‘Mafia state’ Iran’s $6bn hostage deal is part of a broader strategy


“The Islamic republic isn’t a banana republic, but…it still behaves like a mafia state,” a Western diplomat, previously based in Iran, tells The Economist:

Iranians speak of mounting tension. Many have resorted to civil disobedience. Women continue to doff their mandatory headscarves and refuse to pay fines, or cash-for-hijabs as Iranians call them, for violating the dress code. And as the gap between the regime and its people grows, security personnel wear balaclavas to hide their identities. While international opinion may be mollified, at least temporarily, in Tehran popular anger remains unassuaged. 

The diplomat refers to this week’s $6bn hostage deal for the release of several U.S. hostages, including Siamak Namazi, a former fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who was the longest held of the five Americans released on Monday.

The Council on Foreign Relations has canceled a scheduled meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi who is visiting New York to attend the UN General Assembly. Iran International’s correspondent Arash Alaei (above) reported from outside the CFR offices in New York City that representatives of the organization told reporters gathered there that a private meeting with Raisi and invited guests has been canceled.

Former National Endowment for Democracy (NED) fellow Jared Genser, human rights attorney and pro-bono counsel for the family of Siamak Namazi, joined PBS NewsHour‘s Amna Nawaz to discuss the Iran Ransom Deal.

On September 16, 2022, in Iran, Mahsa Amini succumbed to beatings from the morality police because she had not worn her veil “well,” Stanford’s Iranian Studies Programs adds. Her death sparked a wave of protests across the country, which turned into an unprecedented women’s movement.

One year later, Marjane Satrapi and Abbas Milani discuss her death, the fight for women’s rights in Iran, and the new book “Woman, Life, Freedom” (L ‘Iconoclast). In this book, Marjane Satrapi brought together three specialists: political scientist Farid Vahid, acclaimed reporter Jean-Pierre Perrin, historian Abbas Milani, and seventeen of the greatest cartoonists from Europe, the United States, and Iran to tell the story of this major event for Iran, and for all of us.

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