Kavous Seyed-Emami, a Canadian-Iranian and respected advocate for endangered species in Iran, died in detention in Evin prison in suspicious circumstances last month. Seven others, including an Iranian-American, Morad Tahbaz, remain in prison. All are associated with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF), the most respected conservation and environmentalist NGO in Iran.
ماه گذشته کاووس سیدامامی، شهروند ایرانی-کانادایی و از فعالان شناخته شده حمایت از تیره های در معرض انقراض در ایران، در زمان بازداشت در زندان اوین درشرایط مشکوکی درگذشت. هفت نفر دیگر، از جمله مراد طاهباز، شهروند ایرانی-آمریکایی، همچنان در بازداشت به سر می برند. همه این افراد با یک نهاد غیر دولتی و مورد احترام حفظ طبیعت و حیات وحش به نام "موسسه حیات وحش میراث پارسیان" در ارتباط بوده اند.
The latest is Rasoul Khadem, an Olympic gold medalist and national hero, who headed the Iranian Wrestling Federation since 2014.
Kavous Seyed-Emami, a prominent Canadian-Iranian environmentalist and academic, was quickly buried without an independent autopsy due to pressure by authorities, according to his family. Officials said Seyed-Emami had committed suicide in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison on February 9, seventeen days after his arrest.
He was not the first to die under suspicious circumstances in prison during recent weeks. Two protesters—Vahid Heidari and Sina Ghonbadi—who participated in the nationwide unrest last month were also said to have committed suicide in prison. Their deaths sparked public outrage.
The US, referring to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which codified the 2015 nuclear deal, has repeatedly called on Iran to refrain from testing ballistic missiles and dramatized what it says is evidence of the transfer of Iranian rockets to Yemen in violation of the resolution. Iran has rebuffed the US demands, arguing that its missile program is for defensive purposes and noting that the UN resolution is not binding with regard to testing. European countries have been consulting with both the US and Iran but remain unsure what the Trump administration wants and are fearful of being asked to make continual new demands on Iran to preserve the JCPOA.
The Iranian port on the Gulf of Oman is a key project for the two countries. Originally agreed to in 2003 during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami and the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the project was suspended during the George W. Bush and early Barack Obama administrations due to US sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
Iranian expatriates ranging from physiotherapists to rocket scientists offered analyses on Twitter, alongside non-Iranians with an interest in the political dynamics of the country. A majority asserted that the protests were the precursors to the final days of the Islamic Republic. Now, that the dust has settled, it is perhaps easier to gauge what happened and what should come next.
Iran’s increasingly sophisticated ballistic arsenal has become a major concern for its neighbors and the United States. The Trump Administration sees the missile program as a regional and global threat that was not adequately addressed by the JCPOA and has set up a working group with Britain, France and Germany to deal with missiles and other issues not covered by the nuclear deal.