Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP

Iran Protests —- Tehran’s Currency is Sinking


Even though Iran’s currency markets are closed, the risk is still falling.

The historic slide has reached 539,200:1 v. the US dollar, a drop of 6% since Wednesday.


Supporters say engineer Zeinab Kazemi has been forced to express her “regret” over a viral video in which she defiantly took off her hijab in a meeting of the Tehran Engineering Organization.

On February 17, Kazemi challenged the non-approval of her qualifications for the Organization, because of failure to comply with the hijab law. She threw her headscarf on the stage and left to applause from the audience.

The next day, a legal case was filed against her for “insulting the hijab”.

In a video posted on Wednesday, Kazemi expressed her regret for the action “as a result of psychological pressure caused by improper dealings with engineers”.


More than 600 Iranian political and civil activists have posted an open letter denouncing the 9-year prison sentence of sociologist and journalist Saeed Madani.

The letter said the charges against Madani were fabricated by Iran’s security institutions.

Such sentences have no result other than depriving Iranian society of committed thinkers who strive for freedom and justice, and only blocks the nonviolent development of the country.

The Revolutionary Court of Tehran condemned Madani, 61, in December for “forming and managing antiestablishment groups” and “propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The charges were based on Madani’s publications about issues in Iranian society, including violence against women, child abuse, prostitution, and poverty.

In January, Madani was prevented from leaving Iran to begin a one-year research program at Yale University. Publication of his book in the Islamic Republic is banned.

In 2016, he was exiled to Bandar Abbas in southern Iran after serving four years of an 8-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison.


The Iranian rial closed at 526,500 on Thursday afternoon, a fallout of more than 3.5% on the day.

Currency markets are closed for the Iranian weekend on Friday.


The Iranian currency has plummeted another 3% on Thursday.

The rial stands at a new all-time low of 523,100:1 v. the US dollar after losing about 40% of its value since nationwide protests began on September 16.


Activist Fatemeh Sepehri has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after calling on the Supreme Leader to resign.

The punishment consists of 10 years for propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic, 5 years for cooperation with hostile governments, two years for insulting the Supreme Leader and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic; and 1 year for gathering and conspiring against national security.

Sepehri was among 14 activists in Iran who wrote in an open letter that the Supreme Leader should step down. They called for a new political system within the framework of a new Constitution securing dignity and equal rights for women.

Sepehri was arrested by security forces on September 21, five protests after nationwide protests began over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.


Iran’s official inflation rate for food and beverages is now about 70%, but is far higher for certain products.

The Statistical Center of Iran announced Wednesday that the one-year spot inflation rate increased during the month of Bahman, which ended on February 19.

The semi-official outlet ILNA reports that the price of red meat has risen by up to 90% during the past year.

Residents of Tehran say a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of boneless mutton is being sold for up to 5,000,000 rials ($10), a 10% percent increase in recent weeks.

Iranian officials tried to deny the rises.

Agriculture Ministry official Masud Amrollahi insisted that the published information about red meat was an effort to create a negative atmosphere “in cyber-space”.

Tehran official Ayub Fesahat rejected the reports on mutton prices, only to be rebuffed on social media by dozens of Iranians who uploaded photos from supermarkets.

The daily newspaper Sazandegi was shut by authorities on Monday after it reported on the inflation under the headline “Meat Rebellion”. Officials denounced the coverage as “false content” which was “disturbing public opinion”.


The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Gen. Hossein Salami has bragged about Iranian threats forcing the Saudi-backed TV outlet Iran International to leave London.

The outlet is relocating to the US, saying its journalists have been threatened amid credible information about assassination plots.

Salami said the episodes shows the “extension of the Islamic Republic’s realm of power and infiltration”.

The general’s declaration came as the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the UK Chargé d’Affaires in Tehran to complain about “unfounded accusations”, “baseless claims”, and London’s “unfriendly approach”.


Continuing their crackdown on dual and foreign nationals, Iran’s authorities have sentenced an Austrian man to 7 1/2 years in prison on a charge of espiionage.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Iranian Ambassador in Vienna to express “unequivocal protest”.

The Ministry said the Austrian Ambassador in Tehran has been able to see the detainee on three prison visits since his detention last autumn.

“We will continue to exhaust all possibilities to give him and all other imprisoned Austrian citizens all over the world the best possible consular support,” the Ministry said.

The Iranian regime has imprisoned at least 17 citizens of Western countries.


The German Government has expelled two staff of the Iranian Embassy in Berlin, following Iran’s imposition of a death sentence on German-Iranian dual national Jamshid Sharmahd (see below).

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she had summoned the Iranian hargé d’affaires to make clear that Berlin “will not accept this massive breach of a German citizen’s rights”.

Baerbock called on Iranian authorities to revoke the death sentence against the 67-year-old Sharmahd and allow him to “have an appeal that is fair and in line with the rule of law”.


The Iranian currency is continuing its historic fall.

The rial stands at 506,300:1 v. the US dollar, a drop of about 1% since Monday. At one point on Wednesday, it touched 508,000:1.

Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi insisted that the rial’s fall is the fault of “evildoers who fuel panic” as well as expectations of inflation, creating “numbers that don’t correspond with reality”.


German-Iranian dual national Jamshid Sharmahd has been sentenced to death by an Iranian court.

Sharmahd, who has US residency, has spent more than 1,000 days in solitary confinement. He has been convicted of “corruption on Earth by planning and directing terrorist acts”. Officials claim led the Los Angeles-based pro-monarchist group Tondar, accused of a deadly bombing in 2008.

The judiciary of Tehran Province said the verdict can be appealed in the Supreme Court.

Sharmahd’s family say he was kidnapped by Iranian agents in 2020 while he was on a trip to Dubai.

On January 18, Ghazaleh Sharmahd said her 67-year-old father has been tortured, “his teeth have fallen out, he has lost 20 kilos [44 pounds], and he is unable to walk or breathe easily”.

Last August, Amnesty International said Iranian authorities “forcibly disappeared and are torturing” Sharmahd as he faced a “grossly unfair” trial.


In a rare move against security forces over the killing of protesters, authorities say they arrested a police officer over the murder of a Kurdish youth.

Mokhtar Fathi was shot in Saqqez in northwest Iran. The city is the hometown of Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody on September 16 sparked nationwide demonstrations.

Iranian media said Fathi was killed after he was discovered writing slogans on walls in Saqqez. The Kurdish rights group Hengaw said he was shot while he was sitting in a car with two friends near his parents’ house.

Hengaw asserted, “tThe government institutions had threatened the Fathi family not to inform the public about this matter”.

But Hossein Hosseini, the chief justice of Kurdistan Province, said officials had received a complaint from the family which led to the arrest of the police officer.


The Iranian currency has broken the 500,000:1 mark v. the US dollar.

The rial stands at 501,600:1, a loss of more than 2% in value so far today.

The currency stood at 45,000:1 in early 2018. Since nationwide protests began last September 16, it has lost almost 40% in value.


The Iranian currency has lost another 0.75% in less than three hours of trading (see below). Its new historic low is 490,800:1 v. the US dollar.


The Iranian regime is punishing the female engineer who defied compulsory hijab at an Engineering Society meeting.


The Iranian rial has sunk further to an all-time low of 487,000:1 v. the US dollar.

The currency has lost almost 2% in value since Friday.


Iranian labor unions, student organizations, and civil society groups have published a joint charter for a “new, modern, and humane society”.

About 20 entities are signatories seeking gender equality, the right to free speech, the release of all political prisoners, the abolition of the death penalty, and the protection of ethnic and religious minorities.

The initiative follows the February 4 statement of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader under arrest since February 2011, calling for a “free” referendum and the drafting of a new constitution.

A series of opposition figures inside and outside Iran and Islamic scholars have supported the call. Mohammad Khatami, President from 1997 to 2005, has said that reforms are necessary while refraining from endorsement of initiatives to change the ruling system.

Iran’s top Sunni cleric, Zahedan’s Friday Prayer leader Molavi Abdolhamid, reiterated in his sermon yesterday that a referendum is necessary.

Meanwhile, Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani is fuming that Iranian activists have been invited to present a panel at the Munich Security Conference this morning.

Those who ignore 44 years of unparalleled presence of the vast majority of Iranians in support of their country, Revolution, and leadership, and invite a number of identity-less clowns neither believe in democracy nor do they know the Revolution and people of Iran.


A female candidate at the annual meeting of an engineering society take off her hijab as a protest of the treatment of woman for “improper attire”. She is applauded by the audience as she leaves the stage, leaving her headscarf behind.


A woman posts from Tabriz in northwest Iran, “After printing and distributing leaflets in Tabriz, I went dancing. I don’t know what else I can do!”

The song is “Woman’s Anthem“.

ORIGINAL ENTRY, FEB 17: Demonstrators came out across Iran on Thursday, defying the regime’s repression.

The 22-week nationwide protests, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody on September 16, have been muted except for the rallies each Friday in Sistan and Baluchestan Province in southeast Iran.

But protesters responded yesterday to a call by organizers to show that detentions, killings by security forces, and executions had not defeated the call for “Woman. Life. Freedom”.

Videos testified to gatherings in at least 22 cities and towns across the country.

In Tehran, security forces fired guns to disperse a group near Enqelab Square.

Chanting “Freedom” in Qazvin in northwest Iran:

Izeh in southwest Iran:

On the White Bridge in Ahwaz in southern Iran:

Chants of “Death to Khamenei” in Rasht in northern Iran:

Ruydar, a town of 6,000 in Hormozgan Province in southern Iran: