Insider news & Analysis in Iran
Despite White House Expectations, Iran Seems Even More Committed to Hostage-Taking

On Wednesday, it was reported that yet another person with Western citizenship, specifically an Iranian-British dual national, had been detained in the Islamic Republic amidst escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf. The BBC identified the arrestee, Kameel Ahmady, as a social anthropologist who has done research on such topics and female genital mutilation and the persistent practice of child marriage in Iran. This background raises the possibility that he has been targeted on the basis of perceived ideological challenges to the theocratic regime, but it is equally likely that his dual citizenship alone was sufficient motivation for security services to arrest him.

Iranian Regime Continues to Use the Death Penalty

The Iranian regime’s use of the death penalty as a punishment is something that concerns human rights organisations all over the world. Despite constant calls for the Iranian regime to stop resorting to the use of execution, the practice still continues on a regular basis.

Tehran’s Appears Confident in British Restraint, but UK Strategy Remains Uncertain

Questions swirled on Tuesday about British foreign policy regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such questions have been prevalent ever since Boris Johnson was installed as the UK’s new Prime Minister in late July. And since then, his government has faced pressure from two sides: those advocating for a hardline strategy in line with the White House’s “maximum pressure,” and those who favor a conciliatory approach that is more in line with the status quo.

Iran: Army Force Kills Civilians in Dispute Over Land

It has been reported that there have been a number of casualties and fatalities following an incident in the Mazandaran province in norther Iran. It has been said that four people have been injured and two killed when an army air force opened fire on locals.

The people that were caught up in the incident had been protesting and voicing their discontent at attempts that have been made to seize their land.

Can Maximum Pressure Prompt Hostage’s Release From Iran After Three Years?

This week marked three years since the US citizen and Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang was arrested and accused of spying. His 10-year sentence matches that of other Americans who have apparently been taken hostage by hardline Iranian authorities on the basis of little other than their US citizenship. Wang was the subject of a number of retrospective reports and editorials marking the anniversary of his imprisonment, and many of these have quoted his wife, Hua Qu, with regard to the false nature of the charges against him.

Iran Appeals for Help From the UN, but International Trends Are Against the Regime

On Tuesday, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations officially appealed to the international body for help in alleviating the pressure that is still increasing from US sanctions and associated diplomatic isolation. The previous week, it was announced that the US Treasury was imposing sanctions on Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in keeping with a threat that had been voiced earlier in July. The White House formalized a strategy of “maximum pressure” last year after withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but it has only moved gradually toward a maximum threshold ever since.

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