Iran

IRANIAN authorities blocked internet access on January 14, with pressure continuing to mount on the theocratic regime as student protests calling for a new revolution swept the country.

According to the internet-tracking organisation NetBlocks, Iran experienced an outage at 5.25pm local time with “high impact to almost all providers” for a duration of 10 minutes.

The government was previously accused of blocking the internet as security services moved against protesters during demonstrations in November.

The following statement, translated by Farhang Jahanpour, was issued by students taking part in a protest at the Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran on January 12. The protest followed the downing of Ukraine Flight 752 by Iranian Air Defence Unit anti-aircraft missiles on January 8 and violent attacks on protesters at the funeral of Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, who was assassinated in Iraq by the United States in a military strike on January 3.

It took the popular uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon, following the earlier uprisings in Sudan and Algeria this year, for the Iranian masses, especially unemployed and student youth, to gain the courage to go out into the streets in large numbers again. For the first time since the December 2017–January 2018 uprising, they are mobilising to call for an end to the Islamic Republic.

Union leader Esmail Bakhshi, student and civil rights activist, Sepideh Gholian, and four activist journalists were sentenced to long prison sentences by the Iranian regime on September 7.

The United States and Britain are ensuring that tensions remain high in the Straits of Hormuz as they continue beating the drums of war against Iran.

A range of US policies have been deliberately designed to provoke an Iranian response, writes Phyllis Bennis.

Neither the United States nor Iran really wants war, we are told, because the reality of such a conflict is too horrific to contemplate. But the Gulf tanker crisis and the US response shows that we are alarmingly close to open hostilities.

It is true that there are voices in the US defence establishment calling for restraint. It appears to be the case, too, that the Iranian government is operating on the assumption that the US does not want a war. But there are several reasons why such assumptions are not a sound basis for judgement.

Protests are continuing throughout Iran by teachers, nurses, labourers, retirees, oil industry workers, bazaar traders and shopkeepers, truck drivers, farmers, the unemployed, students, and other sectors, writes Minna Langeberg.

The current wave of protests continue those from December, which were brutally suppressed by the regime. They signal the deep crisis of legitimacy of the regime, as expressed by one of the most enduring slogans that emerged, “Fundamentalists, reformists, the game is over”.

As the brutal murder of a Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi regime dominates headlines, Khury Petersen-Smith takes a look at Show the US is backing Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

Twenty days after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) bombed a school bus full of children in Yemen in August, United States Defense Secretary James Mattis hosted officials from the two US allies at the Pentagon.

What is happening in Syria? More than half a million people have died since the war in Syria began in 2011. Five million Syrians have sought refuge abroad and more than 6 million have been internally displaced.

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