According to an expert report by the United Nations, Iran’ is illegally supplying Houthis in Yemen with fuel and oil.
Based on the report, Houthis in Yemen sell the Iranian oil to pay for the war. This illegal supply of oil to Houthis by Iran could be in violation of international laws by both sides. Iran has not responded to the report yet.
In 2014, Houthis who were backed by Iran overthrew the government of Yemen and started shooting Iranian rockets into Saudi Arabia which started a war in that region that continues to this day.
The report states that by selling Iranian oil, Houthis are generating $30 million dollars in revenues each month.
Turkey Rejects Statement By France, Russia And US To Stop Fighting In The Caucasus
Turkish President Recep Tayyeb Erdoghan has said France, the United States and Russia should not have any role in settling the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, after the three powers called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
France, Russia and the United States are co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Minsk Group, set up in 1992 to mediate in the decades-old conflict over the mountainous enclave.
Ankara which has close ties with Baku has openly come to the support of Azerbaijan and has pledged military assistance if necessary.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian foreign ministry said it has information that Syrian mercenaries are coming via Turkey to fight for Azerbaijan.
Two Syrian rebel sources have told Reuters that Turkey is sending Syrian rebel fighters to support Azerbaijan. Turkey and Azerbaijan have denied that.
French President Emmanuel Macron has also voiced concern at the news of jihadi Syrian fighters getting involved in the fighting.
Iran has also offered mediation as it feels domestic repercussion among its Azeri population if the fighting goes on and turns into a bigger war. It has still not reacted to news of Syrian mercenaries arriving in Azerbaijan, a neighbor of Iran.
Lawyer Finds Increasing Confinement Of Political Prisoners In Mental Hospitals
A rights lawyer on Thursday has claimed that security forces have confined one of his clients in a mental asylum as part of a growing approach to dealing with political prisoners. Saeed Dehghan did not name his client in his tweet as his client’s family did not want publicity. “Apparently security forces have planned confining political and civil activists to mental institutions as a new project,” he wrote.
Confinement to mental hospitals, or the threat of confinement, has been reported by several other political prisoners and activists in recent years including Hengameh Shahidi, a journalist serving a 12-year sentence, student activist Soha Mortezai, and dissident retired teacher Hashem Khastar.
In June Kianoush Sanjari, a former blogger and student activist, who is on medical leave from prison, in a series of tweets described his own experience of being taken to Aminabad Psychiatric Hospital from prison earlier this year. Sanjari said he had been chained to his bed and had been injected with a drug that paralyzed him for 24 hours.
More recently, in an open letter published in a twitter thread on Tuesday, Saleheh Hosseini, the wife of imprisoned Dervish Behnam Mahjoubi, said the authorities had denied her husband the medication needed for panic disorder and had transferred him to a mental hospital from Evin Prison despite a seizure and paralysis of half of his body.
Jailed Iran Rights Lawyer Sotoudeh Receives Top Swedish Honor
Imprisoned Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, 57, was announced on Thursday [October 1] as one of four winners of a top Swedish honor often called the ‘alternative Nobel Prize.’ Sweden’s Right Livelihood Foundation said it had selected Sotoudeh as a 2020 Right Livelihood Laureate in recognition of her “fearless activism, at great personal risk, to promote political freedoms and human rights in Iran.”
The award, established in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jacob von Ueskull, “honors and supports those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing the world today.”
This year’s other laureates are the United States civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson, Nicaragua’s indigenous rights and environmental activist Lottie Cunningham Wren, and Belarusian pro-democracy activist Ales Bialiatski along with his non-governmental organization Viasna. The four laureates selected by an international jury will each receive prize money of 1 million Swedish Krona (around $112,000) and will be honored during a presentation on December 3, taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sotoudeh, who has represented a variety of clients including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Sherin Ebadi, is serving a 38-year sentence for security-related offenses related to her defense of prisoners of conscience including women protesting compulsory hijab.
On September 26 Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan said she had ended a 46-day-long hunger strike due to a deterioration in her health that had led to five days in hospital. In comments carried on the Right Livelihood website, Khandan said: “Actions by the Iranian government towards Nasrin and our family are in some cases beyond imagination. They have blocked Nasrin’s bank accounts, detained our daughter Mehraveh, detained me, sentenced Nasrin to a staggering 38.5 years in jail and lashes…It would be impossible to tolerate these pressures without local and international support.”
Sotoudeh, the first Iranian to become a Right Livelihood Laureate, has won several international awards including the German Judges Association (DBR) Award in 2020, the European Union’s Human Rights Award (CCBE) in 2019, the Sakharov Prize in 2012, and the Freedom to Write Award in 2011.
Iran's Currency Falls Below A Crucial Threshold Against US Dollar
Media in Iran reports that the Iranian currency rial has fallen to the record low of 300,000 to the US dollar today [October 1], depreciating 100 percent in the past six months.
The important milestone of 300,000 rials to the dollar means the battered currency has fallen ten-fold in the past three years, when President Donald Trump first signaled his intention to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in 2017 and then in May 2018 officially announced the US withdrawal, imposing crippling sanctions.
The most damaging has been full sanctions on Iran’s oil exports which have deprived the government of its major foreign currency revenue source. With a 50 percent budget deficit, the Central Bank of Iran has no choice but print money, which further devalues the currency and leads to hyperinflation.
In 1978 before the revolution that toppled the monarchy the dollar stood at 70 rials. This means that 10,000 rials could buy $142. Now the same amount is worth just 3.5 cents.
When in July the dollar reached 250,000 to the dollar, the Central Bank of Iran intervened by injecting $900 million to support the currency. Rial rose to 210,000 but the banks interventions ultimately failed to support the currency and it gradually fell to 300,000.
The euro today is trading at 337,500 to the rial and gold prices increased accordingly.
Venezuela's Maduro Announces New Fuel Plan As Second Iranian Tanker Arrives
Reuters Oct 1- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday (September 30) pledged to improve gasoline output and distribution in the fuel-starved nation, as the second of three Iranian tankers carrying fuel entered the South American country's waters.
The once-prosperous OPEC nation is struggling under a collapsing oil industry and U.S. sanctions that have crippled imports and exports, resulting in snaking lines of drivers waiting for gasoline at state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela's stations.
"The gasoline we have purchased from abroad for October is arriving, and we are making purchases for later months," Maduro said in a state television broadcast. "Venezuela needs to produce all it consumes."
As part of the new plan, which Maduro said would be detailed in the coming days, Venezuelans would be limited to filling their tanks on certain days depending on their license plate numbers.
The change comes after a wave of protests in recent days over a lack of basic services, including gasoline. The government this year also drastically rolled back long-standing fuel subsidies.
The Iran-flagged vessel Fortune reached Venezuela's exclusive economic zone at 1:45 a.m. local time (0545 GMT), after its fellow vessel Forest docked at El Palito port on Monday (September 28), according to Refinitiv Eikon tanker tracking data and sources.
The Forest was expected to discharge 272,000 barrels of fuel, according to a source at El Palito who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The refinery's fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCC) recently restarted gasoline output and is producing at least 30,000 barrels per day (bpd), two people familiar with the matter said.
The only other refinery producing gasoline in Venezuela is the Cardon refinery, with output of around 25,000 bpd.
The third vessel in the flotilla, the Faxon, is due to arrive later this week, according to the data.
Iran Economist Warns About A Dangerous Rise In Money Supply
An Iranian economist has said that a 38 percent increase in deposits at Iranian banks is not a good sign for the country’s “sick economy” and structural reforms are needed to achieve growth.
Kamran Nadri an expert in banking told Fararu website in Tehran that the steep rise in bank deposits between July 2019 and July 2020, reported by the Central Bank of Iran, is sign of rising money supply and ultimately more inflation. He said the fact that banks hold 95 percent of money in circulation cannot be good news for Iran's economy.
Media in Iran has been reporting a large increase in the liquidity during the past three years as the government prints more money to pay its bills amid dwindling revenues. Draconian US sanctions have drastically reduced oil export income and put the economy in a deep recession, also reducing tax revenues.
Iran is already experiencing exceedingly high inflation, ranging from around 35 percent to 60 percent, depending on wildly diverging estimates, between what the government claims and what some economists are saying.
Nadri says that the quick rise in money supply is the ultimate challenge for Iran’s economy, putting the country among the three worst performers in the world. However, the average increase in the money supply in the past decade has been around 25 percent, considered too high in comparison with health economies. Before the recent US sanctions, Iran grappled with international sanctions between 2011 and 2016.
But Nadri argues that an end to sanctions does not mean the economy will thrive, because structural issues impede growth and fundamental reforms are needed.
Iran’s economy is a hybrid of state-managed enterprises and private medium-size to small businesses. But the government tries to control prices and its decisions lack transparency with systemic factors favoring political insiders.
Twitter Deleted 130 Accounts Tied To Iran's Regime.
Twitter announced that after receiving information from the FBI, it has deleted 130 accounts tied to the regime of Iran for attempted intervention in the American election.
According to Twitter, these accounts were trying to disrupt the public discourse after the first US presidential election.
Twitter says these accounts did not get any significant traction and had no impact on the public discourse.
The social media giant also announced that it has shared the information about these accounts with other companies and after ending its investigation in the matter, it will release the findings publicly.
American security agencies had previously warned that China, Russia, and Iran intend to intervene in the American election.
According to US intelligence agencies, Russia has attempted to intervene in support of President Trump and China and Iran are intervening in support of former Vice President Joe Biden.
Six Rockets Fired At A US Base In Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi media reported that Six rockets were fired at a US base near Erbil International Airport in Erbil city in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The government of the Kurdistan region announced that four of the rockets landed near Gazna village in northeast of Erbil in the vicinity of the International Airport and two did not explode.
According to the government’s statement, the rockets were fired by the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militia from an area controlled by the group.
“This area is controlled by Hashd al-Shaabi's 30th Brigade. Our special teams are seriously investigating in order to obtain more information,” the government statement says.
An order has been issued to detain the head of the security unit responsible for Hamdaniya district in Nineveh province, where the rockets were launched from.
The Interior Ministry of the Kurdistan region condemned the attack and demanded that the federal government of Iraq respond to these attacks.
Germany Concerned About Expiring Iran Arms Embargo, Supports JCPOA
In his virtual address to the UN General Assembly, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas once again indirectly defended the Security Council’s decision to oppose the US proposal to extend the arms embargo on Iran.
“We can put nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation back on the international agenda – as we have done in recent months, not least with a view to the upcoming Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” said Maas.
He continued: “Europe’s efforts to promote the nuclear agreement with Iran must also be seen in this context.”
In response to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the UN General Assembly where he criticized the UN Security Council and the European countries for what he said is their appeasement of the Islamic Republic, and their opposition to the extension of the arms embargo while ignoring Iran’s destructive activities in the region, Maas said: “We share the concerns about the arms embargo as long as Iran threatens Israel and destabilizes the entire region from Lebanon to Syria to Yemen.”
“However, the destruction of the JCPOA doesn’t get us any closer to an arms embargo. On the contrary, at best, the JCPOA’s demise brings Iran closer to getting the atomic bomb,” he added. “And this is why we, as JCPOA participants, continue to stand by its full applicability and call on Iran to likewise fully comply with the agreement.”
Last month, the European members of the UN Security Council along with China and Russia voted against the extension of UN arms embargo on Iran which was proposed by the Trump administration.
Zarif: Good negotiations with Macron
After meeting with President Macron in Paris, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran said that it was a good negotiation.
He stated that any time the Europeans decide to comply with their commitments, Iran is willing to reverse its decision and comply with its commitments to the deal again.
On his Twitter page, Zarif said the “multilateralism must be preserved.”
After France Zarif will travel to Beijing, Tokyo, and Malaysia.
The foreign minister of the Islamic Republic once again emphasized that “the nuclear agreement cannot be renegotiated,” and claimed that Iran is the “most trustworthy force to provide security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.”
Deputy defense minister: We have highly accurate secret missiles
Ghasem Taghizadeh, the deputy defense minister of the Islamic Republic claimed that Iran has highly accurate missiles that it has not publicized yet.
Taghizadeh said on Saturday that Iran makes its missiles based on the distance of the threats, saying: “We know now that threats against us are up to 1800 km. But we increased the accuracy.”
“We hide many of our achievements to surprise the enemy when the time comes,” claimed the deputy defense minister.
The defense ministry’s budget has decreased by 50 percent in 2019.
Hook: Sanctions have no impact on Iran's policy of tanking hostages
In response to a question about the Islamic Republic’s foreign hostages, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratclcliffe, and whether the maximum pressure policy would hurt them, Hook said: “Before the Iran nuclear deal, the regime released five American prisoners, but after the deal, they picked up five more American citizens. So we need to do is to stand up to the regime, and pressure them economically weaken them internally, weaken their proxies in order to reach the security goal of a more peaceful and stable middle east.
Esper confirms the death of Bin Laden's son
Shahla Entesari was arrested by the security forces
Earlier today, Civil Rights activist Shahla Entesari, another signatory of the letter of 14 women calling for Khamenei’s resignation and the transition from the Islamic Republic regime, was arrested at her home by the security forces.
So far, six women out of the 14 who signed the letter have been arrested.