TEHRAN: Anti-government protests in Iran have left buses and banks burned, hundreds under arrest, the Internet blocked and an unconfirmed number of people dead. That raises the question of whether the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure’’ campaign is starting to deliver. The unrest was sparked by Tehran’s decision last week to both ration and raise the price of gasoline. But there was ready tinder to be lit, consisting of the sorts of frustrations that have stoked violence around the globe in recent months, from Bolivia, Chile and Venezuela, to Hong Kong, Iraq and Lebanon. The protests, according to Afshin Molavi, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, “are the culmination of rising anger at what is perceived to be a corrupt, out-of-touch ruling class that has consistently failed to deliver on the economy or jobs amid allegations of billions of dollars of … [Read more...] about Iran Unrest Raises a Question: Is ‘Maximum Pressure’ Working?
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The Iranian government said on Tuesday it will unblock the internet only when authorities are sure it will not be abused during violent demonstrations against a petrol price hike. The country has been largely offline since the internet restrictions were imposed on Saturday after the nationwide demonstrations broke out on Friday. “Many professions and banks...have faced problems, and we have been trying to solve this,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, quoted by semi-official news agency ISNA.“The internet will come back gradually in some provinces where there are assurances the service will not be abused,” he said and added, “We understand that people have faced difficulties...but the bigger concern under the current circumstances is maintaining the country’s peace and stability.”Demonstrations broke out in the country on Friday after it was announced the price of petrol would be raised by as much as 200% in the sanctions-hit country. At … [Read more...] about Iran to unblock internet once ‘abuse’ stops: government
By Lalit K Jha WASHINGTON: Following recent assertion by Tehran of its intention to resume uranium enrichment at its Fordow facility, the United States on Monday said it would withdraw its sanction waiver to Iran's facility. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced the US decision to end its sanction waiver for Iran's Fordow nuclear facility, terming the Tehran assertion as "one of nuclear extortion" and warning that it would only deepen Iran's political and economic isolation from the world. "The United States will terminate the sanctions waiver related to the nuclear facility at Fordow effective December 15, 2019," Pompeo told a news conference, pointing to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's announcement of renewed activity at Fordow. "The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world's largest state sponsor of terror is zero," Pompeo told reporters at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department. Iran originally built Fordow as a fortified, … [Read more...] about Iran’s bid at nuclear extortion will deepen its political & economic isolation: Pompeo
Nationwide protests that broke out over the weekend are the latest challenge to the Iranian regime that’s already struggling to fix a battered economy, hostile ties with the U.S. and waning influence in West Asia. The trigger was the government’s decision to raise the price of rationed fuel. Thousands of people took to the streets, reminiscent of recent protests in Hong Kong, Chile, Lebanon and neighbouring Iraq. The protesters chanted slogans against the Islamic regime, carried “Death to Khamenei” posters, in a direct challenge to the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and burned down banks and stores. Security personnel reportedly unleashed violence on the protesters, while the government shut down the Internet. According to Iranian media, at least 12 people were killed, including security personnel, and some 1,000 protesters were arrested. Both President Hassan Rouhani and Ayatollah Khamenei, the real ruler of Iran, have condemned the protests, … [Read more...] about Iran on the boil: on nationwide protests
Vienna: The UN's nuclear watchdog said Monday that Iran's stock of heavy water for reactors has surpassed the limit set under its agreement with world powers. The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement that Iran's heavy water production plant was in operation and that its stock of heavy water reserves was 131.5 tonnes, above the 130-tonne limit. In Vienna, an IAEA spokesperson said: "On 17 November, the Agency verified that the Heavy Water Production Plant (HWPP) was in operation and that Iran's stock of heavy water was 131.5 metric tonnes." Heavy water is not itself radioactive but is used in nuclear reactors to absorb neutrons from nuclear fission. Heavy water reactors can be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons as an alternative to enriched uranium. It was the first time the agency has recorded a volume greater than the level agreed upon as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached in 2015 with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, … [Read more...] about Iran Exceeds Authorised Heavy Water Reserves in Latest Nuclear Deal Breach: IAEA