Germany, others in EU plan Iran sanctions over protests clampdown

Protesters gather in support of Iranian women and against the death of Mahsa Amini at Callao square in Madrid, Spain, October 1, 2022. REUTERS/Isabel Infantes/File Photo

BERLIN, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic have submitted 16 proposals for new European Union sanctions against Iran for its violent crackdown on protests over women’s rights, a German foreign ministry source said on Monday.

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Iran protests: riot police use teargas on students at Sharif university

Protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini have continued to intensify in Iran despite crackdowns by the authorities Photograph: Contributor/072019/Getty Images

Unverified social media videos show security forces firing teargas amid reports some students are trapped in campus car park

Mon 3 Oct 2022- Guardian-

Iranian security forces have clashed with students at a prominent university in Tehran, social and state media reported, in the latest sign of a deadly clampdown on nationwide protests that were ignited by the death in custody of a young woman.

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Siamak Namazi allowed to leave Iran prison for a week

Iranian-American citizen, who was convicted of spying, released from detention amid reported talks between Iran and the US on prisoner releases.

2 Oct 2022- Aljazeera- An Iranian-American imprisoned in Iran for nearly seven years on espionage-related charges has been allowed out of Tehran’s Evin prison on a one-week furlough, his lawyer said.

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A Whole Generation Revolts Against the Iranian Regime

From Baghdad to Beirut, Tehran’s opponents are exploring the possibility that a wave of protests might help weaken Iran’s grip on their own countries.

October 2, 2022,- The Atlantic- By Kim Ghattas- “From Beirut to Tehran, one revolution that does not die,” people chanted on the streets of Beirut during a wave of protests against Lebanon’s corrupt politicians in October 2019. It was catchy, it rhymed in Arabic, and it was an expression of a surprising new sense of solidarity among members of a young generation connected across borders.

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Iran riot police clash with students protesting young woman’s death

A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic’s “morality police”, in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

DUBAI, Oct 2 (Reuters) – By Parisa Hafezi –  Iranian security forces clashed with students at a prominent university in Tehran on Sunday, social and state media reported, in the latest sign of a deadly clampdown on nationwide protests that were ignited by the death in custody of a young woman.

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Joint Statement: U.S. Treasury’s New General License D2 Advances Internet Freedom in Iran

Now Companies Must Make Tech Products Available and U.S. Government Must Encourage Them

September 26, 2022—Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) and the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) welcomed an announcement by the U.S. Department of Treasury of the issuance of Iran General License (GL) D-2, which updates and expands existing exemptions under U.S. sanctions to increase support for Internet freedom in Iran. The new license follows years of advocacy by both organizations.

“We welcome with open arms the announcement of General License D-2 by the U.S. Department of Treasury. This new license is an invaluable step in supporting civil society in Iran and ensuring that the Iranian people have access to critical telecommunications tools,” said Leila Austin, Executive Director of PAAIA.

“These tech products help the people of Iran, who are out on the streets right now risking their lives to protest the Islamic Republic’s violent repression, to share with the world the atrocities being committed by the state against them—information that the Iranian authorities are trying to hide,” said Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI Executive Director.

The previous (GL) D-1 license was hobbled by its lack of clarity and, as it was issued in 2014, was badly outdated. Its exclusion of cloud and hosting infrastructure was especially harmful to civil society in Iran, which faces repressive state censorship and covert surveillance of the internet, because many censorship circumvention and anti-surveillance tools are now delivered via cloud services.

Last year PAAIA and CHRI spearheaded a bipartisan congressional letter that urged the Biden administration to support the free flow of information and internet freedom for civil society in Iran by updating General License D-1. The letter and subsequent bipartisan legislation was well received by the administration in making the necessary changes a higher priority.

U.S. companies must move forward with sales to Iran

It is now the turn of U.S. technology companies, such as Google, Apple, Amazon, and Digital Ocean to provide their tools and services to Iranians and thus truly support internet freedom. In the past, companies refused to make available even products that were clearly legal under D1; it is imperative that they now commit themselves to making available tools and services that are legal and critically needed by Iranian civil society in order to safely access and share information online.

The U.S. Government Still Has a Critical Role to Play

For its part, the U.S. government must now persuade companies to make available these goods and services to Iranians. In addition, when companies wish to pursue additional licensing for technology-related sales beyond D2, Treasury should prioritize these applications so that they move as quickly as possible. The U.S. should also lead the international community in addressing the continued shutdown of the internet by the Iranian government to suppress news of mass protests, the latest following the death in state custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

Voices from Iran

As nationwide protests continue to sweep Iran, there are very few direct voices from inside Iran reaching the international stage. An understanding of the fabric of the society and its rapidly evolving outlook and demands is essential for understanding the protests and what the international community should do.

Our team at the Center for Human Rights in Iran is in daily contact with Iranians throughout the country. In regular updates posted below, we will be publishing what we are hearing from Iranians from all walks of life.

September 26, 2022

“This generation is different!”

Over the past few years, Iranians have regularly told us that the generation born in the 2000s is different in its outlook, methods of protest, and demands. This characterization is confirmed in our many conversations with Iranians.

A 68-year-old retired high school teacher residing in the northeastern city of Mashad, told us: “These protests are very different than anything I have witnessed before. I didn’t see such scenes even during the 1979 revolution. What I see from this generation born after the 2000s is unbelievable. Over the past 40 years I have taught several generations of students all over my city, but this is a different generation.”

A 36-year-old female principal of a girls’ high school in Mashad told us: “Our students have a distinct approach that in my opinion is very transparent and direct. This is a big difference with my generation who were born in the 1980s. I even see this in their interactions with their parents. As a result, they become very united during protests and very clearly and directly express their demands and anger.”

“They are threatening the kids even before they show up in school”

The traditional start of the new school year in Iran was Saturday, September 24. The government is fearful of students coming together and swelling the ranks of protesters. In several cities, such as Mashad, the start of the secondary schools has been postponed for a week. Higher education institutions have been ordered to hold virtual online classes and not to have the students in person.

A principal of a girls’ high school in Mashad told us: “The girls in our high school not only have already been participating in protests, they are full of ideas for continuing the protests once they return to school. For example, they are planning on filling walls with demands, not wearing their hijab, and using the morning line-up in the yard for chanting. Our students have been in touch with me and several teachers through a WhatsApp group for the school students. I know that so far, the Intelligence Ministry has contacted the families of three students warning them not to allow their kids to participate in the protests. This is even before the school year begins. I mean they are threatening the kids even before they show up in school.

A retired high school teacher in Mashad says, “My 19-year-old grandchild is just about to start the first year of college. He leaves every night to join the street protest and I cannot bring myself to tell him not to go. If I do so, I have contradicted everything he has heard from me and his parents regarding the injustices and oppression of this regime.”

“This is not the time for signing the nuclear deal”

In many conversations, Iranian express the fear that the Iranian government will now drop its demands that are holding up a return to the nuclear deal, in exchange for world powers to allow it a free hand in violently crushing the protests.

A 47-year-old editor and translator in Tehran says: “What is really worrying us is the situation surrounding the nuclear deal. If the Islamic Republic walks back on its positions so the deal can be signed, then it will follow with a bloody crackdown.”

A leading civil society leader who is in hiding in Tehran (the government has arrested dozens of prominent Iranians in the past few days to prevent them from playing a public role during protests) told us: “This is not the time for signing the nuclear deal. We are extremely concerned that world powers will reach an understanding with the Iranian government where [Tehran] will walk back its demands so that they can have a nuclear deal, with the implicit and behind-the-scene agreement that the world will not take any meaningful actions in the face of a domestic bloodbath.”

“There is no turning back!”

The editor and translator in Tehran believes the country has reached a turning point. “I feel like we have passed a point on no return. There is no turning back! These protests may be put down, but there won’t be any reconciliation. Life for both sides of the aisle [the people vs. the State] is dramatically changed.”

“Confrontations with the security forces were everywhere”

A 44-year-old laborer from Ghoochan, a small city just north of Mashad, noted that Ghoochan residents are traditionally conservative and many security forces who participate in putting down protests in Mashad hail from Ghoochan and their families live there. Yet, he described energetic protests in Ghoochan in recent days: “Confrontations with the security forces were everywhere. People surrounded several security forces and beat them. Security forces in return started shooting at them and beating them with batons. Most people found out about protests in Mashad and elsewhere through Instagram.”

“Ghoochan is a very small town and everyone knows each other. For example, a family from across the street have two sons who are members of the “Special Guard” [a division of security forces specially trained for putting down street protests]. Since the protests erupted in Ghoochan, their house has been totally dark and quiet and there are absolutely no visitors coming or going. They are keeping a low profile. They are afraid that people will target their house and approach it during protests or even throw rocks at their house.”

Iran grapples with most serious challenge in years

Protests have spread across Tehran and other cities

Sep. 23. 2022- By Rana Rahimpour BBC Persian- The eruption of nationwide protests in Iran following the death in police custody of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman detained for allegedly failing to adhere to hijab (headscarf) rules is the most serious challenge Iran’s leadership has faced in years.

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Mass protests in Iran, sparked by woman’s death in police custody, are the regime’s biggest challenge in years

CNBC- Sep. 23.2022 – Natasha Turak-

  • The protests, which have now spread to at least 50 Iranian cities, were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested for allegedly breaking Iran’s strict rules on wearing the hijab
  • For the conservative Islamic theocracy of 86 million people, whose rigid laws forbid any dissent, the acts of rebellion present a significant challenge to the state.
  • This comes as negotiations with the U.S. on the Iranian nuclear deal stall and inflation in Iran surpasses 50%.           

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The Desperate Effort to Silence Iranian Feminists

09.22.2022- MS.-by Shaghayegh Norouzi and Samaneh Savadi- Protests have raging across Iran over the last week after the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman in the custody of the Islamic Republic’s morality police due to her defiance against the strict dress code.

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