A woman stands on a car and salutes the crowd gathering for the 40th day ceremony for Mahsa Amini, who died in Iranian police custody on September 16
UN Special Rapporteur: Iran Regime’s Violations of Human Rights Are “Crime Against Humanity”
Iran Protests — Demonstrators on Streets for Festival of Fire
UPDATE, MAR 30:
Two young women dancing in a mall in East Azerbaijan province in northwest Iran….
ویدیویی که بهدست ایران اینترنشنال رسیده، رقص دو دختر بدون حجاب را در مجتمع تجاری سیتی سنتر جلفا در آذربایجان شرقی نشان میدهد که مورد تشویق و حمایت شهروندان قرار گرفته است. pic.twitter.com/2A8bLwdEp7
— ايران اينترنشنال (@IranIntl) March 29, 2023
A young woman sings blues music in Ferdows Park in Tehran:
ویدیوی رسیده به ایران اینترنشنال نشان میدهد که شامگاه سهشنبه هشتم فروردین یک زن جوان در باغ فردوس تهران موسیقی به سبک «راکاندرول» میخواند و مورد استقبال شهروندان قرار میگیرد pic.twitter.com/UDmoXOJBkK
— ايران اينترنشنال (@IranIntl) March 29, 2023
UPDATE, MAR 29:
The Iranian currency is plummeting once more.
The rial closed at 538,500:1 v. the US dollar on Wednesday. That is a fall of about 8% since last Friday, eroding part of the 25% recovery — from a historic low of 605,000:1 — after a Central Bank intervention last month.
UPDATE 0919 GMT:
Data from Iran’s Central Bank indicates an official point-to-point inflation rate of 63.9%.
The rise is the fourth-highest monthly figure in the history of the Islamic Republic, after March 2020 (64.5%), March 2019 (65.2%), and February 2019 (65.3%).
The unofficial inflation rate, particularly for food and other essential items, is reportedly even higher.
UPDATE 0910 GMT:
Canada has sanctioned another eight Iranian individuals and two companies, linked to the Revolutionary Guards and security forces, over human rights violations and production of drones and ballistic missiles.
The Canadian measures follow similar steps this month by the US, the European Union, and other countries.
Ottawa said sanctioned entities help the Iranian regime to “disrupt and manipulate the online communications” of protesters and supply security forces with tactical equipment used in violent suppression of demonstrations.
UPDATE 0903 GMT:
The Iranian rial has slid further to 517,000:1 v. the US dollar on Tuesday.
The rial is down almost 5% since Friday, after a Central Bank intervention last month brought it back from a historic low — 605,000:1 — with a 25% recovery.
UPDATE, MAR 28:
Iran’s regime is planning large fines for women who refuse to wear hijab in public, according to a leading member of Parliament
Hossein Jalali said on Monday that the plan, approved by the Supreme Leader, is for penalties of up to 30 billion rials ($60,000); revocation of driver’s licenses; cancellation of passports; and prohibition of Internet access.
Jalali said the financial and administrative penalties will replace physical punishment. To limit confrontations, surveillance cameras will monitor public spaces, with women not wearing hijab tracked down and penalized afterward.
Parliament’s Cultural Commission has said shopowners and businesses such as shopping malls and accommodation centers will be responsible for implementation of rules. Officials have closed some firms, including a hotel in Kashan and a shopping center in Tehran, for not reporting “violators”.
UPDATE 0915 GMT:
Women’s rights activist Shilan Kordestani has been sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison over “membership in the illegal group” and “propaganda against the state”.
Kordestani has been involved in protests in Sanandaj in northwest Iran, a center of the 6 1/2 months of nationwide demonstrations.
UPDATE, MAR 27:
A scene from Saqqez — the hometown of Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody sparked 6 1/2-month nationwide protests — in northwest Iran….
A group of teachers protested in front of the Education Department in the Iranian city of Saqqez, Kurdistan province, demanding freedom for their colleague Soleyman Abdi from the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center.#سلیمان_عبدی pic.twitter.com/8ZvlbsueQ2
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) March 26, 2023
UPDATE 1108 GMT:
Despite a heavy security presence and cutoff of the Internet, thousands of protesters gathered on the streets of Zahedan in southeast Iran for the 25th Friday in a row.
Friday Prayer leader Molavi Abdolhamid, Iran’s leading Sunni cleric, again called for the Iranian regime to heed the “legitimate demands of the majority of the people”.
He said authorities have “mishandled” the nationwide protests: “It would have been fitting for them to listen to the concerns of the people.” Only drastic changes to domestic and foreign policies could alleviate the problems Iran’s “ailing economy”, he explained.
Demonstrators followed by chanting on the streets, “This is the last message, the whole system is the target”; “I’ll kill whoever killed my brother”; and “We don’t want this child murderer government”.
🎥 امروز ۴فروردین، ویدیوی منتشر شده از زاهدان نشان میدهد هزاران نفر از مردم بار دیگر در روز جمعه به خیابانها آمدند.#اعتراضات_سراسری #مهسا_امینی #شهروندخبرنگار pic.twitter.com/cVIMMe5wQh
— ایران وایر (@iranwire) March 24, 2023
On September 30, security forces killed more than 90 worshippers and demonstrators near the Makki Grand Mosque. Every Friday since then, residents have rallied in a show of defiance and demand for rights.
UPDATE 0902 GMT:
Activist Fatemeh Sepehri has been given an 18-year sentence over her call on the Supreme Leader to resign.
Sepehri’s brother Asghar said his sister informed him during a phone call from prison that the Revolutionary Court had handed down the punishment. It includes 10 years for propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic, 5 years for cooperation with hostile governments, 2 years for insulting the Supreme Leader and the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and 1 year for gathering and conspiring against national security.
The activist must serve the length of the longest sentence in prison, condemning her to 10 years behind bars.
Sepehri is one of 14 activists in Iran who wrote an open letter seeking the Supreme Leader’s departure and a new political system, within the framework of a new constitutio, to secure dignity and equal rights for women.
She was seized by security personnel on September 21, five days after the start of nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody.
UPDATE, MAR 26:
Iran’s currency is sinking again.
The rial has slid to 510,000:1 v. the US dollar, a fall of more than 3% since Friday.
The rial plummeted to 605,000:1 on February 25, a fall of almost 50% in value since nationwide protests began on September 16. Central Bank intervention, including a large injection of UAE currency, fostered a 25% recovery to about 450,000:1 by March 11.
UPDATE 1136 GMT:
A scene from Isfahan in central Iran….
Beautiful photo of women without the mandatory hijab in Isfahan via @hasanpix #زن_زندگی_ازادی pic.twitter.com/lAkgw3m77z
— Golnaz Esfandiari (@GEsfandiari) March 23, 2023
UPDATE 1043 GMT:
Protester Hossein Al-Ali, who fell into a coma on March 14 after reportedly being thrown from a window by security forces, died in hospital on Tuesday.
Al-Ali was rushed to hospital after the security forces raided an apartment in which he was sheltering in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. They reportedly threw him from the fourth floor of the building.
Al-Ali, a café owner in Bandar Abbas, was in hiding for the last two months because he was being sought by authorities, his relatives said.
His funeral was scheduled for Thursday in his hometown of Shiraz.
UPDATE, MAR 24:
An assistant coach with Iran’s national football team has been fired after he criticized the regime’s response to six-month nationwide protests for rights, justice, and gender equality.
Rahman Rezaei, a former star player for Team Melli, was named an assistant coach last week. But regime supporters brought up his social media comments such as a post in October — weeks after the death of Mahsa Amini in sparked the protests — “Enough is enough. You should be tried in the nation’s courts.”
On Monday, a Sports Ministry official tweeted, “Do you think that someone who insults the Islamic republic so brazenly can be trusted to serve honestly under the holy flag?”
Rezaei’s dismissal was soon announced via the Fars News Agency, the outlet of the Revolutionary Guards.
Throughout the protests, authorities have cracked down on athletes, including football stars, over any dissent. Some have been given lengthy prison sentences and even condemned to death. Others have had property confiscated.
See also Iran Protests — The Regime is Killing and Detaining Athletes
UPDATE, MAR 22:
In an address for Iranian New Year, the Supreme Leader belittled six-month protests for rights, justice, and gender equality as “riots”, insisting, “The Islamic Republic proved that it is strong.”
Speaking from a shrine in Mashhad in northeast Iran, he tried to portray the demonstrations a “global conspiracy”, plotted by the US and some European states, with only “a very small number of Iranians” participating.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s words were challenged as the New Year began in the first hour on Tuesday. Residents in cities such as Tehran, Karaj, Mashhad, Shiraz, and Rahst chanted “Death to Khamenei” from rooftops or behind their windows.
«فقر، فساد، گرونی، میریم تا سرنگونی»
«مرگ بر خامنهای»
شهرک اکباتان، تحویل سال ۱۴۰۲#نوروز #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/BSwL17yvBd
— Vahid Online (@Vahid) March 20, 2023
People in mainly-Kurdish areas of northwest Iran continued their resistance, gathering at cemeteries to commemorate victims. In Saghez, mourners chanted revolutionary songs and carried torches around the grave of Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody on September 16 sparked the protests.
In Mahabad, at least 30 people were injured after they were fired upon by Revolutionary Guards, according to the Kurdish human rights agency Hengaw.
On the early hours of March 21, 2023, repressive forces in Mahabad opened fire on people who came to the streets to celebrate Newroz.
According to sources, more than 30 citizens were wounded, and most of them are women and children.#JinaAmini#Kurdistan pic.twitter.com/4UtbX6htU8
— Hengaw Organization for Human Rights (@Hengaw_English) March 21, 2023
UPDATE 1300 GMT:
The Supreme Leadeer and President Ebrahim Raisi have largely ignored the six-month nationwide protests in their addresses for Iranian New Year.
Ayatollah Khamenei did implicitly acknowledge Iran’s economic problems in his declaration of a Year of Inflation Control and Growth in Production.
Raisi did not even do this, instead proclaiming that it has been “the year of the power of the people and the heroism of the Iranian nation and its brilliance in the decisive fields”.
He instead dismissed demonstrations by saying that the protests were “Iran’s ill-wishers…tried to disrupt the progress of the country through riots”.
UPDATE, MAR 21:
The European Union has added eight Iranians and the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution to its sanctions list over human rights violations.
Among those named are clerics, judges, and a broadcaster have been involved in the crackdown on six-month nationwide protests. The EU noted specifically that it was “sanctioning members of the judiciary responsible for handing down death sentences in unfair trials and for the torturing of convicts”
The Europeans cited the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution for its promotion of “several projects undermining the freedom of girls and women and discriminating against minorities”
Citing the human rights abuses, the UK confirmed sanctions on Iranian officials financing the Revolutionary Guards.
The Foreign Office named five members of the organization managing Guards investments and two Guards commanders from Tehran and Alborz Provinces who committed “gross human rights violations”.
And Australia sanctioned 27 individuals and 15 entities over “egregious” human rights violations in Iran, as well as Iranian support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Among the additions are four member of the “morality police” unit that seized and reportedly beat Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody in mid-September sparked the protests.
The sanctions were announced as the UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, Javaid Rehman, reported on regime violations of human rights that amount to a “crime against humanity”.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, MAR 20: A leaked document indicates frustrated Revolutionary Guards targeted the Supreme Leader’s residence with artillery at least once during the six-month nationwide protests over rights, justice, and gender equality.
During a January 3 meeting with the Supreme Leader, Guards commanders warned Ayatalloh Khamenei about the Islamic Republic’s future, according to a confidential report obtained by IranWire.
The meeting marked the third anniversary of the US assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ Qods Force. All but 13 of 58 commanders and security officials gave speeches over the course of four hours.
Some commanders said troops had refused to stand against the Iranian people and had rejected orders to shoot at civilians. They warned of a drop in troop morale and a rise in conflict among Guards officers.
Abdullah Haji Sadeghi, Khamenei’s representative within the Guards, acknowledged:
Based on our reports, it appears that IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps] forces are not in the same situation as last year, particularly with respect to their morale, as there has been a decline.
We have gathered information and statistics from various units across divisions, which reveal the existence of conflict.
The deputy commander of the Guards force in Alborz Province, just west of Tehran, said, “Recently, we have witnessed instances of disruption and aid by armed forces of civilians.”
Ehsan Khorshidi, cited a group of conscripts and a lieutenant taking material from a military storage facility: “[They] distributed everything among the underprivileged neighborhoods of Karaj. The suspects are currently in custody, but we’re unsure of how to proceed.”
Another commander, Gholamali Rashidi, explained:
Since the start of the protests, we have had personnel who have defied orders.
One incident involved an individual targeting the Supreme Leader’s residence with artillery. Thanks to the immediate response of our fellow members in the unit, the perpetrators were identified and apprehended.
Khamenei issued a series of orders, including the release of a large number of detainees; a 52% increase in the budgets for the Revolutionary Guards, military, and intelligence force; and an exemption of Basij paramilitary members from paying income tax and taxes on electricity, gas, and water.
The day after the meeting, Khamenei did not use his customary reference to protesters as “rioters”. Instead, he was conciliatory:
I was on a provincial trip and people came out to welcome me. I noticed that at least a third of the population, including women who weren’t wearing good hijab, were shedding tears. It’s not fair to label them as counter-revolutionary or anti-revolutionary. How can anyone criticize their enthusiasm and eagerness to participate in religious or revolutionary ceremonies?
They are our daughters.
“I was on a provincial trip and people came out to welcome me. I noticed that at least a third of the population, including women who weren’t wearing good hijab, were shedding tears. It’s not fair to label them as counter-revolutionary or anti-revolutionary. How can anyone criticize their enthusiasm and eagerness to participate in religious or revolutionary ceremonies?
They are our daughters.”
Yeah, that *must* be the sentiment of people. But wait, the best is still to come, what is left of economy is spiraling down the toilet and not only you can’t stop it, non of your baboon government characters even understand it to begin with.
In the eve of Norouz (new year)iranians remember those were killed during the protests in the hands of one of the worst mass murderers of history.
IRGC Losing Edge In Iran And Region – Leaked Document
Khamenei-IRGC Meeting; Panic In The Leader’s House
“Amid reports that some forces have refused to confront protesters, the IRGC’s commanders told the meeting that “rebellion” has become a problem.
Gholamali Rashidi, the commander of the central headquarters of Khatam-ul-Anbiya, revealed he had witnessed at least three instances of disobedience to orders and arbitrary actions since the beginning of the protests…..”
“A leaked document indicates frustrated Revolutionary Guards targeted the Supreme Leader’s residence with artillery at least once during the six-month nationwide protests over rights, justice, and gender equality.”
The only question is whether this is a genuine document and whether it has been redacted. There is nothing to indicate it is authentic other than some pertinent comments made about Rouhani. It does not have the “خیلی محرمانه” (top secret/confidential) stamp I would have expected to have seen.
[Editor’s Note: As commenter should know, the judiciary head, the Supreme National Security Council, and President carry out the wishes of Iran’s ultimate authority — the Supreme Leader.]
“Khamenei issued a series of orders, including the release of a large number of detainees; a 52% increase in the budgets for the Revolutionary Guards, military, and intelligence force; and an exemption of Basij paramilitary members from paying income tax and taxes on electricity, gas, and water.”
The decision to release the detainees was made by the head of the judiciary and the SNSC. The increase in the military budget was made by the president with the consent of the Majlis. I am not aware of any tax exemption for Baseej members: there are 12 million of them (although only 90,000 are professional).
[Editor’s Note: Sadeghi is not an “observer” but a pro-regime activist on social media. The comment ignores the possibility of a military unit deciding to attack the Supreme Leader’s residence rather than protect it.]
Fereshteh Sadeghi, an observer from Tehran reminds us that targeting Beyt-e-Rahbari (the official residence of the Leadership) is not possible: https://twitter.com/fresh_sadegh/status/1637794858927636481
“The comment ignores the possibility of a military unit deciding to attack the Supreme Leader’s residence rather than protect it.”
The commentator and his ilk are in shock and full damage control mode, they reach out for tiniest straws….
[Editor’s Note: I write on the basis of almost 40 years working in archives. Commenter does not realize that many internal memoranda are “informal” records for the participants and not formal records carrying stamps.]
I’d like to know how the editor (who has not himself read it) thinks the document is authentic (in its entirety) given that it is just a pdf file containing typed words in Persian – no stamps, insignia, signatures or anything to show it is genuine.
“I’d like to know how the editor (who has not himself read it) thinks the document is authentic (in its entirety) given that it is just a pdf file containing typed words in Persian – no stamps, insignia, signatures or anything to show it is genuine.”
BAM!!!… You discredited this leaked document all by yourself.
Oh wait, no you didn’t. There are also several leaked audio and video files in last few months that irgc commanders have come out to express the same sentiments as this document.
khamenei, in his speech today rejected any change in the constitution because according to him “this is the same thing outsiders are calling for”.
Actually, a change in constitution came out of iran by people’s protests first, but he fails to explain(not his first failure) why people in iran should not want what others have voiced as well. His defense is getting weaker and weaker by the day…
A video compilation of Norouz celebrations, protests, memorials held for recent victims right across the country all over.
Iran officials hold secret talks with West without Raisi’s knowledge: https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-officials-secret-talks-west-without-raisi-knowledge
“Secret talks between representatives of the Iranian ruling establishment and western officials over reviving the 2015 nuclear deal and freeing US prisoners have been held in recent weeks, two sources told Middle East Eye. According to the Iranian sources, who are close to the talks, the government of President Ebrahim Raisi was not informed of the dialogue, part of a growing trend that has seen figures close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei take the lead on foreign policy. The sources added that Abbas Araghchi, former deputy foreign minister under Hassan Rouhani, led the talks, which were held in Europe.”
Iran’s foreign policy is determined by the SNSC, chaired by Raisi and made up partly of members of his cabinet, with decisions subject to final approval from the Leadership (which is nominal). The constitution, however, gives the Leader “supervisory” control over the three branches of government and he has stepped in when he thinks the current president’s approach is potentially harmful to national security. He did this in 2012 and 2007 when advisors feared Ahmadinejad was not taking the threat of sanctions seriously enough. Raisi is adopting a maximalist approach to the JCPOA which is principled rather than pragmatic. His priorities are with regional countries – where he has been very successful – rather than the West where he has not been hitherto.
You have been leading the “secret talks” since 2009….
In the meantime
Rafael Grossi: “JCPOA is nothing more than an empty shell”
Leaked Document Reveals Questions About Role Of Khamenei’s Son
Iranian Women Prisoners Thank Supporters For Keeping “Hope Alive In Our Hearts”
Iranian Protester Thrown Out Of Window Dies After Falling Into Coma
Three Arrested At Khamenei’s Office For Suspected Leak
Friday protests in Zahedan….
[Editor’s Note: The “report” is a propaganda statement from the Iran’s regime Orwellian-named “High Council for Human Rights”. Its assertions should be treated as such.]
New report on the unrest in Iran: https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2023/03/27/700496/Iran-rights-council-report-sheds-light-foreign-role-recent-riots
“During three months of riots, a significant number of young Iranians – more than 7,000 people – were injured by the rioters for merely defending the country’s national security, and some were even brutally murdered……………Rioters and terrorists took to the streets with firearms and shot security and police forces and even passers-by, killing many of them…………….In Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad, the rioters, who were after shuttering down shops by means of threats and coercion, suddenly turned on ordinary people and knifed two innocent students to death. Iran’s High Council for Human Rights reported that groups of people also harassed veiled women in different cities, pulled their chadors off, disrupted people’s lives and disrupted their freedom of movement by blocking streets and highways.”
[Editor’s Note: Some essential corrections to the comment….
Here is the full paragraph for context:
“Pro-reform Iranian analysts estimate up to two million people took part in protests, but Hamidreza Taraghi, an influential hardliner and a senior official at the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, the state’s biggest charity, says drone surveillance put the numbers at ‘around 500,000’.”
Even if one accepts Taraghi’s assertion — likely to be a significant understatement of the numbers — that is 500,000 *individuals*, many of whom will have participated in multiple days throughout the protests.
So the commenter’s declaration of 2800 “unique individuals” across the country on an average day is a significant distortion.]
Iran official claims 500,000 took part in the protests/riots over 4-6 months: https://www.ft.com/content/52d4ed75-5e40-45a5-89a5-86176d0d10fc
The unrest lasted180 days which would average at 2800 unique individuals per day across the entire country.
In 2009, that was the number of protesters who participated in one day in one location.
“Iran official claims …”
OFFICIALLY, iran does not have homosexuals, iran does not have political prisoners, the inflation is not at 70-80%…….oh yes, lets not forget the islamic state doesn’t have under age girls married to 60+ year old men as a matter of routine sanctioned practice…
There are a lot “official” denials in the mullah state….
[Editor’s Note: This is a misrepresentation by commenter. The “500,000” for current protests — based on a statement by a regime official — is 500,000 individuals. Each of those individuals could have been in multiple protests over the past 6 1/2 months.]
Some more context: In the 2019 “fuel protests”, the government estimated that 200,000 came out onto the streets in just a single week: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-protests-idUSKBN1Y11PE
In the recent unrest, 500,000 is estimated over the course of over 20 weeks.
Protests were much larger in 2019 in cities like Shiraz, Esfahan, Mashhad and Ahvaz, although there were no protests in the Baluchi region. Of the 165 cities protesting this time, the majority are in six provinces: Kurdistan, Kermanshah, West Azerbaijan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Gilan and Mazandaran.
Prominent Iranian Lawyer Nemat Ahmadi Loses License
Iranian Lawmaker Says New Hijab Plan Prohibits Physical Punishment
Members Of Iranian Women’s National Football Team Snub Training Camp
Iranian Workers’ Group Strikes Over Wages As Inflation Continues To Soar
Iran Experiences Second Highest Inflation Jump Since WWII
Even these numbers don’t paint actual picture, these numbers are based on ire central bank which is notorious for making up numbers…
Severe shortage of gasoline is expected very shortly, along with that there are some reports of prices going up but authorities have denied that so far…..
The Farda Briefing: Iran’s Hard-Liners Propose Tougher Measures To Enforce Hijab Law
Iranian Teachers Begin Persian New Year With Protests
People keep their spirits up wherever they can….
Nephew of khamenei in a video message hopes this year to be the last of this regime
Iranian Currency Lost more than 90% of its Value over a Decade
Protests in Zahedan continue….
Iran’s Majlis approves bill to protect women from violence and abuse: https://www.irna.ir/news/85078393
Amongst its provisions are that it allows women to leave the country without the consent of their husband.