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The Iranist
Week of November 27th
This Thanksgiving, we're thankful to have you as a reader. 

Qassem Soleimani injured
According to two sources, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Qassem Soleimani was “lightly injured” while fighting Syrian rebels near Aleppo. For days, rumors circulated on social media that Soleimani might have been wounded or even killed in Syria. Rameza Sharif, the spokesman for the IRGC, said the commander was “in perfect health and full of energy.”

Iranian state media is reporting that Commander Soleimani led the operation to rescue a Russian pilot whose jet was shot down by Turkey. The mission highlights the close ties and coordination between Russia and Iran—assuming it’s true.

A boot in Tehran
Russian President Vladimir Putin went on a three-day visit to Iran this week for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). It was the Russian president’s first visit since 2007. Putin met with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani and with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to discuss regional issues including the Syrian crisis. Putin arrived bearing a gift for Khamenei: an old handwritten Quran.
Khamenei also used the meeting as an opportunity to slam the United States

While on his trip, Putin signed a decree to export Iran’s surplus enriched uranium, per the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In the meanwhile, Russian companies continue to pour into Tehran in hopes of striking investment deals. Russian trade with Iran was at $1.6 billion last year and is expected to rise to $10 billion.
After the shooting down of a Russian military aircraft, President Rouhani weighed in that the plane was hit while inside Syria’s borders. He added, “assuming it was close to Turkey’s borders, missiles and planes are not toys that someone could decide to shoot them down in the air.”
More from Hajj stampede
Iran’s Vice President for Legal Affairs Elham Aminzadeh announced Tehran is setting up a fact-finding mission to investigate the Hajj stampede in Mecca that killed over 1,400 people.
The body of Iran’s former ambassador to Lebanon has been found. Ghazanfar Roknabadi was unaccounted for in the aftermath of the Hajj stampede, but both DNA tests and his daughter identified him.
Diplomatic hacking
During the past month, Iranian hackers broke into the emails and social media accounts of State Department officials who focus on Iran and the Middle East. The employees only became aware of the cyber attacks when Facebook notified victims that their accounts were compromised by state-sponsored hackers.
According to an anonymous senior U.S. official, “It was very carefully designed and showed the degree to which they understood which of our staff was working on Iran issues now that the nuclear deal is done. It was subtle.”
Iran’s hackings aren’t exactly new. They commenced after the U.S. cyber attacks on the Natanz nuclear facility that destroyed over a thousand centrifuges. Still, Tehran’s capabilities are sub par to China and Russia’s.
Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was sentenced to prison for an undisclosed period. Rezaian has been held in Iran for over 16 months on accusations of espionage. His lawyer Leila Ahsan was not informed of the verdict or any details surrounding his sentencing.
Douglas Jehl, foreign editor of The Washington Post said the following on Rezaian’s sentence: “We’re aware of the reports in the Iranian media, but have no further information at this time. Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice. He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 487 days so far, Iran has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. His trial and sentence are a sham, and he should be released immediately.”
007 infiltrates Iran
How's this for Western infiltration? Omega watch ad featuring James Bond was found in Shargh Daily newspaper.
Other stories that made headlines
-- Insults fly in as moderates and hardliners tussle ahead of parliamentary election.
-- Iranian official claims crashed drone was homegrown.

-- Deputy FM says Iran Deal will enter full force early January.

-- Iran arrests jihadist cell linked with ISIS near the country's borders with Iraq. 

-- IRGC simulates capture of Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock.

-- Telegram founder denies involvement in the arrest of 20 Iranian users.

-- "Songs of My Homeland:" Iran picks new fight against ISIS with film.

-- China proposes to build a high-speed railway link to Iran.
-- Austrian Airlines launches flight to Esfahan four times a week.
-- Chef Najmieh Batmanglij shows us her favorite Iranian dish for Thanksgiving.
-- George Clooney was sighted on one of Tehran’s metro.
-- An Iranian-Canadian couple cancels their wedding to help Syrian refugees.
-- Quidditch has never caught on in Iran, due to their preference for flying carpets.
-- Iranian Don Juan causes sensation on social media and ends up arrested.


  • It's International Ghormeh Sabzi Day on November 28th! Take part by posting your pictures on social media with #InternationalGhormehSabziDay. *drools*
...تا هفته بعد

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