Babak Dadbakhsh Asks Prosecutor-General for Re-Examination of His Case

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activist, political prisoner Babak Dadbakhsh, who is currently being held in Ardabil Prison, recently wrote a letter to the Prosecutor General of Iran asking that his case be re-examined.

In regard to the way his trial was conducted, Dadbakhsh wrote, “Just to receive the verdict letter, I accepted not to appeal. However, after three years, I don’t have any indictment letter to know on what charges and based on what evidences I have been condemned. No one responds to me.”

In part of this letter received to HRANA, Babak Dadbakhsh writes, “The prosecutor-general! I am writing to you as a victim of injustice, a prisoner who has been tortured and sentenced to 25 years without having a trial. Just to receive the verdict letter, I accepted not to appeal. However, after three years, I don’t have any indictment letter to know on what charges and based on what evidences I have been condemned. No one responds to me. I hope that the law does not close its eyes and give me my legal right. I have been convicted within one minute without having an attorney. I request re-examining my case, receiving the indictment letter and using retrial. While I’m suffering stress, as forensic medicine and coroners have diagnosed, I am waiting for justice.”

In November 2017, Babak Dadbakhsh was arrested by security police of NAJA and handed to the Ministry of intelligence officials. Since then, he has been spending in various detention facilities and prisons.  He was once hospitalized in Razi Educational and Therapeutic Psychiatric Center.

In February 2020, he was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment on the charges of “spreading corruption on earth” and “enmity against God” (Moharebeh). However, in April 2021, on the excuse that not all charges have been considered, his sentence was prolonged to 25 years.

It is said that he is suffering from MDD, bipolar disorder and psychotic symptoms based on the diagnosis of Razi Educational and Therapeutic Psychiatric Center.

Mojgan Keshavarz Granted Leave on Bail from Qarchak Prison in Varamin

On Wednesday, October 6, civil activist Mojgan Keshavarz was granted a five-day leave on bail from prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Keshavarz is serving out her five-and-a-half-year prison sentence in Qarchak Prison in Varamin.

On April 25, 2019, intelligence forces raided Keshavarz’s home and arrested her. She was under interrogation in the detention facility of the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards, known as the 2A section of Evin Prison, until May 1, and then transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. She was relocated to Evin prison on August 12, 2020, and sent back again to Qarchak Prison on December 5, 2020.

Branch 28 of the revolutionary court in Tehran sentenced the civil activist to a total of 22 years in prison. She received 5 years on a charge of “assembly and collusion in the purpose of acting against national security”, 10 years on a charge of “provoking and provision of impurity and indecency”, and 7 years and six months on a charge of ” blasphemy”.  Later the sentence was reduced to 12 years and 7 months on appeal.

According to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the severest enforceable punishment for the charge of ” provoking and provision of impurity and indecency ” is five and half years imprisonment.

Mojgan Keshavarz is 38 years old and a mother of a ten-year-old daughter.

Soheila Hijab Beaten in Garchak Prison While on Hunger Strike

Several inmates convicted of violent crimes recently beat political prisoner Soheila Hijab while she was on a hunger strike in Gharchak Prison in Varamin.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hijab had been on a hunger strike since September 19 in protest of the increasing pressure on political prisoners and the intrusion of interrogators and other Judicial officers into court processing. Following promises from authorities, she ended her hunger strike on October 3.

“One of the shift officers on purpose opened the door of section 3 where inmates convicted for robbery are held,” an informed source told HRANA. “Several inmates of this section encroached into the section where she was located and took her to their section. They tore her winding-sheet which she was wearing as a sign of protest and forced her to eat in order to broke her strike. Once she resisted, they beat and took her back to her own section by dragged her on the floor.”

Mrs Hijab was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2019, and then released from Evin Prison in Tehran on a bail of 3 billion tomans on March 14, 2020.

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court convicted her to 18 years imprisonment on charges of “propaganda against the regime, illegal assembly, incitement of public opinions to riot and organizing unlawful political groups”.

This long imprisonment stands at odds with Article 134 of Iran’s penal code whereupon the severest enforceable punishment is 5 years.

On May 23, 2020, the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards arrested and transferred her to Gharchak Prison in Varamin city to serve out her sentence.

In December 2020, the revolutionary court held a new session for new indictments such as ” propaganda against the regime” and “incitement of public opinions”. Her phone calls while in detention were published online and presented in court as evidence for the above-mentioned charges. Mrs Hijab has been once arrested in Shiraz and released by granting pardon after five-month imprisonment.

 

 

Inmate Dies of COVID After Facing Medical Negligence in Qarchak Prison in Varamin

Today, Wednesday, September 22, Ms. Giti Haj Rahimi died of COVID in the quarantine section of Ward 9 of Qarchak Prison in Varamin after facing medical negligence from prison authorities.

According to HRANA, the news agency of the Human Rights Activists, Haj Rahimi had been convicted for financial crimes. HRANA has verified Ms. Haj Rahimi’s identity.

Ms. Haj Rahimi, who had been serving her sentence in Ward 6 of Qarchak Prison, was recently transferred to a solitary confinement cell for quarantine after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Ms. Haj Rahimi was also diabetic and had previously lost one of her fingers to this disease during her imprisonment.

Haj Rahimi’s death has not been announced by the Iranian media or official sources as of this writing.

Concern Increases about Political Prisoner Zahra Safaei’s Condition Following her Transfer to Unknown Location

On Saturday, September 4, political prisoner Zahra Safaei was transferred from prison to an unknown location following a heart attack.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Safaei was being held in Qarchak Prison in Varamin until  her transfer.

Neglect of Ms. Safaei’s condition, especially after her recent heart attack and poor physical condition, has raised concerns among her family. She had also been transferred to Sattari Hospital in Qarchak last week on the order of a prison doctor but was returned to prison without medical treatment.

Ms. Safaei was summoned in July 2020 and was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin the next day since she was not able to provide the required bail of ten billion tomans.

In January of this year, Branch 23 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Mohammad Mehdi Shahmirzadi, sentenced Ms. Safaei to 5 years in prison on a charge of “propaganda activities against the national security”, one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime”, and 2 years in prison on the charge of “insulting the leadership and founder of the Islamic Republic”.

She was also sentenced to a ban from leaving the country and from joining political parties and social groups.

Zahra Safaei has a history of arrest. She spent time in prison as a social-political activist in the 1980s. Her father was executed in the 1980s for supporting MEK.

Safaei’s location and fate are unknown as of this writing.

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Saba Kord Afshari Sent on 15 Day Leave from Qarchak Prison in Varamin

Yesterday, imprisoned civil activist Saba Kord Afshari was sent on a 15-day leave from Qarchak Prison in Varamin.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, yesterday, August 11, the activist was allowed medical leave after receiving a positive COVID test.

Saba Kord Afshari is a civil activist and prominent critic of the compulsory hijab in Iran. On September 5, 2019, Afshari  was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by judge Iman Afshari, to 15 years imprisonment for “promoting corruption and obscenity through appearing without a headscarf in public”,  and 1 year and 6 months of imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime” and 7 years and 6 months in prison for “assembly and collusion with an intent to commit a crime against national security” to a total of 24 years in prison along with other social deprivations, from which, after applying Article 134 and adjustment of the sentences, the most severe punishment of 7 years and 6 months in prison is enforceable to her.

On May 8 of this year, 22-year-old Kord Afshari began what would be a 10 day hunger strike to protest the increasing pressure on her family and family of fellow political prisoners, and to demand the release of her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi. Upon finishing her strike, the young activist said, in a statement, “I am fully aware that human lives are of no value to the Islamic Republic, so I am ending my hunger strike, but I am still seeking to fulfill my demands.”

Despite the widespread prevalence of COVID-19 within Iran’s prison system, inmates are frequently deprived of adequate and timely medical treatment.

HRANA Recap: This Week’s Protests in Iran

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Khuzestan Water Crisis once again dominated this week’s protests in Iran. Since their start on June 15, citizens in over 41 cities have held rallies in protest of the mismanagement from officials that has led to water shortages throughout the province and the drying of the Karun river. A number of labor protests took place as well, and in some areas the ongoing oil protests continued. Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company also continued their strike into a third week. Below is a recap of this week’s protests in Iran, along with footage from the demonstrations.

 

Saturday, July 24

A number of protests took place this Saturday, July 24. A group of farmers in Shoaibiyeh district of Shushtar protested in Ahvaz, several telecommunication workers of East Azerbaijan province, some telecommunication workers of Chaharmahal Bakhtiari province, and employees of Abadan Petrochemical Complex held protests. A group of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested for the eleventh day in a row. A group of Shiraz city bus drivers went on strike and refused to work after their demands were not addressed. Citizens living in Tabriz also rallied and marched in support of the Khuzestan protests.

 

People of Tabriz:

 

Shiraz city bus drivers:

Farmers of Shoaibiyeh:

Telecommunication workers of East Azarbaijan:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Workers of Abadan’s Petrochemical Complex:

 

 

Sunday, July 25

A group of retirees of the Steel Companies of Isfahan and Khuzestan Provinces, several rural area telecom workers in the Hamadan region, and a group of workers from the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co. for the thirteenth day in a row held protest rallies and called on their demands to be met.

 

Retirees of the Steel company in Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces:

 

 

Workers of rural area telecom in Hamadan:

 

 

Monday, July 26

A number of workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company for the fourteenth day in a row, several employees of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Karaj, a group of poultry farmers in Ilam, urban and rural water supply workers in Baghmalek and Izeh, a group of Isfahani citizens, a group of the retirees of IRIB in Tehran, and candidate students for the master’s degree entrance exam in Tehran all held protest rallies and called on their demands to be addressed. Also, in Tehran and Karaj people protested the current situation in the country by holding rallies and marches and chanting slogans.

 

Protesting people in Tehran:

 

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Poultry farmers in Ilam:

 

 

Workers of rural water supply in Baghmalek and Izeh:

 

 

Students in Tehran:

 

 

Tuesday, July 27

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested for the 15th consecutive day this Tuesday. Additionally, a group of workers of Rudbar municipality in Gilan province, a number of cattle breeders of Yazd and Isfahan cities, several workers of natural gas fuel gas stations in Urmia, and many people in Abdanan in Ilam province held protest rallies. Also, a group of retirees in Tehran and Karaj rallied in support of the protests of the people of Khuzestan.

 

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

 

 

Workers of Rudbar Municipality:

 

 

Cattle breeders of Yazd and Isfahan:

 

 

Workers of gas stations in Urmia:

 

Citizens of Abdanan:

Retirees in Tehran and Karaj:

Wednesday, July 28

For the 16th day in a row, workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company protested. A group of workers from the Varamin Railway, a group of workers from the Rudbar Municipality for the second day in a row, and a number of truck drivers in Ahvaz all went on strike and called on their demands to be addressed.

 

 

Truck drivers in Ahvaz:

Workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Co:

 

Workers from the Varamin Railway:

Workers of the Rudbar Municipality:

Thursday, July 29

On their 17th day of protesting, a group of workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company in the yard of the company and another group near the site’s alcohol factory called on their demands be addressed in protest rallies.

 

Friday, July 30

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company continued their strike for an 18th day in a row and gathered on the company’s site. The Haft Tappeh workers stated that their main demands are the payment of arrears, the return of fired colleagues, and access to Covid-19 vaccines. They also chanted slogans protesting the Islamic Parliament’s decision to block the Internet in Iran. Also, A number of mothers of those killed during the nationwide protest in November 2019 protests held a protest rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square.

 

Workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company:

Gathering in Tehran of mothers of those killed in the protests of November 2019:

 

Political Prisoner Shakila Monfared Beaten by Inmates in Qarchak Prison

On Monday, June 7, political prisoner Shakila Monfared was beaten by several prisoners in Qarchak Prison in Varamin after being held in a section that houses prisoners of violent crimes–a violation of the UN principle of separation of prisoners based on crime.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, per an informed source, several prisoners of disparate crimes severely insulted and beat Monfared with the sharp lid of a can of tuna after the instigation of a member of prison staff.

This is yet another case of the widespread practice of Iranian prison officials punitively orchestrating situations in which inmates sentenced for violent crimes assault political prisoners–particularly in women’s wards. This allows the prisons to effectively impose physical assault as punishment without officially claiming responsibility for the damage.

In January of this year, the joint court trial of Shakila Monfared, Arsham Rezaei, and Mohammad Abolhassani was held in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari. 27-year-old Monfared was sentenced to 6 years in prison and 4 months of probation work in the Agricultural Jihad on charges of “propaganda activities against the system and insulting the sanctities of Islam”.

Monfared was arrested by IRGC intelligence agents after the court hearing and was transferred to Bushehr prison. Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals later reduced the sentence to 4 years and two months in prison. She had previously been transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin from Bushehr Prison on May 12.

Three Days of Iran Protests Over Fuel Price Raise

Protests have erupted across Iran after the government unexpectedly announced it is rationing petrol and increasing its price. The protests took place across the country following the decision of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, at midnight of November 14, 2019, to cut petrol subsidies to raise funds for social assistance to the poor. Petrol price was increased to a minimum of 15,000 Rials per liter, 50% increase from the day before.

Nationwide protests in the last three days were in at least 48 cities such as: Ahvaz, Shooshtar, Dezful, Gachsaran, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Bandar Mahshahr, Rasht, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Gorgan, Khorramabad, Qom, Ilam, Karaj, Sanandaj, Dorud, Qazvin, Arak, Mahdi Shahr, Garmsar, Shahroud, Najafabad, Mariwan, Tehran, Tabriz, Ardabil, Urmia, Saveh, Pasargadae, Qods (Qal’eh Hasan Khan), Varamin, Sari, Yasuj, Qaemshahr, Shahrekord, Malek Shahr, Parand, Damavand, Pol Dokhtar, Neyshabur, Sarepol Zahab, Kahnooj, Yazd, Bandar Bushehr, Bahmai, Shahriar, etc. They are still ongoing in several cities.

Peaceful demonstrations turned violent in Sanandaj, Mahshahr, and Shiraz, with online videos purporting to show police officers firing teargas at protesters and mobs setting fires. Several people were injured or killed in the first three days of protests as a result of the police’s direct shots. On November 17, 2019, students of Tehran University and Tabriz University protested inside the university. Shops at Tehran Grand Bazaar went on strike on November 17, 2019.

The protests started on November 15, 2019, and are still ongoing. The arrest of more than 1000 people across the country was confirmed. More than 150 banks and supermarkets were set on fire and a police officer was killed. Two Hawzas -a seminary where Shi’a Muslim clerics are educated- were set on fire in Shiraz and Kazerun. According to unconfirmed reports, at least 36 people were killed in Sirjan, Shiraz, Behbahan, Marivan, Khoramshahr, Isfahan, and Shahriar.

According to Fars News, protests were held in 100 cities and at least 100 banks and 57 supermarkets were set on fire. Based on this report, the number of protesters were 87400 from which 82200 are men and 5200 women. At least 1000 people were arrested. Yazd prosecutor confirmed the arrest of 40 people in the city of Yazd. Bam Prosecutor also confirmed the arrest of 15 people in the city of Bam. The prosecutor of Robat Karim confirmed the arrest of 34 protesters for vandalism. According to Mohammad Reza Amoui, Kermanshah’s chief of Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on November 16, Major Iraj Javaheri was killed fighting with protesters in Kermanshah. A journalist resided in Mariwan, Adnan Hasanpour, reported that security forces shot people directly and at least seven people were killed in Javanrud, one person was killed in Sanandaj, and several people were injured. According to unconfirmed reports, 15 of the killed people are identified as following:

Meisam Adgipour, Khaled Maniat, Ali Ghazlavy, Milad Hamidavi, Ali Boghlani, Hamzeh Savari, Mohammad Asafi Zargani, Ehsan Abdollahnejad, Mehdi Nikouei, Osman Naderi, Mehran Tak, Shahou Validi, Javad Nazari Fathabadi, Mehrdad Dashtizadeh, Mohammad Hossein Ghanavati.

Iran has almost completely shut off access to the internet across the country. On November 16, 2019, by the approval of the National Security Supreme Council, the government has completely blocked Internet access in Iran to stymie protests. Due to the internet shut down and the lack of access to freelance reporters and citizen journalists, confirming news about demonstrations and deaths is difficult. It also caused difficulty for Iranian citizens to have access to news agencies websites. On Monday, November 18, schools are closed in 17 cities across Iran:

Shiraz, Kazerun, Alborz, Fereydun, Fereydun Shahr, Farsan, Kuhrang, Laran, Taleqan, Astara, and Najafabad. In addition, universities are closed in Shiraz.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed petrol price increases claiming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies were guilty of sabotage and not ordinary people. According to Khabar Online, Mojtaba Zonnour, a parliament member representing Qom, is collecting parliament members signatures to impeach Ali Larijani, the head of parliament. He gathered 50 signatures so far. Mohammad Qasim Osmani, a parliament member representing Bukan, filed his resignation and added that he resigned to announce that he was not involved in this decision [raising petrol price]. Today, with respect to Ayatollah Khamenei’s views, the Ministry of Intelligence announced that the protesters will face harsh punishments. Reportedly, people received threatening text messages in Khuzestan and Karaj from the prosecutor’s offices of their province. People were warned about attending protests and not to disturb public order and facilitate the abuse of opposition groups.

Video reports of the first day protests:

Video reports of the second-day protests

Video reports of the third day of protests:

Report: New Wave of Mass Protests in Iran

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) –  A new wave of widespread protests that began on Tuesday, continued across Iran through the week for six days. Protesters included merchants, shopkeepers and other citizens who gathered in objection to the worsening economic conditions in Iran. Their main concerns were centered around the issues of unemployment and the rising of prices and exchange rates. Rising prices, inflation, and unemployment have led to protests since December 2017.


First Day of Protests
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Protests in Isfahan on Shapur Jadid Street began with a strike by merchants and shopkeepers, which led to other citizens joining in on the protest. The gathering quickly turned violent when security forces attempted to disperse the crowd with tear gas and gunshots.

In Karaj, people gathered in Gohardasht Square to hold a protest rally. According to reports, many women participated. Some protesters were reportedly arrested by security and plainclothes forces and are currently held at a Basij-operated center in the Gohardasht neighborhood.

Second Day of Protests
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Protests in Rasht and Shiraz were accompanied by the heavy presence of security forces. Some of the videos from Shiraz indicate that a 7-year-old was shot with tear gas by police forces.

Protesters in these burned tires on the streets to counter the effects of tear gas and chanted slogans including “Our enemy is right here, they are lying claiming it’s the U.S.”, “Guns and tanks are no longer effective, mullahs should get lost,” “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon — I give my life only for Iran,” “The nation begs while *He acts like he’s God” and “Down with high prices”.

Mass protests also occurred in Isfahan and Karaj.

Third Day of Protests
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Protests were reported in twelve Iranian cities: Isfahan, Shahinshahr, Najafabad, Karaj, Mashhad, Shiraz, Sari, Tehran, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Qahderijan and Arak.

Peaceful protests turned violent in Isfahan and Shiraz when security, plainclothes and Basij forces shot at the protesters with guns and tear gas. In the videos from Thursday, protesters are seen throwing rocks at the Iranian authorities in response to the gunshots. Protesters are also seen starting fires in order to counter the effects of the tear gas.

Many protesters were reportedly arrested in Mashhad and Shiraz.

Fourth Day of Protests 
Friday, August 3, 2018

Protests occurred in five different cities: Karaj, Qahderijan, Tehran, Qazvin and Kermanshah.

Fifth Day of Protests 
Saturday, August 4, 2018

Since the early hours of Saturday, a strong presence of security forces had created an ambience of intimidation in many of the Iranian cities. Reports indicate that large protests were held in the central city of Qom, Karaj and Tehran.

People were heard chanting “Iranians, it is time to demand your rights from this regime”, “Down with the dictator”, “Don’t let fear conquer, we are all together”, “The nation begs while He acts like he’s God”.

Some reports claim that 50 of the female protesters were arrested in recent days and transferred to the quarantine ward in *Varamin’s Garchak Prison.

Many of the state-run media or news agencies with ties to the government have either denied the existence of protests or play them down as rallies incited by opposition or simply gatherings with strictly syndical demands.

The police forces in the cities of Mahdasht and Gohardasht (both located in the Alborz province) imposed restrictions on traffic and banned driving after 6PM in these areas.

Reports from sources close to security institutions, one person was shot dead in Karaj and at least 20 others were wounded.

Ali Hendiani, the director of the seminary in Eshtehard county, said: “Protesters threw stones at the seminary building and broke the prayer room’s windows…These people were dispersed by the anti-riot security forces, and the police have identified them and are on the search for them. Some have been arrested, and the mission to find the other protesters continues.”

Sixth Day of Protests 
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Despite the persistence of security measures and the heavy presence of security forces aimed at intimidating citizens, protests were held in the city of Kazerun (located in the Fars province).

There are reports that protesters attempted to rally in Shiraz (capital of the Fars province), Tehran, Karaj and Qom, but strong police presence prevented these rallies from taking shape.

 

Mobile Services Cut Off

Subscribers of Irancell, an Iranian telecommunication service provider, reported that mobile services in parts of central Tehran and the city of Zanjan were interrupted. Some of the clients of Operator Network, another cell phone service provider, reported that they received a message regarding a temporary and nation-wide interruption to their service. It is not yet clear whether this stoppage is part of the Iranian security apparatus’ attempt to control the protests. In previous protests, there was precedence in taking such measures to curb protests.

Protester Death

Reza Shakarami, General Prosecutor for the Alborz province, denied reports attributed to him about the death of a young man from Karaj during a night protest. “The shooting [leading to the protester’s death] and the circumstances surrounding it are under investigation. Any quote cited from me regarding the murder of the victim by the rioters or any other individual is denied,” he said. The victim referred to by Mr. Shakarami was identified on social media as Reza Otadi.

Salman Samani, the Interior Ministry spokesperson, has reacted to online invitations to assemble. “In the last month, dozens of invitations and calls to protest rising prices, inflation and living conditions have been widely distributed. The source of the majority of such calls is outside Iran, but the invitations have been reposted and shared by people inside Iran,” he said.

Reactions from Iranian Authorities

Ali Motahari, Member of Parliament for Tehran, told a state-run newspaper that the authorities are trying hard to resolve the issues [the protesters have voiced their concerns about], and if the people wait and be patient a few more months, the conditions will improve. He also blamed certain movements who made attempts for the Iran Nuclear Deal to fail and whose actions paved the way for a Trump presidency, the pretext to withdraw from the **Deal.

Meanwhile, Kheirollah Tarkhani, a security official in the Alborz province, stated: “We have been trying to appease the protesters and listen to them. However, we have realized that their protests are not about economic demands and are aimed at the political structure. The small, scattered protests are not the sum of the people’s economic grievances and demands.”

——
* Reference to Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei
** Gharchark is a women’s prison south east of Tehran; reports point to prisoners facing deplorable conditions in this prison (https://www.en-hrana.org/comprehensive-report-womens-ward-evin-prison)
*** Ali Motahari is implicitly referring to the Revolutionary Guards commanders and some hardliners whose interference in neighboring countries coupled with their push for an aggressive missile program created the conditions for Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka Iran Nuclear Deal)