Thursday’s Iran Events – August 15, 2018
A municipal leader in the Iranian capital, Tehran, has issued a stark warning about Iran’s economic problems, saying a “tsunami” of poverty is bearing down on society.
Iranian state media said Tehran City Council Chairman Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani made the comment in a Tuesday speech about urban governance in the capital.
He said Iran faces a crisis in the coming months as the U.S. prepares to impose even tougher economic sanctions on the country, a move that could further weaken Iran’s currency, raise the cost of imports, fuel inflation and reduce people’s purchasing power.
“Today, poverty is bearing down on society like a tsunami,” Rafsanjani was quoted as saying. The Tehran municipal leader is the eldest son of late former Iranian President Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
The US has ordered all countries to cut Iranian oil i
imports to zero by November.
Iran is lowering prices in attempt to hold onto market share.
The country is especially focusing on providing a discount to its top oil buyers: China and India.
Iran will lower the price of its crude for Asian clients, who are its biggest buyers, Iran reported, citing a source from the country’s oil ministry who wished to remain unnamed. The source said, “The discount is part of the nature of the global markets being offered by all oil exporters.” Yet for Iran right now, the discount is also an attempt to hold onto its biggest market as U.S. sanctions kick in.
The source confirms a Friday report by Reuters, which said the National Iranian Oil Company had reduced oil prices for Asian clients by between US$0.75 and US$0.90 a barrel, with prices for Western clients down by US$0.50 a barrel.
The mother of Farhad Meysami, a civil rights activist who has been detained in Iran since July 2018, says she has received phone calls that sounded like her son was being tortured.
Meysami’s mother, who wanted her name to be kept private, had complained about the phone calls in a letter submitted to Branch 7 of the Revolutionary Court in Evin Prison on August 13.
“In her letter, Farhad’s mother expressed concern about her son’s condition and asked the court for permission to speak to him to hear the truth from his mouth about whether he was tortured and forced to make confessions or not,” Reza Khandan told CHRI.
“Neither his mother nor his lawyer knows what the charges against him are and they have not been allowed to visit him,” said Khandan. “He has contacted his mother on the phone only once and that was on the day he was detained.”
Khandan is the husband of prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison since June 13 under national security charges.
Meysami, 48, is a physician who has in recent years participated in gatherings to protest against the imprisonment of civil rights activists and the arrests of women who were detained for removing their headscarves in public.
Since his arrest on July 31, 2018, Meysami has been in detention in Evin Prison’s Ward 209 under the control of the Intelligence Ministry, which operates under President Hassan Rouhani.
The husband of prominent Iranian political prisoner Narges Mohammadi has called on Iran’s judiciary to release his ailing wife after she was rushed to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran on August 13, 2018.
“Narges should be free but under the current circumstances, at the very least, she should be allowed to go home so that her illness can be controlled without any stress,” Taghi Rahmani told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) shortly after Mohammadi was hospitalized.
“They finally transferred her to the hospital after she suffered pain and discomfort for weeks, but we don’t know what’s going to happen,” he added.
In a statement on August 13, the Defenders of Human Rights Center, where Mohammadi worked before she was arrested, said she has lost more than 16 pounds in recent weeks and “doctors found a growth in her stomach” but had not been given a chance to do further tests.
Mohammadi, 46, has been repeatedly hospitalized since being imprisoned in May 2015. She suffers from a neurological disorder that causes muscular paralysis.
She is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence, with eligibility for parole after 11 years, for being a vocal advocate of human and women’s rights in Iran.
In yet another attempt to preserve the faltering clerical regime, Hassan Rouhani, acting on orders from the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, signed the Caspian Sea Treaty, which is against the Iranian nation’s interests.
Undermining the Iranian nation’s national interests, including one trillion dollars in damages from the unpatriotic war with Iraq, the destruction of the environment, the drying up of the nation’s water reserves, the plunder of the Iranian people’s wealth and its squander on exporting terrorism, warmongering, and nuclear and missile programs, are all familiar devices of the mullahs’ regime, which has declared safeguarding the totalitarian rule of the vali-e faqih (absolute clerical ruler) as the absolute imperative.