avenge the blood of the harmless” following the executions. In Tehran College, a noose was hooked up to a sheet of paper that learn “Hope can’t be hanged,” certainly one of a number of symbolic acts of protest throughout the nation.
The executions have additionally triggered criticism from senior clerics in Iran. Molavi Abdolhamid, an outspoken cleric, has mentioned the loss of life sentence in opposition to Shekari violated Islamic legislation. Morteza Moqtadaei, a member of the Meeting of Consultants, an 88-member chamber of theologians which oversees the work of the nation’s supreme chief, additionally criticized the judiciary for handing down the loss of life sentence to Shekari.
What’s Subsequent: Iran is more likely to proceed finishing up executions, which rights teams have mentioned are a part of the authorities’ crackdown on the continued protests. Activists have warned that one other younger man sentenced to loss of life over the unrest — Sahand Nourmohammadzadeh — is at imminent danger of execution. Iran’s judiciary says it has issued loss of life sentences to 11 folks in reference to the protests, though campaigners mentioned that at the least 21 protesters may probably face the loss of life penalty.
Tales You Would possibly Have Missed
Iran positioned sanctions on over two dozen people and entities in Europe on December 12, together with RFE/RL’s Radio Farda. The announcement got here forward of the European Union’s choice to impose new sanctions on Tehran. In keeping with the Iranian International Ministry, 32 folks and entities have been added to the sanctions record for “interfering within the home affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” RFE/RL President and Chief Government Officer Jamie Fly described the designation of Radio Farda as “an absurd manipulation of the reality, straight out of each authoritarian playbook.”
Omid Moayidi, a college scholar, was shot within the again after which within the head by safety forces after collaborating in an anti-regime protest within the metropolis of Shiraz, in line with eyewitnesses who spoke to Radio Farda. Sources with data of the state of affairs advised Radio Farda that the authorities had pressured his household to push their official line: that Moayidi was not protesting in any respect however a “martyr” of the clerical regime who was shot by “rioters” as he was driving his automotive.
What We’re Watching
In a uncommon transfer, Iran summoned the Chinese language ambassador to Tehran on December 11 to specific its “sturdy dissatisfaction” with a joint assertion issued by Chinese language chief Xi Jinping and leaders of Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The assertion, amongst different issues, calls on Iran and the United Arab Emirates to resolve their dispute over three islands within the gulf by way of negotiations.
However Iran’s International Ministry mentioned the islands of Larger Tunb, Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa have been an “integral half” of the nation’s territory, which “have by no means and can by no means be topic to negotiations with any nation.”
Why It Issues: Because the joint assertion was launched, Iranian state media affiliated with totally different political factions have criticized Beijing, with some expressing “mistrust” of China. In an obvious bid to restore the harm, Chinese language Vice Premier Hu Chunhua met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on December 13. In the course of the assembly, Chunhua expressed assist for Iran’s nationwide integrity, state media reported.
Since then-U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018, Tehran has adopted a coverage of “seeking to the East,” turning to allies Russia and China. Given the significance of the alliance to each nations, Beijing and Tehran are more likely to easy over any ill-feeling over the latest controversy.
That is all from me for now. Do not forget to ship me any questions, feedback, or suggestions that you’ve got.
Till subsequent time,
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