The Week in Review: November.29th – December.6th

The Iranian government confirmed for the first time that its security forces had shot and killed demonstrators during the protests in November, which left at least 208 people dead. Human rights groups called the protests the deadliest anti-government demonstrations since the inception of the Islamic Revolution. Iran’s State TV reported that protestors had been carrying knives and weapons, while Amnesty International said those shot had been unarmed.

The recent protests rattled the Iranian government this week. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called on the country’s security and legal apparatus to release unarmed and innocent protestors remanded in custody, while Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said protestors should be shown mercy. Khamenei told Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, “The faster these cases are considered, the better, and those who are suspected of being close to any group should be dealt with in a way which is closer to Islamic mercy.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. accused Iran of secretly housing short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq, according to U.S. intelligence claims. The New York Times reported that U.S. intelligence sources noted the missiles had a range of 600 miles, which was long enough to reach Israel. The report follows a statement made by Pentagon spokesperson Commander Sean Robertson, that the U.S. Navy had found Iranian missile parts on a ship in the Arabian Sea, bound for Yemen.

Concerns in Washington that Iran may be gearing up for a military conflict led to U.S. President Donald Trump considering the deployment of more U.S. troops in the Middle East. The Trump Administration said it was thinking about doubling the number of U.S. military personnel in the region.

And over in Europe, the UK, France and Germany said it believed Iran had developed nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, which EU Member States said was unacceptable under the current nuclear deal. The EU countries urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to tell the council that Iran’s missile activity was inconsistent with a resolution underpinning the nuclear agreement.

  • As pressure on the Iranian government intensifies over the November protests, officials are pointing the figure at the United States and Israel.
    Link to source
  • A rise in flu-related deaths inside Iran highlights dangerous practices inside the country’s health sector.
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  • Peace at last? The U.S. and the Taliban are working on an agreement that could lead to a ceasefire.
    → Link to source.
  • Award-winning film director Shirin Neshat, opens her exhibition of photos and videos in Paris.
    →  Link to source.