- Civil Rights Activist Mohammadi Charged with “Crimes Against National Security”
- Another 7 1/2 Hours of Nuclear Talks on Friday; Discussions in New York Until Tuesday
Iran has launched another rhetorical assault on Saudi Arabia over its military intervention in Yemen.
At Tehran Friday Prayers, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani (pictured) called on Arab countries to show public opposition to the airstrikes of the Saudi-led coalition: “I am addressing the Arab nations; why are you keeping mum? You’ll be accomplice to the crimes if you continue to remain silent.”
Riyadh began the bombing in late March to check the advance of the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement, which took power in the capital Sanaa in February and then advanced into southern Yemen, threatening to claim the port city of Aden where President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi had established an alternative Government.
A declared ceasefire on April 21 failed to bring a halt to fighting, with Saudi air forces attacking as Ansar Allah took more territory and military bases.
Iran provides political and economic support to Ansar Allah and reportedly supplies weapons to the movement, a claim it denies. Saudi Arabia and the US recently tried to step up restrictions on naval and air access to Yemen to block any Iranian supply.
Iranian media also emphasizes the death toll in Yemen this morning, declaring that “Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures”.
Iranian officials have accused Israel and the US of involvement in the Saudi operations, even claiming a plot to bring Islamic State fighters into the country.
Civil Rights Activist Mohammadi Charged with “Crimes Against National Security”
In the latest prosecution against her, civil rights activist Narges Mohammadi has been charged with crimes against national security.
Mohammadi, the deputy head of the banned Center for Defenders of Human Rights, said she is to appear in court on Sunday:
I have three charges in a thick file, the entire evidence and documents for which are my activities, demands, and insistence on the realization of a civil society in Iran. Whatever activities I have had in this area has been used against me in a case.
My case file is thick and my charges are heavy, but unfounded. I do not accept any of these charges.
Even my presence at a gathering outside the Parliament to protest the acid attacks [against women in Isfahan] is reflected as “participation in riots”.
Mohammadi also faces charges of propaganda against the state, assembly and collusion against national security, and establishment of Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty group.
The activist was arrested in 2009 and sentenced in October 2011 to 11 years in prison for assembly and collusion against national security, membership in the Center for Defenders of Human Rights, and propaganda against the state. The term was reduced by an appeals court to six years in prison.
Mohammadi was released on health grounds in 2013 on bail of 600 million Toman (approximately $200,000). However, authorities began to press her again after she was among women meeting European Union foreign policy chief head Catherine Ashton in Tehran in March 2014.
Immediately following the visit with Ashton, Mohammadi was summoned to Evin Prison Courts and interrogated, Since then, she has received ten warnings and summonses. On two occasions she was detained for several hours. She has also been advised twice that she is banned from foreign travel.
Another 7 1/2 Hours of Nuclear Talks on Friday; Discussions in New York Until Tuesday
Iran and the European Union held 7 1/2 hours of nuclear talks on Friday, following eight hours on Thursday, as they drafted the final text of a comprehensive agreement
Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi continued the negotiations with the European Union’s deputy foreign policy head, Helga Schmid.
The Iranians said that talks may “last hours over a single word”, as Tehran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) try to resolve issues such as the timing of sanctions removal.
The two sides are seeking a comprehensive agreement by June 30.
The Iran delegation said the talks in New York will continue until Tuesday and then move to Europe.