Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts

May 11, 2018

Boeing, Airbus to Lose Nearly $40B-Thanks to Trump's Pull Out Of Iran Deal















The Boeing logo on the first Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane

Boeing, Airbus to lose nearly $40B thanks to new Iran sanctions The Boeing logo on the first Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

Airplane manufacturers Boeing and Airbus will lose roughly $39 billion in combined plane contracts with Iranian carriers as a result of the Trump administration's reimposition of sanctions following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Washington Post's Steven Mufson and Damian Paletta report.
The backdrop: Both companies were reportedly the biggest beneficiaries of the Obama-era pact that eased sanctions on Iran in return for increased restrictions on its nuclear weapons program. In 2016, Airbus signed a deal to supply Iran Air with 100 airplanes for about $19 billion, and Boeing had a $20 billion contract to deliver 110 aircraft. "The aircraft sales were among the most sought-after contracts for Iran," write Mufson and Piletta.
  • On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Boeing and Airbus licenses would be revoked. 
But, but, but, Boeing's CEO Dennis Muilenburg has "downplayed the loss" of jetliner sales to Iranian air carriers, noting that the company hasn't started building any planes for Iranian carriers, Bloomberg reports. Meanwhile, Airbus had reportedly delivered three of the 100 planes it agreed to supply.
AXIOS

February 6, 2018

Remember When Oil Was Going to Be Flowing Out of Liberated Iraq? It is to Iran


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 Liberated? Iraq



In KIRKUK, Iraqi forces are preparing an operation to consolidate control of an area near the Iran border to be used for the transit of Iraqi oil, two officials said on Monday, highlighting concern about mountainous terrain where two armed groups are active. 

The operation to secure the Hamrin mountain range could start this week, they told Reuters. The area lies between the Kirkuk oil fields and the town of Khanaqin at the Iranian border. Iraqi oil officials announced in December plans to transport Kirkuk crude by truck to Iran’s Kermanshah refinery. 

The trucking was to start last week and oil officials declined to give reasons for the delay other than it was technical in nature. 

The officials did not elaborate on the possible threats to the Hamrin mountain range. But two groups of insurgents are known to be operating there, one formed by remnants of the ultra-hardline militant Sunni organization Islamic State, while the other known as “White Banners”, is new and little known. 

The White Banners fighters are believed to be drawn from Kurdish populations displaced from the regions of Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmato, in October, when Iraqi government forces and Iranian-backed paramilitary took over the area, according to Hisham al-Hashimi, a security analyst in Baghdad. 

“The White Banners have no connection to Daesh nor to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG),” referring to the semi-autonomous Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq, he said. 

Iraqi military officials acknowledge the existence of a group called White Banners but refused to comment on its composition or leadership. The KRG has “strictly no relations whatsoever”’ with this group, a Kurdish official told Reuters. 

Trucking crude oil to Iran was agreed under a swap agreement announced in December by the two countries, to allow a resumption of oil exports from Kirkuk. 

Iraq and Iran have agreed to swap up to 60,000 barrels per day of crude produced from Kirkuk for Iranian oil to be delivered to southern Iraq. 

Kirkuk crude sales have been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October. 

Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk in 2014, when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of Islamic State. The Kurdish move prevented the militants from seizing the region’s oilfields. 
(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli, Editing by William Maclean)
REUTERS

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January 10, 2018

Hanging In Iran for Some Dug Offenses Has Been Abolished

Image copyright 


 

Iranian officials prepare a noose for an execution in Noor of a convicted murderer who was eventually spared by the mother of his victim (15 April 2014) 
Image caption
(AFP pictures) 
               BBC reports:
Capital punishment has been abolished for some drug offences, and the head of the judiciary has said all cases on death row can be reviewed.
The move is set to be applied retrospectively, meaning some 5,000 prisoners could escape execution.
Iran executes hundreds of people every year, mostly for drug offences.
In August, Iran's parliament raised the threshold on the amount of drugs that would be considered a capital offence. 
Under the previous law, possessing 30g of cocaine would trigger the death penalty but that has been increased to 2kg (4.4lb). The limit on opium and marijuana has been increased tenfold to 50kg.
  • Iranian minister calls for fewer executions in 2016
  • Iran's drug addicts 'more than double' in six years
  • 'Disturbing rise' in global executions
Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani told local media that most death sentences would be reduced to extended jail terms.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, from Iran Human Rights (IHR), an independent NGO based in Norway, welcomed the law change.
Image shows an Iranian policeman guarding 3,000kg (6,600lb) of opium seized from drug smugglers.
An Iranian policeman guards 3,000kg (6,600lb) of opium seized from drug smugglers(AFP)










"If implemented properly, this change in law will represent one of the most significant steps towards reduction in the use of the death penalty worldwide," he told the BBC.
But he expressed concern that those on death row might not be able to take advantage. "Since most of those sentenced to death for drug offences belong to the most marginalised parts of Iranian society, it is not given that they have the knowledge and resources to apply for commuting their sentence," he said.
Human rights group Amnesty International also welcomed the news, but said it would like to see further progress.
"The Iranian authorities must stop using the death penalty for drug-related offences, with a view to eventually abolishing it for all crimes," a spokeswoman said.
"There are currently an estimated 5,000 people on death row for such offences across the country. About 90% of them are first-time offenders aged between 20 and 30 years old."
The group quoted an official who said that, since 1988, Iran had executed 10,000 people for drug crimes.
In 2016, Iran's then justice minister said he was looking for an "effective punishment" for criminals instead of execution. Mostafa Pourmohammadi said he thought the number of capital crimes should be revised and the death penalty kept for "corrupt people".

December 29, 2017

Iran Hit by Anti Goverment Demonstrations




Large numbers reportedly turned out in Rasht, in the north, and Kermanshah, in the west, with smaller protests in Isfahan, Hamadan and elsewhere.
The protests began against rising prices but have spiralled into a general outcry against clerical rule and government policies.
A small number of people have been arrested in Tehran, the capital.
They were among a group of 50 people who gathered in a city square, Tehran's deputy governor-general for security affairs told the Iranian Labour News Agency.
The US State Department condemned the arrests and urged "all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption".

How did the protests start?

The demonstrations began in the north-eastern city of Mashhad - the country's second most-populous - on Thursday.
People there took to the streets to express anger at the government over high prices, and vented their fury against President Hassan Rouhani. Fifty-two people were arrested for chanting "harsh slogans".
The protests spread to other cities in the north-east, and and some developed into broader anti-government demonstrations, calling for the release of political prisoners and an end to police beatings. 
On Friday, despite warnings from authorities, the demonstrations spread further to some of the biggest cities in the country.
They represent the most serious and widespread expression of public discontent in Iran since mass protests in 2009 that followed a disputed election, correspondents say.

What are people complaining about?

What began as a protest against economic conditions and corruption has turned political.
Slogans have been chanted against not just Mr Rouhani but Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and clerical rule in general.
Demonstrators were reportedly heard yelling slogans like "The people are begging, the clerics act like God". Protests have even been held in Qom, a holy city home to powerful clerics.
There is also anger at Iran's interventions abroad. In Mashhad, some chanted "not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran", a reference to what protesters say is the administration's focus on foreign rather than domestic issues. 
Other demonstrators chanted "leave Syria, think about us" in videos posted online. Iran is a key provider of military support to the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
It is also accused of providing arms to Houthi rebels fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, which it denies, and is an ally of Lebanon's powerful Shia movement Hezbollah. Iran's Fars news agency, which is close to the elite and powerful Revolutionary Guards security force, reported that many protesters who turned out over economic grievances decided to leave rallies after others yelled political slogans.
President Rouhani promised the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with world powers would boost the economy. However despite the lifting of international sanctions, the unemployment rate is 12.4%.

How big are the protests?

There have been calls on social media for protests up and down the country, despite warnings from the government against illegal gatherings.
Demonstrations of varying sizes are reported to have occurred in at least seven cities. 
Overall, the numbers said to be taking part range from a less than 100 in some places to thousands in others - but demonstrations do not appear to be taking place on a massive scale.
Map showing cities in Iran where protests have occurred

How have the authorities reacted?

Videos posted on social media appear to show clashes between security forces and some demonstrators in Kermanshah. 
Fars news agency reported that protesters there destroyed some public property and were dispersed.
The governor-general of Tehran said that any such gatherings would be firmly dealt with by the police, who are out in force on main intersections.
Officials in Mashhad said the protest was organised by "counter-revolutionary elements", and video online showed police using water cannon.
BBC

'Seething discontent'

Analysis by Kasra Naji, BBC Persian
The demonstrations have taken the Iranian authorities by surprise. Impromptu anti-government demonstrations are rare in a country where the Revolutionary Guard and numerous intelligence agencies have a strong grip on the population.
Predictably they are blaming anti-revolutionary elements and foreign agents. But the protests clearly stem from seething discontent in Iran, mainly because of the worsening economic conditions faced by ordinary Iranians. 
A BBC Persian investigation has found that Iranians, on average, have become 15% poorer in the past 10 years alone. 
Many believe that money that should be used to improve their lives is being spent by Iran's leaders on conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Billions are also being spent on spreading religious propaganda and Shia Islam around the world. 
But it seems that the hardliners opposed to President Rouhani may have triggered the unrest by holding a demonstration that quickly grew out of control and spread to cities and towns across the country.

August 6, 2017

Iranian-American Scholar Believes There's One Nation Trump Will Invade and is not NKorea









Something extraordinary has happened in Washington. President Donald Trump has made it clear, in no uncertain terms and with no effort to disguise his duplicity, that he will claim that Tehran is cheating on the nuclear deal by October—the facts be damned. In short, the fix is in. Trump will refuse to accept that Iran is in compliance and thereby set the stage for a military confrontation. His advisors have even been kind enough to explain how they will go about this. Rarely has a sinister plan to destroy an arms control agreement and pave the way for war been so openly telegraphed.
The unmasking of Trump’s plans to sabotage the nuclear deal began two weeks ago when he reluctantly had to certify that Iran indeed was in compliance. Both the US intelligence as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency had confirmed Tehran’s fair play. But Trump threw a tantrum in the Oval Office and berated his national security team for not having found a way to claim Iran was cheating. According to Foreign Policy, the adults in the room—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster—eventually calmed Trump down but only on the condition that they double down on finding a way for the president to blow up the deal by October.
Prior to the revelation of Trump’s Iran certification meltdown, most analysts and diplomats believed that Trump’s rhetoric on Iran was just that—empty talk. His bark was worse than his bite, as demonstrated when he certified Iran’s compliance back in April and when he renewed sanctions waivers in May. The distance between his rhetoric and actual policy was tangible. Rhetorically, Trump officials described Iran as the root of all problems in the Middle East and as the greatest state sponsor of terror. Trump even suggested he might quit the deal.
In action, however, President Trump continued to waive sanctions and admitted that Iran was adhering to the deal. As a result, many concluded that Trump would continue to fulfill the obligations of the deal while sticking to his harsh rhetoric in order to appease domestic opponents of the nuclear deal—as well as Trump’s allies in Saudi Arabia and Israel.
But now, assessments are changing. The tangible danger of Trump’s malice on the Iran deal—as well as the danger of the advice of the “adults in the room”—became further clarified this week as tidbits of the reality TV star’s plans began to leak.
How to Wreck a Deal
Recognizing that refusing to certify Iran would isolate the United States, Trump’s advisors gave him another plan. Use the spot-inspections mechanism of the nuclear deal, they suggested, to demand access to a whole set of military sites in Iran. Once Iran balks—which it will since the mechanism is only supposed to be used if tangible evidence exists that those sites are being used for illicit nuclear activities—Trump can claim that Iran is in violation, blowing up the nuclear deal while shifting the blame to Tehran.
Thus, the advice of the adults in the room—those who we are supposed to restrain Trump—was not to keep the highly successful nuclear deal that has taken both an Iranian bomb and war with Iran off the table. Rather, they recommended killing it in a manner that would conceal Trump’s malice and shift the cost to Iran.
According to The New York Times, the groundwork for this strategy has already been laid. Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker (R-TN) calls this strategy “radical enforcement” of the deal. “If they don’t let us in,” Corker told The Washington Post, “boom.” Then he added: “You want the breakup of this deal to be about Iran. You don’t want it to be about the U.S., because we want our allies with us.”
This is a charade, a rerun of the machinations that resulted in the Iraq war. It doesn’t matter what Iran does or doesn’t do. If it were up to Trump, he’d never have accepted that Iran was in compliance in the first place. He admitted as much to the Wall Street Journal. “If it was up to me, I would have had them [the Iranians] non-compliant 180 days ago.”
Sounding supremely confident of the “radical implementation” strategy, Trump added that “I think they’ll be noncompliant [in October].” In so doing, he further confirmed doubts that the process is about determining whether Iran is in compliance or not. The administration is committed to finding a way to claim Iran has violated the accord, regardless of the facts—just as George W. Bush did with Iraq.
Potential for Backfire
But Trump’s confidence may be misplaced on two levels. First, abusing the inspection mechanisms of the deal may prove harder than Trump has been led to believe. The inspections are the cornerstone of the deal, and Iran’s ability to cheat on the deal is essentially non-existent as long as the integrity and efficiency of the inspections remain in tact. But if Trump begins to abuse the mechanism to fabricate a conflict, he will end up undermining the inspections regime and actually enhance the ability of those in Iran who would like to pursue a covert nuclear program. Precisely because of the commitment of Europe and others to non-proliferation, they are likely to resist Trump’s efforts to tinker with the inspections.
Second, by revealing his hand, Trump has displayed his duplicity for all to see. That includes the American public, whose anti-war sentiments remain strong and are a key reason they supported the nuclear deal in the first place.
The American public knows the Iraq playbook quite well. Trump’s own supporters remain enraged by the disastrous war with Iraq. They know how they got played. It’s difficult to imagine why they would allow themselves to get played again by a president who has left little doubt about his intent to deceive.
by Trita Parsi
EducationPaul H. Nitze School of Advanced International StudiesUppsala UniversityJohns Hopkins University

June 13, 2017

What Are The New Sanctions Approved on Monday Against Russia










 Senate leaders said they had reached an agreement late on Monday to approve new sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and for the country’s conduct in Ukraine and Syria, delivering a striking message to a foreign power that continues to shadow President Trump.

The bipartisan measure would place the White House in an uncomfortable position, arriving amid sweeping investigations into ties between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. The sanctions package would also cut against the administration’s stated aim to reshape the United States’ relationship with Russia after Mr. Trump took office.

In a statement released late Monday, the top Republican and Democratic senators on the Foreign Relations Committee and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs said the agreement would impose new sanctions and “provide for a mandated congressional review” if the White House sought to ease penalties unilaterally.

The new sanctions would be imposed upon “corrupt Russian actors,” people involved in human rights abuses, suppliers of weapons to the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and people conducting “malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government,” among others.

The measure would also cement existing sanctions, including some affecting Russian energy projects, that were enacted as part of executive orders, the senators said.

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The agreement has the blessing of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader. In a statement, Mr. Schumer called the new sanctions “a powerful and bipartisan statement to Russia.”

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson requested more time before new sanctions were put into place, hoping to improve a relationship with Moscow that he said had reached its lowest point in years.

Some Republicans, including Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, were initially inclined to give the administration space. But last month, Mr. Corker said he had seen “no difference whatsoever” in Russia’s conduct, noting its “work against our interest” in Syria.

He called on Mr. Tillerson to demonstrate progress with Russia in short order if the administration hoped to head off bipartisan sanctions legislation in the Senate.

On Monday, Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, suggested the president would face immense pressure not to stand in the way of a united congressional effort to punish Russia. “I’d be very, very surprised if the president vetoes this bill,” Mr. Cardin said before the deal was announced.

The measures are being considered with an Iran sanctions bill that is nearing passage in the Senate. That bill would impose the most sweeping sanctions against Iran since the United States and five other world powers, including Russia, reached a deal with Tehran in 2015 to sharply limit Iranian nuclear capability.
 


March 9, 2017

Follow The Money!!Trump with Iran $$ thru Azerbaijan and Military Guard



The Trump Tower Baku never opened. Trump partnered with an Azerbaijani family that U.S. officials called notoriously unethical.Photograph by Davide Monteleone for The New Yorker 



There are some main media reporters looking this up but no one gathers it together like Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.  I listened to her reporting on this for a couple of her programs and lots of things made sense and some of it was easily traceable. That is why Im posting this article that came to the Idaho State Journal down below. No name but with most of the facts mashed together to get someone to look into any part of this or more interesting, all of it and see something is wrong with the picture at the White House.  You need to do the simple leg work and google about this and only go by main sources on the main media (no I don’t mean Breibart because even though they are now connected to the White House thru Steve Bannon, that does not make them main line, they are still and they proudly would agree to the right of the right with their own set of alternate facts). 
Just search Trump and Iran or Trump and Iran money, hotels never opened or any of the names in this article.

One of the things you will find is that Trump is involved in anything around the world that smells of money. This would not surprise anyone because he has business all over the map. There was one point on Trump business life where he screwed up big and was going down fast like a gold fish in the toilet bowl.. This was around 2005 when he failed in the casino business. He was so hard up for money he would do anything from cameos for Playboy to get involved with TV producing. Around that time there was an influx of money and there is no place where you can find legally where it came from unless you are an expert at this or you are the government with subpoenas and his tax returns of where some of that money might have come from.  

As you know, you don’t get money for free. You can get a loan but you need collateral and when you need a billion or so, where would it come from and what collateral would you have if you are going broke?

We have just entered an unlit tunnel of dirty money and dirty politics on the backs of the country as a whole when Trump entered the WH. Things are not getting better and Im sure you already are starting to get a little grumbling from your tummy when you think about it. That is if you have money invested (not millions) that can be lost thru your IRA or bonds, etc. Or you have a pre-existing condition and you are in your 50”s making less than 25k a year or you have a son or daughter in the military or simply if you care that the county that we built is loosing everything that made it great and it was never about how many nukes we had and how many times we can nuke the world over
( with the important people going to the undisclosed locations to start over again, at least they think so and they have the capabilities underground and soon in outer space).

If we demand the truth we will get most of it. The only tool you have on your hands left since your vote is gone, is the politicians in Washington that want very badly to get reelected every two years (the house) and the senators due for reelection. If pressure is put on this people they will do the oversight over the white House but it wont be easy because the voting public decided to give the house and the senate and the white house to the Republicans. But if enough truth comes out like in Watergate you will see this corrupt tree shake and you will be amazed at the few monkeys that might come down kicking, screaming and running for their lives.
                                                                          _*_

We need Congress to get serious about investigating President Trump’s Russian connections now. I think we need an independent, 9/11 style commission to handle this investigation. More of President Trump’s Russian connections are being revealed each day. The recent story in the New Yorker by Adam Davidson is particularly troubling. Trump’s hotel deal in Azerbaijan, a notoriously corrupt State, is linked through Ziya Mammadov, the Transportation Minister of Azerbaijan, to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The US has sanctioned the Guard as a terrorist entity. It sponsors and supports terrorism materially and financially all over the Middle East. The Trump organization entered this hotel deal in Azerbaijan in 2014, and reported receiving $2.8 billion before he backed out of the real estate project a month after the 2016 election.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act forbids an American company from participating in a scheme to reward a foreign government official in exchange for material benefit or preferential treatment. But the Trump Organization may have broken the law in its work with the Mammadov family. The law even made it a crime for an American company to unknowingly benefit from a partner’s corruption if it could have discovered illicit activity but avoided doing so.


Then there is Trump’s association with Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian Fertilizer King. He sold this Russian oligarch a house in Palm Beach, Florida and pocketed a cool $60 million profit on the sale. Neither he nor Rybolovlev ever lived on the property. This sale appears to be a thinly-veiled money laundering transaction to funnel money from Russia to Trump. In addition, Deutsche Bank in Germany was busted for laundering more than ten billion dollars out of Russia and into places like New York. This stood out because Deutsche has also loaned more than a billion dollars to Donald Trump, who just happens to be based out of New York, even at a time when the bank was struggling and Trump was viewed as a poor loan risk by every other bank out there. It turns out Deutsche was funneling that money through Bank of Cyprus. Guess who owns a 9.9% share in Bank of Cyprus? Dmitry Rybolovlev. We can now draw a direct line of more than a billion dollars flowing from Russia, through Rybolovlev, to Donald Trump.

Senator Sherrod Brown has said that: “Congress and the Trump administration has a duty to examine whether the President or his family is exposed to terrorist financing, sanctions, money laundering and other imprudent associations through their business holdings and connections.” We agree with the Senator. It is WAY past time for Congress to insist that President Trump release his tax returns: or if he refuses to do that, Congress needs to subpoena those returns from Treasury.

February 10, 2017

In Iran Thousands March Against USA but Others Are Thankful


Its very interesting that in Iran an enemy of the US and being  a control society, still you find people that are listening not just to Washington nowadays but to Americans and to what americans are saying about immigration and racism. There are some crazy anti US *Mulas in Iran but so in the US. 

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians heeded the call of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to demonstrate Friday against U.S. "threats" — but some had words of support for Americans.

There was a notable absence of burning U.S. flags during the march along Revolutionary Road that leads to Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square - particularly given the fact that Friday marked the 38th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

At similar rallies in years past, it would be typical to see a U.S. flag burning every 10-15 yards, but none were seen Friday. And only one effigy of President Donald Trump was witnessed, as opposed to dozens of former President Barack Obama at the same event last year.

Despite Trump threatening Iran on Twitter last week that it was "on notice," and calls by Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani to rally, a social media movement to tone down the protests appeared to have had some impact in cosmopolitan Tehran. In addition, very few placards handed out by official state organizers mentioned Trump or had anti-American slogans.

Iranians used the hashtag #LoveBeyondFlags to urge an end to the U.S. flag-burning typically seen at the annual anniversary rally.

During the rally in Tehran, some people carried placards in support of the U.S. and thanked ordinary Americans for opposing Trump’s executive order banning entry to the United States to travelers from seven mainly Muslim countries, including Iran.

 

Image: Iranians mark the 38th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran, Friday.


Iranians mark the 38th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran, Friday. Abedin Taherkenareh / EPA
*In the smapnish language a *mula is a jack ass or donkey.

August 5, 2016

Iran Hangs Teenager Over Anal Sex






[The following report was published on Amnesty International on Aug. 2, 2016]

Amnesty International has revealed that a teenager was executed in Iran after being convicted of the rape of another boy, the first confirmed execution of a juvenile offender in the country this year.

The organization, which has been carrying out extensive research into the situation of juvenile offenders on death row in Iran, found that Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Arak’s Prison in Markazi Province on 18 July, after being convicted of “lavat-e be onf” (forced male to male anal intercourse) in early 2015. The execution went ahead even though the Office of the Head of the Judiciary had promised his family that they would review the case on 15 September 2016.

Iran has proved that its sickening enthusiasm for putting juveniles to death, in contravention of international law, knows no bounds 

“Iran has proved that its sickening enthusiasm for putting juveniles to death, in contravention of international law, knows no bounds. Hassan Afshar was a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested. He had no access to a lawyer and the judiciary rushed through the investigation and prosecution, convicting and sentencing him to death within two months of his arrest as though they could not execute him quickly enough,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International

“In a cruel stroke of irony, officials did not inform Hassan Afshar of his death sentence for around seven months while he was held in a juvenile detention facility because they did not want to cause him distress – and yet astonishingly were still prepared to execute him. With this execution, Iranian authorities have demonstrated once again their callous disregard for human rights.”

Just days after Hassan Afshar was executed, the authorities scheduled Alireza Tajiki, another youth who was under 18 at the time of his alleged offence, for execution. The implementation of his death sentence, which had been scheduled to take place on 3 August was, however, postponed yesterday following public pressure.

“While we welcome the stay of execution for Alireza Tajiki, his life has been saved for the moment because of public pressure and not because the Iranian authorities are seriously considering stopping the horrendous practice of executing juveniles. This is illustrated by the fact that just two weeks ago Hassan Afshar was hanged in anonymity – publicity should not make the difference between life and death,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.

For the 160 individuals who remain on death row in prisons across Iran for crimes allegedly committed when they were under 18, the news of yet another juvenile execution will come as a terrifying blow.

“Any one of these youths could be next in line for execution. The torment that Iran’s flawed juvenile justice system has inflicted on them will not end until the Iranian authorities commute their death sentences and amend Iran’s Penal Code to abolish the use of death penalty for all crimes committed under 18 years of age, as immediate first steps towards full abolition of this punishment,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.

Hassan Afshar was arrested in December 2014 after the authorities received a complaint accusing him and two other youths of forcing a teenage boy to have sexual intercourse with them. Hassan Afshar maintained that the sexual acts were consensual and that the complainant’s son had willingly engaged in same-sex sexual activities before.

While authorities must always investigate allegations of rape and, where sufficient admissible evidence is found, prosecute those responsible in fair trials, rape does not fall into the category of offences for which the death penalty can be imposed under international law. Furthermore, the existence of laws in Iran that criminalize consensual male to male sexual intercourse with the death penalty means that if the intercourse in this case had been deemed consensual, the teenager who accused Hassan Afshar of rape would himself have been sentenced to death. The criminalization of same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults violates international human rights law.

The Supreme Court initially overturned the sentence due to incomplete investigations but ultimately upheld it in March 2016.

Background

Male individuals who engage in same-sex anal intercourse face different punishments under Iranian criminal law depending on whether they are the “active” or “passive” partners and whether their conduct is characterized as consensual or non-consensual. If the conduct is deemed consensual, the “passive” partner of same-sex anal conduct shall be sentenced to the death penalty. The “active” partner, however, is sentenced to death only if he is married, or if he is not a Muslim and the “passive” partner is a Muslim.

If the intercourse is deemed non-consensual, the “active” partner receives the death penalty but the “passive” partner is exempted from punishment and treated as a victim. This legal framework risks creating a situation where willing “recipients” of anal intercourse may feel compelled, when targeted by the authorities, to characterize their consensual sexual activity as rape in order to avoid the death penalty.

International law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Iran is a state party, absolutely prohibits the use of death penalty for crimes committed when the defendant was below 18 years of age.

International law restricts the application of the death penalty to the “most serious crimes”, which refers to intentional killing.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally, for all cases and under any circumstances.

March 16, 2015

Tom Cotton’s Unpatriotic Forefathers, Does it run in the family? “Treason on Iran"



The ideology of movement conservatives is not simply partisanship. It is an attack on American democracy itself 

Cotton backing Romney

Anti Gay Tom Cotton on Bebo



  The Republican senators who warned Iranian officials that any agreement they made with President Obama would not outlive the present administration appear to have been blindsided by the backlash against their letter. Republicans as well as Democrats have responded to the move with such fury that unnamed sources clumsily suggested the letter was only a “cheeky” reminder that Congress should have a voice in negotiations. Sen. John McCain downplayed the extraordinary letter as business as usual: “I sign lots of letters,” he told Politico.
But the firestorm continues to rage. Newspaper editorials slam the senators who signed the bill; more than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling for the senators to be tried for treason; #47Traitors has been trending on Twitter.  Why has this letter garnered such a visceral reaction when attacks on the president and his policies are the everyday currency of the modern Republican Party?
It has created a backlash because it shows, with crystal clarity, that the ideology of Movement Conservatives is not simply partisanship. It is an attack on American democracy itself.
The senators who signed the letter are trying to impose their will on a president they hate. This maneuvering is unusual but not novel. It has been central to most of the nation’s internal crises. Whenever adherents of an ideological faction recognize that they do not have the popular support to control the president, they try to game the system. This happens on a grand scale, as when Southern whites so hated the outcome of the 1860 election that made Abraham Lincoln president, they picked up guns to get their way. It happens on smaller scales, as when Republicans in Congress today threaten to shut down the government to make President Obama do what they want. It’s often hard to distinguish smaller-scale machinations from regular partisan politics.
But when a faction tries to gain the upper hand at home by interfering with our international relations, Americans are able to see their attack on our fundamental system for what it is. Crossing the water to find support for a domestic faction puts into stark relief that its adherents have no faith in voters’ choice of leaders; rather, they feel justified in doing whatever it takes to override an elected president, even undercutting the nation’s standing in the world.
  On three dramatic occasions, factions have tried to use foreign affairs to wrest control from a president they hated. In the earliest days of the republic, when Americans were painfully aware the country might not survive, men split into two political camps. The Federalists supported President Washington and his efforts to show international powers that the American government was strong enough to last. The Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson, insisted that the administration’s establishment of a national bank proved that Washington was turning the fledgling democracy into a European-style monarchy. But while the Republicans’ protests irritated the notoriously thin-skinned Washington, they gained little traction against the father of the country.
When French revolutionaries overthrew the French monarchy in 1793, the Republicans saw a wedge issue that might swing voters against the administration. France was an important American ally, but the Federalists looked askance at the country’s instability after the revolutionaries took power. When Washington’s foreign minister signed a treaty of “amity” with England in 1795, Republicans made common cause with the French revolutionaries to strengthen their own hand against the Federalists.
Republicans hoped their support for the democratic French Revolution would help them take power in America, but the French government seemed determined to undermine the cause. It seized American ships, refused to receive an American minister, and finally, in the notorious XYZ affair of 1798, demanded bribes before beginning negotiations to redress American grievances (a common practice in Europe at the time but anathema to cash-strapped Americans building a republic). Eager to promote his party’s fortunes in America, prominent Pennsylvania Republican politician George Logan set off for France in 1798 to urge French officials to court American public opinion. There, he hobnobbed with French diplomats and offered advice on how to swing popular favor their way.
Federalists in Congress were outraged that a private citizen was deliberately working to undercut the administration by negotiating with a foreign power. Free-for-all diplomacy had threatened to shatter the nation under the Articles of Confederation; it had been a driving force in the creation of a stronger government under the Constitution. With the infant country barely recognized by other nations, it was starkly obvious that trying to control internal politics by weakening the nation internationally was suicidal. When Logan came back home, he discovered that Congress had passed what we know as the Logan Act, making his actions a crime. Americans could argue among themselves, but disagreements must stop at the water’s edge. For a faction to use foreign negotiations to trump elected politicians attacked the very existence of American democracy.
The precedent established by the Logan Act held firm from 1799 until the 1950s, when members of a radical faction within the Republican Party tried to take control of foreign policy away from their own president in order to impose their ideology on the country. Movement Conservatives within the Republican Party were horrified by President Eisenhower’s domestic initiatives. These men hated the New Deal consensus, believing that regulation of business, protection of labor, and establishment of a social safety net had imported communism into America. It was bad enough when Democrats FDR and Harry Truman pushed New Deal activism, but when Eisenhower promoted his own version of the New Deal, Movement Conservatives set out to kill activist government once and for all. Still, voters loved Eisenhower and his Middle Way. So Movement Conservatives tried to get the upper hand on the president by attacking his foreign policy.
They launched a public brawl with Eisenhower, arguing that his support for the United Nations opened the way for communism to conquer America. It was only a question of time until the UN dictated all U.S. laws (it would start, they warned white Southerners, by ending racial segregation). To undercut the popular president, Ohio Sen. John Bricker proposed a constitutional amendment that limited the president’s power to negotiate treaties, shifted treaty-making power to Congress, and guaranteed that no treaty could impose policy on America. Movement Conservatives whipped up support for the bill by barnstorming the country, filling meetings, radio shows and newsletters with the warning that a diabolical cabal in government was angling to drag America into a communist world order. Only the Bricker Amendment, and its Movement Conservative sponsors, could save America.
Eisenhower was shocked that his opponents were willing to weaken the nation internationally to score domestic points. He pointed out that Americans had let Congress control foreign affairs under the Articles of Confederation, and the resulting disaster had inspired the authors of the Constitution to centralize international negotiations in the president. But Movement Conservatives ignored the historical record and continued to whip up opposition to Eisenhower’s foreign policy in order to weaken his support and kill his domestic Middle Way.
Their efforts backfired. Determined to prevent the passage of the measure, Eisenhower had to build a coalition with Senate Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson. The Bricker Amendment failed in the Senate in late February 1954 by a single vote. Democrats took control of Congress that November, and for the rest of his presidency Eisenhower would work with Democrats, rather than Movement Conservatives, to make policy.
Sixty years after the Bricker Amendment failed, 47 senators have tried, once again, to undercut a president they abhor by attacking his foreign policy. The letter was addressed to Iranian officials, but it was aimed at strengthening Movement Conservatives at home. Radical senators signed the letter, and Republican presidential hopefuls and right-wing pundits have rushed to support it, adding it to the wide-ranging anti-Obama campaign they have waged since 2008. But while they may have seen it as business-as-usual, most Americans did not. The letter put into stark relief that Movement Conservatives value their ideology more than the nation’s founding principles. If members of a faction can override the president so long as they are willing to sacrifice the country to their cause, elections don’t matter. Only ideology and commitment do.
In 1799 and 1954, this was not what most Americans understood to be American democracy. In 2015, while sending a letter to the leaders of Iran was probably not illegal, Americans across the political spectrum are echoing their predecessors when they condemn the senators who signed it as #47Traitors.
Heather Cox Richardson teaches nineteenth-century American history at Boston College

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