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Iran Preparing for Rocket Launch Attempt

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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Posted on: 
19 Aug 2019
Iran Preparing for Rocket Launch Attempt
Reports emerged on Monday that preparations are being made at Iran’s Imam Khomeini Space Center near Teheran to attempt the launch of a satellite into orbit, following two failed attempts earlier this year. Officials in many countries have accused Iran of using its space program as a cover for the development of ballistic missiles, while the Islamic Republic routinely denies it. Meanwhile, UN special rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran Javaid Rehman issued a scathing report on his observations inside the Islamic Republic to the UN General Assembly over the weekend.

The report covers a wide variety of gross human rights abuses by Iran’s security services against ordinary citizens, which are subject to arbitrary arrest on such charges as "waging war against God, corruption on Earth, blasphemy, and insult of the Prophet" Muhammad. The report notes that over 80 such acts are punishable by death, with women accused of adultery subjected to the especially cruel fate of being buried up to their neck and stoned to death by angry mobs.

Iranian officials have not responded to this report but their response to similar reports in the past has routinely been characterized by angry and contemptuous dismissal.

In related news, Sadegh Zibalkam, a political science professor at the University of Tehran and prominent critic of the clerical regime’s hostility towards Israel and other regional adventures, received a one year jail sentence over the weekend for a newspaper Op-ed in which he said that the government expenditures for employing Shi’ite clerics could be compared to the entire wealth of three of Iran’s poorest provinces.

Here are two videos giving some analytical context to this story

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