American scholar languishes in Iranian jail

Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang’s love of history and languages took him to Tehran two summers ago to learn Persian and conduct research in Iran’s National Archives. Wang had the authorization of the Iranian government and admission to a language institute in Tehran. But in August 2016 authorities arrested Wang, charged him with espionage ...
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Country Reports on Terrorism 2017

Special Briefing Nathan A. Sales Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism  Via Teleconference September 19, 2018 MR PALLADINO: Thank you. Hello, everyone. This is Robert Palladino. Thank you so much for joining us for today’s call. Today’s call is on the record. And I also want to note that both the call and the report are embargoed until ...
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Secretary Pompeo on Refugee Policy

Remarks Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State Treaty Room Washington, DC September 17, 2018 Secretary Pompeo: Good afternoon, everyone. The United States anticipates processing up to 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Fiscal Year 2019. We propose resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the new refugee ceiling, as well as processing more than 280,000 asylum seekers. ...
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The arrest and detention of Xiyue Wang

Heather Nauert Spokesperson Department Press Briefing (Excerpts) Washington, DC September 11, 2018 The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has now concluded that the Government of Iran has no legal basis for the arrest and detention of Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang. The UN further notes that Iran committed multiple violations of his right ...
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U.S. ends support for ‘flawed’ U.N. Palestinian refugee agency

The United States is cutting all contributions to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees and calling upon the international community to find new ways to help Palestinians. “The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in an August 31 statement. “We are very ...
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Statement by the U.S. Mission to the UN on President Trump Chairing a UN Security Council Meeting

UNITED STATES MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS Office of Press and Public Diplomacy September 7, 2018   As Ambassador Haley stated on September 4, President Trump will host a UN Security Council meeting when he visits New York for the UN General Assembly at the end of September. In addition to addressing Iran’s destabilizing aggression ...
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The Iranian network that turned money into violence

Iran remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, carrying out attacks and other destabilizing activities through its  Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps  and the corps’ specialized military unit called Quds Force (IRGC–QF). A major focus of U.S. sanctions is cutting off revenue streams to this group. In May, the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates together took action to ...
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State Department Terrorist Designation of Qassim Abdullah Ali Ahmed, AKA Qassim al-Muamen

Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC August 13, 2018 The Department of State has designated Qassim Abdullah Ali Ahmed, AKA Qassim al-Muamen, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons who have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts ...
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Iran arrests scientists trying to solve water crisis

Cities, towns and farms in Iran are running out of water largely due to poorly administered water resource policies and corruption, driving thousands of people from their homes and inciting  protests . “The protests of the past few months show that the Iranian people are deeply frustrated with their own government’s failures,” Secretary of State Mike ...
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Reimposing Sanctions On the Regime in Iran

President Donald J. Trump is Reimposing Sanctions Lifted Under the Horrible Iran Deal   FOREIGN POLICY  Issued on: August 6, 2018 Our policy is based on a clear-eyed assessment of the Iranian dictatorship, its sponsorship of terrorism, and its continuing aggression in the Middle East and all around the world. President Donald J. Trump REIMPOSING TOUGH SANCTIONS: President ...
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U.S. judge orders return of Persian antiquity to Iran

A New York Supreme Court judge has ordered the return of a Persian bas-relief sculpture to Iran, the country from which it was reportedly stolen some 80-plus years ago. A bas-relief is a type of sculpture in which shapes are cut from the surrounding stone so that they stand out slightly against a flat surface. ...
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2018 Trafficking In Persons Report – Iran

The Government of Iran does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore Iran remained on Tier 3. Despite the lack of significant efforts, the government took some steps to address trafficking, including steps to ratify the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). However, the ...
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Supporting Iranian Voices

Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library Simi Valley, CA July 22, 2018 SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you all. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Well, thank you, Fred, for that kind introduction. It reminded me when I was going through my confirmation process they were chasing down all the people ...
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Treasury Designates Mahan Air Service Provider

Press Release July 9, 2018 Washington – Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia-based General Sales Agent (GSA), for acting for or on behalf of Mahan Air, an Iranian airline previously designated in connection with Iran’s support for international terrorism. GSAs ...
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Remarks on “U.S. Withdrawal from Human Rights Council: Impact and Next Steps” at The Heritage Foundation

Ambassador Nikki Haley U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations U.S. Mission to the United Nations Washington, DC July 18, 2018 Thank you, very much, thank you. Thank you so much, Kay. And thank you to the Heritage Foundation. It’s great to be back, and I thank you so much for the work that happens ...
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United States leads world in humanitarian aid

  When man-made and natural disasters strike and millions lose or flee their homes, the United States does more to help than any other country. It’s been that way for decades and remains so today. Reducing human suffering and helping the world’s refugees are cornerstones of U.S.  national security policy . All told, through the State Department’s Bureau of ...
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Recent Protests in Iran

 Statement by Secretary Pompeo June 27, 2018 Recent Protests in Iran The Iranian government is squandering its citizens’ resources, whether its adventurism in Syria, its support for Hizbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis, or its ambitions for wastefully expanding its nuclear program, it will only add to the suffering of the people of Iran.  As I ...
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Remarks on the UN Human Rights Council

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Washington, DC June 19, 2018 SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon. The Trump administration is committed to protecting and promoting the God-given dignity and freedom of every human being. Every individual has rights that are inherent and inviolable. They are given by God, and not ...
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Statement by Heather Nauert on the execution of Mohammad Salas

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesperson  STATEMENT BY HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON June 18, 2018  Execution of Mohammad Salas, Iranian Sufi Dervish We condemn the Iranian government’s execution of Mohammad Salas, a member of the long-persecuted Iranian Gonabadi Sufi Dervish community. According to reports, Mr. Salas was hanged this morning at Rajai Shahr Prison, the ...
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U.S. applauds Canadian lawmakers’ rebuke of Iran over terrorism

The United States applauded the Canadian parliament’s condemnation of Iran for support for terrorism. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the move in a tweet and called on other nations to hold Iran’s leaders accountable. Canadian lawmakers on June 12 approved a resolution that “strongly condemns the current regime in Iran for its ongoing sponsorship of terrorism around the ...
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Treasury Targets Human Rights Abuses, Censorship, and Enhanced Monitoring by the Iranian Government

Press Release U.S. Department of the Treasury MAY 30, 2018 Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two Iranian entities for committing serious human rights abuses on behalf of the Government of Iran, as well as three leaders of one of these entities, the Ansar-e Hizballah organization. ...
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International Religious Freedom Report for 2017

Iran Executive Summary   The constitution defines the country as an Islamic republic, and specifies Twelver Ja’afari Shia Islam as the official state religion. It states all laws and regulations must be based on “Islamic criteria” and official interpretation of sharia. The constitution states citizens shall enjoy human, political, economic, and other rights, “in conformity ...
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2017 Human Rights Report – Iran Executive Summary

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic republic with a Shia Islamic political system based on “velayat-e faqih” (“guardianship of the jurist” or “rule by the jurisprudent”). Shia clergy, most notably the “Rahbar” (“supreme jurisprudent” or “supreme leader”), and political leaders vetted by the clergy dominate key power structures. The supreme leader is the ...
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Fostering Internet Freedom and Supporting the Iranian People

U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Public Affairs Press Release:            March 19, 2018 Contact:                     Treasury Public Affairs, (202) 622-2960   Treasury Department Reaffirms Commitment to Fostering Internet Freedom and Supporting the Iranian People   WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today highlighted existing guidance ...
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Statement by the Press Secretary on Russian and Syrian Regime Attacks on Eastern Ghouta

The White House Office of the Press Secretary March 4, 2018   The United States condemns the ongoing military offensive that the Assad regime, backed by Russia and Iran, is perpetrating against the people of Eastern Ghouta. After repeatedly delaying the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2401, which demanded a 30-day cessation of hostilities across Syria, Russia has ...
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Iran’s Justice Minister addressing the UN Human Rights Council

Statement by the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva February 27, 2018 The United States is appalled to learn that the government of Iran is sending its Justice Minister, Seyyed Alireza Avaei, to address the UN Human Rights Council.   Minister Avaei oversaw the summary executions of Iranians in the late 1980’s.  ...
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Iran Human Rights Violator Speaking at UN Human Rights Council

United States Mission To The United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy February 25, 2018   Press Release: Ambassador Haley on Iran Human Rights Violator Speaking at UN Human Rights Council This week, Iran’s Minister of Justice, Seyyed Alireza Avaei, is set to address the UN Human Rights Council. Mr. Avaei is responsible for some of the worst ...
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Susan B. Anthony Day, 2018

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary February 15, 2018 Today, our Nation commemorates the birthday of an American hero, visionary, civil rights leader, and pioneer in the women’s suffrage movement—Susan B. Anthony. Born in 1820, Susan B. Anthony lived during a time when women across our country were unable to fully enjoy the ...
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Seven-year Anniversary of the House Arrests of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard

Heather Nauert Department Spokesperson Washington, DC February 15, 2018   This week marks the seven-year anniversary of the detention of 2009 Iranian presidential election candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, as well as Mousavi’s wife and women’s rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard. The continued house arrest of these three individuals contradicts Iran’s international obligations including ...
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Death of Pakistani Human Rights and Democracy Advocate Asma Jahangir

Statement By Heather Nauert, Spokesperson February 13, 2018 Death of Pakistani Human Rights and Democracy Advocate Asma Jahangir We join Pakistan and others around the world in mourning the untimely death of Pakistani human rights and democracy advocate, Asma Jahangir.  For years, she courageously defended the rights of those who did not have a voice, and ...
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Statement by the Press Secretary on Iran Returning Baquer Namazi to Prison

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary February 7, 2018   The Donald J. Trump Administration is deeply concerned that Iran has returned United States citizen Baquer Namazi to its notorious Evin Prison after briefly releasing him on bail so he could undergo medical examination.  We understand the decision to return Mr. Namazi to ...
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Outside Iranian prisons, families are desperate for news

The crowd outside Iran’s most notorious prison, Evin Prison in Tehran, grew in early January as family members and friends waited for news about their loved ones — people who had been arrested and detained by authorities after participating in anti-government protests. “The shroud of secrecy and lack of transparency over what happened to these detainees ...
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Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities for Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in Iran

Press Release JANUARY 12, 2018 Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities for Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in Iran, and Support to Sanctioned Weapons Proliferators Iranian Regime Prioritizes Destabilizing Weapons While Silencing Its Citizens  Washington – Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 14 individuals and entities in connection with serious ...
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Statement by the Press Secretary on Iran Protests

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary January 10, 2018 Statement by the Press Secretary on Iran Protests The Trump Administration is deeply concerned by reports that the Iranian regime has imprisoned thousands of ‎Iranian citizens in the past week for engaging in peaceful protests.  Further reports that the regime has tortured or killed ...
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Designations Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998

Office of the Spokesperson Statement By Heather Nauert, Spokesperson Designations Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 In far too many places around the globe, people continue to be persecuted, unjustly prosecuted, or imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief.  Today, a number of governments infringe upon individuals’ ability to adopt, ...
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Statement by Heather Nauert on Peaceful Protests in Iran

Press Statement Heather Nauert Department Spokesperson Washington, DC December 29, 2017 We are following reports of multiple peaceful protests by Iranian citizens in cities across the country. Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. As ...
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International Human Rights Day

Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Washington, DC December 10, 2017 Sixty-nine years ago today, in the aftermath of World War II, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to recognize and elevate the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all individuals, and that these rights are the foundation ...
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OFAC: How Americans can provide humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people

In light of the tragic earthquake in Iran, we would like to highlight some of the ways in which Americans can provide humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people, consistent with the Iran-related sanctions administered by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).   General License E , issued by OFAC in 2013, authorizes nongovernmental ...
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Ambassador Haley on Weapons of Iranian Origin Used in Attack on Saudi Arabia

United States Mission to The United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy November 7, 2017 Press Release: Ambassador Haley on Weapons of Iranian Origin Used in Attack on Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia recently released information regarding a ballistic missile launched by the Houthis into Saudi Arabia in July 2017. The information shows that the ...
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Joint Statement on Syria Chemical Weapons

Joint Statement on Syria Chemical Weapons by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Press Statement Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Washington, DC November 8, 2017 On October 26, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), ...
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International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

Office of the Spokesperson Statement By Heather Nauert, Spokesperson November 2, 2017 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists Around the world, journalists work often at great personal risk to report on issues that impact the lives of individuals in all societies.  They shine a light on abuses and corruption, expose threats posed by ...
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Ambassador Haley on the Release of a Report on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

UNITED STATES MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS Office of Press and Public Diplomacy October 26, 2017 Press Release: Ambassador Haley on the Release of a Report on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria   The findings issued today by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and United Nations’ Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) have concluded ...
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Statement by Heather Nauert In Recognition of Intersex Awareness Day

Office of the Spokesperson STATEMENT BY HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON October 26, 2017 In Recognition of Intersex Awareness Day In recognition of Intersex Awareness Day, the United States stands in solidarity with intersex persons and their advocates around the world. We recognize that intersex persons face violence, discrimination, harassment, and persecution on account of their sex characteristics.  ...
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U.S. Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Crisis in Rakhine State, Burma

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesperson FACT SHEET September 20, 2017 U.S. Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Crisis in Rakhine State, Burma The United States is providing an additional nearly $32 million in humanitarian assistance to address the urgent needs of Rohingya fleeing violence from Rakhine State, Burma to Bangladesh, as well ...
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Reza Shahabi

Name: Reza Shahabi Occupation: Bus Driver/labor activist Date of arrest: June 12, 2010 Charges: propaganda against the state /colluding with intent to act against national security Sentence: 6 years in prison. An additional 1 year was later added for alleged misconduct while in prison
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Statement on the Sentencing of Mohammad Ali Taheri to Death in Iran

STATEMENT BY HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON September 1, 2017 Sentencing of Mohammad Ali Taheri to Death in Iran We are deeply concerned by reports that an Iranian court has sentenced Mohammad Ali Taheri, the founder of an Iranian spiritual movement, to death.  The charges of founding a religious cult and “spreading corruption on earth” are inconsistent with ...
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Statement on the Anniversary of the 2013 Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary August 21, 2017 Statement on the Anniversary of the 2013 Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack Today marks the 4th anniversary of the Syrian regime’s deadly chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,400 people in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.  This tragic event precipitated an international effort that ...
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Excerpts of The International Religious Freedom Report of 2016

The penal code specifies the death sentence for proselytizing and attempts by non-Muslims to convert Muslims, as well as for moharebeh (“enmity against God”) and sabb al-nabi(“insulting the prophet”). The law prohibits Muslim citizens from changing or renouncing their religious beliefs. … “Within the limits of the law,” the constitution states Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians (excluding converts from ...
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White House Statement on American Citizens Unjustly Detained in Iran

THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary July 21, 2017 Statement on American Citizens Unjustly Detained in Iran President Donald J. Trump and his Administration are redoubling efforts to bring home all Americans unjustly detained abroad.  The United States condemns hostage takers and nations that continue to take hostages and detain our citizens without ...
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United States Announces New Iran-Related Sanctions

Office of the Spokesperson STATEMENT BY HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON July 18, 2017 United States Announces New Iran-Related Sanctions The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity.  Iran continues to support terrorist groups such as Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that threaten Israel ...
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2017 TIP Report Heroes

Each year, the Department of State honors individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. These individuals are NGO workers, lawmakers, police officers, and concerned citizens who are committed to ending modern slavery. They are recognized for their tireless efforts—despite resistance, opposition, and threats to their lives—to protect ...
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The State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Person Report, Iran portion

IRAN: TIER 3 The Government of Iran does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore, Iran remained on Tier 3. Despite the lack of significant efforts, the government took some steps to address trafficking, including operating some centers where trafficking victims ...
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Statement from the Press Secretary

Statement from the Press Secretary The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.  The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack. As we have previously ...
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Statement by Secretary of State Tillerson on LGBTI Month

Press Statement Rex W. Tillerson Secretary of State Washington, DC June 7, 2017 In recognition of LGBTI Month, the Department of State affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom. We also recognize ...
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U.S. State Department Issues Report on Human Rights Sanctions on Iran

May 17, 2017 U.S. State Department Issues Report on Human Rights Sanctions on Iran Highlights Iran’s Continuing Human Rights Abuses The State Department released today its semi-annual report to Congress detailing sanctions imposed on persons involved in human rights abuses in Iran. The report cites recent sanctions against the Tehran Prisons Organization and Sohrab Soleimani, ...
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Statement on the Nine Year Imprisonment of Bahai Leaders in Iran

Office of the Spokesperson  May 14, 2017 Statement By Heather Nauert, Spokesperson Nine Year Imprisonment of Bahai Leaders in Iran Nine years ago, seven leaders of Iran’s Bahai community were arrested and convicted of espionage, insulting religious sanctities, and propaganda against the Islamic Republic for activities related solely to their belief in and practice of ...
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Human Rights Report: Iran-2016

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic republic with a Shia Islamic political system based on “velayat-e faqih” (“guardianship of the jurist” or “rule by the jurisprudent”). Shia clergy, most notably the “Rahbar” (“supreme jurisprudent” or “supreme leader”) and political leaders vetted by the clergy dominated key power structures. While mechanisms ...
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Mark Toner on United States Citizens Detained in Iran

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesperson STATEMENT BY MARK TONER, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON April 27, 2017 United States Citizens Detained in Iran On the sidelines of the April 25 meeting in Vienna of the Joint Commission overseeing implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the U.S. delegation raised with the Iranian delegation its ...
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Treasury Takes Action to Target Serious Human Rights Abuses in Iran

Treasury Takes Action to Target Serious Human Rights Abuses in Iran 4/13/2017 ​ Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the Tehran Prisons Organization and Sohrab Soleimani, a senior official within Iran’s State Prison Organization, in connection with serious human rights abuses in Iran.  This action reflects the ...
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2017 International Women of Courage Award

The Secretary of States’ International Women of Courage Award honors women who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in acting to improve others’ lives.  It is an extraordinary opportunity to bring international attention and support to women who have put their lives and/or personal safety at risk in order to improve their communities.  Through ...
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Statement by the Spokesperson on the Ten-Year Anniversary of the Disappearance of Robert Levinson

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesperson March 9, 2017 Statement by the Spokesperson The Ten-Year Anniversary of the Disappearance of Robert Levinson  Today marks the ten-year anniversary of Robert Levinson’s disappearance from Kish Island, Iran.  The United States remains unwavering in our commitment to bring him home. Over the last decade his family ...
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Statement from the Press Secretary on the Ten-Year Anniversary of the Disappearance of Robert Levinson

Today, we mark the ten-year anniversary of the disappearance of United States citizen Robert “Bob” Levinson from Kish Island, Iran.  The Trump Administration remains unwavering in our commitment to locate Mr. Levinson and bring him home.  We want him back, and we will spare no effort to achieve that goal. The Levinson family has suffered ...
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Proclamation honoring March 2017 as Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month, 2017 BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION We are proud of our Nation’s achievements in promoting women’s full participation in all aspects of American life and are resolute in our commitment to supporting women’s continued advancement in America and around the world. America honors the celebrated women ...
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Six-Year Anniversary of the House Arrests of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesperson February 14, 2017 STATEMENT BY MARK TONER, ACTING SPOKESPERSON Six-Year Anniversary of the House Arrests of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard This week marks the six-year anniversary of the detention without formal charges of former senior Iranian officials and 2009 presidential election candidates Mehdi ...
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Prominent American LGBT People

David Geffen David Lawrence Geffen was born in February 21, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York from Immigrant parents and is an American business magnate, producer, film studio executive, and philanthropist. After finishing high school in Brooklyn, David attended the University of Texas at Austin for a semester, and then Brooklyn College, before again dropping out. ...
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Prominent American LGBT People

Jennifer Natalya Pritzker, born James Nicholas Pritzker in 1950 in Chicago, Illinois, is a billionaire investor and philanthropist, and a member of the Pritzker family. Pritzker enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 8, 1974. She graduated with a BA in History in May 1979 from Loyola University of Chicago. While serving in the army ...
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Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 (Iran)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocratic republic with a Shia Islamic political system based on “velayat-e faqih” (“guardianship of the jurist” or “rule by the jurisprudent”). Shia clergy, most notably the “supreme jurisprudent” (or supreme leader), and political leaders vetted by the clergy dominated key power structures. While mechanisms for ...
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Statement by Mark Toner on the Sentencing of Siamak and Baquer Namazi

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE STATEMENT BY MARK TONER, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON October 18, 2016 The Sentencing of Siamak and Baquer Namazi We are deeply concerned about reports that U.S. citizens Siamak Namazi and Baquer Namazi have each been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Siamak Namazi has been unjustly detained in Iran for over a year. ...
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Bringing People Hope: Harvey Milk and the Gay Rights Movement in America

In 1977, San Francisco politics was taken by storm when gay rights activist Harvey Milk was elected to the Board of Supervisors. As the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, Milk’s election was a triumph over anti-gay stereotypes. Milk’s ability to mobilize gays and straights alike resulted in the ...
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Statement by the President on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Statement by the President on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia On May 17, Americans and people around the world mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia by reaffirming the dignity and inherent worth of all people, regardless of who they love or their gender identity. Our nation is committed to the principle ...
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Davood Asadi, Afarin Chitsaz, Ehsan Mazandarani, and Saman Safarzaie

Name: Davood Asadi, Afarin Chitsaz, Ehsan Mazandarani, and Ehsan Safarzaie Occupation: Journalists Date of Arrest:  November 2015 Charge: “Acting Against National Security” Sentence: 5, 10, 7 and 5 Years in Prison Respectively Saman Safrzaie was released on March 2017. Ehsan Mazandarani was released on October 2017. Afarin Chitsaz was released on January 2018.    
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How Far Will Her Success Ripple Out to Others?

Girls often are prevented from attaining their full potential in traditional societies because educating daughters is not a priority. School fees and concerns about girls’ safety at school also hinder their education. But overwhelming evidence that educated girls benefit society and international focus on universal education are gradually overcoming these barriers. Why Educating Girls Matters Few investments pay off ...
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Let Girls Learn

Excerpts of op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on  TheAtlantic.com . First Lady Michelle Obama: Let Girls Learn Addressing the global crisis in girls’ education requires not just investment, but challenging cultural beliefs and practices. Right now, 62 million girls worldwide are not in school. They’re receiving no formal education at all — no reading, ...
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Ebrahim Firouzi

  Name: Ebrahim Firouzi Occupation: Unknown Date of Arrest: 7 March, 2013 Charge: “Propagating Against the Islamic Regime,” “Organizing Evangelistic Activities,” “Contact with Foreigners and Anti-Islamic Revolutionary Networks Outside the Country” Sentence: 5 Years in Prison
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Rassoul Badaghi

Name: Rassoul Badaghi Occupation: Teacher and Board Member of the Iranian Teachers Association Date of Arrest: 9 September, 2009 Charge: “Attending Gatherings with the Intent to Disrupt National Security,” “Insulting Imam Khomeini and the Supreme Leader,” and “Propaganda Against the State” Sentence: Six Years in Jail and 5 Years Banned from Social Activities Current Status: Released
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Are Sports Just For Fun? Not For These Women

Author:  S. Dollard On the move: Diasporas connect the world Girls’ participation in sports helps them to excel not only as athletes, but in life. According to the United Nations, girls and women who participate in sports are more likely to do a number of things: Attend school and participate in society. Work with people from different backgrounds, promoting tolerance. Challenge gender stereotypes and ...
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Nasrin Sotoudeh

Name: Nasrin Sotoudeh Occupation: Human Rights Lawyer Date of Imprisonment: September 2010 Charge: Propagation Activities Against the Regime; Cooperating with the Center for Human Rights Defenders; and Endangering National Security Sentence: Six Years in Prison and a Ban from the Practice of Law for Ten Years She was released from prison and then again arrested in June 2018.
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Excerpts From Presidential Proclamation – Women’s Equality Day 2015

On August 26, 1920, after years of agitating to break down the barriers that stood between them and the ballot box, American women won the right to vote. On the front lines of pickets and protests, champions from every corner of our country banded together to expand this fundamental freedom to women and forge a path ...
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Hamid Reza Moradi Sarvestani

Name: Hamid Reza Moradi Sarvestani Occupation: Religious Minority Practitioner (Gonabadi Dervish), Human Rights Activist Date of Arrest: September 4, 2011 Charge: Propaganda Against the Regime, Insulting the Supreme Leader, Agitation of the Public Consciousness, Establishment and Membership in Perverse Groups, and Disruption of the Public Order. Sentence: 10 Years and 6 Months in Prison He ...
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Congratulations to the Two of the Bravest Women Making History in the United States! “Valor Knows No Gender”

For the first time in U.S. history, two women have crossed rivers, scaled walls, and jumped over a gender barrier to make it through the U.S. Army’s toughest training program known as Ranger School. Both are in their 20s and are lieutenants. They’ll now wear the Ranger tab on their uniforms Nearly four months ago, ...
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Omid Kokabee

Name: Omid Kokabee Occupation: PhD Student in Optics at the University of Texas at Austin ِDate of Imprisonment: January 30, 2011 While Visiting Family in Iran Charges: Communicating with a Hostile Foreign Government; Receiving Illegitimate Funds Sentence: 10 Years Imprisonment Conditionally released in August 2016
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U.S. Government Efforts to Address Bias-Motivated Violence Against the LGBT Community Around the World

Directed by the 2011 Presidential Memorandum on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBT Persons , the United States works every day to promote respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons both at home and around the world.  We do so knowing that, in too many places, people are threatened, tortured, and even killed for their sexual orientation or gender identity.  ...
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Atena Farghadani

Name: Atena Farghadani Occupation: Cartoonist, Painter. Date of Arrest: January 10, 2015 Charge: “Coolition Against the Security of the System”, “Propaganda Against the System”, “Insulting the Leader, the President and the Members of Parliament” and “Charged for Artwork Expressing Political Defiance”. Sentence: 12 Years and 9 Months in Prison She was released on June 3rd, 2016.
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Mohammad Seifzadeh

Name: Mohammad Seifzadeh Occupation: Human Rights Lawyer Date of Imprisonment: October 2010 Charge: Collusion and Assembly with Intent to Disrupt Internal Security; Propagation Activities Against the Regime; and Establishing the Center for Human Rights Defenders Sentence: Nine Years in Prison and Banned from Practicing Law for 10 Years He was released in March 2016.
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Statement of President Barack Obama Commemorating International Women’s Day

As half the planet, women make immeasurable contributions to our world. They are entrepreneurs, farmers, educators, scientists, artists, soldiers, mothers, heads of state – the list is endless. Without them, economies would collapse, political systems would deteriorate, and families and communities would fall apart. Yet in too many places, women are treated as second-class citizens. ...
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Remarks by John Kerry, Secretary of State, at the Welcoming Ceremony of Randy Berry as the First Special Envoy for Human Rights of LGBT Persons

Secretary Kerry: This is a terrific moment to be able to welcome Randy Berry as our first special envoy for human rights of LGBT persons. So this appointment really couldn’t happen at a more important time. And frankly, everybody being here today and my privilege of actually celebrating this appointment is really a way of sending ...
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Sowing Seeds of Empowerment: Small Loans to Afghan Women Growers

The Ghoryan Women’s Saffron Association is an organization born out of desperation. Bordering Iran in Afghanistan’s arid Herat province, Ghoryan is a place where fields yield little and men struggle to find work. Saffron — the world’s most expensive spice — has grown here for centuries, but Ghoryan’s saffron farmers, at least 700, have long ...
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USAID Honors Survivors and Heroes of Gender-Based Violence

32-year-old Nadia Bano is from the Punjab area of Pakistan. Nadia had been a happily married woman with three children. But everything changed when her brother refused to marry Nadia’s sister-in-law, causing her-in-laws to throw acid on her face due to their frustration and anger. Her face was severely burnt, and she lost one of ...
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Hootan Dolati

Name: Hootan Dolati Occupation: Engineer, Journalist Date of Arrest: March 15, 2013 Charge: “Propaganda Against the State” and “Membership in a Banned Group” Sentence: One and a Half Years in Prison, and a Five Year Ban on Membership in Any Political Party or Social Group He was released in September 2014.
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Omid Behrouzi

Name: Omid Behrouzi Occupation: Lawyer Date of Imprisonment: September 8, 2011 Charge: “Forming an Illegal Group,” “Acting Against National Security,” “Propaganda Against the Regime,” “Insulting the Leader of the Islamic Republic,” “Disturbing Public Order” Sentence: Seven and a Half Years in Prison. He was released in March 2015. Behrouzi was among the dozens of prisoners of conscience held in Evin Prison ...
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Emad Bahavar

Name: Emad Bahavar Occupation: Student, Political Activist Date of Sentence: January 10, 2011 Charge: “Propaganda Against the State,” “Insulting the Supreme Leader” Sentence: Seven Years in Prison, and a Ten Year Ban on Political Activities, Media Activities, and Internet Activities He was released in December 2014. Bahavar was among the dozens of prisoners of conscience held in Evin Prison Ward 350 reported ...
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Abdolreza Ghanbari

Name: Abdolreza Ghanbari Occupation: Persian Literature Teacher Date of Imprisonment: December 27, 2009 Charge: Moharebeh (“Enmity Towards God”) Through Participation in the Street Gatherings on Ashura Day and Contact with Enemy Groups Sentence: Death, as of September 2013 – Ghanbari’s Death Sentence has Reportedly Been Commuted to 10 Years Imprisonment. He was released in March 2016.
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Ayatollah Mohammad Hossein Kazemeini Bouroujerdi

Name: Ayatollah Mohammad Hossein Kazemeini Bouroujerdi Occupation: Clergy Date of Imprisonment: October 7, 2006 Charge: Around 30, Including moharebeh (“Enmity Towards God”); Acts Against National Security and Having Links with Anti-Revolutionaries and Spies Sentence: Eleven Years in Jail From January 2017 on medical leave from prison.
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Sayed Ziaoddin (Zia) Nabavi

Name: Sayed Ziaoddin (Zia) Nabavi Date of Imprisonment: June 2009 Occupation: Student Charge: Moharebeh (“Enmity Towards God”) Current Status: Imprisoned Sentence: 10 Years He was released in January 2018. Nabavi co-founded the Advocacy Council for the Right to Education, an organization of students barred from studying as a result of their political activities, in 2007. He was arrested shortly after Iran’s disputed ...
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Bahareh Hedayat

Name: Bahareh Hedayat Occupation: Student and Women’s Rights Activist Date of Imprisonment: December 31, 2009 Charge: Insulting the Supreme Leader; Insulting the President; Actions Against National Security; Propagation of Falsehoods; and Colluding for Assembly Sentence: Seven and a Half Years Plus Two Years from a Previously Suspended Sentence She was released in September 2016.
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Majid Dorri

Name: Majid Dorri Date of Imprisonment: July 9, 2009 Occupation: Student Activist Charge: Moharebeh (“Enmity Towards God”); Acting Against National Security; Disrupting Public Order; and Relations with the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization Current Status: Imprisoned Sentence: 6 and a Half Years He was released in June 2014. Majid Dorri is a student activist who has been ...
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Masoud Bastani

Name: Masoud Bastani Date of Imprisonment: July 5, 2009 Occupation: Reformist Journalist Charge: Propagating Against the Regime and Congregating and Collusion to Create Anarchy Current Status: Imprisoned Sentence: Six Years He was released in July 2015. Husband of jailed activist Mahsa Amrabadi, Bastani is an Iranian reformist journalist. Throughout his career, he was arrested several times, most recently on July 5, 2009. ...
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Kasra Nouri

Name: Kasra Nouri  Occupation: Unavailable Date of Imprisonment: March 14, 2012 Charge: “Propaganda Against the Regime”, “Acting Against National Security”, “Membership in a Deviant Group” and “Interviews with Foreign Media” Sentence: Four Years and Four Months Jail He was released in October 2016. Then again, after being arrested in the incidents of “Golestan the 7th” he was sentenced to 12 years ...
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Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Vahid Tizfahm, and Mahvash Sabet

Name: Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Vahid Tizfahm, and Mahvash Sabet Occupation: Members of Yaran, the Coordinating Group for the Iranian Baha’i Community Date of Imprisonment: May 14, 2008 (Mahvash Sabet March 8, 2008) Charge: Espionage for Israel, Insulting Religious Sanctities, and Propaganda Against the Islamic Republic Sentence: 20 Years in jail, their sentence was later ...
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Mansoureh Behkish

Name: Mansoureh Behkish Occupation: Member of Mothers for Peace Date of Imprisonment: June 12, 2011 Charge: Assembling and Conspiring with the Intent to Harm National Security; Propaganda Against the System Sentence: Four and a Half Years Only a few months before the end of her original sentence, in February 2018 she was once again sentenced to 7.5 years in jail ...
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