Posts Tagged ‘Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli’

Iran’s Persistent Protests

July 4, 2018

More demonstrations as the regime scrambles to beat new sanctions.

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Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei PHOTO: SUPREME LEADER OFFICE HANDOUT/EP/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK

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Iranians are protesting in the streets again, only a few months after the regime crushed nationwide demonstrations over the country’s sagging economy and widespread corruption. The periodic eruptions are a sign of discontent that may spread as the pressure from renewed U.S. sanctions increases.

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Protests in Iran. AP file photo

The latest upheavals centered in the southwestern city of Khorramshahr over the weekend, after brown fluid started running out of taps. Hundreds of residents gathered in a public space reserved for Friday prayers and blamed local officials for the lack of potable water, chanting such anti-government slogans as “in the name of religion, they plundered us.” Protests also broke out in nearby Abadan.

The weekend demonstrations are part of a larger pattern of discontent with the ruling theocracy in Tehran. In December and January, demonstrations erupted in more than 100 cities and towns over inflation, joblessness and graft. Women staged hijab protests, ripping off their veils. In March farmers from Isfahan province in central Iran protested long droughts. In May truckers went on a nationwide strike to protest stagnant wages and rising costs.

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An Iranian made ballistic missile is launched from Yemen by Houti rebels into Saudi Arabia — Reuters file photo

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani promised that the 2015 nuclear deal, which funneled tens of billions in hard currency to Iran, would usher in better economic times. Instead, the regime used the money to finance its Quds Force operations and Shiite militias in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

President Trump’s May decision to exit the nuclear deal and reimpose financial sanctions is already increasing pressure on the regime. Protestors swarmed Tehran’s Grand Bazaar last month after the local currency, the rial, slumped to 90,000 to the dollar in the black market. The rial has fallen roughly by half since the end of 2017, as traders and banks anticipate a harder time getting dollars. Economist Steve Hanke estimates annual inflation has spiked to 126%.

In August the U.S. Treasury plans to reimpose sanctions on gold and other precious metals, U.S. dollar dealing, trade in Iranian sovereign debt, and autos. In November U.S. sanctions will kick in on ports, shipbuilding, petroleum, energy, insurance, and more. A State Department official suggested last month that the U.S. wants to halt all Iranian oil exports, but on Monday policy planning director Brian Hook said it will consider waivers for countries on a case-by-case basis.

Mr. Rouhani responded Tuesday by threatening to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries in the Middle East, but that would court U.S. intervention to keep oil flowing through the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. doesn’t want an oil-price spike with a barrel already selling for nearly $75. But the risks are far greater for Iran if it doesn’t change its marauding behavior because its political control at home is far from certain.

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Iran: Unclean Drinking Water in Oil Rich Khuzestan Sparks Protests; Government Calls For Calm

July 1, 2018

Iran called for calm on Sunday after protests in a southern city over water shortages turned violent overnight with reports of police shooting at demonstrators who attacked banks and public buildings.

Image result for Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Iran, photos

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli

“No one has been killed in the unrest and just one person has been wounded in a shooting,” said Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.

“Our effort is to bring these protests to an end as soon as possible with restraint from police and the cooperation of authorities, but if the opposite happens, the judiciary and law enforcement forces will carry out their duties,” Rahmani Fazli was quoted as saying.

Shots could be heard on videos circulated on social media from the protests in Khorramshahr, which has been the scene of demonstrations for the past three days, along with the nearby city of Abadan. The videos could not be authenticated by Reuters.

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Thousands of people rally in support of Iranian anti-government protests in Los Angeles, California U.S. January 7, 2018. REUTERS/Monica Almeida

State television showed banks with broken windows and footage appearing to shows an identified demonstrator armed with a rifle.

Police fired tear gas as protesters set fire to a bridge, and to a garden surrounding a museum which is a memorial to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, state media said.

A number of protests have broken out in Iran since the beginning of the year over water, a growing political concern due to a drought which residents of parched areas and analysts say has been exacerbated by mismanagement.

Oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province, where Khorramshahr is located, is the home of many members of Iran’s ethnic Arab minority, who have long complained of alleged discrimination and tight control by security forces.

Speaking before the clashes, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that the United States was acting together with Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states that regard Shi’ite Muslim Iran as their main regional foe in trying to destabilize the government in Tehran.

“If America was able to act against Iran, it would not need to form coalitions with notorious and reactionary states in the region and ask their help in fomenting unrest and instability,” Khamenei told graduating Revolutionary Guards officers, in remarks carried by state TV.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom, Editing by William Maclean

Reuters

Moderates, Reformists Win Key Iran Election Races

February 29, 2016

Results indicate repudiation to hard-line opponents of landmark nuclear deal

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Hassan Rouhani

Rouhani may get the support he needs to pass social and political reforms

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Updated Feb. 29, 2016 9:32 a.m. ET

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TEHRAN—Moderates and reformists close to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have won key seats in Iran’s parliament and Assembly of Experts, dealing a setback to hard-lines opposed the Iranian leaders’ policy of more openness to the West.

In the first parliamentary election since Mr. Rouhani’s government reached a nuclear deal in July with the U.S. and other world powers, moderates and reformists took all 30 of Tehran’s seats in the 290-seat parliament, or Majlis, state television reported Monday.

In contests for the powerful Assembly of Experts, which will pick a successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the same moderate-reformist bloc also won all but one of the capital’s 16 seats to the 88-member body.

Moderate candidates have won 15 of the 16 seats in an election for Iran’s Assembly of Experts, the 88-member clerical body that will elect a successor to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Photo: Getty Images.

The outcome from races outside Tehran and other Iranian cities was still being assessed, but there were preliminary indications that the bloc performed well there, too. If so, the Mr. Rouhani would have a parliamentary majority—a huge blow to opponents of the nuclear accord.

The ballot was seen as a referendum on President Rouhani, who staked his government’s success on achieving the nuclear accord and ending Iran’s isolation abroad. Under the agreement, Tehran agreed to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international economic sanctions.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told state television that about 34 million of Iran’s 55 million eligible voters—or 62%—cast ballots on Friday, down slightly from 63.9% in parliamentary elections in 2012.

Iran has reached a historic agreement with major world powers over its nuclear program. What is Iran giving up, and how does it benefit in the long run? And what are supporters and critics of the deal saying? WSJ’s Niki Blasina explains.

An Iranian man holds a copy of the daily Shargh newspaper with a headline reading “Decisive victory for the reformist” in Tehran, 28 Feb.
An Iranian man holds a copy of the daily Shargh newspaper with a headline reading “Decisive victory for the reformist” in Tehran, 28 Feb. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Write to Asa Fitch at asa.fitch@wsj.com

Read the rest:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/moderates-win-majority-in-tehran-in-iranian-elections-1456736113

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