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Iranian press review: Iranian-American dual citizen arrested in Iran

Meanwhile, Tehran metro hires 'Hijab Custodians', labourers can't afford bread, and activist says the second wave of 'woman, life, freedom' is coming soon
Iranians burn a US flag during a demonstration against American 'crimes', Tehran, 3 January 2020 (AFP)

Another dual national arrested in Iran

A pro-government news outlet has revealed the arrest and imprisonment of a woman holding dual Iranian and American citizenship in Iran on accusations of espionage.

The news comes as discussions between Tehran and Washington continue that focus on the release of American detainees in Iran in exchange for the unfreezing of billions of dollars of Iranian assets held in South Korea.

On Monday, the Khorasan daily wrote: "According to the information we have received, a fifth individual was apprehended in recent weeks, and her name has been included by the Americans on the list of prisoners for whose release they are negotiating."

The daily did not disclose the individual's identity but noted that she "had worked with non-governmental organisations in Afghanistan".

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So far officials from the United States have not issued any response to these claims.

Additionally, the Khorasan Daily confirmed an earlier report from the Shargh Daily about the identity of the fourth individual on the potential prisoner exchange list.

On 11 July, the Shargh daily quoted an anonymous source who said Shahab Dalili was also being considered in the negotiations for a prisoner exchange.

The other three individuals are Iranian Americans Siamak Namazi, Emad Sharghi, and Morad Tahbaz.

400 'Hijab Custodians' recruited for Tehran metro

Tehran Municipality has hired 400 security officers with the job title "Hijab Custodian" to enforce the headscarf law in the underground metro, the online newspaper Faraz Daily reported.

Only people under 35 were chosen for this job which carries a monthly salary of 120,000,000 Iranian rials (about $240).

The primary responsibility of the officers is to "demand that people follow the hijab rule, ban people from going into the metro station if they do not follow the rule, and if needed, hand them over to the police", according to the report.

Meanwhile, Khalil Osouli, public relation director of the Tehran Municipality security unit, told the Faraz Daily that the Tehran Metro would not provide service to women "without hijab", drawing a comparison between those not putting on hijab and drug addicts.

"Do we provide service to the addicts with open wounds? Or we ask them to go away?" he was quoted as saying.

Rising bread prices plague Iranian labourers

Despite Iran's interior minister promising to prevent food price hikes, labour activists say that rising costs mean labourers cannot afford bread.

On Friday, ILNA news agency, a labour-focused outlet, reported that bread prices had soared 30-40 percent across 14 provinces, exacerbating the hardships faced by labourers.

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"The low-income labourers consume bread in two or three meals daily, and the recent price hike will further inflate their already burdened food budget," wrote ILNA.

According to the report, Iranian labourers struggle to afford basic necessities for their families, resulting in a higher reliance on bread as a primary food.

Faramarz Tofighi, a labourer activist, told ILNA that the economic crisis, fueled by international sanctions and domestic mismanagement, has significantly reduced the food options available to labourers over the past two years.

"Dairies are nearly disappearing from labourers' food basket. Many can no longer afford rice, and summer fruits are now considered luxuries," he said.

In May 2022, a previous hike in flour prices triggered widespread anger among Iranians, who had already experienced a decline in their standard of living.

Second wave of 'woman, life, freedom' to come soon says activist

Abolfazl Ghadyani, a prominent Iranian political activist and prisoner of conscience, has said in an article that the second wave of an anti-establishment movement that sparked nationwide protests last year would break out soon.

The movement, known for its "woman, life, freedom" slogan, erupted after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Islamic morality police. Over 500 people were killed by the IRGC and security forces as the protests unfolded.

"The second wave of the fruitful and nascent movement of 'woman, life, freedom' would topple Khamenei and the establishment, and a secular democratic republic based on human rights would replace it," he wrote, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader.

Ghadyani published this article on Sunday after he surrendered himself to judicial officials to begin a 10-month prison term handed down to him in July.

However, the officials did not send him to prison, but he was handed a 240,000,000 rial fine (about $480) for "spreading propaganda against the establishment".

He was also informed that he must soon appear in court in another case.

Ghadyani, suffering from severe heart problems, was imprisoned before and after the 1979 revolution for his political activism.

*Iranian press review is a digest of news reports not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye

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