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The Iranist
Week of January 8th
To cut diplomatic ties, press 9 **DETAILED**
After Saudi Arabia executed 47 including Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran and attacked the Saudi consulate in Mashhad. In response to the breach of international law, Saudi Arabia cut its diplomatic relations with Iran. Other countries followed suit, including: Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Somalia, and Sudan. The UAE reduced its relations to chargé d'affaires and Qatar recalled its ambassador to Tehran. Saudi Arabia has also said it won't participate in football matches in Iran, citing security concerns. Iran responded by banning pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina as well as Saudi products.

President Hassan Rouhani has since condemned the embassy storming and the Iranian government reportedly arrested 40 protesters. However, nobody wants to take responsibility for what happened. The ‘mystery’ seems to surround foreign opposition, the IRGC, and staunch supporters of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Most believe hardliners used the embassy attack as a means to embarrass the Rouhani administration and cause tension around the Iran Deal. Arguably, hardliners hurt their chances in upcoming parliamentary elections in February.

On Thursday, the Iranian government accused Saudi Arabia of bombing the Iran Embassy in Yemen.

Iranians took to social media to make humor amidst tensions. Here are our favorite jokes:

"A new option has been added to the Foreign Ministry's telephone number [when you dial for queries]… to cut diplomatic ties please press 9."

"Have you climbed any embassy walls in the past 5 years? - New question to be added to visa application forms [for those applying from Iran]."

"One good thing that cutting ties with Saudi Arabia taught me is geography. At least now I know where Djibouti is."

"Please leave some embassies for the future generations. They also have the right to seize embassies! There are embassies but there are not that many!"

A Khomeini in politics
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s grandson Seyyed Hassan Khomeini has registered to run for the Assembly of Experts. The elections for the 8-year term are to be held on February 26 along the parliamentary elections. Hardliners expressed concern that Khomeini is part of a ploy by pragmatist Expediency Council chairman and former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to seize control over the assembly.
There was some confusion over whether Khomeini may have been disqualified for not taking a test that allows candidates to qualify for the Assembly of Experts. He claims to never have received a text message about it.
The number of candidates for the upcoming Assembly of Experts elections and parliamentary has increased compared to the past, here’s why

Hindering sanctions removal
Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK) is leading legislation to prevent the lifting of sanctions on Iran’s financial institutions per the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The White House claims the bill is an attempt to derail the Iran Deal. A senior official explained, “We’re aware of this draft legislation, and as we have long said, we are opposed to any legislation that interferes with the implementation of the JCPOA. From what we have seen of this bill, it would interfere with the implementation of the JCPOA, and therefore, the administration strongly opposes it.”
In the meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry said the implementation of the Iran Deal is only days away. According to Kerry, “The [Iranian] foreign minister made it clear to me they intend to complete their obligations with respect to implementation day as rapidly as possible. We are currently engaged ourselves in making certain that we're prepared to move on that day. And I think it could come -- without being specific -- sooner rather than later.”
This week the IRGC vowed to ramp up its ballistic missile program, causing more problems for the Obama administration.

The Shah’s twin sister dies
Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, the twin sister of the late Shah of Iran passed away at the age of 96. The princess is survived by her son Prince Chahram, five grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. Her second son Prince Shahriar was assassinated on the streets of Paris in 1979.

Academic Hamid Dabashi summarizes Princess Ashraf's life best, “Her supporters will celebrate her as a champion of women’s rights, a patron of the arts, and a beacon of social modernity, while her detractors will dismiss her as a monstrous power monger who played a key role in reinstalling her brother's dictatorial reign and benefitted lucratively under his tyrannical rule. Two competing narratives will thus chase her memory out of reality and into the realm of fiction. The ruling regime in Iran will continue to demonize her beyond any semblance of reality, while her monarchist biographers will lionize her beyond any semblance of truth.”
Texting mullahs
Iranian clerics at Friday Prayer Imams Conference. We'll let the picture speak for itself.
Other stories that made headlines


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