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  • Masoud Dalvand 8:46 am on December 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Iran Regime’s Cyber Threat Will Only Get Worse 

    cyber-warfare-iran-hacks-united-states

    NCRI Staff

    The cyber threat from the Iranian Regime will only continue to grow and get more advanced, according to a leading political scientist.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an expert on Iran, wrote a piece for Arab News in which he explained how the cyber operations were not conducted by individuals but were a “key element” of the Regime’s foreign policy, national security and long-term strategic agenda.

    This has been denied by the Regime but Rafizadeh cited Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s speech to students at universities funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

    Khamenei was quoted in state-run media outlets as saying: “You are the cyberwar agents and such a war requires Amman-like insight and Malik Ashtar-like resistance. Get yourself ready for such war wholeheartedly.”

    The IRGC exploited tech-savvy Iranian youth by investing in their education and then recruiting them for malign and hostile operations targeting nations like the US, Saudi Arabia, Britain and Israel.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh  wrote: “The Iranian regime has been relentless in finding various methods to subvert these nations through attacks on governmental institutions, the private sector and underlying infrastructures.”

    Here are just some of the Regime’s recent attacks:

    • Destructive cyberattacks against Saudi Arabia by Iranian hacking group Cadelle and Chafer

    • Malicious Iranian software “Shamoon” attacks 15 Saudi governmental and non-governmental networks

    • Iranian Regime launches cyber attack against Saudi oil producer Aramco, disabling 30,000 of its computers (roughly 75%) which took several months and a large amount of money to fix

    • Attacks on US and South Korean aviation and energy companies by an Iranian hacking group

    • Attacks on the email accounts of dozens of British MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May.

    The Regime cyber attacks do not just target foreign governments- as many government-instructed hackers from around the world do- they target all enemies of the Regime, like human rights activists and media companies.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “The Iranian regime has also ratcheted up cyberspying efforts against Iranians living abroad, particularly those who are influential in informing foreign policy and criticizing the regime.”

    Why is Iran investing in hacking?

    Simply, it fits in with the Regime’s offensive line: attacking others while minimising retaliation.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “Before the age of the internet, Tehran relied heavily on proxies, mercenaries and militias. Using indirect methods gives the ruling mullahs an advantage, and lowers the risk and cost. It helps the Iranian leaders dodge responsibility and accountability and provides them with the powerful tool of deniability on the international stage. Iran has never been held accountable when its puppets were caught attacking another nation, smuggling weapons, or violating international laws.”

    This lack of accountability also helps Iran to avoid a potential war with the superpowers, which their military could not handle.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “It is worth noting that many of Iran’s cyber attacks are aimed at the petrochemical industry, military and intelligence sectors in order to gain leverage, particularly over Saudi Arabia and the US. In addition, since the regime cannot obtain advanced weapons from the US, cyber spying helps the regime gain access to the technical data required to advance its military aviation capabilities.

    The hackers normally steal data and then introduce malware to the system to delete all the data afterwards.”

    With these benefits, the Iranian Regime is unlikely to stop its’ cyber warfare anytime soon, which will pose a serious threat to enemies of the Regime.

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  • Masoud Dalvand 10:07 am on December 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FLogging, , , , Young Woman   

    Iran: Flogging Sentence for a Young Kurdish Female Student 

    Flogging a young woman

    The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran condemns the flogging sentence issued for a young Kurdish female student and calls on the Iranian women and youth to protest against such criminal verdicts.

    The NCRI Women’s Committee urges international human rights and women’s rights organizations to undertake effective measures to stop such cruel and inhuman punishments.

    On December 7, the Student Day in Iran, the clerical regime’s court in Saqqez, Iranian Kurdistan, sentenced Zamaneh Zivi to cash fine and 50 lashes of the whip on the charge of “disruption of public order.” She is a senior student of law at Payam Noor University of Saqqez in Kurdistan.

    The Iranian regime’s resort to such an inhuman punishment for a girl student only indicates its fear of rebellions by the Iranian people, particularly the students and youth. It also reveals the true nature of Rouhani, the mullahs’ president who pretends to be a moderate.

    The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
    December 14, 2017

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 5:56 pm on December 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Video: Following the Developing Iranian Cyber threat 

    Iranian Regime Cyber Threat

    Iran has conducted several highly damaging cyberattacks and become a major threat that will only get worse

    By Dorothy Denning
    Sintientific American, December 12, 2017 – Iran is one of the leading cyberspace adversaries of the United States. It emerged as a cyberthreat a few years later than Russia and China and has so far demonstrated less skill. Nevertheless, it has conducted several highly damaging cyberattacks and become a major threat that will only get worse.

    Like Russia  and China,  the history of Iran’s cyberspace operations begins with its hackers. But unlike these other countries, Iran openly encourages its hackers to launch cyberattacks against its enemies. The government not only recruits hackers into its cyberforces but supports their independent operations.

    PUTTING IRANIAN HACKERS ON THE MAP

    It was clear by the mid-2000s that Iran would become a source of cyberattacks: Its hackers had started taking over websites worldwide and posting their own messages on them, a practice called “defacing.” Often it was just for fun, but some hackers wanted to stand up for their country and Muslims. One prominent group, Iran Hackers Sabotage, launched in 2004 “with the aim of showing the world that Iranian hackers have something to say in the worldwide security.”

    The group’s website announced that it provided vulnerability testing and secure hosting services, but it was also known for web defacements. In 2005, the group replaced the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo home page with one defending Muslims and condemning terrorists. Another of its defacements proclaimed “Atomic energy is our right.” By early 2008, the Zone-H defacement archive listed 3,763 web defacements for the group. The group has since disbanded.

    Another prominent group, Ashiyane Digital Security Team, ran a website that offered free hacking tools and tutorials. The site claimed to have 11,503 members in May 2006. Like Iran Hackers Sabotage, Ashiyane provided security services while using its members’ knowledge and skills to deface websites. Their defacements frequently included a map of Iran with a reminder that “The correct name is Persian Gulf” for what some Arab states have called the “Arabian Gulf.”

    Ashiyane defaced 500 websites in 2009 during the Israeli incursion into Gaza and 1,000 sites in the U.S., U.K. and France in 2010 for supporting what the group said were anti-Iranian terrorist groups. By May 2011, Zone-H had recorded 23,532 defacements by the group. Its leader, Behrouz Kamalian, said his group cooperated with the Iranian military, but operated independently and spontaneously.

    A third group, the Iranian Cyber Army, launched a few years later. It has been implicated in several website attacks,  including one against Twitter in 2009 that proclaimed support for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Other attack targets were the Voice of America in 2011  after the U.S. supported Iran’s Green movement, and regime opposition websites in 2013 just before the presidential election.

    Seven Iranian hackers conducted a coordinated cyber attack on dozens of U.S. banks, causing millions of dollars in lost business, and tried to shut down a New York dam

    Seven Iranian hackers conducted a coordinated cyber attack on dozens of U.S. banks, causing millions of dollars in lost business, and tried to shut down a New York dam

    IRAN’S CYBER MILITARY

    The Iranian Cyber Army is said by some cybersecurity researchers  to operate on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,  a branch of the country’s military. The Revolutionary Guards runs a cyber warfare program that in 2008 was estimated to employ about 2,400 professionals. In addition, it connects with independent hacker groups such as Ashiyane and the ICA.

    The Revolutionary Guards also command Iran’s voluntary paramilitary militia, known as the Basij Resistance Force. In 2010, the Basij established the Basij Cyber Council, but it focuses more on media and influence operations  than on cyberattacks.

    The Bowman Avenue Dam is seen in Rye Brook, N.Y. on March 24, 2016.

    The Bowman Avenue Dam is seen in Rye Brook, N.Y. on March 24, 2016.

    TURNING TO SABOTAGE

    By 2012, Iranian cyberattacks had gone beyond simple web defacements and hijacks to ones that destroyed data and shut down access to critical websites. The attackers conceal their government connections by hiding behind monikers that resemble those used by independent hacktivists  fightingfor justice and human rights.

    One such group called itself the Cutting Sword of Justice. In 2012, it launched cyberattacks against the Saudi Aramco oil company, claiming to protest Saudi oppression and corruption financed by oil. The attacks used “wiper” code that overwrote data on hard drives and spread through the company’s network via a virus dubbed Shamoon. More than 30,000 computers  were rendered inoperable at Saudi Aramco and Qatar’s RasGas, which was also targeted. U.S. intelligence officials blamed Iran  for the attacks.

    Cyber Threat from Iran

    Cyber Threat from Iran

    Iran has deployed wiper malware in other acts of sabotage, most notably the 2014 attack against the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.  The attack was thought to be a response to remarks made by Sheldon Adelson, the company’s largest shareholder. Adelson suggested setting off a bomb in an Iranian desert to persuade the country to abandon nuclear weapons. And in 2016, the Shamoon malware resurfaced,  wiping data from thousands of computers in Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation agency and other organizations.

    Iranian hackers operating on behalf of the government have also conducted massive distributed denial-of-service attacks,https://theconversation.com/attackers-can-make-it-impossible-to-dial-911-67980 which flood sites with so much traffic that they become inaccessible. From 2012 to 2013, a group calling itself the Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam launched  a series of relentless distributed denial-of-service attacks against major U.S. banks. The attackers claimed the banks were “properties of American-Zionist Capitalists.”

    In 2016 the U.S. indicted seven Iranian hackers in absentia for working on behalf of the Revolutionary Guards to conduct those bank attacks, which were said to have caused tens of millions of dollars in losses. The motivation may have been retaliation for economic sanctions that had been imposed on Iran or the Stuxnet   on Iran’s centrifuges.

    Cyber warfare

    Cyber warfare is fast becoming popular with smaller nations that cannot match the weaponry and force of larger powers. By attacking military and civilian systems, smaller nations have the potential to bring world powers to their knees. The 2010 Stuxnet malicious computer worm that targeted Iran’s nuclear program was the opening salvo and the proverbial tip of iceberg in cyber warfare

    One of the seven indictments was of a man who allegedly obtained access to the computer control system for the Bowman Avenue Dam in New York state. The access would have allowed the intruder to “operate and manipulate” one of the dam’s gates had it not been offline for maintenance.

    Iran also engages in cyberespionage. One group, which cybersecurity research firm FireEye named Advanced Persistent Threat 33,  has invaded computers around the world, with targets in the petrochemical, defense and aviation industries. The group uses code linked to Iran’s wiper malware, possibly in preparation for more destructive attacks. Another group, called Advanced Persistent Threat 34, has been active since at least 2014, targeting companies in the financial, energy, telecom and chemical industries.

    FOREIGN ASSISTANCE

    Iran may be beefing up its cyberwarfare capabilities with the help of foreigners.

    According to former Congressman Peter Hoekstra, who chaired the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Iran’s rapid emergence as a major cyberthreat likely stems from its close ties to Russia.  Matthew McInnis, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, believes Iran turned to Russia to level the cyberwarfare battlefield with the U.S.  and the West.

    Iran may also be looking to Mexico for cyber warfare support. According to a documentary aired on the Univision television network in 2011, a former Iranian ambassador to Mexico accepted a plan from undercover Mexican students to launch crippling cyber attacks against the U.S. The targets included the White House, the CIA, the FBI and nuclear installations. The documentary also shows Venezuelan and Cuban officials in Mexico expressing interest in the plot

    video: Documentales Univision: ‘La Amenaza Irani’ a Documentary on the Emerging Iranian Threat

    STRENGTHENING ITS CYBERWARFARE PROGRAM

    Iran may view cyber warfare as a means of overcoming its military disadvantage compared to the U.S. To that end, it will likely continue to improve its cyber capabilities.

    Containing Iran’s cyber warfare program would likely be even more challenging than containing its nuclear program.  Computer code is easy to conceal, copy and distribute, making it extremely difficult to enforce controls placed on cyberweapons. That leaves cybersecurity and cyber deterrence  asAmerica’s best options for defending against the Iranian cyber threat.

    Dorothy Denning
    Dorothy Denning
    Dorothy Denning is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School
    .

    Source: Video: Following the Developing Iranian Cyberthreat

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:38 pm on December 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , NCRI Women's Committee Monthly Report - November2017, Women's Sport   

    Iran: The Grim State of Women’s Sports 

    Women's report

    The Grim State of Women’s Sports

    Numerous reports emerged in November on wide-ranging issues and shed light on the abysmal conditions of women’s sports in Iran.

    No budget for women’s sports2

    Lack of financial support forced the women’s basketball team of Gorgan to refrain from participating in the cross-country games.

    Gorgan is the capital of the northern Iranian province of Golestan.

    The vice-president of the basketball delegation of Golestan said the team had 12 years of experience in professional sports. Soghra Mohebbi said, “The budget predicted for the participation of the women’s team in this tournament was 50 million toumans but no agency stepped forward to provide the budget for supporting the women’s team. One of their reasons was that the games are not broadcast by the national media so the private sector does not feel motivated to spend money on these games.” (The state-run radio and television news agency – November 17, 2016)

    The Pars Jonoubi Jam football team did not participate in the league in November due to lack of budget, and their game was easily cancelled.

    In October, the girls’ basketball team was removed from the Asian U16 games because of the Iranian federation’s $325K debt to FIBA. The team was to take part in the official event for the first time after 37 years. (The state-run ISNA news agency – October 21, 2017)

    No media coverage allowed on women’s games

    It is forbidden to broadcast women’s competitions in Iran.

    The women’s national futsal team, champion of Asia, hosted Italy’s team in Tehran on November 23 and 24, 2017, while no photographers or cameramen were allowed in the stadium.

    The only picture was taken at the end of the games in an empty stadium while Italian players had to cover their hair with pink shawls. (The state-run ISNA news agency – November 24, 2017)

    No job security for female coaches3

    The head coach of the women’s national futsal team complained of lack of job security. In reaction to the Football Federation’s objection, Shahrzad Mozaffar said, “If my contract was for 50% of male coaches’ contracts, I would confidently concentrate on the national team. If I have job security, I will stay with the team.  But if I quit my other job today as head coach of a club team, I would not have job security and a stable income.” (The state-run IRNA – November 23, 2017)

    No adequate place for the games

    Some of the teams participating in the Futsal League had not been allocated a field where they could play.

    The fields where the games took place were peppered with holes and ditches making it impossible for the players to dribble.

    It was also reported that the restrooms and locker facilities were not adequate for the teams to get ready for the game. (Iranwire news agency – November 3, 2017)

    The Vice-President of Women’s Basketball, Fatemeh Karamzadeh, said the absence of a basketball court for women is a real predicament for women’s basketball. “In a country that so much underlines gender segregation in sports, women do not have even one court to play their games,” Karamzadeh admitted. (The state-run ISNA news agency, November 1, 2017)

    No medical support for injured players4

    Zeinab Karimi, footballer of the Kheibar women’s team of Khorramabad (capital of Lorestan Province in western Iran), experienced an inhuman treatment after being injured in the field and suffering a dislocated shoulder.

    In an interview about her injury during the third week of women’s Football League she said, “I was injured in the 20thminute of the game. I remained suffering from pain beside the field until the end of the first half of the game. The supervisor did not even turn an eye on me. The ambulance driver came to me, but when I asked him to quickly take me to the hospital, he answered that ‘the supervisor does not allow this. Since you are not bleeding, we do not have permission to transfer you to hospital.’ After a while, I was taken to hospital by someone’s car.” “I waited for four hours in the hospital before being attended to because I had not been transferred by an ambulance. They did not even give me a chair to sit,” she lamented. (The state-run ISNA news agency – November 5, 2017)

    Violation of FIFA universal rules

    The Iranian Football Federation briefed the teams participating in the Women’s Football League that players would be shown the yellow card if they do not properly cover all their hair during the games. If repeated, they would be shown the red card and sent off the field.

    Female champions are abandoned1

    Atousa Abbasi, a bronze medal winner in the Asian Bicycling Race and a record holder in women’s speed cycling in Iran, had to peddle in the streets for a while due to financial problems. She has been deprived of participating in cycling tournaments due to breaches made by her husband who is a cycling coach. (The state-run Mashreq website – October 18, 2017)

    Sousan Rashidi, who has been the champion of women’s kick boxing for eleven terms, is now training under difficult conditions for foreign tournaments. She is a nomad girl living in Kermanshah (western Iran). Due to poverty and lack of government support, she has to work in the village from early in the morning. She has to bake bread, take the sheep for grazing, bring log wood, etc. (The state-run Fararu website – October 18, 2017)

    Ms. Rashidi says, “Some days, I did not have my transportation fare to go for training. Sometimes, if I were given some money to buy an egg to eat, I saved the money to pay for my transportation.”

    “I became a champion for nine terms, but I did not receive any prize for these victories,” she added. (The state-run ISNA news agency – December 26, 2016)

    Rock climber Elnaz Rekabi won the gold medal of women’s Asian Bold Ring Cup. (The state-run ISCAnews.ir – October 29, 2017)

    In a short interview, she also complained about the difficulties of training without any government backing while being alone in her field. She said, “In Iran, I am very lonely. No one is ahead of me and they do not let me practice with boys.”

    Elnaz Rekabi also spoke on the problems created by the requirement of wearing the compulsory veil. “It is very hard with the veil especially when the weather is hot. I tried to find some proper outfit for this sport to observe the dress code, as well, but I had to do it on my own.” (Interview with Euronews – Aparat.com– April 25, 2016)

    Talented athletes drain

    Horrible conditions for female athletes has led many to leave the country.5

    Dorsa Derakhshani who had been banned from the Iranian national chess team for attending the February 2017 international competition in Gibraltar without wearing the mandatory veil, has joined the U.S. team.

    Dorsa Derakhshani was awarded the titles Woman Grandmaster and International Master at the age of 18 by the World Chess Federation in 2016. She had taken part in several international competitions without covering her hair.

    Dorsa moved to Spain in 2015 after she received an invitation by a chess club that also supported her studies. (The state-run ISNA news agency – October 2, 2017)

    Faezeh Kazemi, Handball player from Qazvin Province, joined the Metropolitan team in Turkey in late November.

    Ban on women’s presence in sports stadiums

    Iranian women were refused entry to the World Cup football match that took place on September 5, 2017, at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium between the national teams of Syria and Iran.6

    The Guardian wrote, “Syrian women are allowed into stadium but Iranian women are kept out, despite initially being allowed to buy tickets… A group of women who went to Tehran’s gigantic Azadi stadium were told they could not enter. When they started demonstrating they were threatened with arrest.”

    The State Security forces expelled three young women who were attempting to enter Azadi Stadium to watch the football match between the two most prominent Iranian football teams.

    The incident took place on October 26, 2017, when Persepolis and Esteghlal teams were scheduled to face off. The female fans had donned men’s clothes in a bid to enter the stadium. (The state-run Rokna.ir– October 26, 2017)

    Shahindokht Molaverdi, Rouhani’s Deputy for Citizen’s Rights Affairs, had recently admitted that the conditions are not yet prepared for women’s presence in football stadiums. (The state-run Entekhab website – October 25, 2017)

    The Iranian regime’s ban on entry of women to stadiums was also noted by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights on Iran. In Article 92 of her report, she wrote:

    Women continue to be banned from watching sporting events in stadiums, and several female athletes have been restricted from participation in international tournaments either by State sporting agencies or by their husbands.

    She also noted in her report that in March, a number of Iranian female billiard players were banned from competitions, allegedly for “violating the Islamic code of conduct.”

    In April, female participants in an international marathon held in Tehran were required to run separately from men and on a shortened route.”

    Khamenei and religious scholars weigh in

    Religious scholars also underlined the prohibition of women’s entry to sports stadiums.

    “The issue was tabled by the previous government but the Supreme Leader and other religious authorities opposed it,” stated Mullah Makarem Shirazi and added, “It is a deviation to bring up this issue, again.” (The state-run ISNA news agency – November 29, 2017)

    Mullah Nouri Hamedani also tried to justify the ban by saying, “It is not permissible for men and women to be present in the same sports event because women cannot properly hold their veil.” (The state-run Razavi news agency – November 29, 2017)

    The mullahs’ supreme leader Ali Khamenei also underlined the ban on women’s bicycling in public. Under the pretext of responding to religious questions, he reiterated, “Women’s bicycling in public areas and in places that could be seen by strange men is not allowed.” (The state-run ILNA news agency – November 26, 2017)7

    The above facts which are a handful from a ton, show the numerous obstacles created by Iran’s ruling regime to exclude women from the sports arena. They also help one realize that Iran’s women are not only talented but really hard working and motivated to show their competence at every opportunity despite lack of any form of government support.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:04 am on December 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    After Fighting Common Enemy ISIS, How Will Rising Tensions Between U.S. and Iran Affect Iraq? 

    1

    How U.S. and Iran found a common enemy in ISIS

    After fighting ISIS, how will rising tensions between U.S. and Iran affect Iraq?
    Video – For watching the video click on the below link:

    https://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3007409295/

    TRANSCRIPT :

    Judy Woodruff: Now the final installment in our series Iran Rising in Iraq that examines Tehran’s influence there, and what it means for U.S. policy in the region. Washington is worried about that sway and presence in Iraq, and is taking measures to counter it, raising U.S.-Iran tensions. But, tonight, we look at an extraordinary moment when the U.S. and Iran made common cause to fight a common enemy, and why many say that is unlikely to happen again. In partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, here again is special correspondent Reza Sayah.

    Reza Sayah: October 2016, a coalition of military forces in Iraq launched an offensive to take back the city of Mosul from ISIS. And fighting on the same side were the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iraqi Army General Ghais Al-Hamdawi says it was a superbly coordinated mission.

    Maj. Gen. Ghais Al-hamdawi (through Interpreter): It was the perfect example of bravery and cooperation among everybody, the PMF, tanks, army, air force, the American Air Force, special ops, and even citizens took part. This battle should be a lesson for all the armies in the world.

    Reza Sayah: The mission was called We Are Coming. Among the forces helping the Iraqi army, 500 American troops on the ground and U.S. fighter jets providing air support, and 16,000 fighters from the Popular Mobilization Forces, PMF for short, a volunteer Iraqi militia largely armed and funded by Iran and advised by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. For the next several months, the Iranian-backed militia helped overpower ISIS on the ground in towns and villages surrounding Mosul. Once ISIS was encircled and trapped, in came Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. artillery units and airpower, to finish the extremist group.

    Mazin Al-eshaiker: What unites both Iran and the United States is their goal to end ISIS, which we, as Iraqis, obviously appreciated.

    Reza Sayah: Iraqi politician Mazin Al-Eshaiker says Washington and Tehran never publicly acknowledged the strategy and never made direct contact to discuss it.

    Mazin Al-eshaiker: I’m talking the U.S. and Iranian didn’t sit face to face, but the Iraqis sat face to face with the Iranians, and, in the same token, sat face to face with the Americans to come up with a joint plan for both sides.

    Reza Sayah: The plan worked. In July, ISIS was defeated in its last major stronghold, thanks in part to a rare occasion where the United States and Iran tacitly cooperated to beat a common enemy. But Iraqi officials say, don’t expect U.S.-Iran cooperation again in Iraq any time soon.

    Mazin Al-eshaikerWe are free to dream what we want, but it will not happen.

    Reza Sayah: Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. policy with Iran was cautious engagement on some issues. With the election of President Donald Trump, the policy immediately changed to confrontation, escalating the nearly four-decade-long cold war between the countries. In October, President Donald Trump repeated accusations that Iran sponsors terrorism in the region, and slapped sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

    President Donald Trump: The Iranian dictatorship’s aggression continues to this day. The regime remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

    Reza Sayah: Mr. Trump also refused to certify that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, even though the remaining world powers and U.N. inspectors said Iran was complying. Ten days later, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Riyadh to boost Iraq’s ties with Iran’s main regional rival in the region, Saudi Arabia. Tillerson also suggested the PMF was an Iranian fighting force and called for the militia to disband, a demand the Iraqi government rejected, insisting PMF fighters were Iraqi nationals.

    Rex Tillerson: Certainly, Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Da’esh and ISIS is coming to a close, those militias need to go home.

    Reza Sayah: And, last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo revealed that he had sent a letter to Qasem Soleimani, a senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, warning Iran over its behavior in Iraq.

    Mike Pompeo: He refused to open the letter. It didn’t break my heart, to be honest with you. What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold he and Iran accountable for any attacks on American interests in Iraq by forces that are under their control. And we wanted to make sure he and the leadership in Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear.

    Reza Sayah: Senior Iranian officials have hit back in the war of words. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called U.S. policy in the Middle East dangerous. In a live televised address, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused Western countries, including the United States, of having fed and armed ISIS. And in a speech to university students last month, Iran’s supreme leader called the U.S. Iran’s number one enemy.

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (through Interpreter): My dear children, don’t forget that in this very important path where you’re following your goals, your number one enemy is America.

    Seyed Hosseini: America has to learn a lesson.

    Reza Sayah: Iran-based pro-Iranian political analyst Seyed Hosseini says better relations between Washington and Tehran is good for Iraq. But that won’t happen, he says, unless the U.S. changes what Hosseini calls a hostile policy against Iran.

    Seyed Hosseini: Until they don’t correct themselves and their policies in the region, I don’t think there will be a great hope for that. America, for them to be present in the region, they need Iranian help. They must just come to terms and accept the presence of a powerful Iran.

    Reza Sayah: Many Iraqis doubt Tehran and Washington will change their policies. Ali Elami has owned this Baghdad supermarket for five decades. This is where Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein used to stop by for late-night shawarmas, he says. So, Saddam Hussein had shawarma at your place? Elami says the U.S. and Iran are both here for their own interests, not to help Iraq.

    Ali Elami (through Interpreter): The location of Iraq is very strategic. There’s oil, rivers. When Americans came and kicked out Saddam, they didn’t do it for our interests. They did it for oil and money. Iran has expanded here not for our sake. They did it for their own benefit.

    Muthanna Amin Nader: We pay a price as a people in Iraq.

    Reza Sayah: Iraqi politician Muthana Amin Nader is happy to see is defeated in Iraq. But what he fears now is a dangerous proxy war between Iran and the U.S.

    Muthanna Amin Nader: Conflict between Iran and America makes our people as victim. We give a very, very expensive price. It’s time to say enough for bleeding in Iraq and destroying Iraq. They should support us, but also keep away from us.

    Reza Sayah: With so much at stake here for the U.S. and Iran, keeping away from Iraq seems unlikely. How the two adversaries manage that high-stakes competition while they’re here may go a long way in shaping the future of Iraq. For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Reza Sayah in Baghdad.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:10 pm on December 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Putin, ,   

    Video shows awkward moment Russian soldier stops Assad from following Putin 

    Putin Assad

    Al Arabiya, 11 December 2017 – Footage emerged on Monday showing a Russian military personnel preventing Bashar al-Assad from following Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia.

    The video shows Assad hurryingly walking behind Putin trying to catch up but is stopped by a Russian soldier who placed his hand to slow him down. Assad can be seen extending his arm thinking the Russian was attempting to shake his hand.

    The awkward moment was captured by cameras on Monday as Putin ordered the partial withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:54 pm on December 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    Iran Threat to U.S.: Leave Syria or Else!: Video 

    Revolutionary Guard

    IRGC

    TruNews, December 11, 2017 – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani sent a letter, via Russia, demanding every last U.S. soldier leave Syria or else “the doors of hell will open up.”

    According to the Kuwaiti Al Rai Media news website (translated from Arabic), Soleimani told a Russian officer who delivered the message to the U.S.:

    ‘My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS (the Islamic State group) will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it … You shall face soldiers and forces you have not experienced before in Syria and you will leave the country sooner or later.’

    Soleimani reportedly told the Russian middle-man that U.S. forces in Syria will be “considered as forces of occupation” if they stay, according to the Al Rai report. It concludes that the situation could quickly devolved into a mirror of events in Lebanon in 1983, when hundreds of American Marines were killed in the Islamist bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:46 pm on December 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Health, HIV Problem,   

    Iran’s Deadly HIV Problem 

    HIV-3

    NCRI Staff

    Roughly 66,000 people in Iran have HIV and almost half of them are unaware, according to estimates by the Iranian Regime, but as the Regime routinely underreports statistics that make the country look bad, it is likely this number is much higher.

    For instance, in 2009, the World Health Organisation estimated that there are over 100,000 AIDS sufferers in Iran out of an 80 million population. HIV develops into AIDS overtime, meaning that the number of HIV sufferers is likely much higher than 66,000.

    According to the Tehran Times, the Iranian authorities blame the high HIV rates and low knowledge rates on public ignorance and stigma.

    Parvin Afsar Kazerouni, head of the Health Ministry’s AIDS department, reports that over half of those living with HIV in Iran are aged 21 to 35, an age group represents about 28% of Iran’s population.

    Infection

    People contract HIV by being exposed to bodily fluids of an infected person but this can happen in a number of different ways; sharing needles, unsterilized hospital equipment, blood transfusions, tending to a wounded person if you have an open wound, etc.

    However, the number of people contracting HIV via sexual contact has risen dramatically.

    Dr Mohammad Mahdi Gouya, Iran’s deputy health minister, said: “If we look at five or six years ago, the rate of infection through sex was around 16% or 17%, to 20% at the most. Now it is up to 40% cent or even more in some provinces.”

    Iran Regime’s Response

    Many within the Regime see this as the result of Iranian youth adopting a permissive Western lifestyle, such as accessing the internet and allowing couples to live together before getting married- a practice attacked by Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s chief of staff.

    However, they neglect to mention that in the US, only 1 in 7 is unaware of their HIV positive status. The correct way to deal with HIV is through education (both sexual and medical) and prevention through the use of barrier contraceptives like condoms.

    Homeira Fallahi, a senior advisor to the AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases department of the Health Ministry, said that the website hiv-sti.ir provides information about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and the locations of 157 centres which provide free, confidential, HIV tests and counselling services, including seven that offer services to juveniles, but more needs to be done.

    With the mullahs cracking down on a free and fair internet for their citizens, how many Iranians can actually access this site?

    Considering that the Iranian Regime’s health care system is extremely underfunded because the Regime ploughs its money into terrorism and warfare, how can they be trusted to treat all Iranians for HIV when the mullahs consider it a ‘Western Disease’?

    The HIV problem under the Iranian Regime will only get worse, so long as the Regime remains in power.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:47 pm on December 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Amb. Kenneth Blackwell on Iran Human Rights, Massacre of 30,000 Political Prisoners. 

    In a panel on December 1, 2017 at the National Press Club by the Washington Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US), human rights experts called for accountability for Iranian regime’s human rights abuses. Referring to NCRI’s newly released book, “Iran, Where Mass Murderers Rule, The 1988 Massacre of 30,000 Political Prisoners and the Continuing Atrocities,” former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Kenneth Blackwell, called for accountability into the 1988 massacre to “put pressure on the regime to give access so that we might shine light on the evils that were done… [to give] hope to [those] inside Iran.” Blackwell added, “our delegation at the U.N. [should] continue to be a leading voice, not only on international terrorism…by the regime, but …to bring justice to a regime … that is a threat to the basic fabric of humanity across the globe.” Former Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, Linda Chavez, referred to the role of women in the opposition. “It is no accident,” that Iran’s opposition movement “is led by a woman, Madame Maryam Rajavi. She stands as a real affront to this regime. The regime hates and fears the MEK [Mujahedin-e Khalq] because in the MEK women … are allowed to lead others. And men are willing to listen and to follow them; a major threat to a regime that wants to imprison half its people.” NCRI’s U.S. Representative, Soona Samsami said, “why the regime continues to perpetrate such atrocities and continuing? The answer is simple; it fears its population. Despite harsh crackdown, Tehran has been unable to extinguish the Iranian people’s yearning for change, freedom, and human rights.” Former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, Marc Ginsberg emphasized, “The violation of human rights has become an inconvenient truth to those who have decided that the Iran nuclear agreement is what begins and ends our engagement with Iran… We need to begin holding Iran accountable.” Former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, Adam Ereli, said, “Many of the perpetrators of this crime are in positions of high authority and this has produced a culture of impunity that Iran’s rulers exploit to continue arresting, torturing, and murdering at will and without consequences or penalty… The only way to stop rogue regimes from using terror and murder as tools of their rule is to hold them accountable for their crimes.”

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:05 am on December 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Large Rally in Paris,   

    Large Demonstration Against Violation of Human Rights in Iran- Paris 11 Dec. 2017 at 2 pm 

    11 Dec 2017-2pm Paris

    Join us in the great rally against violation of human rights in Iran. #NO2Rouhani

    Paris- at 14 CET – December 11, 2017

    Join us great rally in Paris 11Dec

    Large Demonstration Against Violation of Human Rights in Iran. All People of Iran Say: #No2Rouhani He is a murderer not a moderate!

    Online Campaign: 11 December 2017 – 2 pm- Paris

    11 Dec 2017-2pm Paris-2

     
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