Displaying items by tag: Iran

France, Germany, and Britain have voiced concern to the UN's secretary-general that Iran has developed a ballistic-missile system capable of delivering a nuclear weapon in violation of the international body's Security Council resolution.

A letter the three countries circulated widely at the UN on December 4 stated that "Iran's development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles" was inconsistent with a UN Security Council resolution that endorses a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, and which urges Tehran not to pursue activity related to such missiles.

The EU countries that drafted the letter are three of the six signatories of the nuclear agreement, along with the United States, Russia, and China.

A flight test of a medium-range missile variant in particular is mentioned in their joint letter: "The Shahab-3 booster used in the test is a Missile Technology Control Regime category-1 system and as such is technically capable of delivering a nuclear weapon."

In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the letter "a desperate falsehood to cover up" the three European countries' "miserable incompetence" in fulfilling their commitments to the nuclear deal.

If Britain, France, and Germany "want a modicum of global credibility, they can begin by exerting sovereignty rather than bowing to US bullying," Zarif wrote.

Last year in May, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear accord that offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. However, the remaining signatories still support the pact.

Washington has since re-imposed crippling sanctions on the Iranian economy, while Tehran has gradually reduced some of its commitments under the deal.

Citing a UN Security Council resolution on Iran, the three EU countries urged Tehran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons."

Trump wants to force Iran to renegotiate the agreement, arguing that the terms were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and agree curbs to its ballistic-missile program.

Iran has refused, insisting that its nuclear program is strictly for civilian energy purposes.

More at: https://www.rferl.org/a/europeans-scold-iran-for-developing-nuclear-capable-projectiles/30308690.html?ltflags=mailer

With reporting by AP, Daily Journal, and Bloomberg

Pray: that Iran will stop developing its nuclear potential.

Pray: for fresh negotiations to find a workable way forward that adheres to the UN resolution.

Here are four specific ways you can pray for the church in Iran right now (courtesy of The Voice of the Martyrs):

1. Pray for Christians and all Iranians affected by the economic downturn. Pray for churches and Christian ministries that are seeing expenses skyrocket.

2. Pray for the wisdom and discernment of church leaders amid the upheaval. They are praying that God will give them strategies to use the current unrest to advance His kingdom.

3. Pray that Iranians seeking peace will meet the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. Pray for outreach ministries inside the country as well as broadcasting and internet ministries reaching into Iran from outside.

4. Ministry work is very dangerous right now because of heightened alertness from police, religious authorities and others. Pray for the safety and protection of Christian workers.

The Voice of the Martyrs has prepared a special report on the situation for the church in Iran right now. Click the link below to request your copy. https://www.persecution.com/iranreport/ 

Thursday, 05 December 2019 22:58

Iran: 200+ killed, hundreds arrested

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani has called for the release of unarmed and innocent people arrested during the two weeks of protests in over 100 cities and towns after a 300% fuel price increase. The protests have now turned political as young and working-class protesters demand that religious leaders step down. Iran's leaders, blaming 'thugs' linked to the USA, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, have urged the country's judiciary to mete out harsh sentences to those involved in the demonstrations. Amnesty International reported at least 208 deaths on 2 December. Demonstrations and deaths have continued since then. Amnesty says that families of victims were threatened and warned not to speak to the media or hold funeral services. It added that the death toll is evidence that Iran's security forces went on a horrific killing spree, and urged the international community to help ensure accountability. See

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 29 November 2019 12:20

Iran protests: 143 Killed

Videos reveal crackdown regime tried to hide from world… One video filmed through a doorway appears to show a woman looking at a teenage boy lying in a pool of blood on a pavement, as a riot policeman swings a baton at people running past him.

Another from the southern city of Shiraz shows a crowd trying to help a motionless man on the ground, as other people retreat along a smoke-filled street amid the sounds of shouting, screaming and gunfire.

In a third. taken from inside a moving car in the capital, Tehran, a woman can be heard screaming as plainclothes security personnel or militiamen detain a man.

It was the fear of such footage reaching the outside world that prompted the authorities in Iran to shut down access to the internet for more than eight days earlier this month, as protests against a sharp rise in the price of petrol spread across the country.

Now the internet has been partially restored, videos have been appearing on social media that paint a picture of a government crackdown more brutal and bloodier than many had feared. The identities and stories of the protesters who lost their lives have also emerged.

The Iranian authorities have not released any official figures about casualties, but Amnesty International has received what it considers credible reports that at least 143 protesters were killed after the protests erupted on 15 November.

The human rights group says the deaths resulted almost entirely from the intentional use of firearms by the security forces - though one man was reported to have died after inhaling tear gas and another after being beaten.  Amnesty believes the death toll is significantly higher, and activists and official sources inside Iran have told BBC Persian that it exceeds 200.

However, the videos filmed by Iranians on their smartphones - many of them graphic and difficult to watch - have cast doubt on the government's claims.  The footage appears to show security personnel and members of the paramilitary Basij force, which is frequently used to help suppress dissent, beating up unarmed protesters in the streets and firing live round into crowds at close range.

Sources inside Iran have told BBC Persian that the number of detainees is in the thousands.  Despite the assertion by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the protesters had "roots outside of the country", the Ministry of Intelligence told parliament that most of those held were unemployed youths from poor families.

Journalists based in Iran were limited in their ability to report on the protests or were too afraid to do so, and those based elsewhere were hampered by the internet shutdown. But BBC Persian, which is banned from Iran, was able to get in touch by telephone and other means with citizen journalists, activists and other trusted sources on the ground.  Their videos showed the protesters targeting symbols of the government, the clerical establishment and the security forces, as well as banks and petrol stations.

The epicentres of the protests were predominantly Kurdish towns on the western border with Iraq, as well as areas on the outskirts of major cities like Tehran, Karaj and Shiraz. All are places with among the highest levels of unemployment in the country.

“The price of petrol is rising, we are poorer,” protesters in Shiraz chanted in one video.

“The supreme leader lives like a God. We, the people live like beggars,” said people in Malard, near Tehran in another.

“No to Gaza, no to Lebanon. We sacrifice our lives for Iran” was a chant heard in Isfahan.

Clearly, there is disquiet about Iran’s activities in the Middle East. The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has spent billions of dollars arming, training and paying militias in the region, saying that if the force does not fight Iran’s enemies beyond its borders then it will have to face them on the streets of Tehran.

But the protesters in the streets believe the money should have been invested in their country and their future.

US sanctions reinstated by President Donald Trump last year when he abandoned a nuclear deal with Iran have targeted the country’s oil and banking sectors. The sanctions, combined with corruption and mismanagement, have pushed the Iranian economy to the brink of collapse. But the crisis has not persuaded the government to change its policies.

Victims’ stories

State media and newspapers close to the security forces depicted the protesters as hooligans, who they said were seeking to loot and vandalise public property.

But the stories BBC Persian has heard from the families of those killed paint a different picture.

Fatima, a 40-year-old mother of two, was one of the demonstrators killed near Tehran.

Her family said she went out to protest against unemployment and inflation.

Another victim was Armin Qaderi, a 10-year-old boy, from Kermanshah. He died after going out to buy bread, according to his family.

Many families told BBC Persian that their relatives went out to express their anger at the economic crisis but that the authorities answered them with bullets.

More at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-50562584

Pray: for the government of Iran to review its international policies and to listen to the concerns of its people.
Pray: for the heavy-handed violence and indiscriminate shooting of peaceful protestors by Government forces to stop.
Pray: for millions of Iranians whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the economic sanctions and corruption that a positive breakthrough will happen soon.
Pray: that the voice of the Iranian people will be heard and these protests will not be in vain.

Thursday, 28 November 2019 22:24

Iranians urged to expose regime abuses

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has urged Iranians to continue sending messages exposing the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on recent widespread protests; by some estimates, over 200 people have been killed. He stated the USA would impose sanctions on those it could identify for perpetrating abuses. ‘The Iranian people are, once again, on the streets because of the regime’s poor economic management,’ he said. ‘Instead of addressing their grievances, Tehran has responded with violence and by blaming those outside the country.’ Despite the Iranian regime's shutdown of the internet last week, the United States received 20,000 messages, videos and pictures from Iranians through a messaging service. ‘The United States hears you,’ Pompeo said. ‘We will continue to sanction Iranian officials who are responsible for these human rights abuses, just like we did to Iran’s minister of communications.’

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 21 November 2019 22:21

Iraq: protests and scandals

Anti-government protests over corruption and lack of jobs and public services have continued since early October. On 21 November, force by security guards failed to unblock Baghdad bridges and al-Tahrir Square where hundreds of protesters held their ground against bullets and teargas. They also have blocked roads around Basra. Road closures lead to large losses for the Iraqi economy and negatively affect the daily life of citizens by preventing the flow of food, medical supplies and other goods. Demonstrators demand comprehensive political reform, accountability for corruption, improvement of public services, and job opportunities. But protests are not reshaping the country's politics. They are affecting the entire region as new scandals against the government are revealed almost daily. The most recent exposed Tehran's growing influence in Iraq.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 07 November 2019 21:56

North Korea / USA / Iran: nuclear programmes

South Korea’s national intelligence service told a closed-door parliamentary audit session that it expected working-level denuclearisation talks between Kim and Trump to resume by early December. As recently as 31 October Kim test-fired two short-range missiles that traveled 350 to 400 kilometres. The tests were believed to be the nuclear-armed country’s 19th and 20th launches since May. Japan’s prime minister condemned the launches as an act threatening the peace and safety of his country as North Korea was refining weapons capable of reaching it. Meanwhile, Iran announced launching a new batch of advanced centrifuges to accelerate uranium enrichment on the 40th anniversary of the start of its Islamic Revolution. However, Tehran has left room for diplomacy by saying that talks are possible if Washington lifts all the sanctions and returns to the nuclear deal. See

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:45

Iran: blessing Israel

The persecuted Iranian Christians belong to what is said to be the fastest-growing church network in the world. The core of their theology is that all roads lead to Jerusalem, which is why they are praying for the salvation of Israel. They feel that it has been prophesied (Jer. 30:7; Zech. 14:2) that in the days approaching Jesus’ return to Jerusalem as King, there will be trouble for the Jewish state. The Persian people (as many Iranians still prefer to be called) blessed Israel in the past. King Cyrus freed the exiles so that they could return to the Land and rebuild the Temple; Queen Esther saved her people from extermination, so that Iranian Christians might stand in the gap for the Jewish people. What Satan has meant for evil, God can turn for good.

Published in Praise Reports

Iran has world’s ‘fastest-growing church,’ despite no buildings - and it's mostly led by women: documentary | Fox News

A new film tells the story of the "fastest-growing church" in the world, an underground, persecuted Christian movement in a country known for exporting radical Islamic terrorism -- Iran.

But the Muslim-majority nation's citizens are reportedly fleeing Islam in droves, as believers bow their knee to Jesus, and become aggressively pro-Israel.

“What if I told you Islam is dead?” one unidentified Iranian church leader says in the film, which was directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios.

“What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran?" he continues. "What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? Would you believe me? This is exactly what is happening inside of Iran. God is moving powerfully inside of Iran.”

The pastor adds: “What if I told you the best evangelist for Jesus was the Ayatollah Khomeini? The ayatollahs brought the true face of Islam to light and people discovered it was a lie...After 40 years under Islamic law — a utopia according to them — they’ve had the worst devastation in the 5,000-year history of Iran.”

The documentary, "Sheep Among Wolves Volume II," directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios, a non-profit group "dedicated to disciple-making," highlights the untold story of the persecuted church in Iran.

Thomas calls the movement "the Iranian awakening."

"It owns no property, no buildings, no central leadership, and is predominantly led by women," he said in a statement.

More at: https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/worlds-fastest-growing-church-women-documentary-film

Praise God - for the many testimonies to people finding Jesus through natural and supernatual encounters.

Pray: for those for whom renouncing Islam comes at a huge personal cost.

Pray: for this 'church without walls' to continue to grow and nurture those young in the faith.

Pray: for the Supreme Leader of Iran – using this videofrom PrayerCast

Thursday, 26 September 2019 22:08

Saudi Arabia / Iran: tensions

Tensions between powerful Middle East rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran were catapulted to new levels when drones set two Saudi Arabian oil refineries ablaze on 14 September, resulting in halving the Gulf kingdom’s oil output and cutting world crude oil supplies by over 5%. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, but the US blamed Iran for the attacks, and will now deploy troops to the region, triggering fears of Saudi retaliation. Any escalation would be dangerous for the entire region. The drone strikes follow a recent pattern: oil tankers, infrastructure and transportation hubs have been attacked, with indications that Iran and its network are responsible. The US ‘maximum pressure’ policy has not halted Iran’s uranium development. President Rouhani said Iran would present a new Gulf peace initiative in the coming days. On 23 September Boris Johnson blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and declined to rule out military intervention or sanctions: see

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 20 September 2019 10:14

They are not spies

Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian-British lecturer in Islamic studies at Melbourne University, was arrested last September, tried, and imprisoned for ten years for espionage. She is in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin prison, with no contact from family or friends. The British and Australian governments have kept the identity of their arrested citizens out of the public domain, believing diplomatic efforts for release would be more effective if conducted behind closed doors. Others argue that publicity will generate international, community and political support, providing impetus for release negotiations. Meanwhile, Jolie King, a British-Australian woman and Cambridge University honours graduate in Middle Eastern studies, and her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin were arrested ten weeks ago near Tehran for flying a drone near military installations. They were shooting pictures for a travel blog of their overland journey from Perth to London. Also, please continue praying for Nazanin Ratcliffe.

Published in British Isles