Sunday, June 17, 2018


On Tuesday the Canadian House of Commons passed a motion
condemning the Iranian regime and blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. The House of Commons voted in majority to halt all talks and negotiations with the Iranian regime to relaunch diplomatic relations and have the IRGC placed in Canada’s list of terrorist organizations. Conservative MP Erin O’Toole who has described Tues vote as historic vote added: This bill was first proposed by Conservative MP Garnett Genius and a very surprising development was the agreement seen from the Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Vote for this bill in Canada’s Parliament first gained approval with the MPs rising and Trudeau being the first Liberal Party Prime Minister rising in support. Political analysts believe this move by Trudeau has caused major shockwaves, especially for the Iranian regime. Following the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1, Trudeau announced Canada is ready to reestablish diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime. Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper from the Conservative Party stopped all diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime back in September 2012. Canada’s embassy in Tehran was closed and Iranian regime's diplomats were forced to leave Canadian soil. The Iranian regime lobby was very disappointed by the vote in House of Commons and the two Iranian_Canadian MPs who are accused of having ties with the Iranian regime, left the house before the vote began and were nowhere to be found.

Elimination of images of women, and especially Iranian women not covering their hair, from the state media reports and publicities on the participation of the Iranian national football team in the World Cup in Russia made headlines in Iran. On the sidelines of the game between national football teams of Iran and Morocco, the Iranian state-run television prepared a report from Russia in which they only broadcast the images of women who had covered their hair. None of the Iranian women who were not wearing a scarf were shown in the report. A number of these women protested the regime’s news censorship and the elimination of images of women who did not cover their hair. At the same time, supporters of the Moroccan team in the stadium held up a placard which read, "Let Iranian women enter their stadiums."  Iranian women are banned to enter stadiums in Iran.

Nassrin Sotoudeh, lawyer of human rights defendants, was rearrested again on Wed June 13 for defending protesers to mandatory veil or Hijab. In a short telephone call on June 16, from Evin Prison, she said she had been arrested in connection to the dossier of Shaparak Shajarizadeh and detained in the general ward of Evin Prison. The Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a statement condemning the arrest of lawyer and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh and called for her immediate and unconditional release from prison. The NCRI Women's Committee urged all human rights and women's rights organizations to take urgent action in this regard. Amnesty International and U.S. State Department, called for her release. Nassrin Sotoudeh has received a number of international awards including the 2016 Women Have Wings Award, the 2008 Human Rights International (HRI) Award, the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and the 2011 Pen Club Award.

Indian chess master Soumya Swaminathan will not go to Iran to participate in the Asian tournaments in protest to the compulsory veil. Ms. Soumya Swaminathan, woman grandmaster and member of the national team of India, announced on Wednesday, June 13, that she would not participate in the Asian Team Chess Championship in Hamedan, Iran. She wrote in her Facebook page, "I do not wish to be forced to wear a Headscarf or Burkha. I find the Iranian law of compulsory Headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic human rights including my right to freedom of expression, and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It seems that under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is not to go to Iran. “I am very disappointed to see that players' rights and welfare are given such less importance while allotting and/or organizing official championships. I understand the organizers expecting us to wear our National Team Dress or Formals or Sporting attire for our games during official championships, but surely there is no place for an enforceable religious dress code in sports,” the Indian chess master added. Swaminathan apologized for not being able to accompany the national team of India by saying, “It is a huge honour for me to represent India everytime I am selected in the National Team and I deeply regret that I will be unable to participate in such an important championship. While we sportspersons are willing to make several adjustments for the sake of our sport, always giving it top priority in our life, some things simply cannot be compromised."
This is not the first time that women chess players refuse to take part in tournaments in Iran. Irina Krush from the US and Mariya Muzychuk from Ukraine boycotted the chess championship in Iran in 2017. Nazi Paikidze from US did not go to Iran in 2016.
The Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a statement on October 3, 2016, and strongly condemned awarding the Women's World Chess Championship to Iran under the rule of the mullahs' religious dictatorship. The NCRI Women's Committee urged FIDE to cancel its decision.
The Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran urged all female chess players to protest the FIDE decision in step with other top champions who boycotted the games and declared their refusal to take part in the event in Tehran in protest to the mandatory veil and suppression of women in Iran.

Kurdish women were banned from wearing traditional dress in public. This was announced by the Security Council of Oshnavieh, West Azerbaijan Province in northwestern Iran, following a traditional feast in Kurdistan called the Cherry Feast. After a joint meeting of the Security Council, the Department of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guard Corps in Oshnavieh, the agencies issued a warning according to which Kurdish women were banned from wearing traditional dress in public and in the Cherry Feast. The Department of Intelligene and the IRGC have also instructed the Governorate of Oshnavieh to prevent citizens from speaking Kurdish in public places. The Cherry Feast is a local traditional celebration of the people of Oshnavieh where they sell their garden producs. Men and women of Oshnavieh participate in this feast with their folklore and traditional outfits but they were prevented from doing so this year.

Yeganeh Yaghoutpour, one of the members of the Iranian women's rowing team, said in an interview with the state-run ISNA news agency, describing the deplorable conditions of women's exercises ahead of the rowing tournament. She also explained in this interview, that the circumstances for the Iranian women's rowing team is horrible and they do not have any place for prep exercises. As a result, she said, "the athletes in this field have to do their exercises in the sewage and there has been no improvement in this situation."
Yaghoutpour added, "We need a dock where we can get on our boats but this has not been provided yet. The athletes have to step into mud mixed with black water... All around the exercize area is covered with sharp shells which injure the athletes."
She further explained, "There is no trash can nor any water taps in the place for exercize in Bandar Abbas for the athletes to wash their hands and feet after the exercize. Unfortunately, the athletes do their exercizes under such circumstances and no one can sense these problems as the athletes do."
This member of the Iranian women's rowing team also explained some of the problems they face in group exercises. She said, "For group exercises, the athletes have to buy their own ores which have to be provided by the rowing delegation. Athletes have to endure numerous problems and we have rarely seen any changes in recent years." She said the boat given to the Iranian women's rowing team is one that was being used ten years ago in Tehran and has been repeatedly repaired. The boat weighs around 200 kilograms and has not wheels, so members of the Iranian women's rowing team have to carry it to the exercize area on their own.
Despite such deplorable conditions and lack of any form of government support, the Iranian women's rowing team won second place in Spain's intercontinental rowing tournament in the 200-m dragon boat competitions among 12 teams.

US official says state-backed group behind acid attacks on women. Ansar-e Hezbollah has been behind acid attacks on women in Isfahan (central Iran), said an undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury Department. In October 2014, a wave of acid attacks was carried out against women in Tehran and Isfahan after incitement by Friday prayer leaders and took toll on dozens of women.
Sigal Mandelker, the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Treasury Department, was cited by USAdarFarsi (the U.S. State Department’s Facebook in Farsi) on June 7, as saying so.
Ms. Mandelker said those who were contemplating trade with Iran must understand that the regime not only foments violence in the Middle East through terrorism and other destabilizing activities, but it also does not care about its own people through gross violations of human rights against women, political dissidents and others.