Iran sees its drone supply to Ukraine as a propaganda victory -analysis
Having a foreign report express fear of Iran's drone abilities is more important for them than if their own media simply reported that regional countries are afraid of them. Therefore the decision by Iran’s pro-regime media, which is close to the IRGC, to highlight the drone threat by quoting Israeli sources shows that Iran is paying close attention to how countries see Iran’s threats.It’s not clear if Iran’s drone export to Russia is related to wanting payment for the drones, payment in kind via other products from Russia, or support from Russia for programs such as Iran’s nuclear program.
As Iran issues its first death sentences over the recent protests, one of the survivors of the country's 1988 massacre recalled the pleasure Ebrahim Raisi took in his position as part of the "death commission" that oversaw the executions of political prisoners.
Last year, former political prisoner Mahmoud Royaei penned an op-ed published by CNN that marked the 33rd anniversary of the day Raisi, who was then a deputy prosecutor of Tehran and a key member of the 1988 death commission, decided Royaei's fate.
Northern Iraq: A new base for Iran's protest movement?
Iran recently bombed sites in northern Iraq, saying "terrorists" there were behind Iran's ongoing anti-government protests. Terrorist groups based over the border in Iraq have incited peaceful protesters and have "nefarious terrorist goals," Iran's delegation to the United Nations wrote in a dramatic letter to the UN Security Council in mid-October. The letter was sent after Iran had bombed four areas of neighboring Iraq, sending more than 70 missiles over the border in what was the country's biggest cross-border strike since the 1990s.
Writing about being in the room with Raisi that day, Royaei remembered how the now-president "clearly reveled in having power over life and death, and he wielded it freely in thousands of cases during that summer's massacre of political prisoners."
Over the summer of 1998, thousands of political dissidents were killed by Iranian officials acting on the order of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the then-supreme leader who died in 1989. Iran has never acknowledged the mass executions and recent events have sparked calls for the United Nations to open an investigation into the killings and Raisi's role. He is currently under U.S. sanctions for his alleged involvement.
"I was a political prisoner in the middle of serving my 10-year sentence when I first met Raisi, like thousands of other friends and fellow sympathizers of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), a political opposition group. I was there to hear Raisi decide my fate," Royaei wrote in the piece published on August 3, 2021.
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Royaei, who was charged for disseminating the organization's message, said that although he was not executed that day because he "did not outwardly defend the organization as strongly as those who were executed," Raisi chose a different fate for others, like his friend Abbas Afghan.
Royaei initially penned the op-ed on the day Raisi took office following the 2021 Iranian presidential election, which many claimed was rigged in the hardline politician's favor. The former political prisoner warned other world leaders from embracing Raisi as the next leader of Iran.
"For those who have dealt with him personally, Raisi symbolizes the death of hope," Royaei wrote. "His 'election' has been widely described as being rigged and orchestrated by Supreme Leader Khamenei, who undoubtedly chose Raisi because their dark vision for the country is similar."
Iran has faced unprecedented levels of nationwide protest over the last two months in response to the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini. Amini was arrested in Tehran by the country's "morality police" for supposedly wearing the "improper" form of hijab, and subsequently died while in custody.
False claim about Iran protester executions goes viral with help from celebrities and politicians
After convening an emergency roundtable with G7 and NATO leaders, President Biden speaks on the fatal missile strike in Poland near the border with Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Iran issued the first death sentence in connection to the unrest, finding the defendant guilty of "enmity against God," according to state media. Iran Human Rights, a non-profit organization based in Norway, said that official reports suggest there are at least 20 people facing charges punishable by death. The group said at least 326 protesters have been killed as part of the violent crackdown against the demonstrations.
Newsweek reached out to Raisi's office for comment.
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Why Saudi Arabia Is So Quiet About Iran’s Protests .
This is the harrowing moment a distressed elephant collapsed while being beaten and forced into a truck in Thailand. The male jumbo named Plai Tongkhun had a mahout on his back wielding a bullhook to make him walk up the vehicle in Surin province, northeast Thailand.However, testosterone-fuelled Plai Tongkhun became irritable because of the current mating season which lasts until the end of December and early January.Footage from the incident on November 17 shows how the agitated jumbo repeatedly rammed its head against the side of the truck. It then fell off the ramp and apparently lost consciousness.Shocked onlooker Sujitta Jumjit said: 'Plai Tongkhun was in musth so the caretakers were trying to get him back to the camp. 'One of his eyes was blinded from the liquid that is secreted during musth so I guess he must have lost balance and fallen off the truck while being irritated at everything around him. 'Nobody was seriously injured and Plai Tongkhun is now resting at the camp safely.'Male elephants or bulls periodically enter a state called ‘musth' which can last several months. A bull in musth experiences increased testosterone production and aggressive behaviour, resulting in clashes between adult males.Elephants are Thailand's national animal. The country has an estimated 2,000 Asian elephants living in the wild, where they wander freely among protected forests.