Iran Geopolitical Watch – from October 22 to October 28, 2022

Iran / Pakistan / Afghanistan geopolitical watch team : Daniel Marco, Jérémie Patot.

10/24/2022 : Iranian drones “Shahed-136 and Shahed-131” in Ukraine: Iran denies complicity. -Daniel Marco-

On 24 October, according to Iran International at the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA)  meeting in Tehran, Iranian diplomatic chief Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Iran would not be «indifferent» if its drones are proven to be used by Russia in its war against Ukraine. As reported by Teheran Times, Hossein Amir Abdollahian added «We have not sold and will not sell weapons and drones to be used in the war against Ukraine, and cooperation between Iran and Russia will continue without having any connection with the war in Ukraine» The remarks came in response to claims by Western countries that Iran is selling drones and other military equipment to Russia for use against Ukraine, according to Tasnim News Agency

As stated by Al Arabiya News, the foreign minister also reaffirmed his country’s willingness to hold direct talks with Ukraine on the issue, and said he had conveyed this to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in recent days. On 17 October, France, Germany and Britain asked the UN to investigate allegations that Russia attacked Ukraine with Iranian drones, violating UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which backed the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the international community. According to RFE/RL, the move was described as «false and baseless» by Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani.

10/25/2022 : Protest in Iran : trials started across the country -Jérémie Patot-

On October 25, during a press conference and referring to the progress of the case of those arrested during the demonstrations, the spokesman for the judiciary, Masoud Satayshi, declared “ The trials have started in all the country and Tehran, Alborz, Isfahan and Kurdistan were the pioneers in this field and sent the files of the prosecution office to the court ” ; reports ISNA.

Since the death of Mahsa Amini on September 14, protests against the morality police have called for an end to the regime. The Wall Street Journal recalls that this is the first major legal action by authorities to quell the unrest and that Iranian authorities have arrested an unknown number of people since the protests began on September 19, filling already overcrowded prisons. On October 11, judicial authorities announced that 1,700 people detained during the protests had been released.

Judicial authorities said on Monday (October 24th) that 516 people who played a leading role in the protests would be brought to justice starting this week, including 315 in Tehran and 201 in a neighbouring province, according to official Iranian news agencies. Four defenders are charged with “war against God”, an offence punishable by death.

The Ashraq Al-Awsat news site concluded on the letter written by more than 600 Iranian and international human rights lawyers and figures; it was sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, calling for the formation of an independent commission to investigate human rights abuses in Iran. In the letter, the human rights defenders referred to Iranian authorities using excessive force, live ammunition and killing civilians, as well as shooting at children participating in protests or bystanders. The letter also expressed concern for the fate of detainees and political prisoners.

10/26/2022: Shiraz: At least 15 people are killed in a terrorist attack on a Shia Muslim site. -Daniel Marco-

On October 26, Fars Deputy Governor General for Political and Security Affairs said a terrorist entered the Shah Cheragh shrine in Shiraz in southern Iran, killing 15 people and injuring 19 others, IRNA reported

According to CNN, the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement issued by its affiliated Amaq news agency, the EI said one of its members had “targeted groups of Sunni Muslim miscreants inside the shrine with his machine gun, causing the killing of dozens of them. The terrorists were described as “takfiri terrorists” by IRNA, a term used by authorities in Iran, a country with a majority of Shiite Muslims, to identify armed extremist groups. 

RFE/RL noted that the attack occurred on the same day that protesters and Iranian security forces engaged in violence to mark 40 days since the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, while in police custody. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iranians to unite in a statement on state television, in which he said that the attackers “will definitely be punished”, Daily Sabah reports.

25/10/2022 – Officials in Iran annouced more foreigners arrested linked to the case of “the french spies

In a press conference, Masoud Satayshi, spokesman for the judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said that new arrests of foreigners for “gathering and collusion to harm Iran’s security and espionage“. Setayeshi gave no details on the number of people arrested or information obtained, adding only that the investigation is continuing.

According to the Iranian authorities, these new arrests are linked to the case of the “French spies“. A French couple, Cécile Kohler and Jacques Paris, have been detained since May 2022 in Iran on espionage charges. The couple was arrested while vacationing in Tehran. They are accused by the authorities of seeking to stir up workers’ protests.

France and other European countries urged their citizens to leave Iran “as soon as possible“, saying they were at high risk of arrest, arbitrary detention and unfair trial. Paris said five of its nationals are currently being held in Iran. Fariba Adelkhah was arrested in 2019 and sentenced to five years in prison for “undermining national security“. Benjamin Brière was also arrested in May 2020 and sentenced to eight years and eight months for espionage.

Since the outbreak of the protests, following the death on September 16 of Mahsa Amini, Iran announced at the end of September that it had detained nine foreign nationals linked to the unrest, including those from France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands.

Previous Article

European Union Geopolitical Watch – From October 22 to October 28, 2022

Next Article

Eastern Europe Geopolitical Watch – From October 08 to October 14, 2022