MESOP DOCUMENTS : An Open Letter of Protest and Condemnation against the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran / The Execution of Kurdish Political Prisoner, Mansour Arvand

To the UN Secretary General and The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Dear Secretary General:

The Kurdish Human Rights Advocacy Group (KHRAG) and Kurdish community in Southern California vehemently condemn the savage execution of Mansour Arvand, a Kurdish political prisoner by the Islamic Republic of Iran on June 15, 2015. We express our outrage at this criminal act and express our profound condolences to Arvand’s family, friends, and his compatriots.

As you may be aware, the Center for the Kurdistan Human Rights Defense in a press release has announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran has hanged Mansour Arvand, a Kurdish political prisoner. He had reportedly been transferred from the Central Prison of Mahabad to Miandoab where he was executed at dawn. Mansour, a popular wrestler and coach, was 39 years old at the time of his execution.

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Former VP Hamid Baghaei Arrested: Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei announced [Pr] that Hamid Baghaei, a former Vice President in the Ahmadinejad administration, has been arrested on unspecified charges. Iranian filmmaker, producer, and television screenwriter Mostafa Azizi who was arrested [Pr] last year on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security, acting against national security, and insulting the Supreme Leader through online activities,” was sentenced [Pr] to eight years. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament traveled to Iran to discuss developing EU-Iran relations, and met with senior Iranian politicians including Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, head of Parliament Ali Larijani, and Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar. Click for links:

MESOP FOCUS : Iran reportedly stepping up shipments of arms, cash to Taliban

WALL STREET JOURNAL / FOX NEWS 14 June 2015 – According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited Afghan and Western officials in its report, Iran’s motivations for stepping up support for the militants are to prevent ISIS from gaining a foothold in Afghanistan and providing a check on U.S. influence ahead of the planned withdrawal of most American troops by the end of 2016.The report quotes a Taliban fighter as saying that the militants receive weapons from smugglers paid by Iran’s government who traffic the contraband through the remote border region where Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan meet. Among the weapons Taliban units allegedly receive are mortars, machine guns, rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades.

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By Hanin Ghaddar – THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL – Earlier this month, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (ICRG) Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani made a surprise visit to Syria near the frontlines outside Latakia, where he vowed that upcoming developments in Syria will soon “surprise” the world. So far, the world has not seen any surprises. On the contrary, the opposition seems to have gained more ground with each day.

The Iranian regime now faces a number of crises. In addition to last-minute challenges before signing the final nuclear deal with the P5+1 by June 30 and its struggling economy, Iran must contend with a unified Arab front in both Yemen and Syria. Given the inability to send more troops to Syria due to financial limitations, Iran has chosen to sacrifice more of Hezbollah’s resources. Iran’s priority now centers on limiting its losses in Syria and protecting the corridor that links the coastal region to the anti-Lebanon mountain chain—i.e., to Hezbollah. To do so, the IRCG has pulled its military units and allied Shia militias from Syria’s north, positioning them along the Alawite coast, Damascus, and the southwest to back Hezbollah forces in Qalamoun. Controlling these areas would secure the strategic corridor that Iran needs to protect its interests in Syria. Everything else can go to rebels—or even the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL).

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MESOP Iran Daily: Revolutionary Guards to US — “Attacking Us Will End in Your Destruction”

By Scott Lucas June 11, 2015 – eaworldview – As Iran and the 5+1 Powers renew talks seeking a comprehensive nuclear agreement by June 30, Tehran’s Revolutionary Guards are continuing their rhetorical offensive against the US. The Guards’ naval commander, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, put down the latest challenge in a speech on Wednesday to members of the Guards and paramilitary Basij:    The Americans should rest assured that if they take any action against the Islamic Revolution, they would not only fail to inflict any harm on this revolution, but also endanger and lose their life and existence.Fadavi said that Iran’s naval capabilities and power ensure security along the Islamic Republic’s coasts and the Persian Gulf. Because of this “deterrent”, Tehran’s enemies “do not take any action that could be harmful to them”:

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Presence of ‪#‎PDKI‬’s Peshmerga Forces Makes Iranian Regime Nervous…/presence-of-pdkis-peshmerga-forces-makes…/‪#‎Twitterkurds‬ ‪#‎Iran‬ ‪#‎KDPI‬

MESOP TODAYS OPINION : By Afshon Ostovar – Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies (Brookings)

10 june 2015 – Iran has a bigger problem than the West: Its Sunni neighbors – Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on Lawfare.

Striking a deal is the easy part. – That would be my counsel to Iran’s leaders. As negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 grow closer to the end of June deadline, it is worthwhile to think through the potential implications of a deal for Iran and the region. The general hope is that a deal will be positive for everyone. It will certainly benefit the United States. First and foremost, a deal would reduce the likelihood of a major war against Iran. It could save lives and money, prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, greatly extend the timeline for Iran to gain a breakout capability, and help repair the mistrust that has bogged down U.S.-Iran relations since the revolution. War has proven a poor mechanism for repairing the Middle East’s problems. A triumph of diplomacy could be what’s needed.

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MESOP : WADI GERMANY GOES IRAN – FGM in Iranian Kurdistan needs to be put on international agenda

SLEMANI,— Female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced in Iran as well as in many other countries not on the list of Unicef highlighting 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Now, finally this fact is widely recognized and published in international media after the social anthropologist Kameel Ahmady released his comprehensive study on FGM/C in Iranian Kurdistan.Ahmady and his team have surveyed 3000 women and 1000 men in Iran’s Kurdistan region over the course of ten years. The research shows that FGM is practiced by Sunni minorities in West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Hormozgan. Repeated surveys in the same regions show that the practice is in decline, yet still highly prevalent in some areas. In Western Azerbaijan prevalence has dropped from 39% to 21% today. In Hormozghan 68% affirmed to be mutilated in 2011 while only 60% said so in 2014.

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MESOP REPORT FROM BRUSSELS : Iran should be prosecuted in human rights court

EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN) – Brussels, 8 June 2015 – Middle East Diplomatic (MED) – Talking in an international conference on Iran in the European Parliament (EP), human rights experts and representatives from different ethnical minorities with Iranian origin agreed that human rights violations, systematic oppression, torture and killings are still continuing for decades in the mullah regime. Moreover, EU and USA policy towards Teheran don’t give any positive outcome for reforms and respect of basic human rights. The speakers asked to the international community to bring the regime’s leadership to the international court for crime against humanity.

The conference was organised by East-Kurdistan Committee in cooperation with Kurdish Friendship Group in European Parliament and Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) and hosted by Liadh NÍ RIADA (GUE-NGL).

Representatives of Beluchi, Kurdish, Yarsan, Persian, Azeri, Arab and other ethnical minorities living in Iran, as well as to politicians from different political parties took part in the discussions. Among the speakers were Mr. Adem UZUN (Kurdistan National Congress – KNK), Mr.Nasser BOLADAI (Moderate Balucestan Party), Mr. Khalaf Hossein KAABI (The Arab Struggle movement for liberation of Alahwaz), Jan BEGHIN (Former President of the Brussels Parliament), Mr. Salimi-Dasari ALIASGHR (Persian Representative), Mr. Bahram REHMANI (Azeri Representative), Dr. Rebwar Rashed (Human Rights Activist and writer, Sweden), Mr. Haji Ahmadi (Co-President of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), Mr. Naseri Khass (Democratic organization of Yarsan (YDO), Mr. Soran Zaki (Komela Yeksani), Mr. Omar Elkhanizadeh (Komeleî Zahmetkêşanî Kurdîstan), Mr. Rostam Almazi, (Yari Kurd).

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- Iran Promotes Continuation of Kurd – Shi’ite Alliance / President Masum will visit Kurdistan Region to discuss disputes between Erbil and Baghdad

Basnews | Shwan Barzinji – 09.06.2015 – ERBIL – The Islamic Republic of Iran is encouraging Iraqi Shi’ites and Kurds to continue the alliance which during the first government following the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime.A source from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has told BasNews that the President of Iraq is to meet his Kurdistan Region counterpart in Erbil soon, in order to deliver a letter from PM Haider al-Abadi, which addresses the Shi’ite – Kurd alliance and the strained relationship between Baghdad and Erbil.

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