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Iran – Demonstrations in Iranian Khuzestan Demand an End to the Islamic Regime (BESA Center)

writes: Amid a fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, nightly demonstrations are occurring inside Iran—especially in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan. The protests initially concerned a water shortage and power outages, but have since turned into demonstrations demanding an end to the Islamist regime.

go to East Asia Forum: Demonstrations in Iranian Khuzestan Demand an End to the Islamic Regime (besacenter.org)

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Iran/Saudi Arabia – Tehran, Riyadh gradually mending ties following meditation efforts (IRNA)

IRNA writes: Holding bilateral negotiations as well as announcements by Iranian officials are some of the signs showing that relations are getting improved between Tehran and Riyadh. The two sides cut their ties in 2016. The relations remained severed until last year when Donald Trump was defeated in US presidential election by Joe Biden. After Biden took over the White House in January this year, he made changes in US Mideast policies, including cutting the number of American military forces in West Asia. With these changes happening and progress being made in talks over the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Saudi officials changed course too. 

go to IRNA: Tehran, Riyadh gradually mending ties following meditation efforts – IRNA English

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Iran/Iraq – Iran exports to Iraq up 54% in 3 months (IRNA)

Head of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, Jahanbakhsh Sanjabi addressing a meeting in Kermanshah on Thursday, said that the figures indicate that 95 percent of bilateral trade was exports from Iran to Iraq, which amounted to over 7.4 billion dollars in last Iranian year (March 21, 2020 to March 21, 2021).

Sanjabi noted that Iran imported commodities worth 131 million dollars in the same period.

According to the official, petrochemical products and oil materials with 2.7 billion dollars had the largest share of the Iranian exports to Iraq.

Industrial products with 1.75 billion dollars, agricultural and food industries with 1.74 billion dollars, and mineral materials with 1.2 billion dollars were exported to the neighboring country in the last Iranian year, he noted.

Iran plans to increase the volume of export to 20 billion dollars in the current and next Iranian calendar year, he said, adding that given the 40-64 billion dollars potential in Iraq’s market, Tehran hopes to attain the big share of export in the near future.

He further urged the Iranian authorities to pave the ground for exporting technical commodities and IT services to Iraq.

Referring to the fact that 47 percent of Iran’s export to Iraq is carried out through Kermanshah province, he said that the chamber of commerce is ready to negotiate with the Iraqi side to develop export of products being manufactured in Kermanshah and hold professional exhibitions.

He also welcomed setting up a joint industrial town in Ghasr-e Shirin city in Kermanshah province.

Kermanshah province located in western Iran, has two border points and five border markets in the joint borderline with Iraq. Around three billion dollars of goods are being exported from border points of Kermanshah per annum.

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Iran/Israel – Iranian Dissidents to Visit Israel (BESA Center)

Erfan Fard writes: At the end of July 2021, a delegation of eight Iranian opposition members will visit Israel to take part in cultural and political meetings planned by the Institute for Voices of Liberty (IVOL). These meetings could lay the basis for a future relationship between Israel and Iran after the collapse of the ayatollahs’ dictatorship.

go to BESA Center: Iranian Dissidents to Visit Israel (besacenter.org)

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Iran – More Soul Searching: Iran’s Reformists following the Presidential Elections (INSS)

Raz Zimmt writes for INSS: The victory of Ebrahim Raisi in Iran’s presidential elections has reawakened the internal debate among Iranian reformists concerning the state and future of the reform movement. A number of leading reformists are blaming the movement’s failure on mistaken strategy, and are calling for change, return to the movement’s fundamental principles, and restoration of its base of public support. On the other hand, others are blaming the failure on circumstances beyond the reformists’ control, and continue to support a strategy based on participation in elections and willingness to work with pragmatic conservatives. It is very doubtful, however, whether the reformists will be able to take advantage of the renewed takeover by the hardliners and chart a way out of the impasse that they have reached, given the ongoing political repression and the loss of public confidence in the two main political camps. The lack of an attractive alternative to conservative hegemony, combined with the continued failure of the authorities to provide solutions popular grievances, is liable to further erode public confidence in the political system, strengthen the radical movements advocating revolutionary change, and jeopardize the regime’s long-term stability.

go to INSS: More Soul Searching: Iran’s Reformists following the Presidential Elections | INSS

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Iran/Internet – Under pressure, Iranian MPs postpone internet restriction bill (Al Jazeera)

Maziar Motamedi writes for Al Jazeera: Iran’s parliament has suspended its review of a highly controversial bill that a minister, citizens and businesses say will only lead to more internet restrictions in the country. The bill, first proposed three years ago, is titled “Protecting Users in Cyberspace and Organising Social Media” but critics say it is aimed at introducing more controls in a country where most prominent global services are already banned.

go to Al Jazeera: Under pressure, Iranian MPs postpone internet restriction bill | Internet News | Al Jazeera

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Iran rejects UN rights chief’s ‘accusations’ over water protests (Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera writes: Iran on Saturday rejected “false accusations” by the UN rights chief on protests over water shortages in the country’s southwest, where at least four people have been killed since last week. 

go to Al Jazeera: Iran rejects UN rights chief’s ‘accusations’ over water protests | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera

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The Nuclear Talks in Vienna: Iran’s Procrastination (INSS)

Sima Shine writes for INSS: Iran is not in a hurry to return to the nuclear talks with the United States and will not return to negotiations before President-elect Ebrahim Raisi takes office. In the meantime, Tehran is accumulating important knowledge and experience for a decision to progress toward nuclear weapons, and in the international arena there is increasing doubt regarding the chance of renewing the nuclear deal. Under the auspices of the dialogue underway in Vienna, Iran is progressing on uranium enrichment to high levels, uranium metal production, and the operation of advanced centrifuges. The United States and Israel must prepare an alternative to the diplomatic path, which could come to an end. It is important to strengthen American deterrence vis-à-vis Iran, in part in order to strengthen those in Tehran who support returning to the deal.

go to INSS: The Nuclear Talks in Vienna: Iran’s Procrastination | INSS

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(Iran/Strait of Hormuz) Iran opens oil terminal to bypass strategic Strait of Hormuz (Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera writes: Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, a move that will allow it to avoid using the Strait of Hormuz shipping route that has been a focus of regional tension for decades. “This is a strategic move and an important step for Iran. It will secure the continuation of our oil exports,” Rouhani said in a televised speech on Thursday.

go to Al Jazeera: Iran opens oil terminal to bypass strategic Strait of Hormuz | Oil and Gas News | Al Jazeera

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