NCRI - On Tuesday 18th of January 2017, state-run Tasnim News Agency reported that:"Following the possibility of U.S. presence in Syria peace conference in Kazakhstan, Astana, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Javad Zarif has stated that they are against the presence of America and the US is not invited to participate in the summit.”
NCRI - As the factional feuding among Iran regime factions escalates, three days after the deputy speaker of the regime’s parliament, Ali Motahari, criticized IRGC hardliners regarding the missile program, IRGC spokesman attacked him and said people like Motahari should know they would be humiliated in front of the Iranian people.
Saudi minister of state for the Gulf region Thamer Al-Sabhan slammed Iran's recent appointment of an envoy in Iraq and its statement calling for shutting down the Saudi consulate in Iraq. Al Arabiya English reported on Monday, 16 January 2017
"Iran appoints a war criminal and (one of the) world's wanted men as its envoy in Iraq and demands closing the Saudi consulate in Erbil," Sabhan said on Twitter.
NCRI - Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) rejected the request by an Iran regime's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander to close Saudi Consulate in Erbil calling the request a meddling in the internal affairs of the KRG.
According to Saudi official news agency (SPA), the KRG in a statement on Monday, January 16, announce that the decision to open embassies and consulate of other countries including Saudi Arabia in Erbil is adopted in the framework of the Kurdistan region as well Iraq’s laws and no one is allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of the region.
NCRI - The Syrian opposition negotiating high commission announced their support for the Astana talks in Kazakhstan, Al-Arabiya reported on January 15, 2017.
At the same time, Syrian combatant organizations in Ankara stressed that the Assad regime and its supporting militias need to adhere to the ceasefire and the observers need to be deployed in the contact lines.
The following is an insightful article analyzing the current political situation in Iran after the death of Rafsanjani, written On Jaunary 13, by Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the founding fathers of the Iranian regime, died last week on January 8. He served as President, Speaker of Parliament, Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces, head of the Assembly of Experts--the 88-member body of clerics tasked with nominating the Supreme Leader, and head of the Expediency Council, a body adjudicating disputes over legislation between the parliament and the Guardian Council.
NCRI - The consequences of Rafsanjani’s death appeared much sooner than expected during his funeral, turning the ceremony into a battle scene between the rival bands.
While the Rafsanjani-Rouhani band chanted “these too many people are here for their love for Akbar”, Khamenei’s responded “these too many people are here for their love for leader”. Menawhile, the fed-up crowd, ”, taking advantage of the gap between the two bands, were chanting “Dictator, Dictator”, “Our state television, our shame”, and “political prisoners should get released.” The unrest went far beyond Tehran, so that people in Mashhad chanted “Down with Khamenei” in addition to the mutual rhetoric between the two bands.
Iran dealing with shock of Trump's election, death of its leader
Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States presents the Islamic Republic of Iran with tremendous uncertainty and, perhaps, anxiety, wrote Majid Sadeghpour the political director of the Organization of Iranian American Communities in the U.S. (OIACUS) in ‘The Hill’ on January 12, 2017, the article continues as follows:
Mr. Trump’s platform included a promise to initiate dramatic shifts in American policies.
Former Gen. James Mattis said at his confirmation hearing to serve as the next U.S. secretary of defense that he regards the Iranian regime as the Middle East's biggest destabilizing force.
The retired Marine general, chosen by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the Department of Defense, provided written responses to questions to the Senate Armed Services Committee, United Press International reported on Thursday. The 56-page document identified Mattis' view of potential conflict spots around the world, and said of Iran's regime: "Iranian malign influence in the region is growing."