Friday's Iran Mini Report - April 12, 2019

• U.S. Slaps Sanctions On Lebanese 'Money Laundering' Group

U.S. officials on Thursday announced it has sanctioned a Lebanese network accused of laundering millions of dollars for "drug kingpins" and helping finance Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shiite movement that Washington labels a terrorist organization.

The sanctions are part of the administration's "unprecedented campaign to prevent Hezbollah and its global terror affiliates from profiting off violence, corruption, and the drug trade," Treasury undersecretary Sigal Mandelker said.

• Maryam Rajavi: Calls for formation of popular councils in Ahvaz to deal with flood

The devastating flood is spreading rapidly in Khuzestan Province, especially in Ahvaz, a large part of the population of this province is left homeless and millions of our compatriots are at serious risk.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, called on the people and youth of Ahvaz and other parts of Khuzestan to cooperate with the formation of popular councils to deal with floods in each city and area.


• Iran Regime's Close Ally, Al-Bashir Imprisoned as Sudan's Army Seizes Power

With a coup in Sudan, the Iranian Regime lost one of its erstwhile allies on Thursday, April 11.

Sudan's army announced it has seized power after months of protest demonstrations in that country. The army also broke the news of Omar al-Bashir's arrest on Thursday.

Omar al-Bashir, who has been convicted for crimes against humanity at the international tribunals, was an ally of Iran and its Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

• Iran: Plundered shareholders protest

Clients of the Caspian credit firm, associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, held a protest rally on Tuesday in front of the judiciary in Tehran, the capital of Iran, demanding their plundered savings returned.

They were chanting ““How long this systematic plundering will continue? And why doesn’t it end?”

“Systematic plundering by Caspian Credit Firm has looted the people.”

The protesters called this policy as being traitorous, adding this IRGC affiliated firm is bringing misery and lamentation for the people.

•Iranian Civil Rights Activist Yasaman Aryani Rearrested

Civil rights activist Yasaman Aryani, was arrested for unknown reasons on April 10, 2019 after the state security forces raided her home in Tehran, her mother announced in a video clip posted on social media.

Reports indicate that Mnireh Arabshahi, Aryani’s mother, was arrested by the state security forces on April 11, after she went to the Vozara detention center to follow up her daughter’s status.

Before being arrested Mrs Arabshahi had gone to the flood stricken city of Mamulan in Lorestan Province to provide relief to the flood survivors.

• DiCaprio Again Appeals for Release of Iran Ecologists

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has once again defended eight Iranian environmentalists who have been in detention for more than a year, charged with vague accusations.

Last February, DiCaprio called for international support and circulated a petition for the release of the Iranian environmentalists who were arrested by the intelligence organization of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC.

In his latest plea issued on Instagram on Thursday, April 11, the famous actor has again expressed concern about the fate of the Iranian ecologists; some facing the prospect of the death penalty.

• Trump 'Will Continue To Ratchet Up Pressure' On Iran: Pompeo

Reuters: U.S. President Donald Trump will increase pressure on Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, but he declined specific comment on whether the administration would continue sanctions waivers for countries that import Iranian oil. Pompeo told a U.S. Senate committee he had "no announcements" on whether Washington would continue waivers to some countries that import Iranian crude, or for Iran's civilian nuclear program, now that Trump has withdrawn the United States from the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran and reimposed sweeping sanctions.

• Pompeo Says Iran Tied To Al-Qaeda, Declines To Say If War Legal

AFP: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday accused Iran of ties to al-Qaeda and declined to say whether the Trump administration had the legal authority to invade the country. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo hedged on whether the authorization of force by the US Congress days after the September 11, 2001 attacks would allow the United States to strike Iran.

• Rouhani Threatens the U.S. With New Centrifuges

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has threatened the U.S. with unveiling more advanced centrifuges after Washington designated Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a "terrorist organization". Speaking on April 9 at the ceremony for 13th National Day of Nuclear Technology in Iran, Rouhani addressed Washington, saying, "You were afraid of IR1 centrifuges, today we unveiled IR6, and if you continue to walk down this road, you will see cascades of IR8 in the near future,"

• Pulling The Plug On Iran's Nuclear Program

The Hill: The one-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal is just around the corner. Since last May, Washington has marshaled a wide array of penalties against Tehran as part of its maximum pressure campaign, and is achieving some measurable results. But the Trump administration risks undercutting its own pressure policy through the provision of a little talked about type of waiver - not for oil purchases - but for continuing international nuclear cooperation with Iran under the auspices of non-proliferation and nuclear safety.

• US Urges Europe To Label IRGC As Terrorist Organization

Asharq Al-Awsat: U S State Department officials called on EU states to take a step similar to that of the US and add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on their terror list. This request aims at increasing pressure on the Iranian regime in order to keep it from financing IRGC-affiliated militias in the region and planning terrorist operations from within European territory.

• US Warns Iran's IRGC-Backed Militias In Iraq

Kurdistan 24: America's top envoy in Iraq on Wednesday issued a warning to those Iraqi militias that receive support from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC.) The warning follows two days after the US designated the IRGC, including its Quds Force (IRGC-QF), as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO.) "This designation makes it clearer and clearer that people can have a relationship with the problematic parts of the Iranian government, like the IRGC, or they can have a relationship with the United States and our financial system, but they cannot do both at the same time," Joey Hood, chargé d'affaires at the US embassy in Baghdad, told reporters after attending a local event in the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, Erbil.

• Trump Is Right To Designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards Terrorists

Cal Thomas for Fox News: President Trump has designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). It's about time. Other administrations might have done it, but didn't. In a statement, the president said, "The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflict across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies."

• Why Iran Is Silent About US Military Deal With Neighboring Oman

A recent military agreement between Washington and Muscat allowing US forces to use the strategic Omani ports of Duqm and Salalah has been widely interpreted in the context of American pressure on its archenemy Iran. Yet many are wondering why Iran has not reacted to the deal. Access to the two ports, especially the port of Duqm, has been a goal to pursue for the United States in order to advance its strategies in the Indo-Pacific, an area where Washington and Tehran are not in a confrontational posture. Interests of the two sides may even occasionally converge there.